This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Pregnancy Relaxation Course with Leanne Lawrence of Brighter Birthing across Hertfordshire
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with is!
“Armed prepared for a c-section followed by an appendectomy I awoke at 5.45 am on a Tuesday morning. I was 38 weeks.
At 21 weeks pregnant I’d been diagnosed with suspected appendicitis.
At 26 weeks I had been told I would not return to work before giving birth for my own health and that of the baby. This had not been a “normal” pregnancy like I had experienced with my first child.
My husband and I prepared to leave the house, waking our daughter for cuddles and breakfast while our friend arrived to do the nursery drop off.
At 7.15 am we were in the maternity wing at Stoke Mandeville. I’d been here a number of times in this pregnancy. During these many visits, we’d got to know a number of midwives, so I was relaxed and prepared.
I had my affirmations (c-section specific), which had kindly been shared by Leanne after attending her pregnancy relaxation classes. My bags were packed with everything I needed. I was ready to meet our little one.
The anaesthetist arrived, went through all the medical necessities. Our midwife and my husband now in scrubs. I modelled the fetching hospital gown – not done up properly as my husband couldn’t understand it!
Then the announcement. They are ready for us. Walking by my bed, which would become my home for the next few days, off we went to theatre.
There were discussions of what sex our baby would be. We were having a surprise but were convinced it was a girl. Our family have a long line of girls in this generation and we already have a daughter.
Down in the surgical wing, waiting outside the theatre, clutching my phone for both photos and music (for the appendectomy, I was to be awake). Together birthing again, supporting each other.
Walk in, onto the bed. Many different discussions about medical things. Anaesthetists, surgeons, midwife, assistants of many kind, the room was full, not my original birth plan.
With a numb lower half, I hear “first incision made”. Just 3 minutes later (we were told it would be at least 10) we heard the very healthy screams of our baby. The surgeon pulled our baby out and lifted it up over the screen to be seen by us. It was a boy! Shock, excitement! Then he was on my chest.
Overhearing discussions about the placenta, blood loss and my ovaries. I held tight to my baby boy! Then within what felt like seconds he was gone again with my husband for his checks and cord cutting.
Music plugged into my ears and a new surgeon takes over for my appendectomy. Blasting Michael Kiwanuka, Cold Little Heart, I was unaware of any further discussions. These were my wishes, once the medical procedure started. Then suddenly the surgeon announces, “all done, she can be sewn back up.”
Baby returns to my chest, husband by my side, someone takes photos. What feels like mere minutes and we are in recovery, cuddling the first-born grandson on my husband’s side from 9 grandchildren. Needless to say, a little shocked.
This was not my original birth plan, but it was the best option for myself and my son.
It was still Tuesday morning, as I was wheeled back up to the ward. Not only with a gorgeous baby boy but also with no appendix.
There were many weeks of recovery ahead of me, but that didn’t matter. My heart was filled with joy.
Both my births have not gone to plan. Both births had medical intervention and both babies were born in surgical rooms. Yet, both births were exactly what was needed for the health of my babies and myself.
I trusted my body, my medical professionals and the support of my husband, family and friends.
My own mental well-being and understanding of what was to happen for both births however came from Leanne and her pregnancy relaxation classes. She armed and prepared me with the confidence and knowledge I needed for both births.
My son was born a matter of weeks before lockdown (March 2020). He is now a healthy 12 week old. I firmly believe, if I hadn’t had such great antenatal support, my own mental health would not be so strong.
My affirmations got me through two very different surgical births.
What are the lessons I have learnt from two births in quick succession?
- Trust your instincts
- Ask questions of your medical professionals, but trust them too
- Trust your birth partner to help you make key decisions in the heat of the moment.
Babies all have their own entrances to make. I believe women are inherently built to give birth; some just need a little help. Go with it and relax. No one birth is the same, you’ve got this no matter what might happen.”
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!