Birth Stories - A Beautiful Caesarean Birth
How a mother surrendered and trusted in the birth process

A Beautiful Caesarean Birth


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How a mother surrendered and trusted in the birth process

By Jane Anderson

I went into my birth experience with high hopes for a natural birth.I had read all about the benefits and spoken to lots of people about birth and it was my desire to birth without intervention. As my due date came closer, I felt a great deal of fear around how the birth might unfold. Can I do it, will I be supported? After having a good chat with a doula friend of mine, I realised I had such a big expectation around how I wanted this birth to look. My lovely friend kept reminding me, that the beautiful birth I was wanting, could happen no matter how my baby chose to be born. My job was to stay open to the process and turn up for it and then let go. After I had a big cry, I felt the pressure ease and I tuned into my baby and let them know that however they wanted to be born, I was ok with that. I focused on letting go, staying open to the journey.

My labour started with a day of inconsistent cramping and contractions. I was aware that this was just the early pre-labour stage so I tried to be as normal as possible by doing some shopping and stuff around the house then resting in the afternoon.

I had practised breathing and relaxation techniques during my pregnancy so I found this very useful. I was super excited that it may all be happening, but I tried to allow nature to do its thing and just go with the flow. I rested, snuggled with my man and enjoyed this time together. It felt very beautiful - this time in between - before we would become a unit of 3.

This continued on into the night and by early morning my contractions were regular and getting very intense.  After several calls to the hospital, my partner and I felt it was time for some extra support so we went into the hospital. I was still only 2 cms dilated!!! I can't lie -I was disappointed but I kept on going and remember that I was strong. I alternated between walking, using the shower and sitting and bouncing on a birthing ball. My beautiful man kept offering words of encouragement and love. He kept looking at me with these beautiful eyes full of awe and it melted me. I felt so close to him - I felt that we were working together. It felt like one of the most beautiful experiences we have ever shared. I would often burst into tears because of the connection we were having. We were on the journey.

At this point my back labour was intense; it was even painful between contractions. I laboured another four hours and had another internal examination and had made little progress, 3-4cms and the baby was posterior.  I was exhausted and felt I could not go on without some pain relief so decided to have an epidural with the hope that I could relax and the labour might progress.  I was disappointed but I knew I could no longer continue, I had no energy and had started to lose focus.

Once I had the epidural in the contractions slowed down and syntocin had to be put in. My beautiful man and I used this time to sleep a little and relax and we talked lots about meeting our baby. I was very grateful for the epidural. It wasn't so much the contractions that were hard, it was the back pain and with no break in between, I felt I had reached my limit.

After being on the epidural for around 4 hours, the doctor came back to do an internal examination. He revealed that there was no progress and having a cesarean was the best option.My baby was still in a posterior position with its head angled in a funny way and that is what was creating the back pain and no further dilation. I felt sad when the doctor told me the news and I even had a little cry. I felt like I needed to grieve the birth that I wanted, so I let it all out. My hubby and I hugged each other as we had some tears and words of love and once it was out, I felt this amazing sense of peace rush over me. I was about to meet my baby! I started to get so excited and asked the staff about what we wanted for our Caesarean birth.

We asked to play some music in theatre – and have minimal talking and skin on skin in the theatre was our ideal.

When we got into theatre and my hubby was dressed in his scrubs, he sat down beside me and reminded me to take some really deep breaths and this was the moment we would meet our baby. I really understood at this moment at what my doula friend had told me. Be present, no matter what happens. Bring the love and joy for the birth, even if it doesn’t look the way we want it to.

After about 5 minutes of being in theatre, I heard the most beautiful sound. Our son squawking and letting us know he was ok! Tears were pouring down my face with the biggest smile as they placed my boy on my chest. He was looking pretty squished up, due to his awkward position, but I thought he looked exactly like my husband. Squishy and all. He was robust and healthy and here.

Reflecting on my birth has given me so many great insights. I really do believe that my baby choose how he wanted to be born and it was such a humbling experience for me, to let go. To let go of the way I think things should look. I realised that my birth gave me everything I was asking for. It gave me the connection and love and beauty and a peaceful birth. It may not have looked the way I thought it should, but it certainly delivered all I was hoping for.

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