LOUIS'S BIRTH ...with thanks to Helena & Michael

He has finally arrived – Louis Denis Martin Leonard (lots of family to honour – phew!) arrived at 10.37am on Thursday 3rd July, weighing in at 9lbs 1oz!

I ended up having a 'semi' planned c-section – we went for a scan last Wednesday, following declining the planned induction on my due date (July 1st), to check fluid, placenta, etc, and it turned out he was transverse (!), rather big (they thought 10lbs) and unlikely to move or be moved so they kept me in overnight and scheduled the op for the next day.

The c-section was not like I imagined and was actually rather relaxed – I was bright and alert throughout. They explained everything that was going to happen (without graphic details) and were very open to our requests to let the cord finish pulsating etc. Gave us the option to see the placenta but we declined! It was nothing like we planned – I had actually hoped for a home birth with water pool bought etc. – but I was very happy with the way it all went. I did lots of the calm and up breathing throughout and the night before I listened to the affirmations and relaxation which really helped a lot. Michael was really good too and did lots of light touch massage during the morning and throughout to keep me calm. I was obviously excited going in there but a bit anxious too and it all helped me focus on just keeping calm. I just felt happy in the procedure itself as knew I was going to see him really soon. They let Michael watch the birth from our side of the curtain (assured him he would just see the baby as he is as squeamish as me) and then held Louis over the curtain so I could see him too. The consultant and Michael even discussed the World Cup during the procedure!

Louis was completely chilled when he arrived and only let out a little cry a good while after he came out so didn't seem to upset about arriving into the world bottom first! They all commented on how relaxed he was. They then put him straight onto my chest for about 30mins in the theatre which was great.

Louis is as good as gold, so far, and is generally quite a chilled-out baby. They checked the abnormal ventriculomegaly scan readings and no further problems – they are more than happy, measured his skull etc. I think this child just likes to put me through it!

As I say, the 'labour' and birth were nothing like we planned and didn't get to put all our hypnobirthing skills to good use but I don't think I would have ever questioned the induction without doing your course or swapped midwives (I had two of the Brierley midwives plus one of the trainees at the operation and then they stayed well into the afternoon once they knew I was all sorted). I really enjoyed the course during my pregnancy and I really don't think I would have had the same calm experience during the c-section without it either.

Even though I did have some nerves, I never at any point felt scared and kept wondering when it might kick in. I would never have thought to question anything the medical team advised previously or have the confidence to wait for some more time and assess my own situation rather than go along with a specific date just because it was deemed to be my due date. I obviously wanted to hear the advice that the doctor was giving me but when she said she was going to book me in I asked if I could have a bit of time to think about it. She kind of grinned a bit of a knowing grin and then proceeded to pick out things from the last scan to further back up her argument to book me in. In the end, I let her book the appointment (she wasn't giving up) but said I was still going to go home and think about it/discuss with Michael and didn't understand why the 'issues' with the scan weren't raised before. I spoke with Michael who pointed out all the positives; I'd had a good pregnancy health wise, blood pressure had remained stable throughout even though they thought it would be high, I'd conceived naturally etc and I spoke with the midwife, who was so supportive.

We are so so happy with our new addition to the Leonard/O'Sullivan house!

I'm in touch with Sarah & Nicola a lot and plan to contact Sophie soon. Looking forward to our group catch up.

Thank you again for all your help & support.