Eleni McLean

2nd baby, Elective (gentle) Caesarean birth

Thank you again for your all precious support and wisdom you’ve shared with us and to announce of the birth of our beautiful wee daughter. 

She was born on the 29th of December 2020 by planned caesarean birth, which I went ahead with, and it was just the best way to greet the new year altogether the four of us as a family.
I indeed got a second opinion from another consultant who answered my questions in a lot more detail and was rather sympathetic. As a result I went ahead with the planned c-birth. 
Both myself and Angus prepared our birth preferences along with our props (music, lavender oil, affirmations) and made sure these were all communicated clearly to the medical team who was attending us on the day. 
The consultant who operated and the anaesthetist were also quite nice and made sure they understood beforehand what I wanted from my birth, which was really reassuring. They were quite supportive of the delayed cord clamping and skin to skin, which also I found very reassuring.
While waiting I sniffed lots of lavender oil and listened to the meditation track you shared with me. Both me and Angus were calm and happy being there together.
I can’t say that the preparation for ceasarean and the epidural was my favourite part. It felt quite full on (more so than in my emergency c-birth last time) and used a lot of deep breathing and support from the anaesthetist nurse who was quite a nice, experienced and relaxed lady. Angus wasn’t allowed to be with me for that part. 
But the birth, Gemma, it was just as beautiful as promised and even more. I say it with tears in my eyes.

Angus was next to me the whole time (smelling of familiar lavender oil) and the whole theatre listened to a playlist I made especially for that moment with all my favourite classics, which also I listened to relax in the bath in the last few weeks of my pregnancy. It felt really special. Everyone in theatre was positive and commented how much they enjoyed my playlist. When my baby was getting born they removed the curtain and I was able to see her coming out of my tummy. The ob also instructed me to lift my head and shoulders if I could which helped them push my baby out in some weird way. They delayed the clamping and asked me if it was okay before they clamp it when the time came. I got my new naked baby on my chest straight away and just stayed there for hours after (she was weighed in recovery later). Angus cut the cord which was a nice touch. Everything made me feel involved 100% and empowered through this experience.
It was no doubt a unique moment for Angus and me, that helped deepen our connection as a couple. I felt a beautiful feeling like I was being washed in a bright warm light while my baby was being born. 

I know I wanted a vaginal birth but having this experience at the end, it made me want exactly what I felt. I’m so happy me and Angus gave ourselves a chance to make this birth into one we want to remember and cherish.

What helped me a lot and I will always keep in mind is your words that everyone deserves a calm birth and also the importance of a baby being born in a loving space. These words were truly inspiring and inclusive of my birth too, even though highly assisted and far from ‘natural’. 

Thank you again so much, Gemma!

Eleni + Angus

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