The Birth of Esme Willow

Having completed the hypnobirthing course with Hannah we were feeling relaxed and excited about the arrival of our baby girl. We felt we knew what to expect and informed about what to do to make it as calm as possible.

Everything in my pregnancy had been lovely and uncomplicated, I’d felt really well but because of being 40 therefore considered high risk and rhesus negative I was given extra scans. Baby appeared breech through all my early scans.

I was offered an ECV procedure to turn baby, but this didn’t sit comfortably with me and I used the BRAIN technique to decide what to do. After discussing it with my husband I refused the procedure. At my week 36 scan I was told baby was still breech and there were two more options if baby didn’t turn, a natural birth – feet first or a c-section. I had to make a decision and chose the section. This was booked for 2 Feb, 3 weeks away! I came home from the scan feeling a bit overwhelmed but happy that I’d made the right choice. I was able to make an informed decision. I’d read about the procedure and found a positive story on the Love your birth website. This made me feel like it was something I could definitely do even though it wasn’t what I’d originally visualised.

Week 39 1 Feb, the day before my section- I was organised, packed and ready. I went for my final scan. It was confirmed baby was still breech.Unfortunately I was then told that I wouldn’t be having my c-section the next day as I’d somehow been missed off the list. I was devastated. We had counted down the days and we were prepared. I remembered what Hannah had said, I allowed myself time to be upset about the situation but then knew that I was safe as was my baby and it would be rearranged.

My section was then booked for the following Mon 8th Feb another 6 days away. Listening to my daily MP3s really helped this week to keep me relaxed. But baby had other ideas!!
On Sunday 7th at approx 4:15am I felt a kick and my waters broke while I was in bed! I knew immediately what was happening and woke my husband Richard. A wave of panic overcame me and I got upset. Richard instantly got me breathing to relax and explained she was coming and it was exciting. We got in the car and headed to the hospital. My surges started, again I knew what feeling to expect and breathed through them using the techniques Hannah had showed us. On arrival at the hospital I was assessed. Due to covid this was done on my own, my husband had to wait in the corridor. Breathing through and keeping calm was my main focus and very much needed while so many people assessed me.

At this point my baby’s heart rate dropped and an alarm was raised. My tears got the better of me as I didn’t know what was happening. The midwives helped me breathe and reassured me all the time. A decision for an emergency section was made and I was taken straight to theatre. I met my husband in there and straight away he helped calm me and use my techniques while I was given the epidural. As someone who doesn’t like injections I remained calm during all the procedures taking them in my stride with calm breathing. Richard continued to talk to me and remind me what to do! Our baby girl was born at 6am and she was a healthy 7lb 1oz.

When we first took the course I had in my mind the water birth and I was excited to give birth. The birth was not how I’d visualised it but I was armed with all the tools to make decisions during pregnancy and during the section. I am so grateful that Richard took the course too and was able to support me through it all. He remained so calm and was an amazing birth partner!
Thank you Hannah for all the advice and information we got in our course. It helped me have focus and I learnt so much. I will continue to use the relaxation techniques in many different situations, these are skills for life not just birth!


Catherine and Richard