Carys gave birth to her beautiful little girl, Poppy, on the 11th March 2022 and has shared her c-section birth story online with the hopes of helping other mamas realise that they are not alone on this journey.
“Though it was scary, it was one of the most positive experiences of my life because it gave me my beautiful little Poppy”
Since my c-section delivery, I have to admit I have really struggled with the recovery. I think there is too much stigma around c-sections and them being ‘the easy way out’ but no one seems to show the reality of the recovery after surgery. This is why I want to share my real story with you guys, not to scare anyone, or to tarnish their experience going into birth because that it not my intention, and not as a cry for attention or sympathy. My birth, though it was scary, it was one of the most positive experiences of my life because it gave me my beautiful little Poppy, and if I had to, no matter how much pain and recovery, I would do it all over again for her. I have never shared anything so personal before and I don’t usually open up about the more intimate side of my life but this is something that I feel needs to be shared so here goes.
Here is my birth story...
I had never planned for a c-section. Funnily enough I had only just done my birthing plan with my midwife earlier in the day that I was admitted to hospital. My plan was a natural vaginal birth, I’d used hypnobirthing all the way through my pregnancy and planned to use this during birth also. I wanted a water birth in the midwifery led unit of my local hospital Singleton and all the way through my pregnancy this looked like the way my birth was going to go. On Wednesday 9th March I was sent up to Singleton for a tailed off growth scan and thought nothing of it as we assumed it was because baby had dropped slightly. It was in this scan that the sonographer found that Poppy was breach and had little to no fluids left around her, so then admitted me to the day assessment ward for further monitoring.
While on the day assessment ward my obs and Poppy’s obs were taken and everything was ok, however they noticed that on the monitors it was showing I was starting to get ‘tightenings’ but I wasn’t feeling them. Due to the loss of fluid and Poppy’s positioning they prewarned me that an early c-section may be the route we have to take.
I was then sent up to the labour ward where they kept me and Poppy on close monitoring for the next 24 hours. In this time it was clear to me that our little Poppy was ready to make her entrance into the world early and I did kind of half mentally prepare for them to book me in for a c-section but never thought it would be this early. On the Thursday the tightenings had become more intense and due to the risk of infection to Poppy as my waters had been leaking (they treated it as a ruptured membrane) I was given two lots of steroid injections within 12 hours to mature Poppy’s lungs to prepare if they needed to carry out this c-section. On the Thursday evening after more tests, scans, bloods and further monitoring, the consultants on the ward came into our room and let us know that a c-section the following morning, when she was at 36weeks, was what they recommended. They had to inform us of all the risks (which is horrible to hear when you know that you don’t really have much choice), and took our consent to perform surgery if needed and booked us in for a c-section the following morning at 11am.
Needless to say I got no sleep that Thursday night, just waiting for Friday morning to come. Friday morning came and we had more obs taken, a few more bloods and then had a chat with the Anethesis to let us know what will be happening. Me and Owain were then gowned up and taken down to theatre. At this point I really relied on my mindset staying positive and having Owain by my side. It was so scary it almost all felt like an outer body experience but I actually remained calm through the entire surgery. I was given a spinal injection to numb my legs and torso, they then inserted a catheter and started to check the spinal was all working and that I couldn’t feel anything.
Then they started working away to bring our beautiful little girl into the world…
Holding Owain’s hand we waited for her arrival and within 10 minutes our Poppy was pulled out and shown to us over the screen. She let out a huge scream and I just remember that feeling of absolute joy that she was out and clearly making good use of those lungs - I knew then she was a fighter for sure! The baby doctors took her quickly to check her over, Owain went over and cut the umbilical cord and she was soon passed back over to us where she laid on my chest while the surgeons stitched me back up, and I just sobbed with tears of happiness and relief that she was here with us! Within 20 minutes I was stitched back up. They then moved me back onto the hospital bed, Poppy on my chest, Owain by my side and wheeled us back down the corridor into the recovery ward. I remember beaming with pride from ear to ear, holding our little Poppy as other people walked by and looked and smiled.
I just remember feeling so strong and so empowered looking at this little face while she grabbed my finger and thinking ‘I did this’, it was from this moment I truly felt like a mam.”
You can follow more of Carys’s motherhood journey over on her Instagram.