How did this mom go from planning a natural birth to fully embracing a gentle cesarean birth with no regrets? Education and the right support proved once again to make an unwanted scenario something manageable and smooth. Kristine and her husband took HypnoBirthing, read all the books, got an excellent care provider and hired two doulas. The birth doula, who was their cheerleader and guide for the new plan and a postpartum doula for the long nights ahead helped these new parents feel confident and calm. Understanding that this was her BABY’S birth and essentially the way her daughter wanted to be born, led to a gentle birth that was meant to be.
@douladeb @sacredseasonmothercare https://www.facebook.com/DrCapetanakis/
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Birth education prepared me to have the birth that my baby was meant to have. We learned that the baby is gonna come however they’re gonna come and it’s part of their journey, it’s exactly what’s meant to be. The first thing I did was look at classes, what class did I wanna take? And we found Hypnobirthing and that seemed like a good fit for what we wanted to do, which was be natural, work with the body as it is and then lots of reading. So we read the Hypnobirthing book of course, and “Elevating Child Care” by Janet Lansbury, and lots of blog posts from people that have gone before us, Pregnant Chicken, Baby Chick, a bunch of, you know, some of those are humorous and some of ’em are full of information and knowledge. And then got a doula and thought that was such a great idea that we got two doulas, we got a birth doula and a postpartum doula, and they both afforded something different, you know, the birth doula was support and reminding us to set our boundaries and everything that we wanted to do was okay, it was our choice. And the postpartum doula basically ushered us into being parents and was there for, “Oh, my gosh, they’re crying, and we don’t what that cry means, or should we feed them now or?”
You know, everything that we thought we knew but then in the moment kind of disappeared from our brain, she was there for that. So they both were invaluable and we would recommend anybody to get one of each, or two of each, get a bunch of doulas. Just have a bunch of doulas. And choose your doctor wisely. Choose somebody that supports you and the kind of birth that you wanna have. And if something doesn’t sit right, question it. It’s your body, it’s your decision and if you don’t feel comfortable, it will impact you in the room, so you need to find somebody that makes you feel good and wants to be a team with you in that process.
So we were in the middle of our classes and learning everything we needed to know to be ready to have a vaginal birth and we were excited for that, and about 32 weeks, went in, did an ultrasound and the baby had not flipped and was not ready to go, but we were told, you know, we have time, so we started monitoring, “Is she moving? Is she moving?” Feeling around, “No, not moving.” And every week that went by she still wasn’t turning so went through body work and chiropractic and acupuncture and got to the point of having a ECV procedure to try and kind of force her into where we wanted her to be and that was not effective either.
And at 38 weeks we had a conversation with our doctor, you know, that this was not ideal, this isn’t what we wanted, but she had made the decision that we would need a gentle C-section, so for the first time I had all these questions, because it wasn’t even something that had been considered. It was, “Well, what does that mean? “What does this look like? “What about my recovery? “What do I do?” You know, and it was nice because it was a dialog, it wasn’t, you know, a command, it was just what was. And we agreed, obviously, because the baby’s coming out one way or the other, and started, you know, preparing mentally for that, but one of the things we got from taking our classes is that it was okay. Whatever kind of birth we had was okay. We just needed to be prepared and to make sure that we were comfortable with what decisions we did get to make.
So we went to the hospital, we got checked in early in the morning, very early in the morning and got suited up, ready to go, and our doctor came in and talked to us about kinda how things were gonna run, and it was very quick. It was so much quicker than I thought it was gonna be, but got into the room, everything taking care of, and probably in less than five minutes I went from baby in my tummy to baby being held up like “The Lion King” over this drape and her eyes were wide open. And I think my eyes were wide open like, “Who are you? “And I’m so excited to meet you.” And once we confirmed that everything was okay, breathing, all the good stuff was there, then they brought her over and we were able to have the skin to skin contact and you know, basically do all the things that we had expected to do immediately after a vaginal delivery.
Baby just came through the side door, not that much different. And then we got back to our room and our doula was there to help with the first latch and helping us kind of, you know, adjust, because you feel a little bit like a deer in the headlights. You know, all these things are happening so fast and you walked in there as, you know, two people and now there’s three. So it went very quickly, but again, our support people, our doctor, everything we learned from our classes, all of that came together in those five minutes to make sure that we were okay and everything went well and smooth.
Having the gentle caesarean, we both felt at peace, because it’s corny and kind of cliche, but knowledge is power. And when you walk in there and you know what you’re looking at and what the experience is going to be like, because you have that knowledge, you’re just calm. And the one thing that you learned at the beginning of class is that fear shuts everything down and when you’re afraid, it makes any kind of birth that you have hard, you know? And it’s hard enough as it is, so let’s not make it harder. And we were able to be at peace, because you know, as she’s lifted out of my belly and on top of the drape, she doesn’t have any burdens, so she was like ready, she knew exactly what she was doing and again, not necessarily what we wanted, but what was supposed to be.
And I think that’s a perfect example of what happens when you’re a parent. You have an expectation of what you think it’s gonna be and then your child informs you that that is not a thing, that is not gonna happen and you learn to roll with it. And when you’re not such a flexible person, you have to learn to be a flexible person. And so as you kinda go from being two people to a family, all that changes. So when you have the education and you have all of the components dialed in, it just flows, it just, you know, start your day as one person and you come home with another person and everything is good. So when you’re a parent everything feels like you need to have a plan, but it should really be more of an intention, because the more you try to plan, the more your plan will not happen.
I think one of the biggest things that happens is that we’re naturally wanting a certain experience, you know, I’m gonna have a vaginal birth and you know, the stars are gonna line up and rainbows and sunshine and all these wonderful things. And when you start taking the classes and you hear about other people’s experience, every single one of them started out with the, this is what they wanted to do and then this is what happened. And then while you hear that you’re like, “Okay, I’m gonna have to move into a different place.” I can’t have a say so 100%, because it’s happening to your body, but there’s another being involved and they’re very much in charge of what’s happening, so they know when they’re coming, they know how they’re coming, and the focus shifts to, “How do I help them have the best experience in doing that? “How do we stay calm? “How do we give them the space “to do what they already know how to do?” So you just show up.
It’s the first experience of learning how to show up for your child in however they need you to be there, not how you wanna be there, but how they need you to be there. So I will use the advice moment to kind of give a shout-out to the team of people, you know, that helped make this happen for us. Our birth doula was Debbe Cannone, and I love her to pieces because she is a wealth of knowledge, like she just oozes knowledge and she reminds you that you’re in charge. So she’s there to support you and she’s got all these tool in her toolbox to help with, you know, the birth process itself and the initial breastfeeding and all of that, but at the same time, like she’s in your corner, saying, you know, “You’ve got this, you can do this “and if someone else doesn’t like your choice, tough, “like it’s still your choice.” So she was amazing, get a doula.
Get lots of doulas. We had Dr. Cap up in Encinitas and he totally believes in the power of what moms can do. So he’s not an obstacle, he is your teammate. And I think the biggest part is that he just wants you to have the space to do what you’re meant to do and he’s there for safety, but other than that, he lets you do what you need to do and that’s a very empowering thing, to have somebody that’s more hands-off to let nature take its course.
And then when we got home, we had Anita Butler for our postpartum doula and she is amazing in all senses of the word, from being able to help me step by step with the breastfeeding so that I didn’t give up right out of the gate, to you know, helping us know when we should be waking up, what to look for. Is the baby too warm? Is the baby too cold? You know, all of those things that help you feel confident in your ability to do it yourself, she gave us that, so much so that we had originally agreed to a timeline and we found my husband asking to extend it and then extend it again. And he tried to take her car keys so she couldn’t leave. So I think that’s a pretty good testimony of what they all mean to the process and, yes, we made a baby by ourselves, but we couldn’t have got her here successfully and calmly without everybody else and their contribution to the effort.
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