If you follow me over on Instagram, you will have watched my pregnancy with Henrie (and if you’ve been there for a while – my pregnancies with Maxie, Drewie and Agnes too!)
With Henrie, I really did feel like I was “smashing it”, eating well, working out, taking time for myself, reading positive birth stories and affirmations. All the things that I tell other pregnant women to do. I was managing the anxiety that accompanies pregnancy for me. Taking my supplements, talking about things. As my due date approached I felt so full of excitement about the birth, ready for labour, to finally meet this little human we had been growing so carefully for the last 9 months.
Then that aspect of it changed for me, a scan a few days before my due date to check on the growth of baby revealed a large stumbling block to the plans we had been making. Our beautiful little baby was in fact breech. After three straightforward deliveries, labours with my second and third which I *enjoyed*, a breech baby at 39 weeks was not something I had been planning for. And I am a planner!
So we were flown away to a big maternity hospital, where we had been before for the birth of our first baby. A valiant attempt, by a wonderful doctor, to turn my “upside down” child was unsuccessful. I was left with no options, no one who would entertain the idea that I wanted to try and deliver a breech baby in any way other than by C section. C SECTION! (If you know me, you’ll know that this was the very very thing I was not on for.) I don’t like being interfered with, I don’t like not being able to do things. I kept saying “I won’t be able to drive for 6 weeks”, but inside what I really thought was, and I do mean that this is what I felt, I am going to die. From when we were told this was what was going to happen, I was sure that I would die. I asked the doctors about it, they said “well the chances are very very small”. What I couldn’t get over was how normal this was for them. It didn’t really seem like a big deal at all! Oh it’s ok, we are just going to cut into you… hah.. no big deal, right?
The day before my “elective” C section I thought was my last day on earth. I was trying to have peace, give it all over to God. We went to the movies, bought a packet of super high waisted M&S briefs (these are the most comfortable underwear ever!), had a MacDonalds because if you are going to die anyway – why not!? I tried to have a good cry but I felt suffocated.
A sleepless night, an early start, taking my medication and drinking my lucozade. Walking down to the ward, speaking on the phone to my children, still thinking this was the last time I would hear their voices. I know I sound like a right drama queen. There really wasn’t a sense of excitement that I was going to meet my baby. One last scan to confirm that baby was still breech, yep. Surgery was very much happening. Got my gowns on, sat in the waiting area, people tired to talk to me but I couldn’t hear them.
In the theatre itself, the atmosphere was like a birthday party. The team were kind, supportive, understanding. They could see I was terrified but they didn’t laugh at me or play it down. They helped me help myself, practised the hypnobirth breathing I had been doing at home. Once I was lying down and the spinal kicked in, my body was numb and I relaxed and finally gave in to what was about to happen.
Then we met you Henrie. We found out you were in fact a boy! Realised you looked exactly like your siblings. The love was there full force.
And I was so grateful that I didn’t die.
Yoga photos on beach by Sophie Sunshine Photography
Thanks for reading,
Hazel Ann x