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An emergency C-section: Sarah's story

Sarah had a hind water leak (PROM) and we waited an agonising 80 hours before accepting being induced. Once induced, Sarah seemed to progress really well to 4cm dilatation. She appeared to be going through a textbook birth including what appeared to be an elongated transition period. She was incredibly calm and smashing each and every contraction only focusing on one moment at a time for several hours.


At around the 11 hour mark and what appeared to be transition, Sarah was still only 4cm dilated. From here, gas failed to help and after a few more hours an epidural was required as she was completely out of steam. After a few more hours, there was still no progress in cervix dilation.


As you could probably guess from here, we had to make the call and have an emergency C section after 16 hours of labour in total. Although this was not to our plan in any way, it turned out to be a great blessing as Abigail’s umbilical cord was wrapped around her neck, arm and hand. The surgeon told us if labour had progressed naturally, we would probably ‘not have had a good outcome’. I was allowed into the C section and Sarah was able to successfully breastfeed as soon as possible after Abigail was born.


Although it wasn’t what we hoped for, we were able to take the ‘if plan a doesn’t work, there are 25 more letters in the alphabet’ approach. We were quite upset at first but looking back we are both really proud of how Sarah coped with labour, and both Sarah’s sister ( a midwife) and her amazing mgp midwife were amazed at how well Sarah kept it together throughout labour. Looking back Sarah has said if there is a next time, out of labour, the c section, recovery, breastfeeding and the 4th trimester; she reckons labour would be the thing she thinks she would cope with the best based on her first experience. 


We didn’t use too many of the techniques ( we did use some mantras and controlled breathing ), but found the mindset that calm birth gave us the most helpful thing of all – rolling with the waves and taking it one contraction at a time.

- Written by Blair

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