I remember lying in my bed at night reading a book. My due date had been and gone by 5 days and I was more than ready to meet my baby boy. As I lay there I felt sudden but very exciting pain through my tummy. It was happening, my labour was starting!
I was so prepared for the perfect birth. I had attended a pregnancy yoga course and been shown how to use the power of the breathe throughout my contractions. Each contraction that came I was amazed at just how well using the breathe could be to get through each one and with each contraction I felt proud of myself and totally empowered. I could do this!
Unfortunately for me my first stage of labour was very very long. I didn’t progress very fast at all however when I got to the point I knew we needed to go to the hospital, I took my bags and had my birth plan to hand to make it clear just how I wanted things to go. I wanted a natural water birth and to feel as though I had been strong enough to do it myself, like I had something to prove. Not to anyone else, but to myself. I realise now how silly that was.
I was lucky to have access to the water birthing pool and everything was going right for me. I spent hours in the birthing pool really enjoying myself if I’m honest. It soon became apparent that my labour was actually slowing down and I wasn’t progressing past 8cm. By this time I had been labouring for 67 hours with no sleep and I was physically exhausted. They tried to use the hormone drip to get things going again but my baby became distressed and so did I. After all of those hours of being strong and breathing through my contractions I must say I was pleased when they decided to rush me down to theatre and have an emergency c-section.
Once I was in the theatre it was full of supportive staff and I had my mum with me and I remember a mix of emotions going through my head about how I had failed to give birth but my baby needed to be born right then and so he came safely through my tummy. I always remember the moment they lifted my baby up to me and he cried out loud to make sure we knew he had arrived.
They very quickly cleaned him up and wrapped him in a blanket before he was placed across my chest. I had no idea what else was happening down there any more as I was in awe of my baby. He was safe, I was safe and I knew that I would heal.
The only advice I can give anyone is go into your labour with an open mind and to discuss what you would like in different scenarios. If you do have a c-section then take any help and support that you are offered from friends and family. You will soon be up and running again but for the first few days it can be sore, which is the perfect excuse to lie back and just gaze into the eyes of your little one and enjoy those treasured moments of bonding. The only other thing that I can offer is that I went on to have my second boy by natural delivery and other then being able to walk into a shower almost immediately after there was no difference in love, bonding, effort or empowerment. Each birth is different whether it is natural or c-section and each birth should be treasured for the beauty that it is.
Having a c-section was not a part of my plan but it was a part of his plan. That was his entrance to the world. The scar is a mark that he has left imprinted on me forever as much as the mark he has left on my heart.
Jessica Drain is our MamaBabyBliss Teacher for Kettering. She is mum to beautiful boys, Samuel who is now 4 and Oliver who is 1. To find out more about Jessica’s classes, visit her page.