Birth: there's nothing quite like it, and it's clear no two birth stories are the same. Which is why we're asking everyday women and some of our favourite celebrity mums to share theirs, in Mamamia's My Birth Story series.
This week we profile photographer Jessica Hand, mum of three children aged nine, six and five months old.
Jessica Hand was 26 when she discovered she was pregnant with son Charlie in 2010.
“We decided to start trying for a family after we moved to Canberra for my husband Ben’s job as a professional rugby player,” Jessica says.
“I was also ready for a break in my career as a social worker in child protection, as it was rather intense. We felt very lucky to get pregnant within the first month of trying!”
Jess had a straightforward pregnancy, but had some concerns about managing her scoliosis during the birth.
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“We decided to go private as we anticipated there might be problems due to the Harrington rods in my back. I actually found that my back pain improved during pregnancy which was an unexpected relief.
“Coupled with my scoliosis was the fact my son was in the breech position. Our obstetrician advised I have a c-section as the safest option."
When Jess arrived for the surgery however, they discovered her son had turned, but by that stage the obstetrician said they might as well just go ahead. As husband Ben only had one day off work it also made sense from a practical perspective.
“I felt somewhat pressured into the c-section as it was so much easier for everyone else. But I was young and didn’t know what questions to ask or how to advocate for myself.
“I had no idea how long and painful the recovery would be and with my back issues and the fact I couldn’t use my core, it was really challenging.