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William's Birth Story, July 2017 - A Positive C-Section Story.

I thought I'd better share my own amazing (but not straight forward) birth story which changed my life in so many ways! Enjoy xx

My "due date" was the 16th July 2017. I was very lucky and had a lovely smooth pregnancy apart from some nausea in the first trimester. I took an active birthing class, read some books and got a hypnobirthing cd to listen to at bed time. It all clicked straight away, lying flat on your back to push out a baby now seemed the silliest thing!... so I stayed calm, active and purposely ignored all of the negative horror stories people always insist on telling first time mums.

I finished work a month before my due date to relax and enjoy myself... the midwives had other plans and I ended up receiving 6 (yes, 6!!) membrane sweeps over the course of the month.... I got 12 days “overdue” and was booked in to be induced on Friday 28th July. We turned up at the hospital early with lots of snacks, funny films on the iPad and fun music to listen to. Looking back I was quite oblivious to what an induction may entail...

After being monitored, the midwife noticed I was actually having contractions every few minutes. I hadn’t even noticed I felt nothing even though I was 3cm dilated! So thankfully they let me continue naturally, so we settled in for the day in hospital.

We laughed while watching episodes of The (US) Office and funny films like Bridesmaids on the iPad and I bounced on the yoga ball while listening to old RnB music.... while the surges grew stronger and closer together throughout the day. I was so happy I didn’t need to be induced.

My partner Owen was great, he had lots of jobs - passing me the gas and air, making sure I ate and drank, carrying all the bags, keeping me calm and reminding me to go to the loo!.....

Once established labour started the surges got more powerful and regular I felt the need to go to the toilet a lot and was very conscious of being noisy on the triage ward! Luckily at 5cm I was allowed into the MLU and into the pool, which I highly recommend to everyone! It was the most amazing pain relief, it’s hard to believe when you’re pregnant but it really saved me from having any other pain relief. It felt so safe, warm and unobserved.

I got into my own zone, dealing with each surge by breathing, using gas and air and thinking about family and friends who would be excited to meet my baby. Between surges I was happy to chat and laugh with my partner and the midwife. I felt like a superwoman!

I continued to 9cm in the pool and felt my water’s break, I started to feel William’s head coming down and almost felt like I needed to push…but little man had other ideas (as he does most days!). His heart rate dropped scarily low and before I knew it I was out of the pool and being prepped for theatre for an emergency c section. The abdominal birth for me was actually fine, as I just wanted him out and well.

At 5.25am out he came and the first thing we heard was a little sneeze!

Some people say “oh you had a tough time with the c section” but I felt so empowered, in control and I really did enjoy the day. I am so grateful for the midwife who noticed the changes and got us both out of the pool safely. What incredible people they are hey!

It really is the most natural thing for a woman or birthing person to do and I was so impressed with my own strength and humour throughout the day.

There are lots of things I wish I’d have known back then, that I know now. I wish I knew there were lots of choices to make despite the theatre ending. That’s why I’m so passionate about talking about all eventualities in my Hypnobirthing courses. We always talk about the important preferences when it comes to both physiological and abdominal births. And I often encourage couples to make a plan for an abdominal birth as the Hypnobirthing information and mindful tools are just as important.

I wouldn’t change my birth for the world. I am so proud of myself. x

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