Aidan’s birth story

aidan-story - motherhooddiaries

I had a quiet second pregnancy, the total opposite to my first pregnancy with Aron, who used my insides like a punching bag, 24 hours a day. Aidan was different – he was quiet, like he was sleeping for most of the day, and even some days I would worry, poking and prodding my bump just to get a reaction out of him. So when my due date came and went, I wasn’t at all surprised or concerned. However, the conditions of my birth were going to be different to that of my first pregnancy. Aron’s birth was traumatic and I ended up with an emergency caesarean after his heart rate had dropped to 54 beats per minute during active labour. I had also suffered a small placental abruption after 3 days of back labour, 7 days after Aron’s due date. The result was intense panic attacks for about 6 months after the birth and, as soon as I had felt that life was back to normal, I found out that I was pregnant again with Aidan. I was immediately offered a date for an elective caesarean (C Day) and, unless I went into labour naturally within 9 days post-due date, then I would be back on that operating table and my baby would be yanked out of my belly again. So I willed my relaxed and quiet baby every day from 37 weeks to give me a sign that he was ready to come out.

C Day was fast approaching and I wasn’t anywhere near natural labour – I had experienced some regular tightening, which had started occurring every ten minutes at around 40 weeks, but there was no other sign that labour was imminent. Up until my due date, I had gone to the hospital for regular heart monitoring due to reduced fetal movements – I knew at the back of my mind nothing was wrong because my baby was a quiet baby. He didn’t want to be bothered and he didn’t want to be prodded, but because of previous complications, everything had to be checked. Three days before the said ‘elective’ caesarean I was called in to my pre-clerking appointment where I was hooked up again to a heart monitor. This time Aidan was restless and I saw the consultant umm and ahh at the CTG, pointing to the peaks and troughs of Aidan’s heartbeat. After many, many hours of waiting and pacing the halls of the hospital, the CTG was signed off as acceptable and I was sent to discuss my caesarean with the anaesthetist who would be conducting the epidural and the spinal block. He started talking to me about what would happen during the procedure and I hyperventilated a little inside. Thoughts of my previous birth were flashing before my eyes. Blurred images of medical staff running around my hospital bed, sounding the alarms and rushing into theatre was all I could think about and I felt my blood pressure start to rise. Oh great! They’re going to take my blood pressure and think I have pre-eclampsia. ‘Calm down, calm down!’ I was telling myself. Funnily enough, my blood pressure was recorded as a little high that day…

The day before C Day, uncomfortable and restless, I went to Tesco to do a spot of shopping with my husband and son, and during a brief visit to the toilet, I had a bloody show. I started getting excited – was this it? Am I going into labour, albeit quite slowly as I hadn’t felt any pain yet? As soon as I saw my husband, I told him and he quite calmly told me to call the hospital who had advised me in my pre-clerking appointment to inform them of any progress relating to labour, however large or small. We arrived at the maternity ward for the umpteenth time and had to wait an hour before we were, yet again, hooked up to the CTG. I was contracting every ten minutes but the contractions were not painful. After the CTG we waited for around 6 hours and then we were transferred to the evening ward, where we waited for a further three hours, before being hooked up to the CTG again. I was told in my pre-clerking appointment that I was to have no food 12 hours before my caesarean, which was scheduled for 8am. It was dangerously veering towards that time and I already hadn’t eaten for 6 hours. I sent hubby out to grab me whatever he could and at 12am I managed to stuff myself before taking my tablets in preparation for C Day. It wasn’t until 3.30am that we were seen by a doctor who examined me and told me that my cervix was really far back and there was no way that I was in labour. Any hopes for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) were rapidly vanishing before my eyes. I stayed overnight at the hospital and hardly slept as I was so anxious at the thought of impending surgery and I had no idea what to expect. My last caesarean was such a blur and everything was so rush, rush that all I remembered was being held down by the anaesthetist and my husband to stop me from punching the blue screen down and running out of that room. And now I was voluntarily walking back into that situation!? Was I crazy? You would think that a major operation scheduled for a few hours away would scare my baby out of my body and into my arms, but sadly not… I had no more will left and finally gave in to the fact that I was having this baby the Julius Caesar way.

I must have slept because I woke up at 7am, scared and starving. I stared at my belly, like I was expecting Aidan to knock and tell me he was ready to come out, but nothing. What is it about boys and being statistically “overdue”? I know due dates are only 5% accurate, but it was now 9 days after my due date, and I was impatiently waiting for my fateful operation only a few hours away, yet this baby had no desire to come out. In fact, no pain whatsoever indicated that he was coming anytime soon.

Mummy pregnant - Aidan's story -

7am turned into 8am, which turned into 9am. I hadn’t felt Aidan move and I was famished. My husband had arrived shortly after 9 and couldn’t believe that I hadn’t been carted off to theatre yet. In fact, no one had come to see me and I was becoming dangerously impatient. At that point a midwife came in and told me there had been a mix up and that I was scheduled to have my caesarean at a hospital an hour away. I really hadn’t expected her to say that and I couldn’t believe that anyone, at this stage, would have the gall to even say it to me. Not only had I waited over 9 hours to be seen after documenting my bloody show, but I hadn’t eaten for over 12 hours, on instruction from the consultant who waltzed in at 3.30am and rather casually told me that I was nowhere near ready to give birth naturally and that, if I wanted to (!), I could stay overnight to prepare for the c section in 5 hours’ time. Hubby was so angry and walked off out of the room, leaving me speechless and wondering what I was going to do next. I was told that I couldn’t even eat otherwise I would have to wait until the next day for my operation. I was told that I needed to pack my things and get ready to leave for a hospital I had never been to before. Hubby came back and told me that he had complained about the whole situation and that he was totally surprised by the lack of communication, at which point a consultant came in and told me that a caesarean had been scheduled for 10.30 (half an hours’ time) and I was to get ready now. I was so confused and so taken aback at these sudden turn of events that I just put on my blue gown in silence and walked to the theatre room quietly, accompanied by a midwife and hubby trawling behind me with all the bags.

The moment I had entered the theatre room, all thoughts of previous events had vanished. The room seemed much, much bigger and the operating table seemed tiny. I glanced over at my name on the whiteboard and noticed ‘Level 3/4’ under my name. I only knew what that meant because I was a Level 1 caesarean last time, i.e. a crash caesarean. I hadn’t noticed any of the high-tech computers before and couldn’t believe how many members of the medical team there were, most of them being women.

The medical staff introduced themselves to me and everyone was perfectly sweet and nice. I noticed music from a radio was playing in the background. I was told to sit down on the bed, so that the anaesthetist could explain the procedure of the epidural to me, which was going to be administered first. I knew the lady was trying to calm me down as she told me to bend over the pillow they gave me and slouch my back. ‘Don’t worry this is the hardest and most painful bit’. Really? The hardest bit is sticking a needle in my back whilst I still have control over my legs and bladder? No, my dear, the hardest bit is getting me to lie back down on that table and willingly allow the surgeon to stick that blue screen up and slice me open. That’s the hardest thing to do, not a needle in my back! But I kept quiet and I breathed in and out deeply and, my goodness, I wasn’t expecting the sting! In hindsight, she was right, it was the most painful bit… 

Administering epidural - Aidan's story -

I felt the painkillers work almost instantly as I was guided to lie down on the table and sprayed with cold water all over my body. I wanted to be absolutely sure that the painkillers had numbed my pain senses before they cut me open, so I kept telling them to spray until I couldn’t feel it anymore. I looked over at one of the medical team and told her to, “Please be sure and spray again,” and she had told me that she hadn’t stopped spraying the whole time. They were ready to begin…

The blue screen went up and everyone started shuffling around the table, talking amongst themselves. Someone was holding my hand and talking to me on my right hand side and hubby was given a chair to sit down next to me on the left. He was talking to me about something, I couldn’t remember, I kept staring at him and I suddenly felt cold and tired. The lady on the right holding my hand noticed I was shaking and told me that my blood pressure would start to lower, which was perfectly normal, and inserted something into my drip which woke me up a bit. I kept thinking about coffee. I remember why I thought about coffee in that instance, when the blue screen went up. During my first caesarean, when everything was so crazy around me and I was so scared for mine and Aron’s lives, this man – the anaesthetist – was so fantastic in calming me down that I wanted to send him something afterwards. During the whole traumatic process of Aron’s birth, he kept talking to me about going for a coffee because I hadn’t touched a drop throughout the whole of Aron’s pregnancy. “How does that sound, eh? A nice big cup of coffee after everything, where you can sit with your new baby and drink in peace,” he smiled at me. If he and hubby were not in that room that day, I would have succeeded in knocking that blue screen down and who knows what would have happened then. I will never forget that… So there I was, thinking about coffee, and staring at my husband and this lady talking to me about something to do with cameras and taking pictures. The lady even showed hubby a picture on her camera which prompted him to start taking pictures himself. I had no energy to argue or tell him to not document this situation, but I, somehow, felt quite relaxed and kept thinking about what my baby would look like. The pressure on my belly wasn’t so strong either, not like last time, when I felt the medical staff rearranging my insides. But this time round, I felt some pressure, but not much. What a difference the spinal block makes!

I heard the surgeon say, “Ooh, we woke him up,” and, “He’s a big ‘un,” and asked me if I wanted to see him. Of course I want to see my baby, let me see my baby! They brought the blue screen down for just a moment and this big beautiful dark-skinned baby boy came into view, with this amazing head of dark brown hair.

Aidan's birth - Aidan's story -

Such an overwhelming wave of emotion came over me that I don’t believe there are words in the English dictionary to describe it. A mixture of, perhaps, relief, love and pride washed over me instantly and I couldn’t hold back the tears. There are three very memorable moments, which I pin down as the happiest moments in my life – my wedding, having Aron placed in my arms after a traumatic 3 days of labour and birth, and the above picture, seeing Aidan held out in front of me, so relaxed and so, so beautiful. He looked so developed and his skin was perfect, like he’d had a nice scrub before he decided to meet his mum and dad. Aidan roaring - Aidan's story -

Aidan started roaring – not crying – roaring. He was a beautiful beast at 9lbs 7oz and was taken to the room to be cleaned up, weighed and checked over. He was given an APGAR score of 9 and looked fit and healthy.

Aidan was handed over to me and it was the first time in the whole 9 months that I had realised that I was a mother of two baby boys. I married my husband in September 2009 and by March 2012 I was a wife and mother of two boys – within three years!

Daddy holding Aidan just born - Aidan's story -

I handed Aidan over to hubby, so I could wipe away my tears of happiness and hubby proudly cuddled Aidan, taking a mental picture of his beauty and whispering how we were going to give Aidan and his older brother, Aron, the best that we could, even if it meant working day and night. I waited a further twenty minutes to be stitched up and we were then told that we were ready to go. I thanked everyone for taking Aidan out in one piece and for making this procedure a much more relaxed event for hubby and I. Everything was so different to last time for all the right reasons. The midwife, once back at the maternity ward, warned me that there might be some issues breastfeeding for the first time and that I was to encourage skin-to-skin contact for at least half an hour first before trying, so as not to feel dejected if breastfeeding wasn’t successful. Haha! No family member of mine has ever had an issue with eating! As soon as I placed Aidan on my chest, he started rooting for milk and as soon as I was left alone in the ward, he started feeding.

That night, Aidan didn’t leave my chest and I didn’t sleep, even though I was so tired. I kept staring at my new baby and told myself that there would be plenty of time to sleep later. Right now, I wanted to enjoy my beautiful baby boy who gave me such a perfect second birth, even if he was taken out whilst he was asleep.

Aidan Giray Preston, my quiet baby, so strong and content, was born on Thursday 5 April 2012, at 12.01pm and weighed in at a healthy 9lb 7oz. Aidan, you have not only made hubby and I the happiest people in the world, but Aron has never been so proud to be your older brother. You have given him a friend for life. Welcome to our family!

Daddy and 3 boys - Aidan's story -

You can read other birth stories here on Motherhood Diaries.

Click here for more caesarean birth stories

For successful VBAC stories, please visit here

Leyla Preston (595 Posts)

Leyla Preston is the owner and Editor of Motherhood Diaries global magazine for parents. Leyla is a busy mother of two even busier boys; Aron, 8, and Aidan, 7. When Leyla isn’t feeding, managing a gazillion tasks or cleaning the infinite mess at home, she is busy working on this magazine and a new cooking channel coming very soon – no rest for the wicked! You can follow Leyla on Twitter (@M_Diaries) or join the busy Motherhood Diaries Facebook group where all mums get together and share stories and solutions with one another: