Back in 2005 I fell pregnant with my first baby. He was born in 2006. At 10 days over due I was full of anxiety about the impending delivery of my baby. I knew life was about to change beyond recognition. I was booked in for an induction at Southend hospital.
In we went, with our hospital bag and started what felt like a very long anxious waiting game. To cut a long story short our beautiful baby boy arrived rather purple looking, having fought the eviction process for about two and half days. I was in shock and totally stunned by some of the procedures I had been through and my husband, at the business end – well what can I say!
Due to the intervention we encountered, my baby and me stayed in Southend hospital for two nights. Then we came home to recover and enjoy our new family life together. I didn’t dwell much on what had happened at the hospital, no time with a new baby. If I’m honest, I had had very little birth education and my social imprint of birth was, it’s medicalised. The midwives look after you, you’re in their care and you just need to go with it. That was pretty much what I thought from all I had read, heard and seen on TV.
The stitches healed, the baby grew. So did my tummy, with baby number two. We knew we wanted another child and we knew we wanted them close in age but neither of us wanted to go through ‘that’ again. An old family friend had just had her 4th baby. She had been in and out of Southend hospital within hours, “just popped her out” I had been told. This was something that stayed with me.
Why was it some of us went through ‘that’ and some of us “popped them out”?
It was my husband that suggested hypnotherapy for birth. At first I was the skeptic. I just thought well nothing to loose and everything to gain if ‘it’ works. So I started practicing daily at 32 weeks. It was nice, relaxing, baby asleep in the afternoon and me just chilling. It didn’t feel like anything was happening but I was calm and relaxed and in control of my emotions as the EDD came closer, unlike like the first time.
Two days after the estimated due date I had a chat with baby number one and bump and we agreed we was ready…my contractions started around tea time the next day. I was always worried that I wouldn’t know that they were as I had had artificial ones the first time round. I knew straight away. It was like a little flutter and after everyone of them I smiled to myself.
I had about 3 flutters an hour for a few hours and kept them to myself. My mum was having a sleep over that night so I knew I didn’t have to worry about childcare for our son. I felt no need to mention baby was coming until bedtime. I thought I ought to let mum know as we may need to go to the hospital during the night and of course my husband as I would need to wake him up too. They were both surprised and excited, we all went to bed and slept, we’ll sort of!
I laid in bed resting, writing down the times of my surges, listening to my hypno recording and visualising my baby coming closer to meet me. I couldn’t wait to hold her. About 4.30am I got up. My husband leapt out of bed and started the car up like it was an emergency drama but I said I felt like bath and some breakfast first. No need to rush. So I shut myself in the bathroom for a bit and chilled out a bit more. We rang Southend hospital I suggested I might need to come soon as my surges were now strong and long, consistently 5mins apart. The midwife on duty said I didn’t sound like a woman in labour but as they weren’t busy I could go down if I really wanted but to be prepared to be to sent away again.
It was 6am when we arrived there. I skipped down the corridor with a bounce in my heal and spring in my step so excited. I think the midwives thought I taking the micky. They said “you don’t look like a woman in labour”. I remember thinking what do want me to look like then? So I said well I am, I know I am, can we at least have a look as I’m here.
I was dilated to 8cm already (I knew I was right) my beautiful baby girl arrived two and a half hours later. I did have a little bit of gas and air. It was during the last 10-15 minutes and I was able to regulate my breathing and then didn’t require it anymore. I think my need for the gas and air was triggered by something that was said by a midwife. I reacted to it with panic as it reminded me of my first experience, language has a habit of producing thoughts and thoughts create reactions, although at the time I didn’t realise it.
We had lovely relaxed birth experience, my daughter was pink and healthy unlike the first time round. I was up and out and back home with both our babies just few hours later. The student midwife had experienced a great birth for her first delivery and we settled in to our beautiful family life. I knew at that point I had done something amazing I remember saying I would do it again tomorrow, any day any time. It was so…I can’t articulate it …bloody amazing! And I would definately do it again tomorrow.
Thank you staff at Southend hospital for supporting me through both my babies very different births.
Since then as well as being Mum to two beautiful children, wife to a Welsh man (we won’t hold that against him though). I’ve created Positively Blooming, an online hypnobirthing home study course that will help you birth your baby with a calmness and confidence that you wouldn’t believe is possible. Since re-training as hypnotherapist/psychotherapist and birth coach I have had the pleasure of working with loads of mums and dads-to-be to and heard the birth stories of so many more beautiful babies being born in a positive, calm, relaxed way, the right way for their little families.
Hypnobirthing isn’t wacky, it’s simple, straight forward, no nonsense, down to earth guide to birthing, the right way for you and your family.
If you’d like to give some hypnotherapy for childbirth a try, sign up for some freebies, relax and enjoy! Sarah x