Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 18 of 21

Thread: Caesarean ~ How did you make it an empowering experience?

  1. #1

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    ★ nor here nor there ★

    Question Caesarean ~ How did you make it an empowering experience?

    I feel that it is best that I look at this possiblity now, and get my head around the prospect that this baby may not turn, I have a septum in the middle of my uterus, and placenta is in the right horn and goes over the septum and babies head in the left horn, my amniotic fluid levels are on the low side and the only way we can get baby to turn is to do a somersault either facing my spine or belly button. My OB said yesterday that this baby has to turn by itself, an ECV is not an option as the rotation needs to have turning to the left or right in a clockwise fashion, but with the septum and placenta in the way it isn't possible. DD was able to turn as I had Polyhydrominous (excess amniotic fluid) so she had a massive pool of water to turn in and it also helped push the septum further out of the way and the placenta wasn't implanted in one of the horns.

    I am doing inversions and spending a lot of time on my hands and knees, sitting backwards on chairs to try and get bubs to turn and am considering going back to do Moxa and Accupuncture to try and get bubs to turn. But we are running out of time as the longer we go the harder it is as baby will get stuck, and my OB said yesterday that we really need to get this baby turning sooner rather then later.

    So while I am hopeful that we still have time for bubs to turn, I want to prepare myself for the possibility of a C-Section, which the thought of is already dissappointing as I achieved a VB with DD. And I am pretty scared about it TBH, for so many reasons, my platelets are dropping and they may impact the opportunity of a Epi or Spinal, if they get too low it isn't an option and the C-Sec would be done under GA, which I don't want to consider atm

    And the impact it will have on my daily life, not driving for 6 weeks (I do all the driving in our family), relying on others, and this will likely be coupled with trying to get in and out of hospital each day until bubs can come home. DH is only taking off a day or two when bubs is born and the rest when we bring bubs home.

    But if we have to go down this path I want to make it an empowering birth, I want to feel like I have still birthed my child, I read a story on the maternal assisted CS and was truely amazed by it, but while that is unlikely I want to make it a positive experience and hopefully not a rushed Emergency CS.

    So I guess my quesitons are:

    How did you make your CS empowering?
    What things did you do to bond with your baby (hoping that bub can stay with us for a bit rather than off to NICU or SCBU )?
    Did you achieve skin on skin or BF?
    Were you able to take bub with you to recovery?
    Any other suggestions or good books or birth stories to read?

    I am hopefull that we can still achieve a VB, but if a CS ends up being the way we need to birth then I want to prepare for it mentally and emotionally now, rather than just being thrown into it.....

  2. #2

    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    Hi Beema,

    I wouldn't say I achieved an empowered caesarean (I have had 3 now) but I must say a few things that I did with my third that I believed helped me to bond a little better where;

    * I was the first to touch my baby without gloves and before he was cleaned so we was still gooey
    * My DP got to cut the cord....well not from my belly but once the baby was taken by the paed to the table to be checked they let him cut some of the cord that was still attached to the baby
    * Due to lack of staff he was not in recovery with me but they brought him to me right away when I got back to the ward and I put him on the breast to feed straight away

    I had no issues with breast feeding but from what I have heard from other woman it seems to be luck with supply and good attachment of the baby because I have had more friends not be able to breastfeed who have had VB than caesreans. You mentioned you BF DD so I dont think you should have any problems if you were to have a caesarean.

    A couple of tips if you do have a c/s, TAKE the camera, we were allowed to take heaps of photos of the birth.
    Also, if have some time in your hospital room before the c/s make sure you unpack everything and keep things above waist height so you dont need to bend and keep things you think you will need in the first 24hrs in easy reach from the hospital bed because they wont let you stand for a good 24hrs (depends on the hospital but I have been to 2 different hospitals and both were about 24hrs)

    Good luck , I think getting your head around possibly having a c/s now is a big step towards dealing with it if it happens.
    Stay positive it sounds like you are doing everything possible to get that little bubba to turn and I hope it does.

  3. #3


    Hi Beema,

    Hugs and turning vibes being sent your way.

    I had an emergency caesar in March. I had desperately hoped to have a drug free, active natural birth. But I ended up being induced at 13 days over, and eventually had an epi, which necessitated the c-section. In some ways I've struggled to come to terms with it all, but for what it's worth here are my reflections 4 months on:

    - They showed me the baby the second he was out (held him over the blue sheet). I will always remember that moment!
    - They then checked him, wrapped him, and my DH held him next to my head while they kept going (no idea what they were doing at that point LOL)
    - I couldn't have him in recovery, but DH went with him and after the nurse bathed him, he did the skin-to-skin contact with him
    - I got him back as soon as I went up to the ward
    - I kept thinking that if we had been in a third-world country (or hundreds of years ago), we both could easily have died in labour. So that made me very thankful for surgery!
    - In terms of the actual surgery, I think the thought of it is worse than the actuality of it. Yes I was sore for a while afterwards, but the thought of being cut open had me really freaked out. But once it had all happened, I was fine.
    - TBH, I think that too much gets made of birth sometimes. Yes, it is incredible and all that, and we have in our heads the way we want it (for me it was natural and blissful etc), but that can lead to huge disappointment if it doesn't go quite according to plan.
    - Again, while birth is a huge deal, it is only one moment in a baby's life. If for some reason they don't get skin on skin etc etc then while that's not ideal, if they are brought up in a loving and secure home, then it just won't be an issue in their life. I wouldn't have a clue what happened when I was born - and given the times back then it was probably quite 'clinical', but I turned out ok!
    - The way in which your baby enters the world has no bearing on your worth as a mother!

    On the practical side of things:
    - don't forget your grandma undies (all the ones I had taken to hospital had the elastic right over where my cut was) and a really soft tracksuit
    - don't be afraid to ask the staff for help with bubs (especially that first night)
    - get up and about when you can, but don't overdo it
    - be strict with yourself about not lifting anything heavier than your baby
    - get some frozen meals in the freezer now so that you don't have to cook
    - take some metamucil to hospital!!!!
    - I believe (but could well be wrong) they give you antibiotics through your IV to prevent infection - you might want some inner health plus with you
    - find out every time you have pain relief what time you can have more, and ask for it if they don't come at that time
    - morphine can make you vomit so be careful what you eat post-surgery (I was allowed to eat straight away as I had only had the epi, but let's just say I regretted it later - vomiting was very painful)
    - remember, you're going to have a wonderful, beautiful baby!
    - my back was very sore for the first 3 weeks after birth. Getting down on the floor lying on my back really helped, but there is an art to getting on and off the floor after c-section. Maybe research this before you go into hospital?


    I hope I'm not coming across as unsympathetic, because this really is an issue that I have been struggling with, but I just wanted to share some of my thoughts 4 months down the track. I hope everything goes really well for you, c-section or otherwise!

  4. #4

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Sunny Qld


    I wouldn't call either of mine empowering, so I can't comment on that, but just wanted to say the "no driving for 6 weeks" isn't standard, and check with your insurance company first before assuming its so. My insurance company (AAMI) had nothing in their product disclosure statement (and I rang them to confirm) about any time period after a c-section. So I drove basically straight away. I was in hospital for 5 days for both of mine, and I know for sure I drove that week after being discharged. AAMI were fine with this, as long as I had checked with my doc and gotten permission, which I did the day I checked out. My OB said it was fine for me to drive.

    So just wanted to mention that, incase it was a big issue for you

  5. #5


    My first was a emergency c-sect and wasn't empowering at all but this time I have spoken to my nurse and doctor and told them if it comes to another c-sect I want bubs put straight on me and not to be taken away from me unless absolutely nessisary and they r fine with what I want and r willing to help me out as best as they can. All I can reccomend is talking to ur birth team (midwives OB, doctors everyone) and make sure they know and can support what u want. Generally I think u will find they will do everything u want provided its safe

  6. #6

    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    In the middle of nowhere


    I had my second c-sec at a little country hospital, so even though I asked about maternally assisted or parts thereof they were horrified and ruled it out.
    After that I knew that there was nothing more to be done about it and how I reacted was my own choice.
    I chose to be grateful that my baby was being assisted on his journey. I chose that I wasn't going to feel negative about his birth experience as it wasn't his fault and he didn't get to pick either. I didn't want any negative feelings surrounding what was one of the greatest days of my life - so I didn't let them.
    I really try hard to live simply and happily and so this was a continuation of that for me. I know it's not always as easy as it sounds, and I truely wish you well on this journey Beema. I hope she turns for you.

  7. #7

    Join Date
    May 2006
    Igglepiggle Land


    I found that when I had DS I was in more control as I had had a c/s and I knew what to expect etc. I found that in itself empowering.

    I also was the first to hold DS without gloves;
    I got my skin to skin contact straight away;
    And DS came into recovery with me - and he's been with me ever since :-)
    Geez, I was even cracking jokes on the table during the c/s ;-)

    Practically, it really depends on how you heal after the c/s as to how you'll be impacted in day to day life.

    I kept moving, albeit slowly which I found assisted the healing process, but not everyone is as lucky. Though there are a few things you could in preparation like freezing meals; having a busy box to occupy Miss N; I'm sure you can order shopping online to assist in that dept.

    As for books - I bought the Sarah Murdoch and Juju Sundin book Birth Skills a pretty good read. (I would lend it to you but I leant it to a friend and I don't want her to get sus on me just yet!). If she brings it over next weekend when I'm due to see her next at DS' b'day I'll let you know :-)

    Sending turning vibes your way!

  8. #8

    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Penrith/Kingswood/Orchard Hills....


    Someone on BB has in there signature 'babies don't care how they got here, they are just happy to be here' or something along those lines. With a 3rd c-section and this time an elective one in Sept this year....those words have helped me over the past week or so look at my past c-sections with pride and as a positive experience. I have also put them on my FB page as a constant reminder.

    My OBGYN also said some magic words for my last one after I FTP...'be proud of yourself, you did a wonderful job but it just wasn't to be'. After that, the sun shone for me and I fell in love with my youngest son.

    This is my last baby, I can not mentally or emotionally afford to allow it to be anything but a positive experience! That works for me.......


  9. #9

    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    On the other side of this screen!!!


    Beema, my CS was both empowering and also deeply healing for me. This is in the context of having asked for a CS for DD2 after a deeply traumatic first VB experience with DD1.

    Some of the the things that made a difference to me:
    I had a birth plan in place for my C/S - kept it brief & quick to read on a single page. Handed it around and the staff paid me the respect of reading it and also placing a copy in the very front of my file.

    In my birth plan I stated my intent to heal my previous traumatic experience. I think the staff responded to that.

    It was important to me for DH to not see my insides. This felt like reclaiming some respect & dignity. While it meant they kept the drape up after DD was first born, they were quick to get her to us.

    I asked - religiously every time I went to the hospital - if I could breastfeed & have skin to skin contact in theatre. I received every answer under the sun from yes, no, it depends, I don't know - but on the day my intent shone thru and while i didn't get to breastfeed her in theatre we had skin on skin contact and she stayed with me the whole time except for about 10 mins when we were in transit to recovery. The theatre midwife knew how badly I wanted to offer that first feed AND the hospital had the BFing best practice guidelines of offering a feed as close to birth as possible, so she hung around longer in recovery so I could feed DD, even though they were paging her to get a move on LOL.

    I asked to see and touch my placenta, as this was something I missed during my first birth. They were unable to do this in theatre because of everything else that was going on, but the same theatre midwife kept it for me in a bucket and brought it up to me (in her own time) at the end of her shift. What a darling.

    I was really worried about being left alone with my baby and unable to cope (after experiences with DD1 when I needed help in the middle of the night and couldn't find anyone for several hours) - so I asked for DH to be allowed to stay for the first night or so. In the end they allocated me a single room (even though I would normally have shared) so DH was able to stay the entire time. This helped enormously as I felt like I had support and assistance, unlike with DD1 when DH wasn't allowed *any* time off work (yup, only legal to deprive someone of parental leave if they work in defence).

    Ok so a lot of these things won't necessarily apply in your situation, but the important thing is to think about the birth you want and really distill it down to the things that are most important to you, get that into your birth plan and let the staff know WHY you want it that way. I was also quite vocal about needing reassurance on the day because I was terrified (for a number of reasons), and I don't know if they're like this for everyone, but they really did go that extra step to care for my wellbeing, rather than just getting the procedure done.

    And the best thing? My little darling was born with none of the distress and pain that DD1 had, she was calm and fat and rosy, and now as a 2 yr old, she has a much greater tolerance for pain than DD1 had at the same age, which I think is a reflection on the calm way she entered the world.
    Last edited by AnyDream; July 28th, 2010 at 10:06 PM.

  10. #10

    Join Date
    Jun 2005


    I know you didn't ask but I just wanted to ask if you've considered a breech birth? You may have looked into it already, but in case you haven't thought it was an option I thought I might raise it for you.

    All the best!!!

  11. #11


    I had midwives with me, and as soon as bub was born, his butt was placed against my cheek as they took him off to test him. DH got to cut the cord (they left it on the long side) and then as soon as bub was checked out, he was tucked down my top, resting on my chest.

    He stayed in recovery, where a midwife focused on getting him attached to the breast, and he rode back to the room on my chest, where after a long cuddle, he was weighed and measure.

    Had a single room, so DH stayed and did the first nappy change and got up to DS in the night.

  12. #12

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    ★ nor here nor there ★


    Thankyou everyone for you replies, I really appreciate the time and effort you have all gone into posting, you have really given me a lot to think about and I think I will be doing a birth plan a bit earlier this time, didn't get one done for DD as she arrived before we looked at it but it was only going to be very basic, as will what I do this time as it is likelt to be happenening pretty fast either way.

    Some great suggestions mykids, I will be definitely taking note of them and putting some into my birth plan, I would not have thought about half of the things you have written, I know with DD i had a lot of stuff on the floor and down low. Not standing for 24 hours, wow I didn't realise it could be that long, but at least I cen be more prepared for that if it does happen.

    Thankyou so much for sharing such a personal experience and one that you are still struggling with surprised You haven't come across as being unsympathetic at all. I haven't got any grandmad undies, got some other "normal one's" that I hadn't got around to buying with DD, but I will grab a pack of the grannie one's to pop in my bag JIC, I've got the soft trackies already

    You have really put a positive spin on so many things I was seeing as negative, yet I can make up for them in time if this is the way things go. I just needed to see things from a different perspective and you have really helped with that.

    Thankyou so much for that information Arimeh I rang my insurance company yesterday and there are not conditions, all I would need is a verbal ok from my OB, you have really taken one of my fears off my mind and I really appreciate it. Although I haven't experienced and don't fully understand what it was like for you, it is births like yours that has brought this to a forefront as to how I can prepare myself better for it should it happen.

    Thankyou so much for that ~*Kat*~, my OB and her MW's are very supportive, but if I don't make it to 36 weeks I won't be delivering with her MW's as I will be in a different hospital as they can take me until I get to 36 weeks, but I will be talking with my OB about it and making things clear in my notes and I hope to bring forward meeting with the backup OB as it isn't until 34 weeks so that she can be up to date with my wishes as well JIC my OB has time off when it all happens, definitely worth getting everyone on the same page early. I am glad this this time you are able to be much more prepared and putting things in place to make it a more positive experience.

    Thankyou ~Kim~ for sharing a more positive way to look at the delivery, and that even thought it isn't mine or bubs choice how they arrive and that I can't lay blame or be upset about that.

    Thankyou Malyna for sharing those special moments that your experienced with your DS, and the efforts made to BF in recovery, and wonderful that the weighing and measuring was put off to enable lots of skin to skin, DH can stay in the priate hospital but I am not sure about the public one, as when I had DD it was the middle of the night and I sent him home to bed at 2am, there was nothing he could do. But if we get to 36 weeks I know he can stay with my int he private hospital, and home is literally just down the street

    Thanks meow, it has definitely crossed my mind to have a breech delivery, but I know my OB won't go for it, and I have been really happy with my care with her and based on the risks I can't afford to step away from the medical environment as such, but if bubs decides to come in a hurry like last time she might just have to deliver breech I have watched a few breech deliveries and read a number of breech birth stories as well which have been really interesting.

    Thankyou so much MD for sharing, what a great perspective to take and I really appreciate the view it has given me, which is quite to opposite of what I thought I would see, I hadn't expected to see it as a healing of a traumatic VB experience. And wonderful to hear that is was such a calming and gentle experience for you and your DD, which I see has been one of my fears the CS that I have seen have not come across like that at all (some have freaked me out with how rough it looked) except for the maternal assisted one. Even if some of the things that you have posted may not apply they have certainly opened my eyes to another perspective that I would not have been able to gain without you sharing your experience.

    I am not sure if DH would even contemplate looking over the screen, it is something that I would be mroe interested in seeing than he would!!!

    Thankyou Vixstar for providing such a positive view for a CS 'babies don't care how they got here, they are just happy to be here', I wish you all the very best for your delivery in September and I hope you are able to make your last birth a postive and empowering experience.

    Thankyou so much leesa for the book suggestions, and if you do get them back soon i would definitely been keen for a read. Your other suggestions have been great as well, I hadn't thought of a special box for when I get home, i had only thought about something for her at the hospital.

    I am definitely a person who likes to have some sort of control over their future and although I am not afraid to wing it, if I can have some things in place to try and make this as positive as possible I think it will help me accept what ever mode of delivery this baby needs to take to arrive safely.

    So much information to absorb and take on board and hopefully I can produce a short and succinct birthplan, that covers the wonderful suggestions above and make sure that everyone is on the same page, and no matter which path or how early or even FT this baby choses to arrive I can be more at peace with what may or may not eventuate

  13. #13

    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Just Coasting


    hey Beema, here is my carsarean Birth plan. Just discard the bits that aren't important to you. You may get some good tips out of it but lets hope young flicker decides to co-operate and do a spin real soon

    I'm hoping for a positive, empowering and sensitive Caesarean birth for our second child. Our daughters birth was an Elective Caesarean under a General Anaesthetic (failed epidural). This was a very traumatic experience because of the obvious lack of consciousness during the birth and the lack of immediate contact between me and my baby. We are hoping to welcome our second child into the world in more pleasant circumstances. We therefore ask you to familiarise yourself with what is important to us and we appreciate your support with our birth preferences.

    Our Caesarean Birth Plan

    I request that my husband Jason and professional birth support person (RN & Student Midwife) [ name inserted] be present to provide support during the birth of our baby.

    I would like the screen to be lowered so that I can witness the birth of our baby.

    We wish to have digital photographs and footage taken of our baby's first moments, including the birth and meeting his mum and dad etc.

    It is very important to me that I meet my baby in his newborn naked state. (ie: as soon as possible after delivery and gooey). I would like my baby to be placed on my chest with warm blankets over both of us. If baby needs to be taken to be checked and suctioned I would like him returned to me for skin-to-skin in theatre as soon as possible. If for some reason I am unable to hold my baby I wish for my husband or student midwife to do so where I can see him.

    Please do not discard the placenta. I wish to have it kept so it can be shown and explained to me later. I feel this will help normalise the birth experience. My student midwife can take care of the placenta on my behalf.

    If baby and myself are well I would like the opportunity to breastfeed and continue skin-to-skin with baby in recovery. (this is very important to me)

    I do not wish weighing and measuring to be done until I have had time to bond with my baby. Please also perform these examinations/procedures in the presence of my husband and/or student midwife where they can be involved and take photographs.

    I would prefer baby to have the Vit K injection and any blood sugar levels tested whilst he is having skin-to-skin (and preferably at the breast) in order to minimise any discomfort to him.

    I do not want my baby to receive the Hep B vaccination. Instead I will defer this until 8 weeks as I'd like the immunisations he has at birth to be minimal.


    Should my caesarean end up being under a General Anaesthetic I would like my baby's birth to be photographed and filmed.

    I understand that Jason would be asked to leave the theatre but I would like my student midwife to remain in theatre for the birth if possible.

    I would like Jason to be introduced to the baby as soon as possible and then remain with the baby at all times.

    And I would like my baby bought to me upon waking in recovery for skin-to-skin and breastfeeding.

    All other aspects of our birth plan are to remain the same.

  14. #14

    Join Date
    Oct 2007
    ★ nor here nor there ★


    Thankyou so much for that MamaSpice, I really appreciate it and I will speak with my OB about it tomorrow, because if it ends up being an emergency one hopefully we can still get a few written down and hopefully photos taken etc

  15. #15

    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Kurri Kurri


    Hi Beema, my last birth was a c/s due to pre eclampsia at 36w 3 days. I was petrified of having any sort of needle in my back but luckily I was under the care of a terrific obs (Dr Andrew Bissits - JHH) and he really listened to what was worrying me. I got to speak to the anaethetist (sp?) and told him that he had only 1 go at getting it in and then I wanted a GA lol luckily after the local was put in I couldn't feel anything anyway and he could have taken 20 goes and I wouldn't have felt it but he did it in one go. I had the same midwife with me from the ward to surgery and back to the ward so the continuity of care was wonderful.

    During the procedure I had another midwife taking photos for us and later on it was great to look at them and see what they actually did. I told them at one point that I couldn't feel anything now and that they could start and they laughed at me and told me they were already in and just about to get her legs lol. After DD was born, she was wrapped up but then placed on my chest until I was sewn up. DF held her and walked with her into recovery and then she was stripped down and placed skin on skin with me. It was so wonderful and not rushed that even now I tear up remembering about it. DD ended up doing the boob crawl and had her first feed in recovery (lasted about 20 mins) and then she was taken off me to be weighed and measured (3.28kg and 52cm long). After that we were being wheeled back to the ward and DF and one midwife had DD while I was with the same one from the ward and a porter. DD, DF and midwife took the lift first and then when it was coming back to me the lift got stuck and we all thought that everyone else was stuck in the lift lol. I had no trouble bonding with my DD as all concerned were making sure that we had all the same experiences as a VB.

    So from going from scared stiff to being a mum again my whole experience was one of being well cared for and that everyone involved was concerned about what I wanted and how I felt. All in all it was a very good experience for me.

    If you can get even half of what I was offered (and I wish you all the luck of getting everything) then you should have no bad experiences. Having a CS can be just as rewarding an experience as having a VB ( and I had 4 of those previously lol)

    Good luck Beema

  16. #16


    I just wanted to say that this has been such a good thread for me to read and thanks so much Beema for starting it. Due to the issues i had with the VB of my DD i now need to have a c/s for any more bubbies. While more babies are not on the cards ATM, i have started to think about how i can make a c/s special for me, DH and our next baby. It is great to hear that skin to skin can be achieved when having a c/s and that i will be able to have baby with me immediately following their birth - as long as everything goes well. Good luck with everything Beema and i look forward to seeing the announcement of the arrival of your new little one - not to soon i hope though!!!

  17. #17

    Join Date
    Dec 2007
    Gold Coast


    Like MumtoA I would like to thank everybody who has contributed to this thread. I am having an elective c/s in October after an emergency c/s with ds and have been given some amazing worthwhile ideas on how to create a peaceful delivery for my child and so much to think about.

    I also loved Vixstars comment babies don't care how they got here, they are just happy to be here' - thank you.

    God luck Beema, I can't wait to hear how everything goes.

    Great birth plan Mama and awesome to hear that you had a beautiful positive c-section.

  18. #18

    Join Date
    Jan 2008


    Hey there!

    I have never has a c/s myself but have heard of a lady actually pulling the baby out HERSELF once the doc had done the cutting.....he guided her the whole time. Now that would be empowering!!!!

    best of luck

Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts