My first pregnancy had been a planned cesarean due to our baby being breech. I decided I wanted a natural home birth for this baby. I didn’t do any preparation for my first pregnancy which led to a panic when I went into labour. This time I decided I’d hire a doula and do a Hypnobirthing course to help me in achieving my home birth.
My pregnancy was straightforward but at 36 weeks we found out my girl was breech again. I was pretty gutted as I knew that I probably wouldn’t be having her at home now and more than likely on the delivery suite at the JR which is not what I wanted at all.
Last time I really got caught up in doing everything I could to try and turn her but this time I decided to just accept that maybe that’s how she wanted to come. I did see a chiropractor, I did the miles circuit and of course weekly yoga with Amy.
I decided to go for a vaginal breech birth and go into labour spontaneously so I knew she would definitely be ready to come. With a 2 year old at home I was keen to avoid the recovery from a c section again.
I had a meeting with the consultant director and they agreed for my doula to be present on the labour ward as a second birth partner as I would be having a VBAC and Breech Birth (only one was usually permitted at the time due to covid regulations).
Saturday night about 11pm my waters broke and I lost my mucus plug. The waters were clear and I decided to go back to bed and try to rest. I was far too excited though so I got up and sorted some bits and had a bath. I was having mild surges at this point so I came downstairs and bounced on my ball and put my hypnobirthing tracks on, set up my lights etc and dozed on the sofa between each one.
By morning things had slowed and I had to get my daughter and dog ready to go to their minders. We also got all our bags together for the hospital for when we decided to go. I was delaying this as I knew I’d be on a 24 hr timer from when I told them my waters went to having to go into labour. Once my daughter had been collected my doula came over and did some side lying release and massage. I found the only time my surges were becoming regular was if I laid in the quiet and dark so that’s what I did. We also did some rebozo and tried some different positions from yoga and our active birth session.
By 5pm Sunday things had slowed again and I decided it was time to call the hospital. We went into MAU at the JR for assessment. We agreed that if I hadn’t gone into active labour by the morning then we would discuss a cesarean. They wanted me to stay in hospital but said Rob my fiancé had to leave. I said I wouldn’t stay without him so they found us a lovely private en-suite room. We got settled by about 9pm and set up with our lights, affirmations and music. My surges had started again and we worked through them together through the night. I had declined continuous monitoring so the midwife was checking us every hour with a doppler. About 4am I had some paracetamol and tried to get some sleep as things still were not progressing.
Monday morning came and I spoke my doula (who had spent the night in her car bless her soul) and went and met her at the cafe. We agreed to try and get things going and see if she could come up to our room. I met with the ward manager and asked if she could be permitted into the antenatal ward as she only was granted access to delivery suite but I hadn’t managed to make it there yet. I also booked in for a cesarean at 1.30pm if I hadn’t reached active labour. Throughout the morning my surges really ramped up and I was finding it harder to work through them. I started being sick with every one but they finally said to go down to delivery suite. I accepted a VE and was 1cm dilated. I was really tired by this point but thought I’ve waited so long to get here I thought let’s just give it a go.
I was taken down to delivery suite squatting on a wheelchair with my shades on. Not a very dignified journey through the hospital I have to say. When we got down there I went straight for the gas and air. The Dr and Midwife were discussing things with me about continuous monitoring and being concerned about mine and babies heart rates being a bit high which could mean infection. I was struggling to talk with them though as my surges were coming very strong and fast. I tried to set up my room with lights etc but after being in such a nice room upstairs I just couldn’t see myself birthing in this room. At this point I just thought about the road ahead and how I was already struggling to manage. I just wanted to meet my baby and for it all to be over so I agreed to a cesarean.
We were taken pretty much straight to theatre and I had some IV fluids and antibiotics and the spinal. Which was very hard to sit still for whilst managing surges. Once everything was numb we put on our playlist and got ready to meet our baby. I was feeling cold and jittery from the anaesthetic and probably adrenaline. My hands wouldn’t stop shaking.
At 4.30pm she was finally here!! We asked for optimal cord clamping and the cord to be left long so we could use a cord tie and cut it later. The Dr said the placenta had already started to detach so it was good we opted for a c section when we did. After I had some skin to skin, baby was weighed etc. I didn’t feel strong enough to hold her so Rob did while they stitched me up. We were then taken to the ward to be monitored and had our first feed and our golden time. She was just perfect and I was so relieved to finally have her in my arms.
Even though I didn’t have a vaginal home birth. I came away feeling mostly positive as I waited to go into spontaneous labour and gave her a good chance at coming vaginally. I enjoyed using my hypnobirthing techniques that I had learnt and was so calm throughout it all. I managed to advocate for myself and have my doula present and our own room all by speaking up for myself which is something I have never done before. Although a part of me will always be sad we didn’t manage our original plan, but knowing your options and making informed decisions definitely made me feel better about the way things ended. They say make plan a, b, c and it really is so important to be ready to adapt to fit your situation which you can only do by knowing your options and thinking about what is most important to you.