Birth Story: Hail Caesar

Thursday January 16th 2014

At 7:30am April 3, 2013 my little angel Isla was born. The mood was calm, my husband & I were relaxed and it was the delivery I had always dreamed of.

I delivered my daughter via CDMR (that’s Caesarean Delivery on Maternal Request). It is my hope that my story will help show people not all Caesareans are emergency ones. They do not have to be a scary, stressful unknown experience. They are not all a matter of life and death; like the horror stories we’ve all heard.

Let’s rewind a bit to how my decision came about. My sister and I were both delivered via caesarean, so it is not uncommon in my family. I have grown up understanding there are two ways a baby can be born; both holding their own risks. Long before we began trying to fall pregnant, I signed up for private health insurance, with top obstetric cover to ensure I would be able to choose a doctor who would support my birth plan. 

After more than a year of trying we finally fell pregnant! I thoroughly researched my options and found that an Elective Cesar would allow me to know exactly what was happening throughout the delivery, as opposed to a natural birth where there are so many variables. I wanted to conserve my energy so I could be the best mum I could be to the world’s biggest variable: a new baby!

 After researching Obstetricians in my area I had a meeting with one I felt looked ok (how do you really know from an internet profile, right?). After a quick ultrasound he handed me some paperwork and asked if I had any questions. I said “Just one; I want a CDMR. Are you ok with that? If not that’s ok, I will find an obstetrician who is”. He laughed and replied “that’s perfect with me! I am here to help you in whatever you chose”.

On the day of the surgery I arrived at the hospital at 6am booked for theatre at 7. They ushered me into my room, checked the baby’s heartbeat, handed me a sick bag (I had morning sickness EVERY DAY of my pregnancy… even on the way to theatre!), sat me in a wheelchair and we were off.


ready to head down to the operating room

I had the luxury of also choosing my Anaesthetist; he was a client of my husbands, who we knew well for a number of years. They took me into the theatre, sat me on the edge of the bed and gave me the spinal epidural. We chatted the whole time about our weekend as though nothing was going on at all. Within seconds I was feeling the effects. I was then transferred onto the operation table.

They ushered my husband in, and he sat beside my head. We chatted with the anaesthetist about the football match we went to the Saturday before. I knew every noise, every movement, what every person was doing at all times. I was comfortable, happy and content. No more than 15 minutes later I heard a cry and she was here!! 8 pounds, 1 oz of perfection and the greatest love I will ever know.

In post-op my hospital provides skin-to-skin time, allowing Isla to snuggle with me, and she nuzzled in to feed almost straight away. We then returned to our room and began life as a little family.

The first 24 hours I was kept in bed, but by the next morning I was helped to have a shower and encouraged to take short walks. I had no pain from the surgery; rather more discomfort from the afterbirth. I showered unassisted the following day, and was then heading down to the hospital café. I stayed in the 5 nights as per the hospital recommendations and had a great experience.

By 2 weeks I was driving, lifting washing baskets, going for daily walks and honestly never felt any discomfort from the surgery whatsoever. At my 6 week check up I asked my obstetrician “Are you sure you took her out through there?” 9 months on I have a 7cm horizontal scar which looks like the crease inside your elbow, and it continues to fade.

It was really surprised to experience the judgement (both blatant and disguised) at my decision to have a CDMR. People would say “oh no! That’s a shame” and look at me with pity in their eyes. I had family tell me I wouldn’t be able to breastfeed (nearly 10 months going strong now; no bottles, no expressing, no formula and proud of it!). I had people offer to explain their own natural birth experiences, as maybe I was just scared. I had people tell my husband to be prepared to shower me for 6 weeks after the birth. I even had a midwife at my Antenatal Class pull me aside during the break and ask if I needed more information about a NORMAL birth!! (To which I replied, “there is nothing abnormal about a Cesar”…). Every single bad story you have hear just doesn’t apply to me.

For me, my birth experience was perfect. In no way do I feel as though I missed out by not going into labour, in fact the opposite. I was in control the entire time, and this enabled me to solely focus on my newborn baby, and if I ever have another I will do it all over again.

Belinda Meginley

Stay at Home Mum, Baker, Sewer, Blogger.

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