22 hours of active labour – Worth it!
This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple Chloe and Colin who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing PLUS Course as well as weekly relaxation classes with Jenie Scholes of Empowered Bumps Hypnobirthing covering Merseyside, North Cheshire and South Lancashire.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with is!
“So when I found out I was pregnant I was completely over the moon and excited to be a mamma but, I’ll be honest, I was completely petrified of the thought of labour and what my body was going to go through. I came across Hypnobirthing and thought I’d give it a try.
I downloaded audio books and went to sleep each night listening to relaxation mp3s and positive affirmations. With the help of Jennifer at Empowered Bumps I was able to feel more relaxed and even excited about the idea of birthing my baby. I went to her pregnancy yoga and relaxation classes and felt supported through a community of pregnant ladies which Jennifer had created. My boyfriend and I even completed a day course which really helped us both to understand how my body will naturally be able to birth my baby but also gave us tools to help us along in a calm and safe way. My partner really got on board and was completely supportive, even though this really wasn’t his sort of thing.
My midwife was also really supportive and told us to download the Freya App to track my surges (contractions) and talked us through a simple breathing technique. As I got closer to my due date I felt very confident and in control, fully understanding my options and how I was going to tackle my labour. My mother in law even laminated some positive affirmations for me to stick up in the room. My due date came, and I sobbed, even though Hypnobirthing teaches us that it’s just a guess date and you shouldn’t fixate on it, I still became very impatient and was desperate to meet my baby. This showed me I was no longer fearful of birth.
The day after my due date I was woken with mild period pains at 4.30 am. I was filled with excitement and made myself go back to sleep as I knew I would need my energy. These pains kept coming once each hour throughout the day. I spent the day relaxed at home. I lit candles, ate my favourite foods and treats, watched my favourite films and took regular naps. Me and my partner watched a Kevin Bridges DVD which made us laugh and I could feel I was producing the hormones needed to push my labour on. I kept tracking my surges using the Freya app and could feel they were getting closer together. We cooked a nice meal together, put music on and danced round the kitchen like idiots. Afterwards, I ran a bath, lit candles and listened to my positive affirmations while Colin hoovered the house and packed the car. Once I got out the bath I felt my surges had become stronger and realised how much the water had helped. I breathed through each one and let my body take over. I could feel the pain in my back and needed to squat or rub a tennis ball against the base of my back to get me through. My app informed me to call the hospital which I did around 11.30 pm and we set off. I had made videos on my phone of all happy memories with family and friends which I watched on the journey whilst smelling lavender and laughing with Colin. (The heated seats really helped so I was glad I had packed a hot water bottle).
When we got to the women’s it was after midnight and felt like I was the only one there. I wasn’t in active labour so was given the option to go home or offered to stay as I was 1 cm away and they didn’t need the room as they were quiet. I chose to stay and continued breathing through, listening to my affirmations, keeping my energy up with snacks whilst Colin watched TV series on his iPad. After 4 hours I was now in active labour and was able to use the pool. We set up the room with led candles, affirmation posters and I asked if they could burn essential oils which they provided. The water and gas and air really helped me through each surge, but I genuinely felt very relaxed and happy.
It was a beautiful experience as Colin started to breathe through each surge with me and used the techniques Jen had taught us to make me feel more comfortable. On my next examination they realised the baby was back to back and I asked for an epidural. The midwives wanted me to follow my birth plan and encouraged me to try the diamorphine first. I was moved back to the original room, but they set it up in the same way, so I continued to feel relaxed. I used the hot water bottle and with the pain relief kicking in was able to rest and nap a bit. On my next examination I had progressed by one cm, so they made the decision to break my waters and encouraged me to get back into the pool. We continued to work together through each surge and became more excited as we knew we were getting closer to meeting our baby.
Unfortunately, at my next examination I hadn’t progressed and was still at 6 cm. I had to then have an epidural to be put onto a hormone drip to push me along. As I had to squat through each surge it was difficult to sit still through the epidural injection but I managed it with the help of Colin breathing through it with me, which he couldn’t have done without Hypnobirthing.
After two hours on the hormone drip, I had fully dilated but my cervix had slipped. After the doctor managed to move it back, I started to feel an urge to push. I was fully supported by the midwives and my third stage of labour only lasted 10 minutes. With only two stitches my beautiful baby girl was placed on my chest for skin to skin. This was the most overwhelming feeling and it made the whole 22 hours of active labour worth it.
I would fully recommend Hypnobirthing as it changed my whole mindset and made my labour an empowering experience. People are shocked when I tell them the time it took to birth my baby but as I just breathed through each surge and focused on the present moment, knowing I was getting closer to my baby it did not feel that long at all. My birth plan was to remain calm, in control and to go through whatever it took to deliver my baby safely. I 100% achieved this and as a result have a beautiful healthy and happy baby girl.
Can’t thank Jen, my midwives (all 6 of them ?), doctors and Colin enough. What a journey!”
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!