By Melissa Meehan
If you asked Samantha Lamour about her birth plan, she was fairly relaxed, except for the idea of having a caesarean.
She didn’t judge other women for having one – but her mum had ‘natural’ births and that’s what she wanted too.
But as luck would have it, the Boronia mum had no choice and her son Ollie was brought into the world by c-section.
A routine 36 week check-up turned into a rush across to Angliss Hospital after it was revealed Sam was suffering from pre-eclampsia and had extremely high blood pressure.
“I was 36 weeks and four days and they said they would induce me,” she said.
“So here I was just going on maternity leave two days earlier and I was about to meet my baby.”
But when the early makings of the induction made little difference to her cervix, they decided it was too risky to break her waters – and would need to do it in surgery.
Ollie was surrounded by fluid and wasn’t settled, which meant breaking Sam’s 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,” she said.
“Until I started getting contractions – and I started to panic because they had told minutes earlier that there could be some issues.”
They rushed her down to surgery at 10 at night.
Her partner Dylan wasn’t allowed inside theatre while they were putting the anaesthetic in Sam’s back, so her sanity came from a friendly orderly who hugged her as the needle went in.
“It was such a weird experience, they had to lift my legs back onto the bed because you can’t move at all and 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,” she said.
“It’s like sitting on your foot and running your finger along it.
“But the caesarean itself wasn’t too scary.”
Soon enough the curtain was pulled down and Samantha saw her beautiful baby boy.
But then the stress started.
“He was purple and wasn’t breathing,” Sam 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.
For Sam, she thinks 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.
“The 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, Sam said she’d loved to try a vaginal birth, but next time she won’t be so cutthroat about her birth plan.