Mama H – “Hypnobirthing really helped me to switch off my mind and allow my body to birth my baby. Our daughter was calm with a steady heartbeat throughout with no signs of distress at any point. I have practiced meditation and yoga in the past but Hypnobirthing had some new techniques. I believe it helped me to let go of my fear and anxiety around birth and allowed for a wonderful experience during which we were both safe.“
My daughter was born on 28 April a week early. My Waters broke at 3am but I had no contractions. I phoned the unit at the Hospital at 8am and they said come in later that morning to be reviewed. Through the morning, I had some very mild cramping – similar to what I had been having for a few days but no surges. When I got to the hospital they checked the pad I was wearing but said there was no need to examine as it was clear my waters had partially ruptured. They arranged for me to come back at midnight if labour hadn’t started naturally.
As I now knew that I would be having my baby in the next day or so I planned for a big lunch to keep up my energy! We went to Tescos and I started feeling stronger cramps as I walked round. When I got home I ate a big carb-heavy lunch then had a shower and did some nipple stimulation to try and get the hormones flowing. The surges were coming more regularly now and I couldn’t talk while I had them. I practised the breathing techniques we learned on your Hypnobirthing Course and I used a tens machine. Although I had only been having significant surges for about an hour, they were coming every 2 mins so I phoned the hospital. They said that because they were so regular they would like me to come back in. However, when they examined me I was only 1-2cm dilated. I was worried they would tell me to go home again because I was barely dilated, but the midwife said to try going in the birthing pool for a few hours. After around 3 hours I said I was finding it really difficult to manage the surges. They suggested I get out and be re-examined and that if I was 4cm they could give me gas and air and if not I could come out of the pool and have a break with pethidine. Thankfully I was 6cm and got back in the pool with gas and air.
I felt very aware of my body and focused on my partner and my breathing. We had music playing and I think all of this helped me feel relaxed. The midwife gave suggestions on different positions I could try in the pool and helpful encouragement when I needed but wasn’t intrusive at all and I forgot she was there most of the time. Once I felt the urge to push I really found the noisy exhalations helpful… and cathartic! Although I found the perineal massage difficult and a bit uncomfortable in practice, when I had the stretching sensation as my baby’s head descended I was able to relax because I had felt the sensation before. I had my baby in the pool about 8.5 hours after the first significant surge. Throughout the birth, with the help of my partner, I focused on my breathing. It helped me stay centred and focused.
I found it tricky to write my birth story, not because anything went wrong – it was as natural and complication free as I could hope for – but because I don’t have much concept of time and who was there! A home birth wasn’t for us because I wanted to be very close to medical intervention should either of us need it – but I felt like we could have been at home. It was just me and my partner with the relaxing music we enjoy and I was simply allowing the birth to happen to me. I think Hypnobirthing really helped me to switch off my mind and allow my body to birth my baby (I think that might actually be a line in one of the mantras!) Our daughter was calm with a steady heartbeat throughout with no signs of distress at any point. The staff were so kind and supportive and I felt really safe and secure without being really aware I was in hospital. I would really recommend the Hypnobirthing to people considering it – I have practised meditation and yoga in the past but Hypnobirthing had some new techniques – and, I believe it helped me to let go of my fear and anxiety around birth and allowed for a wonderful experience during which we were both safe.
Thank you Claire for creating a supportive environment where both me and my partner could learn and accept the techniques which I think helped both of us during the birth of our daughter.
Looking forward to seeing you at yoga! .