A positive caesarean birth story: "the best birth for me on the day".
By Tessa of www.tessayoga.co.uk, Oct 31 2016 10:48AM
First things first: Many congratulations to Claire and James on the arrival of their gorgeous baby Tom!
Claire and James attended my birth preparation workshop a few months ago and I remember thinking at the time that they would make an amazing team during the birth. In her own words:
"It's fair to say that the birth of my son was the exact opposite of our birth 'plan'! I knew it was wishful thinking that I would be in the Midwife Led Unit in a pool, drug free, just breathing the baby out, but I was optimistic all the same.
It didn't help that I had convinced myself the baby would be early (it was suggested by a midwife that if your mother's first born was early, yours would be too, not true!) I had convinced myself he would come at 38 weeks so every day that went past, I got a bit more anxious. I was trying to keep my anxiety under control by listening to a hypnobirthing track daily, having acupuncture, trying every old wives induction trick under the sun (not dancing naked under a full moon tho, sadly no full moon). Failing that, I used my hypno track and yoga breathing to convince myself that the baby knew when the time was right to arrive.
Turns out, he didn't know after all and was quite happy prolonging the pregnancy! At 12 days overdue I started the formal eviction process. It started with 2 propesses, which are pretty unpleasant but I remembered my breathing and tried to imagine a higher place. Then we had the rather unpleasant news that we had to stay in overnight and my waters would be broken the next day. I met this news the only way I knew how, uncontrollably sobbing at the 'medicalisation' of my birth plan. The realisation that it wasn't going to go as planned was a big shock to me, but once I accepted it, I found lots of positives in the situation. The main one being, after 42 weeks of being pregnant, I would actually have a baby in my arms!!
The next day, I was confronted by the delivery suite and some very jolly midwives who'd obviously seen my look of horror as my eyes set upon the 'throne' and all the machines and wires attached to it. [Photo of Claire after adjusting the room to suit her and reconnecting with calm.]
As luck would have it, the room could be configured to be low lit and we could have our music playing, also it was a new monitoring system which meant I didn't have to be strapped down [to a monitor]. This was fab because once my contractions came thick and fast I couldn't sit down. I did a lot of swaying holding on to my husband (the pose where you kind of trap them!!) that helped steady my breathing and ride the pain out. I tried visualising mountains and sea caves but what worked for me was thinking about climbing stairs or a ladder. I imagined myself on a city break climbing a tower somewhere, thinking about the beautiful view when I got to the top. [Photo from dreamstime.com]
My husband and I made a little den out of the screen on the operating table and we talked about meeting our baby and all the things we would do together as a family. About 5 minutes later, out popped our son, once they'd checked him over he was placed on my chest for immediate skin to skin. it was totally worth the wait!
Although it was nothing like it was planned, I wouldn't change it for the world. It was the best birth for us on the day.
The yoga breathing and techniques from the workshop were a great support and great for building our confidence for birth."
Often you hear "well as long as the baby is healthy, it's ok", but it is so important how the parents feel about the birth too. Whether you plan to have another child and will need to labour again, or not, it is important to find the positive about the birth of your baby. There are lots of wonderful practitioners that I can recommend if you need some help to do that, such as Louise Carter, Hypnotherapist based in Emmer Green surgery, or Sam Upcroft, of Nesting Mums, in Wallingford. Or other modalities that I can recommend to you.
I would love to hear your comments below if you had a caesarean birth and your positive experience.
Thanks so much to Claire and James for letting me share their story.