This is Connie’s birth story. Connie did Hypnobirthing with a different provider (she won a free place) and I was her Doula. Connie talks us honestly through her birth journey - the ups, the downs, and everything in between! But what this story shows is courage, strength and an open mind to change. It was an honour to support Connie through the twists and turns that unfolded. All the way through she asked so many questions, took time to think and process, and made decisions that were right for her and her baby.
“From the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew that birthing alone was going to be one of my biggest challenges in life. I started obsessively watching One Born Every Minute, reading horror stories online and filling my brain with the idea that birth is a painful and stressful thing. As time went on, I started to follow different ideas and opened my eyes up to the world of positive birth and hypnobirthing. The word initially scared me and I wasn’t sure if I would be the right candidate for it as a young single Mum to be.
Hackney Hypnobirthing was one of the first accounts I followed - and through some force of nature I won her competition for a free course over 4 zoom calls with other parents. I quickly learnt how the world of birth has been so stigmatised and that actually, it’s a beautiful, natural experience and one that should have the Mother’s best interests at heart. From these sessions. I learnt to speak up of myself every time I was told I couldn’t ‘do’ something due to my BMI. It was definitely empowering!
I then started looking into hiring a doula to be with me at birth, as I felt I could potentially be coerced during labour if I didn’t have someone with me to advocate for me. Terri from Cornwall Hypnobirthing was one of my teachers at school and it just seemed so perfectly coincidental - we already had some rapport so there was no doubt in my mind that I would like her to be at my birth. The world works in funny ways sometimes! My birth plan was a natural water birth in the birth centre. I was adamant I didn’t want any interventions or to go to hospital unless me or my baby were sick. I was fully prepared to go over 42 weeks!
At 39+5 I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right that day, I had been feeling very unwell, vomiting, headaches and seeing light spots for about a week. I went to hospital for blood tests and the doctor came and told me he would want to induce me ASAP, preferably that day. It was all so unexpected and I was tired after waiting for blood results for over 5 hours. I decided to decline and go home to think things over. The next morning I woke up feeling worse than ever.
I called triage and they told me to go to hospital straight away.
When we got there, baby was absolutely fine and healthy but my health was deteriorating and I don’t think I could have carried on for much longer so I accepted an induction. I had the pessary inserted, 24 hours went by and by the morning I was having regular contractions. I went up to delivery to see about having my waters broken. I told them I was calling my doula and I didn’t want any intervention until she was here to advocate for me and calm me down as I was very anxious at this point. Once Terri arrived, I agreed to have my waters broken but only with use of an epidural due to personal reasons. The epidural was not a pleasant experience for me and had it not been for Terri I would have definitely not been able to stay as calm as I did. She was on hand to hold my hand and give me water when I needed - it took them about 40 minutes to fit the epidural correctly.
Hours went by and I stayed at 2/3 cm dilated, my contractions were still regular - around 3 in 10 minutes but my body wasn’t progressing how we had hoped. After 49 hours of having the pesssry inserted, to being in delivery and my waters broken, I was still only 3cm dilated. I was mentally exhausted, physically drained and Terri was starting to get tired too!
A c-section was definitely not what I had ever planned or hoped for, and Terri reassured me it was absolutely my choice and if I wanted to decline I could, but I had to be prepared to be in labour for potentially 24 or more hours. Through careful thinking and weighing out the pros and cons with Terri, I decided to accept a c-section. Instantly I felt so much calmer - I was making my own choice and I was going to meet my baby soon.
When we got to the operating theatre my anxiety started to come into play again, and Terri was so helpful in reassuring me and reminding me that baby Ezra would be in the world very soon.
The c-section was pretty traumatic for me - I can’t lie and say it was an enjoyable experience. I felt like I could feel everything and I wanted more pain relief which they couldn’t give me. They told me that my only option would be general anaesthetic if I couldn’t handle the pain. I decided then to just breathe through it as much as I can. Terri helped me and before I knew it Ezra was out and crying the most beautiful cry. My first words were ‘is he really mine?’ I couldn’t believe it. We did skin to skin and Terri took so many photos and I’m eternally grateful for her presence in making a potentially very traumatic experience into a positive one I will remember for the rest of my life.
Hypnobirthing really helped me prepare for birth and I truly think it empowered me beyond belief, I’m so glad I invested in a doula and did my research wherever I could.”
NB - I am currently taking booking for my March and May Hypnobirthing courses, and I have one space remaining for a private course in March and 2 in April. My Doula services are available from the end of April 2021. I do get booked up quite a lot in advance for my Doula services as my availability is limited, so if you are interested in finding out more or booking me as your Doula then don't hesitate to get in touch early.