On the lead up to having my first child, I had an easy and enjoyable full term pregnancy.
I attended calm birth classes and all the routine classes provided by the hospital with my supportive husband. We watched videos of mum delivering her baby in a glorious tear jerking magical moment.
I was excepting a natural birth but was also open to the thought of having an epidural if needed. I wasn’t going to kid myself.
After going into labor on Tuesday midday, I was very excited to feel my first contractions and the future prospects of meeting our little bundle of joy.
I went into hospital by 9pm upon recommendation of my midwife when the contractions became stronger and closer together.
By 4am, I was shattered laying in the hospital bed, I had only dilated between 4-5 cms and had a long way to go.
At 8.30am the following morning, I was into second stage of labor, stronger contractions and closer together. I was offered an epidural at this point as my window of time to receive one was quickly dwindling. I decided to take it as the pain was becoming unbearable and I was exhausted from endured a long labor already I needed the relief.
By 5pm that night, still no signs of the baby although I was fully dilated and in the active stage. My epidural was wearing off, the midwife had turned it down so I could feel when push. I was shocked to feel the intense strong sensation of contractions almost immediately and I knew it was the baby’s time now.
I was actively moving around on the bed, on all fours, roaring like a primal animal in my poor husbands face, vomiting at the same time as pushing to get the baby out. It felt like hours, I was beginning to get concerned, worried, why wasn’t the baby coming? The midwifes demeanor had also changed, she seemed bewildered, a bit unsure as to what to do. I was losing my grip on the pain and spiraling out of control, something was wrong.
Now  7pm, Im in pain, confusion and still pushing, when suddenly a team of staff rushed into the room, ordering me to sign a form for an emergency caesarian. I was in no position to refuse it, I didn’t know what was going on. Once the papers were signed, I was fully numbed from shoulders down and given a sedative Valium to calm me down. I was laying on the bed with my husband by my side trying to assure me all would be ok, I was fearful for my baby’s health now.
I was told the baby’s head was stuck, she had turned the wrong way in the birth canal and she wasn’t going to fit through my pelvis. The team raced me into theater and got to work at once.
Ruby entered the world at 7.25pm on Wednesday night. She was bruised and battered around her head and face, with two black eyes and a swollen head, but she was beautiful and healthy.
No damage had occurred from my long intensive pushing onto Ruby’s skull but I suffered with post natal depression after that. I felt responsible for hurting her, from the guilt of not being able to deliver a baby vaginally. I felt somewhat judged by my own moral standards and felt inadequate as a woman to not be able to do what comes to others naturally for many women, or so I thought.
Through all my birth planning and classes, not once was it ever mentioned when things go wrong and for me to have not even considered the possibility of needing a cesarean was naive on my behalf.
Now when I speak to friend who are expecting mums, I firstly dull down my story and then encourage them to take an open mind with what to expect and the worst case scenario of needing an emergency caesarian.
I feel had I factored this into my birthing plan I wouldn’t have had the guilt I punished myself with for month after.
This article was written by Michelle Nolan
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