Catherine was in her second pregnancy when she joined Hannah, Birth Wellbeing Midwife for a hypnobirthing refresher course. Catherine felt her first birth had been a fairly positive experience, but wanted to ensure her second birth was calm and wanted to feel more in control. Catherine had a private course, so the content could be entirely tailored to her wishes.
I had previously done hypnobirthing during my first pregnancy and wanted a refresh for my second pregnancy so contacted Hannah for an online hypnobirthing course. Hannah tailored the 4 week course to provide me with the information I needed and didn't overload me with information I already knew, which was very beneficial as a busy mum. I found Hannah very approachable, friendly and knowledgeable, being a qualified midwife I felt comfortable discussing my first long labour of 36 hours and how I wanted to use hypnobirthing to help me with my second pregnancy and hopefully have an overall positive experience.
Once I completed the course, I had a complete refresh of hypnobirthing and felt more confident and prepared for labour. Then, at 38 weeks pregnant I had a growth scan and the sonographer was concerned that there was low fluid showing on my scan, I went to see the consultant I was under that day who advised that I have an induction the following day. I initially felt very anxious and almost pressurised with my decision. When I got home I contacted Hannah to inform her what had happened and asked for her advice. Hannah replied straight away and reminded me of my hypnobirthing techniques to stay calm, then think of the pros and cons so that I could feel confident with my overall decision. Her support made me feel at ease with the decision I had made and reminded me that I still had a lot of choices for my labour induction, for example continuing to use hypnobirthing techniques, making a relaxing environment, and using pain relief if I wished.
At 8pm the following night me and husband went to the induction suite, and at 10pm I had the induction pessary inserted, then managed to have some sleep that night. Around 10am the following morning I started to contract, so I sat on the birthing ball and started to breath through my contractions as practised during my hypnobirthing course. As time passed the contractions were getting stronger and I continued to breath through each one. I then felt a gush and assumed my waters had broken so my husband called for staff. However, I then noticed I was bleeding and began to panic and think the worst, then I breathed to calm myself. The doctor arrived to examine me and I made the decision to ask for gas and air to manage any uncomfortable pain. The doctor confirmed I was 4cm and that the bleeding was probably caused due to my cervix being sensitive which made me feel more at ease, I was glad to be progressing!
My midwife came to collect us and took us over to the delivery suite at 1pm. I asked for the lights to be dimmed in the room and my birth playlist on, this made me feel much more relaxed and ready to continue with my labour. Soon after, my contractions began to get very intense and I used the gas and air to breath through the painful contractions. I had very bad back pain and my husband was using massage techniques and saying positive affirmations to me. I was moving round the room and using different positions to allow for gravity and optimal fetal positioning, as discussed on my course with Hannah. The pain started to get even more intense in my back and I could feel something was happening, a doctor was in the room at the time, who examined me and said I was fully dilated, she could see the head!
I began to feel nervous but as I knew I was near to meeting my baby, so I breathe to calm myself and listened to my midwife's instructions to start pushing. On the first push my babies head came out, then the shoulders which was an empowering experience, and my husband got to watch it all. On the last push our beautiful baby girl Violet Cecilia was welcomed into the world just after 3pm weighing a perfect 7lb 4. I only needed a few stitches and then devoured my well earned tea and toast!
Overall the labour was a positive experience and being induced didn't change this. Hypnobirthing helped me to make informed decisions throughout and keep calm. I will definitely recommend Hannah's course to expecting mums who may need extra confidence and knowledge for labour.