This week’s birth story comes from Mickey and Mary who gave birth to their third son Aidan after attending Hypnobirthing refresher sessions with Patricia McElduff (or Tish to her friends) of Co. Tyrone, Ireland.
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“I had previously done a hypnobirthing workshop however our last baby was born over 4 years ago so I felt out of practice. I had felt quite fearful of the process and as I advanced in pregnancy this grew, I let my mind go wild with possible scenarios that may happen and wanted to get a hold of it. So, having seen Tish’s page on Instagram and knowing her since childhood. It felt right to make contact and get that process started! I needed to refresh myself on how I wanted my birth to be as far as I possibly could control.
I am so glad I linked into the zoom class with Tish and my husband. I needed that reassurance refocus that I can do this, I have done this before, and I will again!! Tish is absolutely amazing at this role she’s so approachable friendly and dedicated. The passion Tish has for a woman to have as positive experience in birthing is embedded throughout and such a pleasure to engage with. Those fears I faced and realised I had the power to change my mindset refocus it, Tish empowered me with knowledge, sent various links affirmations, mp3s, pages to follow and immerse myself into all things hypnobirthing!!
I went to my 40-week appointment where I was offered a sweep and declined. My wish was not to be induced as with my first baby I was induced and found the experienced so different to my second where I went into spontaneous labour at home and wanted this to be the case third time around. At this point I was told if I didn’t go into labour myself, I would be booked for induction 7 days after my due date. I found this overwhelming as a Kardex was provided for a pessary, as if there was no hope of me going into labour myself. I was asked again was I sure I didn’t want a sweep and I again said no I am happy to wait. There was no other medical reason both baby or I were checked and doing well. Day 7 came, and I just didn’t feel it was right to go ahead so I asked to be given a few more days and that was agreed if nothing happened, I would go for induction on day 10. I continued to listen to affirmations, take baths and try and be as calm as possible. Day 10 came, and I went into hospital and had a 24-hour pessary.
Labour started late that night, my husband was there but due to policies in hospital and I was viewed not to be in established labour he was asked to leave: which caused me to feel anxious as I felt the same as I had with my second baby and knew this was the start: my husband left and I felt stressed this is when my hypnobirthing techniques really kicked in. I knew now more than ever I needed to be calm, and I do believe this got me through until I was taken to labour suite. Lights where dim I wore an eye mask listened to music and kept sipping fluids. I declined examinations until I felt it was necessary.
A few hours had passed, and I felt now at this point surges were coming closer together I buzzed the midwife as the discomfort was more heightened. Suggestions such as bath pain relief were made but I felt I needed gas and air.
Once assessed the midwife said I was having 4 surges in every 10 minutes. At this point I was taken down to delivery suite and I rang my husband.
I kept focussed with breathing until my husband arrived as my discomfort had increased and I needed that support and encouragement from him. I had a little wobble and felt things were delayed upon arrival to delivery as the lights weren’t dim, no music on and I wasn’t comfortable, this is where I realised I needed that advocate in a time of vulnerability as once my husband arrived he asked for all those things he knew I needed to get back into the zone, things settled and I again focused on the surges I asked then for morphine which was administered along with an anti-sickness. I could hear a machine bleeping and this was very off putting and my husband asked for this to be turned off so I could relax.
My partner, the midwife’s and my own inner belief from doing hypnobirthing were a huge support, especially the midwife who came on in the morning shift change, she was very different to the first, she fully supported hypnobirthing and was very calming and empowering – she really believed in me! Some pointers stuck with me such as your body is able to birth a baby that you have made. As I had worried it may be too big, but I kept focusing on pushing this thought out of my mind.
Other than the Gas and Air and the morphine I didn’t need any other medical intervention, I was super happy about this. I was as happy to be reaching end stages excited and ready to meet baby. However, when it came to “pushing” I felt stressed as it was taking longer than my previous two births. Thoughts did enter my head that I couldn’t keep doing this, will I need forceps or vacuum and fears crept in? However, my midwife and my husband saw this and helped me refocus and reminded me to draw on my breath and my mind.
As baby emerged, I kept focus and also listened to the direction from my midwife, I knew baby was near. I was calm, I listened and focused, I also changed positions!
When he arrived having baby on my chest was so lovely, however I had more blood loss than they wanted so I required immediate stitching and also an oxytocin drip to stop the bleeding. I also retained some membrane that was removed so it took away a little of having that peaceful time as I needed that support. Skin to skin was the best feeling. I was so happy baby latched and was content. We left the cord as I wanted delayed cord clamping. However due to covid they asked my partner to leave 3 hours after birth which was difficult as I required drip etc there wasn’t much time for me my husband and baby alone which in those hours are precious like I had with my first 2 babies.
I am so glad I contacted Tish and had a refresher, I had previously done a Hypnobirthing workshop with my first baby and this was amazing to re ground myself, re affirm that I can do this, push away the fear, feel empowered, feel knowledgeable and knowing my rights – I can refuse examinations if I want, I can decline things that don’t feel right, I am in control. Without Tish believing in me and fully supporting me I wouldn’t have been in a positive mindset or the ability to move into that zone. I honestly believe without doing the refresher, the outcome would have been different. And not just prior to birth Tish continued to share her knowledge and support after. With breast feeding, emotions and especially in those first few days when hormones are flying – I can’t thank Tish enough!”
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