Birth Story Of The Week – Christina and Henry

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“This time two years ago I was busy buying Christmas presents exclusively from  the high end  delis and delightful book shops on the Fulham road (not so lucky this year, *packs up pressie from weekly shop at Sainsbury’s*). We lived in London and I was due to have our first baby at the end of January at Chelsea and Westminster Hospital. Having to make daily jaunts to hospital for a month gave me lots of chances to shop!

All was going to plan in my pregnancy until 28 weeks came around and I had a blood sugar test. I had the one where you need to do a long fast first, as I have Polycystic Ovary Syndrome and am more likely to get Gestational Diabetes. The next day I had a message from the midwife saying I must come in to see the Consultant the next day as my blood sugars had been high and I did have Gestational Diabetes.

After the initial shock of no more cake (nope, not even a sneaky choccy biccie, I tried and I was TOTALLY busted the next time I checked my blood) I got used to the change and looked forward to the bonus extra scans every 4 weeks to check the baby wasn’t getting too big.

At 32 weeks we went along to the extra scan and lay there whilst the sonographer clicked her mouse and pressed the scanning thing on my tummy. She pressed and clicked and sighed and typed and clicked and sighed and pressed again. Then, after some results came up, she said ‘oh no, let me just type that in again’. There was silence, and then the sound of her fingers clattering on the keys was deafening. Then I was told: ‘the baby is very small, the placenta isn’t working well and there isn’t much fluid. You need to go up to labour triage right now.’

In a worried haze of words and tears my husband and I managed to find the right ward and I was set up on a CTG to monitor the baby’s heart rate. After a couple of hours they sent me home saying that everything seemed ok but that the baby was small. I must return daily for CTGs and be very aware of the baby’s movements. A few days later I saw the Consultant Gynecologist and he explained that they had concerns about Oligohydramnios (lack of fluid around the baby), as the placenta was not working correctly and was restricting the baby’s growth.

Everything like blood pressure was fine and he admitted he wasn’t really sure what was going on (!), so his plan was daily CTGs and weekly scans to check the baby was growing. He asked me to make sure I finished work that day, ‘as you might have a baby next week, which could be pretty small and in need of special care for a few weeks!’ I was terrified.

The days and weeks in December continued in weird little 24-hour  bubbles of ‘oh, ok we’re not having a baby today’, let’s go to the cinema/quickly book a hospital tour/get legs waxed,’ until the next CTG. Each day the baby seemed to be doing well and with each scan had grown a little more, right up to 37 weeks. However, at each scan it was pretty obvious that the baby was breach extended, with his legs right up over his head!

The plan was to try an ECV to move the baby the right way around and then induce me. If this didn’t’ work, a C-Sec was booked for the next day.  Three attempts to manually move the baby the right way round came and went – it was a really weird sensation pushing and pulling when there wasn’t much room to move! In the end, they realised that his little bottom was well an truly wedged, so we were scheduled for a C-Sec in the morning.

The next day came and I sat down for my in my zillionth CTG. ‘Goodness, you’re very relaxed’ said the midwife. I explained I’d had them A LOT.

9am on the 3rd of January: in I waddled to theatre with the surreal  constant questioning of one of the doctors, who was asking if I was related to one of the members of The Sex Pistols because of our surname, and with and the hum of Magic FM in the background.  The lovely Anaesthetist kept talking to me whilst they dug around getting the baby out, saying she had had her last baby in this very room! Then she peeked over and said the bottom was coming out and did we want to know the sex – a boy!  Henry George Frederick Lydon was born  at 09:18, weighing 5lb 10, to the dulcet tones of ‘Don’t Stop Believin’ by Journey. (This can be a bit unfortunate as I have been known to well up in the aisle at Asda when the cheesy, heady chords of the opening bars strike up!)

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He came out squawking and screaming and perfect, and his legs stayed up by his ears for weeks to come until he finally unfolded. After some problems feeding, as he was tiny and his blood sugars low, a couple of days later he finally latched on and we went home … just in time to see the Christmas decorations.

Yes, it was so far removed from the straightforward birth I had hoped for, but then mine wasn’t a straightforward pregnancy. I am so incredibly thankful for thankful for modern medicine and technology for keeping Henry and I safe. For some women around the world this may have been a very different story.”

Birth Story of The Week – Ruth and Amalia

It’s been a bit of a rubbish couple of days for me as I had to have 2 impacted wisdom teeth removed under a general anaesthetic on Friday. Ouch is all I can say! Seriously underestimated how horrible I would be feeling still after 3 days plus look like a hamster who has been punched in the face. For those of you who follow me on Instagram, you would have seen how I tried to rock my neon orange painted nails with the stunning NHS hospital gown prior to surgery (seriously when is someone going to re-design those?).  But don’t worry any after shots of my face have been censored out for your benefit. Lets just say dark glasses, plenty of concealer and codeine are my friends this week. On a more positive note, having the surgery in the hospital I work under confirmed my total faith of the wonderful NHS staff. The nurses, anaesthetists and doctors were all fantastic and the ward was spotless. We really don’t know how lucky we are to have the NHS in this country.

This weeks birth story is pretty amazing. It’s a real gem as Ruth planned to have her second baby at home knowing her baby was in the breech position (bum first). Here is her story.

Twitter: RuthSabrosa

Website: ruthsabrosa.com

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‘At 38 weeks pregnant I hired independent midwives to help me have a physiological breech birth at home because my local hospital was not supportive of my choices and wanted me to opt for a caesarean. Four weeks and 3 days later my beautiful baby daughter was born at home in record fast timing and it was the most natural and rewarding experience of my life. I have Natal Hypnotherapy and Maya midwives to thank for that. Natal Hypnotherapy gave me the confidence to trust my body and believe in my ability to give birth naturally and Maya midwives supported me, allowing me to trust my instincts and listen to my body before and during the birth. Here is a brief summary of my story:

I had always planned a home birth for my second baby but when I found out she was breech, I was told by the hospital this would be impossible and after an unsuccessful attempt at turning her (ECV) I was given no other option but to have a caesarean. I was distraught, I knew I could deliver this baby normally but was shocked that the hospital were so keen on c-section. They wouldn’t let me leave without consenting to this even though I told them I wanted to explore my options. I was 38 weeks pregnant at this stage and if they had their way I would have had a c-section one week later but I knew baby wasn’t ready and after careful thought and research I told them I wanted to wait and to cancel the caesarean. The majority of staff were not supportive of my choice so I began a quest to find an independent midwife.

Several phone calls later I came across the wonderful Maya midwives, who happened to be experienced in vaginal breech birth and very keen to support me. I was overjoyed and it meant there was a greater chance I could have the home birth I so desperately wanted for my baby.  I withdrew from NHS care and had regular visits from the midwives to check baby’s heart rate etc. and then it was just a waiting game.  I began listening to my Natal Hypnotherapy prepare for home birth CD again every day, sometimes two or three times a day and I made a poster for my bedroom wall with affirmations and other positive thoughts about the birth.

My due date (20th September) came and went and then a week later there were still no labour signs. The midwives advised that I didn’t do anything to augment the labour, such as acupuncture or reflexology because breech babies must come when they are ready if they are going to come at all. So I waited and waited.  Natal Hypnotherapy helped me to remain calm, relaxed and focused at this stressful time when friends and family were growing increasingly concerned. When I reached 42 weeks I decided to go to hospital for a scan and CTG monitoring to make sure everything was ok. The doctors said baby was doing really well and couldn’t find anything at all wrong but would be happier if I’d have a c-section the next day. My instincts told me to wait a little longer and so I agreed to come back two days later for more CTG monitoring. In the meantime I began to prepare myself for the caesarean (by listening to the Natal Hypnotherapy CD) as it was becoming increasingly likely that I might have to give in at some point. Again the CTG monitoring showed that everything was fine but I agreed to go in the next day for my bloods to be taken in case the caesarean was necessary. Although I was more prepared for it, I couldn’t understand how my body could grow this baby, keep her nourished for 9 months and then just abandon her and me when it was time to be born.

That very night I woke at 4am with contractions that felt ‘different’ to the Braxton hicks I’d been having for weeks so I called the midwife, Andy, and she arrived an hour later. I wasn’t in any pain at all but had been preparing for this for months using Natal Hypnotherapy so didn’t really expect to be. There was about an hour where the contractions were really intense but at no time painful and our daughter was born two and a half hours later (bum first) at 7:30. Andy said it was the quickest birth she’d ever seen, so quick that Viv, the second midwife missed it! I was glad I called Andy when I did.  I used only a TENS machine and Natal Hypnotherapy techniques and our beautiful breech baby daughter, Amália Rose, was born calmly and peacefully in our bedroom. Her birthday is 7th October 2012, 17 days past the due date. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome, I am so glad that I trusted my instincts and my baby and that I had the support of such wonderful midwives. I will treasure that moment forever.’IMG_3066DSCF9555IMG_3484