NB Unplanned Caesarian with 2nd baby after natural drug-free birth story – “To the outsider looking in, this may not seem like the easy inspiring birth you may expect to read about but beautiful reader this was my most incredible and empowering journey to date!“
My second pregnancy was much different to my first from the very beginning. The constant nausea, more weight gain, the sweet cravings; so I was very surprised when we were told we were having another boy.
As we approached the third trimester I began my hypnobirthing, positive affirmations, practiced breathing and perenal stretching. My first son came early at 37 weeks, 13 hour labour, natural, no drugs, no interventions so I wanted to be more prepared this time for my second baby. After my first experience I felt I was more clued on to how birth generally worked and prepared earlier both mentally and physically.
I was determined that baby number 2 would be even quicker, natural again and that I would catch him and deliver him myself with an amazing story of inspiration and empowerment that I could share with others. I held visions of me cuddling him in my arms having being birthed at home or from a very quick visit to the hospital. I had heard some amazing similar stories and I wanted that experience.
As the weeks rolled on and I was getting bigger by the day. Baby had dropped and I was struggling to walk or do too much. I went to bed knowing that any day would be the one.
At 39 weeks I was happily surprised to wake up one night to some minor contractions with some water leakage. With my first bubs my waters popped like a balloon but this time the leak was slow but enough for me to know that something was happening. I sat on my fitball and did the slow breathing I had practiced for months as the contractions started to become closer and more intense. I smiled and spoke to my baby bump after each contraction knowing he was on his way to being in my arms. I was excited! The day was finally here and our birthing journey had begun.
As the hours rolled by the contractions became intense but would then drop off only to build in intensity again followed by more leaking. I started to become wrestless. It had been 10 hours since we had begun and things didnt serm to be progressing as I had expected. I spoke to the hospital and they called me in to do a check on what was happening.
Now dear reader, maybe you are a mumma or soon to be mumma reading this or interested in birth stories, I wont go into every detail but will sumarise how this went. Do not worry though because this story does have a very happy ending and is worth reading all the way to end!
What started from the moment I walked into the hospital was a complete change in direction and the kick start to a long chain of events.
What happened on the physical side of the birth was this: a 36 hour long labour with my remaining waters having to be manually burst, an increase in the intensity of contractions, gas, injected substances to help move baby along, an inserted catheter, an epidural, put on a drip, injected antibiotics, internals after internals, a slow dialation increasing 1cm at a time, that finally made its way to 10cm to be followed by pushing, pushing and more pushing. My husband was by my side the whole time, cheering me on, letting me lean into him through each contraction and checking I was ok. He was my rock and held me physically through each stage.
We met midwife after midwife, doctor after doctor. At this stage bubs and I had hit the 33 hour mark and as you can imagine we were all beyond exhausted! I was still 10cm dialated but still no sign of a baby!
Exhausted and feeling somewhat defeated everything changed again when the third shift-change hospital obstetrician crossed our path. She was known as the “Forceps Queen”, but in a good way and she suggested that it may just guide baby to the surface along with my pushing. If that doesn’t work and baby does not descend soon then a cesarean operation would be the last fork in the road. She knew I had hoped for a natural birth and we all hoped that the forceps would help. She asked me for my permission to continue.
I stopped for a second, for which felt like an eternity, to centre myself. I took a long and very deep breath.
Then I finally surrendered.
I made the decision to surrender completely to the journey and let it unfold the way it needed to in order to progress.
What happened after this moment felt like time stood still, much like a deep breath in and the moment you hold for the count.
With my permission the doctor exuded her forcep magic within my birth canal only to then stop dead in her tracks within seconds. She looked me in the eyes and calmy spoke the words I still remember clearly “this baby needs to come out now!”
She did not show panic and I could read in her eyes that baby was ok but he was not going to enter the world this way. Our journey had chosen a different path.
After this time stopping moment that felt much like the tide being pulled out from the shore, everything that happened next was the returning tide – a rushing tsunami.
Within minutes we were swept into the world of an emergecy cesarean operation. Information was flooded to myself and my husband as we were prepped and moved from room to room. I knew in my heart that this was the right thing to do and knowing that bubs was ever so close now I was able to summon my last wild woman energy to see him come safely earthside. From medic to medic I surrended and breathed through the process holding on to the feeling that my baby would be here soon. When they finally dropped the curtain during the operation, I laid my eyes on him. My baby. I was inundated with the most indescribable heartfelt waves of emotions. He was here. 36 hours later we had finally done it!
To the outsider looking in, this may not seem like the easy inspiring birth you may expect to read about but beautiful reader this was my most incredible and empowering journey to date!
As this all happened on the physical side of my body, internally my mind was in a meditative trance journeying to the opposite end of the universe to collect my baby. I was facing each obstacle with a force of determination that I never knew existed inside me.
As each level of fear from another medical intervention was surpassed by my awoken fearless feminine spirit, I had tapped into what felt like an ancient power well buried within my soul. I surrendered to the birthing journey that was ours and I let go of all my conceived perceptions that I had started with to come into the incredible strength of the person I was levelling up to become.
A woman who could do anything.
Now beautiful mumma or mumma who may be reading this. Do not be scared or alarmed or feel worried. This was my unique birthing journey. Which is totally different and opposite to my unique empowering, no drug, natural and incredible birth of my first born. BOTH were journeys of empowerment and inspiration. BOTH took me to a place within myself that showed me the power, courage and the amazing birthing vessel that is my body and BOTH have taught me about the lesson of surrendering to the journey. I don’t mean surrendering to others as in medical or people around you, I mean surrendering to and letting the journey flow and unfold to what is best for you and your baby. I didn’t mention earlier that when I was deciding whether or not to have the epidural, I had a clear preminition of a cesean birth flash before me but I did not want to let go of the perceived thought of my perfect natural baby catching birth. I 100% believe it is good to be positively prepared with hypnobirthing and affirmations. These are what helped me to learn how to tune in to my body and baby when I needed it the most. My best advice is to trust in your intuition, your body and be open to surrendering to the birthing process that will unfold. Your journey will be unique to YOU and YOUR baby and it will be perfect! Maybe it is one of those incredible stories where you deliver your baby at home or in record time naturally! Or maybe it is one of the incredible amazing journeys where you have a planned or unplanned cesarean operation birth! All ways of birth are an empowering and inspiring birth story and all are perfect!
It is also ok to be scared and fearful of what is to come. Often we can be fearful of the physical pain we may have to endure during birth but please know it is not the same as the pain you have experienced before. It is felt so differently when you are in birth mode or the meditative trance of collecting your baby from the other side of the Universe!!
Also there is the most indescribable feeling that can wash all the pain away when you see your baby for the first time! No matter if it is your first or not. You will be surprised at how you managed the pain later and it is totally ok if you have medical help or not. I did it both ways and I am still amazed at my strength and so proud of myself at how I handled it for each birth.
I have even more pride now for what my amazing body can endure and I have the most beautiful scar as a reminder! I celebrate it as another space on my body that birthed a human being!
However it happens for you, know that it is a journey for you and your baby and it will be perfect and inspiring and empowering no matter how it unfolds. Take comfort in the thought that there have been millions of women before you and millions more after you who are all cheering you on! This is your time to rise, beautiful woman. You have got this!
– AMY J YOUNG
PS after our incredible birth journey, we named our son Phoenix
PPS We had a wonderful team of support people being my amazing husband and the medical staff from the hospital who all played a part in assisting with this journey who I have enormous gratitude for.
The tools and resources I used were:
- The most incredible collection of birth stories A Modern Woman’s Guide to a Natural Empowering Birth by Katrina Zaslavsky
- Many Youtube Videos available on Youtube (I was pregnant during COVID lockdown so I could not attend any classes this time around)
- Birthing affirmations – I wrote my own based on some I googled but changed to fit with my beliefs and would read them most days
- Fitball was amazing during contractions
- At night I listened to “Surfing for Birthing” by Shawndeya on Youtube while I fell asleep and practiced breathing
- With my first son I attended prenatal yoga classes. These were fantastic as they gave a time for self and baby connection as well as a community of other women. Highly recommended.
- After the birth (from 3-6 weeks) I did see a fantastic midwife at the Mums & Bubs drop in clinic that Qld Health provided for free. She really helped me to emotionally connect with my birth story and gave me the space to be heard and to feel supported. She helped me to process many of the emotions and feelings I felt after the birth. I completely recommend seeing someone to talk to after your birth regardless of how it happened.
- Lastly thank you to Katrina for allowing me to write this as this has helped me to heal and embrace my story…..Thanks so much Katrina. Thank you for all you do in helping women. You have been a huge help for me through both of my births!! (including Birth Goddess Coaching support) Thank you xx