Conquering the Fear of Birth
I am so happy and proud to be sharing my story with you. I want to tell the world about Hypnobirthing because it not only gave me the most beautiful labour – but it made my entire pregnancy and continuing journey with my son just so peaceful and calm.
I was TERRIFIED of being pregnant. Not just of the fact that I would have to give birth – but the entire pregnancy from the start. I suffer with a huge fear of vomiting/not being in control – as well as a big fear of hospitals/needles/blood….you get the gist! So pregnancy pretty much encapsulated every one of my fears. I had wanted to be a Mum for so long – but these fears held me back. When I turned 36 I realised I couldn’t put this off much longer so my husband and I just went for it – not expecting to fall pregnant straight away! Once the morning sickness kicked in I was so so scared. I was so conflicted with the thrill of the amazing news we were about to have a baby – but I was also gripped with the intense fear of the journey I was about to go on. I remember those hard days in the beginning telling my husband that I needed to have an abortion because I couldn’t do it and we would have to adopt/get a surrogate if we were to ever have a baby. That was a very very sad day.
Then my friend (who is an Obstetrician) told me about the women she had birthed who had used Hypnobirthing. I had never heard of this before. She said for me to look into it as the women were always so much calmer, in control and needed less medical intervention. I found Kasey Biggar of Balanced Birth in Perth – a midwife and Hypnobirthing Practitioner – and arranged private sessions at our home as soon as possible. After the first one our lives changed!
It was AMAZING! It made me understand that this fear many of us seem to have is brought about by various horror stories, movies and TV shows – but to understand how our bodies work during this process changed everything for me. As a woman our bodies our designed to give birth! Our bodies naturally release hormones to ease the intensity during labour – but in getting scared we release adrenaline which cancels these hormones out and slows down the process. Who knew! I then realised I had the power to have the pregnancy and labour that I desired. All it took was understanding and learning what tools were available to help me.
I spent most days listening to Melissa’s audio tracks (Surge of the Sea etc) as well as calming music in general. I could then feel calm in an instant! The affirmations were also incredible and I will continue to use them for life.
I was a week overdue when I went into labour at about 7:30am. I remained calm and went to my friend’s in the morning for a cup of tea and then spent the arvo at home on the fitball and listening to the Hypnobirthing tracks. I even listened to “The Final Countdown” which just made me laugh! After about 12 hours at home we went into the hospital. I was still so calm and ready. I knew I could do this and could not wait to meet out little boy.
By around 9pm and being told there were possibly still many hours to go my husband and I talked through the options calmly and I decided to have an epidural as by then it was quite intense. I felt very empowered and happy with this decision. Pretty much as soon as the epidural went in my waters broke and my Dr was telling me I could push! I was able to get on all fours and move around into good positions which I was so happy about.
At 10:50pm our little boy was placed on my chest and breastfed instantly whilst holding my finger (he did not cry at all)! I could not have asked for a more perfect experience.
My husband was also very active in the process – he thoroughly loved learning about Hypnobirthing and
knew how to help and was very involved from the start. He watched the whole pregnancy and said it was the most incredible experience of his life. He has even used the tools himself for adventure races that he participates in – a different kind of labour but still involves a strong mind!
Then, about 10 days later, I started haemorrhaging really badly and was rushed into emergency surgery as it seems a small membrane from my placenta hadn’t come out and got infected. I was bleeding all over the floor whilst the Dr tried 3 different places to get an IV into me. During this – I played the Hypnobirthing tracks and fed my son! Then in recovery they were struggling to get my heart rate down and my son was in tears with my poor husband by this point – so my husband started playing the music and my heart rate instantly dropped and my son stopped crying! He fed again whilst I was coming round from surgery and in that instant I couldn’t have felt stronger or more empowered. I can’t believe that I not only gave birth but just had something which I never thought I would be able to cope with and survived them both – and calmly too!
I continue to remain calm and happy. Our son turned 5 weeks old today and he is so placid and alert and showers us with so many smiles. I am so confident and happy and know that I can do this. I believe in myself and the intuition I have as a mother and feel that keeping calm during pregnancy and birth has ensured my son is also very calm – he hardly ever cries and he sleeps, feeds and poos just perfectly!
I also wanted to add that it’s important to understand that Hypnobirthing isn’t about hypnosis or necessarily about ‘natural’ birthing. Its about understanding your body and the birthing process properly. Its 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. Its a framework to help you birth as best is possible and work through what you need to work through – whatever turn your birthing takes.
Thank you so much Melissa and Kasey for this incredible experience. We already can’t wait for number two….and maybe three….!!
Taught by Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner Kasey Biggar, Perth.