“Whilst our birth did not go as we had ‘planned’, hypnobirthing helped us to stay calm, happy and positive.”
This story comes Syma who worked with The Calm Birth School’s Liz Stanford last year and had a really positive birth experience (despite things not going completely to plan!). Thanks for sharing Syma!
I was sceptical when I first heard about hypnobirthing, but after completing the sessions with Liz and appreciating how much hypnobirthing helped in the birth of our daughter, I would highly recommend hypnobirthing to anyone who wants to give themselves the best chance of having a positive birth. Before hypnobirthing I was so scared of what would happen, but after the course I was looking forward to going into labour and meeting our baby.
My waters broke at 12.30am on 11 September. Having been preparing for this moment for months I was excited. We spent the rest of the day seeing if my surges would start but they didn’t. We therefore went to the hospital to be assessed that evening. I was shattered, having been up most of the night before. All I wanted was to go home and rest.
After being assessed at around 1am on 12 September the doctor said they wanted to keep me in and induce me that night. I was so disheartened, as I knew induction can be very intense and I was so tired. We therefore asked some questions to enable us to make an informed decision. Upon discussing the options and risks with my sister (my second birthing partner, who helpfully had just qualified as a doctor), we decided that we would go home and come back the next morning to be induced. We had to sign a disclaimer to say we were going against the doctor’s advice, which we happily did, as we were content by the decision we had made having worked through the BRAIN acronym.
I didn’t sleep much, but felt positive the next morning knowing that by the end of that day, regardless of how things progressed, we would have our baby. I was a little overwhelmed in the morning, which I voiced to my husband over a cry while he calmly reassured me that we were a team and would get through it together.
We spent the rest of the day in hospital waiting for my surges to get stronger. I spent the day eating snacks we had taken with us, walking, lunging, dancing and playing games with my husband and sister.
Later that evening the decision was taken to induce me via the drip, as even my weak surges had stopped and it was coming up to 48 hours since my waters broke. Having had the opportunity of staying relaxed and calm all day I was mentally prepared to be induced. We prepared the room with dimmed lighting, electric candles, portable speakers, lavender spray and a play list with relaxation music, positive affirmations and the Quran recitation which we had brought with us to the hospital. I also slept for an hour or so in preparation (the first time my birthing partners let me lie down) to rest before the induction.
I was induced around 9.30pm and the surges came on strong. I used the breathing techniques I had learnt through hypnobirthing and kept reminding myself to breathe, even when the surges took my breath away. I held on to my soft cushion which I had been using for weeks before at home whilst I relaxed. It felt familiar.
I can’t stress how important it is to choose your birthing partners wisely, as I could not have got through the labour in the smooth way I did without my husband and sister, who were both versed in hypnobirthing and what I wanted. They helped me breathe correctly when I was struggling, gave me sips of a drink in between surges to keep me hydrated, reminded me to change positions and held my hands as they helped me through the surges with encouraging words. Through our birthing preferences the midwife was also fully aware that we were a hypnobirthing couple and she completely respected what we had requested, like not using the word pain, letting me work through the surges, and keeping the environment calm and relaxed.
A couple of hours after I asked for gas and air, which through my deep breathing really helped in taking the edge off the surges. I felt the urge to push a lot sooner than anticipated, and when the midwife checked I was fully dilated. Again my husband, sister and the midwife were absolutely amazing in encouraging me to push for the duration of the surge. When the midwife told me she could see a head full of hair and took my hand to touch it, that gave me all the strength I needed to get my baby out.
Whilst our birth did not go as we had ‘planned’, everything we learnt through hypnobirthing helped us to stay calm, happy and positive and most importantly with the grace of God we were able to have a truly wonderful birth and a healthy baby at the end of it.
Thank you so much Liz for introducing us to hypnobirthing.”