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Monica’s birth story

Monica completed my complete 8 hour hypnobirthing course in February. They were told baby was small for gestational age, and their baby’s growth had slowed, and that baby was also breech. They used what they had learnt in the course, used their BRAINS, and made well informed decisions. They ended up choosing a very positive planned caesarean.

Monica kindly shared her birth story with me to share with you. Here’s the story of Ivy’s birth.

My birth story

We had our first Easter as parents! Ivy was born at 11.45am on Monday 3rd April, via an elective caesarean, weighing 4lbs 15oz.

I think in my last email to you I had mentioned the growth scans we were having due to her growth slowing down and dropping down the percentiles. At the 36 week scan we were told that her growth had slowed even more to the point that it was almost static. She was also still breech and unable to be turned. The consultant recommended an early, elective caesarean at 37 weeks with regular monitoring leading up to it.

Jon and I had a good discussion with the consultant. Jon was incredible and put BRAINS into action. We asked about risks and alternatives, about doing nothing and leaving her in for longer with more monitoring, Jon challenged the consultant to quantify what he meant by "significant" risk of stillbirth (which he said was impossible to do...). I felt that we used all the tools and information we had, from your course and additional research, to come to a decision that we were happy with, and that was to have the elective caesarean. This meant we suddenly had a only one week to go until meeting our baby!

Thanks to your course, we had already prepared our caesarean birth preferences and had arranged for the placenta to be encapsulated. I felt comfortable knowing what to ask for to ensure that we had the positive, gentle caesarean experience we wanted.

On the day we got ready in the day assessment unit and relaxed ourselves by listening to music and looking at the photo/anchors that we had brought in. We ended up being moved to the quiet room for half an hour or so, as the DAU needed the beds back, but this worked out very well for us as it meant that we had a private sitting room space to ourselves, so again we listened to music, danced a bit, had a cuddle on the sofa and looked at the photos. I was very relaxed and ready to meet our baby by the time they came to take us into theatre. 

We were lucky to have the community midwife we'd seen throughout pregnancy to be with us on the day. We'd already been through our birth preferences with her, and she spoke with the team to make sure that all our requests were adhered to. She even got me some swabs to do vaginal seeding, even though the hospital doesn't recommend it (due to lack of evidence). I used hypnobirthing breathing to keep myself calm and relaxed whilst the anaesthetists inserted the canula and administered the spinal. Meanwhile, our midwife helped Jon sync his phone to the Bluetooth speaker to play our playlist and she also got the lights dimmed. We had delayed cord clamping and the drapes were lowered for us to see the birth. When my midwife noticed that I couldn't see from my angle, she asked the surgeon to hold the baby up so that I could see, and one of the doctors prompted Jon to take photos! I had (almost) immediate skin-to-skin contact after the paediatrician had done a quick check and given the baby the all clear. Jon was my advocate again and told the paediatrician not to put a hat on the baby so that I could smell her head as part of skin-to-skin. The rest of the time spent in theatre is a bit of a blur as all I could focus on was my baby on my chest!! The anaesthetist offered to take photos of me, Jon and the baby together.

Overall, it was the most positive, amazing caesarean birth experience that I could have hoped for and I wouldn't have known to ask for all of those things if it hadn't been for you and all the information that you gave us. All I can say is THANK YOU!!

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