c-section baby Seth – birth breathing really helped

Hi Katherine,

I have finally had a bit of time and energy to write up the birth of our boy Seth – sorry it’s a bit long!

He was born on August 25th at 12.37am, by an emergency C-section. Weighing in at 3.86kg, 51cm long, he was quite a big baby.

On the Thursday night (23rd), we went into hospital for 7pm for me to get an internal exam and start getting induced. Seth was around 12 days overdue at this stage, and didn’t seem to want to come out on his own. I tried everything- acupuncture included.

The midwife did an internal exam and found that I was already dilating- just 1-2cm, and my cervix was “favourable”. I had prostaglandin gel inserted and I stayed overnight. I had some pains overnight, but could sleep through it.

The next morning she checked me again and I had dilated 2cm, so we were left to wander around till lunchtime. Around 1pm, I was transferred to the birth suite and my waters were broken. There was a tiny amount of meconium, but nothing to be concerned about. From then on the contractions started off mild and manageable, about 2-3 mins apart. I was able to use my HypnoBirthing breathing and thought it was manageable, at this stage.

At about 5pm the midwife did another check and said I had only dilated to 3cm so they decided to put me on the syntocinon to try to get me dilating more. This really increased the contractions and the pain. But, I continued without drugs for another few hours. Eventually the pain was too much and the contractions were only a minute apart, sometimes right on top of each other so I asked for gas. This continued till about 11pm when I asked the midwife to check me again. She found I was still only 3cm dilated! After all that pain!

At that stage, we knew that this was going to take a long time and the pain was now unbearable. I wanted to know how much longer labour would go on for at this rate and if it was to be another 12 hours, I wanted an epidural. The HypnoBirthing techniques had been great up until this point, but the contractions were too intense now. The midwife got the Dr to come and check me and guess what, still only 3cm dilated, she said quite a lot of blood had just come down; which she was concerned about.

Baby’s heartbeat was stable and good throughout all of this. The Dr suggested a Caesarean now rather than waiting for an emergency, as my cervix didn’t look like it was going to dilate further in a hurry and she was concerned about the baby becoming distressed. We agreed as we did not want to risk the baby’s well being, or mine. Ant needed some relief too, apparently I squeezed his hand so hard during contractions, that he was still sore for a couple of days afterwards. So the anaesthetist came, gave me an epidural and I got taken off to theatre. I was topped-up with anaesthesia for the C-section. Ant was allowed in with me, the whole time. So once they did the cut, Seth came out crying and gurgling and was nice and pink. I was so relieved he was OK. They all said what a big boy he was!

He was taken off for weighing etc, Ant went with him. I went into the recovery room for about 1/2 hour and was then taken to the postnatal ward to my room. Soon after Seth & Ant and my Mum, all came in. I put Seth to my breast and he knew what to do straight away, so I gave him a good feed and he went off to sleep.

He has continued to breast feed well and seems like a content and alert baby. Cries only when hungry and sleeps soundly.

So all in all the birth did not go according to our plans, however I think the HypnoBirthing techniques, particularly the balloon breathing, really helped me to manage the labour. Had it not been for these breathing techniques I imagine that I would have opted for pain relief a lot earlier in the labour. I also think that had this been a labour that started naturally, been of average length and progressed well I would not have needed any pain relief.

We’ve all recovered from the birth well and are on our way to settling down to a new routine.

Thanks for reading,
Maja, Ant & Seth