I Am So Proud of How I Used Hypnobirthing Alone and Kept My Anxiety Away

Mama N says “I suffered a lot with anxiety during my pregnancy and I tried anything that made me feel a bit more control. Hypnobirthing was great for this. I used the breathing techniques for every appointment, scan or just when I needed to feel calm.”

Hi Claire,

I wanted to let you know that our little boy has arrived and share our birth story with you.

I suffered a lot with anxiety during my pregnancy as a result of two previous losses and friends experiencing losses and still births. Throughout the entire pregnancy I tried anything that made me feel a bit more control. Hypnobirthing was great for this. I used the breathing techniques for every appointment, scan or just when I needed to feel calm and in control.

We knew early on that we would likely be induced before or on our due date due to me having a low PappA hormone. This has a small correlation to low birth weights, increased risk of placenta insufficiency and reduced growth in third trimester. Given this and my anxiety the decision was made to induce at 39 weeks. So in I went on Boxing Day to be induced.

I was given a prostaglandin pessary and two doses of gels to help dilate the cervix which in total took 36 hours. I spent all this time on the induction ward with two lovely midwives (CAV) rotating shifts. I had mild contractions on and off from 4 hours after the first pessary.  They were easy to up breath through and, with the help of our Hypnobirthing scripts on mp3 and mindful podcasts, the time flew past. Even though my husband was not able to be with me during the initial stages due to Covid restrictions, I was able to meet him outside to go for walks which was lovely and we kept the chat calm. By the time I had the first gel the contract we’re getting a bit stronger but they were irregular. I bounced on the birthing ball and used the Hypnobirthing Up Breathing to focus my brain. I visualised the beach I grew up on a lot and played ‘wavey’ noises to help. The wards were quite noisy so this helped block everything else out too.

Fast forward a few hours. I was examined at 4.30am after the final gel and was told I was 2cm dilated and cervix was fully forward and thin. They said I was ready to go to the delivery ward to have my waters broken, however they wouldn’t transfer me until after 7.30am, once the shift change had happened. I called my husband to update him and said to get some sleep and I’d call once I was being transferred. I tried to get some sleep knowing I could have a long Labour ahead. I put on the Hypnobirthing Magic Carpet mp3 and visualised the beach again.

By about 5.30 the pain was ramping up so I turned on the tens machine and started walking around. By 6am I was feeling a strange pressure and a sensation to bear down. I went to speak to the midwife and she advised monitoring baby to check all was ok before offering a vaginal examination. I was finding laying down painful by this point, and really felt like I needed my husband there for support. Monitoring showed baby was happy so I accepted the VE. I was in quite a bit of discomfort by this point and started to get worried I wasn’t going to be able to cope with Labour further on.  As I was examined the midwife said I was almost 7cm which was a big shock and as she said that, my waters broke and my mucus plug came away! I panicked a bit as the bearing down feeling was intense and I could feel my body wanting to push. The midwife rushed me up to the delivery suite with the help of gas and air, and called my husband to come in ASAP. When I got to the suite it was very calm and the midwife reminded me about the 4/7 breathing and talked through my visualisation.

The consultant and my husband arrived at the same time and we were told that baby needed a monitoring clip and that he was back to back- which explained the desire to push. I wasn’t reacting very well to the gas and air and found I couldn’t think straight. Due to the induction hormones and baby’s position I was offered an epidural to help slow the process down. I hadn’t included this in my plan but given how I responded to the gas and air I accepted it. I’m so glad I did because it stopped me from wanting to push too early – after 37 hours on the induction ward I was ready for a bit of a rest! I was surprised and happy that I could still feel the contractions and that I felt ‘clearer’ in my head than I did on gas and air. I spent the next 3 hours calm and breathing, listening to positive affirmations.

The midwife did a VE and said that we hoped to be at 8/9cm – I was actually fully dilated with no sign of the cervix. Protocol at this point was to wait an hour then start pushing. We spent the next half an hour talking through how to push in sets of 3s and the midwife explained how the laying on the left side position was good for possible back to back and to start there. I spent the last 30 mins practicing my Hypnobirthing Down Breathing and thinking about meeting baby. We started pushing at 12.24 and at 12.32 after 9 pushes Baby was put on my chest. We had a couple of minutes of delayed cord clamping but he started holding his breath so they took him to have some oxygen and suction for a few minutes. I opted for the injection to deliver the placenta and needed one internal stitch for a graze. I was really proud of how I managed to use the hypnobirthing alone and kept my anxiety away. I can’t recommend your course enough!!

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