Maimuna had two previous cesareans for failure to progress (a medical term for when the cervix has not fully dilated at the time of deciding upon a cesarean birth). After multiple failed attempts to insert an epidural before one of her operations, the surgeon decided to perform her second cesarean under General Anaesthetic. Baby arrived safely, but Mai herself was traumatised, and her husband Abdullah even more so. When they discovered they were expecting their third child they were terrified.
Mai hired me to process the emotional pain of the past birth and create a vision of how she would cope when she went into labour this time round. She booked 5 antenatal sessions and discovered:
- her legal rights in labour
- powerful knowledge to make her own decisions
- a tool to interact with staff politely and assertively
We also talked thoroughly through her previous experiences, and drew on homeopathic remedies that would help her release the overwhelm of the past and bring her to the calm power of now. Through affirmations and birth art Maimuna visualised EXACTLY how she wanted her next birth to be.
Maimuna and Abdullah asked if I would accompany them for the labour and birth. During labour Mai used her affirmations, called upon guided EFT and homeopathic support, and also enjoyed massage and hand holding. Abdullah was able to step into a new role of simply loving Mai by being present, without worrying that he had to take on anything ‘gory’ as he put it.
Mai’s labour was longer than she wanted it to be, and she and Abdullah were terrified that she would have another cesarean birth, but with pulsatilla, encouragement, and some strong hip squeezes from Abdullah, Mai was doing really well. By tracking the heartbeat with a handheld sonicaid (no belts!) the midwife could reassure her that their baby girl was steadily making progress towards birth.
Mai had a consistent and steady back labour throughout, possibly due to her daughter’s posterior position, and eventually she decided that she wanted to try an epidural. She, better than anyone, knew all the risks, yet her instinct was pulling her towards this decision. As Abdullah sat down and breathed calmly with a kindly midwife, Mai and I cuddled into each other to take the position she needed for the epidural.
This time it worked.
The epidural at this birth was cathartic. It completed a circle for Mai. Instead of running from her fear she leaned into it and reframed the meaning of this intervention to make it work for her rather than against.
Within the hour their daughter arrived safely without any mechanical assistance, and no tears to Mai’s perineum. The epidural had bridged a gap for Mai and she’d walked into motherhood shining. They were ecstatic.
Mai said she’s never felt so victorious in her life, and Abdullah was beyond proud of her determination and stamina. He expressed that with doula support he had felt able to be present in the birthing room with all the triggers, smells and memories, and he was infinitely grateful to be left with a new memory of his wife: radiantly strong and glowing.