As soon as I became pregnant with my second baby, I knew that I would be having a caesarean section. I had an emergency section for my first baby and so wanted to just go ahead and schedule it in for my next one. The first time I heard about the C*Steroid study was when I went to my initial appointment with the obstetrician at Tauranga Hospital. I saw the posters in the waiting room and then discussed it further with the nurse while I was being seen.
My first instinct was to participate in the study. I have spent my whole career in the healthcare sector, and I am always keen to be involved in research. But also, I had my first baby while living in the USA, where it was just expected that your baby would have heel pricks in the first few days and a variety of tests would be carried out. I understood there was information needed that could be answered by research in this sweet spot of time that mums scheduled for a c-section could help with. I had no reservations, but I did make sure to discuss it with my midwife to make sure she was supportive too.
I had to visit the hospital twice the week before the c-section date, this was a little out of the way for me but each time I went I was treated very professionally. I always felt I could ask questions and it gave me an opportunity to look around the maternity ward and get to know some of the staff. The injections themselves were fine, not too painful, and it was a quick procedure.
Once my baby was born it was a little tough to have to watch him have the heel pricks, but it was also really reassuring to know the results of the tests and to see that his blood sugar levels were all okay. It seemed some nurses were better at getting the blood faster than others. A tip for other mums would be to try to have your baby’s feet nice and warm before they come to do it. If their feet are warm, then the whole procedure seemed to go a lot faster.
I know I won’t be having any more children, but I do hope that this research is proven to be valuable and it would be amazing to know one day if I got the steroid or a placebo. I suspect I received the steroid because for a day or two my hip pain seemed to get better, but even if I received placebo, it was worth it!