Hi all, hope you’re very well.
Just wanted to let you know about the arrival of our son, James Rudy, on 15th September, 7lb 7oz.

It wasn’t quite the birth we were planning. He remained stubbornly breech despite spinning babies, swimming, yoga, crawling, acupuncture and finally a failed ECV. 

I was upset at the idea of a c-section. I’d been looking forward to labour as a kind of rite of passage and an experience for me, Matt and the baby to go through together, but we had to weigh up the risks.

However, Kat, you’ll be pleased to hear that our hypnobirthing prep didn’t all ‘go out the window’. We kept up the relaxations, and I insisted on a meeting with a consultant in advance to talk about ‘gentle’ options for the section. He was understanding but there wasn’t a huge amount of leeway.

We couldn’t do a ‘natural’ delivery (where the baby helps ease his way out) because he was breech, there was no option about where the monitoring was placed, and certainly no low lighting. But the baby was born to a soundtrack of John Coltrane and Joni Mitchell and James Taylor singing Sweet Baby James, Matt doing some light-touch massage on my face, and the baby brought cheek-to-cheek after his initial checks while they sewed me up. 

We asked for delayed cord clamping and they said they could do it, but I actually have no idea whether that happened in the end. We then had more than two hours of skin-to-skin in the recovery bay straight out of theatre (because they didn’t have any beds free on the postnatal ward – NHS shortages working in our favour!)

We also managed to do a guerrilla vaginal seeding. Every medic we brought this up with said ‘we don’t do that’, but once we’d persuaded a midwife of our seriousness (I’d had a strep B test, we had instructions on how to do the seeding from another NHS trust website) she colluded with Matt for him to do it. But it did require us to be quite assertive, and if we hadn’t done the hypnobirthing course we might not have been so confident to champion our own preferences. Once you’re in the UCLH system, it’s easy to feel that you’re being swept along.

I wasn’t nearly as incapacitated by the section as I thought I’d be and I have to say that now we’re home with a healthy baby and deeply into the discombobulation and wonder of new parenthood, it matters much less exactly how he came into the world. 

We’d both like to say thank you for those Wednesday evening sessions which were a great opportunity to mentally prepare for birth and to take time out from everyday stresses. Wishing you all luck and love with babies already arrived and yet to come!

Lyndsey, Matthew & James Rudy xx

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