During my pregnancy with my second baby Riley I kept reading posts from people talking about how beautiful their birth experience was and how empowered they felt, it left me a little disheartened as my experience when giving birth to my firstborn George was very traumatic and unpleasant. I was terrified that my birth with my daughter would be the same so I became determined to have a more positive and calming birth this time around. Luckily I was kindly gifted an online hypnobirthing course from The Positive Birth Company and from there I learned the steps that I needed to take to have a positive labour and birth and the science behind it.
What is Hypnobirthing?
When I first heard of Hypnobirthing (I saw a leaflet in the hospital when pregnant with George) my first thoughts were of women being hypnotized while in labour and I thought "what on earth!?" and completely dismissed the idea before even bothering to learn what it was, this was a big mistake. Hypnobirthing is simply a method of pain management that involves a combination of breathing, visualization, and relaxation techniques.
The Positive Birth Company
I took the online course from The Positive Birth Company in my third trimester, before taking the course I was very scared of going into labour and having another traumatic birth and I was apprehensive that the course would help me have the birth experience I wanted. There's a particular section of the course that explains the science behind it all and it made complete sense, as soon as I learned about how it works I honestly felt relieved that there were steps that I could take to ensure that I would have a positive labor and birth no matter what happened. I would highly recommend the course to anyone who is expecting a baby whether it's your first, second or fifth baby the techniques you will learn on the course will stay with you forever.
When my first contractions started I was happy and excited that I would finally get to meet my baby girl but knew that the best place for me to labour was in the comfort of my own home so I put my feet up and relaxed. I started to monitor my contractions using an app on my phone, they started at five minutes apart lasting 30 seconds and gradually got closer together. Once they got to about three minutes apart my partner asked if we should call our babysitter to come to pick our son up and I was just like "eh, can do if you want" I felt as if I had gone into a calm bubble and If it wasn't for my partner I probably would have lost the chance to go into hospital and had her at home which wasn't what I wanted. We decided to call the hospital to find out if I should come in yet, they gave us the go-ahead so we got our son picked up and my mum came to take us to the hospital.
Upon arrival my contractions where still the same and I was managing the pain very well and was in a happy and chilled out mood which took the midwives by surprise and one of them actually said "well you don't look like your in labour" which annoyed me a little as I felt like she was dismissing me before even examining me. The midwife examined me to find that I was only 2cms dilated so she gave me a sweep to try to encourage things along but still told me to go home. Thankfully my mum knew that I was likely to progress quickly (I did with George and she did with all three of her babies) so she suggested that we grab a bite to eat close by rather than going home (we lived about 30 minutes away from the hospital) so we went to Frankie And Bennies! I ate a hot dog between contractions and joked with the waitress about having the baby in there as the contractions got progressively stronger. We finished our food and took a walk around the corner to Shoezone and I suddenly had to sit down and I knew I needed to go back to the hospital, I felt a little overwhelmed and got a little upset so we immediately left and went back into the hospital.
I went into the birth center and straight up told them that I wasn't leaving, they poured me a warm bath and added lavender oil to it which was lovely. I sat in the bath for about two hours (I looked like a prune afterwards) with my partner at my side the whole time. I went back to my room in the birth center and sat around for about an hour and I started to feel like nothing was progressing and I was becoming more tired as the day turned to night, it was at this point that I realised my partner had forgotten to bring the second hospital bag (the one for the baby) so in a panic a close friend of ours came to the hospital to get our house keys and bring the bag to us thankfully. More time passed and I was feeling very fed up so I asked to be examined one last time and if I hadn't progressed I would go home. I was delighted when the midwife said I was 5 cms dilated, all the exhausting contractions had been doing something!
I was asked if I would like to get in the birthing pool so I said yes and within minutes of being in the pool, my contractions got increasingly stronger so I decided to start using some gas and air to help me through the contractions. My partner was amazing at this point, cracking jokes to make me smile and laugh between contractions and reminding me to breathe and holding my hand through each contraction. Then my waters broke while I was still in the water and I began to panic as I knew what was coming next but both the midwife and my partner reassured me that it was going to be fine. I immediately needed to push and before I knew it she was out! She was born still in her embryotic sack (it is said to be good luck!) which burst seconds after she was born and she was lifted straight up onto my chest. I remember the whole thing so well (the reason why I wanted to try and do it on just gas and air which I did) it was such an amazing experience and I will never forget it.
It just goes to show that your mindset makes a big impact on your labour, not only that but I recovered a lot quicker than I did after having George and I believe this was down to the fact that the labour and birth went so smoothly. I did have a small tear but it didn't require stitches and it healed after about a week. I would highly recommend hypnobirthing to anyone who's expecting a baby, you won't regret it.