When I became pregnant with my first child I suddenly started to worry about what labour would be like. How painful would it be? Would I cope? Would I tear? Would it put me off ever having children again?! Then, to make matters worse, I found that other women were only too happy to share their "horror stories" with me and, although their intentions were to probably to help me prepare for what they believed was to come, I started to truly believe that pain and trauma were inevitable.
As a hypnotherapist, I had already experienced the power of the mind and how deep states of relaxation and visualisation can enable people to reduce anxieties and remove fear. This made me curious about HypnoBirthing® and I decided to take the course.
I found the course enlightening, especially when looking at why fear has become associated to childbirth and how your body and baby work together to enable you to have a calm and relaxed birth. It completely reframed how I viewed labour. By the end of the course I was actually looking forward to my birth day.
We chose to give birth at home and hired a birthing pool for the big day. At 4:30am, a week after my "due date" my surges started and by 5:00am they were strong and regular. My partner and birth companion, Lee started to fill the pool in preparation and we called the midwife. Shortly after, my waters broke and unfortunately, they were not clear. The midwife came round and confirmed that there was meconium in my waters which meant that my baby had opened his bowels and could be in distress. This meant we had to transfer to hospital.
During the journey, I knew I had to maintain my sense of deep relaxation in order to ensure my surges continued. When we got to hospital, Lee took control of everything and I didn't need to speak with anyone. I knew there were conversations happening and I was glad I could be left to concentrate on my surges and bring my baby closer to birthing. Because of the circumstances, there was a risk that I would need intervention, however when the midwife checked, I was already 6cm dilated, so we were able to continue with a natural delivery. I breathed my baby down and didn't really push - instead I took my time and listened to my body and my baby, Oliver John Turner arrived into the world at 1:20pm with no intervention, no tears and with both me and Lee feeling exhilarated and energised by the whole experience.