This week one of my readers shares her emergency c-section birth story, and I have to admit my heart was in my mouth when I first read it a couple of months back, it’s very intense. Thankfully both mum and baby are both thriving now. Linda wanted to share her story because she was unaware there could be complications due to the anaesthetic following an emergency c-section and doesn’t want others to feel lost and helpless like she once did. 

My Emergency C-section Birth Story

From the start of pregnancy, my blood pressure was always perfect then all of a sudden it changed. At around week 36 my blood pressure started to rocket up. My GP and midwives clinic monitored my blood pressure until week 39 and then gave me an appointment to have it checked in the hospital.

Following that appointment, I was admitted to the hospital with high blood pressure on Friday 25th of April and put on medication to try to stabilize it. I was discharged on Monday 28th of April and instructed to come back on Wednesday evening to have an induction.

I returned as advised the following Wednesday evening and my induced began shortly after 2am. I was induced by the gel. Not the most pleasant of experiences but not too bad either. This was my first induction so I didn’t have a clue what to expect. Would I get pains straight away? Would my waters break soon?

Nah – I was told to have a sleep instead and so I did! Very interrupted as I was so anxious but no pains as of yet.

I was due to be examined and receive a second dose of the gel at 8am but I didn’t actually get it until 2pm, the doctors were really busy. Contractions soon began to roll in, I was in a lot of pain, I began vomiting and my water broke over the next couple of hours. My babies heart rate began to drop and there was some panic, we needed an emergency C-section.

Unfortunately, I had to be put under anaesthetic and did not witness the birth of my son – nor did my husband. Nobody is allowed to be present while you are “asleep” during an emergency c-section in an operating theatre.

My first memory after the operation was the doctors wheeling me into the recovery room and waking me up to tell me I had a baby boy weighing 8lb 4oz. I remember feeling extremely drowsy and disorientated. They wheeled me in and brought Harry’s crib up to me. I could not move anything other than my head and arms/hands. They put a dressing gown on me and put Harry on my chest. I was dumbfounded. To be in severe pain and pregnant to just waking up and your baby being there was completely surreal.

I was planning on breastfeeding but unfortunately, I wasn’t well enough to do it, so my mam gave Harry his first bottle. I’m still raging I couldn’t see it or even do it myself for that matter but I’m delighted my mam got to give her grandson his first feed. My husband took a pic of Harry on my phone for me before heading home as I was unable to move or hold him.

After the C-section, I was absolutely freezing. I could not stop shivering at all – my teeth were chattering and everything. The midwives put a heated blanket over me. It wasn’t much of a concern as it can be due to shock or an effect from the anaesthetic. But then I started feeling hot – like really hot. Harry was in an incubator as his body temp was a bit low. So we could not open a window or anything. I was roasting. Then I started to feel a bit short of breath. My oxygen levels were a bit low so they put an oxygen thingy on me (the tubes that go up your nostrils) and started monitoring me.

Then my blood pressure started to shoot up again. They gave me a high dose of medication to try to get my blood pressure down but no luck – it was still rising. They gave me another tablet and it settled a little then.

With that one of the doctors noticed I was very jittery following my emergency c-section. He checked my reflexes (how I don’t know because my legs were still numb!) and had some blood tests done. And by 1am doctors confirmed I had pre-eclampsia. I was put on a drip and sent straight to intensive care – the high dependency unit.

I had a lovely midwife that brought Harry over to me for me to hold while she was doing my stats. I felt so hopeless not being able to hold him without help or even pick him up. I was just watching other people look after him.

That night I barely slept.

I was so gobsmacked with what had happened. I was a mammy. My baby was beside me instead of in my belly.

Even though I felt poorly I remembered a lovely piece of advice my sister gave me. She said to make sure to take a photo of your baby lying beside you the day they are born. It is a photo you will always treasure and look back on – and will guarantee to turn you into an emotional wreck when looking at it.

Here was Harry’s first night outside of my belly. My eyes well up whenever I look at it.

emergency c-section birth story

There is a whole collection of birth stories on the blog if you would like to see more. Birth stories go live every Sunday at 9pm but let’s be honest its never actually on time. If you would like to feature your birth story drop me an email at

10 Comments on My Emergency C-section by Linda Cunningham

  1. Oh what a scary experience for you! I had an emergency section & an elective but was awake for both. I completely understand how you must have felt waking up though- it all must have been so much to take in. Glad everything was OK in the end xx

  2. Ah bless you, I had an emergency c-section on my first boy and it was so scary, I had an abruption and was also knocked out, husband couldn’t come in, felt really alone and I felt like I hadn’t given birth at all and couldn’t believe he was outside of me and he was mine, was awful weird to get used to. Had a planned section with the twins and I was awake, a completely different experience, was able to see them being lifted out! Really glad everything worked out for you x

  3. I pre-eclampsia with my first born, but I was in hospital 2 weeks previously to him being born, so knew it was coming. So your readers must have been such a shock. I am so glad all is well now.

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