“safe, confident and positive”
I really wanted to let you know that the hypnobirthing course was pivotal in assisting me to feel safe, confident and positive in the time prior to the birth and gave me the strength and wisdom to get through the birth without requesting intervention (pain relief or otherwise).
Leading up to the birth I contemplated my vision board and practiced my hypnobirthing meditation and/or affirmations daily. During the final week of pregnancy I found it particularly soothing to get into the shower and listen to the hypnobirthing affirmations. During that week I had lots of periods of intense false labour surges and braxton hicks so I had plenty of practice opportunities!! I also woke frequently during the night and had difficulty sleeping so the meditations were great for relaxation.
2 weeks prior to my guess date I awoke at 12.30am with surges stronger than I’d previously experienced and I knew I was heading into the active stage of labor. I was so confident and sure of the fact that I wanted to stay home, as long as possible, that I settled myself back into sleep. At 2.30am, with the surges intensifying, I woke Dan and we rested in bed, with me breathing and relaxing through my surges.
“Because I was so calm I didn’t experience them as painful at all, just as pressure and tightness.”
By 8.30am my surges were 2 mins apart and my waters broke so we called the hospital and drove in.
At hospital, I went straight into the labour room. Over the next couple of hours, as the surges continued to gain momentum and increased in strength I found that my focus steadily withdrew further and further inward. I was unable to communicate much verbally, my vision narrowed and I didn’t want physical touch.
“I was solely focused on my connection with the baby and when the time came, bearing down through the surges. I spontaneously started to bear down with the surges by using my surge breathing.”
The midwives, at that point, started calling an obstetrician and telling me I was going to deliver very shortly. Unfortunately, this was not the case. Baby had difficulty maneuvering down and this last stage of labour lasted over 3 hours. To say this was like running a marathon in terms of physical endurance and mental strength is an understatement. Throughout this time I felt so overwhelmed on a sensory level, that I just wanted silence but I didn’t even need the audio. I think the hypnobirthing preparations that I had made had well and truly secured themselves into my memory and served me very well.
Because of hypnobirthing we were able to:
- decline an internal examination. This was offered several times when my surge breathing initially took more time than usual to move baby into view. Dan was polite but sure when he spoke for me about this.
- breathe with the surges rather than “push”, which assisted me to continue well beyond the point of loosing my physical strength.
- continually let go of my internal doubting ego that would pop up and say things like “what is happening? baby won’t come”, “c section”, “epidural”, “drugs”. Each time this came up I would come back to the present moment and focus on just getting through this surge, not worry about coping with the next.
- remain calm admist the storm that was overtaking my body and relinquish control over to my baby and body (rather than fight against the tidal waves).
- towards the very end the top of baby’s head had emerged but was struggling to progress with surges. Again, labour stalled. As baby was not distressed I felt safe to continue with the knowlege that I’d prefer a tear rather than an intervention, such as a cut. I also believe that thanks to our birth plan I wasn’t offered an intervention at this point (because Dan heard the midwife on the phone to the OB reporting that I was stretched to capacity and not progressing).
Slowly but surely, with the assistance of the bath, and LOTS of position changes our little girl emerged. I couldn’t stop smiling and Dan cried tears of joy. I had an easy and natural placenta delivery and my tear was deemed so small that I didn’t even need stitches. The labour had lasted 8 hours in total and all that was left to do was rejoice in our beautiful baby.
“It is crazy to say but I actually enjoyed my labour.”
I didn’t enjoy ALL of the sensations but it was a beautiful and life changing experience that gave me the joy of my life, our little girl. I have absolutely no doubt that hypnobirthing is to credit for a large part of my positive birthing experience. At the end of the birth the two midwives actually commented on how much they enjoyed the labour and one said it was the best birth experience they’d attended in a long time because of the atmosphere and lack of complications or drama.
Thanks so much Kylie for gifting us hypnobirthing knowledge. You were a very important part of our birthing journey and I’m very grateful.