‘So you hear the word hypnobirthing, what goes through your head? Be honest. Is it that you think about being sat there being hypnotised about the birth you are going to have? Being led to believe that a birth is lovely and pain free? Well let me tell you about our experience.”
So we were driving to our first session (1 of 4) wondering what we had let ourselves in for, especially my husband as he is quite a skeptical person whereas I am open-minded and like all things holistic. By the end of it it completely changed our minds and I was already feeling reassured about what was to come around 20 weeks later.
As the sessions went on there were things in the sessions that you might imagine, meditation type things, relaxation and breathing techniques, things we were asked to practice at home.
More than anything we learnt so much about pregnancy, choices including inductions and the effects, pain relief and where to give birth, the optimal position, the body in labour, positions the baby can be born in and possible complications, choices when baby is born and lots more.
I have told many people that if you fear birth I really recommend this, just for the education side alone.
I did as much practice as I could, listening to the music and relaxation audios including imagining going on a magic carpet to a place I like and meeting my baby.
I bought some oils for labour and when it started I felt prepared.
Before I share my story I want to say that births generally don’t go to plan but having a birth plan means you have some control and midwives will do their best to stick to it. Some people have stories to share that would make you fear birth but there are stories that are positive. If you want to surround yourself with as much positivity as possible, ask that people don’t share their negative birth stories with you and instead watch hypnobirths on Youtube and find out if there is a Postive Birth Movement Group in your area. Finally don’t watch the dramatised One Born Every Minute. Yes watch it afterwards but not before!
My story, at first perhaps wasn’t as I now paint it however I can think of my birth more positively now and can honestly say I am no longer scared and look forward to my next one if I am lucky enough.
So it is the night before my due date… hubby and I decide to go for a walk as we did alot during pregnancy, it was our time to talk and I love being outside. We later ‘did the deed’ (sorry to any family members reading haha) and my waters broke (not our intention by the way). At that moment I was in a state of panic and shock, worried for our little girl, now less protected by some of her waters.
We decided to try watching something funny as recommended however I started to get twinges so I went and lit some candles, got my birthing ball in the room I wanted to labour in, got my essential oils onto tissues, put music on and relaxed. I realised I was having contractions and I was breathing through them. Being a first time mum in labour the hospital told us it would be a long time yet, how wrong were they?! Hubby started recording the contractions on an App and my mum was called asking to come incase it was going to happen soon. I prepared her for possibly sleeping over!
Anyway after a very short while, not sure exactly how long as it went so quickly, maybe 2 hours we were calling the hospital who told us to come in, eek, this was it! I had a nightie on and put a dressing gown on (I really didn’t want to get dressed!) prepared with my music, oils and tens machine on! I actually don’t remember any pain during this time, just breathing through it all, rocking whenever I could.
By the time I got to hospital my lovely water birth went out the window as my blood pressure was up and they were worried. I honestly think it was just because the little miss was so close and I was a little nervous. I was examined and was 10cm fully dilated! Wow! This really was happening!
By this point I think it was midnight, I am really not sure. I remember being in some pain at this point and threw my phone out of my way which had my music on as I had too many wires with the tens and the earphones haha! I also remember asking about pain relief! I had to have monitors on due to my blood pressure which also meant I was on my back and by this point, although I wanted to be on a birthing ball I didn’t want to move!
So armed with Tens and Gas and Air I carried on breathing and just taking each contraction as it came. The time must have passed so quickly but I know it was 3 hours atleast before I could feel my body naturally pushing and then it was time to get things moving. My poor mum and hubby didn’t sit down once, they were great and of course relaxed following the Hypnobirthing sessions. 2 hours later our daughter was born and laid on me, on her due date! I will be honest some of it wasn’t too pleasant but it was bearable and I remember just saying how hungry I was and they kept telling me to push and then I could have some toast haha! It took my mind of the pain!
The midwives were great and really advocated for me when the Doctor kept coming in checking I was doing okay and wanting to interfere, do an episotomy which I had said I didn’t want. The midwives apologised for it not all going to plan but they did their best considering and I was just so elated to have this precious gift that I had so much love for right at that moment. I did have a tear but I was stitched up and overall it was truly a lovely experience even if there are things I would do differently next time.
I hope this offers some reassurance, the female body is an amazing thing and with some education, support and relaxation you can do it!
If you know that you are having a Cesarean birth please don’t be put off, there are ways in which to make it a positive experience. A book I highly recommend is The Positive Birth Book by Millie Hill. It is full of fantastic information and a must read during pregnancy as early as possible.
My fantastic Hypnobirthing Teacher is Christine of Leto Birth Therapies http://www.letobirththerapies.co.uk She’s a former midwife, a Clinical Aromatherapist and Doula. Thank you Christine for your amazing support and friendship.’