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birth story

Seven years ago my boy came into the world. Seven whole years. It sounds like such a long time doesn’t it? Well I guess it is, so much has happened in that time. Of course the details of his birth are really quite hazy now but as I wrote Evie’s birth story earlier this month, I thought that I would write Max’s too. So that I don’t let another seven years pass me by without getting round to recording it.

My pregnancy with Max didn’t get off to the best start as it was very much unplanned and a huge surprise to us both. A mixture of the shock together with the killer that is pregnancy tiredness and constant nausea made those first few weeks really tough.

Once I was beyond the first trimester I pretty much felt like my normal self. Everything went smoothly, my bump always measured where it should be, he moved plenty and everything looked great. At around 30 weeks we decided to move back to the area that I grew up in to be closer to my family. We had been living in a village a little outside Sheffield and it would have just been difficult for my mum to help me out once baby arrived. Once we were settled in we really started nesting and got baby’s nursery all ready for him, it was such an exciting time.

At around 36 weeks things started to get a little more complicated. At my usual midwife appointment she realised that baby was breech. She didn’t seem too concerned as there was still plenty of time for him to turn but I was booked in for a scan to check anyway.

The scan confirmed that he was in fact breech and I was offered external cephalic version (ECV) which we decided to go ahead with. ECV is a procedure in which they try to turn the baby around, from the outside. I wasn’t even offered this when I had Evie, so I’m not sure it’s still the norm but it seemed to be when I had Max. There are risks with ECV as baby can become distressed, but you are monitored closely throughout the procedure so that any changes in baby’s heart rate are detected straight away. Another thing to mention about ECV is that it can be really quite uncomfortable and your belly can feel bruised and sore after. For me it wasn’t too bad as the doctor very quickly realised that Max’s head was well and truly stuck in my ribs and he was not going to move.

After the failed ECV I was booked in for an elective c-section on 25th March at exactly 39 weeks pregnant. I know now that you can give birth naturally to a breech baby if you really push for it, but it wasn’t even suggested to me at the time and I wouldn’t have wanted to take any unnecessary risks. I just wanted my baby here safely.

We arrived at the maternity hospital at about 7am on the morning as we were told we would be going down to theatre early. Elective c-sections are very relaxed, there’s no rush at all and it’s really quite a pleasant (maybe that’s not quite the right word!) experience. Of course the time of your c-section cannot be given exactly because it all depends on how many emergencies come in. It all went smoothly for us though and we must have headed down to theatre at around 9:30am.

I remember sitting in a little waiting room outside the theatre in my hospital gown and surgical stockings and feeling incredibly nervous about what was to come. It felt like the longest wait ever.

Eventually I was taken into theatre for the spinal to be administered and a cathetar to be fitted. James wasn’t allowed to come in with me at this point, partners have to wait until after the spinal is in.

I don’t remember much else after that, it all went so quickly and at 11:02am he was here, weighing 7lb 8oz and our lives were changed forever.

The recovery was much more difficult that I had expected. I experience a lot of pain in my incision in the hours after birth and had to have morphine, which just make me sick. I also had a lot of problems getting him to feed, which I hadn’t anticipated happening. Being a first time mum who’s just given birth is incredibly overwhelming and the tiredness for the two nights that we had to stay in hospital for hit me like a ton of bricks.

Once we were home and I had James to help me, especially during the night we started to get used to our new life with a baby. I’ll always remember how amazing James was in those first few weeks, I really needed it and couldn’t have done it without his help.

So that’s it, the story of how Max James came into the world. Pretty basic but maybe it’s of interest if you’re nosey like me, or you have an elective section booked and want to know what to except 🙂

Other posts you might enjoy reading –

My c-section stories

Why I don’t regret not breastfeeding

Evie’s birth story

7 things I learnt from my unplanned pregnancyThank you for reading.