It isn’t about the physicality of how I was giving birth, it’s about giving life

This week’s birth story comes from the lovely couple Hollie and Jason, who attended a TCBS with Anna Owen from Rock Your Birth in Worcestershire. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us. In Hollie’s words her birth wasn’t as she had planned or expected but it was amazing! And she’d love her story to inspire and give confidence to others.
“Here goes……hope you’ve got some tissues ready…
It’s taken me a while to write my birth story but here it is. Looking back, I know the path we choose was the right one for us.
Not that I want to dwell on this point too much but my care throughout my pregnancy was very poor. I was given incorrect information, exaggerated situations and attempts at making us make serious choices on the spot to suit the hospital right up to 39 weeks. We navigated all these thanks to Anna and all our hypnobirthing techniques. For example, I refused induction and simply explained that this was not my path, hypnobirthing gave me the strength to trust my body and the voice in my head.
We were told Stanley was a large baby at 30 weeks, we then had to present every two weeks for a scan to check this. At 38 weeks he was estimated to be 9 pound 4 and I had no signs of baby. I was then asked what the plan was about my delivery which shocked me as I still planned to deliver naturally. I was strongly advised that I shouldn’t do this, and I should be induced immediately. I refused this. The consultant then said we would like to give you a c section next week. I told them I would have to go away and think about it.
I had planned for a natural water birth with no pain relief. In fact, I originally wanted a home birth so as you can imagine this was far from what I wanted. After many days meant tears and many conversations with my partner, we decided that delivering Stanley safely was the best option and a planned c section was the way to go. I was very disappointed but adapted, changed my birth preferences and set my mind on a different path and got excited about meeting my baby boy. The best words I heard (from Anna of course) was that “it isn’t about the physicality of how I was giving birth, it’s about giving life” which I was about to do.
After a few days I was told that my c section was very low priority and that a date wouldn’t be given. I’d already seen a consultant and had my pre ops so this again set me back and all my hypnobirthing had to kick in again. After lots of calls and negotiations with the hospital, I was called on Tuesday and told that Wednesday 14th August was when it would happen. The night before, my family and I went out for dinner and got very excited for the new arrival.
On the 14th, me, my husband, my mom, sister and Niece all went in at 9:30 am. We sat in a room with 4 other women and their families waiting for our babies to be delivered. Thinking back, it was a wonderful day. We laughed and laughed all day long. We chatted with the other families about their new arrivals and how excited they were. The room was filled with love and positive energy. One by one, we watched the women go into theatre and proud fathers and brothers and sisters come back into the waiting area to collect the rest of their belongings.
We were last that day and eventually Jason and I were called down. Jason popped a little drop of my essential oils on my gowned so I could still have my calming links to our home. We entered the theatre and all the staff introduced themselves. Chatted to me, made me feel comfortable and were very understanding. During my spinal block they complimented my breathing techniques, this helped me keep calm. The surgeon explained exactly what she would do, explained why there maybe silences in some parts, she asked if I wanted the baby asap for skin to skin, she asked if we wanted delayed clamping and the team put my cannula in my non dominant arm without me even asking. After many funny moments of establishing if I was actually numb, they began. I looked at Jason the whole time and we discussed our baby.
Before I knew it, my belly felt empty and I heard a tiny cry. The Surgeon lifted my baby up over the screen in what she called a “Simba moment” and I laid eyes on my baby boy for the first time. Stanley Andrew Wagg was born at 4:45 pm weighed 9 pound 10 oz, and was 51 cm, he still required forceps to get him out.
He was put on me for skin to skin while they finished. It was magical, Jason took photos of these first moments and we hugged as a family for the first time.
A nurse even offered to go and find my family to let them know we were fine. My husband took our son for skin to skin and we all went to recovery. Here we were given a midwife who was just wonderful. She helped me breastfeed and snuck my family in two by two to meet our little boy. At 8:30 pm I was taken to the ward and again they let my family in for one last look at Mommy and baby.
Recovery: I’d like to say a little about this as I know this was a major worry of mine when c section was mentioned. I know that every single one of us are different but here’s what happened to me.
My baby was born at 4:45 pm, the midwife’s said they would leave my catheter in until the morning, this wasn’t something I wanted as I wanted to get home and care for Stanley as soon as possible. So, I asked to be woken after 6 hours for it to be removed. At 2.00 am they did this and I walked around the ward with their help, they were fantastic. After this, I cared for my baby all night long without any assistance until my husband arrived at 8 am. After breakfast, I showered myself with no help and changed my clothes. Don’t get me wrong, I was very slow moving and cautious but did all this non the less. I ate, I drank plenty, ate my sugary snacks and I took all the painkillers they gave me regularly. None of which made me drowsy. I met with my surgeon and she said only if I felt comfortable, I could go home the same day. The midwife’s the following day could not believe I’d had a c section given my movement. I left at 6 pm the day after having my baby. I had no pain during my 6 weeks recovery, at most it felt uncomfortable at times but defiantly no pain. I took my pain killers for the two weeks I was prescribed and after that nothing. The two weeks following Stanley’s birth I had lots of help at home so did take it very easy. It’s very easy to forget you’ve had major surgery however I was up and walking around shops with my baby 3 days after. Nothing hindered me at all.
As much as I’d hoped (and still do hope) for a natural birth, my c section was pretty wonderful looking back. A day filled with love and laughter and my recovery was nothing like I thought it would be. All still used all my hypnobirthing skills, I had delayed clamping, skin to skin, breastfeed (and still do) all these things were most important to and I still had them. I am so very happy this was mine and Stanley’s path and he’s now happy and healthy”.
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