My name is Nina . I wanted to share our (quite long) positive hypnobirth story! I started your online course at around week 20 of my pregnancy. Our little hypnobub Magnolia-Jo was born completely natural and pain-free labour and delivery on 8 June at 7:04 AM. I was 37 weeks and 5 days pregnant at the time I went into labour.
I actually had a bit of a scare when I was at 34 weeks. I was out at the grocery store and about to go to work when I felt a huge gush of blood come out, almost like a period. I immediately called the midwife and she asked me to come into the hospital so that they could check to see if there were any problems with my baby or placenta. I was in tears while I was walking back to my car and was feeling quite shaken up, but then I decided that, even if this would mean her coming to the world earlier than expected, I would calmly meet whatever turn my birthing would take. I turned on my affirmations and took relaxation breaths on the whole drive there. By the time I arrived at the hospital I had regained my composure and I was able to talk calmly to the nurses and midwife. They put the monitors around my belly to keep track of baby’s heartbeat and any surges. My husband met me at the hospital a bit later and stayed with me as they did exams and an ultrasound. Thankfully, baby was totally fine and my placenta was looking normal and in a good place. However, I was already 3cm dilated and I was having surges about every 5 minutes. They kept me overnight in case it really did mean I was going into labour. They just turned out to be practice surges (Braxton Hicks) and they had subsided before the morning so we were able to go home.
Over the next few weeks, I continued practising my breathing techniques and listening to all of the tracks. I made sure to listen to my affirmations at least once a day. As soon as we got home from the hospital, I made sure our hospital bag was ready to go, and that our birth preferences were finalized. My husband and I did the birth practices together about 4 or 5 times, and he had heard my tracks beforehand. I made sure that he also knew where my bubble of comfort took place in my mind. He was, without a doubt, my biggest support when our birthing day finally came. (The last picture and video I’m including is the place we visited in Hawaii 2 summers ago. This is what I imagined and where I would visit in my mind whenever I would go to my Bubble of Comfort.)
On June 8 at 2 AM, I got up to go to the toilet and I started feeling the surges. Thinking they were more practice surges, I tried to go back to bed. However, I noticed they got more and more intense, and I just couldn’t stay in bed anymore. I spent some time on the birthing ball and breathing. My husband eventually woke up around 3 AM and I told him that it was definitely go-time. He got me a cup of water with ice cubes and a straw, lit some of our lavender candles, did the light massage on my shoulders and back, and read the prompts from the birth partner cheat sheet. After a while, I didn’t want to be on the ball anymore and I got into the tub. The warm water felt quite relaxing and helped so much, especially when my surges got more and more intense. I was amazed that I’d still not felt any pain at this point – just intense pressure. My husband had actually been timing my surges through this time since I always leaned on his shoulder at the beginning of a surge. He played Surge of the Sea on my phone, then used this time to get me more water, call the midwife at the hospital, wake my parents in the next room to let them know it was time. When he came back, he told me that the midwife said to come in. The timing was perfect because I was already feeling like I wouldn’t be able to make the 10-minute car ride if we waited much longer. He told me to take as much time as I needed to get out of the tub and get dressed while he packed up the car. I had my Bluetooth earphones in at this point so I could listen to my affirmations and breathe through each surge. I remember my father kept trying to talk to me and ask me questions, and my husband had to tell him not to talk to me because I was focusing on breathing. (Thank goodness for him!) It took a while for me to actually get to the car because I had to keep stopping to flop each time a surge came.
I knew I was in transition during the car ride. When we got to the parking garage I cried from the overwhelming feeling and thinking I wouldn’t be able to do it anymore. But then my husband held my hand and reminded me of my bubble of comfort, and breathed with me for a minute. We got to the hospital at 5:30 AM and they told us that all of the larger Labor and Delivery rooms were full, so we had to go into one of their (much smaller) Recovery rooms. I was a little saddened by this because I was looking forward to getting back into the tub in the birthing suite, and I knew they wouldn’t have any in the Recovery room. But then I thought again, “I will calmly meet whatever turn my birthing will take.”
Everything happened quite quickly from this point on. Once we were in the room, they put the monitors on my belly. Our midwife, Paula did the exam and said that I was already 9cm dilated. I told her I wanted to be on all fours on the bed, so they helped me get settled into that position. My husband informed her that we were going to do a hypnobirth. She told him he probably wouldn’t have enough time to go to the car to grab any of our extra stuff (LED candles, oil diffusers, our signs and my affirmations, etc.) and that I probably needed him with me more than I did all of that extra stuff. (Thank goodness for her!) She did help him set the environment by turning down the sound on all the machines, dimming the lights, and informing all the nurses. She and most of the nurses left the room. I no longer had my headphones on, but I was just focusing on my breathing and would occasionally go to my Bubble of Comfort.
There was one nurse who had stayed in the room and apparently didn’t get the memo about not talking to me. She kept asking us all kinds of unnecessary questions in a quite loud voice. She even told me I needed to lie on my back because the baby kept moving the monitors. I was feeling quite agitated with her, and I heard my husband trying to field the questions. I did try to lie down on my left side so I could have a bit of a break. She kept saying I needed to lie on my back, so I came back to awareness and told her I was not going to do that since I was more comfortable where I was. Thankfully the midwife called that nurse out of the room. However, even with all of that going on, I just remember feeling safe and I knew that we were in good hands.
I started to feel intense pressure on my back, so I decided to go back to all fours and just stayed there for the rest of the time. I did occasionally hold the handlebars on the sides of the bed for support and would stay on my knees for a bit. The whole time my husband held my hand or did the light massage on my shoulders and back, and told me – from memory- all of the positive affirmations that were posted around the house for weeks. I instinctively felt when it was time to switch from my Surge breathing to Bearing Down breathing. I remember saying, “She’s coming” and my membranes released not long after I switched to this breathing, and I felt my body open as our baby moved down the birth path.
They later told me I breathed my baby out in less than 15 minutes! Our little Magnolia came out and they put her in my arms as I laid down on the bed. After the umbilical cord stopped pulsing, they let my husband clamp the cord. Almost immediately after, I nursed our daughter for the first time, and I felt the placenta come out as well. It was the most beautiful and overwhelming experience of my life.
My husband kept bragging to everyone about how I rocked it, and just focused on my breathing the whole time. All of the nurses who came in afterwards told me they were amazed that this was my first birth because of how calm I was, and because of how quickly our baby came! My parents were also amazed at how well I handled everything and how I stayed so calm during my labour. (They were the ones who doubted that this method of birthing would even work, so I was pretty pleased with myself for proving them wrong.) I made sure to tell anybody I could that we used the Hypnobubs course 🙂
Thank you so much Melissa Spilsted for the online course! I feel so empowered and in awe of my body after giving birth to my daughter. I’m so happy we were able to have a calm and positive birth experience.