Just wanted to share our wonderful news; we had our baby boy Curtis Nelson, on the 22nd of Dec, at 1.37am, weighing in at 3.48kg and 53cm in length.
It wasn’t a straight forward birth, but thanks to our Hypnobirthing conditioning it was a calm birth for John and I. The hospital staff kept saying what an amazing patient/couple we were. We arrived at the hospital 6.5cm dilated after an easy and excited several hours at home. However when we arrived we discovered that Curtis was in the posterior position and in some distress. Added to this, his heart rate kept dropping in all positions except for lying on my right side. There was a constant flurry of clinicians in the room monitoring, testing and talking to John and I. While not ideal, I kept thinking it’s OK because “I am prepared to meet whatever turn my birthing takes”. After another few hours, we were told we needed to get baby out quickly and I was given an epidural and taken into theatre with the knowledge that I could be having a caesarean or, if dilated enough, vaginal delivery with assistance. Fortunately I was fully dilated and we ended up having a vaginal delivery; a good outcome under the circumstances.
Post birth many people have asked me about Hypnobirthing and how much of it I used and if it worked. My response; I used many of the techniques; rainbow relaxation and opening blossom visualisations in early labour, slow breathing and balloon visualization during surges, anchoring to the colour orange, Johns light touch massage and most successfully, listening to John talk me through surges with his own blend of affirmations. And yes it worked. I never once felt like I needed to ask for pain relief and I felt calm throughout the entire birth. But even more impressively, while I had my eyes closed, John observed a quantifiable effect of his talking. Because Curtis was distressed the doctor had inserted an internal fetal monitor to measure his heart rate and intrauterine pressure catheter to measure exact force of surges and pressure in between. Initially, with everything going on, John wasn’t talking me through surges and the pressure readings were approximately 200 during surges and 30-50 in between. However, the instant John started talking me through them the pressure readings were still 200 during surges but 5-9 in between. When John later told me (a scientist) about this I was blown away. Although I acknowledge that this single-arm pre-post measure with an inadequate sample size is less than ideal to make any strong conclusions about the effectiveness of Hypnobirthing, in this business I would definitely say that these preliminary findings show a likely positive effect and that further research is well worth pursuing!
Curtis and I came home from hospital Christmas eve – BEST CHRISTMAS PRESENT EVER. He is the most adorable, calm baby (photos attached). He hardly ever cries, he is sleeping and feeding exceptionally well and was back to his birth weight in just 6 days (average weight regain time = 2 weeks). Once again, I suspect this may be in part due to John and my commitment to being prepared and relaxed, which was achieved through Hypnobirthing. John and I are now learning the art of baby wrangling with enthusiasm and I am blissfully enjoying being in love with both my little and big man.
Thank you once again for being such an important positive influence on all three of our lives. Happy for you to share all or part of our story and photos with others if you wish, as while our birth was not ideal, I think the power of Hypnobirthing in such circumstances could be inspiring to others… it certainly was for me.
Dr Vanessa B and John, Luscombe.