Calm Breath Save Me a Cesarean Birth
Michelle Leftwich shared her experience using HypnoBirthing techniques to bring down her body temperature and saved herself a cesarean at 36 weeks.
Aaron and I did the HypnoBirthing course leading up to the birth of our first child Felix in the second half of 2014. I had a fairly uneventful and healthy pregnancy up until 36 weeks when I contracted a viral infection. I was surprised to wake early one morning experiencing chills and a dull ache in my lower back. As I lay in bed for a few hours wondering if what I was experiencing was early labour. I tried not to panic. It was too early to be going into labour – Felix still had a few weeks of growing to do yet! After waking Aaron and things not improving, we decided it was best to present ourselves to the hospital.
After arriving at hospital everything started to move very quickly. It was discovered that I was running a high temperature and that our baby was under quite a lot of stress. Our Obstetrician informed us that if they could not bring my temperature down and Felix’s heartbeat was elevated to above 200 bpm at one point that we should prepare ourselves for an emergency caesarean. As they prepped us for surgery I was stressed and scared. We had half an hour to get the situation under control or Felix was being born today at least a month before he was due.
They put me on a drip, gave me some medicine to try to bring my temperature down and left us alone in the room. The heart rate monitor continued to scream Felix’s elevated heart rate. I could feel my emotions unraveling. My own heart was racing when Aaron hopped up onto the bed with me and prompted me to start the calm breathing technique we had learned in our Hypnobirthing class. We held each other and breathed focusing on calming our racing hearts and minds. As I started to relax, slowly Felix’s tiny, racing heart began to slow to a more normal pace.
It was amazing to watch. If I lost focus or started to get upset again Felix’s heart rate would instantly begin to climb. After half an hour, our obstetrician came back in to inform us that my temperature had come down sufficiently and that Felix had stabilised. It looked as though we had avoided an emergency caesarean for now. I spent the rest of the day and half of the next in hospital under observation but was eventually free to go home and continue on to full term.