This post is part of the ‘Tales From The Other Side Of …’ series. There are so many stages, achievements, milestones and heartbreaks we go through as parents and whatever we are experiencing, whether good, bad, exciting or terrifying, it’s always nice to know someone else has already done it and come through the other side. To find out how you can get involved and share your story/tips and tricks click here. Today we have the lovely Helen from The Mumatron Blog with her tale of why you should be prepared for every eventuality in labour.
“Oh and if you have to have a c-section, it’s fine”
This is what my half-sister said to me a few weeks before my due date. I remember thinking that it wouldn’t happen to me anyway. It did.
On my due date I was 3 cm dilated at my midwife appointment. We were all under the impression that it would be a matter of days before he was born. A week later, still 3 cm. A further 4 days, and baby Hugo was finally born by emergency caesarean section. He just gave up trying, as you would after nearly two weeks.
I had prepared for pretty much any eventuality bar this one. The consultant had to be called in from home at midnight, the works. I felt suddenly very aware of how concerned the midwives must be to go to such lengths.
What surprised me was how along the way not one medical professional had discussed it with me.
No one went through that ‘what if’, while I was still a functioning human. To say I was anxious was an understatement. By this point I was physically and mentally exhausted. I don’t think I fully understood what was going on until I was in the theatre, lights shining down. All I could see was the anaesthetist and my husband.
I could hear everything, I’m a bit like that anyway. The surgeon saying “fourth layer” sticks in my mind, the fourth layer of what?! I’ll always remember Adele playing in the background, because as much as I love her I wished it had been something more upbeat, happier – she knows how to kill the mood and her failed love life was not welcome at the birth of my son.
Technically I could feel nothing. Except, I swear I could feel rips and cuts as they happened. And the shaking. I have never felt more out of control.
I don’t think I realised how affected I had been by the whole process until a few weeks later when I went to the dentist for a filling. I was sweating. My palms were clammy. I felt my legs squirming. The dentist was getting frustrated, but the same numb sensation was there and took me straight back to the hospital.
Of course I couldn’t thank the surgeon enough, he had saved my son’s life, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
Recovery was slow and frustrating. I couldn’t sit myself up to feed him. I couldn’t get out of the bed to lift him. I couldn’t change his clothes or nappy, or reach him if he cried. I laid there with no pants on, unable to bend, as my family, my in laws came and starred at me looking, in all honesty half dead.
I couldn’t drive, lift the car seat, sit up in bed, cook a meal. I could barely lift my new born.
Time did pass, and eventually I came to terms with the surgery. I was definitely more traumatised than I knew at the time. I had some counselling and here we are. In the future, because there will be a baby number two, I want to do everything I possibly can to be prepared. I would rather not have surgery but I think if I was in control of what was going on it may be different. There’s really only one way to find out.
Thank you to Helen for sharing her birth story with us. Most people have the assumption that they won’t need a c-section (including me first time round) but it’s a lot more common than you would think. Being prepared can give you a whole different experience. You can read more from Helen on her blog Mumatron and follow her on the following channels: