Hi Dream Mamas, my name is Ruth Sabrosa, I am a mama to three wonderful girls, a hypnotherapist, a birth educator and founder of Mindful Mothering. Today I am delighted to share my home birth story. I hope this story offers you some confidence in making informed decisions, highlighting the power we hold within and how amazing birth can be when we trust our bodies and instincts.
My second pregnancy and my baby is in a breech position.
I thought I knew what I was doing and was expecting a very straightforward run. The pregnancy itself was textbook but I was told the baby was breech at my second scan and it got me thinking. Although there was plenty of time for baby to turn, I wondered what would happen if she didn’t…
I was hoping to have a home birth this time and began preparing for that using my hypnobirthing techniques. At 32 weeks I had another routine scan which showed that baby was still breech so I thought I’d better take action. I tried everything to encourage her to turn including;
and lots of standing on my head!!
While these techniques work really well for some women it seemed like my baby had no desire to move. At the next scan at 38 weeks it showed that she was still head up and bum down so I was booked in for an ECV (manual attempt at turning baby). This failed and the hospital gave me no other option but to have an elective Caesarean Section one week later. I was distraught, I felt like I could birth this baby normally but was shocked that the hospital were so keen on c-section. I went home and began to explore my options with the help of my brilliant doulas, Caron Smith and Maisie Hill.
No one can tell you that you aren't allowed to do something. Its your body and your baby.
Eventually I found the wonderful Maya Midwives who happened to be experienced in vaginal breech birth and very keen to support me. I was listening to my hypnobirthing audio to prepare for home birth again every day, sometimes two or three times a day and I made a poster for my bedroom wall with affirmations and other positive thoughts about the birth.
My due date came and went and then a week later there were still no labour signs. The midwives advised that I didn’t do anything to augment the labour, such as acupuncture or reflexology because breech babies must come when they are ready if they are going to come naturally at all. So I waited and waited. Hypnobirthing helped me to remain calm, relaxed and focused at this stressful time when friends and family were growing increasingly concerned. When I reached 42 weeks I decided to go to hospital for a scan and CTG monitoring to make sure everything was ok. The doctors said baby was doing really well and couldn’t find anything at all wrong but would be happier if I’d have a caesarean the next day. My instincts told me to wait a little longer and so I agreed to come back two days later for more CTG monitoring. In the meantime I began to prepare myself for the caesarean as it was becoming increasingly likely that I might have to give in at some point. Again the CTG monitoring showed that everything was fine but I agreed to go in the next day for my bloods to be taken in case the caesarean was necessary.
Although I was more prepared for it, I couldn’t understand how my body could grow this baby, keep her nourished for 9 months and then just abandon her and me when it was time to be born.
My dream home birth became a reality.
That very night I woke at 4am with contractions that felt ‘different’ to the Braxton hicks I’d been having for weeks so I called the midwife, Andy, and she arrived an hour later.
I wasn’t in any pain at all but had been preparing for this for months using hypnobirthing so I didn’t really expect to be. There was about an hour where the contractions were really intense but at no time painful and our daughter was born two and a half hours later (bum first) at 7:30.
Andy said it was the quickest birth she’d ever seen, so quick that Viv, the second midwife missed it! I used only a TENS machine and my hypnotherapy techniques and our beautiful breech baby daughter, Amália Rose, was born calmly and peacefully in our bedroom. Her birthday is 7th October 2012, 17 days past the due date. I couldn’t have hoped for a better outcome, I am so glad that I trusted my instincts and my baby and that I had the support of such wonderful midwives. I will treasure that moment forever.
So, there my birth story and how I worked hard to create the best birth for my baby. If I could give one piece of advice for an expectant mama it would be to get informed, know your options and find a care provider that you trust. I hope this has inspired you. Thank you for reading my story and if you are interested in reading more about Breech Births I recommend Jane Evan's book about Breech Births available from AIMS.
To learn more about Ruth and the amazing work she does check her out here website here.
*this is one mothers story shared to give an insight into a not so straightforward birth and how she overcame challenges. Remember, every woman and baby is different. We encourage all women to follow medical advise and also fully research their options. If there is no medical reason why you should have a c-section, we encourage you to question the decision and understand risk and benefits. Be part of the decision and have your voice heard.