Client birth stories

I have been very fortunate to support people through many different types of birth. What I've learned is, birth sometimes doesn't go exactly as planned - but that's okay. A positive experience comes from having a solid understanding of your choices, confidence in your decisions and a team who will inform you, listen to your wishes carefully and give you the respect you deserve.

These stories have been written by me and posted with kind permission from previous clients.

POSITIVE INDUCTION AT KINGS COLLEGE, LONDON

It’s weird leaving hospital following a birth. The jolt back to reality after the timeless, surreal intensity of labour is startling. Remembering that a whole world exists outside the labour room; a world completely oblivious to the extraordinary transformation that’s just taken place - is insane.

It’s hard to put into words what happens during birth, because it’s an experience. A spiritual one at that. I think Jana Studelska describes it best in her article “the last days of pregnancy, a place of inbetween” when she says:
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“To give birth, a woman must go to the space between this world and the next; to that thin membrane between here and there. To the place where life comes from, to the mystery, in order to reach over and bring forth the child that is hers. The heroic tales of Odysseus are with us each ordinary day. This round woman is not going into battle, but she is going to the edge of her being, where every resource she has will be called on to assist in this journey.”
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That’s exactly what I witnessed yesterday and last night. While London went about its business just like it always does, a woman in a room on the labour ward at Kings travelled to the edges of herself, far beyond what she thought was possible, to claim her baby. It was powerful and extraordinary.
 

VAGINAL BIRTH AFTER CAESARIAN (VABC) WATER BIRTH AT KINGS COLLEGE, LONDON

A beautiful thing happened last night: a woman walked through her fear and took her power back to have the birth she had hoped for, but was robbed of, last time - almost exactly 3 years ago in the room adjacent to this one.

We did lots of preparation in the weeks leading up to her birth and when the time came, her husband, midwife and I set the scene for an oxytocin fuelled VBAC (vaginal birth after Caesarian). My client climbed into the candle lit pool when she felt it was time. Then bravely surrendered to her body while it took care of the rest.

There’s a lot of fear surrounding VBAC but it need not be that way, as my client showed us all last night. Hospitals usually have certain procedures in place for VBACs but she wasn’t interested in being treated as high risk. She wanted to do things her way. And she did.

She felt every inch of her baby as he made his way into the world, describing what she felt in ways I’ve never heard before. She instinctively knew what she needed to do in order to meet her baby. And despite waves of fear and panic as her body made a journey beyond what it had ever experienced before, she found her centre, held her nerve and did it.

What’s more, deep down, she knew she could do it. And because we were able to listen to her, we all knew she could too.

It might sound strange, but If we listen to the people who are actually giving birth, exceptional things can happen. It’s a simple technique that sometimes feels like it’s got lost down the track in maternity care.

If you’d like to find out more about your VBAC choices, I urge you to read the book published by AIMS.
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"Laura supported us during my labour and we ended up with an amazing water birth. A truly inspiring experience."

"Laura made the journey towards our second birth a more positive and chilled one. At the birth she was instrumental to me getting through it. We managed to have the birth we wanted"

GENTLE WATER BIRTH AT HOME

It’s hard to put into words how extraordinary this little guys entrance into the world was.

Once her birthing space and team were in place, his mum went deep within her body and found the trust and surrender she needed to let it do its job. Watching her breath him out, into water, in the safety of her own home, was simply beautiful. He was so chilled out when he arrived, and so connected to his mama’s heart beat, he barely cried.

I’m making it sound easy, but that ability to let go and trust the process, through intense contractions and natural adrenaline spikes where your brain starts telling you everything is wrong takes monumental primal strength. As always, I’m so proud and in awe of this mama. 

HOME BIRTH AFTER CAESARIAN (HBAC)

The woman of this house is my hero, not just because of her incredible wallpaper choices (cheetahs!) but more so, her extraordinary - and I mean, *mind blowing* resilience.

After a 3 week lead up of stop start contractions, she finally went into labour on Sunday night and after a very short, extremely intense and powerful labour, gave birth to a gorgeous little girl, in her home, on her terms.
 

"My second delivery was an emergency c section, and although definitely not the plan, was still the controlled and calm birth I was hoping for. Laura was with me in theatre and it felt like I had a good friend on my side."

GENTLE CAESARIAN AT EAST SURREY HOSPITAL

I supported second time mama, Jo, with her emergency Caesarian birth on Friday morning. She started labouring spontaneously overnight and felt that something was wrong, so trusted her gut and went to hospital. They checked her and found that baby was in transverse position and everyone agreed Caesarian was the best way forward.

This wasn’t what Jo had expected, or planned for, but once she’d wrapped her head around it, saw it as an opportunity for a new experience, while powering through her contractions like a boss.

The medical team were amazing. They made Jo feel like the most important person in the room making it clear that she was in control. Consent was sought every step of the way; she called the shots. And when she ran through her plan for a family centred Caesarian, the midwives and doctors not only agreed, but told her it was already hospital procedure 🥰

So, with hushed, respectful voices, Jo’s birth playlist playing softly in the background, monitors on her back instead of her chest, arm out of her gown ready for skin to skin, screen dropped down as baby was born and delayed cord clamping, she gave birth through her belly and very calmly met her blissed out baby girl, Edith.

Edith arrived a little startled and needed some TLC from the paediatrician, so the plan couldn’t be followed to the letter, but Jo was informed the whole time and comfortable with what was happening. When Edith was ready, they had glorious hour of uninterrupted skin to skin together😊

Jo made the very best decisions for herself and her baby as her birth progressed and remained in control every step of the way. She says that unlike with her first birth which was very fast and disempowering, Edith’s birth felt calm, controlled and the best possible start to life as a mum of two.

It was a real honour to be invited into Jo’s birth space. She taught me that the path to birth doesn’t always go to plan, but If mum’s mindset is supported and her decisions treated with compassion and respect, a positive birth experience is absolutely possible.

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©2018 by Laura Scarlett Doula