Sometimes birth doesn’t go to plan. Sometimes our ‘ideal birth’ doesn’t happen. What I’ve learnt over the years and having supported 100s and 100s of women in birth and with Hypnobirthing is that birth can be positive however and wherever we give birth.
With the rates of Caesarean Birth at the levels they are in the UK, at around 25% of all births it’s so important that in our birth preparation we have a conversation about the possibility of birth not ‘going to plan’ and how we can still have a positive birth in these circumstances.
At The Little Birth Company our Complete Hypnobirthing Class will ensure you are prepared for birth whatever turn it takes.
One of our Instructors, the awesome Amy shared this wonderful birth story with us which highlights this wonderfully. We would like to thank Andrea Huntley for sharing her story with us and to one of our awesome Instructors Amy Kufuor at Confident Birth
‘I had planned the perfect home birth. I submerged myself in hypnobirthing techniques. I pushed away all the negative stories and surrounded myself with supporters and like-minded people. My birth pool was all set up with positive affirmations and fairie lights decorating the walls. I was hell-bent on avoiding a C-section, having had one with my previous pregnancy which left me in pain for months and a post-partum depression that lasted years. I was on a mission to be in control of how the birth of my son -this last birth of my life- was going to happen…
Let me jump to the end: Last week my son was born at 5lb 4oz via gentle c-section. And the entire experience was amazingly positive. I start with this fact because it’s an important one. *We cannot control how our baby decides to join us. We can only control how we accept it.
He ended up being a c-section because a trip to triage at 38 weeks (due to what I thought was reduced movement) resulted in a hospital midwife fundal measurement that was significantly smaller than my home birth midwife’s. This triggered a number of emergency appointments, including a growth scan for the following week. I had no intention of attending the appointments, especially the scan because I believed that growth scans were not dependable. I ended up going however because my mother was visiting and I thought it would be nice for her to see my baby on the screen.
At the time of the scan, I was 39+2. The sonographer measured much smaller bone measurements then my 36 week scan, and he also told me that I had no amniotic fluid. My waters had not broken -and babies don’t shrink- so I had a hard time believing in the accuracy of his scan. An obstetrician consultant was called in, and she told me that based on his findings she felt that I needed to check myself into hospital that day for induction. Up to that point my pregnancy had been perfectly healthy so I requested a second scan, and she said that the hospital would not do that for me. Again she insisted that I needed to check myself into the hospital for induction. I refused and left. I went to a neighbouring hospital in the hopes of getting a scan in the emergency maternity department. Unfortunately, I was unable to. I did manage to meet with their head obstetrician though, and upon looking at the scan he agreed that things were not looking good…
That night I booked a scan at a private clinic for the next morning because I wanted a second opinion. I spent the night crying and screaming, feeling like my dream of a home birth was being ripped away from me due to the inadequacies of a sonographer.
That second scan in the morning supported the initial one; my baby was measuring terribly small and there was in fact very little amniotic fluid left in my belly. An imaginary clock was now ticking and I was slowly but surely realising my worst nightmare: I was heading towards a c-section.
I have learned so much these last few months about birth and the female body, about the hormones that come into play, about the power of positivity and mindfulness thru hypnobirthing, and as such I genuinely felt that induction was not a path I wanted to go down; it was not for me. All signs were beginning to point to c-section so I decided to go straight to it instead of delaying what I felt would become inevitable. I decided to face my fear. I made the conscious decision that a C-section had to happen, and then I was calm and relaxed.
In all my home birth planning, I had also created a cesarean birth plan (for the just-in-case scenario). I believe that having planned for it definitely helped me shift gears into it. The most important thing to me during my home birth planning was to always remember that I didn’t have complete control over how my son would be born….
I cannot stress how much time i put into practicing and learning about hypnobirthing techniques these last few months… It was all in preparation for a home birth. The crazy part is that (without realising it) it also prepared me for the cesarean as well!!
Once I got past the sadness and pain of losing the home birth (letting myself cry and scream was SO important!), I was able to return to my center and find my positive strength. From the moment I went into the hospital, I was all smiles, all happiness, all positivity, all oxytocin
To the hospital I brought with me yummy snacks, pictures of my family, good music, and a journal to write in. I stayed relaxed and calm thru the day and night, chatting happily with midwives and other staff who came and went from my hospital bed, monitoring, measuring, bringing me food and taking the empty trays away….
The next morning I met with the aesthetician, the surgeon, and my assigned midwife, all who were lovely, and female!
I was brought to theatre with my husband, who was asked to wait outside as they prepped me. At first I didn’t want to leave his side, but then I was brought into theatre and discovered a room filled with women… the entire operating team was female! It was quite the alignment of stars because it was just by chance that no men were part of the team… and if I may say so, that made all the difference.
Although chilly, the theatre was peaceful. Come on Eileen was playing softly in the background and everyone was in good spirits, including myself. We chatted, we joked, and then we got ready for the surgery. Everybody told me what they were doing as they did it, there were no surprises, and when the time came they lowered the screen and I witnessed my tiny son being lifted from my body. I watched the surgeon struggle to remove the umbilical cord which was wrapped around my son’s neck. I waited for what felt like ages for him to cry. And then he cried. And with it the whole room burst forth with “Congratulations!” from all the surrounding women. I felt love and I smiled.
As I laid there with my son in my arms, having that precious skin-to-skin, the surgeon came to me. She bent down, bringing herself eye to eye with me, and spoke softly. She said, “You need to know that the umbilical cord was wrapped so tightly around your son’s neck that he probably wouldn’t have survived a natural birth… You made the right decision to have a cesarean.”
I’ll never know why my amniotic fluid disappeared or whether or not my son would’ve survived a natural birth, but what I do know is that he’s asleep in my arms now, having nursed my boob dry, because altho little he’s got a ferocious appetite and for only being a week old he’s growing fast.
Home birth, hospital birth, induction or cesarean…. what I realise now is that no matter the path, we all have the same goal: a positive and memorable birth experience. And we are in so much more control of that than many of us realise. So inform yourselves. Empower yourselves. Embrace yourselves. And love yourselves. No matter what, you’ve got this.’
On some occasions throughout pregnancy it becomes evident an elective caesarean is the best choice for mum and baby. The Little Birth Company are so excited to be releasing The Positive Caesarean Workshop. This workshop is here to support a woman and her birth partner in planning for a positive Caesarean Birth.
Whether you are electing to have a caesarean birth for personal choice or a medical reason this workshop is for you.
The workshop is aimed at anyone having an Elective Caesarean Birth.
It may feel like you no longer have any options for your birth if you are planning an elective caesarean birth. We are here to tell you this just isn’t the case.
There are still many things for you to consider and many steps that you can take to prepare for a positive caesarean birth experience.
During this workshop we will look at exactly what you can expect during the caesarean birth, how to prepare and how to support recovery afterwards.
You can search for your local Hypnobirthing Instructor here 🙂
Make sure you come over and join us in our Facebook Group for all things Hypnobirthing & Positive Birth!