The Birth of Effie Grace
Effie Grace was born via planned Caesarean Section at 12.22pm on 16 October 2017 weighing 6lb 1oz.
Our birth plans were shaken during the period of our hypnobirthing classes as having hoped for a calm and natural water birth, Effie had other ideas! She was measuring small so my community midwife referred me to the hospital and I had to have numerous growth scans as a result. Whilst having these scans it became apparent that Effie was also breech (my midwife had thought she was head down). Due to these factors the medical advice was that I should have a planned Caesarean section.
To put it bluntly in all honesty I was devastated that our birth plans were being turned upside down. Abby provided so much support and showed us so much care as we came to terms with the turn of events, I can never thank her enough, and hypnobirthing really came into its own as I took strength especially from the affirmation to ‘keep control of what you can and let go of what you can’t’ and to always look for the positives in whatever situation you find yourself in.
Firstly I agreed to an ECV, a procedure whereby a consultant tries to manually turn the baby from a breech position to head down. In the run up to this I listened to my mp3’s to keep me calm and during the procedure I used my deep breathing techniques which helped so much to keep me calm and focused when it was uncomfortable.
Unfortunately the ECV didn’t work so we were booked in for a section at 39 weeks, on 16th October… eek!! It was strange knowing exactly when we were going to meet our little girl but we channeled this by completing our preparations for our new arrival and enjoying our time as a couple.
In the run up we continued to listen to our mp3’s so we could be as calm as possible before the birth, which worked. We were last on the list but had to be in hospital at 7am so it was quite a long wait. Rich kept me calm and we used the hypnobirthing techniques we could in a ward setting including deep breathing, having our calming music playlist on via headphones, hand massage and focussing on the fact we would soon be meeting our baby.
The doctors and midwives took into account our birth preferences even though we were in a theatre setting as much as they could, such as delayed cord clamping and using our own cord tie (our lovely gift from Abby), immediate skin to skin etc. I’m sure without hypnobirthing and Abby’s support we wouldn’t have felt able, ‘allowed’ or strong enough to push for these things that were important to us but perhaps not ‘run of the mill’ in a theatre setting.
It turned out Effie’s cord was round her neck twice so thank goodness we took control of what we could and let go of what we couldn’t to allow the safe arrival of our beautiful little bundle of joy. It wasn’t the birth we originally planned but the moment Effie came into the world and was placed on my chest was the most amazing feeling, the most priceless moment of my life, and I still felt proud of what I’d achieved despite not having a natural birth.
So the moral of the story I guess is, hypnobirthing isn’t just for a ‘normal’ birth, it helped me enormously to deal with the changes and challenges we were confronted with… thank you hypnobirthing, and thank you Abby… we couldn’t have done it without you!!
Lauren and Rich, Wyke