Happy Belated New Year! For 2020 I wanted to do a little project and start to share some varied and 'real life' positive birth stories here on the blog! It can be so hard to find positive stories sometimes, in a world where a lot of what we read and hear about birth is completely fear based! So hopefully this can become a little bubble of positivity!
First up is a past client of mine, the lovely Shauna from @chatting_chrons on Instagram. Shauna has a really unique background story and prepared with her partner really well for a very successful gentle cesarean birth for her and her son, and for a successful breastfeeding journey. I'll share her story in her own words below - and if anyone else has a story that they would like to share please do get in touch!
Thank you Shauna for sharing your story - and I'll hopefully be back with another really soon!
"My name is Shauna, I am 25years old and in September 2019 I welcomed my first baby into the world. A little background about myself before I dive into my birth story! At 19years old I was diagnosed with crohns disease, an illness that mainly affected my bowels, rectum and immune system. In March 2018 I had surgery to remove my bowel and give me an ileostomy bag. From that day forward I have never looked back and regained my health, and to my delight just 10months after having surgery I discovered I was pregnant. From the very beginning my pregnancy was considered "high risk". In hindsight I was very lucky because the care I received was amazing and I was given extra scans and a very close eye was kept on me and baby.
I knew throughout my pregnancy that ultimately it would be safer to deliver by cesarean section, and this was confirmed around 32weeks. Knowing I was facing yet another surgery was very daunting especially as this was going to be the most important one of my life. As the weeks were getting closer I grew more nervous, I knew a little of what to expect but a friend recommend that I attend a gentle birth class to put my mind at ease and let me take back some control of what was going to happen.
I found Relax, Balance, Birth on Facebook and contacted the lovely woman who owns it, Sarah. I explained my situation and she recommended that I tried a private session to help me prepare for the section. I was 35weeks pregnant when myself and my partner attended the session. I had made a list of questions in advance of things I was unsure of and things I was worried about. Almost immediately I felt at ease, Sarah had a slideshow and an abundance of information all specifically tailored for the section. She taught me so much about birth preferences, I never knew that having a section I could have so much of a say in how things went, and she gave me amazing advice on breastfeeding as I was very determined to breastfeed.
I left the session feeling excited to meet my son, I felt very in control of what was going to happen and my partner felt so well informed and I really feel like he was a much better support after everything was explained to us in detail.
On the day of the section I was so excited. I honestly didn't feel one bit nervous. I was second on the list and around 10.30am I was taken down to theatre. Given my history of illness and my ileostomy, my section took a little bit longer than a "normal" one. They took their time with me and I really appreciate that. The only time I felt nervous was when I was receiving the spinal block. I was afraid it would hurt but honestly it was not bad! My partner was brought in just as they had me opened and together we waited for the moment our son would be born.
At 11.44am they lifted my absolutely perfect son over the screen and at that moment we cried our hearts out! He was here and he was healthy and he was perfect. After all I have been through over the years with my health, this is a moment I only ever dreamt of and for it to actually come true was so surreal.
The hospital followed my birth plan perfectly and I don't think anything could have gone better if we wanted it to! I never imagined that birth could be such a positive experience but it was one of the most calm days and best days of my life. My recovery afterwards also went well, I took it very easy for a few weeks and I was back to myself in no time."