CREATE CALM HYPNOBIRTHING: POSITIVE BIRTH STORIES
The Birth of Henry
Henry, 42 weeks, Positive Hospital Birth
Rory, 35 weeks, Natural Hospital Birth
41 weeks, Positive Birth Centre Birth
The Birth of Henry
Henry, 42 weeks, Positive Hospital Birth
You will be happy to know that I had a positive birth! Although nothing like the one I planned, but I guess they say ‘when you make a plan God laughs’ this was very true in our case!
Henry was born on 1 August (15 days post estimated due date) weighing 8lb 8oz.
At term plus 10 I went into hospital for a third sweep and they advised that I be induced, but being induced really was the last thing I wanted so I decided to push on and keep cooking. I knew that using my BRAIN methods I didn’t want to go past term plus 14, although the risk levels increased ever so slightly, I was just too anxious and I think it would have done more harm than good.
On Thursday 30th I had a bloody show and also was vomiting during the day, I knew these were all signs and the thought that I may actually get the homebirth I wanted I got into full relaxation mode and it worked!
That night I went into labour, my contractions were really regular straight away and by the morning of the 31st July I had having about 3 in 10 minutes, they were really manageable and my breathing techniques worked a treat! Henry was back to back (despite all of my efforts trying to turn him) so I really felt an enormous amount of pressure in my bum, the kind they talk about when you are getting ready to push, so contractions were a little confusing as the pressure was more and more each time.
At midday we called the homebirth team to let them know and they sent someone out to check me, when they came I had been in labour for 12 hours at home and I was 2cm. I decided to have examinations as I really wanted to know my progression. I was a little disheartened with 2cm and confused as I’d been contracting so frequently and for so long! The Midwife’s checked Henry’s heart beat and it seemed when I contracted his heartbeat dropped, every time. They advised I came into hospital but I just felt I was fine at home and would give it some more time. I agreed that if I hadn’t felt labour had progressed by midnight I would come in.
So, as soon as they left, labour stopped, completely! For 6 hours! I was devastated I felt like it was all my fault because I’d let my cave be broken! It was fair to say I had a major wobble here! I gave myself 1 hour to be upset then it was back into oxytocin overload, we had lovely food, massage and generally had a really lovely time!
And boom at 10pm on 31st July labour restarted, so much so I had to start using my TENS machine because of the pressure in my back - it worked a dream!
I had already decided that I would go into hospital at midnight because I would be term plus 15 so Adam got everything sorted and I put my face mask on and got into the car. After an uncomfortable ride there, we were given a lovely room and met our wonderful midwife, Rachel. She broke my waters and could even feel the hair on Henry’s head which gave me a massive burst.
But that is when contractions changed, the intensity had gone up by 100% I could not believe the difference in them, I kept doing my breathing techniques during them for 4 hours, but my contractions were so close together I didn’t get a break in between them. They had originally wanted to give me the hormone drip straight away but because my contractions were so close together which Henry was struggling to coping with they decided not to. So I tried to have a conversation with Adam about pain relieve using my BRAIN method as I knew it had been 22hours and at 3cm I knew there was a possibility I had another 22 hours ahead of me so I decided to have an epidural and that’s where things changed again.
After the epidural I was able to focus and enjoy being in labour. I was shocked that I’d still be able to feel the contractions and my legs in fact! I thought I’d be totally numb but I could actually move my legs and feel every contraction.
For the next 14 hours, we laughed with the Midwife’s, had snacks, slept and generally had a great time.
I told my midwife that I needed to go for a number two and with that she said well I will just examine you first and to my surprise I was 10cm! We waited about an hour so he could travel down as much by himself and then it was time to push, which originally I didn’t want to do however with all of my intervention so far I felt safer following their recommendations. I pushed for about 45m and Henry’s head came out, however the cord was wrapped around his neck twice and I couldn’t seem to push past it so the doctor asked if she could perform episiotomy, feeling extremely tired I told her to go ahead. After that Henry’s heart beat dropped and didn’t come back up so the doctor recommended forceps, having talked with you about lots of different types of interventions I knew forceps was at the bottom of the list for me so I asked if she would be able to use a ventouse and she agreed.
5m later not so little Henry popped out! Whilst I was been taken care of after, Adam enjoyed skin to skin. The music was on, everyone was laughing and there was a lovely feeling in the room.
The delivery suite wasn’t busy that day so we kept our room and Adam stayed for the day spending lots of time with Henry.
Although it wasn’t the birth I had planned everything I learnt was still 100% necessary I felt fully in control and was able to make alternative decisions if I wasn’t entirely happy with the recommendations and I used all of our breathing techniques throughout!
Thank you so much for all of your help I honestly couldn’t recommend it enough. Here’s a little picture of the three of us...
Positive Induced Hospital Birth
I have been meaning to share a bit about my last birth for some time... 3 months to be precise.
My first two pregnancies weren’t the best by any means. They had a lot of issues and trauma. I knew I wanted this one to be a better experience. I also knew it had to be possible but I didn’t know how.
We decided to look into hypnobirthing and found Lauren from @createcalmhypnobirthing . Her course was so incredibly helpful; I had so many “ahah” moments. I still can’t believe how much I learned about the process. Suddenly, the birth and how to work with it all started to make so much sense. Alongside this , we also used essential oils during pregnancy. I was using lemon, orange, peppermint, Gentle Baby, Valor and lavender.
My birth started in a way that wasn’t in my birth plan. I ended up being admitted for a bleed; not progressing for 14 hours; changing hospitals at 2:30am because it was so busy and having an induction and that’s just to name a few and a small part of the story.
However, I practised my hypno breathing and applied my oils.
I was nervous about the induction because of my daughter’s birth but knew it was the safest option on this occasion. Having had one before, I knew they can be a lot more intense. Still, I practised my hypno and applied my oils.
We ended up with two amazing midwives. In fact, one was from my original hometown and one was from Stefan’s! We all chatted, laughed and spoke of home all day. We still look back amazed at how crazy it started and how incredible it went. It’s was natural and pain was completely manageable! It still blows my mind if I’m honest.
I’ll never forget leaving to go to the ward after delivery. Our midwives actually cried and said that was one of the best birthing experiences they ever had. And it was! Even with an induction, I still managed a natural birth and I 100% put this down to Stefan; Lauren’s hypno classes and my trusty oils. I couldn’t have wished for a better experience 🤍
Rory, Natural Hospital Birth
When Rory decided to enter the world it was 9:45pm and me and my husband had just sat down to watch some tv when I felt a gush of water as I went to sit up. 'Love,' I said to my husband, 'I think my waters have just broken'.
Despite the fact that it was a bit earlier than expected, and we were not ready (the hospital bag wasn't even packed), I felt completely calm, and kept remembering one of the hypnobirthing affirmations 'my baby will come when my baby is ready'.
We called my mum to come and watch my eldest son, and whilst we waited I began to get the hospital bag ready. During this time the surges started, and I used the 'upbreathing' techniques to help with the discomfort, and made sure to keep upright and moving the whole time. I also had a warm shower which helped to calm and relax me.
It took us about an hour to get ready for the hospital, and I was so calm that I hadn't really noticed that my surges had started to become pretty close together. It was only as we were getting in the car that my husband said he thought there had only been 2 minutes between the last two. I had been so focused on my breathing and repeating my affirmations that I hadn't realised. We put the hypnobirthing MP3 on in the car, both of us repeating 'my baby will come when my baby is ready' over and over as I breathed through each surge.
When we got to the hospital the midwife examined me and told me that I was already 8cm dilated - I couldn't believe it! From there I was taken straight through to a delivery suite.
I told the midwife that I didn't want to be on my back, I wanted to be upright - so she helped me up onto the hospital bed where I leaned on my knees over the backrest. At this point I felt I needed some additional help with the pain relief and asked for gas and air. The midwife then told me that I needed to start pushing. Again I couldn't believe it, it felt like I had only just arrived at the hospital, I couldn't be ready to push already! But sure enough I felt the change in my surges that I hadn't noticed in my first labour due to the various interventions.
I used the 'down breathing' technique when I noticed the change as it felt so natural, even though the midwife was telling me to bear down and push. Within 3 of the 'down surges' my baby was born. That last part of my labour was unreal - it really felt like my body just took over and birthed my baby.
As I sat back down on the bed and the midwife handed me my newborn son, I couldn't believe what had just happened and how different it had been to the birth of my first son. The labour had lasted 2 1/2 hours from my waters breaking to giving birth, a stark contrast from the 26 hours with my first son. And on top of that I felt absolutely amazing afterwards, on cloud nine!
I honestly believe that using the hypnobirthing techniques transformed Rory's birth into such a positive experience. I was so relaxed throughout, and I believe that this, combined with remaining upright, forward and open throughout the early and later stages, helped the labour progress so quickly and become the calm and empowering experience that it was.
When I first went into labour I wasn’t really sure if it had started or not.
I had felt uncomfortable for about 24 hours, and my tummy just felt hard. At first I wasn’t sure if it was Braxton Hicks contractions as I had heard they were more like ‘tightenings’ rather than what you might consider a ‘painful contraction’.
However, at about 3pm in the afternoon I was just sat on my bed reading. I stood up to go to the loo and I felt a trickle or water. Again, I wasn’t sure at first if this was my waters, but I put in a maternity pad just in case as I had been advised to do so the midwives can check it. And sure enough, every time I stood up or sat down, there was a little squelch (sorry TMI).
I called my husband to come home from work thinking I was more than likely in labour. I rang the midwife team to let them know I thought my waters had broken. They said to come in to the hospital just to have a check, but there was no need to rush, and I wasn’t really having contractions at that point.
So whilst I waited for my husband to come home, I had a check over my birth bag to make sure I had everything ready. I ran a bath, lit some candles, and played some of the hypnobirthing audio’s that I had been listening to in my hypnobirthing practice.
When he got home, we went straight to the hospital. I was a bit nervous as my husband wasn’t allowed to come in at this point due to Corona! I still wasn’t having ‘contractions’ or ‘surges’ at this point, my tummy just felt uncomfortable and a bit tight.
The midwife checked me over and confirmed my waters had broken, but sent us home as she said I clearly wasn’t in ‘active labour’ yet and to come back when I was having 3 contractions in 10 minutes.
So, we went home, had something to eat (it’s funny it’s one of the things I remember most about the hypnobirthing course, about the importance of fueling your body to give you energy). We went for a stroll as on the course Lauren had said that gentle exercise such as walking in early labour is a great way to get baby into a good position.
When we got back, I could start to feel something that I would describe more like ‘period cramps’, so I could tell things were progressing. We put on a romantic film on Netflix, my husband kept reminding me to drink water to keep hydrated, and I bounced on my birth ball whilst we watched the film.
When I felt a surge building, I started to do the ‘calm breathing’, and it did really help me to manage the sensations and give me something to focus on and distract me. And I generally did feel quite calm. I wasn’t nervous, I just felt really relaxed and pretty confident that I could do this, which I was surprised about.
I really didn’t want to rush into the hospital as I was aware from the course that it can be better to stay at home a bit longer where you feel comfortable in a familiar environment, as well as the Corona Virus situation! I got in the shower for a bit as the warm water on the base of my back was really soothing. And then my husband did some of the back-massage techniques to help me manage the sensations too. It was lovely, we had candles and relaxing music – it felt romantic, or like a spa session! Definitely not anything like the worried emergency that I had envisioned before doing the hypnobirthing course!
When the surges were really regular, we decided to go in to the hospital. On the way we played the MP3 with the positive affirmations and I wore an eye mask to help me focus. It was dark anyway as it was quite late by that point.
I can’t really remember what time we got to hospital or how long we were there as I was trying to avoid focussing on the time – another tip Lauren gave us! But I did have to wait in the triage section for a while, which was a bit frustrating as I felt like things had been progressing quickly at home.
I consented to a vaginal examination. The midwife said I was 6cms which I didn’t really know if this was good or not. We were shown through to the birth centre, but things had seemed to slow a bit. (In hindsight I think this might have been because of the change in environment and the internal examination).
I was able to get in the pool, which really helped with the sensations and took a bit of the weight off me. At this point I felt I needed a bit of help and asked for gas and air. I definitely didn’t want an epidural.
Basically, it was a bit boring from that point on! My surges began to steadily build again, until I felt a change in them. And I felt like I needed to poo!
The midwife said this probably meant I was ready to ‘push’. At this point I felt like I wanted to get out of the pool. It all went pretty quickly, and I ended up giving birth leaning over the sofa bed thing they have in the birth centre room in the early hours of the morning!
It was brilliant! It was definitely a challenge and it did hurt! But I’m so pleased I did the hypnobirthing course as I felt like I knew what to expect, I had things I could do to help me through it, and my husband knew what he could do to help me too.
It just made the whole thing special, rather than scary. Thank you Lauren for all the information and help you gave us!