This was my first birth experience and I was determined to make it a good one.
I’d read all the theory, read all the books, practised with a skilled hypnotherapist and was ready to make my own, positive birth story. The playlist was ready, partner prepped and I was good to go…what follows may surprise you coming from a hypnobirthing teacher.
This was 10 years ago when hypnobirthing was believed to be a fad and many friends were no doubt waiting for me to join the ranks of ‘heck I don’t ever want to do that again’.
On arrival, the midwife had asked what pain medication I’d be having to which I replied that I was fine and didn’t think I needed any. She told me it was easy to make that decision when at home watching Eastenders but give it a couple of hours and I’d no doubt be asking for an epidural.
Around an hour later I had a sudden urge to push and was told that no way was that possible – I’d been far too quiet, relaxed and probably just needed the bathroom. I laughed and tried – nope, not needing the bathroom.
Just to put my mind at rest the midwife offered to check me and that’s when those words came…
“You’re fully dilated but I can either feel a mouth or an anus”. These were not the words I was expecting to hear during my textbook, pain free and straight forward first hypnobirthing experience. Turns out my baby had been breech for most of my pregnancy but that’s another story entirely.
A discussion followed about how despite doing so well so far it was inadvisable to have a natural birth due to the position the baby was in.
So along with the midwife and doctor, I decided that a caesarean was the best route to go down and off we went to theatre, wheeled along corridors whilst being told loudly, ‘Don’t push!!’ – no mean feat when every inch of my body was trying to get this baby out.
Once in theatre the doctors were keen to get me under a general anaesthetic as the baby was coming fast now and they were worried that I’d be unable to remain still enough to get the spinal block in.
It was agreed I had one chance and if unsuccessful then a general it would be. ‘Give me 30 seconds’. I took a deep breath, counted 54321 and relaxed down deeper than I’d ever been before – using every skill I’d learnt in hypnobirthing and practised for the last few months.
The contractions continued but I stayed still, they got the spinal in and my baby was born at 00:46am to an awake and extremely ecstatic mummy.
The main takeaway of my story? Had I gone into the birth with no prior planning or knowledge of hypnobirthing, my story is likely to have been a lot less positive. I’m so thankful for having been able to stay calm, relaxed and able to retain some control over the situation despite it taking a completely different turn to what I’d expected.
There was no screaming, no horrendous pain, no fear and a whole lot of love, laughter and focus. I look back now and smile, yes it wasn’t the textbook birth I had in mind but you know what? It was a truly positive, amazing experience all the same. Who wouldn’t want that?
Interested in learning to hypnobirth? Come along to one of my free taster sessions.
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