We headed to Lausanne to meet Chloé, a sparkling mother of two children. We talked about her pregnancies and childbirths for a couple of hours. For Salomé, her first child, she didn’t know what a birth plan was. For Achille, yes. She wanted to give birth at home, but he was in a breech position. She had to mourn a physiological delivery that turned into a scheduled C-section. Chloe shares this disappointment and her guilt feeling.
Chloe, can you introduce yourself in a few words?
I arrived in Switzerland 10 years ago. I grew up in Lyon. After studies in visual communication and a first job in Paris, I worked for several years in communication agencies as a graphic designer and then artistic director.
I just celebrated my 32nd birthday. I have two children, Salomé soon 3 years old and Achille, 7 months old. I have always been passionate about the world of children whether it is children’s literature, furniture, clothing, toys… Absolutely EVERYTHING! I have often dreamed of opening a store and being able to select little gems for our babies, but I never had the guts to take the plunge. I am also in love with design and decoration. And last but not least, I love antique shopping and. I could spend hours strolling around in flea markets.
How were your 2 pregnancies ?
They were completely different. For Salomé, I wanted to know everything, prepare everything, anticipate everything and above all control everything. The pregnancy went well. I was followed by a gynecologist in Lausanne who, at the end of the pregnancy, sent my file to the maternity ward of the CHUV because that’s where I wanted to give birth.
For Achille, I let go, I was more relaxed. This time I wanted to have a home birth. On the advice of my midwife and a friend, I decided to change my gynecologists as it turned out that he was not very open to my choice and he repeatedly expressed his disapproval. This was not easy to do in the middle of my pregnancy. I finally found a pearl, who listened and was human. I recommend her to all my friends (smile)! I used to see her for the “important” ultrasounds but most of the time, I would see my midwife.
Did you prepare a birth plan both times?
For Salomé, I didn’t have one because I didn’t know what it was. My gynecologist hadn’t told me about it. I hadn’t decided anything about the epidural, telling myself that I would see how it goes depending on the pain. The only thing I wanted was to be able to take my baby out myself once his head and shoulders were out.
For Achille, I found out what a birth plan was and its importance thanks to my midwife. My husband and I were able to think it through and write it down thanks to her precious help.
Were your wishes/choices respected?
For Salomé, I was indeed able to take her out myself and cut her umbilical cord.
For Achille, yes and no. At 8 months of pregnancy, I understood that home birth would not be possible because it was breech. My midwife gave me moral support and told me that I could still have a birth plan for a cesarean. In the operating room, the medical team was extraordinary. All my wishes were respected (except for having a photographer present to immortalize the birth). Achille was put on me from the moment he was discharged until the end of the operation; the first breastfeeding was done in the operating room; the removal of a small piece of my placenta for placental homeopathy was done too as I had planned.
When you understood that you could not give birth at home, how did you feel?
Disappointment. It was in January. I had done several sessions of acupuncture, 1 session of osteopathy and I was doing exercises at home with unbelievable positions (laughter) so that the baby would turn around but nothing worked. He was still in a breech position.
So my gynecologist told me about EMV (External Manual Version). At 37SA, I went to the CHUV to do it. I had to try this manipulation; my only hope, to be able to give birth at home. It didn’t work and I was in a lot of pain. I made myself feel guilty by telling myself that I had not been brave enough, that I had not been able to relax enough for the doctors to be able to perform the maneuver successfully.
After making a pass on a home birth, I hoped to be able to give birth through the vaginal route. I had an MRI to make sure that the measurements (baby’s head and the size of my pelvis) allowed it. With the results in front of me, the gynecologist specialized in breech vaginal births told me that unfortunately, no. I had to do an MRI to verify that the measurements (baby’s head and pelvis size) were correct. Second disappointment! I was moving further and further away from the physiological delivery I had imagined.
And to top it all off, she announces that it will be a programmed caesarean section! There I cried (laughs). She didn’t want to take any risks since it was a second baby and the measurements were really not good. She gave me a date: Tuesday February 11th at 8:20am. Once set, I accepted all these changes pretty well. Until the day before the C-section when the stress took over… I didn’t want to go anymore. I cried a lot. On the morning of the operation I was able to hide my swollen eyes thanks to a remnant of conjunctivitis (laughs).
Did you feel supported in all your choices?
I didn’t feel that I had much support from my family because even though they respected my desire to give birth at home, they were worried. They were finally reassured to know that I would give birth at the CHUV. My husband was very present as well as my midwife and my gynecologist. I also talked quite a bit with mothers on Instagram who had experienced EBV or a breech situation. These discussions helped me a lot.
Do you have any traumatic memories from this second delivery?
Not at all, on the contrary. I had a great C-section (smile). The team in the O.R. was incredible. We laughed, we cried, we made predictions about the sex of the baby (laughs). I was able to have my baby on me right away and until the end of the operation. My husband was able to immortalize the birth by taking a few pictures. I have a wonderful memory of meeting my little boy.
What advice would you give to a mother-to-be who is thinking about her birth plan?
Don’t hesitate to write down absolutely EVERYTHING she wants and EVERYTHING she doesn’t want, without taboos! I would also advise expectant mothers to keep in a corner of their head that at any moment it may not happen as planned; and to prepare themselves to accept it and live it better if it ever happens. And finally, not to minimize the caesarean section, which is still a major operation. We must be aware of this.
If you had to define motherhood in one word?
Undefinable. Motherhood is different from one day to the next, from one child to the next, from one mother to the next… It is unique to each one.
Tes pYour “Must Have” mommy products on a daily basis?
- A woolen blanket – hand knitted or from Petit Stellou
- A cuddly toy with a hot water bottle Senger Naturwelt
- A onezie DAY+NIGHT Bonjour Little
- The skin care products (without perfume) Cocooning Cosmetic Bio
- A merino cap (ideal summer/winter) Alpes du Sud Mérinos
- A nursing t-shirt Tajine Banane
- A tote bag Studio Noos from Cherry Baby Store
- A baby carrier Artipoppe
- Healthy snacks Jolly Mama
- A good bottle of sparkling wine Vins de la Ville de Lausanne
The place to go kids friendly in Lausanne ?
Ohhh there are several! For a summer snack, I would say the Folie Voltaire with its playground, stones, pancakes and ice cream. For a coffee and a good breakfast, I would say the Café Grancy. For a shopping session with lots of gift ideas, I would say the Nuage store. For a good hot chocolate in winter, I would say l’Atelier des Gourmands and its delicious pastries. For a family restaurant, I would say the Brasserie Montbenon.
Chloe, what can we wish you the best today for tomorrow?
Ahhh the question I don’t have an answer to (laughs)! I would say to wish me to always do my best for my family and myself; to make mistakes, to try, to learn; and to always move forward. And also, to have a LOT of laughter!
From you to us…
Because we want to get to know you and be able to share your tips with our Mothers-to-be, tell us where you gave birth/want to give birth? How was your experience?
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