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.

What is a positive birth?

The term ‘positive birth’ has been used for a few years now but what does it actually mean?

It can mean a lot of thing for a lot of different people and it’s something that EVERY family deserves. Giving birth is one of the most important days in your life and it’s vital that your wishes are met, regardless of what they are.

For me, it means having a birth experience that you feel positive about. Unfortunately, there are far too many families out there who feel that they haven’t had the birth experience that they longed for. This is where hypnobirthing can really help.

For a lot of people, a positive birth experience is about feeling confident and in control of all of the decisions that are made around pregnancy and birth. Birth has twists and turns and can be unpredictable, yet, by feeling like the person who has the final say can really have a positive impact – at the end of the day, it’s your body, your baby and your birth and it’s your right to be the one in charge.

Positive birth isn’t about a type of birth, it’s not about whether or not you had pain relief or where you decided to birth your baby – it’s about you being in control every step of the way and control looks different for everyone too – it really is that personal.

So how can hypnobirthing help?

Despite its name, hypnobirthing is not only about relaxation techniques or hypnotherapy, it helps you to make the most of any environment too, but it also helps you to make informed decisions and trust your instincts, whatever they may be.

During my classes, we discuss the different procedures and protocols that can often have an impact on specific interventions that are suggested, we talk about the power of the mind and how words can have a profound impact on how you feel.

I am a firm believer in empowering parents to do what works best for them and helping them to feel confident at standing up for the positive birth that you deserve.

If you live in Leeds, Bradford, Harrogate, Wakefield, Halifax and beyond – get in touch and together we can work through the hypnobirthing techniques!