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The birth of Arthur

Yes, it was calm and joyful. It was a c-section, which was not my first choice;
however, I developed pre-eclampsia
in the last 3 weeks of pregnancy.

 The Active Birth workshop equipped us with tools to make informed decisions this time, rather than get swept away on a tide of intervention as before.

We made time to go on a "date" around 36 weeks, where we prepared answers to the "Ten things..." sheet you provided. We talked through our fears and hopes together, it was a very special day. Thanks to working through so many issues early on, we were a united front when things started to speed up.

Henry & I challenged an attempt at induction at 37 weeks and found a consultant who agreed with us that "There is no pressing need to induce this baby" (some of the best words I've ever heard!), and declined two offers of c-section & further attempt to induce in weeks 38 & 39. I listened to my baby and my body alongside medical advice this time, rather than abandoning my instincts and putting myself into someone else's hands.

 We decided that we would continue with VBAC plans for as long as the baby was well and I was sufficiently well and calm. Out came the pineapples, raspberry leaf tea, curry and sex! At 39 + 6 though I tried the "long walk"and only got 200 yards: I was readmitted to hospital with very high blood pressure, swelling and visual disturbance, and blood tests showed my liver was struggling. Consultants were keen to either induce or c-section, so after 3 weeks of refusing intervention and holding out for VBAC, we decided that it was time to go forward with a new plan and opted for the c-section.

 Again, we were more positive in our actions this time and really felt that we owned the experience. Our care at the hospital was second to none, and we were surprised to find that being very open about our hopes for the birth won people over to our cause, rather than putting noses out of joint.

Many of the techniques we learned for labour proved useful during the 24 hour wait for theatre, and we were happily cuddling and kissing while the anaesthetist did his work. Arthur was in a perfect LOA presentation on the day, so the advice on positioning was spot on! Within half an hour of leaving theatre he had wriggled onto the breast and was feeding well. I felt elated in recovery, as opposed to defeated last time.

 All in all I am delighted that I gave VBAC every opportunity of success, but was still able to feel positive and active about another c-section. Thank you for your support in getting us here.

 Kindest regards, Emma & Henry