The truth about labour…

“That will not happen to us” were my partner Kelvins words to me after our midwife appointment discussing the plans for the birth of our beautiful daughter Evie.

Evie was in breech and the topic of a potential C section came up in discussion (absolutely did no part of me want to have my baby by caesarean, I would rather have my down below torn to shreds than give birth via the sunroof). As the conversation progressed, the midwife mentioned that some C sections were done under general anaesthetic. We really didn’t think it would happen to us. Our positivity was made even more positive when Evie turned the right way around the following week – much to my discomfort!

If you have never been pregnant or had a baby you may not think too much about it, but when trying for a baby, as soon as you see the ‘PREGNANT’ result, your mind starts running riot!

‘What gender will the baby be? What colour eyes will he/she have? will she have my nose? I hope she has my partners smile!’ etc, etc. But the most important thing you have to plan for is the BIRTH!! You will probably (like me) sit and watch back to back episodes of ‘One Born Every Minute’ the excitement and nerves increase and getting all emotional over something you would probably not have even bat an eyelid at before.

I had a birthing plan here it is..

EPIDURAL

In big bold letters across the top of my hospital book. It’s not that I am a wimp. Ok, its because I am a wimp, I can’t even get my legs waxed – it really is that bad! I had heard horror stories about hospitals not wanting to give them out easily due to the cost so I just wanted to be totally transparent that this was my one labour demand desire.

I had a slow leak of my waters- one of them, I have no idea which one but I’m sure I was told that there are more than one set of waters, so off we went to hospital. I have to say the labour in run up to the actual birth was an incredible experience. As soon as we got into the room where I was to give birth I requested the epidural. After having my waters manually broken, I started my labour on gas & air which was AMAZING, followed by Pethidine – all the while I was asking where the epidural was. The anaesthetist was in and out of different emergencies and seeing other patients over the next few hours and by time he got to me I was just about to start pushing. He administered the epidural and we carried on, the epidural didn’t work and the labour went on for another 3 hours before the midwife started to feel concerned enough to request a consultant to examine. The consultant told me that Evie was in a position in which her head was bent sideways and in her opinion there was no way she could be born naturally. GUTTED.

So off we went to theatre, as the surgeon started to make the incision to perform the C Section, I could feel everything, I screamed and told them this, and I could tell the surgeon was starting to feel anxious. The Anaesthetist administered more painkiller (or whatever it was) into my hand. When the surgeon went to continue making the incision, I could STILL feel everything.I tried my hardest not to show the pain but couldn’t control my legs bucking from the feeling of her making the incision. At this point she requested for kelvin (who was holding my hand) to leave the room and the General Anaesthetic to be done.

 

I cry as I get to this part of this story, but I know as part of me coming to terms with what happened it helps me to get it down in writing.

I know I am lucky that a few days later we took home a beautiful baby girl, however, nothing quite prepares you for missing the birth of your first born child. Luckily we have some beautiful photos of the moment we first held her, my mum decided to stay on the side-lines with my camera and capture our special moment as recovering from the anaesthetic everything Is a blur.

The first memory that I can remember was seeing Evie is 3pm (ish) in the afternoon- Evie was born 1.32am, so as you can imagine it is deeply upsetting to know I have missed the memories of over 12 hours of our daughters start to life. Kelvin also missed the delivery as he was instructed to leave the room.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I’m still not right. It has been nearly 16 months now and my body somehow doesn’t feel my own. I also had a big wound from my placenta so lost half of my body’s blood and then had to have a blood transfusion in hospital, all I wanted after the delivery was to come home. I was very limited to what I did after the operation so I couldn’t move off the bed to feed her therefore my first 3 days as a mum I felt a complete failure

 

Without wanting to sound extreme – I know many women go through a lot worse- but in my experience I was left feeling somewhat violated. I didn’t have time or space to come to terms with what was about to happen (this wouldn’t have been possible in the emergency situation I was in). And this is going to sound really odd, but when I think of my body I have a vision of this hole left inside me where she was taken from.

I missed the transition from pregnancy to her making her first cry- the part I had been excitedly watching on ‘One Born Every Minute’, and because of this there is a piece of my chapter of motherhood so far that is missing. I need to accept this and hope next time I can try to have a natural birth or at least be awake during the C Section. The most important thing is that our daughter is healthy & happy, my situation could have been worse, it also could have been better.

 

The advice and lesson I have taken from this is to not necessarily get your hopes set on something in labour, anything can happen and enjoy every minute of our story. It is going to be totally different anybody else’s so always do what’s right for you and understand that everything is done for the right reasons.

Maria x

42 comments

  1. Reading this makes me feel so upset as to what you went through.
    Since becoming a mother myself in 2016 it’s made me look at life on a whole another level and feel for other people’s pain.
    Our bodies and mind take time to heal from traumatic experiences but we eventually get there, just got to keep going for our children.
    I’ve followed you for a while now Maria and by looks your doing an amazing job at being a mum.
    Thank you for sharing this it’s been touching being able to read your experience and thoughts
    x

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    • I felt every emotion whilst reading this, I found out I was pregnant at 21 weeks and my daughter was born by grade 1 csection at 26 weeks after going into labour with no cause except group b strep. I didn’t have no birthing plan, no labour bag packed or anything. I didn’t get to see her till around 8 hours after she was delivered and then I took really poorly so couldn’t see her on the neonatal unit for a few days. Labour and giving birth can be so tough and it’s not always what it’s made out to be on TV. I hope if I fell pregnant again I could somewhat get over my first experience by having a somewhat normal labour ! X x

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  2. Oh my god totally feel your pain… I had to be put to sleep when my daughter was born as they couldn’t get the epidural to work! And then lost so much blood which resulted in a transfusion! However she was my second baby, but that initial bond is so important.. Nobody will ever understand unless it’s happened to them. I even had a doctor offer me councilling sessions the next morning as it can have that much of an effect on us, but at the time I brushed it off. it’s only as time goes on you re-live it all and dwell it all. At least our baby’s are healthy though that’s the main thing. I hope you have a better experience next time x

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  3. My little boy was born on Oct 2016 so a similar age to Evie. My birth plan was ‘gas and air only’… gas and air was the only thing I didn’t have. He was also born by c-section as his head turned at 9.5cm dilated and didn’t move for around 3 hours. I also lost a lot of blood and feel like my body failed me or that I did something wrong. It scares me to think about next time.

    Just think what a brilliant job you did growing her inside you and what a brilliant job you are doing bringing her up. Those are the real important things. I know it’s easier said than done.

    I’ll stop waffling!

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  4. This made me so sad. I also never wanted a section but without it my baby would of died. I hope you do come to terms with what happened. Your an amazing mummy & your snap chats make me laugh my head off. Love the blog, keep it up xxx

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  5. My best friend went through the exact same thing she’s still struggling to deal with it now almost a year on like yourself! I wish I could show her this so she knows she’s not alone but i also don’t want to show her something that’s still so raw! I had an awful birth and ended up with a c section and a 6 pint blood transfusion i have blocked it out, brushed myself off and got on with my life, which is so much easier said than done and I wish I could help others do the same, my husband on the other hand has really strugggled to bond with my daughter and I think it’s down to this moment in our birth where he was scared of loosing me because of her and l it’s somejjng he would never admit to but something he’ll take a very long time to get over! Thanks for sharing your birthing story, it’s nice for others to know they’re not alone and also you xxz

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  6. such an honest account of birth! I don’t think its shared wildly enough about what can happen during labour! Really admire you for this. All birth stories should be shared to raise awareness and allow people to prepare for any situation. Its not always going to go to plan. Lovely blog post Maria.

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  7. The same thing happened to me, I had GA because of a placenta previa, didn’t see my little boy until later the following day and he was in special care. Totally understand how you felt, I felt totally robbed too. It still makes me feel so sad but my husband always tells me; giving birth is one day of you life…. being a brilliant loving mother for the rest of your life is the most important thing! My Doctor friend once told me that obstetrics and birth is all down to the luck of the draw; giving birth through your foo foo with a bit of gas and air would be wonderful, but it’s not a skill or a talent, it’s down to nature and luck! That always made me feel better! Thanks for sharing and enjoy that beautiful girl of yours xxx

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  8. I had a similar birthing experience and it is so hard to come to terms with, I also had to learn to bond with my beautiful baby girl after. I have since had a second baby and the birth was completely opposite and wonderful. Thank you for sharing your story Maria. Your little girl is just gorgeous x

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  9. Sounds horrible, I can’t imagine what it was like but always remember no 2 births are the same 🙂 next time it will hopefully be so different! Lots of love xxxxxx

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  10. So sorry to read you had such a rough time! My baby boy is 7 weeks old and I too feel like a missed the part I was so looking forward to when you first give birth. After 22 hours in labour I was taken for an emergency c section and had some feeling so was in quite a bit of pain. After he was born he was taken from me due to an infection I had in my waters anf went to special care for the first two nights. The midwifes would not take me to see my baby in a wheelchair and I had to wait until my cathetar was out and walk and see him myself. I really feel like I missed out on bonding with him and those first few special days of his life.
    Let’s hope if you have another baby you will have a far better experience x

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  11. I had my little girl Evie in 2014 and still feel like my body failed me. I ended up with a section after failure to dilate after 36 hours. I was lucky enough not to be put to sleep but the quick transition of being told you need to taken to theatre as your baby’s heart rate is dipping due to the stress is the scariest thing to a hear! Looking forward to reading your next blog x

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  12. bless you sorry to read some such sad things, but like you say you have your little Evie and i think she is absolutely beautiful and clever (watching snap)

    I also had a bad labour, and if there is one thing I have said since giving birth to my little doll is that I would love to be able to tell my story to first time mums but I just don’t have the platform.

    My pregnancy was amazing! I had a sweep at 40 weeks then another at 41 weeks.. my due date was the 16th may I dident actually give birth until the 27th may.. i started my day off on the 26th may with the most mildest of twinges.. (very mild period pains) they started to get stronger tho right out the day.. I was loosing my plug and then by ten that night I was having some serious contractions I was booked in spires to hopefully have a water birth so I rang them to say my contractions have started they told me they was full and to ring mau so I did and they told me to have a bath and take paracetamol (obviously because they was very busy) I lasted all of 45 minuites to which I rang them and told them I was coming they said ok 😳 So water birth was out of the question because they had no room for me I was in mau and I started to be sick every two minuites.. my contractions dident come and go all I can describe it as is that I had a constant contraction.. they ran test because they wasent sure wethere I had an infection or I just couldent handle the pain that’s why I was being sick.. in the end luckily I didn’t have an infection I generally couldent handle the pain I was being sick constantly… I begged for them to help me.. I heard a nurse ask another ‘how many cm is she?’ The nurse said ‘2’ the other said ‘oh I wonder why she’s in this much pain’ they then offered me vas and air I tried it for all of 10 seconds it’s made me be more sick 😷 they then said to me we will take you to a delivery suite where u can have an epidural I couldent wait for this the wait for it felt like 384774 years.. it’s very important you stay still due to it being very dangerous and I can find yourself paralysed.. I was being sick and had a kid wife in my face shouting stay still I felt so herendous I looked at my partner he looked so scared.. EPIDURAL WAS AMAZING! They broke my waters and left me to sleep for a couple of hours then examined me.. the midwife said to me ‘your fully dilated you can start pushing in an hour let’s wait a little longer for her to come down the birth canal’ I was so exited I couldent believe it I was in no pain and all of a sudden they said u can start pushing soon.. it was amazing! My friend told me not to top the epidural up nearer to the time of pushing because u won’t be able to feel yourself pushing.. so I didn’t.. when I was pushing I could feel that pain coming back and I started to be sick again.. the button to top the epidural up was right next to me so I pressed it and witching five minuites I couldent feel a thing so every contraction the midwife hadn to touch my belly and tell me when to push because I couldent feel anything.. after pushing for to long they got the main midwife in and they made the decision that if I dident get my lg out in 15 minuites they will use forceps.. 15 minuites later they have five nurses in the room and they perform a episiotomy and a forceps delivery I was fuming because I was told at my 36 week scan. He could see hair.. they lady doing the procedure said ‘oh we have a boldly’ I wouldent of cared but hey told me she had lol.. I could hear my little girl crying inside like a bird.. my partners face he looked so worried and scared when he described to me now about down stairs he said it was just open really big and open where they had cut me open.. after about two pushes my little girl was here she looked so big with SIlVER HAIR they lead her on me and cleaned me up and began stitching.. in my blue notes it said no trainees (I get everyone has to learn and start somewhere I just dident want it done on me) I was nervous! I heard another midwife say to the lady stitching me under her breath (remember Inside out) telling her how to stitch me.. but I had my little girl on me at the time I dident pay too much notice.. I couldent feel anything as the epidural was still working wonders!

    Within 2 days of being home I was back in mau with my stitches as they all came apart.. they wouldent re stitch me due to infection so I was told to go home and heal on my own it will take along time but it will happen.. my little girl is 8 months old and I have only just recovered..

    My recovery was herendous.. let me re phrase the beginning I had a lovely birth but recovery was terrible..

    My point is that not at one mid wife appointment/drs was I made aware of what situations I could come across with recovery.. when my stitches came apart I generally thought it was the end of the world I thought they was going to keep me in re stitch me.. they looked at me and told me this is so normal..

    I suffered with posnstal depression and I put this down to my recovery.. the first two weeks my partner was mum and dad he was so amazing..

    I really dread to think how someone that may not have had the support I did from my partner and family would of coped.. when my little girl was asleep i couldent do bottle or tidy abit or get some shut eye.. I was in the bathroom crying for hours just looking at he mess with a mirror..

    Enough was enough and I demanded the pill to stop my period I was bleeding from where trey cut me open too I couldent keep up with everything I wanted to be looking after my little girl

    I finally started to handle things abit better down there when I stopped bleeding and 8 months later there is finally no opened wound but it’s very tender 😰

    First time mums need to be aware of the recovery and what u could come across.. obvcourse I knew stitches were very common it wasent that it was the fact that they came open and I have been left to he’s like it on my own maybe if I was aware of this then I wouldent of suffered with depression as much!
    My family was amazing!

    Daisy Rae Elizabeth Dixon
    27/07/17
    8 lb 11oz
    Born with silver hair ❤️😍

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  13. Hi Maria

    I was really touched by your blog post.

    I’ve had a very similar situation of an emergency c section (my baby is now 10 weeks) – there wasnt time for an epidural and my boyfriend had to leave whilst the panic buttons were being pressed so I could have a general anaesthetic.

    I cry when I think of the birth – more for my baby as no one was there for her. She is totally healthy and we are doing well, so it could have been a lot worse, but as you say – it could have been a lot better.

    I think I probably suffered some sort of shock – but didn’t realise it. Only this week do I feel more like myself again – each day is getting easier and I feel more and more normal again!

    It’s comforting to read other’s stories! Hope your recovery continues and good luck with being a mum! Xx

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  14. Amazing Maria. I had a similar experience, never wanted a C section but it was the only option. Will always stay with me as I really wanted to do it. It worked out fine and I love my little girl. You have a beautiful family xxxx

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  15. Hi. Maria

    I was so touched by your story and it reminded me of when my little (not so little now) girl was born. I didn’t have a c section but she was breach and was born feet first, I had to have an epidural in case she got into difficultly, I really didn’t want one as I’d had such a good birth with my son a couple years earlier but knew it was for the best.

    Just before she was born the room filled with people, she came out, they cut the cord and whisked her to the other side of the room to clear her airway, I didn’t even know if she was a boy or a girl.

    I felt it took me ages to properly bond with her as I’d not had that first contact with her like I had my son, and felt I hadn’t worked for her as they had to tell me when to push as I couldn’t feel anything but eventually the bond came.

    She’s a mum herself now to a beautiful little girl and I couldn’t be more prouder of the mum she has become.

    Your little evie is so pretty and smart and is a credit to you and kelvin xx

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  16. I had such a similar experience to yours and it breaks my heart that I missed my daughters first hours because of recovering from a general anaesthetic. Everything happens so fast in those emergency situations and although I’m obviously so happy my baby girl was healthy, it’s heart wrenching to know the things me and my partner were looking forward to were taken away. He missed it also as he had to be out the room. I was in hospital for a week afterwards with complications and couldn’t even hold my little girl so I know exactly how you feel. The midwive teams are absolutely amazing and I have no doubt in my mind that without them things would have been a lot worse for my family. It’s so nice to know I’m not the only one who felt the way you did after giving birth. You’re so honest and I respect you so much for putting this out there xx

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  17. Let me first set the scene… I NEVER wanted children because I was that terrified by the birth process. I was no way pushing a baby out of anywhere!!! My first baby was a surprise shall we say! I had an absolutely awful birth. 40 hours of labour, an epidural that only partially worked, what felt like every midwife and doctor in the hospital with their head up my bits, drips, injections galore, nearly ended in csection (which for me was what I wanted as I was terrified of giving birth naturally), stitches afterwards… whilst it wasn’t really as bad as many other births (And I realise it could have been a whole lot worse), it was just quite traumatic and not a good experience for me at all, not to mention I couldn’t sit down for two weeks after and I was given a baby that refused to like any form of sleep! I suffered with some form of PND (undiagnosed) for 3 years, l it was awful. I hated anyone touching my baby, only I was good enough. It caused many rows with my husband. I was not in a good place at all. This ‘feeling’ only went away when I gave birth to my second baby. The birth experience was so much ‘nicer’. 10 hours labour, gas and air, pethadine. Job done. Painful yes but it kind of sorted my head out and made me see how labours can be fine and not as scary. Plus this baby likes sleep! Fast forward 22 months after my second… number three arrived. 1.5 hour labour… NO pain relief at all, it was amazing. No labour is the same, and for me, the only way I got over my first birth was to go back and do it again.

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  18. I still cry about the birth of my middle baby almost 12 years later….I never watch one born every minute ever as it depresses me as it’s never relatable to any of my birth experience.
    I’ve had 3 sections now- one emergency when awake, one emergency when asleep (the awful one- born 13 mins after we arrived at the hospital as that’s how serious it was- we would’ve probably died had we lived any further away) and a planned section in which I was awake.
    I hate hearing about women’s amazing birth stories in pools, at home, with no pain relief, Home in 4 hours, skin to skin contact etc etc- I actually get angry about it all.
    You’ll never stop feeling robbed, but you have to remember you have beautiful results from the trauma xx

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  19. Honestly – I couldn’t even begin to imagine this pain you’re in, or that this causes you as I’m not a mother. Sadly I can’t have children due to a small bout of cervical cancer 2 years ago. However I’m grateful I’m alive.

    This is a healing process and unfortunately not everything runs how we want or expect or plead it should. I somehow feel the hospital are a little to blame for making Kelvin move and for not understanding your want and needs earlier however, there is always someone else to blame. As much as we can keep saying it, you have to remember things could have been a lot worse if Evie hadn’t have moved and the situation was different. The actual outcome? One beautiful little darling who’s showered with love no doubt and a wonderful strong Mum who’s not only coping but sharing for others to gain hope from.

    Compete admiration Maria.

    In years to come your daughter will remember you for the first time she rode a bike or fell off and you were there, or the first heartbreak. Your love for her won’t be any different so stay strong and continue to heal. 💕 xx

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  20. Thank you for sharing. My girl is almost 6 weeks old and I don’t have happy memories of the birth. She was back to back and I asked for all pain relief available including epidural. No anaethetist was available so that went out the window. They would only allow gas and air and they took that away during the pushing stage which was 2.5 hours. 9.5 hours of labour in total and I got my girl after a ventousse. I didn’t get to hold her straight away and my partner never got to cut the cord. I felt traumatised for days and really didn’t enjoy the fresh newborn stage. All is good now but you are so right, anything can happen during labour

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  21. Thanks for sharing this Maria. Totally different experience to my own but I think it’s good that mums share all of their birth stories as it doesn’t always go to plan. I wish itvbe would do a documentary on your lovely little family x

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  22. Hi Maria, thank you for sharing! I had an emergency c section and was so drugged up I hardly remember a thing.. they brought my baby girl over to meet me and I remember just looking at her and I didn’t feel a thing .. it wasn’t until the drugs wore off I realised I’d had the baby.. and then I forgot all about the labour.. my husband missed the birth too but we are so lucky to have a healthy happy 15month old little girl..
    this has definitely put me off having another but who knows what the future holds xx
    I love following your social media as our little girls are similar in age and to see what stages they are both at x

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  23. I’m so sorry you went through this, there is nothing worse than feeling out of control in such a vulnerable situation, writing about it and talking about it will definitely help and don’t let anyone try to “out do” your experience…or make you feel unjustified in your feelings! I hope this doesn’t put you off having another, all 3 of mine have been totally different and my first two were definitely more traumatic in their own ways but my third was about as perfect as I could of hoped…even with all that pain! You’re a fantastic mum and hope you can make peace with what happened! 💖 x

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  24. Thankyou so much for sharing your journey! I can only imagine how hard it must of been for you and your partner. All birth journeys are different and some are harder than others- yours particularly challenging but you must remain focused on the positive, your beautiful baby girl is happy, healthy and thriving and she can’t remember the birth experience. As mums we are so hard on ourselves but remember your an amazing mum- no matter what path your birth journey took xx

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  25. my little boy was born via a cat1 emergency c-section, I couldn’t get my head around it either I felt like I had the experience taken away from me all together because I weren’t there to hear his first cry or to get him latched on straight away, a year on I have got my head around it and my hospital offers a service called birth reflections which I went to where I spoke to a midwife and she looked through my notes and she explained things a lot better for me, I now have that fear if it happens when I have anymore babies, My stomach is numb still from a year ago 😩

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  26. Oh my GOD!! I’ve never given birth, but I am a One Born Every Minute fanatic and love hearing birth stories but never heard of this happening before. You have had a truly traumatic experience and I totally understand why you still get very emotional about it (even though you are clearly very grateful of Evie now). My Mammy’s birth when having me was horrendous, I’m 24 now and she still gets panicked and twitchy thinking about it and my daddy can’t discuss the events at all.

    It’s obviously hard for me to judge or advise due to not having any children myself, but I really hope you find peace with what has happened and don’t let fear stop you from having another baby if that’s what you wish. It’s ok not to be ok with what has happened, but don’t fret if you need extra support.

    All the best xxx

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  27. I could have written this myself, I just saw your insta story and thought i’ll pop over and see what happened. I had the same experience almost 15 years ago. I wasn’t numbed properly, the epidural shunt fell out of my back as I was wheeled to a bigger room. My legs and nose were numb but i could feel all contractions. His heart rate was dropping, the ventouse didn’t work, I was prepped for a section, the surgeon tested with an ice cube to see if I was numb, he tested my legs, they were. my stomach was not. Time was running out, they cut me anyway and I screamed, then 5,4,3,2,1 blackness. I woke up hours later asking if he was still a boy. I had huge blood loss, stayed in for 5 days. i was 21. I had PND afterwards, I struggled to bond. I replayed the birth every single night just before sleep in my head. It took me 4 years to even want another child.

    When I finally did get pregnant again I was adamant I wanted a planned c section awake, to experience what I missed out on, I had to fight for it and eventually it was booked in. It was perfect. Despite me having an emergency again with placental abruption I was still awake and it replaced the missing piece of the puzzle for me. I have gone on to have another little girl (Evie too) again not without drama she was footling breach prem labour at 35 weeks but again a positive csection experience.

    It’s very hard to process the emotions because you know why they had to do what they did and you daren’t think what may have happened but all the same you wanted it to be a positive experience and instead it felt barbaric and out of control ?

    Trust me time is a great healer, get some counselling and for your partner too as he missed out 😦 If you have another baby I really do pray you have a peaceful experience because for me it out all my terrors and anxiety from the first time around to rest forever.

    Thanks for speaking out about this, I have found this cathartic to write 🙂

    Much love

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  28. I’m due my first baby in June, thank you for reinforcing my decision to not have a ‘birth plan’. I want to be prepared for everything that could happen instead of focusing on my ideal goal of how I’d like to give birth.
    I suffer from anxiety and find that if I get my hopes up about something and it goes wrong….that’s when the panic attacks set in. I’m going to go in there with an open mind and go with the flow.
    Thank you for sharing your story and I have another suggestion for your next blog post….how is it coping with a dog and a new born! I have a little dog and as much as I know she will be ignored a little at first, I want to read all the emotions othe new mums go through juggling previous responsibilities with a new baby!

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  29. I related to this so much. My daughter was born via emergency c section after being in labour for 50 hours. I contracted sepsis so was really poorly and my baby was taken away to start treatment for meningitis.
    We stayed in hospital for a week but I couldn’t even move from the bed to get to her if she needed me. Sounds silly but I even missed the first nappy change and cried.
    I guess your right by saying not to get your hopes up with things as things don’t always go to plan. I hope next time I can experience it by having a natural birth. That’s if I’m lucky enough to have another.
    Blake
    17/07/2017

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  30. Thank you for writing something so close to home…. my daughter was born via emergency c section under general anaesthetic… I was 4cm dilated for 6 hours, didn’t progress….. the next thing I know is I am being rushed into theatre, I was left screaming my other half’s name- no one explained anything to me and the next thing I know I am in recovery and my other half is telling me that we have a little girl. It took me 6 months to build up the courage to book a de-brief with the hospital to find out what had happened. The hardest thing for me is when my daughter asks questions about how she was born ( she is now 3.5 year old) the other day she asked “ did I cry when I come out of you’re tummy?” At the moment it hit me, I can’t actually answer that question.
    I am extremely grateful that she is happy/ healthy 3.5 years old going on 13 !!

    All the best xxx

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  31. Thankyou for your post. It’s so refreshing to hear an honest story of how births can be.
    I remember watching one born every minute and getting excited (albeit a little nervous) about the labour. Although mine never went to plan either.
    As much as I wouldn’t change any of it for the world as I have my lovely little girl from it, it definatly was one of the hardest experiences of my life.
    I had a great pregnancy up until around 30 weeks when I was diagnosed with pre eclampsia, for the last three weeks I was in hospital every other day for checks then every day for the last week until I went in one day at 36 weeks and wasn’t allowed home. I was induced on the Thursday night by pessary and nothing happened so the doctor did it again Friday night. My waters broke on the Saturday morning when I went into labour. I was in agony by that afternoon but I wasn’t allowed onto the ward yet so just on paracetamol 😒 finally allowed on around midnight, baring in mind id hardly slept since the Wednesday night. And I had the most horrendous pain in my pelvis that the midwives couldn’t understand why. I am a very calm/uncomfrontational person generally but I had the midwife by the scruff of her neck begging for help. They gave me an epidural with didn’t work. I was still rolling around the bed in pain. So they kept bringing the doctor in to put more in but it didn’t work atall. I asked for no trainees to be allowed in but when I was being fitting with a canuallar I had a trainee which caught a blood vessel. Squirting blood everywhere, I still am numb on my arm there to this day nearly four years later. But to cut a long story short she got stuck so a team of about 15 people entered the room with a trolly with forcepts on. And a group of people ready to take me for a section if needed. I honestly by this time felt like I was on another planet. I’d only had gas and air and the epidural that didn’t work but I was just in that much pain I felt like I was watching from another body. I honestly thought I was dying. So dramatic, I know but i remember I was crying to my partner saying I am dying and nobody is helping me. I honestly thought I couldn’t take anymore. She was born at dinner time, thankfully everything was ok but I just felt mentally numb. And did for a couple of days. Physically I still have problems my hip displaced during the labour and iv had terrible trouble with my back since, my stitching wasn’t done correctly which iv decided not to get fixed as I just couldn’t face it, I’m seeing a physio and I did suffer with PND afterwards.
    I’d like to thank you for talking about this as so many people don’t and it does feel good to write it down. As I never talk to anyone about it really. Your not alone and I feel this subject other than nice stories isn’t talked about enough.
    Sending lots of love to you and everyone going through this situation 😘

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  32. Another beautiful piece. I can not imagine how traumatic this experience must have been for you! I had my daughter 5 and half weeks early after going into labour following a UTI. I hadn’t seen my midwife to make a birth plan, and I was still working. Needless to say I was petrified my baby wouldn’t be ok. I spent the early hours of labour on a women’s ward, where normally you would be at home, comfortable and able to vocalise pain. I remember white knuckling this part as I was acutely aware of not distressing other people around me. From then on things we’re done to me, I was poked and prodded, constantly on a heart monitor. My dreams of a calm controlled labour were gone. Any autonomy over the birth was taken away. Nearly 2 days later my beautiful daughter was born, tiny at 5lbs, but absolutely perfect. She is now a happy and healthy 6yr old. I completely appreciate how it feels to be treated like a ‘patient’ as opposed to a person with autonomy over what happens to their body. People in the midwifery profession do an admirable job, working under vast amounts of pressure with very limited resources. However there does need to be a change in culture by empowering labouring mothers.

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  33. I totally get the sadness you feel about missing out on those first few hours. I also had a c section, with a spinal block, and was so out of it I don’t remember hardly anything of the first few hours.

    My daughter was breech, I had pre eclampsia and my placenta had stopped working so I had to have a c section at 36 weeks. She was 4lb 15oz and they whisked her away straight away.

    Myself or my partner didn’t get to change her first nappy and this still hurts me. My partner was the first to hold and feed her and I’m so happy for him but there was a part of me, and still is, that is so jealous I didn’t get to do that.

    Those first few hours are so precious and we will never get them back but we have the rest of their lives to make memories!
    Thank you for this blog I know I’m not alone in feeling what I do about my labour.

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  34. Hi Maria,
    Thank you for sharing your experience. The truth is that no one can ever predict what is going to happen. My husband and i tried for a couple of years to get pregnant. The huge excitement of my first pregnancy was short lived unfortunately as it was ectopic and even though i attend the hosp from mid feb to end of march, no one would confirm it was an ectopic until i collapsed & had emergency surgery to remove it. Heartbroken.
    I did eventually fall pregnant again & had all kinds of plans for birth, etc, but a bit like you that went out the window when the baby was breech & i was booked in for c-section. But of course my daughter decided she couldn’t wait and a week before my planned section (& 10 days before my due date) my waters broke, i went into labour & had to have emergency section. Thankfully we were both fine and she will be celebrating her 10th birthday at the start of february❤ and 1year & 8 months later her little sister was born.
    I am so thankful for my 2 healthy beautiful girls.
    I hope your experience doesn’t make you wait too long to have another one. You both make beautiful babies 😘

    Lots of love,
    Kellie x

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  35. This brings back a lot of memories for me, I had an emergency c section with my little boy and ended up with a general anaesthetic due to me losing 4 litres of blood (body only has 4 – 5 litres). My little boy was whipped straight to special care and like you I missed the first 12 hours of his life. I really wanted to breastfeed but woke up and he had already been giving bottles I had no skin to skin I was devastated. I am a midwife, so I had my heart set on a natural delivery, skin to skin and breastfeeding it sounds stupid as I know things do not go as planned but I never imagined it would be as bad as that. I even queried continuing being a midwife I felt so angry and resentful against other people who had such a straight forward birth when I done all the things ‘right’. Anyway nearly 3 years later I am much better, grateful to have a happy healthy boy and still working with mums, families and babies. I have realised that I can provide such better support for women now after what I went through so I am using that to support women through traumatic deliveries. Thank you for speaking out, I wish there was more coverage of post traumatic stress after childbirth!

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  36. This post made me so emotional. I’m a mum to an almost 3 year old beautiful girl, but my labour experience was identical to yours – after wanted as natural a birth as possible I also had an emergency c section and felt the incision, had my partner kicked out of the room and missed the birth. For months I felt like I’d done something wrong, that I wa s a bad Mum because I’d missed her first moments. Even now I still get upset about it. It’s so comforting to hear I’m not alone, that others have gone through and feel the same as I do. We’re trying for baby #2 and I’m scared it will happen all over again…but hopefully this time I’ll be a bit more prepared. Thank you so much for sharing.

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  37. This is similar to my birth experience, which left me feeling upset & mentally numb for a very long time. I finally requested to view & get copies of my birth notes, as they say these can help try to heal bad memories or gaps. I found this helped me to understand parts that were to blurry to remember, either from blocking them out, or from the copious amounts of drugs I’d been given. Maybe that could help you, even a little?
    Sarah x

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