The Birth of Eleanor Rose
We attended Abby’s course after hearing about hypnobirthing from friends during my first pregnancy. We went along not knowing what to expect and had no idea the impact it would have on our birth experience. My labour began in the early hours of Thursday 6th December, but hypnobirthing had already proven itself so useful to us in the weeks prior to this. Two weeks before my due date my blood pressure was raised and I experienced some intense pressure from doctors to have an induction. It was presented to me as my only option, particularly because I had previously had a c-section. I was told rather bluntly that I was risking my baby if I didn’t have one but not given any clear information about why this could be the case. I felt very vulnerable in this moment, but armed with the hypnobirthing knowledge, I had the confidence to say I wanted some thinking time. I went away and got all the advice I could about my options. The AIMS helpline advised me of the relevant statistics and my midwife suggested that I asked for a scan to check baby’s growth and the health of the placenta. The doctors agreed to this and I was reassured that baby was growing beautifully and the placenta was fine. I knew I had been totally right to question the doctors but without the course I know I would not have been informed or confident enough to do so.
From this point on everything went more to plan. I was regularly monitored and booked a provisional induction for 41 weeks. Fortunately, my labour began spontaneously the day before my due date and really kicked off around lunchtime after taking our two-year-old to the park. The surges were regular and I really felt the need for peace and quiet so my daughter went off to her grandparents and I began to focus. I found the mp3s and peaceful spa music relaxing and either bounced or rested on my birth ball. My husband got busy creating a relaxing space. My mum, who we had invited to be at the birth, arrived and commented on how our living room looked like a spa. Things got really intense and I was using the breathing techniques to get through the long surges. They were all in my tummy so a TENS machine didn’t help but my husband took the weight of my bump which gave me some relief. I kept thinking about the positive birth videos I had seen and tried to stay calm like the ladies in the videos. After a long bath I began bleeding quite heavily so we informed the hospital that we were on our way (11:30pm). Headphones, eye-mask and a hot-water bottle really helped on the journey.
Despite planning on being at Calderdale Birth Center, I went straight to the assessment center on labour ward where I was examined and reassured that the bleeding was just the cervix dilating. I was 3cm and the hospital advised me to stay on labour ward which felt right. Every person I came into contact with was fantastic and so supportive. I don’t believe my experience would have been any better in the birth centre as my midwife was like an angel who seemed to know all of my wishes without me even having to ask (I realised later that my husband had actually shown her my birth plan but I hadn’t noticed at the time). She supported our preferences as much as possible, allowing intermittent monitoring so I could move around and suggesting that the pool could still be an option for me at a later stage.
After a few hours I asked to be examined again as it was very intense and I was very tired between surges. I was still 3cm dilated so I asked for some pain relief and was recommended diamorphine. It was a relief to have a break and it turned out to be very beneficial as I Went to sleep for a couple of hours and then woke with an incredible urge to push. Minutes later my waters burst with an almighty pop and the midwife told me I was 10cm. No time for the pool after all. After getting changed I got onto all fours and began to push my baby down. I absolutely loved this part of my labour, finding a sense of relief in the desire to push and the knowledge that my baby was nearly here. The gas and air reminded me to keep breathing and I was encouraged by my husband and mum telling me they could see a head and dark hair. I clearly remember my mum telling me that my baby had got the most beautiful little face after the head was born. One final push and my baby was delivered and passed straight up through my legs and into my arms. The curled-up cord concealed the gender and as I moved it, I discovered for myself that we had a perfect little girl. Eleanor Rose had arrived at 7:51am on 7th December 2018, weighing 7lb8 ounces. I was so delighted I had achieved the VBAC birth I had hoped for and even having a retained placenta and losing a lot of blood after couldn’t dampen my spirits. I received the best care and it turned out that being in the hospital was the right place for me.
Hypnobirthing really helped us not only to cope and enjoy the birth of our daughter but enabled us to stay in control of the whole experience by being so well informed. Thank you so much to Abby for the fantastic course.
Louisa and Marc, Mirfield