Birth in Japan caesarian Nisseki Hospital Tokyo
Birth in Japan, Doula

Our birth story – Part 2

Here is Part 2 of our birth story – describes all about how our planned VBAC suddenly became an emergency caesarean. Includes video footage of my contractions in the hospital as well as our first skin-to-skin contact (kangaroo care) with our new baby girl:)

For Part 1 of our birth story see here.

Below is a description of what happened during the night our baby was born.

Our birth story

I started having regular contractions with increasing pain at around 7pm, and by 8pm I said to my husband I think we need to go to the hospital!

It was chaos as we had the plumber at our house to fix a broken pipe. We quickly paid the plumber, grabbed the bags, gave lots of cuddles and explanations to our 2 year old son (who was a very strong boy and didn’t cry), and jumped/crawled into the taxi.

The taxi ride was very bumpy, causing my contractions to intensify. I tried to focus on my breathing and visualised that with every bump and contraction that it was helping push my baby down. My husband quickly downloaded the iPhone app to time the length of my contractions, so we spent the taxi ride holding hands, timing the contractions, and looking forward to finally meeting our baby girl.

About 20min later, just when we pulled up outside the hospital, my waters broke. Thank goodness we had a big plastic bag and lots of towels underneath! My husband helped me crawl out of the taxi with the towels and I sat in the gutter while another contraction came. My husband said it was quite funny as although it was late (by this stage it was about 9:30pm) there were some people passing by and they looked a bit horrified and worried about me sitting in the gutter!

I then crawled into the wheelchair between contractions and the security guard wheeled us into the hospital emergency entrance. By this time the contractions were so painful that I had to grip my husband’s hand to get through them. I also was gripping the security guard’s hand at one point when my husband was filling out the forms! Poor guy.

Then we went up the elevator to the 5th floor and that’s when everything suddenly changed. The nurse couldn’t find the baby’s heart beat and was worried about the shape of my tummy. My husband asked me what is wrong and I said they can’t find the baby’s heart beat. My heart dropped. I was terrified. Suddenly everything changed, nurses and doctor ran in immediately, I was moved onto a stretcher and rushed into the operating room. Clothes stripped, spinal block in, curtain up, everything was a blur of running nurses and doctors. It all happened so quickly. I could even feel the doctor cutting my stomach. I felt everything and even some pain from the knife. I was panicking and asking the doctor about the baby, but she said she didn’t know yet. Just then my husband was by my side in his operating clothing and hairnet, and then I felt the doctor pull the baby out and we heard our baby cry. I can’t describe the relief. I started crying.

Our baby was okay. Beautiful baby girl. Lots of hair. She seemed very calm and not worried at all. We were so relieved. They let me do Kangaroo care while they stitched up my tummy. Then my husband had a hold too. They put on some soft Hawaiian music which created a lovely relaxed atmosphere, very welcome after the stress of the delivery. They let us take lots of photos which we were grateful for. And I can’t describe how thankful I was to have my husband there through it all.

I would like to sincerely thank Nisseki Hospital. Even though we had a very serious and fast emergency caesarian, they not only ensured my husband was with me, but also that I could hold my baby after she was checked. Under the circumstances, we couldn’t have asked for a better birth experience. Thank you!

I would also like to say a special thank you to our doula Celia Hughes. It was wonderful to be able to call Celia during my contractions and to talk to her about what was happening. Although we didn’t have a natural birth, Celia still came to the hospital after our caesarean at 11 o’clock at night to see us. She said she couldn’t sleep! So sweet. We actually really appreciated Celia being there, because after the caesarean the doctor left us in the labour room to relax with our baby. But I couldn’t get up to hold our baby and my body was shaking uncontrollably after the operation and the shock of everything. As soon as Celia walked in, she said “Do you want to hold your baby?” and I said “Yes!” and she picked up our baby and placed her on my chest, and to our surprise our baby started breastfeeding straight away. It was a wonderful feeling and something we couldn’t have achieved on our own. Thank you Celia!!



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Our doula Celia Hughes

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7 thoughts on “Our birth story – Part 2

  1. Arisen says:

    Hi Kate,
    Your birth story brought me to tears. I’m so happy and relieved that your baby is safe and healthy. I can’t imagine how scared you must’ve been in those moments of uncertainty.
    I also had a C section and currently 17 weeks along with my second. I am not considering a vbac as I’m too scared of what could happen. I think women like you who try are amazingly strong and brave. I hope you and your family stay healthy and well x

    1. Kate says:

      Thank you Arisen! Wishing you a wonderful pregnancy and birth of your second baby. Kate xx

  2. Rebecca says:

    Wow, what a moving story. Brought me to tears also. So happy baby was born healthy and happy 🙂

  3. Virginie says:

    Phew… I am only reading the second part now… I am so relieved, even though I know the ending. I can only imagine your feelings. It reminds me of my birth story too. It was not a ceasarean but I wish it had been more natural. However, the baby was going up instead of down as well… Thankfully, I said no to the pytocin when it was offered to me and preferred to wait for the ob gyn to arrive. When she arrived, she turned me on the side to make the baby change angle. Then he could engage, they did give me pytocin, episitomy and forceps, although I only pushed two or three times all in all. Well… It cannot always be what we expected but the happiness of having a healthy baby supersedes all 🙂

    1. Kate says:

      Thank you Virginie! That’s really interesting that your baby was also going up instead of down. I had never heard of this before! That’s great that your baby could engage after being turned on your side. I agree – happy healthy baby is definitely the most important outcome:)! Kate xx

  4. Nanako says:

    Hi Kate,

    Beautiful and moving story! So happy it is a very happy end! 🙂
    I just read about your registration at Nisseki Hospital and now your birth.

    Maybe I will need to change the hospital because I’m moving to a farther place.
    Actually, I’m really enjoying my doctor at Aiiku Hospital. but since it will be 1h distance, I was thinking to change to another hospital.

    I heard Nisskei is a very good hospital, and got excited with your posts.

    By the way, is it the one near Musashi Sakai station?
    Do you have some doctor that you liked most?


    1. Kate says:

      Hi Nanako! Thank you for your message and congratulations on your pregnancy! I went to Nisseki in Hiroo. Each appointment tends to have a different doctor, so I didn’t have a favorite. But all of the doctors spoke English and were very friendly. All the best with your birth!! xx Kate

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