We Used BRAIN To Decide What To Do Next

This week’s birth story comes from a lovely couple Charlie and Josh who attended a TCBS Hypnobirthing Course with Charlotte Inkpin of Hypnobirthing with Charlotte, covering areas across Braintree, Essex.

Thank you for sharing your calm abdominal birth story of your gorgeous baby girl with us!

“Before I went to hypnobirthing classes with Charlotte, I felt very anxious and under prepared for what was coming our way. I am so happy we went along though as I came away feeling confident, well informed and relaxed!!

At 35+2 weeks I contracted Covid and had to spend 10 days in isolation, missing my 36-week midwife appointment, by the time this go rescheduled I was 36+5 weeks where I was told my blood pressure was high and I had protein in my urine. Although this was concerning, I was well informed and knew what this could mean. I put myself in a good frame of mind and listened to the advice given. The next few days were spent going back and forth from the hospital for BP and urine checks. This could have been incredibly stressful, but I used my calm breathing and ensured that each hospital visit I took things to do that made me happy, pictures and music that I’d put together to make me smile. By 37+5 weeks I’d spent a week going in and out of hospital and we decided that because my BP wasn’t going down it was time to induce. I used BRAIN and asked for more time to think about the benefits and risks which the midwives were more than happy to accommodate.

When labour started, I was really excited to get things going and finally meet our girl! My husband wasn’t with me initially as he was still working (so was I, sending emails from the hospital bed!). I called him to say that I had been induced but not to rush here and he came up after he had finished work.

Shortly after the pessary was put in, I began to feel surges, gentle to begin with and I began using my wave breathing and walking around my room. I put on my playlist I had created and was singing to myself in the room! After about an hour the surges were coming thick and fast. I was having about 8 in 10 minutes lasting roughly 40 seconds to a minute each. I continued with wave breathing. The midwives did ask me if I wanted pain relief, but I calmly informed them that I would ask if I wanted anything but for now, I trusted that my body and mind could cope. After 6 hours, the surges were still 8 in 10 and I was feeling exhausted. There was so much pressure down below that I couldn’t sit and couldn’t bounce on the birthing ball. I was given an injection to stop the surges and the pessary was taken out. Midwives did an examination to see how dilated I was, but I was still 1cm.

The next day we tried the gel, but the same thing happened again and I didnt dilate any further. Again, myself and my husband used BRAIN to decide what to do next. We decided that it didnt look like induction was going to work and the next step would have meant I would have been flat on my back, constantly monitored which I knew was not going to work for my body. We decided that a c section would be the safest course of action for myself and baby which the doctors and midwives agreed with us.

Once we had decided we had to wait 6 hours from when I last ate, that came around so quick as my husband, and I had just spent time chatting and laughing in our room. We looked at pictures of our scans and photos we had taken on our journey so far. We took some final pregnancy pictures together and phoned family to let them know what was happening. I felt really calm about the c section and really positive because I knew exactly what was going to happen and I knew it was totally my decision and that was backed by sound knowledge.

Up until the c section I had managed the surges, hyper stimulation and everything else with no pain relief, just breathing. I even used my breathing to get through the spinal block injection and I made sure I asked the team to drop the curtain when they were ready to get baby out which they were happy to accommodate.  I was so calm and informed about the c section process and used my breathing and BRAINS to get through. Watching positive birth videos about c sections during our sessions definitely helped me to feel calm.

On meeting our gorgeous girl I was overwhelmed with emotion. I felt like I had tunnel vision and all I could see was my gorgeous girl. It was a bit of a blur from then as they took her away to help her with her breathing and they worked on stitching me back up.

I knew that delayed cord clamping had happened and my husband was able to cut the cord and my preferences regarding my placenta were being followed (we opted to have my placenta made into capsules for me to take after birth) and I was happy that these parts of my preferences were being followed. That first skin to skin with my baby was unbelievable. I couldn’t quite believe she was mine! We were in recovery as a family, and it felt amazing. I just could’ve burst with pride and love.

My husband was AMAZING during the labour and birth. He used all the techniques we had been taught and he made sure he took the lead on answering questions for me so I could focus on breathing and remaining in a positive frame of mind. During the c section he chatted to me as if nothing was happening to keep me calm. Once baby had arrived, he made sure he talked me through everything that was happening as I couldn’t see her for part of the time whilst they helped her breathe. He took the first photos so I could see her. He was the perfect partner.

I would 100% recommend taking hypnobirthing classes, absolutely! My husband has said that he thinks it’s an absolute MUST for dads-to-be as he felt so informed and confident.

I was so grateful that my instructor Charlotte was on hand throughout the entire process to text, send voice notes with encouragement, affirmations, and general positivity. I’ve not only gained a really positive birth experience but a new friend too”.

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