Birth Story - Lucy and baby Ezra
I was always really nervous about labour - I would almost say it was a fear. So Siobhan told me about Hypnobirthing and I decided to give it a go. From about 4 months pregnant I started practising, mostly listening to the hypnobirthing tracks and taking time out to practise the breathing. I also visualised snorkelling in calm waters (it really relaxes me!) and being on a little boat on calm waters (this one was through one of the tracks). I used to put the positive affirmation tracks on in the car on the way to work every morning. I also had a pack of 'yes mum' cards which are positive affirmation cards and I used to turn one over every day.
My husband had attended the hypnobirthing course with me, and although he was sceptical about some bits - he knew how important it was to me and was ready to go through it all with me, using hypnobirthing methods. During pregnancy you hear so many horror stories and I used to have little jitters whenever people would start saying these kinds of things. I used to then google 'positive birth stories' to reinforce that I could have a positive birth if I wanted to. As the 'guess date' came closer, I made a real effort not to be impatient, understanding that my baby would arrive when he/she was ready!
Anyway... onto the birth - At 3am one Friday morning my waters broke... first of all I felt really scared but my husband reminded me that this was exciting and we were going to meet our baby. I tried to go back to sleep but was too excited/nervous! I moved through into our living room and put on my favourite film, The Sound of Music, as I knew it was so important to get the oxytocin flowing!
At about 5.30am I asked my husband to come through and be with me as things were getting a little more intense. I turned the TV off, put on the positive affirmations tracks and started my breathing.
At about 7.30am we decided to go to hospital. As soon as we got into the car I kept my eyes closed the whole way, concentrated on my visualisations and breathing. When we walked into the hospital we realised we had forgotten our maternity notes (!) and they wouldn't admit us without them. This was a bit scary for me, as my husband had to drive home again to get them as I sat alone in the waiting room, contracting. I really, really had to use my concentration to stay calm and relaxed and my hypnobirthing breathing got me through it. When he came back I had my first examination and I was 5cm dilated - I was so happy! I really took that as a positive thing! I had definitely wanted to have my baby in the birth centre but when we'd first arrived we were told it was full. After being examined in the delivery suite and being told I was 5cm dilated, I was then told there was a space in the birth centre (upstairs) - I felt like things were going really well!
I wanted a water birth but the room with the pool wasn't ready yet so I was put into another room. At this point my contractions were very intense but I kept focussing. I wasn't talking much but just 100% concentrating and I kept reminding myself that I was safe and that everything was fine. My husband and sister told the midwives that we were having a hypnobirth and they really respected the way we wanted things to be. After about an hour (that part felt quite long!) we moved through into the room with the pool. As soon as it was full, I was helped into the pool. The hour before getting into the pool was probably the most intense part of the labour for me. Even though it was intense, I didn't feel scared or out of control once. I hadn't sworn or screamed.. it was all really calm! As soon as I got into the pool my husband said it was amazing.. I said how amazing it was to be in the water! Great!
Slowly (over a period about 4 hours) the contractions changed into a pushing feeling... The midwives asked me to get out and walk to the toilet as gravity would help the baby move down... I did so and the feeling was so instant that I thought the baby was coming out in the bathroom (it definitely wasn't!). When I was in the pool my husband and sister were really great - very reassuring and my husband kept reminding me of nice things i.e. 'imagine we are at home chilling out with our 2 cats' (sounds so silly, but it really helped!).
I could feel the baby moving further down. I found the pushing a lot better than the contractions as it felt like I was able to be quite proactive in this part of the labour. After about 50 minutes of pushing, our baby came into the water and the midwives pushed him through my legs to me. We didn't know the sex so it was amazing for me to see him and be the first to see he was a boy! I look back on my experience with such positivity and I truly believe that birth can be a good experience. I knew that I was safe and all of the things I was feeling were natural and part of the process. I think it's really important to share positive birth stories!
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