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Assisted birth of Daniel due to transverse position of bub born 1st Sept 2010 (Fairfield Hospital)

When we first found out that we were expecting our second baby, we were filled with joy, excitement and anticipation, together with a lot of anxiousness about how the birth would be.  After the very traumatic birthing experience we had 6 years earlier when our first child, Charlotte, was born, followed by my lengthy bout of post-natal depression and many challenging health issues, we were told that the chances of having another child would be near impossible without medical assistance such as IVF.  So news of this surprise miracle baby made us realise that we should be better prepared for the birth, so that he could hopefully be welcomed into the world in the best possible way – a calm, stress free birth, although we were not actually sure how we could achieve this, especially as we would be utilising the Public Hospital system. 

A good friend had heard about the role Doulas can play in assisting parents and families in the lead up to, during, and after the birth of a baby.  I was intrigued and contacted the Australian Doula College to find out more.  They put me in touch with Jenny of Simply Birthing Doulas. 

When we met Jenny, we felt instantly at ease with her and knew that she was the person we were looking for to assist us with the birth of our baby.  Our daughter also thought she was lovely, as did our very judgmental cats!!  Jenny explained to us how she could prepare us for the birth and assist during and afterwards as well.  Our discussions with her made us feel so much more confident and gave us hope that we could have more control where it was needed this time around.  Each of Jenny’s visits prior to the birth were invaluable to us.  We formulated a birth plan, which was a very empowering thing for us to do, as it enabled us to envision how we would like things to happen, rather than being told how things would happen.

Our baby boy, Daniel, had other ideas about the birth though, as he decided to position himself transversely (lying sideways) at 34 weeks and that is where he stayed for the next three weeks.  It was recommended by the Hospital staff that I have an elective caesarian at 38 weeks, to eliminate the risk of cord prolapse which can endanger baby Daniel’s life.  Of course, we agreed to the caesarian, which was scheduled to take place on 1 September 2010, the first day of spring!  Jenny visited us in the week prior to 1 September and gave me three doses of the Homeopathic Pulsatilla which can help shift the baby into the correct position.  Jenny also discussed breastfeeding and loaned us some wonderful books on the subject, which I found to be very helpful.

The Pulsatilla did not manage to entice Daniel into the correct position and as 1 September, loomed, we knew that surgical intervention was the only way that Daniel could be born safely. 

Jenny came to the hospital very early on the morning of 1 September 2010 to lend us some much needed support.  Unfortunately, it was very difficult to convince medical staff that her presence was warranted and we had to sweet talk our way around having her with us prior to surgery.  Common sense prevailed and eventually she was allowed to stay with us.  Jenny managed to calm our nerves and talk to us about everything that we wanted to talk about which was so wonderful because the nerves did not have a chance to creep in and ruin the moment.  Jenny stayed with us right up until I was wheeled into surgery.  Unfortunately, she was not able to be in the theatre with us for the actual birth, much to our dismay.  Whilst she was unable to support us directly in the theatre, she managed to meet up with my Mum and she ended up supporting my Mum in the waiting room.  She and my Mum had a wonderful chat about anything and everything, which my Mum found so comforting.  Baby Daniel John was born at 11.47am, weighing in at 3.81 kgs.  We were relieved that our baby boy had arrived safely and that we had managed to stay calm during the process! 

Thankfully, Jenny was able to visit us in the recovery room afterwards and she stayed with us until late into the afternoon until we came back to the Maternity Ward. 

Jenny sent some lovely encouraging text messages while I was in hospital for six days and she also visited us in the week after I returned home to discuss how everything was going and offer some great advice regarding recovery and breastfeeding, as well as settling techniques for Daniel, all of which proved to be so helpful. 

Overall I have to say that Jenny’s presence in our lives at this incredibly special time was the best thing for all of us, both individually, and collectively as a family.  Jenny also made our daughter feel very special and included her in all the discussions we had leading up to the birth.  I can honestly say that her involvement in Daniel’s birth was the best thing we could have done and I believe it has helped me avoid another bout of post-natal depression this time around, because she empowered us with such knowledge and confidence.  I would recommend Jenny to any parents-to-be and I will always treasure our experience with her.

 

Sharon, Michael, Charlotte and Daniel

xoxoxo