Nuala’s Unplanned Cesarean

Nuala’s Unplanned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. Cara was hoping for a VBAC to welcome her second baby into the world.Cara had a Foley Balloon induction but her labour progressed quite slowly. At this point Cara 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.

Jade’s Unplanned Cesarean Section

Jade’s Unplanned Cesarean Section

Love reading positive birth stories, you’re in the right place…. This positive birth story is with Jade and how she welcomed her baby, Lyla, via an unplanned cesarean section. 

This birth story is the FURTHEST from what I had planned, imagined and dreamt of but I feel like it’s important for people to understand things may not always go to plan but you can still make informed decisions and have a positive experience.
Pregnancy for me was a dream! No sickness, no problems, no cravings, I continued teaching dancing right up to 38 weeks. I ate dates, raspberry leaf tea, bouncing on my ball, walks (granted not that long because of my back pain towards the end of pregnancy), dance workouts, clary sage oils/baths… you name it I tried it. Due date came and went, first sweep at 40 + 2, 1cm dilated, low anterior cervix and I felt optimistic but nothing came of it. Second sweep 41 + 2 (Tuesday) again 1-2cm stretchy cervix etc. Induction was booked for 41 + 5 (Friday) which I was happy to go along with.By Wednesday evening I started repacking my bags and added more nighties/pjs, snacks ready for induction on Friday, made my peace with the fact I would be induced and not start labour spontaneously and I was fine with that.

That same night/Thursday morning 12.40am contractions started and I honestly think just switching off and not worrying about it all actually helped me! They were very manageable with just up breathing and at around 8am the FREYA app confirmed I was in established labour but I was really keen to hold out calling the hospital so we waited until around 1.30pm and went in just to check, fully aware there was a high chance of being sent home. I got checked in the MLU/birth centre and the midwife confirmed I was 1cm and gave me a good sweep and sent on my way. I took 2 paracetamols when we got home and was able to sleep for 3 hours and boy am I glad I got those 3 hours in before what was to come!!!!

Contractions continued to get stronger and closer together. I was up and down, in and out of bed, feeling like I needed to use the toilet after every contractions, losing my mucus plug throughout the night/morning. I also used the TENS machine I hired (AMAZING! Total recommend) and left my husband to sleep. My induction was booked for 10am that morning and when my husband woke up at 6.30am I told him that we needed to go to the hospital early, worse case scenario I would just stay and get induced as planned, and best case scenario I would be in established labour… either way I’M HAVING THIS BABY. The 20 min car journey was very uncomfortable but I just sat in silence and used the TENS machine to get through it.

I was examined around 8am by a lovely midwife once I got to hospital and she confirmed I was 5cm dilated and I definitely didn’t need to attend my induction appointment YAY! Called my husband and we made our way to the birth centre. The pool was filled up, my husband was offered tea, toast and biscuits, he was loving life! (I couldn’t think of anything worse at the time)I listened to the rain pattering outside and had my playlist on our speaker. I just felt amazing! The water was incredible pain relief and I laboured there for 4 hours. I was examined again and my waters were broken, unfortunately there was meconium in the waters and I was still only 5cm dilated. I kept calm and knew that it meant moving to labour ward so I was not shocked by this (knowledge really is power). I went to the toilet before gathering all my things together and had to call my husband in as I had a faint spell, I know when I’m going to faint or throw up because my eyes go all blurry, he called the midwives and they got me in a wheel chair to took me round to labour ward (I didn’t actually faint or throw up but I think it was a mixture of coming out of the warm water and having my waters broken).

Once on labour ward, I was on CTG and the doctor said I had to go on the hormone drip because my contractions had slowed down. I wasn’t happy with this decision so spoke up and asked that this was delayed as I had just had a dizzy spell and moved from birth centre where my contractions were strong and regular, this was agreed and I was allowed to wait for an hour or so and my contractions did get back up to 3-4 in 10. However it was the doctor’s decision to put me on the drip to hopefully move things along which I agreed to in the end seeing as I had progressed since coming in at 8am. This is the point I asked for the gas and air… I loved it. After 4 attempts in each hand the cannula was in (I’m still bruised now!!) and contractions were coming thick and fast, 6-7 in 10, very powerful and only felt comfortable on the birthing ball and leaning back digging my elbows into my husbands thighs… sorry hun! I told the midwives that I couldn’t continue labouring like this! I wasn’t saying I couldn’t do it, I just couldn’t do it LIKE THIS! the hormone drip was turned down and at 4pm I was due another examination, I felt confident that there would be at least some progression but as soon as she was “all up in there”. I could just tell it was bad news. STILL 5CM, I felt so disappointed.

This was the point my husband gave me the motivation to carry on, I was determined and the midwives were also encouraging me as I could feel baby really low down and “in my bum” they said that this was a great sign and things were moving on. Those 4 hours dragged, I feel jealous of those people that say they lost track of time during labour!
After 4 hours, you guessed it, STILL 5CM so enough was enough and I needed more than just gas and air, I asked for an epidural, I needed the break and let my body do it’s thing and also have enough energy for the big push. Doctor came in to examine me and said that my cervix was not effacing and was still thick and we all agreed that c section would be the best action and in all honesty I was just so DONE, at that point it had been over 42 hours since my first contraction at home and 12 hours since coming into the hospital, I just needed it to be over. 

Into theatre within the hour (I think) the staff were amazing and explained everything so well, they knew from my birth preference that I wanted my husband to announce the gender so it was announced to the whole theatre TWICE not to say anything! Spinal was done and I was able to continue using the gas and air until everything had settled down, by this point things were so intense that I was just using gas and air to breathe. I was so relieved to see my husband come in, I even attempted cracking a joke about him looking sexy in scrubs. He sat by me and faced away from the “action”. I started to shake as if I was freezing cold and my eyes were rolling back, I remember being SO tired! He asked if it was normal and if I was okay, the staff made us feel at ease that everything was fine and normal “shes probably just tired, you can sleep if you want to” but my husband was worried I’d be asleep for the birth of our baby. 

When I heard our baby cry, I was wide awake within an instant! I looked at my husband and we both burst into tears. We didn’t get lion king moment or skin to skin straight away, baby was taken into the side room and my husband was invited in to see her and find out gender. He came back with her in his arms and we continued to bawl our eyes out in awe, amazement, relieve and pure love! She was perfect and such a surprise as we both thought she was a he. She was a brilliant 9lbs 5oz which also makes me think it was a blessing in disguise as it may have ended in an assisted delivery anyway.

Recovery room was tiny but the tea and toast was incredible. I was moved into postnatal ward and was supposed to get some sleep but of course like everyone does I think I just stared at her the whole night like is this real? as if you were inside me this whole time? You’re a GIRL!?Just over 24 hours later I was discharged and was able to go home to be in our little newborn bubble as a family of 3. Recovery has been great so far, very slow for the first day or so at home and then got stronger and faster day by day.

Like I said, my birth wasn’t textbook perfect but I look back with amazing memories and I got to experience every area from birth centre to theatre! My only regret is not researching and/or adding c section preferences into my birth plan. You always think “aaaah that won’t happen to me”

If I have another baby, I will be considering an elective c section!

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, and how to stay calm in all birth situations. Videos, checklists, audios & a support group all created by a midwife to get you feeling excited, prepared and confident for birth.

Jade meeting Lyla following an unplanned cesarean
Sarah’s Planned Cesarean

Sarah’s Planned Cesarean

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with Sarah who hoped to have a waterbirth. However, her baby was breech and ECV was unsuccessful, so she opted for a planned cesarean and describes it as “the most amazing experience” .

Like many, my birth ‘plan’ was to have spontaneous labour, a water birth and to nail it using just breathing and gas/air.Mister man had different ideas though and was frank breech from 33 weeks. We researched anything that may help to turn him, and began with holistic methods – we did moxibustion most nights, along with any and all inversions! (see Spinning Babies website).

After being given our options by the hospital (C section no ECV, C section if needed after ECV, or risky vaginal birth) we used EBRAN (multiple times in every which way) to decide what was best for us.We opted to try the ECV as I was determined to try everything possible to turn baby. 

I felt quite anxious ahead of the procedure and had been using my breathing techniques and relaxation audios to prepare and calm my overactive mind. This being said, I also felt positive and totally in control in that it was our choice, and it was a choice we had both fully considered and were informed about (I’m a research nerd who reads up excessively). The staff at the hospital were amazing and once I was there, I got fully in the zone with my breathing techniques and my husband remarked how unphased I was – down mainly to the controlled breathing.I had 2 doctors try to turn baby and I’ll be frank (no pun intended ), it was the most uncomfortable and painful experience I’ve had. I opted not to try gas and air when it was offered midway, but this was an option. 

Controlled breathing was invaluable in remaining calm (along with crushing my husband’s hand) – the consultant felt she could try for 17 minutes as I was apparently tolerating it so well !Whilst it was unsuccessful, I felt really proud of myself and happy that we’d tried that avenue.

There was part of me that (ridiculously) felt like I was ‘failing’ if I couldn’t deliver my baby naturally and it took me some time to get my head round having a C section. Through the course, I’d been visualising so many different birth scenarios and imagining all the different outcomes… when it came to it, I was gutted I may not get my spontaneous, natural labour I’d hoped for. Having said this, after the failed ECV, we finalised our birth preferences and felt entirely in control of the situation and indescribably excited!! We saw all the positives in our new plan and after being given a date for the section, we had some fun with our families with them placing wagers on what day baby would be worn.

The actual cesarean was  T H E  most amazing experience. It felt like all the Christmas Days in one!Again, I used my breathing techniques (more the night before actually) to control my nerves of the unknown, but the staff were so amazing and reassuring from start to finish, it ended up feeling like I was in surgery with a bunch of friends! Huge thanks to GRH.

Despite it being a planned C section, we still wrote some birth preferences; one of which was to drop the drapes as soon as possible. I’ll never forget the moment I saw my little boy’s bum enter the world …Swiftly followed by his beautiful head which was momentarily stuck near my ribs! This immediately explained why the ECV was unsuccessful.

He was quite sleepy initially and needed waking to feed, and along with my flat nips, he was struggling to latch effectively. Despite desperately wanting to get home, I chose to stay in hospital an extra night for more support with breastfeeding, and this was the best decision I could have made. Once home and feeling more confident, he was latching like a trooper and still so far so good. Not a sore nip in sight amazingly.

Even if your birth ‘idea’ doesn’t go quite the way you envisaged, using hypnobirthing tools and having the right positive mindset means you can still feel so empowered and in control.

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.

Positive Cesarean: Jen and Raeya

Positive Cesarean: Jen and Raeya

Love reading positive birth stories? You’re in the right place! This positive birth story is with Jen’s first baby. Jen went into labour and upon arriving at the hospital they discovered her baby was breech, leading Jen using EBRAN to chose an unplanned cesarean section.

My due date was 1st March and this is my first baby. At my 36 week midwife appointment baby was described as “almost fully engaged 2/5” but then at my 38 week appointment her head was no longer in my pelvis it seemed to be higher up. Midwives we’re still happy that baby was in the correct position and that she would move down when ready. I had a 4D scan at 28 weeks and at that point baby was breech so at 38 weeks when they said she wasn’t in my pelvis I started saying to my boyfriend “I think it’s her bum they can feel and she’s still breech as I don’t think I’ve felt her fully turn…”

Over the weekend me and my boyfriend spent our time getting the house clean, repacking hospital bags, and making sure everything was ready as due date was Monday meaning I only had a maximum of 2 weeks to deliver. Monday morning (due date) at 4.30am I went to the toilet. Every single morning in pregnancy baby has woke at 4.30am and I kept saying wonder if that’s a sign somethings going to happen then. While I was sat on the toilet I felt a little pop on one side of my pelvis and a big gush of fluid. I wasn’t sure this was definitely my waters, I was wondering whether baby had moved position that had helped me wee easier but I woke my boyfriend up anyway to let him know and went back to the toilet. From this point onwards water was constantly leaking so I knew this was more than just a wee. No contractions at this point. We phoned the hospital who advised me to clean up, have something to eat and then head in so I did just that taking my time. My plan was to go and get checked over and then come home to cook a joint of beef for tea 🤣

Just as I left the house I felt a pain that I thought may have been a contraction but I was so calm about everything at this point. By the time we got to the hospital it was 6am and these “little pains” – contractions were very obvious and I started timing them to discover they were every 3 minutes. I used my breathing techniques at this point and was managing really well just dreading the thought of how long everything was going to take. When I was examined in triage my contractions had ramped up and I decided to have some paracetamol at this point.

On examination the midwife said I was 4-5cm and my cervix was very thin. I genuinely couldn’t believe it. She was concerned however that baby wasn’t facing the right way so decided to scan me in order to check. And of course the scan quickly shown that baby was breech. She was still in the same position she had been in all along bum first with her feet in front of her face under my ribs. My contractions were really progressing fast and apparently with breech labours they can go much quicker so the next minute I had multiple doctors in my room discussing my options, inserting a cannula, and giving me some gas and air to take that edge off. My options were to attempt a vaginal breech delivery or to be taken straight in for an emergency section. I had been so calm about everything but at this point I had a wobble. They gave me 3 minutes to make a decision and I had no idea what to do. My boyfriend was so supportive and reminded me of the things I had learnt on this course. He reminded me to control the things I can and let go of the things I can’t and how to weigh up our options using EBRAN. He also reminded me that I was getting tense and to relax my shoulders and jaw.

Together we made a very quick decision to go for a section (which I never wanted, always wanted a natural birth) but that was the safest option for baby at the time which is all that mattered to me. My boyfriend had to literally run to the carpark for my bags whilst I went straight in for a spinal as he wasn’t allowed in at that point anyway. Minutes later we were in theatre together chatting away behind a screen and he was massaging my shoulders while we both kept each other calm and relaxed (laughing at the fact I thought I was making a joint of beef for tea that day). Whilst in theatre I was quickly examined again to ensure that I had not progressed too quickly for the section…I was around 7cm by then.

Shortly after at 08.09am we heard a cry….our baby girl was here. Happy and healthy weighing a good 8lb 1oz with no obvious complications. She has completed our lives and I couldn’t be happier with the decisions we made. Yes I had a wobble which lasted a minute or two and no I didn’t get the birth I “wanted” but I was calm, I handled contractions very well, I felt well informed about things that could of happened in order to aid my decision making, and honestly I was just really proud of myself. Midwives said it was obvious I had done some sort of hypnobirthing with the way I handled everything.Currently awake early hours of the morning with my gorgeous bundle of joy and had to just say a big thank you to Beth Kitt for this amazing course and to all the people in here who have helped me. 

Raeya Jo Madden born on 01.03.2021 (her due date) weighing 8lb 1oz by emergency section with every single thought of what birth I would of liked going out of the window and yet I still feel it was all such a positive experience 💖

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.