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My maternal assisted caesarean birth story.

For those of you that don't follow me on social media, I'll add a back story - This is my third child. My first baby was an emergency caesarean and my second was a planned caesarean, This time round I had planned a home birth, as you can tell from the title of this blog, It didn't end that way.. so here's the story!

Fast forward to the beginning of my pregnancy After my 12 week screening I was told I have low-Papp A, I chose to accept the growth scans mainly based on my anxiety, at every scan my baby was thriving and gave me more confidence to go forward with my Home birth (which was outside of guidance due to my two previous caesarean births)

I was advised that after 40 weeks they would like me to have daily monitoring which I declined so I went for a well being scan scan instead at 40+5 weeks thinking everything is going to be ok like the others.

He was still growing and still active but the scan showed possible redistribution of blood to his brain (Cerebral blood redistribution) which indicated he might not be getting enough from my placenta. This is a normal human response to protect our vital organs, but it can come at a risk to the other organs that aren't needed as much.

I was told they would want to induce me that day. I asked for some time to think and chose to accept a sweep and to wait and see. I had been having all the signs of prodromal labour for weeks so in my mind I was sure we were close to labour anyway. I went home and barely slept that night from anxiety. There were no definitive answers as to wether we could wait and if we did what the possible outcomes would be, So after a long discussion with my partner we rang the hospital the next morning to agree to have my waters broken. The Dr then said she was happy for me to wait a few days This confused and infuriated me at the same time. One day it was extremely time sensitive the next day I could wait! So I decided to wait, but also accepted monitoring to ease my anxiety that he was ok.

Anyway 5 days had passed I was getting anxious and I was tired, I was tired of fighting for what I wanted (my home birth), I was tired from the stop start labour (prodromal labour, cervical weeping nausea from 34 weeks) and tired from all the midwife and hospital appointments being made for me. I rang the hospital and requested another scan to show me if his blood redistribution had changed or stayed the same so I could make an informed decision.

We got to the hospital where we waited three hours in triage before being seen only to get on and be told they couldn’t do the Doppler scan because all of Fetal medicine weren’t working because of the weekend and Easter. At this point I was beyond fed up and couldn’t wait any longer as my anxiety was eating me up. We chose to have my waters broken that day. This was an extremely hard decision as my first labour ended as an emergency caesarean after a failed induction; I still decided to go ahead as my bishop score had improved each day and due to having previous caesareans I knew I wasn't going to have Pitocin (the induction drip). For me this was my hope that I still may achieve a vaginal birth.

Birth Affirmations

The induction started at 2:45pm and I was told I had two hours to labour! I allowed them to come back in and assess me but I told them that I wanted more time I pushed them back several times. My Doula was amazing and suggested I get in the shower, this really helped my contractions and meant I wasn't bothered by the doctors that were constantly coming in and laboured till 11pm at which point I was having regular contractions every two minutes using only the water and a comb for pain relief. I agreed to a vaginal exam and A Dr then came in and asked me about my other births and why this was so important to me which I thought was a bit unorthodox but I went with it. After breaking down in tears and telling her why achieving a vaginal birth was so important to me she told me I hadn’t dilated any further than when I came in.

This broke me, even with everything I know about dilation, That it doesn’t mean everything, I had worked really hard and wasn’t gaining much ground. I asked for another two hours which she agreed at which point my contractions had got quite intense and the gas and air wasn't cutting it, and I just had an overwhelming feeling that I couldn’t go on anymore and face more disappointment and more fighting so I asked for a caesarean.

Induction turned caesarean birth

With my amazing doula by my side holding me, I was reminded of my wishes and explained to the Dr how I know it’s not in their policy but how important it is for me to guide the baby out myself as I need to at least feel like I brought my baby into this world and not someone else. To which she looked shocked but agreed. I was also shocked that she agreed, I had mentioned this from the beginning with my consultant and she said there was no way it was going to happen!

The caesarean started my hands were gloved and the drape was lowered, I was allowed to feel the baby’s head emerge from my belly, which was the most incredible feeling! Then his shoulders and at this point I was able to hold him and guide him out with the help of the doctor. I was also able to have all my other wishes met, He wasn’t cleaned and we had immediate skin to skin, and the big one for me was no hat. I had struggled with milk coming in before and really wanted to be able to smell his head and get all those amazing hormones to help milk production, And he had his first feed in theatre. This time round I kept my placenta and had it encapsulated. I have suffered both times with postnatal depression and really wanted to try combat it this time. It wasn’t what we planned and it wasn’t the birth he deserved but it was still empowering and healing.


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