Vicki's birthing story...
When I was pregnant people seemed to relish in telling me their birth stories, which were normally unpleasant and frankly quite frightening. This acted to re-enforce all the dramatic televised images and tales I had been told creating a negative mind-set about birth . I contemplated, why would something natural be painful and horrendous when you body is not trying to tell you anything is wrong ? It is undertaking the most natural thing in the world, birthing. I had heard about hypnobirthing through various people and decided that I was going to take control of my labour and birthing myself via a hypnobirthing course.
I researched and found Nancy Keen, a local hypnobirthing teacher. Myself and my husband undertook the course with her. This we be invaluable in reframing our thinking around birth and giving my husband confidence and understanding in his role. Nancy was so supportive and would answer any questions I had following the course and was available should I have a wobble. She also provided her number for my husband should he need support or guidance during labour. We then practised, practised,practised!
My baby was 'due' on the 7th August. By the 9th there had been no appearance. I went to a friends and had a lovely afternoon filled with chatter and cake. On my return home I was watching TV with my husband and stood up when my waters broke. I felt no fear and was relaxed and excited that I would soon be meeting my baby. I continued to watch 'Live at the Apollo' and went to bed. My husband however then said it needed to be confirmed my waters had broken.
We went to the hospital and they were unable to confirm they had broken. However, on my return home, the waters began to trickle. I became cold and had a bodily 'evacuation', I then got lower belly ache which I put a hot water bottle on. It was very similar to mild food poisoning.
We returned to the hospital and they confirmed the waters had broken. I decided to return home and put the TENS machine on.
My body then just took over, my mild lower belly ache continued and my body began to rock. I had the TENS on the lowest setting and did not feel the need for it to go any higher, despite my husband asking several times. I didn't get the feeling of 'on gosh there is a contraction coming' because I barely felt them, my body just did its thing! I was listening to my relaxation scripts and put an eye mask on and was in my hypno bubble! My husband then said that I seemed to be having contractions, every minute for a minute. He suggested a hospital trip.
On arrival staff asked however I felt, I just felt open. They asked if I wanted to be examined to which I was to be told I was fully dilated!!!!!!! To which I replied 'AWESOME', I was asked if I was hypno-birthing and replied 'yes, its brilliant'.
I was then taken into a room. My husband and the midwife filled a birthing pool and I curled up on the couch with my eye mask, listening to my relaxation script and was in a positive place. I felt no pain whatsoever. I was curled up for quite a while and then got lower leg cramp. This was worse than anything I had experienced so far!
I recall thinking to myself during labour 'Would I do this again, would I have another child?' The answer...,during labour...was 'Yes'!
The baby then started to come down and everything was going well. Unfortunately, due to her head position she became stuck and could not get out. The doctor then came to speak to myself and my husband and explain the necessity to turn her via forceps in theatre. However, reassured me that we were both fine and both our heart rates were normal. There was no emergency. I remained calm through all of this which I put down to hypno birthing. He said to me 'Your pain management is incredible, we will do this together'' I found this surprising and said 'I’m not in pain'. We agreed that he would turn the baby and I would then push her out.
In theatre, I continued in my hypno bubble, with my eyemask and visualisations! Everyone introduced themselves and we were chatting about what to call the baby! The doctor then turned her and it was over to me! I gave one push and the baby came down. I then gave three small pushes for the head to be birthed. The doctor said that on the next push I would meet my baby. I began crying with happiness and gave the final push. She entered the world with her eyes wide open. She was placed on my chest and looked directly at me which was magical.
I had a very positive birthing experience. I felt understood and supported by all the staff. My daughter's middle name is that of my midwife. She remained with us throughout and was incredible. I have been inspired by hypno birthing and am now such a believer in its power I am planning to undertaking the training to become a hypno birthing trainer myself.