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Positive Birth Story: Planned Homebirth turned Caesarean

Fellow Hypnobirthing teacher Laura Thompson from the happy little nest shares her empowering birth story

mother holds newborn baby

I knew I wanted a homebirth

As a hypnobirthing teacher, something that I’ve always been passionate about is sharing how hypnobirthing can be great at helping people to feel safe and in control when there is a change of plan in their birth preferences.

I’ve always been a firm believer that hypnobirthing is all about protecting the mind and that a toolkit can be used in all types of birth and in different types of environment and back in 2021 - I found myself in a place where I needed to put the skills I’d learnt into practice when it came to my 2nd baby's birth. 

Even before falling pregnant with my 2nd child, I knew that I wanted to plan for a homebirth - everything about it appealed to me, a birth without invention where I could stay within my own space.

I knew that it would help me to remain safe and in control throughout my entire experience  as well as avoiding unnecessary intervention during labour, would help me and my husband Craig to connect throughout the labour and give me the privacy I so desperately craved. 

I’d had a really positive experience using hypnobirthing for a physiological hospital birth with my daughter a few years earlier and this time it just felt so magical to consider giving birth in my own home and then climbing into bed afterwards with my new baby. 

mother and daughter cuddle

It came out of the blue

During my pregnancy, I planned for the homebirth I’d always wanted - we were in the middle of moving house which was causing quite a bit of stress but besides this, I was super excited about meeting my baby. 

I made plans with my doula, my husband and even my independent midwives on how they could support me to prepare for my birth. At around 33 weeks pregnant, we finally got into our new home and the birth pool arrived for us to try out! Things started to get super exciting.

Yet out of the blue, I started to feel unwell and was immediately sent to hospital for further tests, everything was fine with my baby and I was diagnosed with ICP - intrahepatic cholestasis of pregnancy

I’d already started to explore my birth preferences and one of the things I felt I wanted to consider was a caesarean birth plan - if my plans changed, I wanted to be able to feel like I was still very much able to use my hypnobirthing anchors and make decisions around what I wanted in terms of baby care. 

As a result of getting ICP, I started to consider what I felt most comfortable for my birth, a large part of me always felt that my baby may come before their due date just like their sister before them and I started to feel like the homebirth option was making me feel a little uneasy. 

My instincts kicked in

We continued with our plans, yet my instinct began to tell me I needed to consider other options further so that when I did go into labour - I could make a final call on where I wanted to birth my baby. I remember it was a similar time to when Stacey Solomon gave birth at home and my heart ached so badly as I just wanted to stay at home to be close to my daughter… I didn’t really tell anyone at the time but I just knew that I wasn’t going to want to birth at home anymore. 

Just after turning 35 weeks, my waters broke and I felt that labour might begin in the same way as Charlotte’s did - with the labour now being classed as premature, I negotiated with the hospital to have some check ups and come home until the labour became more established. 

I still felt unsure about what I wanted to do until all of a sudden, I knew that I needed help with the birth - at the time, I wasn't aware that I’d been suffering with gallstone attacks, yet on this evening - something started to make me feel very unwell. 

I immediately knew what the best thing was for me and my baby

I immediately knew that the best thing for me and my baby was a caesarean birth and agreed with the hospital that it was the right decision not only for mine and the baby’s physical health but for my mental health too.. 

I felt scared and anxious, not knowing what was making me so poorly (I didn’t find out for a few days after William's birth) but my mothering instinct was strong and I was determined to focus on birthing my baby. 

Whilst waiting to go into the theatre, me and Craig cracked jokes and I wrapped myself in Charlotte’s blanket and watched videos of her - visualising her playing with her new sibling (we didn't know William was a boy!). I splashed orange oil all over Craig and the midwives made the room quiet and cosy - I felt completely safe and at ease knowing I was making the right choice for all of us. 

mother holds baby after csection

I felt safe and in control

Giving birth by caesarean was a completely different experience to what I’d experienced in my first birth, a busier space, much more medicalised but I wouldn't have changed it for anything - I felt safe and in control, the staff supporting me and helping me every step of the way. 

My breathing techniques helped me every step of the way, supporting the spinal block, supporting me at the start of the birth and afterwards whilst I had skin to skin with William.

I’ve got to say - making the decision to request a caesarean especially after finding out how poorly I was, was one of the proudest moments of my life - I’d tuned into my instincts as a mother completely. I trusted myself and supported myself to overcome some deeply embedded fears around caesarean birth. 

I’ll never deny how hard it was to let go of my homebirth, but at every opportunity, I used the hypnobirthing affirmation ‘I take control of what I can and let go of what I can’t’. 

Like I often say to my own clients, we can plan everything, we can do all the work yet sometimes our gut tells us that our plans need to change - it's brave and powerful, and that's why I love hypnobirthing so much. 

It helps us to protect the mind, regardless of the type of birth. 

mother holds newborn on hospital bed

the happy little nest

Who am I?

hypnobirthing teacher sits on sofa with coffee

Hey, I'm Emma!

Tea lover, self confessed birth nerd, mama of two and the founder of Blooming Births Hypnobirthing.

I'm here to support you to start feeling informed, confident and totally ready for your birth!

I pride myself on offering honest, bespoke and evidence based antenatal courses which put YOU at the very heart.

After giving birth to my own two babies, I continue to work closely with the Newcastle Maternity units and stay up to date with current working practices so that you are well informed about what to expect from your local trust.

 I'm also an affiliate member of The Royal College of Midwives and a breastfeeding peer support volunteer.

blooming births hypnobirthing

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