We did a hypnobirthing session/course with Wendy in June 2012 while I was pregnant with our first child. We had read some material surrounding hypnobirthing beforehand and were both sold on the idea of relaxing and allowing your body to do what it is designed to do.
Like most pregnant women I had been obsessed with One Born Every Minute, but felt that a lot of the births seemed overly dramatic. I was also not keen on the idea of a heavily medicated birth, it seemed wrong that women had to be told to push and that the baby was out as they had no feeling. I also saw a women who was describing the drugs she had used as making her feel “off her face, it’s like being in a club”. This was not the way I wanted to welcome my baby into the world.
Wendy was wonderfully reassuring and myself and my partner warmed to her instantly. She explained the changes that the body goes through during the birthing process and why it does this. One thing that stuck particularly was that women in comas had successfully birthed babies without any conscious effort – your body knows what to do!
Wendy also sent me some mp3 files to listen to at bedtime and whilst relaxing during the day. I started listening each night and, once my maternity leave started, during the afternoon too. I was never able to stay awake for longer than ten minutes as Wendy’s soft tones and melodic words lulled me to sleep. However she reassured me that the positive affirmations were being heard by my subconscious even while asleep.
My first surge started at 10.30pm 8 days before my due date. I didn’t think much of the first few as they were in my back and sporadic, I thought I’d perhaps overdone it with the nesting that day!
From 1.30am they became very regular and I realised that this was the start of my birthing experience. I breathed through the surges repeating affirmations with my partner. I was able to move around and finished building my sons cotbed at around 2am! I napped from about 4am, using the Colours and Calmness mp3 file to relax me to sleep as I had done for the past few weeks. The surges increased in length and became more frequent. At 5am I phoned the hospital who were not convinced that this was labour and advised us to stay home. About fifteen minutes after we called I felt that baby was definitely on his or her way and that we should go to the hospital. I was still able to breathe through the surges with supportive words and back rubs from my partner.
We got to the hospital just after 5.30am and made our way up to the ward. It took a long time for them to let us in, and I was in my own little place, breathing and thinking affirmations. My partner spoke to the midwives whilst I leant on the wall and they took us through to the triage room. The midwife assigned to us told me that she was going to send me home as she didn’t feel I was advanced enough to be in hospital. She offered me some paracetamol which I didn’t need and went to check another mum. My partner and I discussed going home and I told him that I felt the baby would be arriving soon. Just then I had a show and my partner asked the midwife to examine me before sending us home (we had asked in our both plan for minimal examinations but felt that one before we went would be useful). She agreed to this, and was shocked to find I was at 9cm!
They showed us through to a delivery room, and I lent over the bed while my partner spoke to the midwives taking over and explained our preferences and the hypnobirthing we were using. The room remained dark, and quiet which was perfect for me. My partner knelt beside me, whispering affirmations and rubbing my back as necessary. I was rotating my hips and breathing through the surges and could feel my baby moving downwards. At 7am my waters broke and a midwife put a towel on the floor between my knees. She the returned to the corner of the room allowing us to control our experience. At around 7.40am I felt the urge to bear down and began to do this, the urges became closer and closer until my partner whispered that our baby’s head was out and reminded me just to breathe again. The midwife sat quietly behind me and supported my partner in receiving the baby. He told me that we had a son! Our little boy was completely silent with big wide eyes taking in his surroundings. He was brought straight up to my chest and rooted for the breast. The midwives respected our request for privacy and stayed back, allowing us to meet our wonderful son after nearly nine months. We both had skin to skin and waited for the cord to stop pulsing before it was clamped and my partner cut it. He was weighed about two hours after being born, and weighed 6lb 3oz.
We both felt that the experience couldn’t have gone better, we were so confident in what we would like to happen (due to the fantastic information we had been given) and were well supported by the hospital. We were aware that this was our birthing experience and that we were in control. The affirmations that I repeated over and over in my head helped keep me focused and calm, and the fact that my partner had done the course too and totally believed in me was so beneficial. The midwife told me afterwards that she had never seen a couple work so well together, there was no need for any intervention by medical staff. I was really pleased that I hadn’t used any pain relief and genuinely hadn’t needed any, I had a natural birth free from pain and fear – just the way nature intended.
I think that the calm way my son was born plays a huge role in his calm and content nature. Everyone who meets him comments on how ‘chilled out’ he is. He took really well to breastfeeding and is still exclusively breastfed at just over five months. It’s helped shape out whole parenting style as its opened our eyes to alternatives such as baby wearing and baby led weaning.
We honestly can’t thank or recommend Wendy enough for enabling us to have our beautiful birth experience. I would have happily given birth again the following day! The only thing we are considering doing differently next time is possibly a home birth (depending on our situation at the time).
Thank you again Wendy 🙂
Love from Vicki, Roo and Joey xx