“C-section without pain relief ” – Guest Post

Today’s Guest Post is from Julie-Anne England from Small Steps Parenting Magazine, and she is sharing with us her birth experience of her little treasure and surviving that traumatic birth  experience.  Please welcome Julie-Anne. 

I was really excited when I found out I was pregnant. I already had a beautiful little girl who was 14 months old and now I was going to add to my family.

This time around was going to be different too, I assured myself. I had had a difficult time with my first pregnancy and had nearly lost my daughter because the placenta died, resulting in an early emergency caesarean. The doctors told me it was unlikely to happen again this time around and I was looking forward to trying for a normal birth.

As the pregnancy progressed I focused on my natural delivery and did a lot of research on successful VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean). I exercised to stay fit and spent plenty of time on the exercise ball at the end of my pregnancy to prepare my body for birth.

Finally my pregnancy reached it’s due date and I excitedly awaited the labour process.

A few days after my due date I awoke to strong contractions. I spent the night in bed sleeping between

contractions, trying to get as much rest as I could, but when morning hit they stopped. The following night the same thing happened only more intense and more frequent, but once again stopped in the morning. A third night of this happened, way more intense than the first two nights and I spent some time in the shower to ease the discomfort in my lower back. Once again by morning they had stopped.

I went in to the hospital to be reviewed a few days later. Unfortunately my scans showed that the same thing that happened with my first daughter was happening again. The doctor told me he was concerned for my baby’s safety and was confused as to why my labour was not progressing. He said I needed to go in for another emergency caesarean.

I felt disappointed but agreed to the surgery, not wanting to risk this new baby’s life. Within minutes I was wheeled off to theatre.

In theatre I told the anaesthetist of my medical history – I have a rare genetic disorder in which topical anaesthetics don’t work for me. He assured me that it would be fine and proceeded to place the needle in my back to numb me from the waist down. Immediately I started to tingle in my feet. “This is good,” I thought to myself, “It took a very long time to take effect last time (my first caesarean)”. Then they laid me on the operating table. I started to feel slightly concerned. I could still feel them arranging me and touching my legs. The feeling was slightly muted but definitely still there. The doctor placed ice on me and asked if I could feel it. I said yes but it was slightly less than when he touched my shoulder. He said that was good and told me they were going to start. They made the incision and I felt nothing

so I relaxed and waited for my baby to be born. My husband stood by my head with his hand resting on me. A few minutes later I began to get my feeling back. My husband was watching my strangely. “You’re in pain.” He said. I brushed him off and told him I was fine – I didn’t want him to worry and the pain wasn’t that bad – yet. As the operation continued I began to feel more and more. By the time they had nearly reached my baby to pull her out, I had full feeling back, I could feel exactly what they were doing. Tears filled my eyes but I focused on my newborn, just listening for that first cry. It was a girl! They had reached her just in time… the cord was tightly around her neck which is why my labour wasn’t progressing and there was meconium in the fluid (this means that the baby has had it’s first bowel movement and can mean that the baby is in distress). My husband left the room with my new daughter and I was now by myself.


Once she was out the pain became unbearable. I told the anaesthetist that I was in a lot of pain but he wouldn’t believe me. I could now feel them inside me pulling my uterus back together and beginning to stitch. I told the anaesthetist what I could feel and he finally believed me. He gave me more pain relief but nothing was working.

A nurse came and stood by my head and tried to coach me through my breathing. I tried but nothing could stop the searing pain through my stomach. After trying various pain relief the anaesthetist was stumped. “Sweetie, its only 15 more minutes and we will be finished,” he said to me. 15 minutes! I didn’t think I could handle even two more minutes of this agony. Eventually they finished closing me up and wheeled me to recovery. I was still in agony and they tried once again to give me pain relief. Unfortunately I was allergic to the medication they gave me and began to vomit. This greatly increased the pain. I begged to see my new baby girl but they wouldn’t let me until the pain was under control.

About two hours after my baby was born I was finally allowed to be with her. She was screaming from hunger but settled immediately as I put her to my breast. As I watched her quietly feeding I began to feel the trauma of her birth begin to melt away and I allowed myself to simply enjoy this moment.

So I never got to experience my natural birth. The birth of my daughter was something I never thought I would go through, but when I look at the beautiful children I am blessed to call my own, I realise that their little lives are worth more than any birth experience. As mum’s we all have our stories of how our baby’s were born. I may never have given birth but no one can ever tell me I had my babies the easy way.

Julie-Anne England

Small Steps Parenting Magazine



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