By Melissa Meehan
Boronia mum Samantha Lamour was pretty relaxed about her birth plan, except for the possibility of having a caesarean.
Samantha didn’t judge other women for having one. However, her mum had ‘natural’ births and she wanted one too.
As it turned out, she had no choice to deliver her son, Ollie, by c-section.
She was rushed to Angliss Hospital at 36 weeks after a routine check-up revealed she had extremely high blood pressure and was suffering from pre-eclampsia.
At 36 weeks and four days – and just two days after going on maternity leave – she was about to be induced.
But when the induction made little difference to her cervix, medical staff decided it was too risky to break Samantha’s waters – and would need to do it in surgery.
Her unborn son was surrounded by fluid and wasn’t settled, which meant breaking the waters could result in him having the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck.
“But because I wasn’t to term and I wasn’t in labour I kept getting pushed back for more urgent cases,” Samantha recalled.
“Until I started getting contractions – and I started to panic because they had told minutes earlier that there could be some issues.”
Samantha was rushed down to surgery.
It was 10pm. Samantha’s partner Dylan wasn’t allowed inside theatre while the anaesthetic was put into her back.
“It was such a weird experience,” Samantha recalled.
“I think the thing no one warns you about is that once they cut you open – you don’t feel pain … but you feel everything.
“But the caesarean itself wasn’t too scary.”
Soon enough the curtain was pulled down and Samantha saw her beautiful baby boy.
But then things took a turn.
“He was purple and wasn’t breathing,” Samantha said.
“The nurse was violently rubbing him, and Dylan actually said to me ‘oh they are cleaning him up’ – and I was like ‘no – he’s not breathing’.”
Ollie ended up in the special care unit but has gone from strength to strength ever since.
Samantha believes the negative stigma attached to a caesarean birth needs to change.
“Even if it is a choice, you need a pretty valid medical reason,” she said.
“And I did get some comments from random people who were super negative.
“They asked me if it was because I didn’t want to mess up downstairs or if I was too precious to push … which was horrible.”
Asked if she would have another c-section with her next child, Samantha said she’d loved to try a vaginal birth.
However, next time she won’t be so set on her birth plan.