"I never knew my body could do such amazing things."
Welcome to the world gorgeous Ivy. Born in the water at Truro Birth Centre. Ivy's mum Laura shares her story of her labour and birth, and how Hypnobirthing was a real game changer in her Antenatal education.
"We attended Terri's September group course and although we didn't fully know what to expect from a hypnobirthing course found it incredibly helpful. There was so much we didn't know and it completely altered my view on what labour would be like from scary and painful to calm and controlled. I was actually really excited to give birth. We finished the course knowing exactly what to expect and all of our options and rights. When it came to birth I didn't use the full scope of hypnobirthing or the specifically taught breathing techniques - I just did what felt right, but I went in feeling empowered and the mindset was invaluable.
A week past my due date I had a midwife appointment in the morning and due to trying all the tricks to start labour I opted for a sweep. Before the sweep I was about 2-3cms dilated without even realising. I then headed home to bounce on my birthing ball.
By late afternoon not much seemed to be happening other than a few twinges here and there so I decided to drive down to my sister's house (it was her birthday) and have an Indian takeaway. By the time I had finished my food (around 19:30) I had started to have mild contractions, every 3 minutes lasting around 20 seconds but not causing me too much trouble. I decided to head home so I didn't get stranded.
Once I was at home contractions continued so my partner and I packed the last few bits of our hospital bags and finally put up the next2me crib...between contractions which were increasing in intensity and now requiring a bit of breathing to get through.
I had some brown discharge following my sweep but decided to ring triage to check this was okay and to inform them that labour was starting. Not long after this phone call I went to the toilet and had a very large bowel movement followed by some fresh red blood, so I phoned triage again who suggested that I head in to hospital to be checked over and if all okay decide whether I could head home to let labour progress more or stay in if things were already moving along.
When I got to the hospital I was put into a small room on delivery suite and told there wasn't a midwife covering the birthing suite that night and they would have to try and call in a community midwife (cue minor panic as I felt I couldn't give birth in that tiny room). Meanwhile contractions continued every 3 minutes getting stronger and longer. I was examined and was 5cms dilated. They monitored the baby for around half an hour and everything was fine.
After this I was moved to the birthing suite where I would be able to get in the pool. A community midwife arrived shortly after and I was soon in the pool with gas and air to hand. Getting in the water was the most amazing relief and I stayed leaning on the side for the whole of the rest of my labour. The community midwife who arrived was so lovely, she was completely aware of hypnobirthing and fully on board with our birthing plan after making sure she read it thoroughly. She then sat back and let me labour as my body told me to with just intermittent heartbeat Doppler checks on the baby and a manual pulse check on me here and there. The delivery suite midwife stayed to support as well and ended up pouring water over my back for ages after I said I felt I couldn't get myself into the water far enough (she probably regretted ever starting!).
My music of choice was Adele's new album and I made everyone listen to it on repeat for about 4 hours! If my partner suggested trying something else I refused, I think I had got myself into my own little labour bubble and had everything just as I needed it so the change of music might have upset that.
As my labour progressed further my midwife would ask me what a contraction felt like as she could see my behaviour changing and this helped me to identify that I was nearing birth. Her hands off and calm approach, alongside all the knowledge I had from my hypnobirthing course, made me feel in control and empowered and I knew I could trust my body to do what it needed to do. When my contractions changed to 'pushing' my baby out it was the most amazing experience I have ever had, I never knew my body could do such amazing things.
Ivy was birthed into the pool at 03:40 with guidance from afar from my midwives and I caught her myself and brought her up to me. The whole process was so calm and quiet, the complete opposite of the labours and births portrayed on TV and films with lots of screaming, sweating and a terrified looking mother. I can't recommend a hypnobirthing course enough, especially with Terri."
If you are pregnant and want to work towards a positive birth experience, where you feel prepared, powerful, knowledgeable and armed ready with a tool kit of techniques to help and support you through labour and birth, then my next group Hypnobirthing course is in July (10th and 17th - 10am - 3pm). Bookings available on my website www.cornwallhypnobirthing.co.uk/book-online . Private Hypnobirthing courses are also available throughout June, July and beyond. email me on email@example.com for more information.