Get ready for a really inspirational and uplifting christmas birth story! Alison used Natal Hypnotherapy to help overcome her fears of becoming a mother and then to help her have a more relaxed pregnancy and birth. She talks about how the 2 day course was particularly beneficial for her husband and how the techniques helped her become a relaxed mum.
“My contact with Maggie started when I spoke to her about wanting to become a mum and my anxieties that went with this, past worries and emotions, lack of self-belief and confidence. After attending some one to one sessions with Maggie, apart from feeling on top of the world, we also conceived.
I then went on to look at what other ways Maggie would be able to help me become a relaxed mum and have a more relaxed pregnancy and birth. I have never been known for my relaxed attitude and really wanted to ensure that our baby had a relaxed mum to bring them into the world, and to be confident in my ability as a mum.
Maggie again gave me confidence, now as Mum-to-be, that I needed to believe in myself. I used Maggie’s ‘Effective Birth Preparation’ album, at night and every time I listened to it I had such a wonderful deep and relaxing sleep and woke up the next morning feeling ready for anything! Closer to the end of my pregnancy, if I felt myself getting tired or anxious I would take myself away and put the CD on and relax – it worked marvels!
Maggie was running a 2 day Natal Hypnotherapy Birth Preparation course which both myself and my husband attended. Never has 2 day’s been better spent! The weekend started off discussing
the totally natural event of birthing, and how fear can play a big part in increased pain and complications. The 2 days takes you through some relaxation and visualisation methods. We also found it very helpful as a couple working together to enjoy the experience and share one another’s feelings and fears. It was particularly useful for my husband as he was a little uneasy as to how he would be able to play a part and be of use during the birth. Maggie helped him realise that he could and would play a pivotal role and be able to join in the whole experience far more than he expected, but wished for.
We had been attending the NHS ante natal classes that in themselves were very helpful, but the 2 days we spent with Maggie were full of helpful hints and tips and information that we were not aware of, in particular the various phases that labour and birth send you through. Being a first time mum you do not know what to expect; most of the time you are told of 38 hour labours, traumas, excruciating pain etc, all of which scared me to the point that I wondered what I had done!
However, Maggie describing phases such as the ‘self-doubt’ phase really helped me and when it came to the labour and birth I knew what to expect and how to cope with it.
At the end of the course we drafted our own birthing plan; what we would do, our visualisation tactics, what we would take etc to enjoy the whole experience. We went away feeling so excited and waiting for the special day instead of dreading it! I felt I would never survive childbirth (a common fear I now understand), but after the 2 days I felt empowered and completely able.
Relaxed mum, relaxed Christmas
Our due date was 22nd December and all along I had said I didn’t want a 25th or 26th birthdate, however…! Christmas Day morning at home I had my show. I was very relaxed and not at all panicked which I had expected. So, we got the Christmas dinner on, determined to enjoy a good meal before going to hospital. After my show, I felt no real discomfort just some twinges. Later on, around 8pm my contractions started, slight at first then becoming more uncomfortable. I found walking around the house very helpful and swaying seemed to ease the pain.
We had our visualisation worked through, we were walking up a particular hill from a past holiday and coming back down the other side as the contraction subsided. The contractions were lasting 10 seconds, 5 of which were going up the hill, the other 5 coming down. My husband would be behind me during this time counting with me and talking to me.
We carried on with this for a while, managing to grab Christmas ‘tele’ along the way! I wanted to stay at home for as long as we felt comfortable, however, by 2am my contractions were coming much faster (every 2 minutes) so we felt it was time. The contractions were still only lasting 10 seconds. On the way to the hospital, we continued with our hill climbing!
It was a strange experience entering the hospital. Prior to talking with Maggie, I couldn’t wait to get to the hospital and be among those who knew, but after I felt confident that we could manage this ourselves and I did not really want lots of people interrupting us. However, they were very good and once they realised that we were using natal hypnotherapy, they were really pleased and very supportive.
We were left to our own devices, being checked pretty much every 4 hours. We were very relaxed, walking around, walking the hill, chatting and listening to our Natal Hypnotherapy music. As the labour developed I did find myself becoming increasingly tired so I eventually lay on the bed, on my side, which I found very comfortable. I did use some gas and air towards the end but felt that this didn’t overly help, merely seemed to shorten my contractions from 10 to 7 seconds. In between contractions I would calm myself and count each one as a positive step towards meeting our baby instead of dreading the pain. I found myself falling into a deep sleep between each contraction, it felt like I was asleep for hours but by now it was only a couple of minutes*.
When we had arrived at the hospital I was 5cm dilated, however, after 4 hours I was only 6cm. This was because our baby had moved slightly and was now at the wrong angle. There was then discussion about preparing me for a C Section, something that I really did not want. However, with the new knowledge and confidence that my husband had, he became my ‘gatekeeper’ and asked whether ‘either myself or the baby was in any immediate danger’. The answer was ‘no’ so he suggested that we could wait 15 minutes before making the decision… something I will not forget. In those 15 minutes we were given, our little angel moved to the correct position and started crowning! From crowning to birth it was 30 minutes and what an unforgettable, totally amazing, emotional 30 minutes that was! I had been through my self-doubt phase, knew what it was and dealt with it, came out the other side and gave birth to our beautiful daughter naturally and in a completely relaxed state!
She came out relaxed and chuckling, no crying, scoring a 9 and then 10’s on the Apgar scale! I had her against me immediately after my husband cut the cord, it was such a magical experience, and no drug could match that feeling of high! The midwives left us for a while just to enjoy our new baby and the whole experience. relaxed, mum, relaxed baby and relaxed Christmas!
My labour was just 12 hours, relatively pain-free and so very relaxed! Something I felt I could never achieve. Our midwives were great and very open to our own methods. They enjoyed the whole experience too! They had never had such a relaxed birth and couldn’t believe how relaxed baby was too. We were welcomed with a card from them when we got home, thanking us for ‘an amazing birth’.
We strongly believe our completely amazing experience was down to Natal hypnotherapy and Maggie guiding us through our fears and lack of confidence to make us know that we could do it, that we would be good at it and that I could be a relaxed mum! We now are enjoying our beautiful, relaxed daughter in a completely different way than we expected!
This is an experience I would not hesitate to go through again, using the methods we used!” Alison
You can find out more about my 5 steps to a better birth by downloading this mini guide
Wishing you a wonderful christmas and a happy new year!
*one of the suggestions on the Effective Birth Preparation album is “each contraction feels as if it is only a few seconds… the time between each contraction feels as if it is all the time you ned to fully relax and reenergize”
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