A pain-relief-free birth

Mama A – The midwife said afterwards she’s never seen a woman arrive ready to push and be so calm about it so she didn’t believe me until she examined me. I think my experience after I was sent home and things progressed quickly would have been totally different and potentially quite negative if I hadn’t done hypnobirthing, so I’m really glad we invested the time and effort.”

I wanted to message you and share my birth story – I found hearing the birth stories in yoga so helpful when I was pregnant so I hope my story is helpful to other women!
Everything started 5 days after my due date at 4am. I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep and then irrationally burst into tears! I can’t explain why I was crying but somehow I knew this meant that the baby was coming soon.

I fell back asleep and then when I woke up in the morning I had a show. The day passed with no signs until about 5pm that evening when I began to have surges. They came every 15 minutes or so and were mild, I ate dinner and went to bed. The surges continued all night, sometimes getting closer together and then further apart again. Overnight I listened to the Hypnobirthing Relaxation tracks which really helped me to relax and get some sleep during those early stages.

The following morning my surges were still varying in frequency and I was managing them well using Hypnobirthing Techniques and a hot water bottle. My husband decided to work from home so he was around if things got more intense. I had a lovely day bouncing on my ball, watching Gavin and Stacey and listening to the relaxing playlists I had made!

Around 6pm things started to get more intense and the surges required more attention. My husband made some food which I picked at as I was starting to feel quite sick. I rang the MLU and the midwife advised I was still in early labour & to have a bath. The bath was really helpful and whilst in the bath I felt a pop and my waters broke. The surges were becoming more intense and regular and I was losing a bit of blood with each one. I rang the MLU again and asked if I could come in as I was concerned about the blood and I was beginning to feel like some gas and air or the birth pool might be helpful.
We arrived at the MLU around 9pm. I was assessed and the midwife told me I was fully effaced but only 2cm dilated. The blood loss I was experiencing, although a bit more than average, was normal.

This meant that her advice was to go home as I wasn’t dilated enough to go in the pool or have gas and air yet. She suggested trying to get some sleep and coming back the next day. I have to admit that I found this disheartening but my husband reminded me that dilation is just a snapshot and doesn’t tell you how much longer you have to go. Little did he know how right he was!

We got home around 10pm and I took some paracetamol and tried to go to sleep. Lying down made the surges more difficult to manage so I got up and sat on the sofa surrounded by pillows. Things were getting more intense with each surge and I began to alternate between sitting on the toilet, leaning over the kitchen work top and sitting on the sofa. Around 11.15 things became very intense with little relief between the surges and I was sick. I was losing more blood and struggling a bit so I tried ringing the MLU but they were engaged every time. With each surge my husband reminded my to use the Hypnobirthing Breathing techniques and they really helped. Just before midnight I was stood in the kitchen and the sensation with the surge suddenly changed. I have to admit I panicked a bit and this point, there had been blood and my instinct was that something was wrong and I needed a midwife. I hadn’t been able to get through on the phone so told my husband we needed to go to the MLU. He went to get the car and with the next surge I realised nothing was wrong – the sensation had changed because I could feel the baby’s head!

I got in the car but didn’t tell my husband that I could feel the head as I wanted him to focus on driving, luckily we only live 5 minutes from UHW. The drive was the worst point – being unable to move and feeling the head move down with each surge. We pulled up outside the MLU and I said ‘I can feel the head’. My husband has said that when I said that he didn’t think things could have progressed that quickly so didn’t believe me!! We walked into the MLU and my husband began trying to explain to the midwife that we’d been trying to ring, but I interrupted and said ‘there’s been blood and I think I can feel the head’. The midwife took us straight through, examined me and said ‘Yes that’s the head, this baby will be here by 12.30’. I asked what the time was and was told 12.15! Four or five pushes later and our baby was born at 12.31. He literally shot across the bed as he was born all in one push! I remember my husband saying ‘it’s a boy!’ and our beautiful baby boy being placed on my chest.

I still can’t quite believe I gave birth with no pain relief other than paracetamol. People say I was brave but I wasn’t, it was never my intention to have no pain relief – I wanted to use gas and air and would have considered other options if I felt I needed it – but that’s just how it happened! A midwife also later explained that the blood loss with each surge was a sign that things were progressing quickly. I wish I had known that beforehand.
I wanted to say thank-you to you because I know that my experience would not have been the same if I hadn’t done your Hypnobirthing Course. The techniques I learned helped me relax in the early stages, manage the surges and to enjoy my pregnancy without worrying about the birth. Our little boy is nearly 7 weeks old now and we’re both doing well so we will see you soon for mum and baby yoga!

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