Birth Story | Charlene Cong shares her positive caesarean birth story

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,

Nadine xx

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!”

 

Charlene cong baby story pic of baby

 

Caesarean Birth Story | The Birth of Harvey – By Maree

Giving birth always ask something of us – no matter which way it goes (caesarean or vaginal) – because it is a rite of passage. And rites of passage require change, transformation and are always challenging in one way or another.

Our unique She Births® tools and principles are applicable to all birth scenarios.  Read on to find out how Maree utilised our She Births® breathing and visualisation techniques and a positive mindset in the beautiful birth story of her son Harvey – delivered by caesarean…

In our NEW caesarean information pack for She Births® couples, we provide useful content to help every family embrace their baby on their birthing day with the greatest love and connection – because that is what it is all about! Who we are being on the day is far more important than what is happening. It is our feelings, our emotions and our love that gets transmitted and imprinted on birthing day for not only us, but our babies too.

Love and gratitude,

Nadine xxx

P.S. If you experienced a caesarean using our She Births® techniques, we would love to hear from you. Send us an email.

 

Maree’s caesarean birth was not part of the plan, but her ready acceptance of her birth journey only increased the joy of her son’s arrival.

Describe your birth experience in 3 words:

Intense, magical and so much love!

How did you prepare for birth?

My birth preparation consisted of completing She Births®, reading books, relaxing and doing anything that made me happy to release oxytocin e.g. mediation, getting the baby room ready and spending time with family and friends. Looking back, it was an awesome time despite being uncomfortable waddling around.

How did your labour start?

It was about 10pm and I woke up as my waters broke. When I first went into labour I was 36 weeks and 5 days. My obstetrician had predicted that I wouldn’t go into labour before 38 weeks, so I didn’t even have my bags packed. It would have been comical to see my husband and I running through the house frantically packing while trying not to slip with my waters gushing everywhere.

How did you bring your baby into the world?

I had a long and very intense posterior birth. I used all the breathing techniques from She Births® which helped sooo much with the pain. I definitely got in touch with my inner goddess, channelling all my focus into getting bubba out.

However, as he was posterior and I wasn’t progressing past 9cm, I ended up needing a caesarean.

The most positive aspect of my birth was I was really content about it. If it wasn’t for She Births® I would have been really disappointed by this outcome as I really wanted a natural, vaginal birth – but the course empowered me to go with the flow. It gave my husband and I the tools to make the best decisions possible given our birthing circumstances on the day.

Who supported you throughout labour and the birth?

My darling husband Paul, my amazing obstetrician Matt, and my unbelievable midwife Trish! They were phenomenal and so supportive through the whole birth.

What was the most challenging part of the birth?

Definitely when I ended up choosing to get an epidural and it didn’t work. Mentally, I think that made things so much more intense. It then led me to a crossroads and I needed to come to terms with needing a caesarean when 12 hours into labour he wasn’t coming anytime soon.

What most helped you during labour and birth?

Definitely the She Births® breathing techniques and visualisations.

What did you learn about yourself from your birth experience?

I am powerful beyond measure, I am strong, brave and so positive.

Jasper’s Birth – The humanity of She Births®…the impact on our relationship

Hi Nadine,

I am writing to you this time with the happiness of hands filled with our fresh little newborn born.

On Saturday 20th Dimitra gave birth to a gorgeous little boy of 4.0 kilos, 59cm that we know as Jasper Finlayson.

Her labour began late Thursday/early Friday and was prelabour until about 3pm Friday afternoon. Contractions gradually got stronger and longer as we practised the fantastic exercises you armed us with. We laboured at home for hours with calming music and candles, while using acupressure points that Dimitra found to be very effective with the increasing intensity. Her waters broke at home at about 11pm that night and so we decided to go in.

We also had to glorious pleasure of having her cousin Diana in the room with us who was marvellous for our She Births energy. Dimitra laboured for hours through the night with such composure the midwives were shocked at how dialated she was. She quite easily dialated to 9cm and 10 during contractions but unfortunately Jasper was posterior and couldn’t move into position notwithstanding her efforts. He had been posterior late through 3rd trimester and acupuncture and some home techniques had helped him move, but he couldn’t quite make it around when it mattered.

Both Dimitra and Jasper were so calm all throughout until 1030 on Saturday morning when exhaustion took over and contractions began to slow down. As less happened her cervix began to swell and so a vaginal birth was becoming less achievable. With all attempts made, we agreed to have a caesar to get him out to the world and we finally had some beautiful skin to skin time (both of us) and he has been breastfeeding consistently since!

I cannot sing enough praises for the techniques, mentality and humanity of She Births and what you provide for expectant couples. It prepared us both so immensely that Dimitra was the image of a loved and relaxed labour. Though the final step was not the ideal finish, it was the step that gave us our baby boy and Dimitra is happy with that decision.

Thanks again for everything your teachings have done for our baby and our relationship during pregnancy and forever after.

Many thanks,
Jasper, Dimitra and Andrew

Freya’s Birth – A beautiful caesarean

She Births was really fantastic for me and Nick. Nick really got alot out of it and thought you were a really special teacher too. The women’s circle in between was amazing and has totally shifted my energy – so we are big fans of you. Think you are a intelligent, sensitive and intuitive spirit and will most certainly recommend the course to others…

Our birth story:

I was certain my baby daughter would come early so I made sure I was totally prepared at around 36 weeks. Bub had been engaged from around 30 weeks and my belly had dropped down low. I was doing regular yoga and swimming and felt confident that the birth would be good. I felt strong in my body, knew my body well and had a good relationship with it. I had some fears around being a mother but I knew I was relatively fearless around the actual birth. I felt excited about it.

I had this amazing foundation of feeling confident and armed with techniques and skills thanks to She Births, so even though the birth took some unexpected turns, I still felt empowered and great about our experience. I am very grateful for our whole birth experience, Freyja was actually born via caesarean section.

At 10 days overdue I had tried everything to bring on the labour; curries, the eggplant parmigiana from the She Births library (which is seriously delicious), acupuncture, walking up and down stairs Bondi to Bronte and back again and sex (way more than either of us wanted at this time). I finally had a teaspoon of castor oil and bingo the waters broke within half an hour.

I had been getting internal examinations from the midwives for the past 6 weeks and they had all assured me my cervix was paper thin and they could feel the babies head easily – I must be close. They had all mentioned that the opening of the cervix did however feel scarred and that it had not dilated yet. But I was not worried – I was ready and excited. The scarring was from an old fashioined style of cone biopsy I had when I was 17 years old. That type of procedure is now outdated but can sometimes heal by fusing the opening of the cervix.

The labour played well for the first 12 hours, gentle contractions, really enjoyable surges. My doula dropped over and gave me acupuncture to help things move along. I went to the birth centre to be checked and suddenly bub moved from being engaged to being side on. A doctor was called in and Nick looked worried and for the first time I felt scared. My cervix still had no opening and I was moved to the delivery suite. I was checked again after I emptied my bladder and she engaged again and everyone relaxed a little. The doctor recommended I stay at the hospital and go on the syntocinon to keep things moving while she was engaged (as it was clear there was room for her to disengage and I realised she had been doing this a lot – once I was aware of the change of shape). I felt this was a good idea even though I had been completely anti- synto up to this point. It felt the safest option for bubba.

My doula arrived and we set up the room so it felt homely with music and scents. The pressure from the synto was strong and so my focus immediately went within. The outside world was less important, kind of blurry. I remember different midwives and doctors passing through vaguely. I just focused on opening the cervix and breathing deeply, bouncing and stretching over the fitball.

I kept visualising my cervix opening like a flower but every time I imagined it there was a block of some sort. I went deeper within. I started to feel that for some reason the cervix would not open. After 5 hours I asked a doctor to examine my cervix. I said to Nick and my doula if my cervix had opened slightly I would continue, but if they still could not find an opening I must change tactics. All up I had been in labour for around 20 hours so I felt there must be ‘some kind of opening’ to my cervix. I had gone deep into the labour and I felt fearless, ready and strong. There was nothing I could find in myself that was holding me back. The doctor said she could find no opening, just scar tissue. She suggested this happens to some women after that surgery and sadly the only way forward was a caesarean.

By this point I had moved into the birthing pool – still with the synto. Bubba had had some irregular heartbeats. I was still very deep within not really speaking to anyone, I knew Nick and Naomi (doula) and Heidi (midwive) were in the room but I was deeply searching out what was the right thing to do through very fast contractions. They stayed calm and really supported me on this journey.

I suddenly stepped out of the bath and very loudly said “I know my body well. I would never choose a caesarean unless it was the only way. And I know this is going to be the only way. My cervix will not open and it’s OK. We have tried our best and this is what we need to do for bubba now.”

Everyone agreed; the doctor, midwife, doula and Nick. It was clear as day. Then before we knew it bubba was on my chest breastfeeding to her little heart’s content. She has always been such a good feeder.

Still to this day I cannot connect with where that voice came from. It wasn’t my normal rational voice. But, I am told by everyone in the room, that it was very clear and very strong.

It felt right. It was right for me to surrender to how it was – rather than the ideal way I may have visualised. It was humbling and I felt great. And, it felt amazing to have our beautiful daughter with us, more than anything, healthy and divine.