Amy and daughter
The overwhelming joy of discovering you are expecting a baby cannot be compared, however for me it was swiftly followed by panic over an impending birth. As my bump grew I became more and more aware of other peoples horror stories (they were all very quick to tell them to me as well). I was glued to One Born Every Minute and I tortured myself over images of lying on a bed in pain, grabbing my poor husband by the collar and demanding a divorce…after all that is exactly how they paint the picture in the movies. I was genuinely terrified and absolutely decided that I wanted every form of drug available, although this didn't do much to settle the nerves.
I also had a pretty tough pregnancy, my sickness lasted for about twenty weeks, my blood pressure was too high and I was signed off work, on top of that, I was then confronted with grief to cope with, and coping wasn't something I was doing very well.
One day I was talking to a friend about how terrified I was of giving birth, he told me how his wife felt the same, until they decided to give hypnobirth a go. He told me that his wife was so calm she gave birth without an epidural and that the experience was wonderful and peaceful. I went home that evening and went straight to the internet to find a course…and I found Nancy.
Nancy (Birthright Hypnobirthing) is not just a course / lessons, it is so much more, with antenatal classes I felt like I was in a class, with Nancy, I felt like I was with a friend, someone who genuinely had an interest in me, my pregnancy and my baby...and not forgetting, my husband, the person who tends to get side-lined in a pregnancy and birth. From our first meeting, Nancy included my husband and explained to him that his role is as important, she made us realise that this is teamwork, that his support will make all the difference and that this is his baby too and he had a role to play as much as mum and baby. My husband read scripts to me, he gave me massages to help promote relaxation, he lit candles, ran me a bath and he made me laugh. It almost sounds obvious, but Hypnobirth made him realise that those things were so important and he was over the moon to have a part to play instead of feeling in the way.
Nancy and her hypnobirth techniques had such an impact on me, my blood pressure went down, I slept better, I was calm and I was actually excited about the birth. I realised that it could be a calm and wonderful experience if I wanted it to be, it was all down to me, and like a switch I realised that I was about to embark on the most wonderful experience of my life and I couldn't wait.
Birth stories are all different, but as long as we are mentally prepared then we can apply our hypnobirthing techniques to adapt to whatever situation we find ourselves in. I didn't want induction, I knew my baby would come eventually, and so she did, after a 40 hour birth process. I was calm, my husband and I were in control and we felt it too. I chose not to have the pain relief, I didn't need it, the midwives kept commenting to each other that I was the calmest mummy they had seen in a long time. Every decision we made during the whole process was ours and I didn't feel the need to be rushed. When I look at my beautiful daughter, I realise I am the luckiest mummy in the world, because I have a beautiful memory of her birth (I want to do it all again), a husband who experienced it with me (not from the benches) and a wonderful daughter. I also have a friend in Nancy, who was there on the other end of the phone, genuinely interested in my baby and desperate to meet her and probably the most calm and bubbly person you will ever meet. Nancy and her overwhelming enthusiasm for birthing will change your birth and your life as these techniques can keep you calm no matter what life throws at you.