" The midwife ran me a bath and as this was where I had rehearsed my hypnobirthing techniques the most, it felt very normal to now 'zone out' and practice neutralising the pain."
I decided hypnobirthing was the way forward for me quite early on in the pregnancy and
although there wasn’t a huge amount of information available on it at the time, and despite
work colleagues telling me ‘it can’t stop the pain of childbirth’ I was adamant we’d give it a
go and it was the best class we took. So much so that this time around, with baby number 2
the refresher is the only class I will be taking.
It gave me a true sense of calm and control and in my opinion, feeling in control of the
situation whilst also allowing and trusting your body to do what it needs is the key. I had
planned a water birth as water is my calm place, however, as we neared our due date the
baby measured larger than anticipated and I was told I’d need to deliver on the consultant
led unit. Hypnobirthing helped here, I accepted the fact the ‘plan’ had to change and visited
the unit to feel more in control. I wrote my birth plan with the same mindset, that there are
preferences I would like and obviously if things didn’t go the way I had hoped, I listed in
order of preference how I would like intervention to be offered.
The classes also put myself and my husband on the same page, completely. We discussed
what might happen during labour, how we saw our lives once our baby was here- things we
hadn’t thought to discuss beforehand and if I had raised I’m sure my husband would have
told me it would all be OK and no need to plan ahead too much!
I went two weeks over my due date and finally went into labour in the early hours of the
morning. I was calm and composed and left my husband to sleep while I ran myself a bath,
when he woke up I had already been timing my contractions and felt very at ease with what
lay ahead. A few hours later I felt like things were heating up, we called and were asked to
go to the hospital to be checked, I was 4cm dilated but due to what must have been a quiet
day, we were given a room and set up camp. We put on some music, I bounced around on
the ball and made sure I got some nutritious food and water into me where I could. My son
was ‘back to back’ so the majority of the contractions were felt in my low back, as the
midwife read through my plan and saw that originally I had wanted a water birth, she ran
me a bath and as this was where I had rehearsed my hypnobirthing techniques the most, it
felt very normal to now ‘zone out’ and practice neutralising the pain. When I was next
checked I was 9cm and we went up to the ward, met the most amazing midwife who put
her trust in me and my body. She read that we had done hypnobirthing classes and allowed
me to birth in the way I wanted, with Gas & Air, while she was on hand whenever I needed her.
Recently, having chatted to Steph about my son’s birth (almost 4 years later), it seems it
wasn’t quite as straight forward as I’d remembered, however, despite this, I still look back
on the entire experience as positive and if I’m really honest, completely empowering. I
believe hypnobirthing as preparation gave me the perspective to see what my body could
do if we left her to it, helped me to trust in her and also to trust the interventions that may
need to take place. I have also found it hugely helpful in the years following as it prepares
you for parenting, not just the labour.