Birth story - Anna and baby Kit

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It’s taken me far too long to write this positive story, but I’ve finally got around to it... really hope it helps others facing a planned caesarean.

I need to start by saying I was desperate to have a VBAC. However much I rationalised it I felt cheated first time around that I didn’t get the natural birth I knew I was capable of. I felt this inner need to birth my baby naturally. Unfortunately that wasn’t to be.

I held off my planned section for as long as possible to give myself chance for a VBAC, but had used my BRAIN and had agreed with the consultants a date for a planned. I did everything I could think of to get my baby going before that date, so on the day of the caesarean I have to say, I did feel a little sad. However, I had a caesarean birth plan, which I felt great about (thanks to this course) and whilst I hadn’t discussed it in detail beforehand with my consultant (I was all about the VBAC in our meetings) I went in on the morning of the operation determined to get the caesarean I wanted if the VBAC wasn’t to be.

My wish was to have my partner present for the spinal, to have my playlist playing, to have a gentle section and allow my baby to birth himself through the incision, to have immediate skin to skin and to have delayed cord clamping with my husband cutting the cord. Despite the hospital having never done a gentle section, I got EVERYTHING on my wish list!! And it was incredible.

I’m allergic to a lot of medications, so I won’t go into detail about the part before the birth as it wasn’t particularly straight forward. However, I remained very calm and in control throughout because I had made the space my own. I had my music, my husband and my up breathing.

All the staff in the theatre were amazing. It was so different from my unplanned section, they had time on their side so the whole atmosphere was calm, relaxed and light hearted.

Once the incision was made, the consultant lifted our baby’s head and shoulders through the opening. He then said ‘let’s drop this curtain and watch this baby be born.’ The whole place went silent, everyone stepped back and just watched on. As I was lying down it was tricky for me to see things to start, but my husband witnessed it all and said it was magical. Our baby slowly rose out of me on his own. I eventually saw him myself coming out unaided, emerging into the world on his terms. I am not exaggerating when I say there was not a dry eye in the theatre. It was a beautiful experience. It was at that point my husband nodded to our phone, laughed and said listen to what’s playing - he was born to This Is Me from The Greatest Showman. Imagine making your entrance to the world with the line ‘This Is Me’ belting out!

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He was passed straight to me for immediate skin to skin. He was quite blue and needed a lot of rubbing to get going, but we all joined in. It was clear that everyone was keen to get him breathing so that he didn’t have to be taken off me for oxygen. He let out a cry and at that point I realised I didn’t know whether he was a boy or a girl, so asked my husband.

We had delayed cord clamping and my husband was allowed to cut the cord. My placenta was placed into our cool-box for collection and while the team worked at sewing me back together we gazed at our beautiful boy who was rooting around for my breast before we’d even left theatre.

While we were in recovery our midwife told us she’d never seen anything like our birth before and it would be something she’d never forget. I just hope it paves the way for more of the same in our hospital.

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I’d expressed colostrum since 37 weeks because I was worried that breast feeding may be difficult after a section, but it wasn’t, our son took to it with ease and my milk came in at around day 3/4. The stash of colostrum was handy because we were able to top him up after a weight loss in the early days. So it’s definitely something I’d recommend.

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The recovery from my section has been fine and very straight forward.

Kit was born at 1pm on Thursday 19th July by planned caesarean and I can honestly say that whilst I would still love to experience a natural birth, this time I don’t feel cheated and I feel I’ve been very lucky to have an incredible experience.

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