I decided to take a course in hypnobirthing when I fell pregnant with my second child. My sister had used this technique with her second child and had said how it had helped her. My labour with my first child was very long and I had been given all types of pain relief, gas and air, meptid and an epidural. I had felt that I was not in control during this labour and I did not want to repeat this experience.
When my baby had not arrived at 41 weeks I had a sweep, this did not start labour and so I had a further two sweeps which also did not work. I was booked in for an induction at 42 weeks. The night before I was having regular contractions but they were not very strong. I was hoping that I would go into labour during the night but the contractions stopped. We went to the hospital at 11am the next day but unfortunately weren't seen until 4pm. With an induction they have to check the baby's heart rate before they start the process, my baby was tachycardic (heart rate was racing) therefore I had to wait until this had settled. They finally started the induction at around 6pm, this was an ambulatory induction where you are encouraged to move around to help start you into labour.
At 7pm, we went for a walk around Sainsbury's and my contractions were coming regularly and strongly. I said to myself that the contractions were my body preparing itself for labour and that it was a natural process. This was something I had learnt in my hypnobithing lessons. Such a simple idea, but it stopped me from panicking and feeling out of control.
The start of my labour was not how I had wished it to be due to being in hospital and not started naturally. I had hoped I would be at home and not have to go into hospital until the end of my labour.
When we returned to the hospital at 8pm my contractions were still strong and regular. I was counting the contractions from 1-10 and then down again. At this point I was still in a cubicle in the general ward and was not able to have my own possessions around me or start to get my environment as I had wanted it. I asked to go into the bath at this point as they were getting so strong. Being in the water really helped. My partner then started to do the counting for me. I could not speak at this point so squeezed his hand when I needed him to start counting. The counting focused my mind, and again helped keep me calm and in control.
Because I was so calm, the midwife did not realise how far along I was. When she finally agreed to stay with us and monitor my contractions, she realised that there was no gap in my contractions! At this point I felt like I was going to need to push soon. Unfortunately because I was not on the labour ward, the midwife would not let me continue to labour in the bath on that ward. At this point I was moved back to the ward to have an internal examination and then when she found I was 8cm and things were progressing very quickly they transferred me straight to the labour ward. This required me to get in and out of 4 different beds and at this point I lost my focus. I was not in a calm environment that I had hoped I would be.
By the time I got into a room on the labour ward, I was ready to push. Mark continued to count through my contractions and this did help. An hour later my beautiful boy was born. He was born in his sack, which is meant to be lucky! Unfortunately our fears came true, and our son (like my daughter previously) did not breath when he was born. This time there was a resuscitation unit in the room and the doctors responded quickly to resuscitate him. He was in the special care unit for a short period of time and was absolutely fine
Hypnobirthing definitely helped me to stay in control and calmer during my labour. It was unfortunate that I was unable to control my environment so that I could be left to focus on labouring in my own way. I believe that if I had been left to labour in the bath, I would have remained calmer in the last phase. The lack of knowledge of the midwife was unfortunate, if she had more knowledge of the technique of hypnobirthing and had listened more to what I was saying, she may have realised that I was further into my labour than she had thought.
I had no pain killers during this labour. I believe that I managed the contractions through the hypnobirthing techniques instead. I also had a calmer approach to the contractions by telling myself that it was natural and my body preparing to birth my baby.
It wasn't a complete success story, but as I've said I think I did well in the circumstances!
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Anna did extreamly well to remain calm during an induced labour (induced labours usually lead to pain relief and potentially other interventions). Anna describes some of the techniques that she had ingrained as 'triggers' for hypnosis by practicing them alongside Mummy Nature Hypnobirthing. If you would like to learn how to do this go to 'Hypnobirthing' on the navigation bar for more details about Mummy Nature Hypnobirthing classes.
Just wanted to let you know that I gave birth to a baby boy at home this morning. He weighed 9lb 6oz at 6 days past due date so a bit lighter than his brother and 6 days later. The birth literally could not have gone any better and I have you to thank for so much of that. Although I don't think I achieved a proper state of hypnosis and was still very aware of the pain, I was able to stay calm throughout. The emotional stages were so so helpful to know as I knew that when I go to the point of thinking 'I can't do this' that baby was almost here. Thanks so much for giving me the confidence to try for a home birth. It has healed all the emotions that were still raw from the trauma of last birth and I'm so glad my lasting image of child birth will be one of comfort and calmness.
The contractions started at 1am on Monday morning but stayed sporadic and around 10mins apart until 11pm when they suddenly got more intense and we called the midwives. Until that point I was able to stay so calm. I baked a cake, we went for a few walks and had lunch out - I would never have dared leave the house at that point last time! The midwives were really respectful of my birth plan and pretty much left me to it apart from to check baby's heartbeat ever 15mins.
I listened to the birth tracks and the relaxing birth music through headphones which meant I could go into my own little world. This really helped until I got into the birth pool when we put the birth music on the speakers so I could hear Ollie and the midwives voices. I pushed when I was ready and didn't really need any coaching through this. Ollie used the 3-2-1-relax and stroked my head which really helped and our baby was born at 2:41am this morning.
Unlike jasper, who took two weeks to properly establish feeding, this little man has already had three feeds and was a lot more alert initially.
Basically this birth has been everything I wanted it to be and more. It still hurt a lot but I felt more in control and able to deal with the pains and emotions. I felt able to make my own decisions and loved Ollie acting as gatekeeper.
Thank you so much for what you taught us. I will treasure the memories of this birth forever :) Now to pick a name!
Many many thanks
Anna (and Ollie and baby) x
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If you would like to prepare for the birth of your baby by attending a Mummy Nature Hypnobirthing Antenatal Class go to 'Hypnobirthing' on the navigation bar for more details.