Marie-Christine contacted me late in pregnancy after she had researched the possibility of a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) and felt the need for some additional support. She had a c-section date already booked but a deep longing for a vaginal birth meant she cancelled and focused all her efforts on her VBAC. We met for our prenatal appointments and some extra coffee dates, we worked on birth preferences and finding physical support with acupuncture, yoga and chiropractic care. She was firm in her desire as she approached the original c-section date and opted for extra monitoring and scans to keep an eye on baby. However after 40 weeks the volume of amniotic fluid around her baby dramatically increased in a short period of time (potential polyhydramnios) the risk of cord prolapse (the umbilical cord moving between baby's head and the cervix and being compressed by contractions - a true emergency) increased significantly as baby's head was still high. It was such a difficult decision for her and her partner to make. They decided it was best for their baby to be born via c-section than to risk spontaneous rupture of membranes and prolapse.
This is where birth plan B came into play. Marie-Christine wanted a birth, not just a procedure, she wanted to see her baby emerge, optimal cord clamping, skin on skin immediately and vaginal seeding (to help with optimal gut health). There was definitely discussions to be had - these were not the 'standard' practices for a caesarean birth - thankfully she was well educated, well supported and we had a fantastic midwife to advocate for the family.
As you will see below, Marie-Christine was able to see her baby be born (even showing he was a boy with a huge wee on the way out!), he was given time to receive his stem cell and iron rich blood (a theater nurse even stroking his hand gently as we all waited), his cord was cut and he was placed skin on skin immediately (without the usual pediatrician checks and being wrapped in blankets). After a quick check over Matthias was returned to his mother and then it was Daddy's turn for snuggles. Altogether he stayed skin on skin or in his parents arms for the first 24 hours.
Even though events didn't go as hoped, Marie-Christine feels positive about her experience, she was educated and supported in her decisions. Her postpartum healing was much different than her first c-section, she encapsulated her placenta, had support systems in place for coming home and I was there to give her a massage, run her a magnesium bath to have with her baby and we closed her pregnancy journey with a closing the bones ceremony.