The emotional after-effects of an emergency caesarean

As I lay on the hospital bed, fully dilated and numb from the waist down, I heard the words I was dreading: “I think it’s about time for a C section”.

I didn’t want a caesarean. I didn’t want my baby to come into the world ‘the easy way’. I wanted to work for this; I wanted to push. I started to cry at the loss of what I saw as a rite of passage, but at the same time knew this decision was a necessary one. My daughter had had 15 hours to make an appearance, but for reasons unknown at the time, she hadn’t come out to meet us yet.

Not long after the decision had been made I was in theatre, being cut open as the doctor and her team endeavoured to welcome my little girl into the world. Not long into the procedure she was carried over to the waiting medical team, and within seconds we heard her cry. She was fine.

The next thing I knew I felt I was in shock, shaking uncontrollably and feeling like I needed to vomit. I did, then felt my epidural wearing off. The doctors moved swiftly and within a minute my husband had been asked to leave the room and I was advised that I be put under anaesthetic to finish off the procedure.

I woke up in recovery what felt like minutes later, but in reality it had been about an hour or so. I was wheeled through to the ward to finally hold my baby for the first time. Feeling her against my skin as she searched for her first feed was the moment I had longed for. She was perfect. I was exhausted and groggy but pleased the ‘ordeal’ was over. But it wasn’t. Far from it.

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