top of page
The Naked Doula Logo
  • Writer's pictureEmma Armstrong

I delivered my own baby in theatre. The birth of george - Home Birth turned Maternal Caesarean using hypnobirthing.

A year ago I gave birth to my baby George. Little did I know 5 days prior when my waters ruptured that I’d be faced with many challenges including obstruction of labour leading to this POWERFUL moment of me pulling my boy out of my own belly in theatre.



I was ready for anything


Leading up to this, I had envisaged a beautiful vaginal birth, I had gotten excited about the thought of feeling those incredible sensations as the uterus contracts to dilate the cervix. I had dreamt about crowning as my baby emerged and me smiling, knowing I was going through this mad portal of life! I practised body balancing and saw an osteopath weekly from 24 weeks. I continued my work, I created my vision boards. I made my birth preferences using my visual birth plan and accounted for ALL OUTCOMES. Including induction, caesarean and emergencies! I was CLEAR and CONCISE from the very start with my care providers.


I delved deeper into my birth rights and how to action them through Emma Ashworth. I hired a Doula. I had complete support from my husband and I had a completely healthy pregnancy with absolutely zero complications. I felt extremely lucky and empowered and used my knowledge and wisdom to continue to make informed decisions each step of the way!


Going “overdue”


40 weeks came and went. My birth preferences stated I did not want an induction and that I fully understood the pros and cons of waiting. I’d used my knowledge & confidence to stand up for what I wanted to do knowing that the latest MBRRACE report supported reduced numbers in risk post 42 weeks. Even though I knew this when 41 weeks hit I panicked. I was so sure he was coming before this. I'd had some tingles and movement since 36 weeks. Strong braxton hicks, had come then gone with niggles of back ache! But no, here I was waiting and feeling ALL THE FEELS!


I took a leaf out of my own book and started the Naked Doula birth moon! This is where you spend time decided to increasing Oxytocin levels. So anything that makes you feel good. Getting out in nature, laughing, watching your fav movie. Visiting places that spark the best memories. Cuddling, kissing and spending time with people you love. I soon felt relaxed and back on form…


42+1 My waters started trickling. Fuck! Was it finally happening?

Woohoo it’s starting!


I knew it! It wasn't just wee! Ha... something was happening and I was feeling SO ready. Although every time I went for a wee I was genuinely trying to work out whether or not it was an added bit of wee or the waters... I kept my cool and monitored myself knowing I was seeing someone the next day.


I was finally heading into Labour and I couldn’t have been happier.

42+3 Contractions started at around 1pm They were coming every 10 mins and I was so fucking excited. I was due a well-being scan at 3.30pm that I’d agreed to with me being post 42 weeks. I was so welcoming to my contractions. I spoke kindly to them, I praised them. I LOVED THEM!! They gave me so much joy! Each time I knew my uterus was doing something incredible! I understood the assignment!


When I got to the hospital for my scan, George was so happy in there and my placenta was working fine. There were no concerns and I was happy to wait it out. Whilst I was there it was confirmed my waters had broke. The midwife explained their policy which was that continuous monitoring was advised after 24 hours of water rupture. I knew the risks and opted to stay home as the risk of infection rises in hospital with examinations and interventions. I knew and understood the signs to look out for it something didn’t feel right. I was happy to be home with my family!




Shit got real… literally


My contractions continued. They started to get closer together and by 5pm they were around 7 mins apart. I did bedtime with Charlie and was trying hard to keep the flow ha! Stressful bedtime as possible and I thought "I'm going to have a baby by the morning". After he fell to sleep I went back downstairs to chill with my husband. They felt manageable and I was enjoying the waves! I enjoyed a hearty pizza and felt SO FRICKING HAPPY!


I went to sleep around 10pm as I wanted as much rest as possible before things ramped up! By 2am they started waking me from my sleep. I was having to use my breath now for each one. The rise and drop was like a wave and I just knew this was it! I was contracting every 5 mins sometimes every 2. I found myself loosing more water and about an hour later I had a bloody show. I popped my splash blanket down on the bed just in case of any mess and kept Adam asleep! 5am came and I felt a bigger gush and FUCK, I saw meconium….

Heading into hospital


All I thought was FFS! I was becoming more of a statistic! The meconium looked fresh and is quite normal for a baby around this gestation so I calmly called Labour suite and we made our way in just to check it wasn’t “old”! We called my Dad and got him to come over and watch Charlie.


During my journey I tried to keep my oxytocin levels high with music and breathing. All the things were going on in my head and I desperately just wanted to birth my baby without there being any issues.


I arrived at reception with some meconium stained puppy pads in arm. The reception was quite full of staff. No one seemed to be giving birth. It was so quiet! They all looked at me and I said this little one has been having fun and done a poo, fancy a look? They all laughed and there I was spreading out puppy pads along maternity reception! Ahhh they all said, it's fresh! No worries and no panics! Phew!



Getting comfortable


I was taken to a room on labour suite where I consented to monitoring to check me and baby! This involved a CTG to check baby's heart rate. All was fine! My contractions had become sparodic - which I expected as I'd just waked into a bright spot lit hospital! I knew it would mess with my oxytocin! I waited in this room for a few hours to keep an eye on me and babe and wait for a dedicated midwife. I closed my eyes, listened to music and just connected with George.


I was then gifted the most wonderful midwife called Jen at 8am. Completely woman centred and completely ready to follow my lead! Soon after my consultant turned up. We all had a chat, as I was contemplating going back home. I agreed to stay in with intermittent monitoring PROVIDING I could have a nice dark room with a pool on sanctuary suite (midwife led birth centre) I told the team I'd play it by ear to whether I'll be staying for longer. Jen went off to set it up.


Ten mins later she ushered me through some doors and to my room. It was gorgeous and spa like. So I made myself extremely comfy! I put on my music, smells and sentimental items, my Flashcards and got some sleep! I'd text my doula and photographer with the update! My photographer started making her way in and Rosie my doula agreed to come over in a few hours.


I couldn’t get enough

I now felt comfortable and chilled and everything was in place. I was feeling increase pressure on my cervix and in my pelvis teamed with sporadic lengthened contractions. When they came they were strong, they’d rise and then as the started to fall they’d rise again. Every time I felt pressure it took my breath away and I welcomed each contraction with smiles, a floppy face and low vibrational noise. I was LOVING every sensation! I couldn’t get enough! When I think back now these contractions felt so different they were full of pressure and felt pushy. (I'll come back to this later on)



Its GAME ON


Mid day I asked Jen to examine me. I was purely curious knowing it meant nothing. As Jen popped inside I used my FFFF to relax into it. Jen noticed something odd. My cervix was effaced (thinned) except for 2 spots either side of the opening she felt 2 hard lumps and not 1cm dilated. Jen saved face and told me maybe these will thin out too. I didn’t ask questions but started to wonder how in my experience I was having contractions which mirrored what I know as a more advanced labour. Or even maybe nearing the pushy part of labour!


It really threw me and I genuinely thought ok, maybe what I thought I had experienced up until now wasn't quite the real deal! Little did I know that inside my uterus HAD been working SUPER hard as was actually completely pulled up and thinned out!... but let's go back to the now and what I did to follow my intuitions.


I decided that night was going to be OXYTOCIN PARTY SOS! My Doula & Photographer turned up and we started getting ready for MUSIC, DANCING & GOOD VIBES!



Oxytocin PARTY SOS - 42+4


That night, I said goodbye to Adam whilst he went to see to Charlie and I had THE BEST night I’ve had in SO LONG! We danced, we laughed so hard and I ate like a queen inbetween the pressure I was feeling and the long contractions. It was THE BEST! I couldn’t have been more invested at this point. I continued to receive intermittent monitoring on my terms and danced with my baby to music that made me feel like an absolute GODDESS!



Time to RECHARGE


By midnight I was ready to recharge and prepare for the night ahead. My photographer headed back to the hotel and my doula got comfy in the reclining chair. I was given the opportunity to swap out the bed in my room for a more comfortable one from upstairs! I laid there and felt the contractions rising and falling STRONG. During the night I had to get up due to the intensity. Moving with this wheeled stool and using noise - each time ending with BIG SMILES as I welcomed each one with open arms. Surrending to the process. But as the night progressed I started to feel an unease in my body. Something didn’t feel right. I took some time to connect with myself and my body.



Operation Baby!


Morning came, I was feeling tired as my body had been working throughout the night. My midwife for the day was known for her amazing ways and her knowledge in spinning babies and aromatherapy. So it was operation baby and she started by having me do some leaning inversions (with consent), then onto some side lying releases which MY GOD did they cause some HEAVY pressure and intense contractions! Not long after me and my doula went for some fresh air and a walk.. when I got back I felt the need to get into the pool. I just wanted darkness and to be left alone. I didn’t want to dance, or bounce on the ball. I wanted to chill. The unease was still with me.



By this point I felt like those surrounding me didn’t quite understand the sensations I was feeling. I knew what I was feeling. They felt SO intense and I was having to focus whilst riding them. I asked for Jen and to perform another vaginal exam. She was amazing and came to see me. NOTHING HAD CHANGED. These hard lumps were still present and I just thought what the fuck. I knew these contractions were doing something but WHAT? Because they definitely were not dilating my cervix. I laid there for a moment and just cried.


My consultant came and offered some gentle induction methods but I told her something isn’t right. It feels like a blockage - I said I don’t know whether it’s physical or mental but there is a blockage.


I laid down on the bed for a moment and connected again with my higher self and my baby. I remeber seeing the twinkly lights on the ceiling and I asked myself "Should I try an induction" instantly I felt a BIG NO in my gut and I knew my choices were right.

I looked at my consultant and said well I’ve broken as many guidelines as possible. So shall we break some more? She laughed and said we can all see how hard you’ve tried and I really don’t know why labour isn’t progressing. I said. no induction. It’s time now. It’s time to birth my baby.



Go hard or go home


I took some time to myself. To come to terms with the fact I wasn’t going to have a vaginal birth. I thought about the hundreds of women who message me. I thought about all the stories. I thought about the strength and community. I rang my mentor Lisa and asked. Why Lisa. Why is this happening to me. Her words stuck with me.


Emma, you are forged in fire creating an easier path for others that come after you

I felt powerful and strong. I let go of the expectations and I let that fire rise inside of me.


After this the contractions and pressure STOPPED COMPLETELY like my body was saying THANK FUCK!

I said, If we are doing this Im going to make it even EXTRA! I know I’ve already planned a gentle caesarean (I'd planned for all outcomes) and pre discussed BUT I want to deliver my OWN baby. I want to lift him to my chest! Go hard or go home! The consultant agreed and said ok, lets do this! (She’d never done a maternal assisted section before) This C Section was classed as a Cat 3.


42+5 (My Birthday)


Some of the theatre team were PUSHING back. They firstly didn't agree to photos from my photographer and complained to the matron. They then said they don’t agree to 2 people. We managed to argue the photos as “every Partner” when in theatre takes pics. We tried to fight it so that both Adam and Hannah could be with me with no prevail. Adam, then said right, ok. The photographer is going in then… I told him that he really didn’t need to do that and his response was that he really wanted to capture memories. So it was agreed Hannah would capture the birth and then Adam would swap with her after George was born.



As I walked into the theatre room it HIT ME! It was the same room Charlie was born. The same room that reminded me of my mum who passed away whilst Charlie was in my belly. The same room that I felt so connected with her. I became overwhelmed and started using breath work to create calm. It was SO hard to keep it together. I connected to my strength and told myself just how strong I was and that this strength didn't mean I had to hold it all in. I could surrender and I did. I allowed my emotions to flow and I allowed myself to feel.


Keeping it together


My childhood flashed before my eyes. They inserted the spinal block and I started to feel the tingle. It rose up my body like a flush of warm water. The room was calm, the outer lights were dimmed, music was playing and I laid there in anticipation. Emotions started to flood my mind, I felt like I couldn’t breathe for a moment. I took back my power as Hannah held me and I closed my eyes.


Just then my whole childhood with my mum flashed before my eyes like a film reel. My mum has passed away during my first pregnancy with Charlie. The visions in that moment were so fast and intense. Like a spinning wheel. Picture after picture. Memory after memory. I then saw my Mum just before I heard them say he’s coming. Gloves at the ready they lowered the screen. I can’t see I can’t see I cried.


I reached down and there he was

My arms were guided towards him and as my hands surrounded his body I felt a sense of power. I can remember the feeling of my gloves on his warm skin. I remember feeling the slight heaviness of pulling him out. Wow. He still looked as though he didn't know he was born. Just calm. I then bought him to my chest and held him close. He was so alert then and let out a cry.


I had a caesarean lotus birth which means my placenta was delivered with baby so that the cord could be left attached to him until it was completely white. I made the decisions that my baby was not touched or taken away from me. He was not wiped at all and I had organised vaginal seeding for him to protect his Microbiome. (This is when a gauze is inserted into your vagina before hand and then removed after and wiped over baby) this is what they'd receive should they have gone through the birth canal.



Trusting Instincts


Why had my GUT told me something wasn’t right. What was going on inside of my body? Upon opening me up there was a fair amount of free fluid in my abdomen, this particular instance it’s believed to have been the pressure.


The lower part of the uterus had become extremely thinned - which means the contractions had been doing some hard graft, pulling up the muscles. My uterus was literally in the position to push my baby out! Whattt! I knew it! But usually during this process throughout labour those muscles pull up and dilate the cervix whilst helping baby down.


In my case baby had not been moving down at all and dilation had been stuck. George was in a good position but for some reason was obstructed (He was only 8lbs 4) My consultant explained if I had agreed to induction or if I’d have carried on contracting in that way for any longer I would have most likely ruptured my previous c section scar. The odds of this happening is VERY LOW! Like statistically 0.4%, I was the statistic in this story in many ways, but my body knew.


We've since found that I have. Hyper tonic pelvic floor. Severely tight muscles due to my hardcore dance career as a child and training with the royal ballet. The tightness of my pelvic floor and surrounding tightness and issues with facia meant that George couldn't move down and we think now maybe why the uterus just wasn't playing with the cervix. The lumps are still a little unknown but are being linked to scaring from the continued pressure and pulling up of those muscles as a child.


Navigating my journey


I didn’t get all these choices by chance. I trusted myself radically, Id worked on my mindset and I was so connected to my baby. I used my own work and principles to become so informed and have open and honest conversations from the beginning with my care providers. I ensured I had care providers who were supportive. And I removed any that we’re not. I covered all options and all bases and even though I didn’t get the birth I wanted I can safely say I made all my decisions with confidence and gut instinct. Techniques are just the surface, if you really want to IGNITE your power and feel like a bad bitch doing so you absolutely can! And it's starts with YOU.


536 views1 comment

댓글 1개


Dee Takamizawa
Dee Takamizawa
3월 30일

Fascinating and inspiring post, thank you so much for sharing ❤️

좋아요

GENERAL

APP

FAQs

BIRTH

LINKS & RESOURCES

BIRTH RIGHTS

EVERYTHING ABOUT BIRTH AND PREGNANCY. CLICK TO READ MORE!

FIRST TIME MUMS

HOME BIRTH

POSITIVE AFTER TRAUMA

VBAC

TWINS & MULTIPLES

POSITIVE CAESAREAN BIRTH

FREEBIRTH

BREECH BIRTH

POSITIVE INDUCTION

Knowledge Base

Blog

Birth Stories

bottom of page