Being really anxious about labour I was really keen to do a hypnobirthing class to feel as prepared as possible and was recommended the Yorkshire Hypnobirthing School by a friend who had found it really valuable. Due to the current situation with Covid-19 I was increasingly worried about timing and having my partner with me throughout labour. As we had had IVF I had been told that I would be induced on my due date and that I would need to be on the labour ward for monitoring. Hypnobirthing, the BRAIN method and the support from Laura gave me the confidence to ask questions about this and actually meant that my consultant agreed that the Birth Centre was a completely accessible option for me, should I go into labour naturally. It is because of this that I ended up having the birth experience I had hoped for in the Birth Centre. 11 days ahead of my due date in the evening I started with mild cramping like period pain, that I had had before so I didn’t think much of it. During the night I kept waking up noticing that these cramps felt stronger than others that I’d had and I thought maybe this is it. About 4am my mucus plug came away and the cramps started to get more and more intense. By 8am they were 7 minutes apart and I put my tense machine on, knelt on my birthing ball and used the breathing techniques to get through each contraction. Being able to feel excited that things were happening as opposed to feeling scared about what was going to happen. By 3pm the timing between contractions meant I was in established labour and we rang the Birth Centre to let them know we would be heading in shortly. I was able to do another hour at home before heading in. My birth partner wasn’t able to come in with me initially until the midwife confirmed I was in labour, but I was 4-5cm so he was able to join me quickly which helped me to feel more at ease. The midwives had read my birth preferences and we talked through these so that they knew exactly how I wanted things to go with pain relief and coached pushing so that I felt supported. It also meant my partner was confident in what we had agreed so that he could talk with the midwives whilst I focussed on being in the zone. We also had our Hypnobirthing goody bag with all of our anchors in and had music playing, dimmed lights and candles within half an hour of arriving so that I could focus on the contractions which were now really intense.
I genuinely believe that due to the breathing and environment I was able to do another hour with the tens machine before getting in to the pool. My birth partner kept motivating me with some of the positive affirmations and keeping my hydrated and fed throughout to make sure I had the energy and focus on handling the intensity. I asked for more pain relief which I realised after was ‘transition’ and when the midwife explained she thought I was too far along I worried about managing without anything other than gas and air, but tried to remember the positive affirmations and believe that I could do it. After an hour and a half of pushing the midwife explained I may need to get out of the pool and try a different position as I was struggling to push out the baby’s head. I knew I wanted to stay in the pool and that I had to get past the nerves and go with the contractions, which the midwife helped to coach me through. 2 more pushes and the head was out, the shoulders and body followed quickly and then there she was, my beautiful baby floating under the water and looking up. It was such an amazing and surreal experience and I know that the knowledge and techniques we learned in Hypnobirthing contributed hugely to having a positive birth experience both where and how we wanted.
Even though we didn’t use all of the anchors we had taken to the hospital having them there and having a variety of options meant that mentally I felt prepared for managing labour and birth.Having the knowledge, confidence and support for questions in the run up to birth meant that I had so much information and was able to ask the right questions to make sure I could birth how I wanted to. I would definitely recommend A Hypnobirthing Course and despite having to do it over zoom and not face to face it was still invaluable, so don’t let this deter you at all!
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