Sara’s first birth had gone ‘catastrophically wrong’. She was living as an expat at the time and had come back to the UK to have her baby. It had been disorientating and she hadn’t felt prepared.

Sara was devastated in labour when told that her son had ‘worrying fetal tones’ and a cesarean was recommend. Since arriving at hospital she said she had felt completely powerless strapped to a bed and ‘at the mercy of the Drs’.

A spinal block was quickly sited but as surgery started Sara had an almightly panic attack and had to be put under General Anaesthetic mid-operation. She awoke to a great sense of disconnect and life as a mother seemed surreal, almost ‘fake’.

Despite this trauma Sara conceived again within the year. She contacted me to discuss her options as she had been told an elective cesarean was compulsory and she was in a total spin. Even the thought of being laid out on an operating table again was sending her into active panic attacks.

Sara needed several antenatal sessions to overcome her thought obstacles; to be able to imagine the possibility of a normal birth where she was alert and in control. At the same time she was scared about another emergency and took her time to make her decisions.

In the end Sara decided she would feel strongest if she prepared for a normal birth and spent as long as possible at home. She was living with her parents and siblings at the time and the setting did not feel private enough to have a homebirth, but she adopted a homebirth mindset.

When Sara called me during her labour she had been contracting for a few hours, and by the time I reached her 20 minutes later I wasn’t sure if she would get to hospital. She had reached inside herself and found a beautiful rhythm that was clearly taking her fast to full dilation. Sara was sure she wanted to be in hospital so we got going promptly.

On arrival at the hospital Sara was 9cms and feeling the urge to push. A very short time later Sara’s daughter arrived and was snuggled into her arms. They were both alert and could enjoy the natural newborn eye-gaze and nuzzles. She was grateful to end her childbearing with what she called ‘birth bliss’ and the knock on effect from this was a sense of healing and deeper bonding with her eldest child too.

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