Julie’s Positive C Section Birth

On the morning of 5th October 2019 my partner & I found out that we were expecting our first child. Almost immediately, I began to research vaccination options, water births and hypnobirthing.

With the pregnancy becoming a reality, I was unexpectantly scared of the pregnancy, and more understandably, the birth & of not being ready for the big arrival.

Before we met Laura I had it all sorted in my head – I’m having a water birth, hopefully no more than gas & air (but open to all pain relief if needed) and my hypnobirthing.

Simple!!

I was amazed at the stuff Laura was telling us – who knew that you have a right to say “no” to a stretch & sweep? Who knew you could request preferred birth positions?

Who knew that the “traditional”, Hollywood movie type of delivery on your back is less helpful than others? The one that really got me though was this – you can have birth preferences when having a C-Section. I thought she was mad when she said you can still have birth preferences with a C-Section – how much say do you have when you’re
numb from your toes to your chest & in my mind, at their mercy; but she was absolutely right & due to how things panned out, I was even more grateful for having spent the time and money on the course.

My pregnancy was fairly straightforward, however, my baby decided at week 38 during a positional scan she was absolutely not ready to be engaging. She was having too much fun freely floating around in all that lovely excess amniotic fluid; apart from that, her favourite position was transverse – lying across the top of my stomach.

My baby was officially an “unstable lie” due to her constant moving around. The hospital admitted me immediately and booked me in for a C-Section in just over a week’s time. I reached for my hypnobirthing toolbag & for Laura. I used my affirmation cards, lavender pouch, visualisations, breathing techniques etc during peaks of anxiety & Laura held my hand via WhatsApp & calls all the way.

When the doctors were attempting to make decisions on my & my baby’s behalf about how we would move forward if baby did decide to engage, I had the knowledge & strength to say “no” and “I would appreciate it if you would discuss the options with me, rather than decide for me”. Additionally, I had faith in my gut instinct. All of this was thanks to doing Laura’s hypnobirthing course.

I gained further confidence in my approach when I found out a senior midwife was also fighting my corner in the background as she agreed with me.

I wrote down my birth preferences, discussed them with my partner & ensured there was a copy in my file & a spare for me. My partner was prepared and ready to create a bubble for me & him & he knew that I didn’t want anyone else speaking to me or telling us what was going on.

On the morning of my C-Section I asked if my birth preferences had been noted & was told that the team would read it before I went down to the Labour Ward. I was advised that this had been done when I arrived in the theatre. I won’t lie – I was really scared of the spinal but I was able to get into a zone of calm with the help of a hypnobirthing track & breathing with my partner. The spinal was effective very quickly & once all checks had been made my partner created our bubble. This was the last time it would be just us & he reminisced & breathed with me. He helped me to move the focus away from the room, the noises, the knowledge of what was happening to me.

I have little memory of the birth as I was so focused on our bubble which is how I wanted it. I can honestly say that my birth experience was really positive & that was due to what we learned with Laura. I can also report that our daughter’s birth was a positive experience for my partner as he felt he had a role to play.

Not only was he able to create and maintain a safe space for me, he told me the sex of our baby & gave our daughter her first cuddle.

We did it together.

The Birth of Alfie – Amy’s Birth Story – A transfer from home to hospital in birth

My first birth was an induction and although not a negative experience I knew I wanted to take back some control over the way I birthed the second time. 

I’d heard a lot of amazing things about hypnobirthing and with amazing timing my lovely friend set up a company teaching and invited us to join. I also downloaded the yesmummum MP3s before attending the course so I could start listening and practising. I did this from 30 weeks. 

At my 8 week booking appt one of the first questions I had for my midwife was a home birth request. She was a bit surprised to say the least and although I didn’t actually get a home birth in the end it was amazing.

I had a full 8 days of contractions every other night for 2 hours. More than once I thought I was going into labour but because I was planning a homebirth we just got back in bed when the contractions died down and didn’t need to travel anywhere.

The hypnobirthing tracks and training from the course were amazing to get through this time which was understandably both frustrating and exhausting! 

FINALLY 3 days overdue the contractions started around midday and didn’t taper off after two hours. I got in the bath where my little girl pretended to rub cream on my bump and tell me baby was going to arrive today.

At 4:30pm I told Gary to take her to grandmas as the contractions were starting to increase and become more regular. At 5:30 I forewarned the homebirth team and 30 mins later asked for a midwife. She came out and did the observations to find both protein in my urine and my blood pressure much higher than normal. 

Despite not having ANY problems previously and being low risk my entire pregnancy I needed to go to the hospital to get checked out. I was worried that my contractions might stop but they carried on regularly on the car journey and we got checked out at the assessment centre.

Whilst waiting on my bloods to come back I was checked to be 2cm dilated, this must’ve been around 9pm and therefore not even in active labour. After all that!!

The contractions were getting stronger and I started vocalising during them. Gary’s hypnobirthing training kicked in and he kept reminding me to breathe through them. 

At 10pm we were told we needed to move to the labour ward as even though my checks came back fine my blood pressure was still high. I used my BRAIN and decided I didn’t want to challenge this, I knew I couldn’t face another 20 min car journey home and if my blood pressure remained high I would just get sent back in again.

At 11pm we got on the labour ward, I immediately turned the lights off and put my tracks on. I calmed down immediately. I sat on the birth ball, used my TENS machine and breathed through the contractions. Gary was an amazing birth partner and kept reminding me to breathe instead of “mooing” through them!

At one point I broke down crying because they were getting more intense and the last time I’d been checked I was 2cm and couldn’t cope with the thought that it was going to get worse than this!

When I was induced the contractions came back to back but this time they remained every 2-3 minutes and just increased in intensity so I thought I was still a long way off giving birth. Again his hypnobirthing training kicked in and he reminded me I could do it, to be positive and keep breathing. He quickly calmed me down and the midwife offered to break my waters and do an examination. This never happened as at 1am I suddenly felt the urge to bear down and I told Gary I had the urge to push!?

The midwife ran back in and announced she could see the baby’s head??? I was in shock, a few hours ago I was 2cm and all of a sudden he was crowning. I asked for gas and air and got on the bed. I immediately said I didn’t want to be laid down and she suggested I turn around and hold on to the back of the bed. My waters broke as he was crowning!

With just a few pushes he was out! 

The adrenaline and shock kicked in, I actually couldn’t believe he was here when a few short hours ago I wasn’t even in active labour?! I cried from the shock and Gary had to hold him as I was shaking so much.  

All in all a MUCH better experience and I really feel hypnobirthing made a massive difference to our mindset and birth. Gary in particular felt a lot more confident in knowing how to help me and he was an amazing birth partner.