I had the pleasure of connecting with Cécile Devroye, a new Mom here in Luxembourg, first at our Positive Birth Movement Luxembourg meetup. With her little baby in tow, Cécile shared her incredible birth story with us all.
A huge part of my work as a Birth Doula and Childbirth Educator is informing clients of their options and helping them make decisions they are comfortable with, centred on the best evidenced based information. When I heard Cécile’s story I knew it was an anecdote I would hold on to, I was proud of her. Proud that she knew she had options and trusted her inner voice. We knew we needed to help others hear her story, too.
Here at Luxmama, we are passionate about many things. Our focus and main awareness pillars are Birth Rights (or Human Rights in Childbirth), Green Parenting and Perinatal Mental Health. While we have been focusing on the doula aspect of Birth Rights with our current #choice2haveadoula campaign, this is not exclusive! There are so many different ways we hope to help parents know their rights in childbirth and always encourage respectful communication with medical care providers.
In hearing Cécile’s story, we hope that you too will ask questions and get a second opinion if necessary. Trust your instincts and “be free” to not blindly follow what is expected. Take control of your experience and make it your own, it’s one you will remember for a lifetime.
Read the interview here:
Erin (E), Cecile (C)
E- This morning we will be talking about your birth and the unique experience you had here in Luxembourg and subsequently in Amsterdam where Sara was born. But first, I would love to hear a little about you and your philosophy when it comes to birth.
C- I believe in trusting our bodies and that birth is the most natural human experience. As women, we have a very strong intuition when it comes to being a mother and how we decide to have our babies. Mother instinct. It is important to listen to ourselves and our feelings. My dream was to give birth in water and even in Nature. I would have even considered giving birth with Dolphins in the wild.
I had the chance to read a beautiful book “La Naissance, un voyage” about a woman who traveled around the world and was present in several natural childbirths in Mexico, India, Brazil, Africa. So many inspiring stories. It made me realise that there are many ways in giving birth not only what doctors in a traditional hospital will tell you that this is a normal procedure. There is no such thing. It is all about your own story and your baby’s story too.
E- That’s a great philosophy. Women have been doing this since the beginning of time. In my opinion, birth is natures work at its finest.
E- What can you tell us about your pregnancy?
C- Despite my age (I am 46 years old) I knew deep inside that I would become a mother one day. And when you want something really strongly, I believe that all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it. It doesn’t matter how… it is all about the will and the right timing. I become a mother at the right moment. I was working on my own projects but not as an employee. When I knew I was pregnant I felt honoured to have been chosen as a mother. I did not want to have too many ultrasound tests. I had only 2 at the right beginning, then a 3rd one at my 32 weeks and I found out that it was a “she”. I felt so happy and blessed. My pregnancy went well although I felt some pain in my ribs and I later learned that this was because of her position inside – she was in breech . Because of her position, I had another echo at my 37 weeks when the doctor told me that my baby was “under the growth-curve” and that I had to decide nearly on that same day for a scheduled caesarean. He was quite harsh and frightening. He even told me that my baby could die in my belly… A midwife discouraged me from even thinking about natural birth with a breech baby because “they would have to break my pelvis”, and it put Sara at risk for being disabled.
They even said that if I didn’t follow their advice, I would be putting them in jail – I understood that they were worried about their reputation and that it was their fear not mine. I was a first time Mom, and if I had have been younger I might not have been as confident to stand up to them…
I was shocked but even more outraged by the way they talked to me. It was so threatening but I could in the end come back to my senses and I immediately went to see another doctor for a second opinion who told me that everything was fine and that she was just a smaller baby.
E- It’s great that you trusted your instincts and decided to get a second opinion. That is always an option. So, you mentioned Sara’s position causing you some discomfort during your pregnancy. To explain, this is because she was in a breech position, which means she was resting bottom down instead of head down. What happened from this point?
C- I tried several things to invite Sara to turn down : I went to prenatal yoga classes where I learned some posture to help out. I tried moxabustion [the Chinese Medicine technique of burning moxa (dried mugwort) known to encourage babies to turn] but it didn’t work out. I talked and sang to her. In the end she was happy and comfortable where she was. Someone once told me that the reason she stayed in breech was because she wanted to be close to my heart which is a very sweet sentiment.
I heard that in the whole country there were sadly only two doctors who are known to support a breech position delivery, but one of them was the one I had a bad experience with and who suggested a caesarean birth at 37 weeks and the other one is practicing in the same cabinet and was actually on holiday.
I believe that everything happens for a reason and Sara had certainly her reason to stay in breech – maybe she wanted to be born in Amsterdam.
E- That’s so true; we know babies have their own intuitions already in the womb. Tell us about your choice to give birth in the Netherlands, and the process.
C- There was no way for me to decide for a C-section (which was my only option in Luxembourg). I was still convinced that I could give birth naturally. So, I escaped Luxembourg when I was 41 weeks pregnant (11 days past my estimated due date) and I went to Amsterdam It was a last minute decision and while we were traveling by car, I was looking for a place to stay that I finally managed to find. When we arrived in Amsterdam, we went directly to the birth hotel where I met an amazing lady who directly arranged an appointment with the hospital. I knew I was at the right place as soon as they told me that they were experts in breech delivery. All of the doctors, midwives, obstetricians were women and they were so great and welcoming. As Oprah Winfrey said “life speaks to you every day.” Whatever you decide in life and the choices you make you will get your answers.
E- Wow it’s great that you felt so welcome. What can you share with us about Sara’s birth?
C- I was in good hands and I trusted the doctors right away. I dreamed of giving birth in water and I ended up having quite a medicalized birth, but as soon as you realize that this is the moment for your baby to come, there is no important dream anymore, the most important thing is to see your baby arriving safely. I am happy that I was able to give birth naturally without having to have surgery and I was thankful for the excellent team (doctors and midwifes) in Amsterdam who helped us throughout. We received excellent care. Sara spent one night in the neonatal unit but she was with me the next morning.
E- Is there anything else you would like to share with us?
C- Yes. I deeply encourage every mother-to-be and anyone else to listen to their inner voice, to follow their courage and feel free to take any decision according to who they really are. We have created society and that society has conditioned us. Our minds are strained and heavily conditioned by a morality which is not moral and not normal. We obey to teachers, politicians, doctors, etc but they don’t own the truth. And when it comes to birth and babies, “prenatal programming” definitely exists. The only truth to trust is the one within us and I hope that more and more people will open themselves to that consciousness.
Also, Sara’s birth is not only my story, but it’s also her story. Before they are even born the baby’s journey starts. It’s not about only us as human beings having a spiritual experience, we are spiritual beings having a human experience. We must have faith in something more than what we can see.
Finally I would like to quote a courageous mom whom I was in touched with during my pregnancy and after Sara’s birth, she said something I totally agree with : “Change birth to change humanity”. It is so true.
E- “Heal Birth, heal the earth”
C- That’s exactly it.
Thank you so much Cécile for sharing your story with us. You have demonstrated great courage, and it is so great that you felt empowered and able to take control of your care and in turn this very important life event! This is inspiring and I hope that others in the same, or a similar situation, may also find the courage to trust their instincts as you have.
More about Cécile Devroye
Cécile has worked in the cinema industry for years, occupying various positions in animation companies, production enterprises, film festivals and producer training organisation. She left the film industry in 2011 to start her own business as a Life Coach. Believing that a vibrational attitude of positivity will attract positive results, she launched the “Dare4Change” initiative in 2012, aimed at raising people’s awareness of their true purpose in life. Cécile is passionate about People, Consciousness, Synchronicity, Quantum Physics and Universe. She believes that we have entered a new Era of Consciousness: people are waking up, they understand that their lives have a greater purpose. She says that we have everything within us and it is about time to have the courage to follow our heart and intuition. So, what if everybody did exactly what they love to do?
More about Erin Botrie
Erin is a Certified Birth Doula and Child Birth Educator (DTC) from Ontario, Canada. She joins the Luxmama Club & ParentPrep asbl Team, bringing first-hand experience supporting families through this important time and is passionate about birth rights.
Erin enjoys working with expecting and new families to empower their decisions during pregnancy, labour and parenting. A passion for birth and supporting women through this time is what brought her to where she is now.
Erin believes in the importance of families acquiring the knowledge they need to make informed decisions that make sense for them on this journey. Erin advocates for labouring and parenting “your way.” With years of training and first-hand experience she has learned a wide range of tips & techniques that can help expecting parents on the path towards their best birth and parenting experience.