Here’s the wonderful Emma, sharing her story of birthing on her terms (something we could all live to benefit from!):

“When I became pregnant I was very quickly labelled “high risk” as I’d previously had a c section. I hated this! As far as I was concerned, there were no other complications – there had been three years between pregnancies, my baby was growing perfectly and I felt great – so why did my birth scar mean that I’m “high risk”? 

I chose to ignore the label and began doing some research on VBACs (vaginal birth after caesarean) but I found myself in the same predicament as I did in my first birth – I craved a home birth! How on earth would I get around that one?! I thought it was impossible to even think that I’d get that approved, having been through an emergency section with my son. 

But after some conversations with my community midwife, with independent midwife Clair MacVean and Keri, my hypnobirthing teacher, I realised that I actually did have options and the support was there if I chose to take it. 

So I went back to my research and weighed up the pros and cons. I looked at the figures and risks in detail, discussed with my husband and my midwife and came to the decision that a HBAC (home birth after caesarean) was my first choice of birth! 

My family thought I was mad! But I used my affirmation cards that I got from my group hypnobirthing course with Keri to keep things positive.

We had the pool set up from about 38 weeks and I was looking forward to using it. I visualised my baby greeting me in a dark, calm atmosphere at home with my husband and midwives there, my son asleep upstairs. And I looked forward to being able to wake him up and tell him his baby sister had arrived. 

But time crept on. I passed 40 weeks gestation and the hospital wanted to book me for induction. I reluctantly agreed, telling myself that my baby would come at the right time for her and that I still had time to birth at home. 

Then at 41 weeks I started to feel anxiety building and my chances of home birth slipping away. I realised that induction really wasn’t what I wanted and I feared that it would end in another emergency c section. I decided that if a c section was what was destined for me and my baby, I wanted it on MY terms.

So at my next appointment I asked my midwife to book me in for an elective c section. The relief was unreal! All my anxiety melted away. As it so happened, my midwife wasn’t able to get through to the consultant until the Friday of that week, and I was booked in for the following Tuesday. I had given my baby another 6 days to arrive naturally!

Two days before my section, I started to get mild surges overnight. I knew I was in the early stages of labour. This happened with my son, so I knew that I could be going for days yet. Feeling exhausted and fed up (and bloody hot, it was during that heat wave we had last summer!) I chose to go ahead with the c section anyway. I was so ready to meet my baby and I felt that she was ready to meet me too!

I had chosen a gentle section, our daughter emerged naturally at 40+13 and it was beautiful!”

Image of Ferne arriving via c-section

Thank you to Emma for sharing that inspiring story, it goes a long way to show how plans can change but birth can still be on your terms. If you’d like to learn more about hypnobirthing with Do It Like A Mother- then please head over to the Hypnobirthing With Us page to find a course that’s the best fit for you.