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Episode 206


In this week’s episode I chat to Nadia about her three births including her most recent which was a maternal-assisted cesarean. Nadia’s first son, a boy named Pio, was diagnosed with a rare chromosomal abnormality and was born via cesarean at 20weeks. She discusses her disbelief at the diagnosis and the subsequent grief of her loss followed by the healing arrival of her rainbow baby, Riviera. Nadia found her mothering groove when Riviera was six-months-old so the last thing she expected was to fall pregnant again. Her second daughter, Florencia, was born in the middle of Melbourne’s Covid lockdown and Nadia is now home and happily juggling two under two.

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“I went off the pill to give my body a break. I thought it would take a while to fall pregnant but I actually fell in that first month. I couldn’t believe it!”

Nadia was already privately covered so booked in with an obstetrician. She felt great but started bleeding at six weeks and while she mentioned it to her obstetrician, he wasn’t concerned because he considered it old blood. It was at her 20 week scan that she knew something was wrong.

“It was such a surreal, slow motion moment. The sonographer was silent while he was doing the scan and he sat us down afterward to tell us that the baby’s growth was stunted, his left and right brain weren’t communicating and he had two holes in his heart. Everything just went blurry…Even now when I speak about it I just feel dumbfounded and numb.”

The following day Nadia had an amnio and the results showed that her baby had a rare chromosomal abnormality and that if she was to birth at full term, he wouldn’t survive outside the womb. A few days later she was admitted to hospital, was given a general anaesthetic and delivered via cesarean.

“When I woke the midwives recommended that I spend time with him to help my healing so I had him in my room in the cuddle cot for a few days. I recovered in the general ward so I didn’t need to be in maternity and near all the babies. The heartfelt team came and took photos for us and I have them in a box and always look at them on his birthday.”

Nadia fell pregnant twelve months later on her honeymoon but sadly miscarried at 7 weeks. She admits she was absolutely consumed with falling pregnant afterwards and fell the following month. After discovering that Pio’s condition wasn’t the result of genetics, Nadia settled into her pregnancy, leant onto her family and friends for support and chose to see a different obstetrician at a different hospital.

While she knew she would be having a cesarean, she didn’t expect her waters to break at 35 weeks.

“I had a massive gush so we rang the hospital and they told us to come in. We got to Francis Perry and they monitored the fluid and called my doctor but he was on holidays so his replacement told me to wait overnight and they would do the cesarean the following morning. They gave me a steroid shot for Riviera’s lungs and the next morning we went to the operating theatre.She came out screaming and checked her over but they were a bit concerned with her breathing so they gave me a quick cuddle and then Bruno went with her to special care. I felt a bit detached because she was in special care for the entire time and I really wanted my baby in my room with me.”

Nadia was really passionate about breastfeeding and thankfully, Riviera made it easy and she latched on her first attempt. She was six-months-old when Nadia felt like she’s found her mothering rhythm.

“I was on the mini pill and started feeling a bit funny so I did a pregnancy test and I just couldn’t believe it when it came back positive. I literally cried of shock for four days. My Obstetrician had recommended I wait 12months to fall pregnant again so he was very surprised to see me. And then shortly after my 12weeks scan Covid hit so I did the rest of my appointments by myself.”

Nadia’s Obstetrician suggested a maternal-assisted cesarean and while she had never heard of it before, she really trusted his judgement and was excited by the opportunity. “He really encouraged me to do it as it’s a beautiful bonding experience which I feel like I needed after losing Pio and being separated from Riviera while she was in special care.”

Nadia went into labour at 33weeks and after calling the hospital she decided to go in for monitoring. As soon as she got there her waters broke so her obstitrician gave her medication to stop the contractions and preventative antibiotics. She was on bedrest for two weeks in the middle of Covid so while her husband, Bruno, was able to visit her everyday, she was away from Riviera and it was heartbreaking.

At 35 weeks her obstetrician was happy to deliver the baby and prepared Nadia for the maternal-assisted cesarean.

“There was extra hand washing involved and both Bruno and I had to have a covid test before we went into theatre. It’s very structured and obviously we wouldn’t have gone ahead with it if there were risks. Thankfully it was very straightforward so Peter brought Florencia up and then he guided my hands under her arms and I lifted her from there and straight onto my chest. It was absolutely amazing and the bond and connection was instant. Everyone was so pumped in that room, it was just amazing. She stayed on me for a few minutes and they took her away to special care as they wanted to monitor her breathing. She was there for two days and then she spent three days with me in my room before we were discharged.”

Nadia is deep in the newborn bubble, juggling two under two and never not grateful for her girls. She admits that the past few months have been particularly emotional but she’s grateful for support and knows that if she does feel the need for professional help, she will reach out.

Topics Discussed

Chromosomal abnormality, Maternal-Assisted Caesarean, Three births, Stillbirth, Caesarean

Episode Sponsor

THE CAESAREAN BIRTH CLASS, an informative and empowering online childbirth course that offers you education and guidance for caesarean preparation, birth and recovery.

Featuring four audio modules with perinatal health specialists and three caesarean-specific breathing and relaxation practices, The Caesarean Birth Class takes you through every aspect of birth and recovery, including:

* Writing a caesarean birth plan and advocating for your preferences

* Relaxation and rest in pregnancy

* What happens before you go to theatre

* The caesarean birth process, including Maternal Assisted Caesarean (MAC)

* Skin-to-skin and optimal cord clamping in theatre

* What to expect in recovery

* Pain relief options and side-effects

* Mobility in the first 24/48/72 hours

* Wound care and healing

* Recovery at home

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