Hi Kat

T and I wanted to let you know that our son, Arlo Joseph was born on 11th November.

We wanted to thank you for the fantastic hypnobirthing course. The breathing techniques and the recordings and affirmations were so helpful in the final weeks. After we saw you for the last time, we met our midwife, who said that while we wouldn’t be able to have a home birth if the baby stayed breech, I would still be able to give birth vaginally in the hospital and the home birth team continued to support me for the remainder of my pregnancy and after the birth. So, everything I’d been told by the sonographer and my friend didn’t happen and my worst fears didn’t come true.

In the final weeks, I did everything to try to encourage him to turn; osteopathy, chiropractor, acupuncture and I had the ECV, but in the end he didn’t turn. In those final weeks, your recordings were so important and helpful for me. Firstly, to help me try to relax, as I undertook all the measures I could to try to turn him and then once I’d accepted that he probably wasn’t going to turn and was planning for a breech vaginal birth, they helped me feel confident that I could give birth to a breech baby vaginally. They also were important when I went a few days beyond 40 weeks and had a meeting with a consultant in which she tried to pressure me to make a plan for how he would be delivered, because I was post-dates.

In the end, I went into spontaneous labour at 41+1. I laboured at home all Sunday using the long out breath to get through the surges. We went into the hospital when my waters broke and I was in established labour. When we got there, however, we discovered he was now footling breech. They didn’t want him to be born that way and it was too much of a risk for me, so I went with a c section. At all stages on the road towards the birth that came to be, I felt empowered to make my own decisions. I did my own reading about breech birth, I asked the right questions and I took responsibility for the way in which I would birth my baby. Although, it wasn’t the birth I had envisaged, it was the birth that had to be. I was confident that I had done everything I could to turn him and to birth him vaginally, but in the end, it wasn’t the safest way.

The labour also was an object lesson in the power of the mind, the narrative we tell ourselves and the importance of framing. Up to the point at which we found out he was footling breech, I’d coped really well with very strong surges that were coming every 2 mins and lasting for a minute or more. I didn’t seem to be getting a break, but by using a long out breath, horse lips and mooing sounds whilst being supported by my partner or doula, I was managing them. But once I’d decided to have the c section, they became harder to cope with. Once they were no longer the means by which I was going to meet my baby, they no longer seemed to have a purpose, so I just wanted them to stop.
The tools you taught us in the hypnobirthing course were absolutely essential in helping me feel empowered and confident and when the c section happened, I had no regrets, no what ifs or buts. It really was a story of letting go of expectations, recalibrating our wishes, letting go and just going with the flow and accepting and dealing with what was thrown at us.

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