Thursday, 12 May 2016

My personal Hypnobirthing journey

So with the official launch of my Hypnobirthing classes looming, it's seems befitting to reflect and share on my own personal experience of childbirth. (nothing too gory so no need for the squeamish to look away)

I'm not ashamed to admit that pre-pregnancy I harbored a fear of childbirth, it was probably one of the reasons my body clock didn't start ticking until my mid 30's. From an early age I'd decided that if ever I should become pregnant an elective C-section would almost definitely be the only way forward.

To my great surprise (and my husbands), as I reached 33 my body clock didn't so much as start ticking but chiming, and rather loudly.  Then just before Christmas 2009 as I was carrying out a mundane household chore I suddenly knew, without any doubt, I was carrying a bundle of joy.  A quick test proved negative, but my certainty didn't waver. I just knew.

In early January tests happily confirmed my suspicions. Not only was I pregnant but it seems I was much more in tune with my body and maternal instincts then I ever thought possible. From that moment on I was determined to continue listening and trusting my body and began researching natural birth techniques.

I found a great hypno-birthing practitioner who helped us (husband and I) to not only prepare for the birth and beyond but also to relax and bond with our baby in utero and as a result I had a fantastic pregnancy. I was active, positive and crucially I made time to relax regularly.

Feeling invincibly confident my thoughts turned to home-birthing, Many nights researching the best birthing pools and watching countless YouTube videos of beautiful birthing experiences cemented these ideas and by 7 months it was all planned out. We would bring little chumpchop into the world in a birthing pool in our dimly lit back room surrounded by candles etc.

However these plans we never meant to be, little nutkin was identified as breech at 32 weeks and no amount of handstands in the pool, acupuncture, moxibustion or and ECV would budge him. At 10pm on the 17th August, after a full days work my waters broke two weeks early. (most inconvenient as I was due in at school for A-Level results the following day), but there it is.

Full Hypnobirth mode was automatically engaged even though I knew a C-section was likely, I was completely relaxed and focused able to laugh and joke not only between surges but during them. Scans revealed the baban was still breech and as it was late at night and I wasn't in active labour, I was scheduled in for a C-section the following morning.

After the decision was made and the surgeons had left the room I began to wonder how they knew I wasn't in active labour? it was explained 'they knew' because I hadn't had a contraction in the last 10 minutes. Now, I had already flown up this midwifes nose once when I refused to sensibly answer her pain scale question (on a scale on 1 - 10 how much pain are you in?) erm none,.  so at the risk of upsetting her again I mentioned that I thought my contractions were actually very regular.

To prove a point I think, she 'popped' me on a monitor, and checked down below. Ten minutes later we were in theatre and the little chump was born.  Apparently, to everyone's surprise I had laboured into transition very efficiently and calmly. Yipee!

The C-section was not ideal case scenario and a bit rushed at the end but I used my hypnobirthing techniques throughout, I didn't panic, remained calm and really enjoyed the experience as much as possible.

Whatever preconceived ideas you have about birthing or your own ability to cope with it, Hypnobirthing can help you remain calm, it reduces anxiety and fear and will ensure that when you are meeting your baby for the first time, however that may be, it is as relaxed and enjoyable as possible.

Hypnobirthing is useful for everyone, not just those wanting and inflatable pool birth in their back room!