Tuesday, 11 September 2012

My first Caesarean Birth

My first Caesarean Birth...

Well, it wasn't my first Caesarean birth, but the first Caesarean birth I've had the privilege of witnessing 'in the flesh' so to speak. So during my first experience at an MOU I was asked to support a lady who needed an unplanned Caesarean birth. I'm not so keen on the term 'emergency' Caesarean because that gives the impression of something along the lines of an episode of ER where everything happens STAT! Sometimes it is like that, but it can take at least half an hour, sometimes a couple of hours to get into theatre if mom and baby are doing fine otherwise.

So I waited with her for one of the operating theatres to be ready, and when there was finally a spot I went off with the midwife to put on scrubs. I felt a bit spare taking a full on pic of myself with outstretched arm, so I managed to get a discreet shot of my feet to record the moment...

She was very tired and a little nervous about the operation, so I was glad I was able to go with her to theatre. It was quite cramped as the larger OT (operating theatre) was being used, so I couldn't sit next to her to be on the same level with her. I had to stand next to her and take up as little space as possible. 

From my vantage point I was able to see everything that was going on. I didn't watch how they got the baby out, but just spoke to the mom. It was difficult to communicate as English is not her mother tongue, and she couldn't see me talking because of the mask, so I just tried to make my eyes look as kind as possible and tried to sound as encouraging as possible!

She had a beautiful little boy who the nurse brought to say hello once he was wrapped up. The nurse let her rub noses with him which was very touching. She was exhausted and nauseous and she didn't really want to talk, so I held her hand and was able to watch while they stitched her up. I'm not easily grossed out - so I was quite fascinated to watch how they stitched up her uterus while it was perched on her belly, and massaged it to make it contract and stop bleeding, and then did the final stitching. It was a bit odd being in scrubs, and as my 'Childbirth Companion' apron had to be left in the change room, everyone wanted to know who I was and why I was there, so I got to explain what a childbirth companion / doula does.

So when I had to leave the mom still hadn't chosen a name, but asked what my name was and said that was what she wanted to name her son. It's a good thing Leigh is a unisex name! I'm not sure if she eventually did, but I was quite touched by the thought.

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