Birthing by caesarean section takes courage and stamina, requires love and support and of course the most important principle of birth, faith.
Most times during birth we need to have faith in nature and our amazing bodies. but when there is a change of plan or things become complicated we must also foster faith in those around us and their very skilled hands. Faith is always there for you to choose during birth. It is the cornerstone principle of She Births® that every woman needs and yet only she can find in her own way. To birth our babies in a calm and connected way, in a proud and joyous way I suggest you find your way to faith and whatever that means for you.
One of the most fascinating and rewarding elements for us at She Births® is watching couples transform their fear of birth into positive anticipation and readiness to become parents. Our mission is to support you in making your birth beautiful, no matter how it unfolds. It is possible to create magical, heartfelt and loving births in all scenarios. So much is about preparation, mindset and our participation in the process.
This week, Charlene Cong shares her inspiring caesarean birth experience. We are so grateful to her for taking the time to share her experience and tips and are delighted how she achieved her beautiful birth.
Love and Gratitude,
Calm, positive and unforgettable: Charlene’s c-section birth
Charlene Cong was one prepared pregnant mama. Her pregnancy was spent listening to countless birth stories via podcasts, exercising regularly, and following a balanced diet. She would never have predicted her cesarean birth or how she felt afterwards.
Attending the She Births® course allowed Charlene to focus on addressing her anxiety and fears around birth.
“I wanted to gain confidence as well as have access to tools that would help my husband and I feel more prepared. I followed the She Births® recommendations including practising yoga and meditation, cutting out wheat and sugar towards the third trimester, and eating dates.”
But during the third trimester there was an unexpected development.
“Our baby’s head was measuring off the charts by the third trimester, and he started presenting in the frank breech position. I tried every trick on the Spinning Babies website, I had acupuncture 2-3 times a week, and we also tried moxibustion every day. Our baby was quite stubborn and refused to turn, so after several months preparing for a vaginal birth, we decided to take our obstetrician’s recommendation for a planned, family-friendly caesarean,” said Charlene.
Charlene admits at first she found it hard to accept the change in her pregnancy and birth journey – especially as she felt she and her husband had done everything they could to prepare for vaginal birth.
“I then had to prepare for an entirely different birth by firstly processing my emotions and grieving/letting go of the birth I envisioned,” said Charlene. “And I slowly accepted the idea of having a caesarean birth.”
This process was supported by Radha, Charlene’s She Births® mentor who provided a refresher lesson. And lots of learning on Charlene’s behalf:
“I watched numerous YouTube videos of family-friendly caesarean births (some were quite graphic!) and listened to specific caesarean birth stories via podcasts. I also read many articles on the recovery process and received a She Births® caesarean info pack.”
The big day finally arrives
All that learning paid off in the end, with Charlene and her husband enjoying a relaxed morning together – just the two of them.
“We made our way to hospital when it was time to check in and played our birth playlist in the car … We were bursting with excitement to meet our little one,” said Charlene.
When it came time to birth their son into the world, Charlene described the process as calm and joyful.
“It really helped that the medical staff were also calm throughout the process, and supportive of our birth plan. The gentle tunes of our birth playlist echoed through the theatre during the birth. I visualised taking a rocky boat on a journey to an island to meet our baby, with choppy waters that symbolised the sensations of pressure and tugging that I felt during his birth.
“I used horsey breaths as a way to counter the strong pressure and tugging, and my husband joined in even though we both sounded ridiculous! As soon as our son was lifted up, my husband and I were lucky enough to be able to reach out and touch our baby while he was still connected to me.”
A supportive birth partner and lots of horsey breaths!
Charlene said the most challenging part of her birth was accepting the decision for cesarean – but found once she let go, the process became easier. She also found her reading and podcast listening an invaluable part of the acceptance process.
“My research helped me to feel connected to the experience by understanding what was happening to my body even though I was not in control during the birth,” said Charlene.
“As I processed my emotions and fears, more emotional space became available to accept these change of plans and start framing our baby’s birth as a calm and beautiful journey.”
She also credits her husband for providing incredible support throughout the birth of their son.
“He was by my side throughout the entire process, starting with our journey to the hospital. He was even allowed to stay with me in the surgical preparation room as I was given my cannula, and also in theatre when I was given the spinal block.”
The supportive and respectful medical staff were also instrumental to Charlene’s calm and joyous birth experience:
“We couldn’t be happier that we achieved almost every part of our birth plan!”