Today we catch up with Eimear from Chirps of a Little Red Hen about the births of her two children, both of whom were born via C-section.
Thanks for sharing your C-section journey. To start perhaps you would include how many children you have and how many were born by C-section:
I’m a proud mum of two and both were born via C-Section. My first was born via emergency C-Section and the second was planned.
Can you tell me how long ago it is since your C-section occurred and a basic idea of why it occurred?
My 1st C-Section was July 2011. This was an emergency C-Section due to a failed induction. Prior to my induction I was having some bleeds from about 37 weeks onwards. On having a third bleed at 39 weeks I was admitted to make sure everything was ok. Throughout my time in hospital my husband and I had choices as in whether we chose to be induced or not. All along we knew the risks etc and we’re prepared for this. It was our own decision and not one pushed on us by the hospital. The induction was started on the Thursday night with the first of three gels. On Saturday morning my waters were broken and I was placed on Oxytocin. As the induction progressed I knew that things weren’t going as hoped. I was barely 3cm dilated after nearly 8 hours on the drip and a second one was started.
We spoke with the doctor and we asked for the C-Section ourselves as we felt things weren’t right. While the doctor was not against the idea, she also was not pushing for it. It was more me. My husband and I both spoke about it and we were aware of any risks. Once the doctor agreed we were aware of what was ahead it was all go and we we’d an emergency section. I must say I was glad of our decision as the umbilical cord was around our son’s neck and I’m sure with his fighting to stay in things may have been different.
Our daughter was born January 2014 and her C-Section was a planned one as she was breech.
At what point during the pregnancy / labour did you find out you would require a C-section?
On our 1st, we were told at 38 weeks that there was a good chance we may need an induction which could lead to a C-Section due to the unexplained bleeds I was having.
On being told this neither myself nor my husband were phased about it as we had a fantastic ante-natal class in the hospital which was spread over a few evenings. On one of the evenings they went into great detail about what to expect if you were to have an induction and also if you had an emergency or planned C-Section.
On our daughter this was confirmed at our 34 week appointment that we would be booked in for a C-Section as she was breech.
How did you feel when a C-section was suggested?
I honestly felt ok about it all. Throughout the pregnancies my husband and I spoke about everything that may occur. On our first, while my husband always said it was down to me as it was my body it was decision we made together.
Again, with our second we were both at ease as we knew firsthand what to expect and I recovered well first time around.
Can you tell me a bit about what happened immediately before the C-section? (E.g. preparation, checks etc.)
On our first being an emergency C-Section it was literally all go, which I was expecting. We spoke with the Anaesthetist, bloods were taken, my nails were checked for nail varnish (I took it off the night before in preparation) and both the doctors and midwives spoke to us about the procedure.
For our daughter being a planned section we “checked in” at about 7am. We were then brought up to the day ward (this is not usually the case but there were fewer booked sections that day). Everything was explained again i.e. we met with the Anaesthetist, midwives etc. I’d a scan on the ward also to confirm our daughter was still breech and her position. I was given a tablet also to help with nausea as I’d to fast from the night before.
How did the actual surgery go? How did you feel during the surgery itself?
On my son, my first section, I must say I felt fine about it all. I think I felt calm as I was just happy the induction part was over and we were no longer waiting to meet out first born.
For our daughter, it was different in that I didn’t feel great after she was born, I was a little nauseous. I think this was a lot to do with anxiety. It’s very strange making your way into hospital feeling fine as in no contractions etc and knowing your about to meet your daughter. I’d also lost a lot of blood so I can’t imagine that helped with how I felt.
Once baby was born were you able to keep hold of baby? How did the post birth minutes and hours progress?
For our son, he was brought to me to touch his hand before getting all of his checks and then again before going to the recovery room with his daddy who did skin to skin. I met them both there after about an hour.
For our daughter, the procedures had changed and I was able to do skin to skin. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to it for too long as I wasn’t feeling well. Again, I was in the recovery room within the hour.
How was your recovery following the surgery?
Following both my surgeries my recovery was fantastic. I was well prepared for both and also took great advice of the theatre nurse which was to get up and move about as soon as I could. Within about 16 hours of both of my children being born I was slowly moving about.
If you have gone on to have further C-sections, could you give a brief summary of how many and how they went in comparison to the first?
As above, I’ve had two C-Sections. Overall both went very well. I think the main difference was we knew our daughter’s birthday about 2 weeks in advance which was very strange.
How do you feel about being a C-section Mum?
I used to feel after speaking to others as if I wasn’t a “mum” but I soon got over that. There are people who will judge without knowing all the facts and want to make you feel less about yourself. I am a mum, I’ve been blessed to have been pregnant 3 times in my life and I’ve two beautiful children that I carried full term and into this world. I am no less of a mother for not having my children naturally.
Anything else you would like to share or comment on about your C-section experience?
Advice I would give to all mothers is –
- Know your hospitals procedures. This was one thing both myself and my husband were grateful for.
- Listen to the staff, don’t lie about and try move to help your recovery
- Don’t overdo it when you get home, give yourself time but keep moderately active
- Think of the father or your birthing partner. They are there with you (most of the time) as you undergo a major operation, it’s not easy on them