The Birth of Ted
I feel like I need to start my birth story way before birth as Hypnobirthing was not only invaluable during labour but also throughout my pregnancy. It was brought to my attention at my first midwives appointment that apparently my first child, my daughter was ‘very small’ at 6lb 7oz. Nothing was ever said to me at the time but on my first midwife appointment I was told that I would have to have regular scans to ensure my baby wasn’t small again as they would likely need to induce labour if the baby was small and was also told I wouldn’t be able to have a water birth if this was the case. I was frantic from this first appointment. I was in my first trimester and I was already being told I might need to be induced before I’d even had chance to cast eyes on my baby. I found the whole appointment very negative and was even told that maybe ‘my babies just don’t thrive in my pregnancies’. My first birth had been amazing it was calm, I felt in control and I enjoyed the experience – and most importantly my baby was healthy despite being on the smaller side. I wanted to experience the same again!
I came out of the appointment and burst into tears. Probably a mix of pregnancy hormones making me more sensitive but it was actually my husband’s Hypnobirthing instinct that kicked in and he reassured me that my body knew what it was doing and to trust it. He was right! I used positive affirmations throughout to reassure myself my body knew what it was doing. I dropped Abby a message for a little reassurance that I was right to challenge being induced if it came to that. My baby measured small all the way through and growth was seen to be dropping so they increased my scans further. I am grateful to have health professionals caring for my baby but i think it is important to ask questions about decisions that are being suggested which we did. I spoke to another midwife to raise my concerns and was reassured once I asked some questions that I would have choice over my labour and be able to have the birth I wanted including a home birth should that be the decision I made. We got to 37 weeks and had our last scan. The consultant was happy with his growth and he was nearly up on the 50th centile now so said as long as I went into labour after 38 weeks I could have my water birth I’d longed for! I was so relieved, I was ready to fight for my water birth but I didn’t need to and it was such a relief.
My next hurdle – the due date. 27th December. We decided to share our due date as we had with our daughter. Big mistake. When people hear 27th December what they actually hear is ‘Christmas baby’ despite the fact that my ‘due date’ wasn’t even until 2 days after Xmas. People had decided he would be here for Christmas and so come the week before the ‘any signs’ messaged started! It was disheartening, I wasn’t even due for over a week and people were already disappointed he wasn’t here! If I was to have another baby I will definitely consider being far more vague with my due date. I wasn’t bothered whether he came for Christmas as I knew my body would decide when was right for him to come. I trusted it!! I was glad to have Abby in my head every-time I got the message reminding me that my due date was an estimated date and that my baby would come when it and my body was ready
Now the birth – Back to being positive! My due date came and went with little signs. But 2 days after I started to get twinges. By 40 + 2 days I was having regular contractions. They were coming every 5 minutes for a minute that evening. We watched TV, we listened to calm music with the lights dimmed and candles lit, my husband massaged me and I rocked on my birth ball using my breathing to help with the waves of contractions. We decided at midnight to go to hospital – as I got in the car the contractions lost their strength and when we got to hospital I accepted an examination and I was around 1cm so off home we went. I got into bed and listened to the magic carpet reading and managed to sleep. I woke up in the morning and the contractions had stopped. That day we took our daughter to the park, went out for lunch and passed the time. That evening the contractions started again – every 5 mins for a minute, stronger than the day before. About midnight – off we go again to the birth centre. Had an examination – 2 cm! I have to admit at this point I felt deflated. I’d had 2 evenings of contractions every 5 minutes and felt like I had nothing to show for it. Again it was my husband who stepped in with his Hypnobirthing words of wisdom. My body was doing something. Every contraction was one closer and was my bodies way of getting ready. He was right. We went home, I couldn’t sleep. I dozed but not proper sleep. We went to my mums the next day, I played with my daughter, my dad made my favourite lunch and my mum and husband rubbed my back. The contractions didn’t stop during the day this time they carried on. I used breathing and a hot bath throughout the evening to help. It got to 11 and I decided I’d like to go use the birth pool to help with contractions as I liked the feeling of the warm water but wanted to be sat up, the midwife said that was fine. We got there and she said I was 3 to 4 cms. She started to run the bath. I used to birth ball to remain in active positions which helped with the contractions. I imagined my baby moving down with each wave. Then my waters broke and they started to become more frequent and much stronger. I knew we meant business now. I got in the water and used gas and air to help them pass and breathing techniques. I again visualised myself on my magic carpet whizzing off to the same place I did when birthing my daughter. But this time both she and the baby were waiting for me there. It got to 12 and everything stopped. That wonderful moment of calm and we could hear the fire works. (I know this sounds cheesy but it’s the truth!) It was 2020!!! We said happy new year to each other and not long after I got the urge to push. I tried to control this as with my first birth I’d been in labour that long I didn’t have the same strength to be as controlled as I wanted. This time I breathed my baby down rather than pushing in the early stage and listened to the midwife when she told me to stop and breath. My son was so peacefully born at 1.12 (the first baby of the decade to be born in Calderdale and Kirklees!) As he entered into the water my midwife told me to reach to get him and I raised him up to me. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing and my husband cut it. We remained in the water for some time to take in the moment.
I should never have doubted my body. It did, just like the first time, everything I could have asked of it and it gave me a baby that was right for my body! (As it happened only 6lb 15oz and only on the 7.5 centile far far smaller than their scans had predicted!!! A fine example of why I should have used BRAINS technique had I needed to) I have absolutely no doubt that both my peaceful births were a direct result of doing the course with Abby. I am so grateful to have had two amazing birth experiences. Both our babies have be content calm babies who are also absolute water babies and love the water. If you’re thinking of doing Hypnobirthing – do it!
Lucy and Ash, Halifax