My pregnancy was totally normal and low risk from the start. I was born at home and when I mentioned this to the midwife at our booking in appointment at 12 weeks, she asked if I had considered a home birth. I said I hadn’t as it was my first time and I didn’t think they would advise it. She said it was totally up to us and gave me the details of the dedicated home birth (Eden) team in Poole.
After discussing it with family, we decided to go for it at 14 weeks. At 16 weeks I found Natal Hypnotherapy and started listening to the 15 minute home birth relaxation track a few times a week.
To begin with I never got to the end of the 15 minutes as I was fast asleep! It was brilliant to no longer spend hours worrying about work or other things before falling asleep at night.
At around 28 weeks, I started listening to the effective birth preparation track a few times a week, moving up to every night from about 34 weeks. I did make a conscious effort to listen to it in different positions, not just in bed but kneeling over my ball and sitting on the sofa, as I wanted to know it worked not just when I was tired! I also made an effort to listen to it without falling asleep so I could fully visualise the birth process. I only did this twice but I feel that those two sessions where I actively ‘felt’ what was happening made all the difference. From listening to the sessions, I created my own “5 Cs” – calm, capable, confident, comfortable and in control. These trigger words reminded me of different parts of the track.
Five days after my due date, I woke up at 2.30am to do my normal middle of the night toilet trip when I experienced what I thought was my waters breaking. My contractions started immediately and were lasting 30-45 seconds every 3 minutes!
Four hours later, we called the midwife out and I was 3cm. She gave me a mix of lavender and bergamot oils, reminded me to eat to keep my energy levels up and I put on my TENS machine.
We spent much of the day watching comedy DVDs, Disney DVDs and listening to the relaxing music tracks. My contractions stayed at 3 minutes apart but increased to 1-1.30 minutes in duration.
At 2.30pm (after 12 hours), the midwife checked me again and I was still 3cm and said that this stage could last for two to three days. I was NOT going to let this last a whole weekend and focused all my energy into opening my cervix. It was at this point my husband put the birth preparation track on repeat and I got ‘in the zone’, commenting at times that I felt like I’d just woken up!
At 5pm my husband called the midwife to say I was wanting to push, she said it was probably my waters bulging (they hadn’t gone in the middle of the night!) and that she’d think about coming round in an hour or so. Ten minutes later he rang her back and said she needed to come now!
What Natal Hypnotherapy did for my husband was phenomenal. He was always supportive of having a home birth as he hates hospitals even more than I do! And having read the book and listening to the track with me every night, it normalised the whole process and taught him what would happen when and the signs to look out for.
If he hadn’t have read and heard the sessions I’m certain he would have panicked when I entered transition!
The midwife turned up almost immediately and called the second midwife to attend as I was 8cm and definitely pushing! It was from this point that my second stage was recorded and I spent 43 minutes pushing before Alex entered the world at 6.45pm.
My placenta followed just 15 minutes later, physiologically. My plan had always been give it an hour, if it’s not coming then I’ll have the injection. We never had to worry about that!!
The whole birth experience was truly pain free and wonderful. At one point my husband said he offered me paracetamol and I just ignored him! I didn’t need anything but to be in my own world, feeling every sensation. The midwives commented that I showed no fear and was totally in control, knowing exactly what was happening and how to respond to my body’s cues.
When I first started looking into hypnotherapy and hypnobirthing, I thought it was a lovely idea but I wasn’t convinced. I loved reading the book and the science and history of birth but I didn’t really think I would get the birth I wanted!
Turns out it was the best decision I have ever made!
Incidentally, when Alex was 5 days old, we were admitted to hospital as he had lost too much weight. I had believed we had been breastfeeding successfully, as had the midwives who had checked on me as I was so confident, however he had not been able to feed efficiently due to having a severe tongue tie and tightness in his jaw. I instantly downloaded the breastfeeding companion and it got me and my husband through one of the most uncomfortable and challenging nights of our lives as everything became very medicalised and out of our control.
Thank you so much for supporting our little family! Couldn’t have done it without Natal Hypnotherapy!