Hannah, a first time mum, had a beautiful water birth at Cossham birth centre in Bristol. Hannah and her husband attended a group Hypnobirthing course taught by Jade, through which they made a fantastic group of friends. Here is her birth story:
I want to share my birth story because when I got pregnant I can honestly say I was petrified. The media and even other Mum’s had painted the whole experience as terrifying and extremely painful. I now realise that complex births make good TV and for some reason people always want to share negative stories with pregnant ladies?! So I’m going to write about my positive journey and how Hypnobirthing changed everything for us.
Being someone who had always been in control I was desperately searching for answers to the unknowns of childbirth. I came across Hypnobirthing and signed myself and my (somewhat sceptical) hubby up. We didn’t really know what to expect but I’m happy to say there were enough stats to satisfy him and lots of coping strategies to calm me. After the first session I realised this is it, this is how I am going to gym through it, hallelujah! So the next day I threw myself whole heartedly into my reading, daily affirmations and rainbow relaxation (o and good old perineal massage when the time came). I can honestly say that the rest of our pregnancy was very relaxed and straightforward. My husband also felt good knowing that there were things he could do to help me along the way and also when the time came. It was a shared journey with Hypnobirthing that definitely brought us closer and we’ve also made a fab group of friends through it.
When 40 weeks came and went I started to feel the system was closing down around bump and I. Especially as I had my heart set on a midwife led delivery at Cossham. I’d declined the stretch and sweep offers up until this point but now decided I would have one as I so desperately wanted things to happen naturally. The first one was at 40+3 weeks and the midwife confirmed there wasn’t much happening. Then at my 41 week appointment I had another and still nothing …I felt disheartened and the threat of induction was looming over me like a dark cloud.
The night before we were to start daily monitoring of the baby (and to probably be scaremongered in to an induction) we decided to take action! My husband ran me a candle lit bath with lavender oil in it, we put the rainbow relaxation on and he gave me a lovely light touch massage whilst I lay there. We did a fear release surrounding induction, preparing us for what felt like the inevitable. Then for a while I sat alone in the bath and talked to bump…”if you come out now little one mummy has a better chance of looking after you the way she hopes to but if you don’t come soon I can’t promise it will be very nice for either of us.”
With a heavy heart I got in to bed that night and couldn’t sleep. Then at 1:30am, BINGO! Two elastic bands pinged and that was it, my waters had gone. For me things happened quickly but thanks to Hypnobirthing hubby was able to stay calm and in control which helped me immensely. By 2:30 am (an hour later) I was at Cossham with three surges happening every 10 minutes and was already 7.5cm dilated. I got in the pool which was just the most amazing feeling. The room was softly lit with candles around me, relaxation music was playing softly in the background and I had posters and favourite pictures up around the pool. Our midwife was simply wonderful and despite everything happening so quickly she made us feel totally at ease and we trusted her completely. She was so excited to be part of a hypnobirth and got our care so very right. She spoke to me throughout the whole experience with compassion, kindness and love, making me feel at ease and powerful all at the same time. She kept telling me me how capable I was, how amazing my body was and how I could keep going, even though the surges were intense and I was very tired. She asked me if I wanted to be checked internally on arrival which seems small but made me feel relaxed, in control and that my body belonged to me. She sat behind me by the side of the pool, quietly doing her observations and just seemed to know when I needed that extra bit of reassurance.
Three hours later and with no pain relief aside from the water and I was ready to push. I had a little gas and air to help us through transition along with some aromatherapy oils to stop me feeling queasy. When the time came I was helped to turn onto my back in the water to help baby through the canal. I could feel my baby coming closer to me and I couldn’t wait to finally meet him or her. Gone were the fears that I had at the beginning and in their place was a feeling of empowerment and such intense love. Little Alex joined me in the pool at 06:30, just 5 hours later. He was constantly skin to skin with me for the first 3 hours of his life and started breastfeeding minutes after entering the world. My placenta came whilst Alex was breast feeding and the cord wasn’t cut until he had finished.
Birth for me was an amazing experience, a million miles from my perceptions at the beginning. I have no doubt that it was Hypnobirthing that helped us take that journey and now we have a happy and healthy little 12week old boy.