Positive Birth Stories are here to revolutionize the way we look at birth (and change the world )! Fear and stress associated to birth are one of the main reason why women don’t manage to achieve a joyful birth experience. And it doesn’t have to be that way! You can read more about Positive Birth Stories here. Or head to my birth story: How I had a natural and pain free birth thanks to hypnobirthing.
Carly’s Birth Story
Since I was a kid, I have always been terrified of child birth. It just sounds so painful and I hate the unknown length and the possibility of tearing or worse. Despite that, I was super keen to have a natural birth and wanted to avoid a caesarian or even an epidural. Because even though natural birth sounds painful, I was even more scared of giant anesthetic needles, scalpels and catheters.
So I was all prepared for a natural birth. I knew that things might not go as planned but I still had a loose birth plan. My partner had been rehearsing the soothing lines that we had learnt in antenatal class. I had made some stress balls and printed photos of calm and peaceful holiday spots that conjured up happy memories. My hospital bag was packed full of baby clothes and breastfeeding gadgets.
At one day over 40 weeks, my waters broke at home on a Saturday evening. Due to an existing minor condition, I knew that I was to go straight to hospital rather than laboring at home. Thank goodness I did and you’ll find out why.
My partner and I packed our things and headed to the hospital. There was no rush but we were feeling nervous excitement about finally getting to meet our new baby soon and wondering how the birth would go.
Change of Plans
When we arrived at the hospital, they took a swab to check that my waters had really broken (I knew they definitely had, it had been a huge gush). The swab showed that the baby had pooed inside the womb. This is not great but in particular it was curious that poo could be noticed on the swab when the baby’s bum should have been way up high, not near the cervix (the head should be downwards ready to come out first).
A quick scan was suggested. It revealed that the baby was in breach position.
Now let’s take a step back. I had my baby in a public hospital which meant I saw a different doctor each check up and only had scans at 12 weeks, 20 weeks and an extra one at 36 weeks due to a previous health condition. The 36 week scan showed that the baby was in breach position. But in the weekly check ups I had between the scan and going into labor, four doctors had felt the baby and confirmed it was the right way up (head down).
It is highly improbable that the baby turned around at the last minute to be in breach position. I was advised that the baby didn’t have it’s feet downwards but was instead folded in half so that the bum was downwards and the head and feet were at the top of the womb. Doctors had mistakenly thought the bum was the head.
As I’m being told all of this, I’m aware that it means either a really difficult birth or a caesarian, two options that both really scare me. It was extremely upsetting and a huge shock.
To the doctor’s credit, she apologised for the situation (even though she had not been involved in the mistake). I also appreciated that I was given a choice about whether to have a caesarian or natural birth. A natural birth would involve going to the dedicated women’s hospital and hoping that there was a doctor on shift who did breach births as not all doctors can do them. It would be painful and a risk to both me and the baby. Given the difficulty of a breach birth and there maybe not even being anyone who could deliver, there really wasn’t much choice. I reluctantly consented to a caesarian.
Can you see now why I am so thankful that I didn’t labor at home for as long as possible? What a wasted effort and needless pain that would have been! That’s the first positive of my birth story.
So then the caesarian I was dreading. It turns out it wasn’t so bad. I was terrified of having a spinal block just because I hate all needles. But as with all needles, the fear was worse than the actual needle. It was pretty nerve wracking when they were working behind the curtain but our anesthetist was amazing. He was chatting to my partner and I the whole time which really kept our minds off what was going on. And then he took lots of photos of us together with our beautiful daughter and of my partner cutting the cord.
Of course, hearing and seeing our beautiful baby was the most special experience ever and I am teary writing about it now. She was perfect and looked just like her father.
The next day after (a little) sleep I was able to process the whole situation and felt so lucky with how the arrival of our daughter had all unfolded for the following reasons.
- We had got to meet our daughter in record time, no waiting around for ages.
- I hadn’t had any pain during the process. I never even had a single contraction.
- Even though there was pain and recovery time from the caesarian, I was lucky that my partner had already planned to take time off work anyway so he could do any heavy lifting and driving.
- Even if I’d started with a natural birth, they can often end in caesarians anyway but at least we hadn’t hadn’t had the stress and worry of going in for an emergency C-section
- Although I was rather annoyed that the doctors had got the baby’s position wrong, I am thankful that their mistake meant I was able to experience the excitement of my waters breaking naturally and the thrill of knowing the baby was on it’s way
I was immediately a convert for caesarian section births. When pregnant with our next child, it was a no brainer for me to choose another C section.
I hope that my story can relieve a little stress for expectant mothers who are fearful of needing to have a caesarian when they don’t want one. It was not nearly as scary as I had anticipated and I actually preferred knowing the outcome rather than worrying it could be a long labor or there might be tearing. Instead we got to meet our baby quickly and with no unknowns.
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