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Baby Isla born by Caesarean

"Me and my husband absolutely loved our Hypnobirthing sessions with may and Jan. They transformed our idea of what birth could be like and we left every session buzzing. Throughout the later stage of pregnancy many friends asked me: are you scared of giving birth? The truth was, no! I was nervous, but the hypnobirthing toolkit meant I had lost my fear. 

At 40 weeks and 3 days my waters broke. I stood up thinking the pressure was needing the toilet and...WOAH! I ran to the bathroom shouting 'not on the rug!' which had been cleaned the week before. We called my sister in law who drove us to the hospital to be checked. When we arrived the midwives checked my blood pressure and recommended that I stay in hospital as it was quite high. Shortly after, the consultant arrived and suggested induction. We politely declined and asked to wait 24 hours to see if things started naturally. Spoiler alert: they didnt!

24 hours later and the consultants returned. By this point they were very concerned about my blood pressure and started to mention induction with the use of epidural to keep my blood pressure stable throughout labour. I turned to a fabulous midwife and asked her to honestly tell me how likely my dream of a water birth was. The reality was that it would be difficult to achieve and I cried my eyes out, gutted that our birthing journey was taking such a different path than the one we expected. 

We agreed to have an internal examination and induction. We were aware of the two types of induction and assumed that I would be given the pessary, however after the examination we were informed my cervix was favourable and the consultant recommended going straight for the drip induction. At this point the dangerous consequences of my blood pressure rising during labour were becoming clear and I agreed to the epidural to maintain safe levels for me and baby. This is when my hypnobirthing breathing really worked wonders. I was terrified of an epidural, but my husband counted me through every breath and kept me calm using light touch massage.

Epidural done, drip in hand and catheter inserted the induction of labour began. We could see on the monitor that I was having regular contractions, but I couldn't feel a thing. After a while the midwives increased the drip and all of a sudden there were a lot of people in the room. Our midwife was asking if I was wearing any jewellery and someone was measuring my legs. I was baffled at which point the midwife looked me in the eyes and said 'Rae, they're prepping you for theatre'. Our baby girls heartbeat had slowed and they were concerned for both of our safety. I was asked to roll onto my side and the drip was removed which stabilised Isla's heartbeat.

At this point I realised that things were serious. We were given two options.

1: put the drip back in and risk her heartbeat plummeting again which would lead to an emergency c section with me unconscious and my husband not allowed in theatre.

Or 2: go straight to theatre where I could have my own music, Marc could be present and I could have skin to skin. The choice for us was a no brainer, off we went to theatre.

Hypnobirthing techniques really helped at this point. I felt confident enough to ask the surgeon to let me lie down while he inserted the spinal block. Also, I used the incredible breathing techniques to keep me calm as I was prepped for theatre. It's worth noting that I havent had an operation like this before, so "theatre" was a completely unknown environment with the potential for lots of fear and adrenaline! Marc was allowed in and shortly after our baby girl was born screaming her head off, but healthy and safe.

This birth story could not be further from the birth I had spent months visualising, but I want to make it clear that I still consider it a positive birth. It isnt enough to say to a woman 'well at least you are both safe and well'. That is, of course, important, and I am eternally grateful that we were both physically well. However, if it weren't for Hypnobirthing and the incredible toolkit it gave us, I am not convinced I would be mentally well. Thank you Positive Birth Jersey!"

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