Birthing Baby Calum (High blood pressure panic)

Hi Katherine,

We just wanted to let you know that our beautiful baby son, Calum arrived 5 weeks early and a little unexpectedly on January 10th by caesarean section. He weighed 2.155kg (4lb 12oz) and 48.5cm long. Both mother and baby are doing well and are enjoying being home and daddy is proud as punch!

I had been in hospital for almost a week and had been told that there was a possibility of the baby having to be delivered early because of my blood pressure – I was having very high ‘spikes’ on occasion. When the specialist came in, she said that she didn’t believe I was up to being induced and that caesarean was the only reasonable option, to which I eventually agreed (I was in so much pain and my blood pressure was so high that I felt it was the only safe option).

With regard to the Hypnobirthing, it’s quite strange because I had just finished reading the book on the Sunday night, before I got sick. At that stage, I thought I was going home the next day and would have 5 weeks to practice all I had learnt, but as it turned out, I had no time to practice – I only had what I could remember from the class and from reading the book. However, the following morning when I was in absolute agony, being wheeled into surgery, I was so calm (considering that I had previously had quite a fear of caesareans and particularly spinal blocks).

As I sat there waiting, trying to deal with the pain, I remember thinking that I needed to breathe slowly and to relax, like I had learnt in Hypnobirthing. All of a sudden, I heard the monitors beep and the doctors began to look worried, my blood pressure had gone over 200. It didn’t worry me, I just thought ‘it’s probably because I’m stressed – I’ll just have to try and breathe more and relax’. As the doctors prepared for the next stage; I managed to stay very calm. There were no tears from me at all until I heard the most beautiful sound in the world – my baby’s first cry (and they were tears of joy).

After the whole ordeal was over, I had some of the specialists come in and say ‘this one’s tough’, to which another responded ‘tough! I tell you what – and she’s still smiling!’ Although it was a very difficult experience, I remember coming out of theatre and thinking ‘that wasn’t traumatic for me’, so even though I hadn’t had a chance to practice the Hypnobirthing for the natural birth I would have liked, it still ended up being very helpful and I am so glad that I managed to at least read the book before Calum’s birth.

Phillipa and Ian (Jan 05)