Meeting Florin // a cesarean after a natural birth

Here’s a funny story. It’s the story about a woman who planned a peaceful homebirth right down to the very last details of what she and her husband would wear. She spent months daydreaming of giving birth, more than she had thought about or planned for her own wedding. While her belly swelled exponentially so did her excitement and plans to bring her baby into the world and so it is ironic that when her baby was finally brought into the world, it was in the stark clinical environment of theatre with not a single one of her plans in place. And it isn’t the irony of that situation that’s funny, that she, I mean, I should have planned and hoped so much for a beautiful calm birth like my last to have nearly every single thing turn out quite the opposite. No, what’s funny to me is that in that moment (despite what I would have thought) – when everything that I had hoped for and planned for was gone – when the birth of our second son was via scalpel and surgeon rather than water and pushing – what is funny to me is that it wasn’t any less beautiful and incredible to me. That feeling of terror and joy and pride was just the same, bursting from my heart as my world stopped and changed for the better – seeing our newborn son.

birthroom

This story starts like many birth stories, with a heavily pregnant woman, impatient to meet her baby. And when I say heavily pregnant, I mean, really… I am standing waiting to order some lunch at our local shops somewhere in the week before Florin is born when a lady approaches to tell me she and her friends have been placing bets on how many babies I am carrying. She thinks 3. When I finally reply with the snappy comment I’ve been wanting to give my entire pregnancy I know our baby must be coming soon. It’s little discussed but I am almost certain there could be an accurate method of predicting a baby’s arrival in direct correlation with increase in bitchiness.

labour-5

It’s nearly midway through September – the month I expect our baby to arrive. After our first two babies coming in their own sweet time I’ve grown skeptical of due dates. Instead I’ve taken the varying dates given to me by my (longer) cycle, our first scan and our second scan and focused instead on a birth ‘month’. A September baby. I’ve taken to sugar soaping our walls nightly and making sure everything is in order for our homebirth which I expect at any moment. Truth be told, I am anxious for it to be any moment, desperate even. Any of you who have seen me full term pregnant would know why. My belly is huge and the weight on my pelvis feels unbearable. I’ve broken my promise to savour and enjoy what I intend to be my last pregnancy and am moaning like a beached whale nearly every single night. Increasing discomfort aside, I admit I am desperate for another reason – my sister who documented both my previous births is booked to fly overseas in a few days. I am trying to remain calm about this fact but the idea of not having her there with me as she was the last times I birthed, and not having a video like our sons (that I treasure so much) is causing me to hope desperately that our baby will make his exit soon. We play bad pop music as I try to dance him out, the Spice Girls blaring as he blatantly refuses to budge. I reassure myself that a full moon is coming soon and our baby will arrive that day. When I wake on the night of that full moon to steady contractions I am in heaven.

Our house is still and Errol is at work as I slip from our bed leaving our bigger two softly snoring. Everything is lining up as I have hoped it would. I stand in our living room swaying gently as my belly contracts and I look up at the full Harvest moon. The last time I experienced labour and birth was one of the most profound experiences of my life and I am so excited to be on that journey again. Each contraction brings me closer to meeting our baby and I welcome them in excitement. The room where I plan to birth is ready and waiting, Priya’s paintings line the walls and clean towels have been waiting folded and ready for months. I put on my hypnobirthing tracks and sit on my exercise ball as I stare at the birth pool and smile thinking about the feeling of pulling Theo from the water just 3 short years before. When Errol comes home my excitement spreads and he busies himself arranging the tea we’ve bought for the midwives and lining up snacks in tupperware on our kitchen table. By 6 am when the children have begun to stir I feel ready to ask Hailey to come over. She has a long drive and knowing Theo’s labour was so short, I want her with me soon. I text my midwife too, to happily let her know that I expect to have a baby later in that day and will let her know when I want her to come over. Hailey comes and begins to take photos and video as we chat between contractions. Hailey has been with me during both my last labours and I am grateful that she is here again, reminding me of all the laughs we had in early labour of my last two births.

belly!

I’d never experienced a false labour, or even noticed braxton hicks with either of our last pregnancies so you might imagine how disappointed and disillusioned I am when my contractions die down as the day progresses. Everything had felt just like it had during Theo’s labour, the contractions had grown very regular and very painful and I had been so sure we’d have our baby before sunset. And yet, sunset comes and goes on three more days and still we have no baby. Hailey is flying to the USA and after crying hysterically that she won’t be there for me and I won’t have her beautiful documentation, I calm myself with the thought that perhaps now, with the pressure of wanting to have the baby before she left off, our baby will come. We are now in the final week of September, surely he will?

theosa

At our next home appointment my midwife asks me if I think I will go into labour soon. What a silly question I think. Of course I think I will go into labour soon. Any logical person would think that. I am at the end of my pregnancy and women don’t stay pregnant forever, what other option is there? I surprise myself though as I hear myself saying “no”. While my rational mind tells me yes, of course you will go into labour soon, my gut tells me no. I don’t feel like I’ll go into labour… at all. Maybe it was just a phantom pregnancy? Maybe this is actually a tumour? Maybe this has all been too good to be true, we couldn’t really be getting a lovely newborn any day now, could we? While the weeks leading up to the night I went into false labour had been filled with anticipation, each night tidying and readying the house for our homebirth, the anticipation has deflated. I begin waking up each morning unsurprised to find myself still pregnant and unconcerned that there are grubby fingerprints redecorating our freshly sugar-soaped walls. I am at my limits physically and emotionally and when September 30th rolls around, the disbelief that I am still pregnant and we won’t have a September baby leaves me feeling rather numb.

labour-2

We agree to meet our midwife at the hospital on the 30th to consult with a doctor about being post-term and have some monitoring to confirm our baby is faring well despite his evident desire to remain in utero forever. The scan tells us he is well, has plenty of fluid and is estimated to be a comfortable 5kgs. I am not phased by this figure given I know how inaccurate ultrasounds can be at estimating weight and the fact that the last baby I pushed out my vagina was 4.7 kgs. We go to wait to meet our midwife elsewhere in the hospital when I run into one of the midwives who cared for me during Theo’s pregnancy. It’s so lovely to see her face and we chat as I tell her we are waiting to meet my current midwife. She looks confused and asks me isn’t your midwife in Melbourne? I am assuring her that no, she isn’t, she’s meeting us, when a conversation is brought to my memory. This conversation takes place earlier in my pregnancy when my midwife had called me to let me know she wanted to take a trip with her daughter sometime after I would have birthed and she might have to ask my second midwife to make some of the post-natal visits. Sure I’d said. Could this really be already? I haven’t given birth yet, it can’t be already? Surely my midwife would have reminded me before now that she was leaving? Not long later my midwife arrives and we ask her. She tells us she hadn’t brought it up again because she didn’t want me to feel pressured to go into labour and wasn’t planning on taking the trip (she has a back-up to take her daughter in place) if I haven’t given birth, but yes, she is booked to fly to Melbourne the following morning. On the drive home from the hospital I text my midwife, apologising that my being pregnant looked like it would cancel her trip.

When we get home I roll on our exercise ball to bring on contractions. As they come increasingly I ask Errol to get the kids to sleep. I hear them laughing and playing in the bed when I tell him no, get them asleep NOW, I need you. I am listening to my hypnobirthing track, welcoming each strong contraction when I go to unlock my phone and realise I’ve indadvertedly answered a phonecall from my midwife. I hadn’t wanted to talk to her so early in labour, feeling quietly superstitious that talking to her now might ‘scare labour away’. She explains to me that her back-up plans for her trip have fallen through and she will need to go the next morning to Melbourne. She says I can ask her to stay but I don’t feel like I can knowing it will cancel her trip. Plus, while I would have been devastated hearing my midwife has to leave I feel okay knowing I am already in labour and our baby should arrive before she has to go. I know when I end the call that I will be calling her back soon to ask her to come over.

It’s is before midnight that our midwife comes over and I am so relieved and happy. She is here, I am in labour and I am intent to birth the baby before I make her miss her trip in the morning. We chat in between contractions and I feel so happy. As the hours slip past I begin to stress. I don’t want to inconvenience my midwife, I don’t want her to miss her trip. When the morning breaks and she checks me telling me his head hasn’t moved down and I am in false labour I feel like giving up. My midwife still needs to go and leaves.  I feel hysterical. After hearing I am in false labour Errol decides now would be prudent to take a nap. The children are playing in the playroom and I am alone as the next contraction hits me. This isn’t false labour. I vocalise loudly as I cry that my midwife had to go. Errol seems to have magically slipped into a coma and my hysterics don’t seem to wake him. When eventually he stirs to see me howling into the floor on all fours he says “I think you need to calm down honey” and I scream “NO ONE IS HELPING ME!”. Perhaps remembering the time I spat ice at him during Priya’s labour, he quickly makes himself useful. “I think I’ll call your parents and [our second midwife]” he says.

birthlabour

At the time I had our last baby, the only births I’d attended were my own. I see myself labouring in a new light having attended so many births in the interim. I’ve watched women give birth so often now that I laugh (and cringe) a little inside to be watching myself. I am presently being the most hysterical person I’ve attended during labour and I feel like telling myself to pull it together. My second midwife has arrived and I tell her and Errol that it’s painful – that it’s different – that this feels nothing like Theo’s labour. My midwife reassures me that every labour is different, this isn’t Theo’s birth and that’s okay. Okay for her perhaps, but she’s not the one going through painful labour from hell. After Theo’s birth I felt so incredible. His contractions felt like hard work, but they were never overwhelming and they felt good, like they were bringing me closer to meeting our baby. These… these feel like they were bringing me closer to me asking someone to hand me a loaded gun. The contractions are painful and my midwife encourages me to open my pelvis through different positions during each one to help bring the baby down. I try my best to follow her instruction and wonder briefly how many midwives have been attacked by a crazed mother in labour. My parents arrive and my dad begins to take video & photos for me. My mum plays with the kids.

labourbirth2

When I start to feel the urge to push I am relieved and surprised, wondering if I am really ready to have the baby. I hop in the birth pool and ask Errol to hop in too to hold me. The pushing urge grows with each contraction until I am pushing involuntarily and feel something moving down. Errol says “there’s his head!” but I don’t have to put my hand between my legs to know that it isn’t. Two heads have exited my vagina and I will never forget what that felt like. This, this is my waters and as I feel them I am amazed that they are not broken and instead are bulging outside of me like a soft inflated balloon. A soft inflated balloon filled with thick meconium. The urge to push completely passes me now and I wait squatting for it to return. It is in that moment, and I can’t really explain it, but I know our baby won’t be born in the normal way. There is a voice in my gut that tells me “You need a cesarean” and instead of telling that voice to shut up and let me birth the baby naturally as I’ve planned I feel a sense of calm. I’ve given birth naturally and know how incredible my body is, how incredible women’s bodies are and while I would have expected to feel devastated at the prospect of a cesarean (or disbelief that I needed one) it feels in my gut like what needs to happen. I hop out of the water so my midwife can check me. I don’t need her to tell me what I already know, he hasn’t come down and he isn’t close to being delivered. My parents are there to look after the children as we need to transfer to hospital. I have wanted the children, Priya especially, there when I give birth but I know we are leaving the plans for that peaceful birth here at the house.

We wait on an ambulance to come and for the first time all day, as I stand by our front door, I feel completely calm. What needs to happen is happening. The calm is momentary as a contraction hits me again. By the time we arrive at the hospital calm is something I know nothing about. This stage of my labour becomes a blur to me. I have covered my face with a cloth and am refusing to take it off. I feel like I am in sensory overload; the pain, the changing people, the lights – I want to block it all out. My midwife holds my hand and I hear discussions happening around me but I am not taking anything in. People begin to prep me for theatre, someone taping my wedding ring and taking my necklace. They tell me there is a wait and I feel sure that cannot be true. I don’t feel like I can last a minute more but as I seem to always find out when I feel like that – I can and I do. I don’t clearly take in anything that is happening and when an anesthetist comes to administer the epidural and asks me to remove the cloth from my face so he can talk to me, I tell him I can’t. Somewhere along the way I’ve been given gas which I am making use of liberally. I breathe it in and clearly feel that it isn’t reducing my pain, only fogging my head and making me forget. I think about my first midwife not being there and the panic that creeps up realising that I am actually going to have the baby and she is not going to be there. I inhale more gas and the panic fades as quickly as it came on the back of a cloudy dragon. In the blur I gather than I’ve been given an epidural and the baby is being monitored and we are waiting to see if he can come down any more before we head to theatre.

labour

It is only much later, hours I think, when I feel more aware and have regained some of my energy and focus. My dad has come to take photos should the baby not be born in theatre and is sitting next to my bed, talking with Errol. I ask if I can eat, I am so hungry having only had an almond and a cracker or two in the last 24 hours. While I feel as though having the baby should be my most pressing concern I do keep coming back to being hungry with alarming frequency. Would I trade a baby for a sandwich? Probably not, but maybe for a sandwich and dessert. I ask for more IV fluids so I can stop being irrational. My second midwife has gone home. I vaguely recall she had to leave, having young children at home and not being prepared to stay so long. We are in the birth suite with a hospital midwife I’ve never met. We are still waiting on the baby to move down to see if he can be birthed vaginally. The epidural is working well and I am in no pain. I listen to our baby being monitored as I try and rest. When I hear his heart rate drop between contractions, I worry. The doctor comes to check me and his trace intermittently. I have been fully dilated but he is not moving down as he should be and is not presenting the smallest part of his head (he is posterior). When we have been at the hospital for over 7 hours, and I have been in labour for 28 I make the decision to let our doctor take us to theatre as she has been recommending. Errol is frightened and asks the doctor about the risks of a cesarean, being an option neither of us have researched in depth. I ask her to outline the risks for us now should we not go to theatre. When she is finished Errol asks to talk to me alone and asks me if I am sure. I am sure. I can’t explain it, I’ve been sure since my waters first broke. I’ve birthed a big baby naturally with ease but this is not that baby and I know in my heart something different needs to happen.

When I am wheeled down the hallway to the OR I feel as though as I am in a television series, Errol appearing soon at my side dressed in scrubs. We wait outside the OR doors and the anaesthetist talks to me.  I am asked to drink a liquid to neutralise my stomach acids and it tastes awful. As they wheel me into the OR the liquid begins coming back up and while everyone around me is scrubbed in and everything looks clean I vomit all over myself. I am flat on my back, being ill onto my own face, staring at these intimidatingly large surgical lights when I wonder who thinks this is easier than a vaginal birth. My respect levels for mama’s who have gone through this before me soar. For the first time, momentarily, I am scared. I cannot see Errol, I cannot move and I am being transferred onto the operating table. I’ve spent the last 9 months getting to know my midwife and building a trusting relationship to have a peaceful, quiet homebirth with those I love surrounding me and yet here I am. I don’t know anyone and I feel completely exposed and exhausted. I am worried for our baby. I feel myself beginning to panic when the anaesthetist gently holds my hand. He looks into my eyes and gently talks me through what will be happening. I look over to see Errol, the fear I am feeling is written all over his face and yet he smiles at me. It’s a smile in which I can see everything we’ve been through together until now. A smile that only he and I can understand and one day, years from now, will speak to me of the time we went through this together too. I smile back at him and surprising myself, I feel it. I feel at peace – this is going to be okay. While I’d thought it was my natural birth that required my most strength, I was wrong.

birth

Without any pain I can feel the pulling and the movement as the doctor works to retrieve our son. The anticipation that I will finally be meeting our baby makes time slow and I have no idea how short or long it is before I hear his cry. My heart skips beats in relief, he is here, he is safe.  There is a curtain between us and I cannot see him. Errol can and is starting to cry.  I look at Errol’s face as he first sees our boy and I am so relieved and happy. They lower the curtain and there he is held up in front of me. I am sure he is only there for a moment or two but in those moments my world stops and the only thing I can see is our beautiful little boy. I have waited for this moment for longer even than the time I carried him in my belly. I think back to a day not long after Theo was born when I sighed happily to Errol that I liked our little family as we drove along. He looked in our rear vision mirror and said “I think there’s someone missing though” and I looked back on the space between our two and knew he was right. And here he is, finally – our missing piece, even though there were times I feared I’d never hold him in my arms. I burst into tears and every part of me is filled with gratitude. He is safe, he is here. This moment couldn’t be further from how I imagined meeting him and yet – it isn’t any less incredible, any less happy than I had imagined it to be. Where I am doesn’t matter, the only thing I see is him, he is perfect, he is ours.

They take him to be suctioned as he is covered in thick meconium. I look over through a flurry of people in scrubs to see his little head of thick dark hair and angrily kicking legs as he is attended to. His hair has lumps of matted blood in it and the anaesthetist jokes with me “look, he’s got dreads just like daddy!”. I smile. I want to hold him. I call out, asking to hold him, please let me have my baby. Errol comes to me and says “He’s 5.2 kgs Georgia! 5.2 KILOS!” (11lbs 4oz) I know I shouldn’t be, but I am surprised. “And 61 cm’s! SIXTY ONE CM’S(24″)”.  I see two rulers in my mind. Two rulers? He can’t be that long! “That’s long” I say struggling to believe he’s actually that long. I will read later in my discharge notes that he was found in LOP with a deflexed head and a nuchal cord x two with cord around his body and legs.  I look back to the little black haired baby still being checked and start to ask for him again. Errol goes to get him. I want my baby, I need our baby with me. I feel panicked.

birth2

Why aren’t they giving him to me? Why can’t they do all these things later? I am asking all these things as I start to lose consciousness. It is sometime later when I wake and the surgery is over. I am in a different room and Errol is sitting next to my bed proudly holding a bundle of our as-yet unnamed baby. I watch him for a moment as he smiles down at his new son and feel so happy, so utterly grateful. Errol sees me awake and I see relief and pride and joy wash over his face as he looks at me. I have so much love for him. It is surreal to think as he stands and puts our boy into my arms for the first time that the love we have for each other grew a family. The heart I gave to him growing to love each of his children too. And my heart feels like it can’t hold any more love as I look down into the sweet little face of our new baby boy. His thick dark hair is matted and wet still and his eyes pressed tightly closed as he nuzzles against my breast. “Hello you” I whisper. It was you, all along, who we have been waiting for I think. So new and yet you’ve always been with me, carried first in my heart well before you grew in my belly. What an honour to be his I think as I commit each of his features to memory, looking him over in awe as I fall in love.

florin

(1/365 ^)

We stay at the hospital for 3 days and while I feel a little (okay, a lot) like I am fighting a system which would prefer my baby to be pumped full of drugs & formula fed away from me than work to help us stay together it is overall, okay. I don’t like being weak or vulnerable in front of people I haven’t warmed to (who does?) and I find myself being both.  The midwives that care for us on the ward are kind and there is something nourishing having a steady stream of experienced women caring for you post-birth, even if I don’t know them. My second midwife and a midwife friend visit me and I want to sob I am so grateful to see familiar faces.

The day after the birth, I am in the shower as a midwife I don’t know is washing me because I cannot do it for myself. I am sitting there feeling sore and exposed and processing having had a cesarean birth. As I am wheeled from the shower, finally washed and dressed after the longest, most challenging two days of my life, I feel tired. I feel like I have given everything I have and am ready to cry and sleep. Errol is there and instead of coming to me, is going to get something. I see him bring out a cake. A cake to end all cakes on top of which sits a trophy.  I know instantly looking at the cake he has hired my incredibly talented friend, Trina to make it and it is an absolute work of art. When he surprised me after Theo’s birth with an engraved medal I thought I could never be more touched. I was wrong. The script on the bottom of the trophy reads  “Our Champion: for your courage, strength & sacrifice”. I am crying. I know that for Trina to have had time to make this it was prepared long before Errol would have known how the birth would be and yet those words aren’t any less perfect. Actually, they mean so much more to me now. The cake is decorated in sunflowers, just like the one we held when we announced his pregnancy and those that have grown in our backyard while we waited on him to be born. He might go to sleep on me when I am in labour but this man I married is incredible.

cakelove cake!

On his second day, before Priya and Theo come to meet their brother for the first time, Errol sits with me in my curtained off area of the maternity ward. “Let’s name the baby” he says as he smiles at me. I know what the smile means, he doesn’t have to tell me. “Florin” he says smiling more, giving our son the name he knows I have loved all along. I ask him if he’s sure, knowing it wasn’t his first choice but all the while looking at the boy in my arms and knowing he is our Florin. Our flourishing boy.

ward

I feel an immense debt of gratitude after Florin’s birth. A friend of mine on hearing of his birth says to me “I am sorry you had a cesarean”. I understand what she is saying to me, what she really means, “I am sorry you didn’t have the birth you wanted” or “I am sorry you went through a scary experience” or even “I am sorry you woke up the next day more exhausted and emotional than you’ve ever been, feeling like you’d been stabbed in the gut”. I understand what she is saying when she says she is sorry I had a cesarean but I want to tell her I am not. I am not sorry I had a cesarean, the surgery that gave me my son. It wasn’t easy, I wouldn’t have chosen it but when we needed it, I wouldn’t have changed that for the world. The scar that now sits below my stretched and softened belly is not only a great way for me to convince Florin he has to support me into my old age but is also my reminder of just how unpredictable and precious this life can be. When I run my hand along it at night and think over the experience that gave me it and what the scar gave me I feel stronger. I’ve always believed that real beauty and depth of character are built on wounds that have healed. Perhaps I had always only thought that metaphorically but hey, getting an actual scar is pretty cool too. This scar hasn’t healed fully yet (the metaphoric one or the physical one) but I know it will. Grieving something you have lost doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you have. While birthing naturally required my physical & emotional strength in the rawest sense Florin’s required me to be stronger than I thought I could be, learning that sometimes the greatest strength is letting go and doing what I was sure I could not.

Perhaps too, my gratitude following Florin’s birth isn’t quite clear to me until three days later when we are leaving the hospital with him. We sign a few forms and have to drop them off to leave the hospital without paying a cent. I think about the care we’ve been given, about the doctors, the paediatricians, the midwives, their years of training. I think of the the surgery, the medications, the place on the ward, in the nursery, and around the clock care and feel a little amazed that we’re walking away (well, truth be told I am not walking, I am being pushed in a wheelchair) without owing a single cent. How thankful I am to be born Australian, to leave our hospital with our healthy son and only a debt of thanks to have had access to this care when we needed it.

So, there you go, the world’s longest birth story ever. I ate several bars of chocolate while writing it and looked down at the sweetest little face pressed against my breast.

ward-2-2

Florin Frederick

11:06pm 1st October 2013

5.2kgs / 11lbs 4oz

61cm / 24″

Well loved.

This post was the first in Florin’s 365 (photo per day) project, only 364 more to come (whose crazy idea was this?). I am looking forward to sharing our delight in him as his first year unfolds in much, much shorter posts. If you got this far, you deserve a trophy cake too! 

142 Responses to “Meeting Florin // a cesarean after a natural birth”

  1. gravatar for Jessica Jessica

    I have no words for how beautiful this birth story is! Georgia I wrote you in the past about how Theo’s birth story and video single-handedly

    Reply
  2. gravatar for Danielle Danielle

    Reading this post made me cry. I too had an emergency caesarian, it was with my first and only born. She is 3.5 now and still thinking about the experience makes me cry. My daughter was also posterior and I experienced labour pains that made me feel like I wanted to die. After she was born a team of doctors rushed in as I was haemorrhaging and they were trying to stop the bleeding. I too vomitted all over myself. I am still completely terrified about getting pregnant a second time even though I desperately want another child. The thought of having to go through this again is still something I am afraid of. I love your story though and how you have turned this experience is something wonderful and beautiful. I am so grateful for my beautiful daughter whom is the centre of my heart. I hope I can find the courage to do it again. xxxxx

    Reply
    • gravatar for Sandy Sandy

      Danielle, your next c-section will be nothing like your first. I, also, had an emergency c-section after 18 hours of labor. It was very very scary and I still relive it 34 years later! BUT, three years after my first son was born, my second son arrived with a peaceful, easy planned c-section! No rushing, no fears, all planned out. I had already met the anestheologist ( sp) and since he was with me at my head, I wasn’t alone! He walked me through the entire procedure, telling me exactly what was happening. Without the hard labor this second time, I healed so much quicker! So, please hear my words and know that a second section is nothing like a first emergency section! Enjoy your 3 year old and know that I’m sending you warm thoughts of encouragement! <3

      Reply
  3. gravatar for Lea Lea

    I started reading your blog after I saw a comment you posted on the goodmama fan chatter group on fb. I’ve enjoyed all your lovely pictures and beautiful words.

    This post was very touching, I love how you turned this unplanned birth experience into something beautiful.

    Congratulations on your newest addition!

    Reply
  4. gravatar for kate @ livinglovinglaughing kate @ livinglovinglaughing

    Oh Georgia. This post had me in tears as I felt every emotion along with you. You described it all so vividly. You are brave and strong indeed because that is the courage it takes to not only go along but flourish in the unexpected that life throws at us. Thankful indeed for our Australian health care system. Thankful indeed you didnt let a ‘perfect picture’ get in the way of the reality that was needed to bring your boy into the world safely. You are a humble and honest woman and your story will encourage others so much. Thank you for sharing it! Oh and that cake took my breath away! Perfection…. just like your little/big boy :) xx

    Reply
  5. gravatar for Joanne Nossiter Joanne Nossiter

    Oh Georgia, I laughed and cried and laughed and cried! All birth stories are special and yours of course is no exception.
    Welcome to the big wide world little Florin (a name I love by the way). What a big bopper you are. Hope all your family are well and happy. Love and rest xoxoxoxJoxoxoxox

    Reply
  6. gravatar for Rebecka Rebecka

    Oh Georgia. Blessings on you and yours. You ooze grace and humility. Kiss your flourishing flower boy for me.

    Reply
  7. gravatar for Aliszia Aliszia

    One cuppa tea wasn`t enough to go through this, but still I`m so impressed with the feeling, that you are not the strange person to me, but just one of my well-known friends :)) You also has opened my eye to one thing- What if my second birth will be c-section after natural birth? Nothing! I was so scared of this idea, but now I see, it doesn`t make any difference, when it`s still so magical moment :*

    Reply
  8. gravatar for Anya Anya

    What a raw emotion it is to read your words of Florin’s birth and how grateful I am to you for sharing this story. Welcome to this world and such a wonderful family “little” Florin, you are so blessed. xx

    Reply
  9. gravatar for Candace Candace

    What an amazing and beautifully written story. Tears dropping down my face. What a lovely baby boy you have.

    Reply
  10. gravatar for Mia Mia

    What an incredible birth…. What a beautiful story of a gorgeous boy being born…. I also had an emergency Caesarian with my daughter after 30 hours of labour, she was posterior and stuck, poor bundle…. It was a terrifying experience, which I was upset for a little while after she was born, I had to have a GA so I missed out on those first moments with our Stella! But we then had another baby boy, which was such an incredible day! We are sooo blessed to have our two beautiful bundles!! ….. I can’t even describe in words…. I love my experiences for different reasons…. I love that I have them and I would do it all over again xoxoxo thanks for sharing xoxox

    Reply
  11. gravatar for Elisa Elisa

    I am SO glad you shared your story. Is it strange I’m almost envious you had such an amazing life-changing experience, one that has and will teach you so much? Things like that.. they build character. And reading about your cake… in tears!

    P.S. – My daughter was born October 1st 2012. A good day!

    Reply
  12. gravatar for Amy Amy

    Thank you for your amazing couragious birth story. I myself had an emergency Caesarian with my second son & reading your blog today crying with relief, I now feel a sense of complete calmness & strength. Thank you for helping me see the strength us mumma’s have to go through to bring our babies safely into this world either natural or via c-section. Your an amaizing lady.

    Reply
  13. gravatar for Emma Emma

    Just beatutiful! I can see this birth story helping other women to make progress in their own journey towards healing in the days, weeks and years to come. Thank you for your rawness.

    Reply
  14. gravatar for Mother Down Under Mother Down Under

    This is such a beautiful birth story. It brought tears to my eyes.
    I am a hypnobirthing practitioner and I love that you were able to trust your instincts, make decisions that you were comfortable with and have a positive birth.
    You are brave and your boy is gorgeous…and lucky to be born into your family.

    Reply
  15. gravatar for rachel rachel

    Thankyou Georgia for sharing your story. I am in tears, your words are soo powerful, so inspiring, so lovely. Your story is so important and as a mum who has had two natural births gave me a real perspective of how no matter how prepared, how much we want and expect things to follow a course, occasionally they don’t. Although I wont stop feeling like our system should better support mums having a homebirth, I am more grateful, because of you, of the one we do have. xx

    Reply
  16. gravatar for Sam Sam

    Oh Georgia, what a beautiful story. How strong and amazing you are. How wonderful that you knew what you needed and that you felt the beauty and peace of the moment despite the setting. Your (not so) little boy is just delicious. Congratulations.

    Reply
  17. gravatar for Katie Katie

    I am in awe of your amazing attitude and acceptance of your birth experience! My birth went sideways(although no c-section) and I am still struggling to be this zen about the whole thing. What an amazing story, and a gorgeous babe to show for it all! Congratulations on the triumphant birth of your amazing little man!!

    Reply
  18. gravatar for Lynn Nerdal Lynn Nerdal

    Thanks so much for your gift of words Georgia, for your ability to bring so much passion to life and bring tears to so many eyes including my own. You truly deserve that cake, and so much more, but indeed you have the greatest rewards of all, a loving husband and three adorable children. Thanks for sharing such an intimate birth story, such a powerful journey, such a heartfelt emotional beautiful “cake” with us. Be blessed!

    with love from Lynn, mother of three c-sections babes and one home birth babe after three c-sections and two foster daughters, not to mention four precious grandchildren so far.

    Reply
  19. gravatar for Carley Carley

    Amazing birth story Georgia. You did a wonderful job bringing your little man into the world, congratulations, Florin is beautiful.

    Reply
  20. gravatar for Deb Deb

    Thanks for sharing Florin’s birth story. I did grab a cup of tea but think it went cold as I read through your story… I had an emergency c-section with my first, and a planned one since my baby girl refused to come out! You described it all so well, and my tears flowed remembering the fear and yet the joy when I met both my gorgeous tiny ones. Welcome to the world Florin and congratulations on your courage and wisdom Georgia!

    Reply
  21. gravatar for Heather Heather

    Georgia, you are one of the strongest woman I have ever come to know through a blog, what an incredible experience to share. I thank you with all my heart, and commend your bravery!

    Reply
  22. gravatar for Marnie Marnie

    Thank you for sharing that story. I too have had medicalised births while dreaming of being at home. I too am eternally grateful for the safe arrival of my children and for the amazing medical service that we are blessed with. Thank you for your amazingly well written account of such an emotional event. Just reading this helped me heal a little more.

    Reply
  23. gravatar for stephanie stephanie

    congratulations on the birth of your son. my 9 wk old baby remained asleep amazingly while I read this!! now I have finished he is waking up! What a truly amazing story so glad I have read it. Well done, you did it!!

    Reply
  24. gravatar for Cecile Cecile

    What a beautiful story thank you so much for sharing it glad I took the time to read it :)

    Reply
  25. gravatar for Amanda Amanda

    I’ve never been comforted by a birth story so much as I have right now after I read this one. I am in awe right now. I always pictured having a “perfect” birth to redeem my 1st emergency c-section. But oh my Georgia you have helped me to understand that although it wasn’t the birth I imagined I have a healthy beautiful little girl and I am strong for making the best decision to get her here. Thank you for this. And I wish you well in your recovery.

    Reply
  26. gravatar for Lisa Lisa

    Congratulations…A truly awesome story and shockingly similar to mine :) I to, had a surprise cesarean after 2 all natural births. I was only 34 weeks though with sudden ruptured membranes. I was also planning a home water birth. The only thing that went as planned was having my midwife present. She said to me right from the get go that 3rd babes are wild cards and she was so right! I remember thinking to myself after it was all said and done, that I have so much more respect for the women who have had surgery. What a world of difference.

    Reply
  27. gravatar for Judy Matthews Judy Matthews

    Thank you for sharing….. a beautifully written account. … I wish you all a wonderful life fullof blessings
    Mothers. Mothers to be should read this

    Also Nurses and Midwives can appreciate every moment you went through
    Thank you again Judy You are amazing

    Reply
  28. gravatar for Juliette Laura Juliette Laura

    Oh Goodness, this is absolutely heartwarming. This experience is beautiful, I could not stop crying the entire time reading. Your outlook on your plans not happening the way you wanted is incredible. Your baby boy is beautiful (uhm… as is that CAKE!!!). You are a beautiful inspiring being!
    xo

    Reply
  29. gravatar for Cyntra Cyntra

    Amazing story. Thank you for sharing your experience. Birth, in any form leaves me with an intense feeling of awe. We women really are fine pieces of work! I think it fair to say that your birth plans were challenged in every way but this has not outweighed the joy of finally getting to meet and get to know your newest addition. The strength of you and your family is an inspiration. Welcome to the world florin! X

    Reply
  30. gravatar for Betty Panagiotidou Betty Panagiotidou

    Congratulation, once again, my dear Georgia, to you and your caring and supporting husband for bringing such a lovely, amazing human being into our world!!!
    I would just like to quote two sentences: ” The love we have for each other grew a family. The heart I gave to him growing to love each of his children too. ” This is going to be my moto, it spoke to my heart!!!
    Could you, please, explain to me (as English isn’t my native language and I couldn’t find a proper translation) what “in LOP with a deflexed head and a nuchal cord x two” means? Thank you so much for sharing, I was really looking forward to reading your birth story, and was anxious that you would publish it before I give birth to my second! I am planning a home birth and your birth story made clear to me that we souls plan everything and expect… everything!!!

    Reply
    • gravatar for Georgia Georgia

      Hi Betty! Thank you for your kind words.

      LOP is the position they found Florin in. It stands for Left Occiput Posterior meaning the baby’s back is opposite my liver. Deflexed head means that Florin had not tucked his chin in and was therefore not presenting as small as it could have. A nuchal cord is a cord that is around the babes neck at birth, Florin had it looped around twice and then down around his body and legs as well. Altogether (including his size) this means Florin was not able to move down into my pelvis to be born naturally.

      Reply
  31. gravatar for Freya Freya

    I am sitting here with tears just pouring down my face. I did not have the experience I wanted with my son and now that I am expecting again, I find myself in fear of that happening again. This message left me so profoundly moved. So often you hear about c sections in a negative light. What you wrote – lifted me up. It helped me come to see that is isn’t how the little one gets here, but rather – the fact that they do and now the experience itself but rather , how you experience it. You have the most precious of families and this little (big!) bundle of joy is just the perfect addition to them. I love reading and watching the stories you share. Congratulations and above all – thank you.

    Reply
  32. gravatar for Shannon Shannon

    Thank you. I say that with so much gratitude. My experience (1st baby) was so very similar. Hypnobirth training, overdue, exhaustion, fear large baby (5kg, 58cm). But thank you most for the insight and explaining how I felt. Our first night home my husband and I cried giving thanks for the care we received. But most of all for the pure luck of living here in Australia and not somewhere else.

    Reply
  33. gravatar for Lacy Lacy

    Oh my dear, I loved this post. You always have such beautiful words but this one touched me dearly. We are now expecting our third little love and this beautiful story has given me hope and joy in so many ways. Thank you!

    Reply
  34. gravatar for Beth Beth

    As a mother who gave birth to my first child 3 months early and via emergency C-section (a surgery I nearly didn’t survive) and my second birth a 6 week early planned C-section due to a breach position I can 100% agree that you don’t feel cheated or disappointed with how your children come into this world. Only blessed that my babies survived and that I now have two happy and healthy children.

    Reply
  35. gravatar for Emma Emma

    Thank you for sharing such an amazing birth story. The plan I had also didn’t come to pass but I feel incredibly blessed by my babes. Wishing you all the joy in the world x

    Reply
  36. gravatar for JDS JDS

    One of my favourite sayings is “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but the moments that take our breath away.” This story took my breath away, beautiful. Go mama, you are amazing.

    Reply
  37. gravatar for Krystal Krystal

    Wow, thank you for sharing this, my tea now sits cold as I couldn’t move reading your story. I am crying happy/sad tears and feel the urge to go and wake my sleeping baby and give him a huge hug.

    Reply
  38. gravatar for Rachel Rachel

    Wow Georgia, you really have a knack for making me cry! What an incredible story. Amazing photos and amazing words – i’m looking forward to seeing more of his squishy face over the coming months :)

    Reply
  39. gravatar for Amber K Amber K

    Georgia, you had me in tears and fits of laughter. I have been waiting to read Florin’s birth story and I knew that it would be something special. I am amazed and inspired by your reflections and gratitude for Florin’s birth. These babies of ours and their births are different, just like your midwife said.
    Your strength and courage is so evident in this birth (even if you thought you were a hysterical labouring mama!) and seriously Errol giving you that cake, he really is an amazing husband! You deserved that trophy, well and truly :)
    Thank you so much Georgia for sharing this story with us. I am positive it will help so many women. Welcome Florin. You are adorable. xx

    Reply
  40. gravatar for Judie Judie

    I hung on every word of your story! Such an incredible experience you have described. When picturing your (not so) little one, I look at my four month old grandbaby and realize they are the same size! What an amazing thing you have accomplished. Thank you for sharing your raw and personal story. Your beautiful family is complete and I am so happy for all of you that it turned out successful in the end. I look forward to reading more about Florin!

    Reply
  41. gravatar for claire alice young claire alice young

    you are such a powerful woman, georgia. you inspire me to be braver, stronger and above all appreciate the beauty and the pain of life. this post is so wonderfully written, you really are a beautiful story-teller. my heart ached for you reading your journey, but seeing the gorgeous boy you two created makes that hard journey so worth it! xx

    Reply
  42. gravatar for Erin Erin

    Goodness gracious, Georgia. I hope you’ll write more about your processing of the Cesarean experience. It was you who led me to want a natural birth, and babywearing, and breastfeeding, in the first place, and I think so many women who want those things and are disappointed in some way come away feeling like they are failures. I do hope you’ll write more, for their sake, about your birth.
    It seems as though Florin arrived on his own terms and how he needed to. How amazing birth remains, even when managed by someone else. To meet a person, fully formed and amazing and YOURS for the first time… how it changes the very fibre of our being and resonates within.
    Thank you for sharing your birth experience. You are an amazing woman, strong and courageous, and I admire you. Thank you, thank you. I cannot wait to see where Florin’s journey takes him.
    All my love to your beautiful family.

    Reply
  43. gravatar for Melissa Melissa

    Georgia, thank you so much for writing this. I love birth stories, and this one touched me deeply. It made me laugh and cry! I love how real you are – it’s beautiful. Blessings to you, Errol, Priya, Theo and baby Florin. xox

    Reply
  44. gravatar for Natalie Natalie

    Congratulations on your gorgeous arrival his name is lovely my first experience was very similar to your experience I had a 4 day pre labour then a 17hr first stage labour to 9cmdilated and ended up with a emergency c section I felt very emotional like yourself and so much going through my mind but remembering the positive end result my son in my arms
    Having my second son on the 10th aug 2013 I had the same experience after a 13hr labour All natural as i was opting for a vbac found myself being thankful once again that we were both safe after another emergency c section and couldnt be more thankful to the hospital staff for making that happen

    Reply
  45. gravatar for Liz Liz

    Beautifully written as always :-) You are so honest, this is such a raw, amazing insight into your birthing experience. Florin is a gorgeous little boy. I am so happy for you all ♥

    Reply
  46. gravatar for Donna Andersen Donna Andersen

    Words can not express how this story spoke to me. As both a student midwife and Mama of 3 children (one of which was born via c-section), I honour you for your story and message of courage, trust and love. Thank you

    Reply
  47. gravatar for Meg Meg

    This is incredible, and beautiful, and made me cry, and feel so proud of someone who is a stranger. Beyond all that it once again reminded me that life is real and precious and that those who won’t bend get broken by it, and you beautiful women bent backwards out of the deepest love to bring your son safely into this world.

    Reply
  48. gravatar for Katie Katie

    It was indeed a beautiful post, as are all of your posts. And an incredibly beautiful name for a little boy. Congratulations.
    I can see and feel how strongly you wanted the natural home birth and also to be surrounded by familiarity of people and place. I know too that although this didn’t go to plan you are grateful for the end result. Some people don’t even get the chance at a birth experience that even closely resembles yours, even this last one which you feel was not ideal – and also do not get the end result we so desperately want, and it leaves us bereft. I would love more than anything in this world to have 3 little loves like yours and, despite having my one and only child and being utterly grateful for that, there are holes in my heart which I can now never fill and birth traumas that will stay with me forever. Sometimes the birth isn’t all it is cracked up to be, but that is never important really once that baby is in your arms. Thank you for sharing and for the beautiful photos.

    Reply
  49. gravatar for Annie Annie

    How wonderful Georgia that you can share this story so beautifully! It’s so important for so many women to hear that you can have a positive experience even when everything in your birth plan evaporates. As a midwife I always say one of my most important jobs is helping families have the best birth they can in their individual set of circumstances. Whether that be waterbirth or caesarean, women can still be incredibly empowered by the giving of life. Thank you for helping to share that message!

    Reply
  50. gravatar for Anna Anna

    This is beautiful – thank you so much for sharing your story and photographs… and congratulations on the new addition to your family!!! He is absolutely gorgeous.

    Reply
  51. gravatar for Arianna Arianna

    Oh how beautiful and perfect a story. I cried reading it. I am so in love with your words. I think this just may be the best birth story I’ve read. And I’ve read tons.

    Reply
  52. gravatar for Laura Robertson Laura Robertson

    Oh Georgia! Rarely have I encountered such a beautifully told and heartbreakingly honest account of a long, hard-slogged out birth. What a triumphant and courageous tale, I was sobbing in many places. This account will touch the hearts of many, many women, and I salute you. Thankyou so much for sharing it with us.
    Congratulations to you all on the arrival of your beautiful new son and brother, Florin the magnificent.

    Reply
  53. gravatar for Julia Cooke Julia Cooke

    Just couldn’t help but cry. Florin is undoubtedly the mightiest baby I have ever seen. You will no doubt help a lot of women just by having written this, you have such a wonderful ability to articulate complex feelings clearly and with such beauty. You are a hero. Thanks Georgia. xxxxx

    Reply
  54. gravatar for Cass Cass

    You are such a beautiful person Georgia. Thank you for this amazing story. It has filled me with energy and love just reading it xxx

    Reply
  55. gravatar for Eva Eva

    Such an amazing and beautiful birth story! I had four vaginal births, and my fifth was a c-section. I feel just like you :)

    Reply
  56. gravatar for Sasha Sasha

    Beautiful story Georgia, wishing you and your family all the best. I also have 3 beautiful children, the first was natural birth, the second induced and my third was a caesarian and I loved everyone of those experiences, all different just like my children. Yes caeserian was more exhausting and painful but actually after about a week I felt better than I did after giving birth naturally. I don’t understand why women would choose to have a caesarian if they don’t need it but at the same time I feel sad that some women get devastated if they have a birth that doesn’t follow their birth plan. At the end of the day healthy baby and healthy mother is the result everyone should want no matter how it happens. I love that you trusted your gut instinct and let the drs do what they ahd to do in the end to ensure your baby was safe.

    Reply
  57. gravatar for Jenny Jenny

    Dear Georgia, thank you so much for your wise words, your amazing insight into what is different, and thank you for your ability to evolve with all you have.
    I have read your story with amazement for I am a hospital midwife. Almost every day we have women come to us who experience the tumultuous emotions you have written about and I often wonder about what they are thinking and feeling. I have loved your story and will pass it onto my colleagues if only to get them thinking and talking about what women feel when their dreams are thwarted and change happens.
    I admire your ability to embrace change and focus on what is really important, yours and your child’s health and safety.
    May beautiful Florin grow basking in both his parent’s and big brother’s love.

    Reply
  58. gravatar for Mary Mary

    Oh Georgia, you’re a really awesome woman. Wow, what a story and true to form you tell it well. What is most impressive to me is how this experience has opened your heart even more and isn’t that truly wonderful. Well, well done mama! Children it seems can start teaching us well before they are born and so it is with Florin. Welcome again little one! Hope the healing is going well Georgia. You’re quite something. Thank you for sharing. x

    Reply
  59. gravatar for Os Tartarouchos Os Tartarouchos

    :’)
    Deep story with a happy ending.
    I have been lactation consultant for several years now and with my third (he will be a year in less than a month) I’ve had the most unexpected and difficult first month of life. We had breastfeeding difficulties and I still can’t look at the photos of that early, small, skinny B. without feeling a stab in my heart.

    A friend of mine who already has three kids told me then that thirds are coming to break the molds. All my schems were wreck and he has and still is teaching me so much!

    Congrats Florin for the family you have choosen to teach, congrats mum, dad and siblings for the family you’ve completed.

    Reply
  60. gravatar for Luana Luana

    What a wonderful story, thanks so much for sharing I enjoyed every word!!
    My birth story is the exact opposite of yours (two months early I decided to ignore that I was having contractions and leaking water for two days because I could not fathom that my child was coming, after which I was handed the smallest baby I have ever seen) something great about a cesarean is that you get to witness the birth of your child through your partners face. I really loved that.

    Reply
  61. gravatar for funkybec funkybec

    Dear Georgia, I can’t thank you enough for having the courage to share this story – it is still so raw and real and close, and hard to share (it took me two years to gain the courage to write my second birth story!). Having had both too (natural and caesar), I am deeply grateful to you for writing this so honestly. Although I never would have wished you not to have your beautiful home birth, there are so many women out there who will gain strength and ally some judgements about having an emergency caesarean birth, upon reading your (incredibly eloquent) story. Thank you, Georgia, so very deeply. xxx

    Reply
  62. gravatar for Lou Lou

    Amazing post thanks for sharing. I love that you have found amazing positives even though your ‘plan’ didn’t go to plan.

    Reply
  63. gravatar for Claire Lewis Claire Lewis

    Georgia, I remember saying to many people after my caesarian delivery that I was grateful.
    For the safe delivery of my baby, for the care I received,
    even for the experience that was so different to what I had imagined.
    I am sorry that you didn’t have the birth you dreamed of, but I am very glad you have received the son you were longing for – no matter how he arrived.

    Reply
  64. gravatar for Emily Emily

    Georgia and family,
    You expression of your families journey is so amazing! I loved reading your posts and following yours and your families journey while growing that delicious healthy boy:) it’s true what they say life only gives you what you can handle,with that said, your strength really has no bounds:)
    From one mumma to another
    What a journey!

    Reply
  65. gravatar for Cristina Cristina

    oh my Georgia, what a story! Having birthed two children I know labour pain and I can imagine how tough it must have been for you on those days before surgery. As you say, there are things that we cannot control and if it turned out to be a cesarian then that’s how it was meant to be, the most important being that you and the baby are ok. Errol rocks, that’s for sure! and Florin…how magnificent is this boy? Looks like a little Buddha. Lots of love sparkling all around your beautiful family

    Reply
  66. gravatar for Carla Carla

    I cired so hard when I saw that cake with its beautiful, magnificient inscription. You ARE a champion, as any woman is who grows a baby and brings it into the world…and your hubby is amazing for thinking of such a fabulous post-birth gift for you. Florin is one of the most spunky little bubbas I have ever seen, that shock of black hair is to die for. Enjoy the third baby bliss bubble and thank you for such a wonderful, detailed story, I loved it.

    Reply
  67. gravatar for Erica @ Expatria, Baby Erica @ Expatria, Baby

    Oh Georgia. What a beautiful story. It may be the little boy I’m growing in my own belly, or it may be your honesty and wisdom, but I’m tearing up. I’m so glad you got the son you always new was yours.

    Reply
  68. gravatar for Jennifer Jennifer

    Congratulations on your beautiful baby Georgia. He is so so so dear. When I first saw his face I thought he just looked so peaceful. I am also a caesar Mum times four. I am so grateful to be able to have a safe birth each time. It’s not the ideal way for a birth to happen but it gets me a healthy baby each time. I find a certain strength from making it through. I wear my scars like a warrior and embraced it wholeheartedly in the end. I really loved hearing about your cake. It’s recognition in the sweetest way.

    Reply
  69. gravatar for Anna Anna

    Dear Georgia,
    I’m writing you form the country of Georgia, Tbilisi. I’ve already had C-section 2 years ago. Not the same story, but I was planning natural birth too (home birth, midwives at home, pool in a leaving room is an utopia here) so, natural birth in a hospital, in a private room is a great option.. So. at my 38 weeks I was told I could not give birth as I had retina degeneration and could be blind after birth. I had peaceful and planned C-section at a hospital and a beautiful baby girl Duda :) Here, in Georgia women who had C-Section are considered as less courage then the natural birth givers.. In future, I will link your post to everyone who thinks that She (whoever she is and gave birth naturally) is more brave then C-sectioned women.

    Reply
  70. gravatar for Deniz Deniz

    Oh my! I’ve read all of your words at once and they made me feel my heart is aching. It seems that so emotional and a little hard period you’ve lived. But I have some lessons learned, although natural birth is the best way in many cases, sometimes we shouldn’t insist on it. Unfortunaltely, something is not going on well as we plan and it’s so normal too. Cesarian method is more difficult; cause you take drugs and it takes time to recover, but still you should be happy to have a healthy child at the end. I think this is the most important point, it doesn’t matter in what ways you reached him, he is alive and with you now.

    Reply
  71. gravatar for Erin Erin

    Wow, what an incredible story. And you’re even more incredible for getting through such a tough labour/birth. Congratulations on your beautiful boy.

    Reply
  72. gravatar for Kylie Kylie

    Dear Georgia and family,
    Your birth story made me cry in awe and empathy. I’m so happy that your son was born healthy and that you are recovering all right from this unexpected and intense hospital experience. It’s obvious that you’re an amazing mother and photographer, but you are also a truly moving and talented writer, and so generous with the honest details of your life (and lives). I really look up to you in many ways, and look forward as always to future posts. Congratulations on completing your family, and I wish you all the very best.
    Love from America, Kylie

    Reply
  73. gravatar for Jill @ Made with Moxie Jill @ Made with Moxie

    Your son is gorgeous. Thank you for sharing your birth story. I prepared and tried my damnedest to have natural , unmedicated births with both of my babies. I felt like such a failure after my first and tried to vbac with my second, my son. I delayed as long as I could to almost 42 weeks when I relented and had another c-section. There was a huge earthquake 30 minuted before he was born. He was 10 pounds 5 ounces and 23 inches long. Thank you for telling your c-section story so beautifully. I struggled a long time following my daughter’s birth with depression and guilt over the surgery. While my husband is my biggest supporter, especially as a mother, I am a bit jealous of your trophy! What a *fabulous* thing! We are all champions.

    Reply
  74. gravatar for Carrie Carrie

    Thank you so much for sharing. I think it is so important for the NCB community to see women who longed for a NCB but ended up in a C Section show thankfulness and gratitude for the C-section—And not resentment. Too many in NCB world show such wrong attitudes toward the hospitals when in MANY cases they save lives. I have had 4 NCBs. My most recent birthing a 10lb4oz baby in the water (with midwife at hospital) but I praise God for medical technology that was there in case I needed assistance. Thankfully I had an amazing team that helped me use a Rebozo to sift the baby down into the birth canal. So glad you trusted your mama instincts! What a beautiful baby!!

    Reply
  75. gravatar for Leah Leah

    Congratulations and thank you for sharing your story, it made me laugh (Errol taking a nap) and cry. I also laboured with my baby being OP and know that excruciating pain. Sending you love and light as you enjoy these blissful days together as a new family and as you move forward in your healing.

    Reply
  76. gravatar for Arni Arni

    Dear Georgia, thank you for sharing! I haven’t had a baby yet (but I wish for the future to have children). I was a little worried that this post might scare me (and all your other posts are so encouraging about giving birth and having children). But – I can’t really describe it, but this one was very encouraging, too. Thank you! Greetings from Germany

    Reply
  77. gravatar for Adria Adria

    Congratulations mama, what a beautiful baby and story. You truly are a champion and I appreciate your positive perspective on your situation. My only birth was a C-section after 27 hours of labor; I could relate to a lot of your experience, but instead I beat myself up and mourned for a LONG time before I could accept it as my story and what had to happen to bring my lovely daughter into the world. Looking forward to all the lovely pictures and stories of sweet Florin to come!

    Reply
  78. gravatar for Emma Emma

    I just love your birth stories. I’ve only read them recently as a friend led me to this site, but boy are the amazing. Priya’s is especially significant to me as I was pregnant at 17, and lived as a single mom for some time. It’s just wonderful to here such a similar situation and for you to be just surrounded by love just like I was. Me and my boy’s dad just got married a few months ago, and we’re still young. It’s so good to know that we have such an inspiring family treading the path before us. Anyways, just wanted to say thank you. And Florin is just deliciously cute.

    emma, from the-sprouted-bean.blogspot.com

    Reply
  79. gravatar for Melissa from Birthtalk.org Melissa from Birthtalk.org

    Georgia – thank you so VERY much for sharing this epic story of strength, courage, and love. Your willingness to ‘go there’ and recognise and report the tumultuous emotions of such an experience has not only allowed us, as readers, to truly feel your pain and your joy, but also has the potential to gently unlock, for some women, the pain they may have kept hidden about their own births. In welcoming us into your emotional space, you have invited other women to perhaps explore their own. Thank you for putting it ‘out there’ that it is ok, and possible, to feel grief and sadness while still feeling gratitude and joy. Such an important message. You are an amazing strong mama. And of course, welcome to sweet Florin. What a beautiful family of FIVE you make :)

    Reply
  80. gravatar for stacey stacey

    wow what a beautiful and moving story thank you for sharing and i must say well done i know how frightening yet exciting this would have been as i myself just went through having a emergency c-section after having 4 natural births. Your new lil man is gorgeous and you have some beautiful photos to look back on :) ps my first boy was born on the 1/10/08 :)

    Reply
  81. gravatar for Betty Panagiotidou Betty Panagiotidou

    Dear Georgia, thank you so much for answering my questions!!! You are more than kind!!! :)
    I spend more than half of my days- and nights- reading and searching on births, babies, pre and post natal care and all that staff! All my best wishes to you and your lovely family!!!

    Reply
  82. gravatar for Olivia Olivia

    What a beautiful story. Thank you for sharing. The birth of my son Jude is somewhat similar, except we didn’t end with a c-section, but I was sure I had lost him before he was even mine to hold. And as scary as it was, it made me appreciate life so much more. Congrats on your little Florin.

    Reply
  83. gravatar for Kimberly Kimberly

    Thank you for writing this beautiful story. You put into words many of the things I felt during and after the birth of my baby boy. Our stories have many similarities, as mine ended in a cesarean as well.
    I actually passed this along to my husband to read as well so that he could understand some of the feelings that I went through following the birth.
    Thank you, again, for sharing your story. It has helped me and countless others.

    Reply
  84. gravatar for Sara Sara

    I feel I don’t have the words to tell you how beautiful and inspiring this is. Thank you so much for sharing with us this amazing, personal, inspiring, loving, grateful, joyful story. You have given hope and joy to me and so many others with this sharing. Your family is so beautiful together!

    Reply
  85. gravatar for natalie natalie

    Hello from a small beach town across the ocean in northern california! I truly admire you and your creations. I just want to say congratulations, and thank you for sharing your beautiful story, it brought tears to my eyes!

    Reply
  86. gravatar for Sara Sara

    Also I wanted to say I LOVE the boppy pillow cover you made to match Priya’s drawing! its inspiring to see what you get done with your kiddos, super mama!

    Reply
  87. gravatar for Jenneffer Jenneffer

    Georgia you certainly have a way with words! I was crying my little eyes out wiping tears off my cheeks to the very end. I’m a lover of stories and this one was certainly one to put a bookmark on. Thank you so much for sharing and congratulations on the most beautiful little sweet butterball that is Florin.

    Reply
  88. gravatar for Jessica Robbins Jessica Robbins

    What an amazing birth story!! I’m a RN in Everett, Washington, USA and I work in Labor and Delivery. A coworker recommended to me to read your story and I’m so glad I did. I always try to put myself in my patients place when it comes to emergencies or unplanned events. THANK YOU for reminding me why I do the job I do and for trying to remember what our ladies are going trough when they are in labor! The rag over the face-and being asked to remove it-I will remember that one!!!
    Thanks again!

    Reply
  89. gravatar for Laura Laura

    oh Georgia, Florin is gorgeous. And thank you so much for your raw honesty, I loved reading your beautiful story, you brought tears to my eyes!

    Reply
  90. gravatar for Sarah Sarah

    Georgia, these words are simply beautiful, but my favourite part was how you so eloquently articulated the bittersweet feelings of enormous gratitude that your babe is in your arms, but at the same time, the grief for the birth that didnt happen. There will be so many women who understand exactly what you mean but had to deal with those feelings alone, in fear of those who judge and say, ‘why aren’t you just happy that your baby is here?’ Just by putting it ‘out there’ you will have given so many women permission to feel ok about those feelings. And Florin? He is simply adorable!

    Reply
  91. gravatar for phyllis hugins phyllis hugins

    A hug from a mom of 5.. son #1 was going to be caesarean after hours of labor, posterior breach was the problem! As they were wheeling me to surgery, he dropped and they were able to use tools to turn him. The only side problem, his eyes were damaged and he is legally blind without his glasses..but has lived a productive life..
    All the other 4 natural.. Thank you for sharing!!!

    Reply
  92. gravatar for Maria Maria

    Georgia, I have been reading your website for a few months now, but this story is so overwhelming I can´t help leaving a comment this time. This is really an amazing story, so perfectly told with all those emotions.. I think I never read nor heard a better one – and I´ve heard a lot of birth-stories being a midwife (in Germany). I cries my eyes out as did so many others..
    Thank you so much for sharing this very personal story with all its ups and downs.

    Reply
  93. gravatar for Ravyn Ravyn

    With the birth of my first baby around the corner, this story makes my heart so very full. A beautiful reminder that not everything goes the way you want it to, but that things do go the way the need to. He’s beautiful, his name is beautiful, and this reflection of your birth is beautiful.

    Reply
  94. gravatar for Melina Hale Melina Hale

    Thankyou that was so beautiful. I too had a natural birth then a caesarian though my caesarian had to be planned unfortunately due to having placenta praevia – full . Even so the date was changed yet again due to severe haemorrhaging and needing it to be done month earlier. It’s funny how having one of both without meaning to you feel guilt and shame and inadequacy about having a caesarian but the truth is if we didn’t have that option for a lot of women like ourselves we wouldn’t be here to tell the tale or our child wouldn’t be here or both. We are lucky to have access to this emergency treatment and having a beautiful child as the outcome is the best reward of all.

    Reply
  95. gravatar for Emily Emily

    Beautiful mummy <3 when seeing your story pop up on my Facebook news feed I nearly cried. As a midwife whenever friends were sceptic about birth your beautiful birth video with theo was my first point of call. I cannot express how proud/excited and overwhelmed I am by your strength and your courage through this endeavor. Down to your last words my heart was warm with the love you and Errol share; and the support you gave each other. You are a beautiful inspiration to many women; thank you for sharing this journey with us <3 God bless you and your growing little family x

    Reply
  96. gravatar for Helen Helen

    I read your birth story of your lil’ man yesterday. Funny thing is I was at our local FBC share supper the night before and we watched a DVD which showed your second birth (waterbirth). It is such a stark contrast yet you have beautifully shared your story. It is soo important for these stories to be told in a positive light even though it may not have been the dream birth you thought you would have (like your previous), it was his dream birth in that your little boy is here safe. I have been there also where you have plans for your dream labour and birth and it is hard when things start changing and you start to lose control. Mums need to know that it can happen to any of us but that doesn’t change our birth story to being a terrible one…..it is one that is different than planned.

    Reply
  97. gravatar for Fern Fern

    Your story strikes a still sore and tender place in me, as parts of it are very much like the birth of my first. We planned a homebirth, and I laboured at home for a couple of days and pushed at home (7 hours of pushing at home) before we decided to transfer to hospital care. Like in your case, my baby was simply not coming down, for a reason unknown. After a switch to hospital care, 3 more hours of pushing, the use of the ventouse, and some seriously bad ass obstetrical skill, my baby was born vaginally, although in no way gently. We found out upon her birth that she was brow presenting, and had a nuchal cord x 3, with a true knot that sat under her chin. The way you describe that you imagined your natural home birth would take the most strength of all, but in fact this birth called upon you to be even stronger, is absolutely beautiful. I am now 40 weeks pregnant with my second, and because of the challenges we went through the first time around, I approach this second birth, also a planned homebirth, with much nervousness. “I don’t know if I can do that again” is a reoccurring thought. It is comforting to think of the amount of strength that I was already called upon to have with my last birth. You are right, even when it seems impossible for you to endure more, you can, and you do. I hope this next birth does not call upon the same level of strength for me, but if it does, it helps to have the reminder that this well of strength is indeed there, waiting for me, should it be needed. May this well of strength, that the universe called upon you to use, and in doing so proved that it is deep and profound, be a source of strength in your healing process. May you never need to use that much strength and courage again, but may you always feel it there, deep in your guts, ready, should there ever be a need.

    Reply
  98. gravatar for Amber @ Au Coeur Amber @ Au Coeur

    Georgia, this is such a wonderful story. I think you hit the nail on the head regarding the emotions of a cesarean and I’m so glad that you’re at peace with it. Honestly the thing that bugged me most was that your first midwife wasn’t there. It doesn’t seem right that she would have planned a trip so close to a client’s birth and then would not have stayed. :-( Anyway, I wanted to share that last week I had the opportunity to observe a planned cesarean and I was so glad I was able to be present at what was a truly beautiful birth. Was it ideal? No. But for this mama and baby it was right, and her care providers did an amazing job of providing care, even going out on a limb and trying something they had never done before (skin-to-skin in the OR) at mama’s request. Having had two natural births myself, I was so glad to be able to experience the beauty and peace that can exist in cesarean birth. It sounds like your little (big!) guy’s birth was just as “right” for you.

    Reply
  99. gravatar for Gretchen Gretchen

    What wisdom in your words: I’ve always believed that real beauty and depth of character are built on wounds that have healed.

    This has a thousand applications.

    Thank you for sharing your story. Heal quickly, my sister.

    Reply
  100. gravatar for Andrea Andrea

    I love that your story has struck so many people in such different ways. For me, you validated my feelings about my own birth, and tonight, with your story in my mind, I wrote my own. This sentence, in particular, helped me through:
    “Grieving something you have lost doesn’t mean you aren’t grateful for what you have.”
    You will never know how truly grateful I am to you, for helping me take the next step in helping me accept my difficult birth experience, by writing about it.

    Thank you

    Reply
  101. gravatar for Lori Lori

    This is so beautiful. You sound like a very wise soul. I will keep this story with me if and when I am fortunate enough to be pregnant again. I had a wonderful natural first birth experience and was so thankful to have been inspired by the birth stories I read. I know, though, that I am not guaranteed another experience like my first, and I only hope I can handle it as well as you should I need a cesarean. I feel that it has been very important to read this wonderfully written account. Thank you for sharing. Florin is gorgeous.

    Reply
  102. gravatar for Amberley Harris Amberley Harris

    Thankyou for sharing your wonderful story. You had me in tears on several occasions! I am a midwife & I have a small business with my sister (a Naturopath) in Melbourne. Recently I blogged about my birthing journey in April where I tried my absolute best to deliver my breech baby boy vaginally, but it wasn’t to be. I can relate to your experience on so many levels & although I am at peace with my Caesarean (for the most part), I still found more acceptance after reading your story; & how I truly thank you for that. I am delighted to be following ur FB page & I look forward to your 365 day project! Warmest Wishes, Amber xx

    Reply
  103. gravatar for mamanepu mamanepu

    Dear Georgia, I read your birth story this morning, and somehow I was hugely touched by the trophy cake :) This part was the one that made me cry. I recently suffered a miscarriage, and after giving birth two years ago at week 40 (to a beautiful girl, now watching cartoons beside me) and now at week 11, my view of what can happen and how our bodies function and how we recover, that has all changed once again. Thanks for sharing your story, I’m sending you strength, love, and tranquility from a mountain in Bosnia.

    Reply
    • gravatar for Georgia Georgia

      Hello Mamanepu, thank you for your comment and kind words. I am sorry to hear about your loss, my heart goes out to you that you are healing well and feeling loved <3

      Reply
  104. gravatar for emma emma

    You are truly an amazing women, you have a beautiful family. Well done for being so strong x

    Reply
  105. gravatar for Adriel Booker Adriel Booker

    So beautiful Georgia. There is nothing so fierce as the collision of hopes and expectations and emotion and adrenaline and fear and faith… wrapped up in the package of birth. So much love and vulnerability and strength in your story.

    And welcome to the world gorgeous Florin. You’re a blessed man, little one. xo

    Reply
  106. gravatar for Nicole at Mommy Moxie Nicole at Mommy Moxie

    What a beautiful story! I too didn’t get to have the (second) delivery I wanted, but my little guy made it here, safe and sound, just like Florin, which is precisely all that matters. Whenever the topic of birth plans come up, I always remark that they’re not worth the paper they’re written on, that labor and delivery is unpredictable thing. Thank you so much for showing that no matter how it happens, birth is a wonderful and precious thing. <3

    Reply
    • gravatar for Georgia Georgia

      Thanks for your words Nicole. In retrospect from Florin’s birth I wish I had written *some* kind of birth plan … or preferences would be a better word. While I know that birth cannot be planned and that it’s totally unpredictable and important to be open to it changing – the experience of being drugged and not able to make conscious decisions did make me regret not having written down things like “please don’t give my baby dairy based formula” etc. I think in that sense birth ‘plans’ can be helpful. x

      Reply
  107. gravatar for Celine Rosales Celine Rosales

    As a first time soon-to-be mom, I cannot imagine myself giving birth. Nor do I have any idea of a real labor myself. Though I’ve witnessed my mom go into labor with our youngest, I know it still incomparable. I am actually scared but I keep my thoughts of it as I wouldn’t want to be scared and hysterical. I want to be calm even while in pain which is something I’m not sure I can actually do. Your story gives me hope, inspires me that no matter how much the pain would be, that it’ll all be worth it upon seeing this little human inside me. I prayed for her even before when I don’t know if I’d ever have her at the age that I wanted to have her, or if I’d have her with the right man as I’ve prayed for. But God did answered my prayers. Both has happened, though not in the most perfect situation I expected to be in. But everything is perfect in God’s time. :)
    Again.. Thank you so much for such inspiration. Don’t stop writing & sharing!
    God bless you & your beautiful family! :)

    Reply
  108. gravatar for Shelley Duncan Shelley Duncan

    Thank you for your incredibly descriptive and honest recount of your amazing experience. I am still teary from reading your words as I recall my two caesars. My first was a very ripe 10 pound breach baby girl, which at the time, I thought robbed me of experiencing a natural labour and the “real” birthing experience (immediately after, I was relieved I didn’t have to push her out at that size!) My second, was a 9 pound boy, who gave me my first taste of how painful and uncertain labour can be! He too, didn’t progress and once my waters broke full of meconium I was taken in for an emergency caesar only to have him unresponsive for 5 mins! Waiting for that little cry was the longest and most terrifying 5 mins of my life and I am so grateful that he chose to take it and share his beautiful soul with ours. I am still amazed and will be forever in debt to our medical team at the Mater Brisbane for their wonderful care. Thank you again for such beautiful words. I felt like you were speaking for me on many occasions, as it was exactly how I felt!

    Reply
  109. gravatar for Emily Heard Emily Heard

    what a beautiful birth story! my first almost ended up in an emergency c-section. he had the cord wrapped twice around his neck so his heart rate would drop every time i had a contraction. thankfully it never came to that, i ended up being able to birth him vaginally. then he wasn’t breathing so it was a very tense couple minutes while the doctors and nurses worked to get him breathing, then i heard his wonderful cry! the most amazing moment in my life.

    Reply
    • gravatar for Emily Heard Emily Heard

      i forgot to say “WOW!!” what a big boy! i thought my son was big, he was 7lb8oz (not too heavy) but he was 21 inches! my daughter at 3 months was the size of florin at birth :D amazing what our bodies are capable of!

      Reply
  110. gravatar for Gen Gen

    Thank you so much for your beautiful story. My first birth ended in an emergency c-section and, as I had never birthed naturally, I always felt a failure. Your words have given me a completely different perspective. I can’t tell you how much I appreciate that xx

    Reply
  111. gravatar for Georgia Georgia

    Thank you for sharing. So beautiful. Moved to tears. Will be sharing with friends who’ve had cesarian births. x

    Reply
  112. gravatar for Alexandra Alexandra

    I laughed! I cried! And I loved every bit of it. In a weird (yet totally non-creepy!!!) way, I absolutely love you and your family!
    Xox from Canada.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

  • (will not be published)

flowers for the bottom of the page