One of the many concerns from women we support is how they will cope if they have an induced labour. Even though an induction is not the bodies natural way to start labour, you can still use all the Natal Hypnotherapy techniques to stay calm, focused and positive through out an induced labour.
“After being told I could not have children due to surgeries and medical conditions I never fathomed having a child or its implications. So you can imagine the shock when I found out i was carrying a child! I had no idea what to expect. I’d never paid an interest in children before due to my circumstances and was totally bewildered.
I did the usual of online researching and tried to attend local prenatal classes; but they were difficult with working full time. A friend told me about Hypnobirth Classes and I’ve never been one for any kind of hypnosis but I thought I’d give it a go.
The first class I attended was so welcoming and it was great meeting other expectant mums. So I continued and also went to 2 blocks of the Pregnancy Relaxation classes during my pregnancy. I had a lot of aches and pains that were emphasised due to my Ehlers Danlos syndrome and found relaxing the most difficult thing in the world. The classes helped me realise that my body knows what it’s doing and if I’m tired it’s a good thing to rest, its not giving up its listening to myself. They also helped me work through a lot of fears, I was terrified I’d miscarry or not be able to deal with the birth, that something would go wrong. They helped me put everything into perspective and realise that my body will make sure my baby is healthy.
I reached full term and there were no signs of contractions but I was having pain and my baby’s movements were rapidly decreasing. I was advised to go for a scan to see if baby was ok and have a stretch and sweep. Of course I was a little nervous, but you know what? I was ready for anything! The scan showed I had lost half of my amniotic fluid and i was advised to have an induced labour.
An induced labour was the right thing for me and my baby
I agreed without hesitation, I knew I was not leaving that hospital until my baby was out, how exciting! I was induced and swept at 5pm on my due date 11/04/2016. I quickly started to over contract and this was when a wave of doubt came over me, I was afraid I would not be able to deal with the pain, that if the contractions were this strong straight away, what would the birth be like? But think about it like this, with an induced labour your body wasn’t expecting to contract today, it’s a shock to your body as well as you. I asked for some pain relief and was given pethidine. I became drowsy and vomited a few times but I felt calm and focused on relaxing ready for the birth. I had a 6 hour snooze and woke to needing the toilet! So off I waddled down the corridor. I then went to get up off the toilet and was stuck halfway, i felt so embarrassed shouting for someone from the restroom! I was taken back to the labour ward and examined, finally at 5cm, time to go to the delivery suite.
I had just gotten into my delivery room when I felt this huge rush to push down, I called for the midwife and before she got to me I had burst my waters, while she went to get her apron on I pushed again and knew she was close. I was given gas and air and boy did I grab onto that! The next push, the head was here, and the fourth push was my final one! The birth took 10 minutes in total but it felt a lot longer! The only details I remember about the birth were closing my eyes, breathing and thinking all that matters is getting her here safely, just keep pushing! I listened to my body and my little girl got here so fast. So fast in fact she had to be taken away to be examined. It didn’t phase me, I knew she was fine.
Chase was born at 6 lb 3 1/2 oz (to be exact) and it was perfect. I would do it all again, exactly the same way, or a totally different way!
Trust me, as long as your little angel gets here safe you’ll wonder why you ever worried about the circumstances.”
Thank you Callie for your honest, open and inspiring story.
One of the things I hear a lot is that the skills learnt with Natal Hypnotherapy are not just for the birth but are for life itself – often life changing! here is one such story:-
“I’m 37, I had a baby at 19 which I found traumatic even though clinically it was a straight forward vaginal birth. It was very long, very sore, I got very scared, had my waters broken and wasn’t prepared for a baby at all!
The fear has always stayed with me and I accepted that if I was to have another child I’d just have to put up with it, probably opting for an epidural which scared me in itself not being able to feel my legs. I just thought ‘well if a woman wants a baby she HAS to go through fear and pain, that’s just life’. I didn’t think for a second that there was a way to actually manage the labour calmly, relatively easily and to approach it feeling happy and in control. How wrong was I?!
My sister had a baby 4 years ago, her first. When I went in to see them after, I expected her to say how awful it was. I remember saying to her ‘I thought I was going to die!’ after my first child so I prepared for the worst and to console her by saying clichés like ‘well it won’t be so bad next time’ and ‘at least it’s over with now’ but I was met with a smiley, calm, joking younger sister! A beautiful girl she’d had, they had to rush in because she’d been so comfortable and in control at home and she was 9 cms on arrival. I couldn’t believe it, she even spoke to me on the phone just before they headed into hospital and we had a normal conversation. She had used Natal Hypnotherapy!
She had another really quick, easy birth at our local midwife led unit, she didn’t even have to practise the technique…it never left her. She was able to feel and realise what was happening to her as the baby was crowning and she actually said she enjoyed it and was jealous I was going to go through it because she wasn’t going to again! I knew we had to take the Natal hypnotherapy course. I had had success giving up smoking and passing my driving test with similar techniques.
My partner Rob and I opted for a course at home from our Natal Hypnotherapy practitioner Rachel. Rachel was great at keeping in touch with me by email to arrange the visit and it was informed and relaxed. We wanted her all to ourselves, but would have been equally happy going to a group course. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but was really pleased with the amount of clear and useful information we received, the techniques we practised and how my partner was included as much as me. He felt extremely useful and I felt the course was designed to really get couples talking about how the birthing mum was going to be supported therefore improving our confidence as we went along. The course was detailed but only with the stuff you needed to know and the way labour and birth was explained was by far the clearest I’ve ever heard and we understood it straight away. I particularly like the way it was broken down into phases.
Part of why birth is so scary is because you think ‘how am I ever going to understand what I’m going through physically? It’s a foreign language!’ So you just don’t try to but worry you or your baby are going to get hurt or die in the worse case scenario.
Once I’d done the course the CD made even more sense to me, and I listened to it in a different more positive way. I felt I learnt to breathe properly which also helped me in everyday life and I still use it now when I’m really tired but find it hard to switch off or feel the pressure of life getting to me. I’m sure I didn’t breathe properly before! I also read the book at least twice and read specific parts out to Rob, I loved the book, really easy to read, charming and made loads of sense.
Using the Effective Birth Preparation book’s guidance we discussed what I wanted him to talk to me about, my visualisations and happy thoughts to help me through and I gathered photos on my phone to look at to remind me of peaceful, times of no pain and my loving, caring family. I found it difficult to think of a ‘place to go’ to feel peaceful so photos were my thing.
Looking back it was a huge help being able to do something positive towards the labour and to think that I could take myself out of the expected painful situation using my mind. At that point I didn’t know if it would work….I just hoped it would.
Best ever Christmas present
I had a lot of Braxtons throughout my pregnancy so when I was getting them in the early hours of Christmas day I presumed that’s what they were. I had a bit of a show and felt only excitement but we decided to just see how it went, I wasn’t feeling anything new. I had a few Braxtons which I now know were contractions throughout Christmas day but just carried on. It wasn’t until I was talking to my brother and his wife and had to stop and breathe quite purposefully that my sister in law gave me a knowing look and said ‘maybe?’ I shrugged it off and we put a film on. What was remarkable looking back is I felt only calm. When I had my son, at the first sign of pain I felt scared which just escalated until I felt unsafe at home (which was unnecessary).
Half way through the film the contractions were getting stronger, I think at this point I knew they weren’t just Braxtons but just took myself to the ball and bounced. Another half an hour and I told my son (now 18) to turn off the film and that Rob and I needed to get into ‘the Natal Hynotherapy zone’. Again, I was very matter-of-fact about it and did not feel in the least bit scared or anxious.
The next few hours (but it flew over) I spent upstairs. I seemed to get one long contraction and the urge to wee which didn’t subside until I lay down. I had visons of lying on the bed listening to the CD but the contractions for all they did stop and start were coming fast and strong. I didn’t get a chance to get the CD on. I found I needed Rob there to hold my hand through them and I just shut my eyes. I breathed calmly and quietly during the contractions.
After a while, I thought I’d better ring the unit although I was so calm I really was in two minds whether to bother them! I mentioned (on the advice of my midwife because I’d appear calmer than a woman in an equal stage of labour not practicing N H T) that I was practising Natal Hypnotherapy and I had three contractions in the time I was speaking to her (all for which I just stopped talking and concentrated with my eyes shut). Despite originally telling me just to take some paracetamol and have a bath by the time I had my third contraction she said ‘maybe you should come in just because the contractions are quite close together’. Again I was saying to Rob ‘well I’ll just stay here for a bit longer and see’, I was comfy apart from the contractions!
I quickly started to feel a lot of pressure in my bum and felt flushed and remembered that was one of the ‘make your way to hospital’ signs included in the handouts we received from the course so asked Rob to warm up the car. Actually my son warmed the car up and I held onto his shoulder during a contraction before I left, my son was perfectly calm despite seeing his mum in discomfort and that was because I wasn’t stressed or scared.
The car journey was uncomfortable and I was going through the journey in my head (naturally had eyes closed constantly) which helped, fortunately we didn’t have far to go. By the time we got there I felt I was going to wee everywhere and I could feel the baby’s head low down and a lot of pressure, I knew she was close to being born. I hurried as fast as I could to the unit.
Once examined with help from gas and air (fantastic!) I heard her say to my delight (and feeling slightly smug) I was 10cms. I felt a huge part, quite possibly the hardest part was over. I knew from then in it was downhill until I met my baby and until the contractions and uncomfortableness stopped.
Around that time, I think just after, I had my self-doubt phase. I said to Rob ‘Oh howay man’ (I’m a Geordie) and I felt like I was saying ‘that’s enough now’, that’s certainly how I felt. I’ve read about the self-doubt phase and remember it from my first child so I thought this one was pretty controlled!
I actually enjoyed the pushing stage
Another couple of hours and she was born. The most memorable and surprising sensation was how pushing her out wasn’t painful. It was like having a big poo and my body sort of took over. Before the course I was worried that it would burn and I would tear awfully as I did before but no, it was even somewhat pleasant. I was making animalistic noises at the top of my lungs too which felt good. My birthing body took over because I gave it permission to by keeping myself calm. I realised I didn’t have to do anything, I gave myself permission to just let it happen.
Not once did I feel scared, embarrassed, out of control or worried. I was FULLY aware of what was going on despite having my eyes closed the entire time (I was in my birthing mind). I was straining to hear what the midwifes were saying, listening out for clues that it wasn’t going right or I wasn’t doing it right but nothing. Straight forward. I realise not all births are, but I honestly believe that I/we would have coped with whatever was thrown at us. Every time I was asked to move, or roll over or be examined (experiences which I found particularly stressful and painful in my first birth) I did so quickly and didn’t worry. At one point I didn’t want to move from the ball to the bed because it was uncomfortable to move during a contraction and I was getting them frequently but I out loud told myself ‘come on Alex’, the strength coming from inside and overtaking me and got up and did it.
I even remember asking Rob if HE was ok during the labour. So strong was my ease and confidence. When the midwife was telling me to push I actually could have pushed harder…I think I realised that it was nearing the end and then it would be over and I was quite enjoying it!
Baby girl was born healthy and once I’d been stitched (small tear on my old scar) I was up, showered and ringing my sister overjoyed!!
Fearne is very smiley, she charms everyone and is very calm. She only cries when I’m tardy with making a bottle or she gets very tired. She loves looking quietly at anything and everything and enjoys the company of other people. She sleeps well. She has just turned 5 months and I’ve loved all of it. I think the course has a positive effect even now in our decision making and has taught me the skills to remain calm even if I haven’t had a lot of sleep and because I’m calm and confident with Fearne I believe Rob is too.
I am utterly, utterly thrilled with the life changing positive effect this course had on my experience of the birth of my second child.
Not just the labour but leading up to it too. I found it very easy to absorb myself in the course and found great comfort in the book and CD.
Realising the positivity that knowledge and a little bit of hard work and dedication can have on a life changing experience is unbelievable.
I believe that a woman’s experience of birth affects how she (especially a first time mum) approaches motherhood mentally, and that a healthy mental attitude towards motherhood is of upmost importance and that that also rubs off onto the partner and other family members let alone the baby.
I found those first 6 weeks were the most emotionally challenging of my adult life, especially incorporating breast feeding but I found with the memories of a positive birth behind me it gave me the strength to think ‘I’m capable of ANYTHING’ and cannot be beaten. I didn’t find the course made me closer to my baby, I didn’t feel I needed any help with that but it did enable me to start bonding with her straight away instead of stressing and recovering from a difficult, traumatic, confusing and out of control birth.
It helped my quick physical recovery to reply ‘it was a wonderful birth! No problems!’ to questions about how painful it was, or how much I tore or how many hours of agonising pain I was subjected to in a place where I didn’t know anyone with them sticking pointy things into all my bits without my permission!
I’d like to think Fearne gets her sunny disposition from all of the positive vibes I sent to her with the help of Natal Hypnotherapy and I know it helped Rob to feel empowered during my pregnancy, labour and even now. We both LOVED it, and I tell everyone I get the chance my amazing story.
/For this birth story we getting a father’s perspective. We often hear from women that dads can be somewhat reluctant to come along to Natal Hypnotherapy classes. This is often based on a slightly mis-placed perception of what it is all about. So I am delighted to hear Dave’s side of the story.
“The term Hypnobirthing probably sounds quite ‘hippy’ and ‘alternative’ to most people. It certainly did to me when I first heard it. But in fact it is really rational and logical. By staying calm and keeping adrenaline at bay, a woman can deliver her baby naturally as we were designed to do and have been doing for thousands of years. It makes total sense! It’s not some crazy mumbo-jumbo I promise. The Natal Hypnotherapy techniques Khim taught Jade and I transformed her from a terrified wreck, to a calm and mentally organised mother-to-be. The emotional and mental toolkit enabled us to breeze through the birth of our daughter in such a magical way as we felt empowered and in control throughout. At no time in labour did we panic or did she feel the need for pain relief. I wanted to share our story, from a father’s perspective.
Our birth story
Jade was four days over her due date when she went in to labour. After a few days of light but continuous Braxton Hicks, Jade and I did some breathing exercises and the Effective Birth Preparation track and then went to bed. During the early hours of the morning, Jade woke up and spent a bit of time alone, breathing and relaxing as her labour gradually began. She woke me at 4am and we spent the next hour and a half or so in the lounge, which we referred to throughout as our ‘nest’. We kept the lights low, the room nice and warm and just spent time together, talking, encouraging each other, moving Jade around, massaging and getting her comfortable and at the same time practicing breathing and relaxation techniques just as you taught us. At this stage we thought we had a good day ahead of us, so it was a very mellow and easy start and we just made sure to keep working through the various exercises that we had learned from you.
Jade needed the loo so popped to the bathroom. She realised that it was quite comfortable to sit on the toilet lid (upright and leaning forward, like you said) and so we decided to stay there for a while. We faffed about with the tens machine but Jade didn’t really think she needed it yet, so we didn’t really get it hooked up properly. Everything seemed so relaxed and we felt completely in control. At this stage Jade was having slightly stronger contractions, less than a minute in length, but still a bit far apart. She was totally lucid and able to speak to me through each one. At 6.02am I rang the hospital and said we would be in at some point during the day. At 6.04am I rang my father in law and asked him to pop round at about 7am to pick up our son for the day. At 6.10 Jade had her first strong contraction. She easily worked through it with some great breathing. Then another. At 6.15 I rang my father in law again just to check he was still ok to pick Phoenix up. Jade then had her third contraction, her waters broke (we were hugging close at the time and both got drenched) and so we sat laughing together for a while. She had three more contractions and then suddenly said “I need to push”. We were caught completely by surprised but didn’t panic at all. I eased Jade on to some towels on the floor and at 6.26am, with three short pushes, Jade easily delivered our baby daughter – straight in to my waiting hands.
Jade didn’t have any pain relief and she hardly made a sound as our daughter came in to the World. In fact, we were making eye contact and talking to each other the whole way though the birth. It was utterly amazing. In fact, I would say that the techniques you taught us were so effective and we were so well prepared that the birth actually caught us off guard 🙂 We sat on the bathroom floor afterwards, wide eyed, looking down at our baby daughter and just blown away by how quickly and easily it all happened.
Thank you once again for Helping us to have such an incredible birth story. We went to Whipps Cross Hospital for some follow up checks and the head nurse in the maternity ward even offered me a midwife application form. So if my current job doesn’t work out – I’ve got that to fall back on!
We truly believe Natal Hypnotherapy should be compulsory for all women. We insist any pregnant family or friends learn the techniques. We are convinced it was the reason for Jades intervention free labour”
An inspiring story about a couples journey to prepare for their awesome homebirth.
I get sent lots of wonderful birth stories and I love reading all of them! it is always nice to read stories where women have overcome fears and challenges to have a positive birth experience. Abi and Ajay share their story on the challenges they faced and determination to have an awesome homebirth.
“2015 – The year I was diagnosed with relapsing remitting MS in January, and then welcomed our healthy, beautiful baby girl into our lives in December. What a rollercoaster life this is proving to be.
After being thrilled and excited to find out we were pregnant in April, the research into the birth we wanted went full steam ahead. My MS diagnosis made me doubt myself, my body – it’s a failure, it can’t do anything. The more I started to read and discover that my body is capable, it’s made to give birth, I soon put my worries about my MS to one side.
Telling our family and close friends news of our pregnancy was both wonderful and challenging. Excited about the forthcoming homebirth ideas, it was all I wanted to talk about in the beginning, getting their opinions on the idea. Wrong thing to do! I was massively disappointed by the negativity and over-worrying from them. It felt like having a constant battle every time we got together and I’d go to bed furious and upset. We were made to feel like we were doing something stupid/dangerous – we thought going anywhere near a hospital when in labour was just that! It’s sad to say that their reactions made us dislike being pregnant which is such a shame but ironically, gave us the determination and strength to successfully birth our baby at home. The best affirmation in our babies birthing room at home (Ajay’s office! J) sums up how we used this negativity: “She said she could so she did”.
I’d thought about a homebirth for years, probably coming from my sister planning one in 2006. My best friend, Amy, had an awesome homebirth in New Zealand in January 2013 and has been my most recent inspiration. I knew that I wanted, and needed to carry out my own research so that I had all the up-to-date information about birthing our baby, at home or otherwise. The reading, watching videos, attending home birth groups and constantly discussing everything with my husband Ajay, began.
Ajay always researches everything so thoroughly so that he can reach the best possible decision. I was researching everything I could and knew that Ajay was doing the same, if not more. The first homebirth meeting we went to took place on an evening in the week when Ajay was working away but he drove 250 miles to come back home for the meeting then drove a further 100 miles after the meeting at 10pm to go on to a different hotel for a different meeting the following day! Listening to homebirthers face to face was all we both needed. We asked questions and got answers we were happy with. It was particularly reassuring to meet people who were ‘normal’ like us! Not a room full of ‘hippies’ like the homebirth stereotype sometimes implies. I went to bed happy that night knowing that Ajay had benefited from attending the meeting and that we were both definitely on our way with our homebirth plans.
We stopped mentioning our homebirth plans. It became our big secret. As negative comments kept coming, we smiled politely and stayed quiet and kept our plans to ourselves. We were confident and comfortable with our decision and made sure we were as prepared as possible for our baby’s birth journey.
I came across Natal Hypnotherapy and started learning more about it, taking part in webinars to find out about the benefits of hypno-birthing our baby out. We bought the book and downloads (see how you can get a free one at the end) and started listening to them every couple of days. I found them extremely relaxing, often falling asleep. I received details of a local practitioner in Manchester, Natalie Querishi, who could come to our house and carry out two days training with myself and Ajay to help us prepare for the birth. The training included general hypno-birthing techniques, breathing techniques, affirmation planning plus lots more. By the end of the training, we both felt like we could birth our baby safely at home, so started writing up notes for a ‘birth plan’. Refusing to call it a ‘plan’ as we felt that plans often go wrong and are too rigid, so instead came up with our birth wishes. Our wishes for what would happen when I was in labour. Although they now seem relatively strict – not deliberate, but we wanted to be clear on what we did or didn’t want, all being well.
Our awesome homebirth story
I don’t remember being nervous about labour. I’d done my research, I wanted it to happen, I was almost excited?! I wanted us to meet our baby!
My EDD was 30 December but felt that our baby would make her way to us sooner so ensured that we were as prepared as possible. Practical items were bought – food and energy drinks waiting in the fridge. The birth pool was bought and the “office” prepared for the forthcoming birth. My husband, Ajay, tested it all out so that he felt comfortable with what he needed to do on the day so no panic, mid-contraction! My affirmations that I’d been preparing since finding out I was pregnant, were written up on to large pieces of card and pinned up in the office.
After a bit of stress getting hold of the gas man, he finally delivered two canisters of Entonox, for if we felt like I needed them when in labour. The relief I felt when seeing them sat near the birth pool was immense!
I think my mucus plug broke around the 23 December but can’t be too sure?! I kept thinking maybe it was just bloody discharge?
Christmas Day arrived and I woke up feeling uncomfortable and miserable – what a great Christmas Day this was turning out to be! We had breakfast in bed, trying to be in a good mood but not really getting anywhere, so decided to get up and go downstairs to watch Christmas tv and open some presents. As soon as I got up I felt a small trickle, I checked and nothing to see other than a bit of wetness in my knickers. That’s strange, it was hardly anything? Can’t have been my waters, maybe it was a tiny bit of urine?! I tried to forget about it but noticed it kept happening throughout the day as I walked about. I told Ajay what was happening so both decided to get on google! We found out that it could be my waters breaking, I could be in labour?! We read about the fact that if my waters had gone, the medical world would want me be to be in labour within 24/48 hours (depends on where you live!) Both me and Ajay felt that unfortunately, we’d better go to Hospital to get checked over, we didn’t want to take any unnecessary risks.
It was a very quiet journey to the Hospital as we both knew that the dreaded induction would probably be mentioned. At the Hospital, we were quickly seen by a midwife who said yes, your waters have started to go, ‘partial membrane rupture’. She left us in the room alone and I could have cried hysterically. Here we were, somewhere we never wanted to be, about to be faced with a hard decision, and on Christmas Day! Ajay and I stayed strong though and talked briefly about what we do if we were encouraged to book in for induction. We knew we could decline it but wanted to know what we could do to make sure our baby was safe. A second midwife came in to check the baby’s heartbeat. All fine. Phew. The woman, seeing the worrying look on my face, started talking about induction – we’d need to go back to the Hospital at 10am on boxing day to book in for my induction if I’d not already gone into labour. At this point, Ajay started calmly asking all the questions we’d talked about, if we ended up in this situation. The midwife replied very fairly and there was no pressure from her about ‘having to be induced’. I could have screamed with delight when she said “it’s important to have a happy Mum, you know the natural ways to get induced, go home and enjoy Christmas Day!” So off we went and got the spiciest curry we could get and went home for a bit of sex! 😉
My waters finally gushed out at 3am on Christmas Day night, both me and Ajay had big smiles on our faces…things were finally starting! We were ready for the exciting challenge.
I think I started feeling mild contractions (or maybe just Braxton hicks, who knows!) so myself and Ajay dashed about preparing what we felt needed to get done – a hilarious moment came when we both dashed to separate bathrooms and both started spraying on the deodorant!! Like that mattered?! But it did, we were excited and knew we wanted to be presentable for when the midwife would arrive at home.
I quickly tried to stick on the TENS machine and switched it on. I pulled it straight off! Not for me at all. So down I went to start re-reading my affirmations – this was much more soothing!
Ajay started timing my contractions as they began to pick up. They felt exactly as expected – strong period pains, manageable though. I was enjoying this…
My hypno music had been put on and I was walking from room to room listening to it. I think I was starting to get in the ‘zone’. The ‘zone’ Ajay said I was in throughout all of my labour.
Ajay phoned the midwife to let her know that I was in labour and she asked him to call back if we wanted them to come to our house. I said she didn’t need to come yet. What if I wasn’t actually in labour?! But the contractions suddenly started to pick up so we called back and I spoke to the midwife (muttering a few quiet words…). At 4am our amazing midwife, Susanah arrived at our house. We all had a quick chat, Ajay showed Susanah our birth wishes (which she totally respected throughout the labour) and she politely asked me if I wanted to be examined to see how far dilated I was. I quickly said yes I would like to be examined but didn’t want to know how far I was (or not), so Susannah said she would tell Ajay and not me. Exactly what I’d wanted but hadn’t said! Examination done, Susannah told Ajay I was 4cm dilated which I didn’t hear, but did hear her say “Think it’s time to fill the pool up”. At this point I was quickly walking up and down a flight of our stairs to help baby and to distract myself, now with a smile on my face knowing I’d soon be getting in the pool. The contractions had picked up now and were getting increasingly painful.
I stopped at the top of the stairs and started trying to deal with the pains by slowly swaying from side to side. This seemed to be helping. Hypno music still playing…
I then decided to walk downstairs to see the pool filling up. It was nearly ready. I started to feel a strong urge to push so quietly told Susanah who said to me it was time to get in the pool. As soon as I got into the pool a big smile emerged on my face, the pain relief from the water was indescribable but I managed to mutter something like “it feels amazing”.
I moved around in the pool changing positions to what felt better for me and what Susanah very politely said would help baby’s position. I can’t remember how long I was in the pool for not pushing, but when I felt the need to starting fully pushing I began. I was lent over the pool holding Ajay’s hands, squeezing them so tight when the contractions were very painful. The amount of reassurance and support I felt from holding on to Ajay’s hands was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for anything else.
I started pushing but felt uncomfortable. I felt like I was using all my energy to push a big poo out! In my mind this felt like a total waste of energy! I hadn’t fully made the connection that this was normal! Pushing a baby out does feel like having a poo! J I realised that the feeling was ‘normal’ so carried on with my pushing. I’ve been told that I was making low grunting noises but don’t remember this. I do remember keeping control of my breathing making sure I was doing deep and slow breaths, it felt like I was breathing our baby out. Once the pushing had picked up, our little lady started to play a game with me! I’d push her head out then she’d pull it back in! It felt like a big tussle with each other! It was so hard at this point when I started to feel like I wouldn’t get anywhere. I must have been in transition as I very quietly said “I can’t do this anymore” to which Susanah asked “what can’t you do?” I didn’t reply. I knew what I needed to do to get our baby out. The second midwife, Gemma, could see what was happening so asked me if I wanted to feel our baby’s head. I did. Wow. Baby was so close! Ajay excitedly moved to have a look and came back with a big grin on his face! “I can see the head and some black hair!” This was all I needed. I picked up the pushing once again, I wanted to meet our baby! I pushed and pushed and pushed and started to feel the baby move down the birth canal. Totally surreal. I felt like my body was breaking in two but didn’t care, we were so close. I didn’t feel like I was in the pool doing the pushing, my body was taking over! I caught a glimpse of my main affirmation once again “She said she could so she did”, and with my added strength I did a final push, heard a splash in the water, then was asked to pick up our baby water of the water. We did it, yeah! We had our awesome homebirth!
The midwife placed her on my chest and she straight away started feeding. Ajay came round to us and kissed me and our little girl. Heaven. Six hours worth of labour was worth every second.
I eventually got out of the pool (after first fainting! Combination of low blood pressure and six hours worth of labour!) and quite quickly delivered my placenta naturally!
Although I didn’t feel any tearing, Susanah checked me over and said I’d had a 2nd degree tear and would probably need some stitches, if I wanted them. I decided to have my stitches so had a local anaesthetic and got stitched up while Ajay had skin on skin with our daughter.
Our fantastic midwife Susanh stayed for 8 hours at our home to make sure that I was okay, baby was fine! By 8pm we were all upstairs in bed, ready for our first night as a family of three. No sleep as all we wanted to do was stare at our beautiful daughter. The best night of no-sleep EVER!”
What a wonderful story – thanks so much for sharing it with us. To find out more about Natal Hypnotherapy go to www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk
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!
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
Wishing you a wonderful Christmas and a happy new year!
*one of the suggestions on the Effective Birth Preparation 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”