My Birth Choices
My birth choices were not really clear to me when my first child was born in the 1990’s. I can remember being excited, afraid and feeling out of control when I had my son. The experience was not empowering and I was just glad that both my son and I were safe and well at the end of it.
I did not know that I would wait 13 years before having another child. By then I was a little older and more determined that I would have a different experience. I knew, with my husband supporting me, I could achieve a better birth experience for this baby.
I will admit I was terrified of going into hospital to give birth for these reasons:
My first birth experience had been a traumatic one which resulted in an emergency forceps delivery.
My second hospital/pregnancy experience was when I miscarried in 2008.
After many months of ‘alternative’ treatment for premature ovarian failure, I became pregnant a year later in 2009. I was having lots of anxiety and doubts over the pregnancy and dealing with the fact that this baby had nearly the same due date as the baby we had lost the previous year.
I had initially wanted a home birth but was not fully encouraged by my community midwife to do this. After a heart felt chat with my husband we decided to opt for a hospital birth but chose a hospital that would be more sympathetic to our needs as a couple and as a new family.
This is my story and these were my birth choices…..
I wanted to have a birth where felt I was more in control with what was happening to me. I birthed my son very quickly and I was aware that my second full term birth may be even quicker! I wanted to have as much of a ‘home birth’ as I could in a hospital and on the hospital visit, I loved the birthing pool suites with dimmed lighting and mood enhanced décor. Perfect. We could bring our own cushions, music and I would be able to move about and give birth in the pool as well.
I wanted to have as ‘natural’ a birth a possible without being heavily medicated. After reading some empowering books by Ina May Gaskin I became more confident that I could do what my body was designed to do. I also read a little about hypnobirthing and it seemed like a perfect idea for us.
We paid for private sessions with a hypnobirthing practitioner and learnt about deep breathing techniques, how to allow my body to relax and do what it was designed to do and to reduce anxiety hormones. We learnt about positive birth words rather than negative ones and began to refer to ‘contractions’ as surges.
My husband was also given a huge role and learnt how to use hands-on techniques to calm and strengthen me during surges. He was also to be my advocate, he would relay information from the midwives to me, allowing me to concentrate on bringing our child into the world!
On the morning that our daughter was born I awoke at 2 am with slight surges. My husband got our son ready and took him to his grandparents. Meanwhile, I was breathing through the surges and doing my deep relaxation techniques. I rang the hospital and explained that I was hypnobirthing and that my first delivery was quick (9 in total hours from the first surge to birth). They suggested that I waited a little longer but to come in when I felt ready.
At 3.45 am I told my husband it was time to go and we arrived at the hospital at around 4 am. My hypnobirthing was really starting to take over and I was very much in a zone that was just my body, my baby and me. We were told it was going to be a little wait whilst they got the birthing pool ready.
However, I was hypnobirthing so well that I surprised everyone and it was decided that I would go to a delivery suite straight away! Less than an hour later, just before 5 am, my beautiful daughter was born into a quiet, peaceful room with dimmed lights and warm loving hands to hold her.
Straight to Breast
She was placed straight onto my chest, skin to skin, and hardly made a sound! She looked around the room a little and then she began searching for a feed shortly after. We had blankets placed over us to keep us both warm and we allowed the vernix caseosa (a white substance that protects a baby’s skin in whilst in the womb) to remain in place. This would eventually become absorbed into her skin and also meant that she was treated gently rather than vigorously rubbed down with a towel.
Delayed Cord Clamping
I had initially begun looking into cord blood collection but the more I read about the cord blood the more we wanted OUR baby to benefit from what was essentially HER blood. Those extra few pulses of oxygenated blood made her pink up as well. Once the cord was limp and had collapsed it was cut by my husband as my daughter suckled at my breast. I was the happiest and felt like the most powerful woman on the planet!
After a few preliminary checks and some time to rest the three of us left the hospital and returned home at 4 pm so that she could finally meet her older brother and her grandparents!
All in all, I think we achieved a birth experience that was right for us. We will not be having any more children now and our family is complete. We truly had a joyous, life-changing experience when our miracle little girl entered our world and I am so happy to share my Birth Choices story with you as part of this wonderful series.
This is our fifth post for the Earth Month Blog Hop
Every Parents Guide to Natural Parenting and Earth Month is being hosted by ALLterNativelearning and to read more about this fantastic series please click on the image below or.