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Emma & Cassius

I had my eldest in December 2020 during COVID. My labour resulted in us being rushed to theatre where my son was delivered via forceps and an episiotomy. My experience was traumatic and my recovery was horrendous, leaving me suffering with repercussions requiring physio for almost 18 months after birth. I decided that if/ when I ever had another baby, I wanted my birth to be completely different.

I fell pregnant with my youngest in June 2022. At my booking appointment, I discussed my 1st birth and difficult recovery with my midwife and we talked about my birthing options. After some thought, I decided that I wanted a planned c section. I spent the final months of my pregnancy reading lots of positive c section birth stories and completing hypnobirthing specifically for c sections with Emily. I felt really confident in my choice. I had a phone call with my consultant at around 20 weeks to discuss my birthing options - I was consultant led due to my son being born SGA (small for gestational age) meaning this baby would need extra monitoring. I was prepared to fight for my choice as I had been warned by a few friends that consultants can often push back against planned sections, but I was pleasantly surprised by our conversation. At 36 weeks, I found out at a growth scan that my baby had unexplained restricted growth and had dropped from the 17th percentile to the 4th. This was really scary because I had been told if baby dropped below the 10th percentile, they would be brought out early (around 37 weeks) and I would need steroids. I had a good chat with my consultant after the scan and it was agreed that because my placenta and cord blood flow were all healthy, we could go ahead with the section at 39 weeks. 

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The morning of my c section I felt really calm. We were told to go to the hospital for 7.30am along with 2 other couples. We were shown to our room and introduced to our lovely midwife Millie, who stayed with us throughout. I was given my gown, Joe was given his scrubs and the team (anaesthetist, surgeon etc) came round to introduce themselves and talk about my preferences. The atmosphere was really calm and upbeat and everyone was excited that we didn't know baby's gender. I was last on the list so I kept myself busy listening to podcasts and reading more positive c section stories. When it was my time to walk down to theatre I had a hit of nerves but used my up breathing to calm myself down. I also used up breathing during my spinal. 

Before we knew it the procedure was underway. I had my playlist playing and was talking to my husband. From first incision to baby being out it was 5 minutes!! Cue Simba moment... "It's a boy!". Baby boy came out screaming and we had delayed cord clamping as requested. 

over so quickly. We spent the next period of time gazing at our gorgeous boy, amazed at how similar he looked to our eldest and laughing about the fact that he was already rooting and ready for a feed! We were taken to recovery ward where we had our first feed and I had the infamous tea and toast (the best!!).The whole experience was wonderful, calm and very healing after my traumatic first birth. I have recovered really well, am successfully breastfeeding and baby boy is so loved by us all and thriving!

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After that, the cord was cut by the surgeon and baby was taken to be cleaned up, weighed and checked over. Daddy followed and was giving me a running commentary of what was happening, he also cut the cord shorter. Within a few minutes baby boy was back in Daddy's arm for cuddles (unfortunately due to my cannula backing up and there being limited space, I was unable to have baby on my chest) everything was 

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