I had the pleasure of meeting Emily early on in her pregnancy at my pregnancy relaxation classes, and then later in her pregnancy Emily attended my hypnobirthing course with her husband Nick. I loved working with Emily and Nick! They were both so committed to learning the techniques, practicing them and using them in daily life to have a calm and relaxed pregnancy. Emily was open about the fact that in the beginning the calm, relaxing breathing did not come easy but each week she continued to practice and it was great to see it become more natural and instinctive – she nailed it! The end of Emily’s pregnancy required several hospital trips due to reduced movements but Emily remained positive throughout.
I always tell my clients that hypnobirthing isn’t about having a perfect birth (whatever that is), or a home birth, or a drug-free birth, but it is about learning tools and techniques to help you to have a positive birth experience however and wherever you decide to birth. Hypnobirthing allows you to feel calm, relaxed, in control and able to make decisions about what is right for you and your baby. Hypnobirthing courses with me at Relaxed Birthing are also for the pregnant mum AND her birth partner – having a confident and helpful birth partner if so much more beneficial for labour progress than one who is scared, has no idea what is going on or how to help in any way at all.
Emily is a great example of how hypnobirthing can help with coping with the twists and turns of pregnancy, labour and making the decisions in the moment that are right for you.
Thank you Emily, Nick and baby William for sharing your story xxx
The birth story………
My contractions started on the Thursday morning at 05:40am-ish. As I’d be experiencing contractions on and off for around 2 weeks, I thought nothing of it. I didn’t wake my husband as they usually stopped after an hour. There was no pain but the tightening continued. I carried on contracting every 7/8 minutes for a minute and a half and when my husband came down he went into automatic fantastic-ness – he got me a drink, some breakfast and asked if I needed anything. I told him not to get his hopes up and to go to work but keep his phone on loud. I continued contracting throughout the morning at the same rate and used a tens machine, not for pain relief but for a back massage feeling! I couldn’t get into the hypnobirthing frame of mind so watched tv and carried on breathing through the slight pains.
I contracted all morning and decided to call triage just to check I was doing everything right and whether I needed to go in and get checked, they said I could go in or drag it out a little longer until my contractions were more regular. I dragged it out and my lovely husband came home at lunch and stayed with me for the rest of the day. I managed to get into the hypnobirthing zone with his help and listened to the tracks back to back whilst relaxing on the sofa. Around 5ish the pains were getting worse so I called triage again, however I decided to wait it out at home for a little longer as I was quite comfortable. I called back at 10, and decided to go in and be examined for my own piece of mind to give me an idea of potentially how much longer I’d be in labour.
I was 2cm dilated but still not contracting regularly. The midwife said my waters were bulging which would start to cause some pressure down below until they burst, but she didn’t think they’d last much longer. I came home and went to bed for a little while, listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and affirmations. By 2am the pains were becoming more intense so we went back in and I was 4cm! My waters still hasn’t gone. The midwife left me contracting for a little while to see what would happen.
I was admitted into a beautiful room! My contractions got stronger however the gas and air they offered me made me cough so much and I didn’t want any opiates as I wouldn’t have been able to use the pool. I got into the pool which felt amazing and continued to contract. I had my husband with me every step of the way, he was getting a little anxious and unsettled by this point as he didn’t like to see me in pain, but the midwife supported him and guided him through. I was pain and medication free until 7cm but able to stretch to 8cm! The midwife got me out to examine me after a few hours and my waters were still intact. She burst them for me, and the pressure immediately disappeared, but the contractions started thick and fast. By then I’d been in labour for 24 hours. I literally had no energy left and the midwife could see I was struggling. She offered me an epidural and I jumped at the chance. I was transferred to the delivery suite, but had to go through the various checks, etc and wait for the epidural man to arrive! It took forever for him to arrive and the contractions were even more intense. The epidural was heaven! I was finally free from the uncomfortableness and managed to get a little bit of rest. A few hours later when I was examined, I was still 7cm, so it was decided I’d be given the drip to help me along. This sped things up very quickly. 6 hours after my epidural I was examined, and ready to push but all my pain had come back, it turns out my epidural had come dislodged so the last two hours I’d had no pain relief! After an hour of pushing, with no pain relief as my epidural was still not working, nothing seemed to be progressing.
A button was pressed and swarms of people came into the room which really overwhelmed my husband who went into panic mode – I just lay there as I didn’t have enough energy to even wiggle my fingers! I pushed for two and a half hours and was then taken to theatre. It turned out that Baby Carter had got himself stuck, had decided that being back to back was more comfortable and had tangled himself in his cord so for two and a half hours was stuck in the same place!!!!
The doctor said they would try forceps but could not promise it would work so I prepped for a forceps delivery; and they also prepped me for a caesarean birth just in case (which was not needed). Within 10 minutes of being in theatre, and after over 36 hours of labour, my husband and I heard the magical first cry! I was in no fit state to hold the baby as I had a spinal block so I sent my husband over straight away to be with the baby whilst they stitched me up.
William John Carter was born: 30/06/2017, weighing: 8lb 8oz and 11 days overdue!
I had a reaction to the spinal block which meant I couldn’t hold the baby until about an hour and a half after the birth but William came out extremely healthy and has been thriving since birth.
I would like to thank Yvonne for her help and support during pregnancy relaxation classes and the hypnobirthing course we both attended. I think without the methods she taught me, I wouldn’t have got as far as I did in labour!
For more information on hypnobirthing courses with Relaxed Birthing please click here.