The Birth of Leo
I was recommended hypnobirthing by my friend who had already been on a course with Abby. After learning more about Hypnobirthing I was really keen to go on the course to help ease some of my worries and anxiety about giving birth. I’m so glad I did!
I was lucky enough throughout my pregnancy to be considered low risk and after discussing with my husband and midwife, I decided on a water birth at our local hospital’s birth centre, with minimal pain intervention. The techniques we learned on our hypnobirthing course with Hannah complimented the birth we envisioned, and I felt really positive even after the first session that the birth I wanted was achievable. With my due date being Christmas day I did feel some additional pressure from well meaning friends and family for my little man to arrive then, but listening to the MP3 recordings every night helped me to let go of any and feel confident that my body would know what to do, when myself and my baby were ready.
I had my last midwife appointment on Christmas eve and was offered a stretch and sweep. Using the BRAIN techniques, I decided I wanted to go ahead with this and with my husband by my side the midwife did the examination. My husband kept talking to me about our honeymoon in Italy (our favourite place in the world!) and it kept me very calm and focused. The midwife said she could feel our baby’s head and that I was 1-2cm dilated. After learning from the course that this does not mean that birth is imminent, we headed home and enjoyed our Christmas celebrations – lots of nice food and watching my favourite programmes in my pyjamas! I’m so glad that we did as baby was not ready to make an appearance just yet and we found ourselves back at the dr’s surgery on New Year’s Eve having another check up with the midwife! She performed a second stretch and sweep and we went home again to chill out and await our little man’s arrival.
At around 10pm on New Year’s Eve I started with mild period pain type pains. We saw in the New Year knowing that we would be having a 2020 baby and went to bed. The sensations continued but were very manageable and I had a good night’s sleep. The next day this continued, I had a lovely long soak in the bath and went for a nice (slow!) walk. At around 6pm the sensations were getting much stronger and closer together. I took two paracetamol and my husband decided it was the right time to call the birth centre for advice, and I felt so much more relaxed that he was talking to the midwife while I could stay in my zone. Off we went to the birth centre and from there on everything changed very quickly!
I was 4cm dilated when I arrived but after having some routine checks they found my temperature to be very high, which was not coming down after taking paracetamol. I went from low risk to high risk quite quickly and was taken to the labour ward, immediately knowing that the birth I had wanted was not going to happen. My husband helped me stay calm and positive by using the affirmations we learnt from hypnobirthing, and I knew that whatever was meant to be would happen, and the most important thing was myself and my baby were healthy. We still discussed our birth plan with the lovely midwifes who were so kind and understanding. I was being monitored regularly and was using gas and air to help assist with the contractions. My temperature was not coming down and baby’s heart rate was dropping. Suddenly I had a lot of doctors in the room with me and I did start to panic, but I kept using the positive visualisations which helped me massively in this instance. I was given an epidural as the doctors were unsure whether I needed an emergency c-section. My husband kept telling me that we would be meeting our baby very soon which kept me focused and positive.
Leo was born via forceps and even though the moment of his birth was so different to what I imagined with lots of people in a very bright room, I tried to zone everything out and listen to my husband’s voice. The moment Leo was laid on my chest I forgot about everything else, we were head over heels for our little boy!
We stayed in hospital for 5 day’s after Leo’s birth as I had lost 2 litres of blood and Leo had to have regular antibiotics and initially this did make me very upset. It was hard to see Leo have a canula in his hand, but family and friends reminded me that we were in the best place and would be home soon.
I look back on my birth as a really positive experience – the midwives and doctors at the hospital were amazing and really took the time to understand the birth we wanted and adhere to as much of it as possible. Without the hypnobirthing course with Hannah I would have really struggled to stay calm with the changes in my birth plan and the techniques that I learnt were invaluable.
Gemma and Scott