From the day we found out I was pregnant Adam and I were determined that the birth of our baby would be smooth and relaxed. I’ve always questioned why there is so much fear surrounding birth a nd have always believed that I’m a woman and this is what my body was made for, so why should it be painful? Unfortunately there are not many people around who think the same!
I started looking into the different classes I could take to prepare for birth, including NCT and NHS, but to be honest before I noticed a Hypnobirthing leaflet in my midwifes offices, I was going with the no classes at all option.
After researching Hypnobirthing thoroughly and watching endless videos on the internet, Adam and I decided it was definitely for us! Adam was sceptical at first but knew all the ‘science bits’ made sense!
We loved our course with Melissa and felt so prepared for our babies birthing day. My instinct told me that I should be at home to give birth where I felt most comfortable, and everything went exactly as we had spent so many months envisioning.
On 6th September at around 5am in the morning I started having surges that were more powerful than any I had had during my pregnancy. I went downstairs, had some cereal and relaxed and breathed through them thinking this could be it. However, a few hours later they had stopped and we went about the day as normal. Later that evening I lost my ‘plug’ and I knew when I woke up the next morning our baby would be on the way.
Sure enough at 5am again (I didn’t know the time, Adam told me later) I woke up unable to sleep through the surges again. I woke Adam up and he started to time them for me. They were strong and regular so around 7am Adam started to set up the pool and black out the windows downstairs. He also put on my relaxation music and lit some candles. During this time I stayed in bed, then settled on the sofa in a heap of pillows while the pool was filling. I felt calm and ready to meet my baby.
My surges started at 6 minutes apart although I didn’t know this at the time, as again my wonderful husband was timing them for me. I got in the pool as soon as it was ready and instantly loved it. Little did I know that when Adam called the hospital to tell them I was in labour, he got a 20 minute lecture on how getting in so early could slow or stop my labour! Hey ho, he and I were happy so he decided I was staying put!
I spent the next few hours floating in the water, imagining a blooming rose and during a surge, gentle ocean waves on the shore. In the early afternoon we put on one of my favourite comedy films as I was feeling quite comfortable and in high spirits (Adam just paused it when I had a surge!) We didn’t finish it however as this seemed to kick things up a gear - my surges became a lot more powerful and I was feeling them in my lower back. I found that toilet sitting really helped at this stage and spent a good hour, still completely relaxed, rocking to and fro.
Around 3pm my surges were 3 minutes apart, and by 4.30pm between 1 and 2. At this point I had my transition, and asked Adam to get me some gas and air! Luckily he knew to expect this and reassured me with lovely words and affirmations.
Around this time the midwife arrived and my breathing changed, completely prompted by my body, to birth breathing. I knew what was happening and that my baby was on the way, so let my body take over as I continued to focus and relax. I remember distinctly being shocked when Adam told me how close together my surges were afterwards, as I fell asleep after each one and woke up feeling like I’d had a good 15 minutes! I know now this was my body’s way of helping me through and ensuring I didn’t tire out.
I spent an hour and a half breathing my baby down and didn’t move the entire time. I remember the wonderful and comfortable feeling of her head emerging and whispering ‘they’re here’ to Adam and our midwife who were none the wiser! One more surge later I gave birth to Orlaith Naomi who was sound asleep!
We spent a beautiful hour skin to skin together in the pool before her cord was cut by her daddy, and I birthed the placenta with one gentle surge breath a few minutes later. Orlaith had an APGAR score of 9 then 10, and I had no tearing, just a little nick.
I felt euphoric with all the wonderful hormones coursing through me and wanted to do the whole thing again the next day! The most important thing Melissa taught us during our Hypnobirthing course, was that nature was on our side! If we put more trust in Mother Nature and our bodies then every women would get the birth she deserves.