About 30 seconds after speaking to her a huge gush of waters came out and messed up the bedsheets – no doubt now about what was happening. I felt okay, had a shower and breakfast. Shortly after breakfast the surges started coming, and in pretty quick succession. Ben was trying to write them down. I was going into my own little world – I was splayed out on the beanbag lost in the beautiful playlist of music I had created, remembering my affirmations and letting it all wash over me. The surges felt intense but manageable, however in between time I was throwing up that healthy breakfast of bircher muesli and green smoothie.
We arrived at birthcare – I had a big surge in the carpark and probably frightened some of the people arriving! We got up to the room and into the pool – for my water birth! But alas it was not to be. I was in second stage by now and for some reason, it just wasn’t working trying to get the baby out and be in the pool.
So, on my midwife’s advice I went to sit on the toilet. This is where my birth deviates from HypnoBirthing – I started to push out the baby rather than breathing him down. It felt like the right thing to do, although I kept saying ‘ I don’t wanna have this baby on the toilet!’
After a while we transferred to the bed. I found this stage quite manageable. Between surges I had time to relax and kept saying ‘ I can do this.’ I didn’t feel too tired and felt strong inside. The midwife put a mirror up for me to see the baby’s head – this really helped as during surges I could see it coming out and felt encouraged by this.
Each surge showed me a bit more of the head coming out, and I was asking ‘ when am I going to be crowning.’ She kept saying ‘ nearly there, you’re doing so well.’ Then when it finally happened it all went really fast. The baby’s head came out and was just hanging there. He let out a short little ‘wah’ that I found really buzzy – that thing is alive!! Then the body came out really easily and that was it! Both the midwives started crying, and I just felt like it was a surreal moment, I just couldn’t believe that a baby had really come out from inside of me!
The last part of delivering the placenta was easy, I was just so relieved that baby had arrived. We didn’t look to see if he was a boy or a girl for a good 10 minutes, we were just so happy and relieved it was over and it didn’t seem to matter what it was! We finally looked and sure enough – boy! my instincts had proved right.
So, my reflection of HypnoBirthing is as follows
- While I didn’t use the techniques of ‘deeply relaxed’ etc during the birth as there was no time I feel absolutely that all that practice meant we had a straight forward birth. I felt empowered by the toolkit of strategies that hypnobirthing gave me. As a result, the fear that would have accompanied me normally was not there. I trusted in myself and in the process.
- The visualisation of the ‘birth we wanted’ was also a powerful tool. I wrote out my birth story and it really was amazing how much came true. Actually, my actual birth was better than the story I wrote as I hadn’t wanted ot make it too good in case it didn’t happen like that! My birth was only 6.5 hours all up whereas my invented plan was more like 14 hours.
- The perineum massage was vital as it meant I had no tears or stitches! Such a relief.
- I’m the only one in my ante-natal class to have a straight forward, natural birth – and the only one to do hypno birthing. A coincidence?
- I deviated from my ideal birth in that I couldn’t have a water birth, I did push out the baby in the end and I was more vocal than I expected during the surges. But this is just what happened and I don’t regret anything.
I think hypnobirthing has given me good skills beyond birth and labour – of the power of the mind to visualise and meditate – to create a reality through positive reinforcement and belief.
Thursday 31st January 2013