Caesarean Birth with Victoria
We spoke to Victoria, from SoMummy.com, about her recent Caesarean birth with her second son. To find out more about Victoria, head to her website www.somummy.com or you can follow her on Instagram @Somummy
Hi everyone! I’m Victoria, wife, mother to two gorgeous boys and founder of SoMummy.com. I also love Vitimum powder and I’m honoured to have been asked to share my story of caesarean birth (to celebrate c-section awareness month) with you and hope it helps others who are preparing for a c-section themselves.
Having suffered a birth injury in my first birth I knew from the start of my second pregnancy that a c-section was my safest option. I know many mothers find c-sections difficult to come to terms with and even though I knew it was the right choice for me I can’t deny I felt a little be sad that I wouldn’t have a “natural” birth. That said - I went into labour 18 hours before my c-section was scheduled and the contraction pains definitely reminded me why a c-section was a good option.
There is a lot you can do to prepare for a c-section so here are my top tips!
Advocate for yourself! This is so important. Right from the start I really considered what I wanted and then pushed to make it happen. My first birth hadn’t been the magical experience I’d hoped for and despite having a c-section this time I was determined to have a positive experience. For me preparation is key so I made sure I knew exactly what to expect on the day. I even went into the theatre before hand so I knew exactly what to expect.
Try hypnobirthing but tell your instructor your having a c-section. I listened to scripts about c-sections and read positive birth stories. We also wrote affirmations about the experience so I felt positive and in control before hand
Prepare for a hospital stay you’ll most likely be in hospital for two days so make sure you have everything you need to make you comfortable. I’d recommend
- Nighties which are easy to slip on and off and breastfeed in if that’s your plan
- A big water bottle with one of those tubes so you can drink without changing your position
- Plenty of different size pillows to help get yourself comfortable
- Peppermint tea. For me the trapped gas was the most painful part of the c-section but peppermint tea really helped
- Headphones - it’s noisy on the ward
- Phone charger
- Things to make your “nest” whether that’s some pics from home, your fav mug or battery operated candles
- Snacks - because hospital meals come at specific times and you’ll probably be hungry in the middle of the night
- A few treats on your wash bag so you feel like you’re looking after yourself
- A few outfit changes for you and baby
I had a playlist for the birth - I really enjoyed listening to my own music in the theatre and it made me feel more comfortable.
Make a visual birth plan, this way it’s super quick for your birth team to see what you want. Every one of my wishes was followed and I do think that fact my birth plan was all visual meant they could see quickly what I wanted. Be VERY clear if you want the curtain lowered, immediate skin to skin and whether you want to be told what’s happening each step of the way.
Try not to be too set in stone with our plans as I mentioned before I went into labour at 1am on the day my c was booked. They bumped my operation forward by 5 hours (I still had to go through 12 hours of early labour unfortunately). Have a plan for going into labour early. I was so worried about it that I probably made it happen but in reality it was very calm and well organised.
A few helpful notes about my actual experience:
I felt no pain at all after the spinal block (which feels like a bee sting and last 20 secs - count them down and it over before you know it). I was actually very comfortable, warm and alert during my section.
I didn’t know that the catheter etc were being placed and nor did my husband. I actually felt a lot more dignified than I had done in natural labour. They team just get on with it so it’s not a big deal.
The only thing which surprised me was how close it all felt. For some reason I had imagine everyone would be standing further away than they were
Within 10 mins my son was in my arms. I was able to hold him safely (I’d worried that I might not be able t move my arms beforehand). He was placed on me immediately and had his checks later when I was moved from the table to my bed
We were able to have delayed cord clamping, skin to skin and breastfeed as we had wanted without any trouble.
Tips for recovery
So the first 24 hours I didn’t feel any pain really as the painkillers are very effective, it’s more a sense of being delicate and very weak tummy muscles. Over the entire experience I had very little pain at the incision site but I did have pain from the trapped wind. Oh, and when they remove the dressing it’s it stings because the glue is super strong.
They like to get you up 8 hour post surgery as it tends to lead to a faster recovery. It sounds crazy - but it was absolutely fine. I did ask for help moving to the bathroom and back for the first two days just because I wanted to have the support. Picking up baby from the bassinet is hard - ask for help!
I came home on the third day (if you count the day of the op) and it felt fine. That said, I had a 21 month old at home so my mum stayed with us. Without her help it would have been tough going so plan your support beforehand. This was during lockdown - my midwife gave me a note saying I’d had a c-section and needed the support.
My biggest advice for recovery is to be active but lift nothing. I found the recovery much easier than I’d expected but I spent a lot of time resting and bonding with baby. I walked every day but I didn’t lift anything heavy for six weeks (including my toddler who just sat on my lap for cuddles).
So, in summary, I actually really enjoyed my c-section and the recovery was fine. It’s tough for sure, and of course you’re sore, but it was more manageable than I’d expected. Planning before and getting support after are the keys to success in my opinion. Finally, I read this quote while I was pregnant and although I was luckily not in a life threatening position it really resonated with me
“C-section mums conquer death while giving life” how beautiful is that?
Words by Somummy.com. Images are protected by copyright