With Christmas around the corner, I thought I would focus on lovely Christmas birth stories. Here George tells of her journey using and developing her Natal Hypnotherapy skills to help her have the best Christmas ever! After listening to the Natal Hypnotherapy tracks and attending a weekend course, she wrote her own script to really personalise her birth preparation.
“Having used hypnotherapy and self-hypnosis for a number of years and experienced the sometimes life-changing results (including sticking a nappy pin through my arm!), it wasn’t a question of if I would use it during my pregnancy and the birth of Danuta, but rather how I could use it. Not only had I never given birth before but we also had our hearts set on a home birth, which if we were to listen too carefully to conventional current medical opinion, was a crazy plan fraught with issues – what if it goes wrong? You will only have gas and air – what if you need an epidural/c-section – think about the transfer times to hospital – you don’t know your own body, being a first-timer – you are putting yourself and your baby at great risk – what you are considering is very selfish. All of these words had come from my doctor and pretty much every mainstream birthing text-book backed her up. Any basic birthing instinct to bring your baby into this world in a safe, comfortable and loving environment is dangerous and selfish. And she’s a doctor, so she must be right…
In my experience, a Natal Hypnotherapy approach turns the whole what-if-it-goes-wrong starting point on its head and focuses instead on the perfect and unique birthing experience for the individual woman or couple. If you dare to allow yourself to visualise it, what factors would feature in your perfect birthing experience? For me, Christmas is a very special time of year that holds with it feelings of childhood excitement and happiness – just the smell of a mince-pie or the sound of carols being sung makes me glow inside, so the fact that our baby was due around this time had all the makings of the best Christmas ever.
Throughout my pregnancy I had spent time listening to a Natal hypnotherapy relaxation tracks (you can get a free download by clicking here) which, whilst increasing my bond with our growing baby inside, also helped me tune into my natural instincts as a mother-to-be. In the third trimester Adam and I attended a Natal Hypnotherapy weekend and this is when we really began to focus our minds on the actual birth and the writing of our own birthing programme. Using emotive language that was very specific to our own personalities we developed a script that described the perfect birthing experience – how we would feel, how we would react to certain phases or situations, images, sounds and smells that would trigger positive emotional responses. For example:
The sounds of the music, which are now familiar to me, reinforce my natural feelings of relaxation and calm, allowing me to fall deeper and deeper into a comfortable, peaceful feeling of complete relaxation…
an extract from the birthing programme – earlier stages of labour
…with each contraction I visualise my cervix softening and opening slowly softening and opening gently, smoothly and easily…
an extract from the birthing programme – final stages of labour
I would read the birthing programme often, really soaking up the words that meant so much to us and once in a relaxed state of self-hypnosis I would then recall these words, images and feelings to the sounds of music that would accompany us in the birthing experience. The more often I listened, the deeper into my subconscious these associations were going. The Christmas tree bauble I knew so well, the stocking hung by the fireplace ready for baby’s presents, the smell of Christmas spices – all of these factors meant excitement, comfort, happiness and deeper and deeper confidence to birth our baby safely and naturally.
The due date came and went and as the days ticked by, talk was turning to induction – this is when I felt my most sacred. Not because of the dangers of letting me go over, but because I just felt baby wasn’t ready yet and that he or she would decide when it was time to meet us. Things were happening – we’d had a show and, having had contractions for 2 weeks now, I was already 3 cms dilated. 14 days after her official due date and on the day we were due to go into hospital, baby Danuta decided it was time to join us and she wasn’t hanging about either.
The experience certainly wasn’t without pain and there was no time for birthing music CDs or Christmas spice oils, but I wouldn’t change a single moment. Focusing on each contraction took me deep down into the experience and during the later stages the visualisation of my cervix softening and opening was intensely powerful and effective. Adam was fully involved at all times and helped communicate my feelings to the midwife during contractions as well as somehow knowing what to say at right time. We birthed our daughter in our front room next to the Christmas tree and in front of the open fire and Christmas stockings – four and a half hours after waking with strong contractions I was holding Danuta in my arms, crying at the beauty of our perfect baby girl who truly made this the best Christmas ever!
With the support and confidence of an amazing partner, an experienced and trusted doula and our very special birthing programme, I was never in any doubt we were doing the right thing. I was frightened then angered by the words of my doctor, I was upset by the reaction of some friends, but I never once doubted my instincts to birth Danuta at home using hypnosis. I can’t wait to give her a brother or sister.”
A wonderful story of a couple taking their birth preparation into their own hands for the best christmas ever!
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