Steph’s Healing Caesarean

Steph is a friend of mine and I interviewed her for my doula training to find out about women's experiences with caesareans. We talked mostly about her first birth; an emergency caesarean that she found very traumatic. I needed to know how her second caesaren birth helped her heal and she was happy to share her positive caesarean story.

Piper was born by the most perfect planned c-section. Her older sister was born by emergency caesarean after the induced labour “failed to progress” (gosh I hate that term), so after lots of research and careful deliberation, we decided that a planned caesarean was the way to go, second time around. It is easily the best decision we could have made for us.

On the 10th of July, four days shy of our due date, we made our way to the hospital with bags packed and were prepped for theatre. That wait was so hard! I was so nervous and excited to finally meet my second baby. So much so that we completely forgot to give the nurse the baby outfit to dress them in! When we got into theatre they sat me on the side of the bed and the anaesthetist put in the epidural. I remember having such a warm sensation run over my body and realising that it had caused my breasts to leak through the gown. I was so excited as I hoped this was a sign that breastfeeding would be easier this time around!

They laid me down and the theatre was full of smiles and laughter as everyone discussed possible baby names and placed bets on the gender. Before we knew it, they told us we were about to meet our baby. My husband, Tony, and I held hands, eagerly waiting.

At that moment I felt quite nauseous. I had learnt from my first experience to tell the anaesthetist so I mentioned it. He quickly noticed my blood pressure dropping and acted fast to bring it up again. Thankfully it worked quickly and with some big tugs and pulls (painless of course) our obstetrician held up our baby and told us we have another perfect little girl! We cried and were so excited but laughed that we had no girls names picked, we really thought she was going to be a boy!

They placed her on my chest for skin-to-skin contact and those first cuddles were so special. Our anaesthetist and one of the nurses both played photographer for us and were able to take photos of the whole experience. They really encouraged Tony to be present and not to worry as they would take care of it. They did such a beautiful job too!

After those first cuddles, they took her and Tony to complete the APGAR tests and Tony cut the cord. When we had my first daughter, she was completely out of sight and I found it so stressful to not be able to see what was happening. This time, they were set up directly to the right of me so I could watch how Piper was going and I could hear Tony talking to her, trying to calm her as she cried. The paediatrician was quick and thorough and was telling me how she was going the whole time (she measured exactly the same as her sister and had a perfect score of 9!) He and Tony really kept me calm and focused on her while the team worked to finish the caesarean surgery and get me ready for recovery. I was so grateful for the distraction as the sensations are quite bizarre and I didn’t want to imagine what they were doing down there!

Once they were done with Piper’s tests, they dressed her in a tiny singlet and beanie and wrapped her up tight. I couldn’t believe we had forgotten to bring her first outfit to the theatre after I had put so much thought into it! In the end, I couldn’t have cared what she was dressed in! Tony then held her and we were taken to recovery where we breastfed for the first time quite successfully. I had no complications or troubles at all.

We are so grateful to our obstetrician and the team. Piper was born safely and they made the whole experience so perfect. It was the healing experience that I needed and gave Piper and I the best start to her life earth-side

* Please remember these birth stories are shared in their own voice; from the point of view of the writer. Please remember that every birth, woman and baby are different so different choices have been made in individual circumstances. They are not intended to be used as medical advice, but to share the amazing stories of these mums

Steph’s Healing Caesarean
Sam Ziegelaar 26 February 2024
Share this post
Sign in to leave a comment
Kirsty’s Second Water Birth
Kirsty is a good friend of mine who was very keen to share her story. She has had 2 babies in the pool at the family birth centre!