Just over a week ago we had our longed for birthing experience thanks to you and Hypnobirthing! Very late on October 26th we gently birthed our baby girl 'Penelope Mary' into the world. We were fortunate enough to be in Midwifery Group Practice, so we had all the support in the world for our Hypnobirthing, which included a water birth with no pain relief :) The Hypnobirthing was more than enough to get us through!
We laboured at home from October 25th 2pm until October 26th 6.30pm, arrived at the birthing room just before 8pm (7cm dilated) and Penelope was born at 11.26pm.
We were sooo happy to have the techniques to labour at home for as long as possible. We used multiple Hypnobirthing techniques at home, the main ones were using the 'Surge breathing' (I did this every surge until the birth apart from the bearing down period) and repeating affirmations in my head such as 'our baby girl is coming', 'each surge brings us closer' and also a bit of pep talk like 'only 2 long breaths and this surge will be on the way down' or 'you got through the last surge you'll get through this one'. My husband Zac also repeated affirmations to me at the hospital when the surges were stronger and when I was bearing down. He did light-touch during the strong surges and the grounding touch too. I also listened to a bit of my favourite 80's radio station at home to keep my spirits and energy up!!
Also..one of your personal (and much appreciated) tips was associating a scent with the Hypnobirthing activities and to do a few drops of essential oil in the shower. This worked a charm during labour and the birth! I had done Lavender drops almost every shower whilst pregnant while having the lights off with LED candles, and most showers I spent repeating a bunch of my favourite affirmations and talking to bubs. So during labour at home we had the diffuser going, and did the lavender in the shower around 3pm on the 26th - funnily enough my water broke in that shower and I didn't realise at the time !!
Once we got to the birthing room, Zac set up the room for us - dark room, LED candles, lavender diffusing, an ultrasound photo of bubs and as a comforter I had one of Zac's pyjama t-shirts! We had 3 tracks on loop, Prompts for birthing, Affirmations and the music one with no words. I sat on the couch with a ball between my legs and a longer ball on top, leaning over it with one arm and Zac's tshirt slung over the ball. A funny combination but worked a treat! Zac was great getting me the occasional snack and giving me sips of cold water between every surge. My main midwife plus a student midwife were present, and they couldn't believe how quiet and relaxed I looked during surge's. Once again the breathing techniques saved me here!!
After a while instinct told me to go to the bath. As soon as I hopped into the bath the surges became a lot stronger, we continued the breathing and Zac continued the light touch and coaching me through between surges. We took a piece of foam into the hospital which we laid on the bottom of the bath, and the position that worked for me was on my side, leaning out of the bath towards Zac who had hold of my arms. This part of the birth honestly felt like 10 minutes to me!! But apparently it was around an hour and a half!
As soon as the urge to bear down came I worked with each surge and did the bearing down breathing technique. It worked so well that no one realised how far along bubs was - and silly me forgot to communicate it!! I knew it was close and was actually preparing myself for the 'ring of fire' that we'd read about.. But I never got the ring of fire - the next surge I did an extra breath down and out came her head! I called out to the midwives 'her head's out!!' and they quickly scrambled to get their gloves on! Zac tells me they were discussing a few minutes before as to what time I finished the 1st stage of labour, and so they were certainly surprised! They told me later that I had looked so relaxed they thought I had a while to go! They were even more surprised when they realised she was birthed posterior, as she must have turned during labour!!
Zac caught bubs when she came all the way out and that feeling of hearing and seeing our baby girl after such an amazing experience was something we both will never forget. It was so emotional, and we feel so fortunate to have has that special experience. The umbilical cord was extremely short so she couldn't reach my chest, but we got our skin to skin shortly after and decided to have an early release and left the hospital 4 hours later. I only had 2nd degree tearing, which has almost healed and my body feels pretty good a week later! I loved how some of the hypnobirthing tracks talked about the body healing after birth, I honestly think this belief helped.
Aside from Hypnobirthing giving us an amazing birth experience, it also helped me to have the best pregnancy. I loved being pregnant and felt that the Hypnobirthing kept me relaxed, positive and centered in general. I was rarely stressed which for me having had a panic attack just over a year ago, was a real surprise. I used 'Fear Release' track to whisk away the concerns I had that I may have a panic attack during labour. That track was so helpful, every time I heard a 'bad birthing story' from someone I'd listen to it and pretty much delete the thoughts from my mind. At about 37 weeks pregnant we amped up the Hypnobirthing practise and I did the breathing techniques 3 times a day, the bubble 3 times a day, pelvic floor exercises and listened to at least one hypnobirthing track once a day, along with the many lavender infused showers :)
The first week of being a Mum and Dad has been so great for both of us, we feel like our girl is so relaxed and so are we, because of everything we learnt with you at the Hypnobirthing course.
We can't thank you enough Hannah - what you do is second to none, and the impact you've had on us and probably many others is so special. The way you taught the content made us excited and made us want our positive birth experience even more. We didn't realise Hypnobirthing could do so much for us, pre, during and post birth!
Thank you again!!
Tegan, Zac and Penelope.
Birth story and photos shared with permission.