Rowan was 16 days past her due date when we decided, along with our midwife, to do an induction, after trying four membrane sweeps and natural induction methods. I was a little disappointed and nervous, as I was really hoping for a natural birth and knew that induction meant a higher chance of needing other intervention or surgery. But I had been practicing my affirmations, relaxation and breathing every day for weeks and that helped give me the courage and flexibility to accept that this was the best scenario for a healthy mum and bub. I especially focused on the affirmation, ‘I am prepared for whatever turn my birthing may take’.
I ended up labouring for 12 hours on a high dose of Syntocinon before needing a caesarean, but I was able to do so without using any pain medication. To be frank, the surges brought on by the Syntocinon were fairly brutal and my movement was limited by the fetal heart rate monitor, so it was not the scenario I had visualised, and it was tough to breathe through the surges in the same way I had practiced at home. However, I completely relaxed in the small space between surges and used visualisations from Hypnobirthing, and my partner was able to use all the Hypnobirthing prompts to assist and encourage me. The Hypnobirthing allowed me to focus with confidence and to stay in the present moment ” otherwise I never would have had the energy to last through the induced labour.
When it was clear a caesarean was needed (my cervix had not effaced), I was able to accept this without any disappointment or grief. I was proud of my ability to get through the surges without pain medication and with the knowledge that my body and baby were still working together, as the monitor showed she was dealing with the surges just fine.
Everyone at the hospital ” the surgical team, midwives and nurses ” remarked on how calm and alert Rowan was at birth, and it seemed that my efforts in labour helped in this regard. She latched on to the breast within an hour after surgery while I was still in the recovery room, and has been a champion feeder since then. We’ve had her for a week now and she has a very sweet and calm disposition. The Hypnobirthing techniques ” affirmations and breathing in particular ” are still useful now that she’s here too.