I'm feeling pretty good today- I finally get to write my positive birth story! After two emergency c-sections, Isobel's birth story is so important to me.
My son was born in December 2009 via emergency section while I was out cold. I'd laboured for hours and when I came round, I was in pain and so upset that the same thing had happened again (Read his story here). My daughter had been born in 2004 via emergency section too and it seemed so cruel to have to go through it all again, only much worse. (Read her story here.)
I am lucky in that I was able to seek support following my son's birth and when I fell pregnant in June 2010, I made sure to put a survival plan into action. I changed hospitals and I saw a different community midwife. I also exercised my right to request an elective c-section on psychological grounds. Having had two previous sections also helped my case, but ultimately my consultant was keen to eliminate stress and anxiety for me- something which I will always be grateful for.
My elective section was booked for the 15th February 2012. On the 13th I went to the hospital for a pre-op appointment and left with some medication and a hopeful heart. This was really going to happen! I didn't sleep much the night before and my husband and I arrived at the hospital early. We were excited and nervous!
I met with the anaesthetist and the surgeon and talked about what was going to happen. I discussed my previous experiences and all were aware of my medical history. I was told to expect to have my baby by lunchtime. We were shown to the ward and left to settle in.
Less than five minutes later, the midwife was back with an announcement. We had been bumped to the top of the list and the team were in theatre waiting for us! There was no time to fret or even to text my mum! We were off.
This was the point at which my heart started to boom in my chest. My legs wobbled and my mouth went dry. The fear I felt as I walked into the operating theatre was immense. I had never walked into a theatre before; I'd never had the luxury of time to really take in my surroundings. Those places are intimidating- the huge lights, the machines, the beeping. I started to feel so overwhelmed.
And then I saw my name on the board infront of me. Beside my name someone had drawn a love heart. It was a simple left over from Valentine's day but it made me smile.
I wished I'd had time to put a hand over my bump and whisper to it one last time. As I laid on the operating table, waiting for the knife to descend, I wished I'd been able to do this a different way. I'd never wanted any of my babies this way, but some things just cannot be controlled. As we waited for my body to turn numb, I wished...
My husband arrived by my side and the surgeon began. He talked to me throughout the surgery, mentioning that my internal scars had healed very well and explaining each step of the procedure. The room was quite full as we had chosen a teaching hospital, plus I had agreed to take part in some research so there were extra people present for that too. It was strange, being at the centre of it all... but it wasn't all about me for long.
At 9.25 am Isobel Marcia was brought into the world with an almighty cry. The relief was enormous; we cried together. She was brought straight to me before they whisked her away to weigh her and wrap her in a towel. 2.720kg. 5lb 15. Perfect.
Back on the ward, I was unable to believe it could be that easy. Where was the drama? Where was the panic, the fear and the tears? It was so strange, but in such a good way.
I've been a mother for seven and a half years and finally I know what it is like to be at peace with it all. Finally I know what a calm, peaceful birth is like. Finally, I can look at my daughter and have no regrets- no 'what if's' or 'I should've's'.
My family is now complete. I have three beautiful, happy, healthy children and I am the luckiest person alive.