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Monday, 6 July 2015

My Hypnobirthing Experience

After having a hard labour and birth with Logan that was completely the opposite of what I wanted and which left me a bit traumatised and scared of having to do the whole thing again at some point, I really felt that this time around I needed to take charge and take control of my own labour and birth.

I'd heard of hypnobirthing when I was pregnant with Logan, but didn't really look into it too much, all I knew was that it was a type of self-meditation. I wanted to explore it further so ordered the Mindful Hypnobirthing book by Sophie Fletcher. It has a few tracks which you download online to go with it. I reads the whole book in a few days, and felt certain that this was the type of labour and birth that I wanted. I wanted to be relaxed, in control, mindful of what was happening at all time. I wanted to let my primal instincts as a woman take over and really let my body do the job it was made to do.

There are suggestions in the book of how often you should meditate and practice your breathing techniques, and to be honest, I didn't so them as often as I should/could have. I did feel a few times that maybe I hadn't practiced enough or that because I hadn't attended a course that it might not be enough. I pushed those thoughts out of my mind and just tried to focus on positive things.

The last 2 weeks of my pregnancy were tough. Logan was born 9 days early and I really expected it to be the same this time round and was very disappointed that I didn't go into labour early and becoming more uncomfortable and impatient everyday. The day before my due date I had an appointment with my midwife. I had a feeling in my gut that something was happening. I'd lost a bit of my mucus plug and just knew that something was going to happen. I told my midwife this who thought I was crazy, and talked me into booking in an induction for 10 days time incase I hadn't popped by then.

My midwife had been brilliant, she knew exactly that I was hoping to a hypnobith in water as I wasn't able to have the water birth that I had wanted with Logan, and she spent a lot of time talking things through with me. As my BMI had foiled my plans of a water birth with Logan, she suggested that we preempt the same thing happening this time and filled out a form to say that even if my BMI is too high when I go into labour for a waterbirth, that herself and I both understand any increased risks but would still like to go ahead and labour in water. Lucky that we did fill out the form as even though I watched what I was eating, I still managed to put on nearly 3 stone and my BMI was borderline for the waterbith.

I woke up on my due date morning at about 7.30 after having the best, most peaceful sleep that i'd had in a very long time, with a contraction. I went back to sleep, and was woken again 15 minutes later. I decided to get up and go to the toilet, and as I did my waters started leaking.

I called Rich at work to let him know that things were happening but to stay at work and I will call him when he needs to come home. I told him it might not even be today so don't panic. I called my mum and told her too, but she was too excited and decided to come straight over. I woke up Logan and we went downstairs to have breakfast. By the time my Mum got to my house about 20 minutes later, my contractions were 3-5 minutes apart. I was managing them well, bouncing on my ball and even managing to eat toast and talk through them. They then got more intense and I used my hypno breathing techniques to help me through them. I called Rich to tell him he should probably come home as the contractions were getting more intense.

I was having a lovely time labouring at home. I was on my knees on the floor bending over my birthing ball, rocking my hips through each wave with Logan rubbing my back. It was beautiful having him there with me. My mum and dad were also there with me which was a comfort.

Rich got home and helped me to have a shower. We decided to go to the hospital at lunchtime when I felt they were getting a lot stronger and closer together. I didn't want a lot of examinations as I wanted my labour to be as uninterrupted as possible, but I got an exam when we got to the hospital and they said I was dilated about a fingertip. I was a bit disheartened but tried to not let it bother me. They said I couldn't get in the pool until I was at least 4cm dilated as it can slow labour.

I bounced on my ball, and then was on my knees on the bed leaning against the head of the bed to rock my hips through the waves. They were becoming very intense and I was finding it difficult to concentrate on my breathing, but Mun was really brilliant and talking me through it (she'd read the hypno book too!). I asked at some point if we could run the pool as I really wanted to get in the water. The midwife examined me again and I was 4cm so she agreed. The pool was huge and she said it would take a while to fill up.

It took 45 minutes to fill. By the time the pool was almost finished my body was trembling with the peak of each wave and I remember saying that I couldn't do it, the waves were coming one after the other. I said I needed gas and air but as the pool was ready they told me to jump in. As I went to move off the bed I had another contraction and felt the need to push. I thought I was going mad as I was only 4cm 45 minutes ago.

I managed to quickly get into the pool between waves, and as soon as I submerged my back in the water I felt a relief. But just as I relaxed I got the mother of all contractions and screamed in pain and tried to get on all fours. The midwife ran to get the gas and air but I was already pushing by then. I grabbed the gas and air when the midwife came back with it, and 6 minutes after getting into the pool, Aurora was born and lifted straight up into my arms at 3.53pm.

I felt ecstatic. I felt a rush of love as I stared into her little perfect face and I felt so proud of myself for doing it so naturally and trusting my body. I didn't think in a million years that I could push her out so quickly and easily in comparison to my experience with Logan which took hours and hours.

I also had a natural third stage of labour in the pool, and delivered my placenta drug free after 30 or so minutes. We waited until the cord had stopped pulsating to cut it too. Rich was able to cut it this time, he wasn't able to cut Logan's as he had to be whisked away.

I got up out of the pool and got back on the bed. I had to have stitches, the same place as last time. I had a clitoral and urethral tear which is awful and unusual but I was so happy I didn't really care. I ate some toast and fed Rori and then went and had a shower while Rich cuddled his new daughter. I was so surprised that I was so mobile and able to move around afterwards, the complete opposite of last time. I got dressed and came and fed Rori again. My dad came up to the hospital to get us and we were signed out by the midwives who were amazed at how easy my birth was, and we were at home introducing Logan to his new little sister by 7pm.

It was so nice to be home and relish in the company of the newest member of our family. We ordered a takeaway and relaxed and it was the best experience of my life.

The hypnobirthing kept me extremely calm and relaxed throughout the labour and birth, and I think this has had a massive impact on how Aurora is as a baby. She is so relaxed, happy and content, and I truly believe that I have Hypnobirthing to thank for that.

Here are some pictures of the labour and birth:

And here are comparison photos of after Logan's labour and birth and after Rori's:

Big Difference!

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