Lucy’s Positive Caesarean Section Story

Here's Lucy's amazing birth story, one which didn't go quite to plan but which was still an amazing and positive experience:

"Just wanted to let you know that baby Dylan has now made an appearance, funnily enough on his actual due date last Tuesday 6th May. It didn't go at all according to plan but I'm glad to say that I feel good about how things went. I started showing early labour signs on Tuesday 29th April, which were confirmed by the midwife on Thursday 1st May (who measured me at 1cm dilated and said that it was likely that I would go into active labour on the Friday or Saturday of the bank holiday). Things then moved very slowly, and by the end of the weekend I wasn't really feeling much different apart from having a show. I ended up at Jessops on the evening of bank holiday monday (5th) as I had been bleeding, they thought it was part of my show, but as it wouldn't stop they wanted to check me out.

Turns out that yes it was part of the show, but the tests they carried out whilst I was there indicated that I had preeclampsia (high blood pressure, protein in my urine and a drop in platelets). So I was told that they would need to induce me as soon as possible. I was gutted and annoyed that I had gone into the hospital about something that wasn't a problem only to be told they wanted to keep me in due to something totally different!

But soon realised that it was a good thing that they had been able to pick up on the preeclampsia signs. They told me that I would be put on a oxytocin drip, with an epidural that night. At which point Rob and I started asking about the alternatives, the risks of not going with this etc.

We asked about whether we would be able to take the pessary induction rather than the drip as this would more likely lead to a natural delivery, but were told that because I was now 2cm dilated that it was likely that this option would not move me on any further.

Initially I think our questions were a bit annoying to the doctors, but once they realised that we just wanted to make informed decisions about the labour and delivery they seemed to go with our questioning. We ended up discussing things with the midwife and doctors for about 2 hours.

The midwife was great, she read my birth plan in great detail and said that I would still be able to incorporate many of the things that I wanted in relation to the positions, music and breathing. So we felt that all was not lost. Unfortunately we were then left in a room for about 5 hours as there was an emergency elsewhere.

We weren't told about this though so spent the time awake waiting for someone to come back in to tell us what was going on. Therefore by the time they broke my waters and put the drip in me it was 5.30am on Tuesday morning and we were shattered! I was on the drip for 2 hours by the time I was having regular, strong contractions.

They then timed me for 4 hours, and said that they would see how dilated I was after this and reassess the situation. I played your Lazy Daisy CD on repeat for 5 of these hours, it was amazing and really really helped me feel calm. I also used the breathing techniques that we had learnt during your classes and they kept me going for most of this time too.

I started using the gas and air about 4 hours in, but didn't like how it was making me feel so tried my best to alternate it with the breathing. I was at full whack on the drip for most of this time. About 5 hours in I started to struggle, and made Rob turn off the music, I really went into myself at this point and the pain was pretty unbearable with contractions coming at least every 2 minutes and lasting for about 40-50 seconds.

It was at this point that I knew I couldn't go on whatever the outcome was after the 4 hours and started mentioning having an epidural. I think the fact that I'd convinced the midwife that I could breath my way through this and how well I'd done up to this point made her think I could go on though, and the team took some convincing that I could not go on!

After the 4 hours they measured me again and I was only 3cm dilated!! So I was then given the epidural and carried on for another 4 hours on full whack, but this time I managed to sleep through most of it, amazing! It was only in the hours and days later that I realised this is not something most people do.

It turns out that most people have an epidural BEFORE they go on the drip and most people never get up to the full dose. I really can't believe that I did what I did using my breath. I had people coming to see me on the ward who weren't part of the team but wanted to tell me that they'd heard about my efforts and how impressed they were!

So after another 4 hours on the drip I'd still only increased to 4cm dilated. Everyone left the room and I said to Rob that I thought that they are going to recommend a caesarean section, and that I thought that we should go with that as there was no way my body could go through any more of the drip.

Thankfully up until this point the baby had not been in any distress at all. I was right, they came back in and pussy footed around me whilst trying to tell me that they thought I needed a c section. I agreed straight away and next thing we knew I was getting my epidural topped up and heading to surgery.

Unfortunately at this point I think I went into shock, my body was shaking like mad for the next 2 hours and I was retching a lot. The actual surgery was fine, but I think my body had had enough of the 10 hours on the drip. Then Dylan was born, it was amazing to hear his cry straight away, he scored really highly on the APGAR score (8 in the first minute and then 9 minutes after!) and weighed 8lb 5ozs.

I had skin to skin contact fairly soon afterwards and he latched on in seconds! I then found out that he had had his head raised upwards with his fists by the side of his head and had gone back to back during labour. So even if I'd managed to get through to the pushing stage (which in reality may have taken a few days), it would have been really hard work to actually get him out.

I think what could've been a pretty horrific experience, which could have left me feeling awful about not having the natural water birth that I wanted actually turned out to be okay as I felt that we asked all the right questions, made informed decisions, and managed to use some techniques that helped with the pain and medical nature of the labour.

I'd just like to say thank you for teaching me those techniques in the run up to my birth, I really think all of the research we did beforehand helped turn my birth into something that I feel good about rather than something that I feel bad about."