After an emergency c-section with her first baby, Bec was hoping for a different outcome when she fell pregnant with her second. The NSW mum tried everything possible to prepare for a vaginal birth, including pregnancy yoga and acupuncture.
But her baby had other plans. So Bec opted for a maternal assisted c-section, which turned out to be an ‘amazing experience’.
Baby kicks and karate chops
Bec and her husband Nathan had their first daughter Lucinda in 2018 via emergency c-section, after an induction at 42 weeks. The couple, who met at karate, were keen to add to their family. They were planning to wait until after karate grading in June last year, but after COVID restrictions hit, they brought their baby plans forward.
Bec fell pregnant quickly and ended up completing her third Dan black belt grading at seven weeks pregnant. The active mum had her heart set on a completely different birth the second time around. “We were hoping for a VBAC and did pregnancy yoga, acupuncture, physio, and chiro to try and achieve this.”
But to throw a spanner in the works, Bec’s baby flipped to a breech position at 36 weeks. She ended up having a successful External Cephalic Version (EVC) at 40 weeks, where the baby was turned into a head-first position using gentle tummy pressure. But as time ticked on, Bec made the decision to change her birth plan.
“At 41 weeks the plan was made to organise a maternal assisted caesarean instead of induction of labour. We checked into the surgical area at 6am as informed in a phone call.
“It was all very surreal as all the lead-up had no focus on baby. The surgical team were all excited to do the maternal assist and it was new for most of them. I had to do a full surgical scrub (giggling as it was tricky with the belly in the way). I then had the awkward moment of trying to get onto the bed with no hands!
“Nathan rubbed my head while I had the spinal (no hand-holding allowed) and the sting of the local was so intense that it wasn’t really helpful. The surgery isn’t very clear, just tugging sensations and them pushing bub down out of my ribs (she was not coming by herself for sure!). I used my hypnobirthing strategies to breathe through.
“The most amazing moment was when they told me I could reach down and touch baby’s head! I was then able to help lift her onto my chest and have snuggles. It was the most incredible way to meet my daughter.
“It was an amazing experience for me to help deliver my baby and is helping me to cope with not going into labour naturally and having my VBAC.”
What is maternal assisted caesarean?
At some hospitals, mums are able to assist in delivering their own babies during a c-section. It’s a chance for mums to feel more in control of their birth and have immediate skin-to-skin with their bub. Also known as ‘positive caesareans’, it involves the mum reaching down and getting their baby once the head is out.
They hold their baby under their armpits and lift them up onto their own chest.
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More birth stories from the Grapeviner community…
- Birth Story: ‘My c-section scar reminds me of my strength’
- Birth Story: Four sisters share pregnancy joy
- Birth Story: ‘My water broke at 20 weeks’
About to (or just had) a baby?
We know that the wait to meet your baby can be nerve-wracking, but we’re here to remind you that you’re not alone. Our private Pregnancy & Baby Groups are a great way to connect with other Aussie mums who are due or had their babies around the same time as you.