The birth of Oscar - an elective c-section using hypnobirthing
Another lovely birth story, this time from Katy who in her own words did every class possible with me during pregnancy! Katy was warned that her baby might be big (a topic that I cover in detail on my hypnobirthing course), which led to her being pressured to opt for an induction. I love this story because Katy took complete control of her birth for a calm and happy experience.
Finding out I was pregnant filled me with many conflicting emotions. Of course me and my husband were absolutely over the moon but after three miscarriages I was full of anxiety, worry and fear that something was going to go wrong. My pregnancy turned out to be pretty textbook. I had no sickness, no real back pain, no extreme tiredness, to be honest I felt better than I had felt in years. I have MS and all symptoms of that magically went away. Despite all this, I never felt I could sit back and enjoy the ride, the fear in my gut just wouldn’t go away.
My way of conquering this was to book myself onto every yoga class, retreat and Hypnobirthing course run by Colleen. Gradually my fear and anxiety was replaced with pride in what my body had achieved and a sense of empowerment that my body was strong enough to birth my baby. I started to feel excited about the birth and how I was going to let my body take the lead and have a natural vaginal birth.
As my due date approached, growth scans revealed that my baby was going to be on the ‘chunky’ side. This didn’t worry me, Colleen had taught me to trust my body and that I wouldn’t grow a baby I couldn’t birth. However, the consultants seemed concerned. Conversations very quickly started about inductions and all the interventions that would be needed to get baby out. My plans for a calm natural birth were being ripped away from me and I felt like I was being forced down a road I didn’t want to be on.
The date for my induction had already been booked despite me saying I didn’t want to be induced! Then one of the consultants suggested an elective c-section. I started to do some research and saw this as an opportunity to regain control. I could have a birth that I could manage and mould into exactly what I wanted it to be. So a date was set for my elective c-section for when I would be 40 weeks.
Even just knowing the date our baby was going to be born meant we could get ready mentally and physically and line up our support network. The day before, we went out for lunch with a growing excitement for what was to come the next day. In the evening I had a bath and went to bed relaxed and calm. First thing in the morning we arrived at the hospital and were checked in. Me and my husband were shown to a bed where we would wait to be called to theatre.
We were last on the list so we were in for a long wait. I spent the time listening to guided meditations from Colleen and practising my breathing. I sat on a birthing ball and watched telly and went for walks. I brought my pillow from home and sprayed it with my favourite Lavender scent. I did everything I could to make that space feel safe and calm. Then finally someone came into the room and said ‘are you ready to have your baby?’ I can honestly say that I felt safe, protected and listened to by every member of staff at Darent valley. Everyone in the operating theatre greeted me with reassuring smiles and did everything they could to keep me calm. They asked questions and tailored the experience to be exactly what I wanted.
I had my music playing whilst my husband sat at my side talking me through the whole process. The anesthetist was especially kind and kept telling me what was happening. It felt like seconds before I heard the first cry from our baby Oscar behind the curtain and he was brought to me for skin on skin. (Oscar’s weighed 9lb10). It wasn’t the natural birth I had imagined but my birth turned out to be everything I wanted it to be. Both me and my baby were calm and relaxed throughout the whole process. My husband never left my side and gave me all the strength I needed.
Post surgery I was mentally ready to look after my baby. Oscar is now 5 weeks old and writing this has given me the opportunity to take the time to look back and think about my birthing experience. It is full of happiness, excitement and expectation, a million miles away from the fear and anxiety that consumed me a few months ago.