A mother who was asleep during the of birth of her son has detailed why doctors chose to put her under general anaesthetic for the duration of her C-section in 2017.
Siobhan Wend, 26, from Melbourne, wasn’t able to have an epidural for the procedure due to a diagnosed platelet disorder.
The condition could have affected the birth as it meant there was the chance that she would bleed out.
‘Normally you’re only put under general anaesthetic during an emergency but because of the disorder my blood doesn’t clot as quickly as others,’ she told FEMAIL.
‘This meant they had to treat it as a serious blood condition, even though it’s not.’
Siobhan Wend, 26, from Melbourne, had to be under general anaesthetic when she gave birth as she wasn’t able to have an epidural for the procedure
Siobhan was also ranked at a higher risk for spinal bleeding, which meant she was closely monitored.
‘They said I could have a natural child birth if I wanted to but it was highly likely I would have to be put under in an emergency anyway,’ she said.
‘Given the stress levels that arise when that happens I thought I would rather plan to be put under.
‘It’s still scary, but not as scary as if it wasn’t planned because I was able to plan for what was going to happen.’
Siobhan was ranked at a higher risk for spinal bleeding, which meant she was closely monitored
‘They said I could have a natural child birth if I wanted to but it was highly likely I would have to be put under in an emergency anyway,’ she said
Unfortunately Siobhan wasn’t allowed to have her partner, Gerdus Werd, 29, in the room with her.
‘Like emergency surgery it still has a risk and it might be too traumatic for the partner,’ she explained.
‘I’m a pretty positive person so it was fine, but when I gave him a kiss goodbye I still thought some frightening thoughts, such as “What if I don’t wake up?” and “Will I ever hold or kiss my baby?”.’
‘Given the stress levels that arise when that happens I thought I would rather plan to be put under,’ Siobhan said
While she is now the proud mum of a healthy bub, it wasn’t without its complications.
Siobhan lost 1.5 litres of blood during the birth – a complication that meant the procedure went for an hour and a half instead of the usual half hour.
She also didn’t expect the kind of pain that she woke up to.
To top it off, her healthy newborn son wasn’t in the room with her when she finally came to.
‘It’s the wanting to know whether he is okay that’s the hard part, a lot of mums listen for the first cry to know they’re alive and breathing, which I didn’t experience,’ she said.
Fortunately Siobhan did wake up, but she lost an unexpected 1.5 litres during the birth, which meant the procedure went for an hour and a half instead of the usual half hour
Because of the blood loss, Siobhan couldn’t see her son until she was strong enough, which was two hours later.
‘Ideally I would have woken up in 40 minutes and soon have him in my arms but that couldn’t happen. I also didn’t get blood until day two and they ended up giving me a blood transfusion,’ she explained.
‘This is because blood is precious and they wanted to make sure I really needed it before they gave it to me. I couldn’t believe how much better I felt after that.’
While she was recovering Gerdus gave their son the skin to skin moments that are so important when a baby is first born.
Unfortunately Siobhan wasn’t allowed to have her partner, Gerdus Werd, 29, in the room with her
To make this process easier, Siobhan’s midwife collected her colostrum (her pre-milk) to feed Arlo, which would help develop the bond between mother and child.
‘I had my placenta encapsulated as well which helped with my iron levels and recovery,’ Siobhan said.
‘I had my placenta encapsulated as well which helped with my iron levels and recovery,’ Siobhan said
‘Even though there were moments that were scary, I was very lucky because I had a great birth.’
Eventually she was able to hold Arlo in her own hands, which helped her push through the aches and pains she was experiencing.
‘My partner lit up in pure happiness seeing me as the nurses fussed over hooking me up and then finally that life-changing moment I had waited 273 days for happened,’ she said
‘I held my gorgeous son tightly and kissed his soft head and I felt so much love for him.’
Despite some of the misconceptions about C-sections Siobhan says she has an amazing bond with her little boy.
‘People get caught up in whether a birth is natural or not but all that matters is that you have a healthy and happy baby,’ she said.
‘No one asks you when you’re in university whether you were a natural baby or a C-section.’