As a first time mum and as someone who has suffered with anxiety for a number of years, I was understandably very nervous about giving birth for the first time in 2019. I had heard of hypnobirthing and was recommended Babies in Waiting by a friend, I thought anything to keep me calm could only be positive! I signed up for our Babies in Waiting course with Vicky and it was the best decision I made! I attribute it to why I had such a positive birth.
My guess date was the 22nd of June and I used the techniques I leant from Vicky on our course in lots of situations before the birth, from midwife appointments, to hospital appointments and even on a daily basis to help me relax. Even when it was looking likely that my birth would not turn out how I wanted it to (a possible labour ward induction as supposed to the calm birthing unit water birth I envisioned) I was able to use the techniques to keep calm.
I found leading up to my guess date I was no longer afraid of giving birth, I trusted that when the time came, my body would know what to do if I kept my mind calm.
As our baby was measuring big, I was advised that the team wanted to induce me on my due date at the latest. This was not what I wanted as I knew that this situation would not be good for my anxiety. I trusted that my body would be able to do what it needed when the time was right, so we worked with the midwife team, explaining my reasons and we came to a plan together of a sweep before my due date and induction only as a last resort. I had the confidence to plan with the midwifes due to what I had learnt on my course with Vicky.
On the 17th June 2019 at 4am I woke up to my water breaking. I called the birthing unit and was asked to come in at round 9am. On the birthing unit the midwifes asked to do an internal examination but as I learned on my course, I did actually have a say in my care and I actually decided against being examined in this instance. It was clear that my waters had broken from an external examination and declining the internal examination allowed me to go home and continue with my hypnobirthing methods where I felt most comfortable, rather than having to stay (which was required if I had the internal examination even though my surges had not started). I was also advised that as my waters had broken, if I didn’t give birth within 24 hours I would have to be moved to the labour ward.
For me, I wanted to be at home for as long as possible due to my anxiety around hospital settings, with the actual birth taking place on the calm birthing unit. I felt I could make decisions and be in control of my care with also working with the midwifes to maintain a safe birth at the same time. I would not have had the confidence to do this without doing my course with Vicky.
My surges started at around 4pm and I continued to use the techniques I had learnt, at home. In particular a bag of lavender that Vicky had given to me in the Babies in Waiting gift bag came to the rescue (sniffing that bag of lavender got me to 7cms!) along with my mood lights and my lavender oil diffuser. We went into the birthing unit around 9pm, where I had a bath and eventually got into the birthing pool with the gas and air!
As it was coming up to the 24 hours since my water had broken, the midwifes were getting close to wanting to move me to the labour ward. As I really wanted to avoid this I asked to be left in the pool for as long as possible, which was another moment that I felt the course had really given me the confidence to have a discussion and try for the best birthing plan for me, with also letting the midwifes do what they needed to do to keep us both safe.
Franklyn was born at 4.12am! just in time to avoid being moved from the comfort of the calm birthing unit.
I am confident that had I not taken the course with Vicky, I would not have had the confidence or knowledge to work for the birth I envisioned and things could have gone very differently had I not been in the right frame of mind.
You can not control what sort of labour you many have but I learnt you can be in control of your mind and you do have options and a say!
If I am lucky enough to have another birth I will be looking forward to using the Babies in Waiting hypnobirthing techniques again!