In this episode, we meet Katherine, mother of two girls and living in the United Kingdom.
Baby Angela joins us for part of the episode, so we get to hear her cooing and playing in the background.
During her first birth and after over 24 hours in active labour, Katherine was no longer able to birth in the birth centre and transferred into hospital care.
Meconium was seen in the waters which meant she had CTG monitoring and her care was transferred over to OBGYNS.
She managed by using gas and air for a while before asking for and having an epidural.
Katherine started showing signs of illness (pyrexia, bringing up bile, losing clarity & focus) which were identified as signs of an internal infection and suspected sepsis.
An emergency caesarean was then arranged and Katherine was in and out of consciousness.
Both Katherine and the baby stayed in the hospital for a whole week. The recovery was rough, and it took me months to realise she had birth trauma.
In particular, she was distressed by her missing memories.
Katherine did a lot of preparation for her HBAC – She sought counselling, had a birth reflections session, spent time in prayer, informed herself about VBACs, waterbirth & physiological labour, and had to fight for the birth she wanted as she was classed as high-risk due to the emergency caesarean & PPH.
Katherine planned for a homebirth with her second baby Angela and was able to have a publicly funded prenatal care & birth with the NHS in the UK.
Seeing midwives through her care she planned and prepared for a calm and gentle homebirth.
She went into labour at 41 weeks.
During the labour she used hypnobirthing breathing techniques, and also offered prayers during contractions for various intentions.
Eventually, she was told she had to come out of the pool as the baby’s heart rate was raised.
An ambulance was called but not used. She transferred to the sofa and consented to an episiotomy.
She had no tearing and felt like an absolute superhero when her baby was placed onto her chest.
Katherine hopes other mums who have had a difficult previous birth can find some hope & confidence in her story, and that some of their fear regarding giving birth again may be relieved.