As I reached the later stage of my pregnancy, Luna was still in a breech position (bottom down) as she now sat nicely in the right chamber of my uterus with her legs stretched out completely in the left. Clearly not being a good candidate for a natural birth this time around I was booked in for a c-section at 39 weeks. My obstetrician wanted to wait as long as possible to maximise the growth of the baby although I was on close watch to see any signs of labour.
There was no way this babe could be turned due to the shape of her living conditions, it was virtually impossible and although I was a little disappointed I couldn’t give birth naturally again I was excited that we had hope for bringing our Luna into the world safely so hopefully wouldn’t even need to go through labour! Luckily we were booked in for that Thursday because my Braxton Hicks were getting stronger every day, I think I would have gone into labour within the next 24 hours! I experienced such intense and frequent contractions all throughout both of my pregnancies although they were a lot more intense with this one. Anyway I was feeling so positive about everything on the morning we went in. Beyond excited to meet little Luna and really calm and confident about the operation. I received so much advice and helpful tips from other c-section mums that I felt so well prepared with all the questions, requests, recovery tights, snacks, everything you can think of! We were first on the list early in the morning although an emergency was called in before us so we had to wait a little longer in the waiting bay which was killing Damien. He’s not so good with blood so we were more worried about him.
The anaesthetist administered my spinal block and I lost control of my legs quite quickly but the feeling was surreal. I still had feeling of my lower body, just without being able to move it. Then we were called into theatre and I realised how many people it takes to have a baby! There were at least 10 people in the room, there was music playing, everyone was happy and commenting on my tan (which wasn’t real being in the middle of winter!) and then I vomited and felt horrendous. Nausea being a common side effect of the anaesthetic, I was given some medication apparently through somewhere to stop vomiting and started to feel very relaxed and quite sleepy. My Ob then started the procedure, Damien was talking away to someone behind me and I was shocked that I could actually feel her making the incision, it just didn’t hurt. It was very strange. As she cut through the layers I think I started to panic a little. Maybe a lot. It just came over me and I had no control, it was as if my body was reacting to what was happening but my brain was up the back with Damien somewhere. Then as she started pulling and prodding around I started crying uncontrollably yelling «Ouch stop!» You see to me it was painful. It felt really painful, or that it should be painful. It was so overwhelming. They all stopped and checked with the anaesthetist, worried that he hadn’t given me enough, and he assured them that he couldn’t give me any more without putting me under completely. I knew before hand that I was going to feel them «pulling» but this felt like three people were ripping out my heart and lungs as my body was tugged from side to side on the table. I never quite understood that you would feel everything! I had to calm myself down and remind myself that it wasn’t pain I was feeling it was just movement and although I was still crying they pulled Luna’s body out by the feet and she let out the biggest squeal literally before her head was completely out. Then the tears flowed!!!
Isn’t it beautiful how so much during childbirth is automatic. Instinctual. Even if your body is numb and you’re lying on a cold operating table your body knows the minute your child is released from you and lets off a million little signals all around your body triggering different things. Tears of joy being one of them.
She was healthy and perfect weighing in at 3.44kgs and looked completely foreign to me although I knew she was all ours. My Ob investigated and confirmed I do have a subseptate uterus of some form, obviously seeing as Luna was spread into both sides, just the septate was almost down to the cervix. That means Luna would have had almost twice the room that Matisse, my first, did as her gestational sac was only on the right side. I apologised to everyone in theatre for freaking out and we were taken to recovery where Luna latched immediately which was so amazing and we experienced our first feed and Damien gave her lots of cuddles and skin to skin. Such a beautiful moment.
I was so surprised how quickly the sensation came back to my legs and how well the pain was managed. I felt really good! The next day I could shower and walk around a little, I found moving around as much as I could helped flow the blood around my body. One thing I was curious about with having a c-section was if my milk would be delayed. If the lack of the natural birth process changes the way the body reacts to the baby? With Matisse my milk started to come through on day 3 and this time by midday on day 2 my breasts were well and truly firm! I could tell the milk wasn’t even completely in and they were heading down the double J-cup road – help me please! The next morning they were so engorged I had wet towels soaking in an ice bucket next to me in bed and continuously applied them for the next 2 days straight. What an incredible time of your life though. Those first few days are so intense while you and bub are so fragile and sensitive. So much hype durig the lead up and then BAM there’s a baby in your arms and your life, love and mind space just explodes and yet you feel so fuzzy and out of it. All I could think about was how lucky we were to have another little girl in our arms. I really missed Matisse though, when she came to visit she surprised me how careful and in awe she was at her new baby sister. She was so proud and so was I.
My stitches were removed on day 5 and we took a photo of nine day old Luna to document the position she was in during the pregnancy and the scar from which she was pulled from my body visibly underneath. You may have seen the image as it was spread around on social media for a few weeks by a number of inspiring sources celebrating the miracle of motherhood and connecting so many women together, I couldn’t believe it. I was overwhelmed how many women related to the image and how each took something different from it that meant something special to them. To me it represents this;
giving birth – the gift of life – isn’t easy and can come with scars to prove what we will do as parents to bring our children into the world, to create new life in the safest possible way for the better future.
Considering 4 years ago we weren’t sure we could even have children to now having two beautiful healthy girls, living with a bicornuate uterus has been scary but it no longer worries me. I’m lucky that my condition isn’t hindering and I’m eternally grateful that two out of two pregnancies were successful. I have faith in modern medicine that the best will be done to protect both mother and child although I’ve learnt even more to follow my maternal instincts and flow with the river of the Universe.
Childbirth is a miracle.
Kiri, The Bazaar Mumma