I didn’t get overwhelmed and instead I felt present throughout the labour.
This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course with Anna Owen of Rock Your Birth covering Worcestershire.
Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with is!
“I decided to start hypnobirthing very late into my second pregnancy.
My first experience of labour was difficult as I became overwhelmed with panic and felt like I’d completely lost control of myself. Due to this I gave no input into decisions being made throughout my labour and felt very passive, giving birth in a way which I would not have chosen myself.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I began to freak out about labour. A close friend had done a hypnobirthing class raved about how it helped her during labour. I thought I’d give it a shot and did an intensive course with Anna.
My labour started around 3 pm when I was at the park with my daughter and husband (Karac). I was overdue and so Anna suggested we just do nice things together to promote the right hormones. When the ‘twinges’ began, I wanted to avoid overthinking and getting anxious about it, so instead I tried my best to ignore it and carried on as normal. Next, we went to Asda and did our weeks shop. The labour was definitely going quicker this time, on many occasions I had to stop and lean on a shelf to let the contraction pass. Back home my endeavour to distract myself continued – I made biscuits with my daughter and hoovered the whole house. At this point I felt like the contractions were strong and in a good pattern, so Karac and I tried to create a relaxing environment – putting on our essential oils diffuser and Jack Johnson album. The hospital was a 40 minute drive away (without traffic) and so the midwife led unit suggested that we come in sooner than the previous time as second babies normally come out quicker. At this point I had my TENS machine on and was doing my breathing exercises. The contractions were becoming a lot stronger and I had to stop and breathe them through but was managing with it.
We arrived at the hospital/midwife led unit and went to a small room, where I was asked if I had been feeling the baby moving regularly. Due to my focus being on breathing, I completely forgot to monitor baby, and a wave of guilt hit as I replied, ‘I don’t know’. At this I was told to go to the hospital ward to be monitored to ensure baby was fine. I was shown to a room with bright strobe lighting, on a busy corridor, waiting for an hour and half to be seen. My contractions completely slowed down, and I felt flat – knowing I couldn’t settle as I would be moved again back to midwife led unit (MLU) at any moment. Karac and I tried to make each other laugh and talked about happy memories to get the oxytocin back up.
Eventually, we were back in the MLU in the small room. I was told that when things ‘got going’ we would move into a bigger room. This was frustrating to me as I felt I couldn’t relax or unpack and get all of my hypnobirthing gear out if we were going to move again. However, I was glad to get out of the bright lights of the hospital assessment ward. My contractions picked up and started to hit my limits without pain relief. I was certain that this time I would not get overwhelmed with pain. I asked for gas and air but was denied this and was instead given paracetamol. At this point the calm I’d been able to maintain so far was rocked, as I knew that paracetamol wouldn’t do anything to help me manage. In panic, I began to shout with the pressure of the contractions and bursting into tears, I told Karac I wasn’t coping. I think the midwives heard, as they burst in through the door and said we could move to the bigger delivery room.
Finally, I felt ready to unpack. I played my affirmations and put my essential oils diffuser on. I was doing the breathing techniques like my life depended on it and Karac massaged my back with some massage balls. Oh, and the gas and air helped a lot! After a few minutes of this, I had a contraction that literally made me leaped up with the pressure of it. Something had changed and I went over to the bed to kneel in a better position. This part was intense, but Karac reminded me to breathe and to focus on the affirmations. I still shouted my head off, but it wasn’t in panic, it was just a really effective way of managing the pain. In the most relieving and magic moment, Leo was born.
This birth was so different to my first. I didn’t get overwhelmed and instead I felt present throughout the labour. I also felt I knew what was happening with my body and hormone levels. Overall, it was a lovely and memorable experience.
Thanks, Anna, for everything you taught us”.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!