As soon as I found out I was pregnant I stopped using any perfumed cosmetics, nothing with any parabens or sulphates and cut out nearly all processed food. I knew I wanted my pregnancy and the birth of my first baby to be as natural as possible.
I started going to Lynn’s antenatal yoga group from about sixteen weeks. The breathing and movement she taught were the foundations for the hypnobirthing techniques I had planned for the birth. It was also learning to understand the physiology of birth that helped me understand what my body needed to do when the time came. I was really lucky and had a completely stress free pregnancy with no complications or complaints at any stage, I felt calm and quietly confident throughout. When my waters broke the day after my due date, I felt ready and excited.
I was checked by a midwife early the day my waters broke. They confirmed the baby was head down and that all looked good. I was sent home for the contractions to begin. Things progressed steadily through the day, not painful but increasingly uncomfortable. The ball was my new best friend! The rocking and swaying movement through my hips really helped along with the deep, long breathing techniques we had practiced.
By six that evening I was ready to go to the birth centre at the Whittington. Things were pretty intense and I quickly went into the birthing pool. At around midnight I was examined by the midwife and had reached nine centimetres dilation, all using my breathing and hypnobirthing techniques.
It was at this point that the midwives discovered that my baby was actually in the breech position. Things happened very quickly from then onwards. I was rushed up to the labour ward and underwent an emergency Caesarean section. My daughter Vivienne was born at 2.05am weighing a healthy 8lb 4oz. I spent nine days in hospital after the birth recovering from a number of complications.
Things did not turn out the way I had wanted or planned. My vision of a minimal intervention birth turned into a very medically involved event. I’d heard the phrase “too posh to push” before in connection with caesarean births but I can testify that a c-section is certainly not an easy option.
It’s definitely better to think of your birth plan as birth preferences – you never know what is going to happen and you have to be ready to make the right decision for and your baby, even if the decision is not what you had originally planned.
Being mentally and physically prepared for the birth definitely helped me to deal with the eventual outcome. Our bodies really are amazing, I was fully recovered after just a few weeks and I have a beautiful baby girl. And of course I would do it all again.