It really helped me to turn my mindset around
This week’s birth story comes from the lovely Jennifer and partner Nick, who read TCBS book, downloaded the MP3s and affirmations to help get over the stress of a previous birth. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us!
I thought I’d share my birth story as TCBS has been so influential in how I felt and still feel about my whole birthing experience. We got home this morning and feeling empowered and emotional!
“I had an emergency c-section with my first baby, after meconium was in my waters and I was induced on the drip. I hated this experience, I had hoped for a water birth at home as hospitals terrify me, I just clammed up and did as I was told with all the medical personnel. It would never have crossed my mind to question or share my feelings with them. This induction process was awful, rushed, intense, and completely out of my control.
With my next pregnancy I knew I wanted things to be different but after my first few midwife appointments and seeing a consultant I had resigned myself to the fact that I would be labouring on a ward with a cannula fitted and strapped to monitoring machine’s and just dreading that I’d end up with another c-section.
Then my partner came home with TCBS book. I read it 3 times in the end, downloaded the mp3s and affirmations. It really helped me to turn my mindset around. I started to question my providers and started to be given options that helped me. I saw a second consultant who was much more supportive of what I wanted, and I was allowed to access the birthing centre if I went into spontaneous labour before 42 weeks.
I wrote my birthing preferences detailing my ideal scenario plus plans b and c. But I also included a letter at the beginning detailing why I had made the choices I had and why my preferences and how they were handled were so important to me. I think this really made a difference to how I was treated and helped create understanding without having to explain every time.
When I was term + 10 I confidently refused an induction – one of the interviews that Suzy had with a midwife was really helpful in giving me the confidence to do this, and again I found the doctors really supportive of my decision. I came out of that day feeling empowered and confident – I didn’t get sweaty hands on the ward, and I didn’t cry during any of my talks with the providers! I was happy, calm and confident throughout. This to me was a sure sign that the TCBS had given me the tools to overcome my fears and anxiety and approach my labour with excitement and confidence.
My waters released about 1 am in the morning on the 5th Oct, I left my partner asleep and tried to sleep myself although the contractions were coming regularly and were stronger than I expected. I ran a bath and woke my partner as they were spacing at every 3 mins by 3 am and we needed to arrange childcare for our daughter. This all done we went to the birthing centre in the taxi – a tens machine and my birth visualisation really helped here, and I was very focused on my breathing. Even though I was 3 cm dilated we were allowed our own room in the centre with a pool that I practically leapt into and this immediately relaxed and felt so happy to be there. Nick arranged photos and got my oils out. Apparently, I was in there for 4 hours but it flew by! My focus was purely on my breathing and certain affirmations popped into my head which I kept repeating to myself, and even some new ones were spontaneously created!
The whole team were so respectful of our birth preferences and we were more or less on our own throughout. Unfortunately, whenever we were monitored our baby’s heart rate was high and dipping irregularly but they kept this to themselves until they felt they should let Nick know. We were then left to decide to move to the labour ward to be monitored and decide where to go from there.
After an hour there was no improvement in the baby’s heart rate, but more dips were being seen so we agreed to stay on the ward and only remote access monitoring was offered and they were so gentle and mindful of how I was feeling. Again, we were left in private and they arranged all of our things for us. We even had the same midwife come on over.
I requested gas and air now I as out of the pool but once I had accepted we were staying in the ward my focus on my breathing and thus my pain management came back on track. After another 4 hours I was recognised I was getting tired and could no longer be as active as I could on my legs, I consented to an examination and I was not dilating evenly. I was struggling to do spinning babies techniques through my contractions and knew I didn’t want the drip to ‘speed things along’. When I discussed this with the midwife she said it was probably too late for that anyway and she allowed us to broach the c-section subject ourselves and it turns out that this is what the doctors monitoring our progress outside had been wanting to suggest for a while.
I am so pleased it was left to us and we were allowed to wait and broach these things for ourselves. Whereas last time the words caesarean sent me into a blind panic, and basically sent me out of control, this time I was calm, chatty, got to know the team and really enjoyed the whole experience! They brought my music into the theatre and were so considerate throughout. Arlo was born at 8.20pm weighing 8 lb 7 oz and I was calm, happy and in control throughout.
Even though my labour was strong and long, I can honestly say I enjoyed the experience from start to finish and feel so powerful! A polar opposite to my last.
TBCS helped me overcome my fears, was instrumental in helping me communicate with my providers and really helped me remain in control throughout. I wouldn’t have changed a thing”.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!