C-Section Stories: Roo Yeshpaul Johnson
1. Briefly, please share the circumstances that led to your c-section birth(s):
My son was footling breech at term. He didn’t turn for the entire pregnancy and nothing worked to turn him - not an external cephalic version (ECV), not acupuncture, not Spinning Babies®️, not handstands in the pool, etc. I initially planned to try for a vaginal breech birth but at our appointment (the day before I went into labor) they saw that he was footling breech rather than complete breech as they had previously thought, meaning it was too risky to try a vaginal birth. I quickly came to terms with the fact that I tried every single thing possible to turn him, and a c-section was now the only way to get him here safely.
I decided that I still wanted to go into labor naturally, rather than scheduling my c-section. I wanted my baby to come when he was ready (if possible) and also so I could experience some labor and contractions. My water broke at a restaurant around 7:00 pm and I rushed home, showered, and labored for a bit until my doula came. I progressed very quickly to contractions that were three minutes apart so we left for the hospital around 9:30 pm. I continued to labor there for a couple of hours and was in the operating room getting the spinal anesthetic by 12:00 am.
2. What surprised you the most about having a c-section?:
That the pressure wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be! I was absolutely terrified of being awake during major surgery and feeling them pulling and tugging around in my uterus. Although I could feel some pressure and definitely felt them pull him out of me, I was much less aware of what was happening than I was of how the baby was doing and just being in the moment.
3. What kind of support do you feel you received (from friends, family, healthcare team) after your c-section(s)?:
Luckily, my mum came to stay with us for five weeks so I’ve had a lot of help at home, alongside my husband. It was so needed, especially in these first few weeks, since moving around is so hard at first! I do think the worst days were in the hospital right at the beginning. We came home after four days and I felt so much better every day after that, once I was back in my own bed. My doulas have also been really supportive, checking in regularly and visiting. I’m currently 6 weeks postpartum and feeling much more human than I was even last week!
4. What’s your #1 piece of advice/encouragement for a new c-section mom?:
Be gentle with yourself! Recovering from major surgery is very hard, and add to that some sleep deprivation and having to lift and look after a newborn. Your healing may take a bit longer than if you were able to simply rest and recuperate. So take things slowly, take all your pain meds, accept help, and even when you start to feel better, continue to go slow as your insides are still healing.
5. How do you believe having a c-section birth(s) made you stronger?:
Wow, a c-section birth and recovery are not for the faint of heart! I chose to go into natural labor, prior to having my c-section, so I could still experience contractions, dilation, etc. However, I’ll tell you that even my intense contractions weren’t as bad as how I felt after surgery, trying to get out of bed and walk around. I didn’t know how strong my body was until I went through an experience I was absolutely terrified of, one that was the complete opposite of the birth I wanted, but still managed to function and nourish and nurture my newborn. Belly birth mamas are my absolute heroes!
Name: Roo Yeshpaul Johnson
Your Profession: Social Media Marketing Director
How to Connect With You on Social Media: @phreshmentality on Instagram