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Birth stories
Birth story

13 June 2023

Elle’s Birth Story – The Birth of Odette – A Positive Caesarean Birth using Hypnobirthing


I was incredibly anxious throughout my pregnancy. Hypervigilant and quite concerned for mine and baby’s welfare.

I had lots of friends and knew of lots of women who really suffered through birth, and I was petrified.

I got in touch with Laura after repeated requests for a C section kept getting batted away – could you not try?

Are your scared of the pain? Have you thought it through?

I felt I may have to deliver vaginally and how would I do it?
Laura seemed like the perfect fit from her website, and I got in touch. The toolkit and anchors have been life changing for me.

After the course I decided to still advocate for a C section but knew I could give birth vaginally if I needed to. I was given a date at 39 weeks
and 6 days. This made me spiral a bit: what if she came early?

I rang Laura again and she coached me through this. I accepted the date and hoped I would get there.
At 39 weeks at 4 days I started with surges. My mucus plug had been coming away over the space of a few weeks and I had Braxton hicks. These felt different- like a waves of pain and were coming every 40 mins or so.

My stepdaughter was here so I tried to keep calm and waited for my husband to drop her off before and panic. Would I still be able to have my C section?

I had a hot shower, downloaded the freya app to chart my surges and went to bed about 8 to see how things progressed.

Soon they were every 16/18 minutes and I decided to ring Mac to get some advice. I wanted the delivery I had been working for. I spoke to a midwife who advised that no one would do a c – section on a Sunday night and to see how I got on.

If I had 2 in 10 mins to ring again. I used my hypnobirthing breathing with each surge and played the positive affirmations that Laura had sent me – my favourite being ‘all aspects of pregnancy and birth are safe.’ I got through each surge with the breath in for 4, out for 8 and I used my ball and the UFO acronym to help me.

My husband stayed awake through the many surges with me, occasionally dozing off– about 2am – it slowed, and I tried to sleep a bit. By 5 am, the surges were 4/5 mins apart so I rang MAC again and they told me to come in.

I was booked in at Jimmy’s but they redirected me to LGI. I used my breathing all the way in the car and felt very calm.

The contractions weren’t slowing despite the change of location and losing some of my anchors so this told me labour was quite established. We parked up and went in.

The midwife could see I was having surges and suggested a vaginal examination. I had said I didn’t want them in my birth preferences but I knew now was the time to make the decision- continue in labour or advocate for my section. I said to my partner if I was 4cm dilated I would try to deliver vaginally.

I used my advice from Laura on being honest and advocating and explained why I was concerned about a vaginal exam: the midwife was great and so understanding.

My husband held my hand and stroked my arm and reminded me of my breathing techniques and affirmations. I was 1 cm.

She said she could see the surges were very close together, did I want to have my c section today.

We used BRAIN and decided to have the C section. Things moved fast then: I was consented and had a canula before being taken to the delivery suite.
Several staff commented on how well I was dealing with the pain of the surges – I used my breathing throughout. I also refused pain killers. I wanted to experience how close the surges were together.

I had an amazing team – another of Laura’s affirmations came into play here – ‘you are safe with your trusted team.’ Lots of brilliant young women helped deliver my baby and I felt very empowered.

We went to theatre. Matt got his scrubs on, and I began the spinal block.
It was difficult with the surges but again used my breathing and Matt was too far away from me, so I did visualisation of a run I do on our family holiday to Spain and kept running it in my head until the spinal block was over. I then lay down and the C Section began.

Matt stayed by my head and he told me the story of our engagement, a technique we had practiced, to help me keep my oxytocin. We put on our wedding ceremony playlist to anchor us, and Odette was born to Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles: it was perfect.

We had optimal cord clamping and Matt moved with Odette to get her weighed. I had a small complication -a bleed which meant skin to skin was hard to do but I got to touch and kiss her, and Matt stayed at my head for the next hour. I continued with my hypnobirthing techniques.

Breathing was especially important. I had another complication later that day and needed another catheter – again I used my breathing to do this without pain relief.
Overall, I was so proud of myself and I had an amazing experience.

No small part of that was down to hypnobirthing and especially Laura.

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