The birth of Louis - a calm, pre-term c-section birth
Most people book on to my hypnobirthing course because they want a calm, positive birth that is as natural as possible. However, sometimes this is not possible; which is why I spend time during the course covering more medicalised births. I go over what the interventions might involve, but also how to stay calm and use hypnobirthing techniques throughout. Charlotte and George were first time parent hoping for a natural birth for their baby and booked on to my group hypnobirthing class in Dartford. Due to some pregnancy complications it was decided that a pre-term c-section would be best, Charlotte writes:
During my pregnancy, as a first time Mum, I felt incredibly nervous about giving birth. I knew that everyone must manage to do it somehow but I felt, scared and unprepared as I had never even had an overnight stay in a hospital before! After researching extensively online for a few weeks when I was around six months pregnant, I decided to try a hypnobirthing course. Colleen had lots of amazing reviews and ideally the course was situated in Dartford – where we live, which was a bonus.
My partner and I attended two sessions which both ran on Sundays 10-4. Colleen gave us the mp3s before the start on the sessions which were an amazing help! They helped me move to a state of mind where my oxytocin was boosted, something which Colleen explains on the course, is essential in staying calm during childbirth.
We learnt about all the different scenarios that we may find ourselves in whilst in hospital and how to advocate for ourselves and speak up to express our wishes. We learnt the best ways to give birth and things that can possibly delay or hinder a birth from going smoothly. I went from scared to feeling prepared very quickly!
Unfortunately, sometime between the first and second session of Hypnobirthing (at 27 weeks pregnant) doctors became concerned about Louis’s growth (below 3rd centile) and the doppler readings from the placenta. I began going for weekly scans at a specialist hospital as the blood flow between baby and the placenta worsened as the weeks went by, I became very anxious about the pregnancy. Luckily, Colleen was on hand to help during the second session, and via WhatsApp after the hypnobirthing course.
Doctors were unsure if Louis would do well during the labour process and the fact that he was breech meant that at 35 weeks, it was decided that delivery would be imminent and it would be via c-section. (My worst nightmare!)
Fortunately Colleen sent me positive birth stories of ladies who delivered via c-section and also positive birth stories of women who have had smaller babies. My partner and I also knew how to advocate for ourselves during a c-section birth as Colleen had spoken to us about it at length on the course. She had also sent specific mp3s to prepare you and your baby for a c-section birth and mp3s on how to accept and embrace change during a pregnancy – which really helped.
When I talk about Louis’s birth now – people ask me how did you get through it? I explain that I managed to take myself away from the present moment and used the mp3s and scripts, which my partner read to me, to put myself in a completely different state of mind. With all my comforts from home and different smells that I bought into the hospital with me – I feel like I managed to boost my oxytocin to a point where anything was possible.
Louis was born at 36 weeks weighing 5lb3oz in August 2022 and required no NICU time. We were over the moon with our little fighter! It wasn’t the easiest of roads for the first six weeks of his life but he managed to stay at home with us the whole time, rather than requiring overnight hospital treatment.
Thank you Colleen – we couldn’t have got through this without your teaching but also the support you provided during a difficult time for us.