I had a difficult birth with my first baby, my waters broke at home and then nothing. After 2 failed inductions and 3 days in 'labour' I ended up having a very rushed and high stress emergency c-section. My son Rudy was born with an infection and low oxygen levels and rushed off to SCUBU and I didn't get to see him for the first 6 hours of his life.
I felt like I had failed Rudy and I was beyond desperate to not have this happen with my next baby, it was and still is the worst experience of my life. I was adamant I was not having another c-section.
I'd had appointments with my consultant throughout this pregnancy and we both agreed I could give birth naturally. Adam and I decided to do hypnobirthing and did the course at 30 weeks. The course was invaluable (why is this not standard practice for all pregnant women???) and I had 6 happy weeks following the techniques and preparing myself for a natural birth.
However, at my 36 week appointment I was measuring very big, and after a scan I found out I had Gestational Diabetes. Due to my previous history and added stress of the diabetes it was decided that I was to have an elective c-section at 39 weeks.
I couldn't believe it, I had felt like a failure all over again. I really wanted to have this baby naturally, but it wasn't to be. I decided to throw myself into hypnobirthing and use it to my advantage. I wanted to wipe all the bad memories of the previous experience away and treat this as a whole new beginning.
My natural c-section was a success!
It was such a surreal feeling waking up and knowing our baby was to be born today. We went off to hospital and I was second in on the list. A little daunting as more time to think about what is about to happen, but also allowed us time to mentally prepare. Adam and I filled this time making a 'birth playlist' I felt I could relax to in the moment. At my pre-op, I asked the surgeon to have a 'natural c-section' a huge thing for me due to the bad memories of the previous op and being so bloody squeamish. But, I was determined this was to be as natural as possible, and so the lights were dimmed and the theatre team were quiet.
All was going well until I started to panic. Adam was absolutely fantastic in calming me down, stroking my arm and doing the breathing techniques, in for 4, out for 8 to relax me. I listened to my playlist and closed my eyes, constantly breathing, it worked, I relaxed and before I knew it, the team asked if I was ready for the curtain to be brought down.
We watched our baby boy Sonny being born, it was such a relaxed and calm experience, it was truly beautiful. We asked for delayed cord cutting and I had Sonny placed on my chest for skin to skin. It was and always will be one of the best experiences of my life. He stayed there for the duration of the operation, only coming off for Adam to cut his cord, and went on to feed straight away whilst we were still in theatre. The recovery physically was still difficult but mentally I felt in such a better place.
I can't believe that two similar situations can end up being so different and I am so grateful for hypnobirthing enabling me to experience something so special and for turning my worst experience into one of my best experiences. I have 100% come to terms with my labours and what I achieved in having both my sons. How lucky we are to have them.
'Birth is amazing no matter how it happens.'