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Emma’s positive C- Section birth story

Birth Stories

I was diagnosed with GDM two days before doing our Calmbirth course. It was very confronting, but meant that we were informed about our options and strategies to discuss my healthcare needs with my OB and hospital staff when it came to my labour and birth, giving us the confidence to advocate for what we wanted. After much research, we agreed to an induction two days before my due date; however, that afternoon whilst out for a last dinner date with my husband Ian, I began to feel contractions. We hoped this would mean the induction would not be necessary, but later that night I had not progressed and we agreed to the prostaglandin gel at 9pm, as the midwife thought that as I had already started early labour, it would not take much to kickstart.

However, by the next morning, I was still not dilated. My OB attempted to break my waters twice over a period of 5 hours, but Bub kept moving away and it was not successful. During this time, my contractions became quicker and more intense. Ian and I went for a walk, climbed some stairs, used the birthing ball, and experimented with many positions learnt at Calmbirth in an attempt to move Bub along. Most importantly, we were given the opportunity to create such a calm space to ensure optimum oxytocin! Lots of candles, my favourite scent, a beautiful playlist, even some Harry Potter after many hours.

By 2pm, there had still been no movement. I had said 17 hours previously I did not want the syntocinon drip; but, we made the informed decision after asking many questions (learnt at Calmbirth) to agree to the drip if I could still use water and move around, and if it was administered slowly. At approximately 3pm, my waters broke, and from then on the contractions intensified dramatically. I continued to use Calmbirth techniques, including breathing, affirmations, the bath and shower etc. Eventually I also needed the gas. By 11pm, 28 hours after my contractions had started, I agreed to an examination and I was still only 1cm dilated and Bub was continuing to refuse to descend. My OB offered an epidural, but again after many questions, we opted for an emergency caesarean, as it was likely to take much longer in labour and further interventions if I continued.

The caesarean went very quickly and smoothly from there, and within an hour our beautiful Isla June was born just after midnight on Halloween. We both got skin to skin in the next few hours and over the following days we followed the advice from Karen learnt during our course.

My husband Ian was amazing throughout the whole process, supporting me in my positions, watching for any sign of stress and ensuring that was taken away, pain management in the water and use of the gas, and advocating for me in the later stages of labour when the pain and exhaustion had hit really hard.

Whilst our labour wasn’t what we had planned, we know that we tried everything we could at the time and every decision made was informed and the best at the time to ensure the health of myself and Isla. Calmbirth very much empowered us as first time parents to do all of that, for which we are so thankful. We have a beautiful, healthy daughter and we are so, so in love.

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