Ashleigh and baby Theodore

Ashleigh and baby Theodore

Having spent 3 years struggling with infertility we finally fell pregnant through ivf in June 2020.
The infertility journey teaches you to take each step as it comes so I had only focused on the “getting pregnant” part and once we passed the 12 week milestone, I started to let myself think about the type of birth I wanted.
Hypnobirthing was a double win for me, as it taught me techniques I could use at birth but also tools to help with my pregnancy anxiety.
Our hypnobirthing sessions with Jade informed us about our choices for birth and enabled us up focus on what was important for us during labour and post birth.
Our sessions with Jade and reading hypnobirthing focused books meant we had a clear birth preference but were also prepared and calm enough to go with the flow if things didn’t “go to plan” during labour.
With it being an ivf pregnancy the consultant was keen to induce us at 39 weeks. Being informed meant that we requested to wait in the hope things would happen naturally.
In the end our little boy needed a nudge and we were induce at 41 + 4 weeks. We felt much more comfortable with this choice as he was overdue and induction was likely to be more successful in leading to the calm birth we wanted.
The initial induction went smoothly and after 24 hours with the pessary I was ready to move to the labour ward and for my waters to be broken. After a couple of hours and not much happening we opted for the oxytocin drip.
The labour started progressing and using my breathing techniques I was able to get through increasing contractions with no pain relief (much to my husbands upset as he was keen to secretly try the gas & air!)
All the signs of a progressing labour were there and I requested that the midwife did not measure my dilation unless necessary. However after 10 hours the Dr suggested that if things didn’t start progressing quicker soon an emergency Caesarean would be recommended.
A caesarean was our last preference for birth and although a bit of a shock we started talking about our options with the midwife.
Our midwife was amazing and recommended we give it 2 more hours (12 hours is the longest drs recommend being on the oxytocin drip) and we spent the time going through our birth preferences to establish what was still possible with a caesarean birth. E.g skin to skin, delayed cord clamping and a calm environment.
After the 2 hours and little progress the Dr returned and we made the decision to go ahead with the caesarean.
The whole medical team were wonderful and explained everything in detail before we headed to theatre.
People often talk about an emergency Caesarean as a panicked situation and very dramatic but I can honestly say that with the hypnobirthing techniques and going into the process really informed I felt calm and prepared to meet our little boy.
Everything went really quickly and before I knew it our little boy was being held up above the curtain in front of me. My husband cut the cord and he was then brought over to me for skin to skin. That moment is pure magic and I do not feel I missed out at all in the feeling of ‘birthing’ my little boy.
Unless a caesarean is your choice there is no denying it can feel scary but using hypnobirthing techniques and reading about our birthing rights you can still have the birth you want.

Ashleigh and baby Theodore