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I was so confident that I’ll have a natural birth that I’ve completely ignored C sections. I didn’t do enough research about it and I wasn’t prepared at all, therefore I didn’t know what to expect and how to react.
If you ask me now, I would tell you to prepare and inform yourself as much as you can!
Sadly I did some mistakes and I would do anything to do things differently but I can’t.
Anyway… back to this post now.
Through today’s article, I’d like you to learn something and don’t repeat my mistakes. So I really hope you are going to find it helpful.
Are you in a hurry or you don’t have enough time to read? SAVE it for later!
1. Pre-labour & early signs
Soon after my 40th-week mark, on a Thursday night (at around 1 am) I started having contractions.
My due date was the 31st of July and I gave birth on the 5th of August.
I’ve had an entire week of changes!
Here are some of my early signs of labour:
a) Sunday, 30.07
I’ve had some pinkish discharge. Not a lot though. That’s when I knew that things are starting to happen, but I didn’t get my hopes up. I was pretty sure that I won’t meet my baby on my actual due date! Haha
b) Thursday, 03.08
The fun has begun and a lot of things have happened! It all started with me eliminating the mucus plug.
After that, I started having some light cramping, they were more like menstrual cramps. Later on Thursday night, I had some contractions as well. Up until then, I’ve had A LOT of visits to the toilet.
Initially, I thought that they were Brixton hicks, so I just went through with them. Walking, breathing and positive thinking has helped me a lot during this entire process.
I even listened to some hypnobirthing music although I wasn’t planning on going for it.
a) Friday, 04.08
By Friday morning I was pain and cramp free so I didn’t suspect much. I even had the energy to do some video editing and some more preparations for my baby’s arrival.
Another sign that my body is slowly getting ready for birth – it’s called nesting 🙂
Later on that day my contractions came back and also the moment when I realised that the contractions I was having the day before were definitely not Braxton hicks.
They were coming and going, nothing too consistent. Around 14 o’clock I started having some back and under the bump pains as well. More mucus has been eliminated.
Towards the night everything got much more intense. I felt so tired so I went to bed early, but I just couldn’t fell asleep because my contractions started to be more intense and painful this time.
After 22 o’clock at night, no more contractions for me, so I managed to get some sleep.
c) Saturday, 05.08
Strong contractions have woken me up in the middle of the night, at around 1 o’clock to be more precise. I also knew that I should time my contractions. I read everywhere that when your contractions are regular, strong, about 5 minutes apart and they are lasting for at least 60 seconds you SHOULD go to the hospital.
To be honest with you I am not so sure if everything was true in my case (I panicked & I was having my first baby) so I called to the hospital and I spoke through the phone with a midwife. After I told her everything she advised that I should stay at home a little bit more.
After an hour or so I couldn’t bear them anymore, so I ended up going to the hospital just for a checkup. Sadly they have sent me home because I was only 2cm dilated.
I could barely stand! I was so disappointed!
At around 4-5 we’ve managed to get home because we didn’t have a car so we had to wait quite a while for a taxi.
All I wanted was to lay down and try to sleep, but simply couldn’t. My contractions were at the same intensity but more frequent. I continued timing them using an app I found online.
In my opinion, I managed to resist through my contractions with deep breaths and just focusing on them. I guess it’s something that I took from the hypnobirthing videos I was watching.
I’ve also read online that you’re supposed to breathe through them and with positive thinking you are going to successfully pass them.
At around 9 o’clock in the morning, I said that I wouldn’t wait any longer and I’ll go to the hospital. With luggage this time.
At the hospital – 1st checkup
So at 9 am I arrived at the hospital and only at 10-11 I finally got checked down there by my midwife. Not sure what took them so long! I was 6cm dilated.
Most certainly not going home anymore!
Baby’s coming! YAY!
My midwife saw me how well I was managing and breathing through my contractions so she suggested to forget the epidural and go with gas and air only.
I remember that I asked her if my contractions and pains are going to get any stronger than this. She told me that this would be maximum pain level and I’ll only be feeling the birthing pain and more pressure.
Not sure why, but a part of me didn’t want the epidural anyway, so I went with the gas & air only.
Four hours later I got my 2nd checked up since I arrived at the hospital and I was 8cm dilated.
Now, almost a year later and drug-free I realise that things weren’t progressing well. 2cm in 4 hours wasn’t right. Things were progressing quite slowly.
Another thing I didn’t like is that I wasn’t connected to the monitors. I found that really odd. So we never knew why things were that slow.
An hour and a half later I asked to be checked again. I just couldn’t bear it anymore, I felt that I’m close to pushing. Sadly I was still only 8cm!
Because things weren’t progressing as well as we wanted, my midwife decided to break my waters. Sometimes, this could speed up things a little bit.
Those checks were really painful though! I wasn’t a huge fan of them!
After my waters have been broken, my contractions became stronger and a bit more painful. But I was able to breathe through them.
At least I was doing something right.
Many hours later, I started to have the need to push. It was against my will. I know that when this happens you’re fully dilated and you’re ready to push your baby out.
It was 19 o’clock when this happened.
I just couldn’t control it anymore. Nobody has told me to start pushing.
So I didn’t know what was happening.
I got checked up again and I was a bit over 9 cm dilated but still not enough to be ready to push.
The shift has changed at 20 o’clock and my case was handed over to a different midwife. I hoped that I would have given birth before 20 o’clock!
Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. I noticed a lot of movement and things have shifted a lot in the night shift’s arrival.
My room was full of midwives and doctors. I felt that something wasn’t right. Usually when surgeons are coming into your room is not necessarily a good sign. They immediately knew that I was in labour for too long and it’s time to give me some help.
I finally got connected to the monitors. And they’ve told me that my baby’s turned and his head is stuck in the birth canal.
That’s why things weren’t progressing anymore! He was in distress so he turned!
I was devastated! I didn’t want to have surgery!
My biggest fear was becoming true and my first thought was: ” OMG! I don’t want surgery! I didn’t prepare for it!”
Of course that after I passed through that initial shock I was happy and excited that everything will be over soon and I’ll meet my little one!
Having an epidural at 9 cm!
We also spoke about having an emergency C section, so they offered me an epidural. The anesthesiologist mentioned that it could be better to receive it earlier rather than later because in case of a C section I’ll have it anyway.
So I took it! I think that has been the best decision I’ve ever made! I didn’t feel anything after I’ve had the epidural! Very interesting how everything suddenly has changed. Everything was much easier to handle after it. I couldn’t feel anything: contractions and the need to push. I felt a totally different person.
For those of you afraid of having an epidural, I didn’t feel anything at all! Maybe it was because of the gas&air, who knows?
All I felt was a little bit of a sting and that’s it.
The only thing I found it was difficult for me was to stay still. Of course, I couldn’t, I was already pushing and just couldn’t control it anymore.
Before surgery, because I was so close to 10 cm they decided to give me one more shot. So, they gave me some hormones first just to see whether things would progress on their own. I had 3 hours and if things were not progressing well, I would have my baby via an emergency C section.
Anyway, I’ve had the epidural and the medication (to help me fully dilate) so now all we had to do was wait.
If I’m completely honest with you, I don’t even remember whether I was happy or sad. My body was full of drugs and I had too much adrenaline and stress!
Not long after that, the doctors came back and checked how everything progressed. Sadly no good news for us. Therefore we were told that it’s pointless to wait any longer and they started the preparations for surgery.
3. Surgery & preparations
It was quite a big team. I think they were more than 5 people in my room: surgeons, midwives, an anesthesiologist and students. They were all working on something different. I was high from the gas&air I had all day so I’m not sure if I remember everything as it happened.
The student midwife was putting some long and very tight socks on my legs – compression stockings. As I understood they were necessary to prevent swelling and to improve blood circulation during and after surgery. I hope I’m not mistaken.
Then the anesthesiologist came to explain the process and what was going happen. He also gave me some documentation to read and to sign about the surgery. This is a standard procedure whenever you have a surgical operation.
After everything was all done and prepared they took me to the theatre (that’s how the surgery room it’s called). On my way to this room, I started to have lots of thoughts.
Not necessarily good and happy thoughts. One thing I knew for sure: I was so ready to meet my little boy!
There it was! A huge, bright room and full of more people – lots of nurses, 2 surgeons, few midwives, the anesthesiologist and probably other people that I don’t even remember of.
The anesthesiologist was like my tour guide. He also introduced me to the whole team and what they were there for. He was very good with me and explained the entire surgery, what I would feel during the operation and other things.
Before the operation began, there were some more preparations. They put some massage pillows onto my legs, they gave me some more anaesthetic and they connected some more cannulas to my both arms. It felt really strange, but I didn’t mind. I didn’t have any other choice, right?
Meeting my little baby
Next, they put a massive blue sheet in front of my face so I wouldn’t see anything. Soon after that, the fun has begun. Everything has happened so fast, within 5 minutes I saw my little baby’s face. I heard him crying for the first time at 23.14. I even managed to give him a little kiss. His head looked a little oval because he was stuck in the birth canal, but he was perfect!
The midwife put him onto my chest for a little bit. Sadly I couldn’t enjoy his presence and I couldn’t hold him because she had to get him cleaned and dressed up.
I also asked the midwife to take him outside to meet his daddy. After that, while the surgeons were closing me up, my little baby had to stay under the lamp.
I remember being so happy! Such a precious moment! It can’t be described into words what I felt in that moment.
In terms of pains, I didn’t feel much but I did feel A LOT of pressure and pulling, especially after my baby has been removed from my womb. The whole closing up thing took about 30 minutes. I think it was the longest 30 minutes from my entire life! But I’ll stop here with the details because I am not sure how well people can handle this kind of thing.
After the surgery
After the surgery, some nurses were cleaning me up, moved me and helped me to get dressed or something. I didn’t like it at all! I’ve never felt so useless in my entire life! I hated how numb I was and I felt so heavy because I couldn’t move.
Before I left the theatre the midwife put my baby in my arms. That’s when I forgot about everything and I was the happiest person alive.
At last! I had him for myself. Such a joyful moment! I was staring at him and inspecting every single piece of his tiny little body. He was perfect!
They took me to the recovery room where my husband was waiting for us.
And then we lived happily ever after!
Actually, that’s not so true. I had to stay hospitalised for 7 days! But I am going to write about that in a later post, this one is already tooo long.
Not sure if people will actually be reading this massive article. If you did stick read till the end, just leave me an emoji in the comments 🙂
That’s everything that happened when I gave birth to our son! I truly hope that I didn’t scare you in any way. But that’s life and when it comes to an emergency C section nothing is amazing and full of fluff.
Also, I’ve had the worst recovery ever and I did many mistakes or better said they were lots of things that I would have done differently if I have had the correct information.
That’s why is so important for you to be prepared and be informed BEFORE you go into labour. No matter what type of birth you’re “planning” to have. You never know what’s going to happen. Births can be very unpredictable!
If you are reading this while pregnant I wish you the best of luck and an easy & quick birth!
Until next time take care & stay beautiful!
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