Upon discovering and recovering from the joy that we were pregnant, my thoughts naturally turned to birth and labour. All too often one hears the negative stories of birth, not to mention the recent influx of real life TV programmes showing labour (which despite avoiding watching, you know are there), I realised that it was with trepidation that I would have to think and deal with labour and birth. I decided I had to find a way to deal with it.
I was prior to birth very wary of hospitals (having never been in one as a patient) and wary of anything medical (again for the same reason, as I have never required treatment in hospital, no childhood broken bones, no surgery and to top it all off am needle phobic).
So I turned to the internet and researched. I discovered by chance (and thank goodness I did) hypnobirthing. I should point out that both my husband and I were somewhat sceptical about it, but we decided we should explore. So we contacted Wendy on a what harm can it do to know more basis.
We spoke with Wendy about hypnobirthing and also explained that I had certain fears about birth in hospital and we were looking for Doula support too. She advised us that she offered this service. We knew having spoken via phone that we wanted to try the hypnobirthing and so we booked that and arranged to meet discuss the Doula support.
Having met her we knew instantly she was the right person for us, to share a very precious moment and to support us through it.
What we liked was there was never a sales pitch or the like, never anything other than giving us the information we wanted and explaining what it was all about. She was emphatic in her explanation that it was about finding support that was right for us, and that if we did not feel it was with her that this was of no issue, what she was most concerned we have, was the right person for us. Suffice to say it was that aspect of Wendy’s character amongst many other things that meant she was “right for us”.
From the moment we spoke and then having met her we knew as I say it was right for us to both try the hypnobirthing and to have her support us. Knowledgeable, calm and just plain bloody good at what she does shone through. Her midwifery background adds a further experience and knowledge that was invaluable and we knew we would be well supported.
Once we had learned the techniques and began to practise it dawned on me that the fears I had had about labour had vanished. We felt empowered about the process, informed of all the options and that no matter how the birth panned out we had all the skills to use hypnobirthing throughout (even had we have had interventions). Those skills would allow me to stay calm and relaxed no matter what path the birth took. As far as I was concerned even before the birth itself, the techniques we learned had allowed that to happen and was worth it for that.
The birth was everything we had hoped it would be, 8 hours in total, 4 hours in hospital in a birthing pool using the all of techniques we had learned and practised with gas and air when needed, meant we had a calm and relaxed environment for me to labour in and for us to meet our daughter. Wendy was there every step of the way, supporting me and working alongside the Midwife we had with us. Crucially we feel also she supported my husband, she made sure he was involved and not pushed to the side which so often you hear of or see. At the time and having not given birth before I had no perspective of whether it was a calm birth for those in the room, I was focussed on what I had to do. After the event the midwife commented at just how remarkably calm the labour had been and how I had used the techniques to really assist with labour. That really says it all.
Truth be told at the start we hired someone as a professional to do a job, and she delivered that in spades, now after the event, we hope we have made a friend too.