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Episode 41


In today’s episode, I interview Emma. At the age of 14, Emma was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease and she underwent surgery for a fistula. During this surgery, Emma was advised that if she was to go on and have a family in the future, it was most likely she would need to have a caesarean section. 

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Image by Belle Verdiglione Photography

At 21 she had a bad a relapse of her Crohn’s Disease and she underwent a bowel resection and they removed 30cm of her small intestine. After several more repairs on her fistula, Emma was also diagnosed with an autoimmune arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis (AS). The AS effected her pelvis and spine making pregnancy more challenging however, it was ultimately the Crohn’s disease and her previous surgeries which meant she needed to have caesarean deliveries

After having two caesareans with the same obstetrician, in Emma’s third pregnancy she felt very emotional about the fact that she was going to have to have another caesarean section. What affected Emma the most was the fact that she had to have them delivered in this way due to her own health. Emma raised her concerns with her obstetrician during her third pregnancy, however she felt quite unheard by her obstetrician. She wasn’t getting the birth she was hoping for and she felt that the emotional component of her birth was not being acknowledged and supported.

Four years after having her first child Emma decided to try and makes some changes in her fourth birth. Going with the same obstetrician but asking for changes. Emma asked for changes such as delayed cord clamping, an attempt to not use forceps in the delivery, the use of her own music in the delivery room and she had her husband videotaping the birth.  After watching the video back Emma said she felt completely robbed and taken advantage of as her obstetrician hadn’t made any of the changes she had requested. Forceps were used, the cord wasn’t left to pulsate and what’s more, the obstetrician swore that he hated the song playing on Emma’s playlist whilst delivering their baby.

For her fifth and final birth, Emma was not going to have the same obstetrician. To hear how Emma made a variety of changes to get the gentle caesarean she had dreamed of, tune into this Emma’s episode on the show.

Topics Discussed

Caesarean births, Gentle caesarean birth, Crohn's Disease

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