C-section birth baby Albert

Hi Katherine,

Sorry for the delay in getting this birth story to you – we attended your Annandale classes in a last-minute rush back in early October when I was 38 weeks pregnant. In spite of the shortage of time, the resources you provided enabled us to feel well-prepared for what we hoped would be a natural birth sometime in late October/early November.

In the little time we had left, we crammed hypnobirthing every day, reading the book, practising techniques learnt in class, and listening to the CDs. By the time my due date, October 17, rolled around, we were raring to go!

But, as with my first pregnancy three-and-a-half years earlier, our baby had other ideas. I had an emergency caesar then, which meant that I couldn’t be induced second time around (studies have shown that induction increases the risk of uterine scar rupture). So by the time I was a week overdue, we were encouraged to book a planned caesarean for 10 days over, and visit the birth centre the day before to have the membranes ruptured as a last-ditch attempt to get things started.

By nine days overdue, after lots of long walks, fragrant curries and sex, I was still pregnant, so the doctor inserted a crochet hook-like instrument through my cervix to rupture the waters. I was nervous before this procedure as I’d heard it was painful. We had waited a few hours, though, which meant there was heaps of time in which to practise the sleep breathing and light-touch massage learnt in your classes. Both of these techniques helped me to calm down greatly.

During the procedure the midwife encouraged me to breathe some gas as the baby had to be pushed down towards my cervix to ensure the cord didn’t lodge around its neck, and she warned this would be quite uncomfortable. This was also helpful in distracting me from what was going on.

Afterwards, in spite of a gush of fluid and a show, and stronger, more regular braxton hicks, there was no sign of real contractions. We were sent home around 6pm and told to return the next morning for the planned caesar if nothing happened overnight.

I was incredibly disappointed to wake up the next morning still pregnant and still not in labour. As much as I tried to be rational about the fact that it was probably a good idea to get our baby out before he/she was compromised by going too far overdue, I was upset that it looked like we weren’t going to experience the birth we had hoped – and read, listened and studied – for!

I kept returning to the sleep breathing technique throughout the morning, and I’m sure it prevented me from being an hysterical mess when I was wheeled in about 9am for the operation.

By the time lovely Albert was pulled out into the world, at 9.45am on October 27, weighing in at 4.05kg, disappointment was a distant memory, replaced by joy and delight at meeting our bonny little boy.

Thanks for everything Katherine. Keep up the great work, and good luck to our classmates who must be approaching their due dates in a month or so.

Bronwyn, Simon, Ivy and Albert