My husband and I did a one day hypnobirthing course in August and I just wanted to thank Beth and TBTBC for making such a difference to our birth experience. It was more wondeeful than I could have hoped for and I am sure that all the advice, positive stories and hypnobirthing tools made it possible. I’ve written my birth story below if you wanted to share it…
My first birth was not a great experience, my son was induced after my waters broke and nothing happened for 48 hours. I ended up having an epidural and a stressful delivery which resulted in a third degree tear. Even after leaving hospital the early days with my baby were equally stressful as my milk did not come in for several days and my son was unsettled and losing weight. We were ok after a few weeks but I always wonder about the impact of stress during the birth on my son’s start in life.For this, my second baby, I was offered a planned C-section due to the risk of severe tearing a second time around. I felt confident using BRAIN and saying no to the consultant, wanting to avoid a medicalised birth and give my body a chance to do what it was built for.
My due date came and went without any signs of labour and my midwife offered a stretch and sweep, which I declined at my 41 week appointment to allow a few extra days for nature to take its course. She booked me in for an induction at 41+5 days, which would mean I could still go to the birth unit rather than the hospital for the birth.
With nothing happening, I decided to go for the sweep at 41+2 days to try to move things along before the planned induction. I started to feel mild cramps the next day and after two days (the day before the planned induction), they became stronger and more regular. I relaxed at home listening to my favourite music, eating chocolate and pottering around, playing with my son, breathing through the surges, which felt like stronger period cramps. I put on my TENS machine which was a very effective distraction and made me feel in control of the surges. By late afternoon they were coming around every three minutes so I called the birth unit who advised to wait until the surges were strong enough that I couldn’t talk through them.
An hour later we made our way to the birth unit and were taken to a lovely room with a birthing pool, leather sofa, bathroom and soft lighting. I declined an immediate internal examination and said I wanted to settle in first. The lovely midwife was fully supportive and listened in to our baby on the Doppler instead, commenting on how nice and relaxed I was (and probably thinking I had a while to go…) The baby was very active and the midwife suggested we went for monitoring in the triage unit to make sure everything was ok. We agreed and I focused on my music and TENS machine to help me breathe through the surges while attached to the monitor. Thankfully everything was fine. My husband stepped in to make sure we were released to go back to the birth unit as quickly as possible as I could feel things were progressing and I wanted to get back to our comfortable space and get refocused.
Not long after getting back in the birth unit room the next few surges were coming thick and fast and I asked my husband to fetch someone. He then gently massaged my shoulders and mopped my brow which helped make the strong surges more comfortable.
I could sense my body was ready to push and sure enough, when the midwife returned to examine me, my waters had broken, I was fully dilated and making primal noises through the surges! After breathing through a few more surges with gas and air to help I could feel my body start to push and the down breathing that I had been practising on the toilet for the last few months came into play! I really did feel as if I was doing a giant poo! The midwife helped me into an all fours position on the bed and after a few more surges I could feel the baby’s head emerging. The next surge, the head came out fully and then I felt the rest of the body slip out with a massive sense of relief and joy. I actually shouted “Amazing!” as it happened. The midwife said “Look down!” and there was our baby girl.
I lay back on the bed and had skin to skin and a first feed with her while my husband cut the cord, and I then delivered the placenta with a few more pushes. I needed a few stitches but minor damage compared to my first birth. The brilliant midwives then prepared a bath for me and tea and toast, and my husband and i had a wonderful peaceful few hours with our new arrival while awaiting the all clear to go home. Having arrived at the unit at 6pm, baby Daphne was born at 9.10pm, and we were back at home by 6am the next morning to introduce her to her big brother and grandma and grandad.The whole experience made me feel like a superhero, so amazed by what my body was capable of. Most importantly Daphne’s first moments were peaceful and calm, and she is a healthy and relaxed baby.
It really was as simple as breathing, relaxing and letting my body do its thing with the help and support of my husband and some brilliant midwives. And of course the knowledge, tools and positive mindset provided by TBTBC that prepared me for this magical experience Thank you TBTBC!
Gayle and Luis,Mum and dad to baby Daphne, born 27th October 2019
If you want to learn techniques like Gayle then come along to a hypnobirthing group with Beth in Cheltenham. If you’re not local then all these techniques can be found on Beth’s hypnobirthing Online course