This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course with our very own Liz Stanford, owner of The Calm Birth School.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us!
When I discovered I was pregnant, I knew I had to do something to help ease my anxiety about labour. I was filled with fear from negative birth stories I had heard through the years and did not want my pregnancy to be ruined by stressing about my labour. In the end hypnobirthing meant, I took control of my fear and it provided a medium through which myself and my husband created an amazing birth experience, despite some challenges along the way.
At 38 weeks I was advised that induction at 40 weeks was the best course of action due to a number of reasons which now meant I was classed as ‘high risk’ (extra fluid around the baby, Group Strep B, plus a pre-existing back problem) Although initially disappointed, after applying the BRAIN technique with the consultant and midwife my husband and I decided this was the safest course of action for both me and baby. I used the induction date as an opportunity to prepare myself physically and mentally for labour. I dedicated time each day to listen to my affirmations and meditations and to practice breathing techniques. I also read multiple ‘positive’ induction stories to keep my mind set on track.
I continued with this mind set once admitted to the hospital on my due date for the pessary to be inserted. The overriding feeling now was excitement…in a few days my baby would be here! I began to train myself to relax in the hospital environment to help keep me calm. This was particularly important, as my husband was unable to accompany me due to Covid restrictions. After 24 hours the pessary was removed as I was 2cm dilated. What ensued was a three day wait for a bed to become available on the delivery suite. These days were spent revisiting my affirmations and meditation to stay calm.
In the early hours of Tuesday morning, I was finally called down to the delivery suite. I was able to call my husband to come in and I was assigned the most wonderful and supportive midwife I could have hoped for. She agreed that once my waters were broken she would allow me 2 hours before being put on the synthetic drip as I was desperate to avoid this and the artificial surges. Once my waters were broken, my surges thankfully started quite quickly. I bounced on my ball and we had Suzy’s mediation playing in the background as I breathed through each surge. From our hypnobirthing training, my husband knew how best to support me by talking me through my breathing techniques as well as reminding me to keep moving and to keep hydrated. The room was calm and relaxed and the midwife provided some aromatherapy oils to add to the atmosphere, as well as sourcing some wireless monitors to allow me to stay as mobile as possible. In the end the surges were progressing so well I went 4 hours until I was examined, by which point was 7cm dilated… I had avoided being put on the drip! This really gave me the confidence to keep going.
I requested some pain relief at this point to help me over the last hurdle. I agreed to pethidine and the next couple of hours passed in much of a haze. Then it came to pushing. I pushed for nearly 2 hours and was beginning to tire using the gas and air to help. A doctor was called to make an assessment and began threatening an assisted delivery with ventouse, something I was adamant I did not want and had stated on my birth preference. At this point I had a real sense of wanting to take ownership of the situation. I again applied my BRAIN technique and once the doctor confirmed the baby appeared okay and the heartbeat wasn’t showing any signs of distress, I told them I wanted longer to push on my own. I knew I could do this.
The doctor left and the midwife suggested a small episiotomy to help me along, which I agreed to. After this, my beautiful baby boy arrived after just three more pushes (whilst we had music playing from our favourite movie soundtracks!) It was an incredibly emotional moment. As I held my baby in my arms I was filled with such relief and a huge sense of achievement that I had safely delivered a perfect, healthy baby boy and was in complete awe of what the human body is capable of. I also truly believe that my calm birth experience has attributed to a really positive and happy (albeit sleep deprived) first few weeks as mother and baby outside of the womb.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!
Find out more about Hypnobirthing Online here.