Louise had a wonderful pool birth after being taught HypnoBirthing by Sharon. Here is her story;
I wanted to say thank you for giving us the belief that there is another way and to let you know that we had a fantastic birth as a result.
You may recall that I had intended to give birth at the RUH but had various misgivings about whether it would be a relaxing enough environment, and whether the pool would be available. So, on the evening of Weds 15th February (4 days before EDD) we decided to go and have a look at Paulton Birthing Centre. They had no-one in and so we had a good look around and I instantly knew it was where I wanted to be – such a relief!
I went into labour that night. I knew something was happening each time I woke up over night, but kept falling back to sleep when I was trying to time things! In the morning my husband left for work without saying goodbye (for the first time in weeks) and so he didn’t have a clue. I got up at about 8am and realised I had had a show and so sent him a text explaining things (he picked it up 3 hours later!). By 11am I had managed to borrow a tens machine and decided to cancel my lunch plans (as I didn’t want my waters to break in a restaurant!). At noon I asked my husband if he could work from home for the afternoon, ‘just in case’ (I still didn’t really know how far along I was as, whilst powerful, I was coping with the contractions fine). I rang Paulton at about noon too to say that I thought I was in labour – they said that as I was talking through contractions I was probably too early and to wait a bit longer so they didn’t have to send me home. My husband got home by about 1:30 and we had some lunch. A friend came round with a tens machine at about 3pm – I was still able to have a conversation with him, in between contractions (which he now finds funny!). By about 4pm I realised that things were stepping up and so I phoned Paulton again – this time I wasn’t able to speak through contractions but there was still no pain. We left the house at about 4:45, by this time I didn’t really care whether my bag was properly packed or what I was wearing so I left in my PJs and a pair of boots. We were right on rush hour so we took the back roads to Paulton – it was pretty uncomfortable especially when we had to brake for oncoming vehicles, but on the whole manageable!
Thankfully the room with the pool was available. I think they were a bit surprised when they examined me and found I was already 10cm dilated! When I saw her face I thought oh no they are going to tell me I am not far enough along and send me home. Instead she said feel free to push whenever you like! My BP was too high to use the pool initially which was disappointing, but after a short while it had come down enough so they filled the pool. It took 45 minutes to fill!! I spent that time lying on my side on the floor – I didn’t really feel the urge to do anything – I think I was holding out for the pool. Eventually by about 7:30pm the pool was ready and a change in shift meant that we had a different midwife who was a HypnoBirthing practitioner! How lucky! The next hour was perfect and was very similar to the videos you showed us. The midwife barely said anything apart from ‘don’t sit down’ after I had delivered the head! The room was barely lit, My husband brought me water and a cold flannel every so often, we were in silence – I didn’t want any music in the end (despite buying speakers especially!). Everything slowed down once I got in the pool, with longer gaps between contractions. My baby girl was born at 8:34pm, weighing 8lb3oz and 3 days early. My labour notes actually say that I was ‘breathing baby down’!! I can honestly say that apart from the few seconds that it took for the head to come out I felt no pain. I did have to have some stitches, despite doing the pereneal massage, but guess it may have been worse if I hadn’t done that.
The most useful things for me were the belief that there was no reason why it should be painful and the breathing techniques. Before going into the pool I found the tens machine useful for signalling the start and end of a contraction so that I didn’t have to speak to anyone to say what was going on with me! I realised after that I had it on such a low setting that it probably wasn’t doing much else! Prior to getting the tens machine I was using a contraction App on my phone and I think that had the same mental effect. In the week before, having finished work, I listened to the rainbow relaxation and affirmations every single day and practiced the breathing techniques and whilst I didn’t use any visualisation during the birth I think that helped to get me into a generally relaxed state before anything started. I wasn’t able to do 2 breaths during contractions it was more like 4, but just having something specific to be doing really helped I think. So, you have another example to prove that it works, we had a wonderful birth thanks to HypnoBirthing and we are recommending it to all pregnant friends and colleagues!