Claire’s Unplanned Cesarean

Claire’s Unplanned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Claire and her first baby, a surprise baby girl. Claire’s birth was an unplanned cesarean as her baby was in an awkward position, and Claire describes how she felt “incredibly safe in the theatre. Claire still experienced delayed cord clamping, her partner cut the cord, and she got immediate skin-to-skin with her baby.

I had a very lovely low risk pregnancy with everything going very smoothly – apart from having covid at Christmas, where my symptoms were mild. That being said, I felt really well up to the very end. I’m quite tall and the bump was all baby so I never felt huge or desperate baby to come out! 

On Friday 5th I had a totally normal day thinking that baby would be late and hazarding a guess at 14th… Valentine’s Day! I ate half a pineapple for lunch and joked this ought to get things going. Sure enough, by 8.30pm contractions started and were every 3-7 minutes and pretty strong. I began using the Freya app to log them and used my breathing techniques I’d learned during this course. I headed to bed and continued to log my contractions throughout the night which remained at 3-7 minutes and lasting around 50 seconds. I got the odd minute of sleep here and there and just rested in between. 

On Saturday 6th (due date) contractions were still at the same intervals. I put on the tens machine which personally I didn’t find to be very helpful – it just added to the pain! I wanted to keep active so me and my husband, Reuben, went for a walk. I got as far as the end of the next road, had to lean against a wall during contractions and decided I wasn’t that fussed enough to see the river after all so I waddled back home! I tried to keep active but to be honest I’d already entered another world…. a blurry one where you are so focused on dealing with the pain that you loose all concept of time and place. I carried on this was and had another sleepless night without fancying any dinner…

Sunday 7th arrived and by the afternoon I was still breathing through the contractions which were still every 3-7 minutes. We asked my good friend, next door neighbour and midwife, Kat to come in and monitor whether it was time to go over the hospital. When she arrived, I got distracted and the contractions petered out. As soon as she left they ramped back up!! I carried on for another 6 hours or so and then asked her to come back in. She sat with me for a while and said we could go over whenever we wanted to. At about 10pm we decided to head over. It was snowing and very icy! I remember thinking – I don’t want to come home until I can bring a baby back!

We arrived 20 mins later and I was examined and found that I was 2cm. I remember hearing Beth’s voice saying “that’s 2 more cm than none!” So I remained positive. I was told I could stay but Reuben would have to wait in the car until I was in established labour. I decided I would probably progress better at home so back we went.

At 2am on the Monday (8th) morning after Reu had taken over logging the contractions we headed over to hospital again as they were every 2.5 minutes and even stronger. When we arrived, I was told I was 5cm! Woooo! The birthing pool was filled with water and within 20 minutes I was in! I was given paracetamol at this point. We put on our playlist of music and switched on the led tea light candles. I was handed the gas and air which I tried to use for 3 puffs then 4 of normal air to try and even it out. I remained in the pool for… wait for it…. another 15 hours!! Yep. I had a shift change of midwifes during this time. Every 3/4 hours they would get me out to pee and examine me. I progressed to 6cm then 9cm in this time then was found to still be 9cm 4 hours later. I did have the urge to push by this point. My waters still hadn’t gone so they were broken by the midwife. I came off the gas and air after about 12 hours as it was making me feel very out of it and then sick too. I threw up a bit. I couldn’t face eating anything so tried some jelly sweets to keep the energy up but promptly threw them back up!

By 6pm I had to get out the pool as they wanted to put me on the hormone drip to ramp things up even more and get rid of that final 1cm… they called the Dr in to examine me and the birthing pool was emptied of water. I felt a little disheartened as my plan of a water birth drained away down the plug hole… but tried to remain positive. By this point I was totally out of it with exhaustion and the gas and air – which after using for 12 hours was still very much in my system. 
If you imagine a clock face, my baby had been head down and her back was facing quarter to for the past month or so. Instead of going a quarter turn, she decided to go 45 minutes anti clockwise!  Even then, she still didn’t make it so her back was facing outward… And her head was presenting at a funny angle. 

The dr examined me and I was now 10cm! The midwife was super excited and the pool began to be refilled with water. This was a pivotal moment… the dr said that she wouldn’t rule out the hormone drip in order to increase contractions and get baby into the right position. After using my EBRAN, Reuben and I decided to go ahead with the hormone drip. I was totally exhausted after contracting heavily for 4 days by this point and being in active labour for at least 17 hours. I had no energy left in the tank… and I consider myself to be a fit and well young person! I was torn as I knew the heat of the pool ramped up the contractions but I opted for the hormone drip as I assumed it would take effect within 10 minutes or so and then my baby would be in my arms! I was wrong…! 

Another midwife change (we had 4 shift changes in total!!) and my good friend and next door neighbour Kat arrived to take over. I was so out of it with exhaustion that I can’t really remember acknowledging her but I know she hugged my husband and he cried with relief of seeing a familiar face. Throughout the whole labour I remember it being really important to me that I stayed calm, quiet and polite. I remember adding on ‘please’ and ‘thank you’ to the end of my sentences and also never wanting to say ‘I can’t do this’. But to be honest, I was so tired I was just waiting for them to offer me help as I didn’t want to ask. After a few hours on the hormone drip, pushing, bouncing on the ball, being upright etc etc my contractions plateud. They were still coming but there was no power behind them. Whether that was an adverse reaction to the hormone drip or just my exhaustion I don’t know but I was being told to push but had no urge and there was no power. 

My body was shivering with adrenaline… I was boiling hot then freezing cold. My mouth was exceptionally dry from all the breathing! Reuben was brilliant throughout at giving me water, fanning me and reminding me to breath as you forgot each time as the pain is all consuming! The breathing really helped so much and when I do it next time (yes I would do it all again in a heartbeat!) – I would pass on the gas and air and just breath. I was offered morphine but I declined as I had covid at 33 weeks and was a little wary about the development of babies lungs so didn’t want anything that might make him/her drowsy. 

Another few hours of pushing with no urge passed and I was offered suction cups as baby was still not in the right position and the head was still presenting at a jaunty angle. This would need to be done in theatre as it may lead to c-section. I knew this was the right decision and so within 10 minutes I was wheeled out. The epidural was incredible and the warm tingle of relief swept over my body! After days of pain and feeling totally out of it, my body relaxed!! Within minutes my head was clear and I felt in the room again!! The dr applied the cup to babies head and I was told when to push but after two attempts she just wouldn’t budge! I heard him tell Kat it would be a c section and I wasn’t daunted at all.

I felt incredibly safe in the theatre with about 9 staff members all around me! We put our playlist of music on and the atmosphere was calm and exciting. Within about 5 minutes, the curtain was pulled down and our baby was held up! It’s a girl!! My husband informed me after Kat prompted him! It had slipped our minds – all we cared for was that it was a crying baby!! She was taken over to be cleaned up… Kat did delayed cord clamping and Reuben cut it. They put on the brightest pink hat(!) on her and placed her on my bare chest. The most magical and overwhelming feeling ever!!! I was stitched up and wheeled through to recovery where myself, baby Olive, Reuben and Kat spent about 4 hours calling family, chatting, breastfeeding, having skin to skin and eating tea and toast. Magical golden time. 

The story certainly doesn’t end there and in fact it’s what happens over the next week or so that’s just as important to the actual labour! Huge hormone rushes and sobbing with emotion. I wasn’t sad but it was just a way of processing. I felt exceptionally tired and remembered I was low on iron so began taking that again and feel heaps better. I urge others to check their levels too!

This course has helped me in a way I can’t even put into words. It’s true, you can be as prepared as you possibly can be and do absolutely everything by the book, but your baby is 50% of the story and you can’t control that. All you can do is make positive decisions when situations arise. For me, absolutely going into theatre was the right thing to do and the relief I felt was incredible and empowering. From contractions starting to delivery was 98 hours! And of that active labour was at least 20 hours. Regards the c-section, I honestly have been in more pain with a paper cut… so please don’t feel too anxious about the prospect as for me it was very positive although I know everyone is different. 

It’s truly been the most overwhelming, rewarding and life changing experiences of my life. Anything everyone tells you it is, it’s like that and so much more! Your eyes are opened to this whole other world that you thought you understood… I feel like I see things differently now and am a lot more patient! I have so much love for this little one  💕

“When a child is born, the world is altered in an instant.A new voice is heard, a new love comes into being.Years later we all pause and say, yes, that’s when it all began on that day, in that room, when I saw that face.” Quote taken from Call The Midwife.

Here is my little baby… Olive Joyful 🕊 born 8th February at 10.43pm 8lb 3oz 40+2

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Gemma’s Unplanned Cesarean Section

Gemma’s Unplanned Cesarean Section

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with Gemma who says she had “the exact opposite” of the birth she envisioned, but it was still a “wonderful day to look back on and something you can genuinely enjoy”. Gemma had planned for a water birth on a maternity-led unit, but following an induction that did not progress Gemma used EBRAN to decide on an unplanned cesarean section.

So I had 2 sweeps one at 40 +2 and the other at 40+4 and I had booked an induction appt for 41 weeks if nothing happened. Which it didn’t lol. So Saturday 15th May at 41 weeks and the size of an adult walrus we went off to MAFU at 2.30pm for my induction appt. Had been told by community midwives my cervix was favourable and 2cm with bulging waters.

Upon reviewing the note midwife said that I would be booked in on Sunday for AROM and in the meantime she would sweep me again as it sounded like I was on the cusp and ready to go. So she examined me and it was so painful. She said that I was actually only 1cm dilated at the most and therefore she would put the propess in. So she did and off home I went with an appt to come back the next day. 

About 10pm I noticed I was getting regular pains so I started timing them and sure enough Freya said I was in active labour so I called the hospital and they said to stay home unless my waters broke or they got more painful/closer together. About 11.45pm I was laying on the couch and hubs was just dozed off on the other couch when I felt a sharp pain. Five minutes later I felt a small trickle then water POURED out. I fling myself off the sofa and squished my pad to myself and shouted “DARROLMYWATERSJUSTBROKE” and went to sit on the loo.

While hubs rushed about getting me things. I called the hospital and we went in for 1am. They examined me and said I was still only 1cm with baby High up. They were concerned about cord prolapse due to lack of water and also baby’s position and so I was transferred to the labour ward to see how I got on. Hubs and I were put in a delivery room which was lovely as we were together. This was about 3.30am. I labored until 9am the next day using only 2 paracetamol my TENS Machine (which was amazing BTW) and the hospitals birthing ball with best of Elvis on Spotify 🎶🎶 

When they examined me I was 2CM with baby high up 😩….. So they said they would put me on the syntocinon drip and at that point I asked for an epidural which went in fine and was blissful. The drip caused regular strong contractions according to the monitor, but baby started having decelerations when I contracted and at one point her heart rate was very low. So they got a clip on her which was very much like being a farm animal examined by James Herriot on All Creatures Great and Small. They were able to monitor her better and confirm that my cervix was STILL no more than 2cm with baby High up and baby was not happy so they stopped the drip.

At this point I asked to the midwives if a C section was looking likely and she said yes. I said that was fine. It wasn’t what I planned or wanted but needs must. I asked her to go get the consultant and we could discuss it. Off she went and came back and introduced me as the “most pragmatic mum to be she had ever met”. I spoke with the consultant who basically said the drip was not working and we had run out of options and I agreed immediately. Hubs and I had both said we wanted the section now to get her out safe and well.

So I was prepped for a section and although I was nervous I wasn’t nervous about the procedure.

Baby Aurelia Kym Lynda Van Duke was born at 16.07 on 16th May 2021 through the sunroof 🥰🥰 BUT it turned out she had the cord wrapped round her waist over one shoulder and wrapped round her arm so she probably would have never come out naturally anyway. So I probably would have had an emergency c section. 

The two midwives we had were amazing, chatty, friendly and they were there all day we actually all had an amazing time together it was a fantastic day. Hubs and I were sad when they had to go home on shift change. We’re going to send them some gifts as a thank you it was honestly like a day with 2 mates just chatting and laughing. I honestly would not have had such an amazing day if it wasn’t for this course. It was not my ideal birth but I had all the knowledge I needed beforehand to know what decision I would make if that scenario came up so nothing was a shock or surprise and I was totally calm and prepared.

I hope after all of this waffle you can take away that even if your birth goes completely the opposite way you had imagined it can still be a wonderful day to look back on and something you can genuinely enjoy. This course absolutely made the difference to me, I get terrible anxiety over the unknown or the unplanned (which birth always is) but because I knew about each of these interventions I was able to make confident choices.

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Caroline’s Unplanned Cesarean Section

Caroline’s Unplanned Cesarean Section

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with first time mum Caroline. Caroline had hoped for a water birth, but following blood in her waters she and her partner used EBRAN to decide that an unplanned cesarean section was the best choice for them. Despite saying her birth was very much ‘plan C’, Caroline also describes the moment she met her baby as ‘magical’.

I had a very straightforward pregnancy with no concerns. I was able to do my weekly exercise class (with pregnancy modifications) until 38 weeks, and walking and pregnancy yoga throughout. My plan A was a water birth in hospital with gas and air, staying active and UFO (upright, forward and open). However my birth, as Beth would say, was a two way street!

Hypnobirthing was really helpful to keep me calm and grounded as the due date came and went. I had a short walk daily and repeated the affirmation ‘my baby will come when they’re ready!’. I had a couple of false starts in the final week where I woke in the early hours with cramping which didn’t come to anything, and very frequent Braxton Hicks contractions. 

At 2am on 25th I woke with heavy period-like cramps again, but this time they came every 30 minutes for 30 seconds or so. At 5am I had a walk around the house as I wasn’t comfy in bed any more, and they gradually started to ramp up in frequency and intensity. I had a shower and ate some toast, and rang the local labour line at 8am after I’d had 3 x 60 second surges every 10 minutes for about an hour. I took 2 paracetamol following their advice and my partner hooked me up to the TENS machine which was really helpful! I lost my mucus plug and had a loose stool, but also popped a maternity pad in as there was a little more blood than I’d expected. 

At 9am we decided to go in to hospital as I was needing to be on all fours during surges, swaying my hips from side to side. The labour line said be prepared to be sent home, but it felt the right time to go. When I was examined my cervix was fully effaced and 5cm dilated, but the midwives were concerned about the amount of blood in my pad, so my plan A water birth sadly couldn’t happen and it was recommended I was attached to a CTG monitor to check baby, to which I agreed. It was a wireless monitor so didn’t interrupt my movement too much, we just had to keep adjusting the monitors as baby descended and my bump got lower! 

After a couple of hours I asked for gas and air, and at the next exam I was 7cm dilated. Sadly I continued to lose blood and clots so it was recommended that my waters were broken to check whether there was any blood in the waters. My partner was amazing and did EBRAN for me at this point as the surges were taking all my attention! We agreed to break the waters and unfortunately there was a lot of blood present. Surges really ramped up at this point and came with no break, and it was really disconcerting to feel myself passing the blood clots with each one. To add to my troubles, baby had turned back to back having been in a great position, so this probably contributed to my labour becoming harder. I’d stayed UFO so just bad luck I think! 

After this, the consultant came to see me as they couldn’t rule out a placental abruption causing the bleeding, but baby’s monitoring was perfect. I think this worry and me passing clots stopped my oxytocin and I didn’t progress any further than 7cm, and was in quite a lot of pain having coped really well up to this point with breathing for 4/7, TENS and gas and air. 
An emergency C section was recommended in case the placenta was breaking down, to which we agreed. I had to focus really hard on my breathing while they placed the spinal, as leaning forward on the bed wasn’t comfortable at all! Once the spinal kicked in it was a huge relief to be out of pain, I was very shaky but this is apparently a common side effect. 

It was a magical moment when Hugo was passed over the screen for skin to skin on my chest. We hadn’t known the sex and had asked to find it out ourselves, so the surgical team presented him to us! 

In the end, the placenta was fine, Hugo was lively and breastfed early on. The bleeding remains a mystery and was just one of those unlucky things! I have been told that there’s no reason it should happen again in a future pregnancy, which is reassuring. 

This course helped me so much, staying calm in those last few days, letting go of the things I couldn’t control, and making decisions for our and Hugo’s interests. For example, I declined diamorphine when I first started to struggle as I knew it crossed the placenta and if there was any doubt about baby’s wellbeing I didn’t want to make him drowsy. Although it was very much our plan C, we had a really positive experience and were amazingly well looked after by all the hospital staff. 

Caroline's Positive Unplanned Cesarean
Baby Hugo following Caroline’s positive unplanned cesarean

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Nuala’s Unplanned Cesarean

Nuala’s Unplanned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. Nuala was hoping for a VBAC to welcome her second baby into the world. Nualahad a Foley Balloon induction but her labour progressed quite slowly. At this point Nuala was offered a oxytocin drip to progress the labour or an unplanned cesarean. She opted for a cesarean and had a calm experience and had the drapes lowered as her baby girl was welcomed into the world.

I’m always under consultant /midwife shared care due to a history of childhood arthritis but it’s never caused me any issues as an adult or in pregnancies. I’m starting my story at my 39+5 appointment after an uneventful and healthy pregnancy where I did more exercise and posture health management for myself than first time round. 

I’d had twingey evenings all week leading up to this appointment and hopeful that spontaneous labour was only days away from around my due date. At this last growth scan, the doctor found that baby was suddenly measuring 98th centile on growth after tracking 70-80th all along. After some discussion, I agreed we would book for induction one week over (18/04) although I declined a sweep as I didn’t feel ready.Also I didn’t really believe I had a 10lb baby on board… as I felt smaller this time and last one was only 6lb10 on 38th centile after tracking 80th too. 

I contemplated how that appointment had gone all weekend and then with no real changes to the twinges, I requested to see community midwife at 40+2 for V/E and potential sweep. She assessed that my cervix was soft (dates FTW!) but still mid position or potentially closed. She asked if I had been sent for a repeat GTT even though earlier one was negative (family history) which I hadn’t and in hindsight I wish I had.

I still didn’t believe 98th centile and started to get quite annoyed at this point. Geared myself up for a “debate” at my 40+5 appointment and also requested a female doctor as I was doubting that male doctors were sympathetic enough to understand my points, I know this shouldn’t bother me but it did and receptionist didn’t even blink when I asked. 

AT my 40+5 appointment I got quite upset as she again walked me through the potential risks of a bigger baby and not having gone into labour spontaneously yet at almost a week over and also given that I didn’t go into spontaneous labour in last pregnancy, this was putting me on the “backfoot” for this one – I had visions of exact repeat situation of hooked up to drip and stuck in a bed with an epidural and nothing working again. I accepted a sweep to try bring on labour before induction which I agreed to go ahead with – cervix was shorter and very slightly open so it was possible. In hindsight I didn’t really use EBRAN properly at this appointment, I left the appointment quite deflated and focused on the risk outcome of my decisions rather than the benefit of what I had chosen. I wish I had been more prepared as I felt under pressure to make a decision in seconds without my husband there, but the doctor reminded me I can stop the process at any point later and change my mind,

The options discussed were foley catheter Induction or book in now for elective c-section. I chose to go ahead with induction, thinking that’s closest to my original plan. I had a COVID swab and headed home to self isolate for the weekend. I came home, had a cry – rewatched Beth’s videos on Medical Induction and controlling what I can and letting go of what I can’t. Felt SO much better that I was making a decision that was keeping baby safe, she’s fully cooked, potentially big and there’s no more benefit to her staying in there, only potential increasing risks as days go on.

I made my mind up to treat the weekend like I was already in early labour whether I was or not – chill out, music, dancing, cuddles with toddler and hubby, good food, reading and enjoying the sunshine in the garden. And a bit of pampering too to set up for going into hospital. I started making notes on this story so I wouldn’t forget things along the way. 

I got quite a few regular (every 10 mins or so) contractions on the Friday night but none were very strong. Went to bed with 2 paracetamol and slept fine. These eased off on Saturday aside from lower back pain most of the day. Got a FEW big contractions on Saturday night with a bit of mucous plug coming away but not very much. Again headed to bed and they eased off. 

Induction on Sunday

Phone call at 7.04am to head in first thing that morning. I asked midwife for some time to get ready and agreed I could be there for 10am (we’re only 20 mins away). Got up, washed my hair and final wee pamper and my mum and dad came over to sit with our little boy. He understood what I was telling him about the baby coming (finally lol) and sent me off with a lovely gentle kiss – beautiful boy and a wee oxytocin boost to boot. 

With our local restrictions, hubby dropped me off at the door to the ward and I got settled. I had Foley catheter induction. I’ll not lie, I found this first examination and insertion unpleasant but cervix was actually only 1cm open and 3cm long so I really needed it to help get me going. I kept breathing through using as much of the techniques and staying as calm as I could. Once in, I spent the day bouncing, pacing the bay and standing over the bed to read. I went for a full hour walk around the hospital grounds and another once around the carpark after dinner. Foley actually fell out just before this second walk after dinner. I thought maybe I had strained it out trying to go for a no. 2, but midwife assured me it it could only have come out if it had been sitting in my vagina instead of cervix meaning it had done its job and opened me up a bit! Yay!

Time to get ready for waters being broken but was confirmed they would do this first thing the next morning so I could get a good night’s sleep in the bay and some breakfast. Got a supper of toast and tea, yum! Slept on and off for cat naps throughout the night but not too bad. It was so much more relaxed on the bay than my previous pregnancy where there were so many people about! It’s so important to get rest and sleep on induction bay if you can, the road ahead can be quite long!
Got more toast and tea for breakfast and scoffed an extra protein bar, a fruit and nut mix and some jelly babies as well as knew would likely be asked not to eat except jelly babies. Moved on round to labour ward. I asked to wait until my husband arrived before trying to break waters which was no problem at all. This was the most surreal and hilarious experience of the day! I started using the gas and air vigorously to get through this one, I get really giggly on gas and air, it’s the closest to being high (not that I’d know for real!) that I’ve ever experienced (in both pregnancies). Well…on my water breaking

I started to giggle thinking I sounded like Darth Vader on the gas n air so I kept going on it, also had Princess Leia socks on so in my head I started saying “I’m Princess Leia, I’m Princess Leia” completely spaced out and uncontrollably giggling but it must have completely relaxed my body because waters broke and it was a tsunami over the bed! Midwife said she’d never had anyone laugh their way through a water breaking and we had a good giggle about the Princess Leia visualisation after I eased off on the gas n air for a few minutes! 

The next two hours before administering the hormone drop, (standard time is one hour but I requested a bit more time which was again no problem) involved mobilising and seeing if labour would start spontaneously – bounced on ball and zoned out listening to my playlist, waters kept coming out constantly when I relaxed so figured this was all good ways to bring on contractions on their own. It didn’t, but I figured that was unlikely anyway in the short time frame so we discussed with doctor and went onto the hormone drip at a low level which is a normal recommendation VBAC anyway apparently. 

I asked if I could get a shower before syntocinon went in just to freshen up and this was amazing to have, the shower was my happy place all throughout pregnancy for pain relief at home. Midwife helped me to the shower with the wireless CTG unit.
Once in, contractions started to ramp up and I continued on gas and air and breathing techniques in between. I got regular, strong 4 in 10 contractions from 14:30 starting at 2cm dilated so I agreed to be examined at 6.30 and see how I was getting on and help me make a call on what I wanted to do next as I had wanted to avoid the drip really.

Great mixture here of all positions, on the ball, on the floor, sitting up forward on bed, resting on my left side, dancing, standing leaning over side of bed and keeping bladder empty. Kept losing more fluid and definitely felt like I was dilating and pelvis was opening up. Midwife kept praising how well I was doing with my breathing and gas and air and changing positions. Felt very proud of myself using everything I had learnt from the course!

6pm came and because contractions had been really strong and regular, doctor asked if he could examine me then to assess where we were and discuss. Agreed and found I was 3-3.5cm and just about effaced. He gave me all the options but recommended c-section as the progress rate indicated worst case I would be on the drip all night and well into the next day and if I wanted to go for a section now it could be calmer and less rushed. The main factor presented was risk was about uterine rupture continuing to increase if I needed to be on the drip for a long time. Kept being reminded by all staff that I was the boss of this birth and they would just give me the options and benefits and risks and support me.I wasn’t pressured and was given time to think and discuss as he went to review another patient. Honestly I was massively disappointed, I think I had hoped I would have been 5cm at that point given how I was feeling but in the moment I hadn’t pre thought what good progress would have felt like to me before the examination so I wobbled a bit here.

It was at this moment my already amazing midwife went on her break and and a senior midwife came in – a hypnobirthing pro herself, Nicole of The Motherhood Bubble (https://instagram.com/motherhood.bubble?igshid=kfkcav9suhvb) on Instagram (another great page to check out if you’re from Northern Ireland) – by sheer luck she was just who I needed to speak to at that moment and she helped me discuss and sound the whole thing out loud as I do normally which she picked up as my personality type immediately. She got my YesMum cards out and helped me pick out some to feel better. Hubby and I used the chat time to do our own typical logical 4 box method and came to conclusion that c-section was the right and best choice for us all. I felt I had too many unknowns at the road ahead otherwise on the induction pathway and baby was currently so happy and chilled, I wasn’t as tired as I had been with my first wee man so I knew cesarean section recovery would be more laid back at the very least. 

I updated the doctor on our choice and asked for a calm caesarean with drapes to be lowered as baby was born etc. Got all prepped to go and just then a bigger emergency happened next door with a wee distressed baby – I was so rechilled at this point after speaking with Nicole that a simple control what you can let go of what you can’t in my head kept me in check. 
Honestly the worst part was accepting that it meant my day team had to go home and I didn’t know who would be in theatre with me and then lo and behold in walks a midwife from my first baby and the lovely lady doctor I seen at 32 weeks. 

A couple of hours later and I walked down to theatre (also so much more empowering than last time!), when I met the theatre nurse, this again was the lovely person I remembered giving me a head massage the last time 🤣 our fantastic cesarean section birth followed with all our requests and at almost 10pm, drapes were lowered to Magic Radio playing and we saw our beautiful little girl lifted up into the world 😍🥰…weighing only 80g off where the doctor predicted the week before… 🤣 on the 96th centile so proven that they do get this right on scans too so I happily ate my own words! Got lots of pictures and cuddles and Ed Sheeran’s ‘Perfect’ was on the radio as they stitched me up which I LOVE and is giving me a lovely oxytocin boost as a memory for expressing now!

I realised at the end that it had been an all female theatre team and my hubby was the only man in the room, including my wee woman – total GIRL POWER! How amazing is that?! Doctors post op update was that she was able to reuse the same scar line from before and that I had very little scar tissue which was so amazing so when healed I’ll only have one scar line.The summary was that baby had been hanging out in an unfavourable position which wasn’t through lack of trying on my part so really c-section at that time was 100% the best choice for us all. 

Wee woman was so awake and alert afterwards which was very different to her brother and she got a feed in recovery, almost latching on immediately except for my massively large nipples that my newborns just don’t seem to like staying on. We’re now expressing at home… 

For me, our story just completely sums up “Control what you can, let go of what you can’t” and I feel so positive about all of our decisions and approaches this time where last time even though generally positive overall I struggled to accept it a bit and beat myself up that I hadn’t tried hard enough and asked myself lots of what ifs after. 
There’s NO WAY I could say that about this wee baby’s birth, I tried everything I could for a VBAC and stayed positive. It just was meant to be this way for us. 

If I ever have a third, I’ll be bossing that elective cesarean section from Day 1 and giving my consultant team way more credit along the way!

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Natalie’s Positive Birth Story

Natalie’s Positive Birth Story

Positive Birth story ❤️

Our little girl 🎀 Naomi-Rae arrived at 16.03.21 8lbs 6oz
🤱🏻FTM 41 + 6
It has taken me a while to write this, it’s a long one.

💧Birth Plan – Water Birth, Gas and Air
Actual Birth – Induction, failed to progress resulting in C-Section

After trying as many tricks in the book – raspberry leaf tea, dates, walks, sex, clary sage, relaxing, 2 x unsuccessful sweeps, as cervix was closed 😞 still no baby at 41weeks and had a induction booked at 41+4.
At first I really only wanted to go into labour naturally but I started to change my mind set as the days went on and actually got excited to be induced as I was going to meet my baby. I also didn’t want to go in feeling negative, so got ready and packed for all eventualities. Those extra snacks came in handy.

Induction started Sunday at 11am with a 24hr pessary – was uncomfortable but ok.
The hospital let me go home in the evening as I was low risk and nothing was happening so thought I’d progress better at home. As soon as I got home surges started (oxytocin must of kicked in being in my own surroundings) My husband was getting ready for bed, to which I said ‘I don’t think we are going to get much sleep tonight!’. All night I was contracting and we used the Freya App (which was brilliant to record the surges) and we listened to that thing all night long!! I knew to stay at home as long as possible before heading to the hospital with your first and the pain was bad but bearable and surges were for 1min 3 times in 10mins, so I was convinced this was it! We used my birthing ball, my husband used massage, we walked around, used my TENS machine but when it came morning and the sun came up, the contractions started to fade then disappear completely to much of my disappointment.

Back at hospital Monday morning for the 24hrs after pessary and was put on CTG on the ward and was examined again but my cervix was still closed! Disappointed I hadn’t progressed after ALL night contracting. Had my first gel. CTG again, then it started to show baby have a ridiculous high heart rate shortly after. Everything got serious very quickly and was informed I’d be moving the labour room.
One consultant informed me they needed to break my waters as the heart rate was dangerously high but I simply said you can’t as my cervix is closed? To which he said I’d need c-section then (some consultants have poor bedside manner as it was said very matter of fact). I was asking the right questions and we moved to a labour room to which my husband joined me, thank goodness and I was prepped with a cannula. After many discussions with the midwives who were much more reassuring and reviewing my CTG, they decided to keep me monitored before going ahead with anything as baby started to settle. All Monday I was having surges and through the night again so everything then looked back on track. I had to stay on the CTG to be monitored but I did ask for breaks to walk around and use my birthing ball. Early hours Tuesday I was examined again and no further progress with my cervix and was given the second gel. Shortly after babies heart rate then started to drop.
This baby was not happy with the induction process.
After more discussions me and my husband decided a c-section was best and I refused any more examinations.
Ultimately we needed her out safely.
Once we had the group chat with the surgeon, midwife, anaesthetist and all was agreed, my body literally stopped all contractions by the morning. I felt like not only mentally had a accepted the c-section but my body too.

I felt so in control making the decision and we actually started to get excited again. We had a little wait until I could go in theatre as I wasn’t an emergency, so I had a shower and me and my husband were left to enjoy some time together as the last time as a two.

I was nervous walking in the theatre knowing I’m the patient but the team were incredible at trying to make me laugh and keep everything light hearted. I used my breathing techniques when they did my spinal and stayed calm, although my hands were uncontrollably shaking.
I was told my tummy would feel like it was being tugged with no sensation and i did feel so pulls but it wasn’t uncomfortable.
Then the moment when they were announcing her birth.. head, shoulders.. to which I could actually feel the weight of her leaving my body, then the cry came bursting into the room, she was finally here!
She was absolutely covered in meconium, being 13days past due date and had very flakey skin.
I was so glad we didn’t continue with the induction any further as I knew she wouldn’t cope if we got to the hormone drip as she was so distressed at the gels and we could of been a further 24hrs or more.
I used EBRAN continuously throughout all the decision making, this was invaluable for me. This course gave me all the tools and knowledge of what to expect and how to manage. I wouldn’t of been able to make the decisions I did without what I learnt on the course, thank you Beth.

Even though it wasn’t the original plan at all, my goodness I feel like I did a bit of both labours!
We couldn’t be more in love and I look back at my birth knowing we did exactly the right thing for us ❤️
Going for an Induction isn’t failing, having a C-Section isn’t not birthing. All of your decisions are for your baby to arrive safely. X

Zoe’s Planned Cesarean

Zoe’s Planned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Zoe and how she welcomed her first baby via a planned cesarean section due to her baby presenting as breech.

Like a lot of people, I had really had hoped for a super chilled out water birth but my little girl had other ideas! ☺️ We went for a private 4D scan at 30 weeks and she was transverse with her feet covering her face so we went for a rescan the following week and she was still in the same position. At my next midwife appointment I asked them how they thought she was positioned and they thought she was breech by this point so sent me for a presentation scan. This confirmed she was breech so we then returned again at the start of our 36th week where we were checked again and then booked for our c-section. It was booked for 39+1 and it was crazy knowing this is the latest we’d meet our baby girl! We made the decision to keep the date private and just tell our parents as I didn’t want the added pressure of everyone knowing exactly when she was coming, it’s bad enough being asked “is she here yet?”  all the time.

I re-watched all the info about c-section etc on the course to refresh my memory and did a bit of research online too as my hospital gave me zero info! I just knew I was to go in for my pre-op on the Sat and then back in for the op on the Mon! The time came and other than feeling unprepared I was pretty calm to be honest, no laying awake at night worrying or anything like I’d expected (just the usual wake up every hour for a wee instead!). The thing I was most worried about was the whole being in hospital thing, especially knowing that my partner had to leave. I’ve never had a stay in hospital until this point so that made me very anxious. I think this distracted me from the anxiety about the procedure itself.

We arrived at the hospital at 7.30am and were told we were 2nd in the queue so had a few hours to wait but it was super chilled out and actually really nice to spend that time together. When the time came to go into theatre we wandered along the corridor and into the room where we’d meet our girl! How exciting! They were trialling having partners there start to finish so he was allowed in while the spinal was done and was allowed to stay as long as I was in there – I didn’t know the alternative was a possibility so I was very grateful of our luck that they started this on the day we went in. I sat on the bed with my partner in front of me and as they put the cannula in I started to cry – think it all hit me at that very moment how terrified I actually was.

They then did the spinal, I am not remotely bothered by needles/injections or anything like that so the initial injection was absolutely fine. The spinal itself was a bit of pushing etc but I don’t remember it to be particularly sore. It did however cause my left arm and leg to fly up in the air which was scary but everything was of course absolutely fine. The worst part of the whole procedure for me was the fact I got the shakes and my teeth would not stop chattering the entire time and I kept biting my tongue which was unpleasant. The anaesthetist was an absolute star and kept us both very distracted by chatting the whole way through and when I felt sick she fixed that in seconds. I’ve read a lot of others mention the anaesthetist and how great they were and now I totally see why! The procedure itself did not hurt at all of course, it was just a very strange sensation and it was weird not being able to wiggle my toes.

When they said they could see her feet I could not believe it! I then don’t remember seeing her until they brought her over to me but hearing her cry was the most overwhelmingly emotional and beautiful moment of my whole life. My partner went over with her and was able to trim the cord – I was so pleased he was able to have this time with her. She was then brought over and laid on my chest, but because of the position I was in I couldn’t see her face so he was taking photos and showing me them on his phone screen. Again, there was no pain for the remainder of the surgery but I could feel a lot more moving around for this part which was odd and I kept asking “how long left?” but to be honest I haven’t a clue how long the whole thing took. I also have no memory of leaving theatre – it really is strange that I’ve forgotten certain bits when I was fully awake but I remember the important stuff I think. 

The tea and toast was UNREAL, could’ve eaten it 1 million times over as I’d been fasting since 22:00 the day before and hadn’t had a drink since midnight! We spent a few hours just enjoying our time together as a three and trying to feed until they wanted me up and about. This was strange but fine and I was worried about catheter removal but this was also absolutely fine. We were lucky because she was born at 12 noon and we were able to stay in our own room together until 10pm. I spent the first night just staring at my baby, don’t think I had a wink of sleep which was a terrible idea but I couldn’t help it! We then stayed a second night in hospital because as much as I was desperate to go home we just weren’t quite ready and we hadn’t cracked feeding yet so in hindsight I’m really glad we stayed that extra night. We arrived 7.30am Monday and finally got home at about 5pm on Wednesday. I was over the moon to be home and have an extra pair of hands because I was finding it difficult to pick her up etc after the surgery but this is to be expected. 

Although it was the opposite of what I’d imagined, and I do still feel a tiny bit sad that I didn’t get to experience ‘labour’ as it were, there were definitely some huge positives and at the end of the day the most important thing is that our daughter is here safe and sound.

If anyone else has a planned c-section please do not be worried! All I’ll say is take massive knickers (the more high waisted the better!), lots of snacks and drinks in case you spend a couple of days, and maybe a couple extra outfits for the baby than you originally packed unless you know you are able to have visitors etc. We ran out of sleepsuits and water wipes but we had 2 visits a day so my partner brought extra bits and bobs for us. I also went home in a big comfy dress as this didn’t take any bending down to put on and take a pillow for the journey home to put between your tummy and seatbelt – this is a tip I saw on here I think and it was great.

Click the link for more information about The Bump to Baby Chapter’s Hypnobirthing and Antenatal Online Course. Know what you can do to stack the odds in your favour for the birth that you want. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.