WRITTEN BY MARTYNA (GUEST WRITER)
We have the lovely Martyna today sharing her birth experience and c-section advice.
My c-section wasn’t planned. During pregnancy there was no indication that a c-section might be required to deliver my baby boy Alex safely and it never even crossed my mind that I could need one.
I went into spontaneous labour and everything was going perfectly until it was time to push. I was trying with all my might, literally putting my all into it but Alex was just not moving down, at all. After an hour and a half of unsuccessful pushing, the decision was made to try forceps in theatre followed by an emergency c-section if the forceps was not successful. This was due to Alex becoming distressed and his heart rate dropping.
I was given an epidural and the doctors attempted delivery by forceps 3 times, but as you probably have guessed, this was unsuccessful. Once I was told that they would perform a c-section, I just felt utter relief. I was absolutely exhausted and high on pethidine and epidural, and I just wanted my baby to be here.
My husband was with me the entire time, I had a wonderful midwife and a very lovely anaesthesiologist. They kept me distracted from what was going on, to the point that I didn’t even realise that they had started. I asked the midwife if they had, she nodded and literally a second later, we heard Alex cry and saw him being lifted above the little screen. It was absolute music to our eyes and both my husband and I started crying. He was just perfect, very loud and absolutely massive!
I didn’t feel a thing, in terms of pain or discomfort but I did loose a litre of blood. Whilst I was getting stitched up, Alex had cuddles with daddy, he was checked, weighed and measured – an impressive 9lb 12oz, and 56cm! No wonder he wasn’t moving down into the birth canal as he was supposed to! I did ask to do skin to skin immediately however my baby boy was just too long to fit across my chest!
Once I was taken into recovery, Alex was placed on my chest, we had skin to skin and his first breastfeed. It was amazing and I honestly couldn’t care less about the manner in which he was delivered. He was healthy and strong and in my arms.
My recovery was ok, though I have nothing to compare it to as Alex is my first baby. The midwives on the postnatal ward were really good, and very quick to respond to me asking for help. The epidural takes a while to wear off so you do need help with pretty everything, including even lifting your baby out of their bassinet.
A tip I was given was not to wait for pain before asking for painkillers. Instead, it is best to keep them topped up. Saying that I don’t remember the pain being horrific though everyone experiences pain differently.
I was discharged home around 24 hours after Alex was born, which I was very pleased about because due to Covid, we were unable to have any visitors. In hindsight, I wish I had stayed for longer, because it later transpired I was dehydrated, anaemic and had picked up an infection.
I was readmitted back into hospital 4 days postpartum due to the infection which turned into sepsis. I’m not sure what caused it but I think that I was definitely trying to do too much too quickly. When Alex was 5 weeks old, my scar, which had been healing perfectly until that point, had re-opened slightly and I developed another infection. This was treated with antibiotics at home though so at least I didn’t need another hospitalisation.
All in all, I would say that m experience of the c-section itself was positive. It went smoothly even though it was an emergency situation. The recovery was the trickiest part for me and I really wish I had taken things easy.
If you are due to have a c-section, don’t fear, and perhaps think about the following –
1. Practice hypnobirthing – whilst I didn’t have a vaginal birth, it really helped me and my husband to stay calm during an emergency situation. I’d highly recommend it.
2. Don’t think that you can’t do skin to skin immediately after delivery, most of the time I believe you can (Alex was just too big to fit across my chest!)
3. Keep your pain killers topped up, don’t wait to be in pain.
4. Oramorph (morphine) is brilliant but it can make you constipated, I’d say only take it if you really need it.
5. I was given a drug of some sort, before the surgery started to stop me from feeling nauseous afterwards, and I was absolutely fine. Another lady on my ward wasn’t and she felt awful in recovery. Perhaps ask for this if you’re not offered it by the anaesthesiologist. (Sorry I can’t remember the name of it)
6. Be kind to yourself and don’t try to do too much too quickly. Remember you have had a major surgery on top of having a baby – rest plenty, eat well and take all the help you can get
7. Enjoy the snuggles with your little bubba – as long as you and your baby are safe and well, it doesn’t matter how you baby was delivered!