Monday, 25 September 2017

Elective Caesarean Section; My experience

You may have read a few months back my post on my choice of having a VBAC (Vaginal birth after Caesarean) or an elective section for Mylo’s birth, if you didn’t, you can catch up and read about it here but, the decision was made shortly after that and speaking to a few other people, that I was going to have an elective c-section. I wanted to share with you my experience of the entire thing, from start to finish, so grab a cuppa and take it all in...


When we found out I was pregnant, we announced it around this time last year (I think it was mid-october), and one of the thoughts that came into my head instantly was, “Oh, god. I’m going to have to decide if I want to do things naturally or not...” and that’s because Millie’s birth was such a traumatic one, I really didn’t want to end up going through the same thing again. So, quite early on, I started to do my research into VBAC’s and Elective sections so that I knew I had a good amount of time to decide on what I wanted to do. I took in all the options, all the reasons and by 20 weeks, I knew that I wanted another section, just because of the anxiety and uncertainty of things going the same way if I were to try naturally. Our midwife gave us some fab advice and was really supportive of my decision but the same can’t be said for my consultant, unfortunately.  

When we went to visit the consultant to book the date of the surgery, she was very negative and judgemental on my reasons as to why I wanted a section - she made me leave the room in tears. She had basically told me that I was taking the easy way out and that I wasn’t aware of all of the risks of having a section (obviously forgetting I had actually already had one...) and even was so rude to ‘remind’ me that I wouldn’t be able to drive for 6 weeks just before we left the room, like that would change my mind! She was very rude and abrupt and made me question myself and whether I was making the right decision, something that a health professional should never do, especially when dealing with pregnant women! I actually saw the midwife minutes after this and explained what had happened, she apologised and reassured me that it is 100% my decision and I have done it for the best reasons. But even after this, I left the hospital so deflated, even after being given the date for the surgery - I should have been excited however, I was far from it. I know that at some point in life, everyone will need the NHS and it’s definitely not something to be taken for granted, but with an experience like this, I can understand why people go ahead and claim for negligence or other reasons, even though mine is a different situation. I actually went through PALs which is the NHS’s Patient Advice and Liaison service for my problems with the consultant but if you’re looking at something more serious, you can contact Your Legal Friend who will help you through your situation step by step. 


Anyway, after all of this drama pre-section, things went super smoothly on the day...

3rd May 2017, we left our house at 6:30am, all ready and packed, we were told to be at the hospital for 7am so I wanted to make sure we were there right on time! We arrived and it was as if we were checking into a hotel! We were greeted by the nurses and taken straight to our waiting room where they gave Adam a cup of tea and asked for me to wait to be checked. A few doctors popped in, checked my details and that all was ok and left again. We stuck the telly on, I called my best friend and facetimed her for a while and then the midwife came in to give Adam his scrubs and we were told we’d be first in! 9am and I was in theatre, getting ready to meet this little one... Finally. 

I was so calm and relaxed, I wasn’t at all worried as it was just a smooth ride 100% of the way. The only time I got nervous was when they tried to pop my cannula in. I have super thin veins and it is a massive ball ache for anyone who tries to get blood from me and because they were trying so hard, I hadn’t eaten or drank, I went really faint and just had to lay down for a little while. They managed to get the cannula in and got the spinal done too and that was it. They prepped me, popped some music on an told me to relax. I lay back chatting to Adam and the midwife and then all of a sudden, I was congratulated and heard a baby cry! Ed Sheeran, Castles in the Sky was playing in the background too and I’ll always remember that! They asked if I wanted the curtain dropped but I said no and the midwife cut his cord whilst Adam went over to meet our son. I was lay on the table just watching everything and they bought him over to me. I held him, had some photos and sat with them for what felt like 10 seconds and they finished stitching me up whilst Adam was taken into the recovery room. This, for me, was the only ‘bad’ part of it all as I was suddenly on my own with all these doctors and nurses but they were so lovely, making conversation and talking to me about names etc. I remember everything as if it happened yesterday which is another lovely thing about it. With Millie’s birth, I can’t quite remember what happened as it was all so fast. 


We were in the recovery room for about 45 minutes, the nurse in there was making sure I was ok and Mylo had his first breastfeed, for a whole 30 minutes! We were then taken to ward and reassured that someone would be round to check my observations every 30 minutes and they did. The nurses and midwives on ward were lovely - they did all they could for us and made us feel at home. They helped with the breastfeeding as I was struggling, got me some toast, tea and fruit (as that’s all I wanted to eat) and just looked after us the whole time we were there. 

I knew that I wanted to be home the following day so as soon as I got the feeling back in my legs, I asked to be escorted to the shower and I washed myself down. You also have to do a certain amount of wee before you can do anything and so after the biggest wee of my life (700ml!!) I showered and felt myself again. We had a few visitors and then were left to be on our own for an hour or so. 

Adam could have stayed with me that evening but there wasn’t any point as Mylo was sleeping well, I just wanted to nap and there wasn’t anywhere comfy for him to stay so he headed home at 10pm and left us to it. That first night is always the best as it’s just you and baby. Again, the midwives were brilliant as they helped me when I needed it, watched him whilst I went to the loo a few times and also had him out there for an hour so that I could get some sleep. I couldn’t have asked for better care. 

Post-section was also a lot better, of course, it wasn’t amazing - I did just have my stomach cut open but, I was up and about 2 days after! We went for a slow walk through town and I was able to cope, I did have lots of pain killers though for a week afterwards just to take the edge off but because it was a lot more relaxed than an emergency section, like the first time, my body was able to heal itself better and my mindset was a lot more positive too! I didn’t feel like I had many post-baby blues either and I think because the whole situation was so relaxing, it helped with everything post-birth for me. 

In all, my whole elective section experience was fantastic and for anyone worried, I really wouldn’t be. It was so calm and relaxing, slightly strange as you feel like you’re going to pick up a parcel you missed, but at the same time, it’s nice to know when baby is going to arrive! If you’re prepping for a section, you can also check out my hospital bag checklist as I actually used all of it (minus the iPad) so you can take some hints from there. 


(Collaborative post)