Empowering Natural Birth Story of Maddison -Hypnobub number 2!
I was introduced to hypnobirthing when I was pregnant with my first baby in 2015. I was terrified of everything to do with being pregnant – a massive vomit phobia coupled with a fear of not being in control, fear of needles/hospitals (pretty much everything that was involved in being pregnant) and hypnobirthing changed my life!
Hypnobirthing made my entire pregnancy amazing as well as gave me a really positive birth experience and continued positive experience with my son 19 months on. Yes – I even use hypnobirthing to deal with toddler emotions! The power of the mind is an incredible thing.
When I fell pregnant again with baby number two it was very different. Having an active toddler meant I couldn’t focus my time on my pregnancy like I did with him. I downloaded the online course as a refresher and I had planned to immerse myself in it when I went on maternity leave. However, at 31 weeks I had to rush to the hospital as I had started bleeding. I couldn’t believe it when I was told that my membranes had ruptured prematurely and there was a risk that my baby would come within 48 hours. I was devastated. I hadn’t done anything to prepare for baby number two and felt like I had already let my baby down.
I was admitted into hospital there and then and was told I had to stay there until the baby was born – which could have been that day or in 8 weeks’ time. I was immediately put on antibiotics, given steroid injections for the baby’s lungs, and told I would need to be monitored every 4 hours. I just couldn’t believe it.
So many things were going around in my head and there was so much that I could be very stressed about – but then I thought about my hypnobirthing mantras and realised that “I had no control over anything that was about to happen – but I had total control of my reactions to it all.” So, I calmed down and knew that I had to do everything to keep this baby in as long as possible and panicking was not going to help the situation.
I listened to my hypnobirthing tracks, went through the online course and didn’t worry about anything. I managed to hold on for almost 3 weeks! I continued to bleed and lose fluid during that time but my Doctor assured me that the baby was still in the best place so I kept calm and patient.
On the evening of the 1 April 2017 it all changed. I had what felt like period pain for most of the night – it was a constant pain and I lost more blood. By around 7am and after not having much sleep due to being uncomfortable and various monitoring, the pains started coming and going. I KNEW this was labour. It was the same feeling I had with my son, so I started timing the surges, put on my hypnobirthing tracks and got into my calm and peaceful zone.
My husband arrived not long after and he (and my Doctor) were already aware of my hypnobirthing preferences and that I didn’t want to talk to anyone, I just wanted to remain in my ‘zone’. My Doctor saw me at 10:30am, confirmed that I was in labour and moved me down to the labour ward (apparently I was already 4.5cm dilated). I knew I had to have IV antibiotics and would need to have myself and baby monitored, as well as oxytocin to ensure the labour progressed quickly. So, once that was all set up I sat on a fit ball at the end of the bed and just relaxed. From then on I wasn’t aware of anyone in the room and just breathed, felt calm and was ready to embrace whatever happened next.
To be honest I don’t even really remember the labour progressing. I was just listening to the birthing tracks and just enjoying the feeling of tranquillity. It was beautiful.
Not long after 1pm the surges started getting more intense and then all of a sudden I felt ‘something’ down there! I could not even believe that this could possibly be the baby but I then all of a sudden said ‘I need to push’! The midwife looked and sure enough there was the baby’s head – it was all happening!
I could feel what my body needed to do and it was amazing to be able to slow things down and birth my baby in such a natural way. I felt the head come out slowly and I relaxed a bit more. The next surge I pushed out the baby’s shoulders and the final push the body was out and I heard the most glorious sound – a beautiful baby crying!
Then the icing on the cake – ‘it’s a girl’! She was able to breathe on her own at 33+6 weeks gestation. What a strong little girl. We were able to cuddle her briefly before she was taken away to the NICU and I led there feeling OVERJOYED!
I could NOT believe that I had managed to give birth with NO pain medication and I LOVED EVERY SECOND of it!
I was able to stand up straight away, have a shower and join my little girl. I didn’t need any stitches and haven’t even had panadol since. It was the most incredible experience of my entire life and I could not feel more empowered, proud and lucky to have been able to do it.
Every woman should be able to feel this euphoria. I literally relived the whole thing over and over again for weeks afterwards and did not stop smiling (and still don’t!) The midwifes said that in their combined 60 years’ experience they had never witnessed a birth happening so calmly or quickly!
Little Maddy was in the nursery for just 3 weeks and went from strength to strength. Since joining us at home she has remained calm and content and her older brother just adores her already. He giggles at all the funny sounds she makes and always wants to look at her. We could not be happier.
I want everyone to know about hypnobirthing but also to understand that hypnobirthing isn’t about hypnosis or necessarily about ‘natural’ birthing. It’s about understanding your body and the birthing process properly. It’s about giving yourself a tool kit to handle any turn that your birth takes and handling it calmly and decisively so that you maintain control throughout. It uses your senses through music, light, smell, touch and communication to empower the mother (and father’s) actions. It teaches you how to relax and breathe and make empowered decisions. It’s a framework to help you birth as best is possible and work through what you need to work through – whatever turn your birthing takes.