Cesarean Awareness Month – Our Story
Apparantly April is Cesarean Awareness Month and while I’ve shared the birth story of my son, my daugher was born before this blog and therefore I’ve never shared our story here. As she came to us via a failed induction which ended in an emergency section, this seemed like an ideal time to do it.
In hindsight, her birth was a little traumatic and I still get a little teary thinking about what could have been when I think about it. However (jumping to the end) rest assured that it ended as we have a beautiful daughter Darcie to show for what has become both the worst and the best day of my life.
HOW IT BEGAN – A FALSE START
It all started on a warm Monday morning when we went into hospital to be induced after another trace for lack of movement over the weekend. The first 6h pessary was promptly inserted followed by another once that took no affect. By the evening, I was having regular contractions every 2-3 minutes that prompted a 3am bath, but by the following morning they had fizzled out into a false start.
Come 8am the next morning, we were now on the labour ward for them to forcibly break my waters and to pop me on the drip. Unfortunately, by this time I was still only 1cm dilated therefore my cervix was still too closed and I went onto the drip waters still intact. 5 hours later at 2pm there was no change and I was only a further 1cm along.
WHEN THINGS STARTED TO GET GOING
As 2cm is still very early in the process, a doctor needed to come and break my waters as the midwife was unable to do it. That’s when the worst pain of my life began. Not only the process of breaking my waters – the doctor didn’t think to watch where she was putting her thumb which meant it was grinding into my clitoris with some twisting force – but the process of breaking my waters also meant a dam was released bringing down the full force of 2 pessaries and a full drip. This resulted in a 2-hour full contraction.
Yep, you heard right. Two. Hour. Contraction. No peaks, no troughs, just 2 hours of constant pain. It hurt. A lot!!
In the meantime, it seemed that our little splodge had poo’d in the womb as there was meconium in my waters. At this stage they were not so worried as this wasn’t uncommon for a baby 9 days overdue, but very soon her heart rate elevated and would not come back down. Add that to the de-stats that had been happening and the doctors were starting to get concerned.
A DECISION WAS FINALLY MADE
Another agonising internal an hour or so later revealed I was only an additional 1cm dilated – 3cm in total – and therefore considering I still had a long way to go until the push stage, they felt that the concerning heart rate meant our little splodge was not coping well and was in distress. After a lot of back and forth the decision was made to head into surgery for an emergency caesarean.
The room was suddenly a flurry of activity as both myself and hubby were scrubbed up and a lot of procedures were followed. Keeping in mind I still had only paracetamol for the pain 8 hours before and had been in contraction hell for 2 hours straight by this point, a lot of this was (and still is) a blur as I was prepped and wheeled into surgery.
Then the spinal took effect. Argh the bliss!! I could think again and become more aware of what was going on around me.
It was scary though, a lot of people working with impressive efficiency but I felt almost inconsequential in the middle of the room laid out in a cross with my husband. Thank goodness he was there, as he was my rock that kept me calm as the performed the section and at 16:38 our beautiful girl entered this world through the sun roof exit.
She was purple with a head full of hair and she was perfect.
She was also very quickly gone to be checked over as I was stitched back up. I’ll admit I was an emotional wreak by this stage as hubby and I agreed the name – Darcie Mae – through tears of happiness. By this stage I was oblivious to what was going on in the corner but have subsequently found out that the doctors were crowded around our little lady and looked to be resuscitating her. Before long a head appeared above the partition to tell us that Darcie was struggling a little as some meconium had gotten into her lungs therefore she needed some help from neonatal. It broke my heart to watch her be wheeled past us out of the room, unable to be with her and terrified about what that meant. Especially as I’d not yet held or touched her.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT
By this stage I’m scared, the spinal has made me nauseous and I have the shakes from all the drugs. Poor hubby is torn as he wants to stay with me but I’m pushing him to check our daughter is ok as I’m so afraid for her. That fear seems to be unjustified as when he comes back from intensive care, he reports that she’s fine and will be back in the delivery room waiting for us by the time we are finished in surgery.
Throughout all this, doctors looking after me have been busy with my bottom half stitching me back together. It seems what took minutes to get her out, takes a good hour to put back together. However, before long hubby is sent out to Darcie as they finish up with me and it’s then I learnt that she was truly wedged in and did not want to come out. This means they had to make a few extra cuts which resulted in extra blood loss – over a litre.
And that is pretty much it. By around 6pm I was able to join Darcie and hubby in our delivery room where I held her for the first time and gave her first feed. All the pain and fear from that day quickly melted away.
It was long (30 hours from induction to delivery), painful (induced labours usually are compared with natural apparently!) and it was stressful, but I would not change it for the world as it gave me what I have today.
When I decided I wanted a natural birth with Henry (I bloody hate that term!) I had to attend a VBAC clinic. They reviewed my notes with the view to understanding if a natural birth after a section is safe for us both and it was there that they confirmed that an emergency cesarean was definitely the right decision first time around.
It was at this appointment that it was confirmed I was right to be terrified at the time as it seemed our daughter was not only born ‘floppy and unresponsive’ but it was also over 3 minutes before she took her first breath. To this day I am so thankful for those doctors who worked on her.
During that clinic appointment it was confirmed that the issues we experienced were most likely due to the induction and the fact that they were medically trying to force my body and my baby to do something it just was not ready for. The outcome? The decision that I would never again have an induction and the approval I wanted for the natural birth I finally got with Henry.
Finally, if you’re still reading you deserve a medal!!