Let There Be Light! – Our Story of a Great C-Section

I wanted to capture in a bit more detail what happened during our C-section to give other dads an idea of what to possibly expect on the day (and where you feel useless!) and for N to know what happened too. I’ve captured a bit what it felt like in the first day in my post here.

Getting There…

It’s an early start getting up for a C-section. We had to be in the hospital by 7am which for us meant getting up at 5am (so we could have a shower and I could eat something). However, it’s a bit like getting up early to go on holiday, you wake up alert (well, quite alert), excited and pretty ready to go due to the adrenaline that kicks in immediately.

Oh, and the mum-to-be is not allowed to eat that morning. From memory (this could be different per hospital so please do check!) she couldn’t eat after 3am, and could only drink 400ml of water until 7am, and nothing at all after then. Quite standard procedure for a C-section I think. We have to remember that this is major surgery. Even though it’s common it is major, and so fasting rules apply!


As you’re so early (we got there about 6:45) you can get a great parking spot. We certainly did. Don’t bank on it though, go early enough so you do have a bit of time to drive around and find one if needed!

Got my scrubs on!
Got my scrubs on!

We walked up to the birthing ward where we would have our C-section and handed over our folder of notes and took a seat to wait as they were doing daytime handovers. Nothing happened for 30 minutes until we were taken by a midwife to the recovery room to get ourselves ready. My wife had a bed, I had a seat and we were good and ready to wait. During the morning we got ready, me in my scrubs and Clare in her gown.

The waiting is so nerve wracking. Thankfully we chatted excitedly to each other and the midwives. Plus we had our phones so they distracted us too: texting family, reading, repeatedly going on social media!

The Final Countdown

“We’ll go down in five minutes” said the midwife.

BOOM! Adrenaline kicks in like never before. Your heart feels like it’s about to jump out of your skin. We held hands and checked we were both ok before getting ourselves ready for our momentous C-section. Phones in airplane mode, have I got a nappy, have I got the hat, got phones in my pocket.

Sit and wait.




“Right, let’s go” came the call from the midwife.

Up we got, held hands to make sure Clare was ok, and walked the short distance to the prep room.

I was told to sit in a chair against the wall (so I was out of the way!) and put the surgical hat on. I’ll tell you what, I’ve never felt like being so obedient in my life! There I sat and there I stayed until told otherwise.

Meanwhile Clare sat on a fancy looking trolley and was surrounded by anaesthetists and an ODP. There they fitted the epidural and spinal. “Curl right over for us” they told her repeatedly. This is to expose the spine so they could insert as appropriate. It took a while, and Clare had a number of local anaesthetics and a number of ‘stab wounds’ from repeatedly trying to get it in the right place. She was like pin cushion! She had quite the bruise afterwards.

They were also putting a canular in her hand. First the left hand… that didn’t work. Let’s try the right hand. Bingo! Now let’s remove the unused one from her left hand…argh! A fountain of blood starts shooting out of her hand, all over the floor and on her gown! Thankfully it eventually stopped once they put a LOT of pressure on it.

I was then asked to sit outside for a bit while they did the catheter to give Clare a bit of privacy. Shortly later I was invited back in and through we went to the theatre for the C-section.

Into The Breach Dear Friends

Heart pumping, it’s about to come out of my chest! Clare shaking from all the drugs put into her. Both of us equally terrified and excited.

“Sit here Dad” said someone. No idea who. Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it!

Everyone was set, Clare in position, surgeons and support staff ready. Oh wait, the actual surgeon isn’t here yet.




Ten minutes later here he is…

*eyes roll*

“Before we begin just to let everyone in the room know” I said loudly “we would like me to tell Clare the gender of the baby”. Fine, all agreed, good to go.

During The Operation

I just sat talking to Clare and didn’t look downwards at all. As much as I was intrigued, my focus had to be on making sure Clare was calm and ok. So I just kept talking and talking. No idea what I said but it seemed to do the trick.

Then the tugging began. She was pulled this way and that as the baby came out. She said it felt like someone was doing washing up in her stomach! Within 5-10 minutes the baby was out! The baby was held up so I could see the gender and then whisked away to be checked over.

However, that first 10-20 seconds as you wait for it to cry are agonising. There’s nothing you can do, you can’t see the baby, you just have to trust that they know what they’re doing and wait. And wait. And wait. There is it! The cry! Phew!

He’s Here!

I'm shortening the cord
I’m shortening the cord

Off he went to get checked over. I made sure Clare is ok and then get called over to him. I handed over the hat so it could be put on. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to cut the cord as the environment was sterile below the curtain, but I was able to shorten it afterwards.

Then he got weighed, had his vitamin K injection, wrapped in a couple of towels and handed to me.

Now is the time for me to take N across to Clare. I remember thinking one thought in particular…


I completely stopped thinking anything else and just kept thinking don’t fall, don’t fall, don’t fall. I’m not even a clumsy person!

I sat next to Clare with N as she was being sewn up. This sewing up took about 30 minutes and it flew past, it felt like 10 minutes. I just sat in my chair next to Clare, held N and made sure he was kept calm and Clare could see him. Then when we were leaving the theatre Clare felt she could hold him so she did whilst she was being wheeled out into recovery.

New Life Begins

Overall it took a little under two hours from going down to getting back into recovery.

So there you go. That was what happened to us and hopefully it gives you a good idea of what to expect on the day. A few of my other Daddy blogger friends have posted about their experiences also, as shown here:

  • Here’s one from Dave at Taylor Made Blogs. This was a natural birth that turned into an emergency C-section
  • Here’s another story of a planned C-section from Make at Daddy Realness

How was your experience? Was anything different for you?

Do you know anyone expecting to have a C-section? Feel free to share this in case it may help them.

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