We really enjoyed the one-day workshop with Eleanor. She was fantastically enthusiastic, but also clearly very knowledgeable about the birthing process as a whole.
I found the focus on the physiological and hormonal aspects of birth really useful to get a deep understanding of how the mother and baby’s bodies work together in birth. This knowledge brings the confidence to make the right decisions.
The involvement of the birth partner, and focus on the importance of their role was also very positive.
The things we found particularly useful were: trying the Breech turning positions – we tried these for a few weeks; thinking about our mindset, positive thinking, and confidence in making decisions; learning about how all the hormones interplay not just in labour but also breastfeeding; thinking about the role and importance of the birth partner.
Overall, I would recommend this workshop to parents who want to take an active and informed approach to having their baby. Oh, and the cake was fab too! Thanks Eleanor!
Becky’s Birth Story
We had been planning a natural, active birth, and had spent significant time and effort preparing, talking and researching labour and birth, and different approaches and techniques for them.
Baby was still breech at 37 weeks, and despite trying various stretches and positions to turn her, we opted for an ECV. This was unsuccessful, but from the ultrasound done at this point at the hospital (John Radcliffe, Oxford), the baby was found to be small for her dates, with her growth having slowed down. Further tests seemed to confirm this, and diagnose a low cerebro-placental ratio. We were advised that because of this, the risk of stillbirth at and after 40 weeks rise significantly, so it is preferable for baby to come out sooner rather than later. However, although at the JR they are very happy to support vaginal breech birth, they do not advocate induction in breech cases, due to the possibility of further complications. The plan of action that seemed to carry the lowest risk for the baby was to have a Caesarean section, and that is what we opted for.
At first, I was extremely disappointed, and even quite upset at the prospect of missing out on labour and birthing my baby naturally, which I felt was a really important rite of passage for a mother. However, as I got used to the idea I also came to realise that the most important thing a mother can do is whatever is best for her baby, regardless of anything else.
We had the c-section at exactly 39 weeks at the JR hospital. Although nervous, I felt quite calm and focussed, just hoping the baby would be ok. My husband was in the theatre with me, holding my hand throughout. As she was born, they lowered the screen; the first thing I saw was a little foot, followed by a wriggly and screaming baby. I remember tears silently running down my face as she was immediately placed onto my bare chest, tears of relief that she was ok, and that she was here.
Within minutes, she was feeding at my breast, with my husband and I watching on and overcome with the unbelievable enormity of what was happening.The birth was a really positive experience in the end, and I am happy with our story.
I see my scar from the operation as my badge of honour as a mum, and wear it with pride. In the end, our baby was born at a surprisingly healthy 6lb 7oz, much larger than expected, and is continuing to grow well. We named her Mia Rose, and are loving getting to know our beautiful daughter and learning to be a family together.
Becky & Tom, November 2015