Written by Naomi Doust
After having two natural vaginal births with just gas and air, experiencing a c-section is a whole new ball game, especially under the emergency circumstances. After having a natural delivery the pain almost instantly goes, but then you’ve got the uncomfortableness of not being able to sit down, go to the loo, do the pelvic floor exercises that you lie about doing or even think about doing anything else with that region for a very long time. Also, I don’t know about anyone else but my absolute worst nightmare that I was so conscious about with a natural birth was ‘pooping’ during labour! I’m not proud of it, but I did with both of mine. (Sorry).
I wasn’t allowed an epidural with Rupert because I’d had the blood transfusion, so I remember saying to my midwife when we were having Percy I want everything! I didn’t actually get time to have the epidural with Percy I was pushing when the anaesthetist was trying to get the needle in my back. So when it was Mabel’s turn, again I kept an open mind and hoped the 3rd delivery would be nice and quick, in and out and home for tea!
I never ever even gave a c-section a thought. I had met people that had chosen to have one due to medical reasons or that had already had one previously, but you never think you will be in an emergency situation do you? When we were faced with our emergency we didn’t have time to register our thoughts. It all happened so quickly and all I was worried about was that no one knew what we were doing. No one knew we were about to have our baby girl. It wasn’t until after the whole traumatic experience (that I don’t ever want to go through again) when I had time to gather my thoughts and come to terms with what we just had to go through. Don’t get me wrong, we are all healthy and fine and for that I am eternally grateful, but it could have been a different story, and for a split second I thought It was. When my husband felt me let go of his hand, my eyes roll back and him rushed out of the theatre, he thought that was it. It didn’t help the midwife came to him and told him ‘they’re just resuscitating her’ -What? Who? My wife? No your daughter. He said ‘I don’t care about my daughter, what about my wife!’ She said ‘I can’t tell you’. I will never understand what he went through at the moment, nor will he ever fully understand how I felt when I woke up but we do talk about it still 14 months on and it still is something we won’t ever get over.
When I did wake up I felt a numbness, (not just from the waist down) but a vagueness, I didn’t feel anything, I should be joyous that I’ve just had my baby girl. Instead it was an emptiness, a sort of anger, and shock I suppose, I can’t explain it. She wasn’t with me for over 7 hours from giving birth. I hadn’t been the first person to see her. I hadn’t been the first person to hold her. I won’t ever get over that, you just have to learn to live with it. The midwife asked my sister in law if she wanted to hold her whilst I was still recovering. She said no and I said if she had I hoped they wouldn’t have ever told me. I would have been so desperately upset.
Recovery wise, I struggled with gas. I couldn’t eat or drink for several days afterwards. Even a sip of water was painful. I still had a drain and catheter in until the day I left which was a pain. I couldn’t stand upright. I couldn’t poo but I didn’t have any pains down below like a natural birth so I didn’t feel like I had given birth. When I finally passed wind and had a bowel movement it was amazing. I had a side room and had the windows open and I could hear all of the ladies in labour screaming, yelping, groaning with pain then a cry of a baby and I secretly thought I’m glad I didn’t have to do that.
I had my staples removed on day 5 and had an infection which a course of antibiotics got rid of. The numbness has really only just fully come back in my tummy and my scar is a gooden. I was straight into tidying up putting the washing on when I got home. The grabber came in handy. My husband was a great help especially with the two boys and with each day it did get a little easier coping with three children. I did probably do too much in the first few days, it’s so important to accept any help offered, even if it’s someone taking the kids out for dinner.
My scar does get itchy now and again and they could have done a little tummy tuck but hey ho. So for me I can honestly say a natural birth is my preference. I love my babies with every breath in my body. But I do not want to experience labour in any form ever again.