Lola did a HypnoBirthing course with Katheryn, after a less than positive first birth. An emergency cesarean section five weeks early and a stay in NICU the first time meant that her and her husband were anxious, but found the HypnoBirthing helped them to relax and enjoy the pregnancy. With HypnoBirthing and a supportive midwife, and husband as birth partner, Lola succesfully gave birth naturally to her beautiful daughter Delphi. Here is her story;
My first child, Vinny, was born four weeks early. I had to have an emergency c-section as my waters broke and he was breech. He had to be in intensive care for a while and I was in hospital for 10 days.
So, having had quite a tough first birthing experience, I wasn’t overly optimistic about my second. Luckily for me, one of my best friends, Katheryn Gallagher, a midwife (who helped deliver Vinny), had trained in Hypnobirthing and asked if me and my husband would be interested in taking Hypnobirthing classes with her. I jumped at the chance as I was eager to try anything that could help with the birthing experience.
Right from the onset of Katheryn’s classes, the Hypnobirthng ethos really made perfect sense. Surely women’s bodies are designed for birthing, we have been doing it for hundreds of years! It is a natural process that can be accomplished with ease if we let go and free our mind of negative thoughts – put trust our bodies.
I listened to the Hyponobirthing cd every night in the weeks leading up to the birth, which really relaxed me, so much so that I’d often fall asleep! As my due date came closer I was feeling calm, relaxed and prepared. I was also relieved to get passed the 35-week mark!
Two days before my due date I had sex. The next day I was in Ikea (not quite so sexy..). and began to feel some quite strong tightenings. I believed they were very full on Braxton Hicks (which I had had continually throughout my pregnancy.). By that evening as I was getting into bed about 10pm, I began to feel I needed to use my birthing ball as I was uncomfortable. I practiced some relaxation breathing whilst listening to some calming sounds of the sea; I also watched some images we’d put together on the laptop of serene pictures. All these things really help me to relax and took my mind off the contractions. The tightenings felt like very strong period pains, and they were coming about every 10-20 minutes. I took some paracetemol and then put on the rainbow relaxation on my iPod and got into bed. At about 1am I managed to go to sleep. When I woke in the morning the tightenings were still just about the same level as when I went to bed, but by 10.30am, they were beginning to feel very intense. I felt that I wanted to be on my own to deal with them and that I was finding it very difficult to engage with my husband or my son Vinny. One of my main worries through my pregnancy was Vinny getting looked after whilst I was in labour. Katheryn said I probably wouldn’t go into full active labour until I knew he was looked after. Well, she couldn’t have been more spot on.
At 11am Dan decided it was time to call my mum & dad who were on stand by to take care of Vinny. I was having very intense contractions by this time and they were regularly coming every 5 minutes. I took myself upstairs to the bedroom where I lay on the bed on my side, but every time I had a contraction I was forced onto all fours, as it was the only way my body could coup with the intensity. Within the hour my parents were here, it was 12 o’clock and as the doorbell rang I had the most full on contraction I’d experienced so far and my waters broke immediately. I knew I was in full on active labour. Vinny was taken care off. I could let go.
I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, even though I knew I had to go into hospital due to my first birth. But I could tell that Danny had other ideas! He was starting to panic and wanted to get me to hospital as quickly as possible. It was really difficult getting off the bed and down the stairs, I couldn’t walk, I couldn’t talk, and I didn’t really want to open my eyes, I felt more in control if I had my eyes closed. But throughout all of this, I wasn’t stressed or worried, I was quite calm and at ease with what was happening. I believe it was practicing hypnobirthing that enabled me to feel like this.
However, the drive to the hospital was probably the worst part of the birthing experience. It was boiling hot, one of the hottest days of the year! I was straddling the backseat, clutching onto the seat headrest with all my might. Every tiny bump we went over felt like a huge mountain! My contractions were every minuet and excruciating. I’d like to say they weren’t painful but it was the most intense pain I have ever felt, however, using the techniques I had leant in Hypnobirthing, I was able to let go. I was giving over to my body, I knew it would know what to do, I just needed to believe it was all a natural process and that soon I would have my baby in my arms.
When I got to the hospital, I was fully dilated. I couldn’t believe it when the midwife said I could start to push. I’d had all these plans for a water birth but I didn’t need to go anywhere near the pool as the labour was so quick. Luckily there was enough time to set up our laptop and I looked at the calming images we’d uploaded. This visulisation really helped me focus my mind. I only used the gas and air when a contraction was coming on. I used every single muscle in my body to push. My husband Danny was loving & supportive and brilliant at giving me cold flannels when I needed them! He was also down the ‘other end’ when I was pushing and was giving me encouraging words. My midwife, Caroline, was absolutely amazing. She was so calm, which made me, feel calm, I felt like I was in the best hands possible. After just 3 hours of labour, 45 minutes of pushing, my little girl was born.
I can honestly say my birth was a wonderful experience. Hypnobirthing empowered me, and freed my mind of any fear or negative emotions I had about birthing and replaced it with positive thoughts. It gave me the confidence to achieve something huge.
Words to describe my birthing experience: empowering, strengthening, intense, powerful, and euphoric!
I couldn’t have done it without the help of Katheryn, Caroline, and Danny. But the biggest thanks of all goes to my little baby Delphi – she knew exactly what to do – go girl! You are amazing!!!
And the best cuppa tea I have ever had was the one straight after the birth, and the toast was damn good too!