Sarah Toyer is one tough mama. The Australian mother of four was able to pull her newborn baby out of her womb and onto her chest during a maternal-assisted cesarean section, calling it “the most incredible thing I have ever done” on the Birth Without Fear Facebook page. Her candid Jan. 4 post has attracted more than 12,000 reactions and 2,700 shares expressing both support and surprise.
In most conventional C-sections, mothers are separated from the action by a surgical curtain. A maternal-assisted cesarean allows them much more involvement, letting them not only witness the entire procedure, but as Toyer explained on Facebook, to reach down and gently lift up the baby for that first, all-important, skin-to-skin contact. According to Yahoo Style UK, the collaborative approach has become more common in recent years for Australian and American women wanting to play a more active role in their C-sections.
Troyer’s first three children had also been born by C-section, and she wanted to experience a more natural childbirth. “It was important to me,” she told Babble of the birth of her newborn son, Spencer, “because I had never been able to push my baby out and experience a normal labor and birth, and thought this would be the closest thing to a natural birth, which I knew I could never have.” Determined, Toyer began talking, as she explained on Facebook, to “every midwife, doctor, and surgeon about what I wanted to do, but they all said it would depend on the surgeon on call that day.”
When the day finally came in mid-December, Toyer and her husband found themselves waiting nervously in the hospital after the procedure was postponed for eight hours. “Then I was standing there next to the surgeon scrubbing up just as she was,” she wrote. “Maybe half an hour later I was lying on the operating table watching my son’s head being pulled from my womb. I reached down and put my hands under his arms and lifted the rest of him out of my own body. It was the most incredible thing I have ever done.”
“It was surreal,” Toyer said of the life-changing experience. She called her surgeon “absolutely amazing” and praised her as being “genuinely excited for me to experience birthing my child.”
Toyer shared her story hoping to inspire other expectant mothers not to be afraid to pursue a birth plan that is right for them. “I highly recommend you stick to your guns about what birth you want!” she says, in closing. “Welcome earth side, baby Spencer.”