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How Positive Can a Caesarean Birth Be?

The short answer is... SO positive!


Meet Sarah and Josh. When we first got connected, they were planning a birth with as few interventions as possible. Soon after, they learned Sarah's placenta was lying low over her cervix (placenta previa). This meant that unless it moved significantly, their baby would have to be born by Caesarean (or through the sunroof, as we referred to it).


We began our months-long preparation process, which included this family learning lots about the surgery and the options to make it an experience that they would eventually reflect on as positive, surreal, and sacred.


When the day of their baby's birth came, thanks to their thoughtful care providers who were willing to work as a team, I got to join them through the whole birth, including supporting them in the operating room. Sarah has kindly not only given permission to share these images we got to capture for all those who may be facing the possibility of a Caesarean birth, but she also had a chat with another client of mine waiting on her baby, and who also had placenta previa. That client too went on to have a beautiful belly birth. I am so in awe of the families I get to support and the moments I get to capture, and of the community we can build when we openly support each other and talk about all that birth can be.




Last moments pregnant! Before heading to the OR, Sarah's blood work is done and IV is set up. The Obstetrician and the Anesthesiologist each come by for a chat.















The spinal block is being set up here. Before starting, Sarah is asked if she is ready and we help her into position (shoulders down, back rounded). The anesthesiologist then talks Sarah through all the steps.
















Once the spinal block is in place, Sarah lies down as it starts working. The staff finish setting up. Sarah's playlist is playing out loud and her and Josh chat.


This moment can be emotional for even the most calm partners.


The curtain is up. There is sometimes an option of a clear drape for families who want it. For Sarah and Josh, the obstetrician is explainign some of the basic steps from the other side, and the drape will be lowered when baby comes.










Baby is here! This little took a bit longer, but most babies are born very fast, in 5 to 10 minutes. The longest part of the Caesarean birth is stitching up the incision, which usually takes 30-40 minutes.


After delayed cord clamping (still possible with a Caesarean!) Sarah gets to hold baby right away.


Studying baby :)




Baby goes off to the warmer (in the same room) for a full newborn exam by the pediatrician.













Sarah watches baby's newborn exam via live camera and a screen. I have only seen this screen at BC Women's Hospital, and it is so incredibly helpful!



Sarah watching her baby.













Back together.




Josh with his baby boy.


Some of Sarah's medical support team. The incredible people who respected Sarah & Josh's wishes, worked together, and delivered their baby safely.

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