I came to hypnobirthing with a honestly sceptical opinion. I didn't really understand what it was about, and assumed I wasn't the kind of person who could benefit. It proved me wrong. After the horrific birth of my first child 4 years ago, resulting in numerous medical interventions and consequent problems and PND, we had finally decided to add to our family. The birth filled me with such fear that I decided to ignore it until the last months. Realising I needed to address my issues with birth , I attended the course in Folkestone with Katy when invited.
Katy was wonderful in catering the experience around my own journey and likely outcomes. I developed Obstretic Choelstasis at 33 weeks, meaning the necessity of regular monitoring and an early induction. The course proved very cathartic for myself and my husband, laying some previous demons to rest and providing confidence in my instincts and my body. It was very much a work in progress, but provided me with an avenue of calm when my brain was too panicked to focus leading up to the event.
My induction day came and we excitedly headed to the hospital in the company of our doula. The first day proved incredibly difficult, with continuous backache and waves of intense nausea - my little one had decided to turn back to back that morning. With lots of support from my birth partners, I kept active around the necessary monitoring and tried to remain positive. The strongest tool I gained from the course was the ability to breathe, and allowing my body to do what is necessary without panicking or fighting against it. I would be lying if I said I didn't have a fair few wobbles where I doubted all my abilities and wanted to stop. Both my partners had attended the course and knew just how to allow me to vent and then return me to a calm state, reminding me of my visualisations and breathing counts.
After an incredibly long day I was settled in bed at 4am where I was not declared in active labour and advised to rest. At this point I was considering requesting a Caesarean, but felt informed and powerful enough to explore my options and voice my opinions. At 5am, I literally leapt out of bed with incredibly strong surges. I had initially requested to not know the cms dilated upon examination, but consented at this point. I was 9cm! I was in a state of disbelief, but tried to allow my body to do its thing. Using the gas and air as a means of breath control, I concentrated on my midwives requests and the sensations in my own body. It took another hour and a half to get to 10cm - all this time we were waiting for my doula to arrive as we had sent her home for the night. My husband was incredible keeping me calm and reminding me to breathe. At the pushing stage I felt like I entered another realm of consciousness-i vividly remember every sensation of my little one descending down and making her appearance. I felt confident to make the noises I needed to to assist me in birthing my baby without embarrassment or fear. I had another wobble after delivering her head, disbelieving that she was actually coming. The midwife and my partners convinced me to touch her head, a decision I will always be grateful for taking. It gave me the confidence to push her out with the next surge.
The feeling of exhilaration was incredible, something that had been missing from my first birth. She arrived at 7.46am, weighing 8lb 7 1/2. At 39 weeks plus one. Little Jemima Sophia. My husband got to tell me the gender and I was so thrilled to find we had a little girl to join our boy. Over the coming days there were incredible waves of pride and remembrance of her birth, in a truly positive manner. I have never felt more powerful or had such confidence in my own abilities.
I credit hypnobirthing with giving me a realistic toolkit in order to face the inevitable challenges of my birth journey. There was never going to be a miracle cure for my previous experiences, but I now see birth as nothing to be afraid of and to be enjoyed. I am also eternally grateful that my husband was able to participate in a positive birth, and hopefully heal the wounds from the last. I will take lessons into my life going forward to not doubt my own instincts and feelings, and have pride in my mind and body.
What a gorgeous birth story and what a powerful mother overcoming previous trauma to birth feeling empowered and strong! If you would like to come along to a hypnobirthing course with us, come see our upcoming dates here, or send us an email firstname.lastname@example.org