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  1. Before attending hypnobirthing course with Sarah, my husband Andrew and I were quite nervous and apprehensive about the birth of our first baby. I’d heard of hypnobirthing and was intrigued by the concept having heard a really positive birth story from another of Sarah’s clients and it felt like something that made sense to me.

     

    We took the course when I was around 23 weeks pregnant so we had plenty of time to practice. I was quite shocked at the difference in my feelings around birth before and after the course, just from spending a few hours with Sarah. I found the concept of hypnobirthing really easy to get on board with and the techniques were simple enough to be able to practice everyday. Andrew also felt reassured that we could have a calm, positive labour.

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    I was hoping for a calm water birth in the MLU surrounded by candles and tea lights at the RD&E hospital, however, at 9 days overdue my waters broke. 24 hours later I still hadn’t gone into labour, so I was induced with the pessary at 8pm on the 4th April. We were kept in hospital overnight to be monitored for signs of infection. My surges started around midnight, but I managed to get some sleep by using my waves of relaxation technique through these early surges, which were more like strong period pains. In the morning I was hooked up to monitors to keep an eye on baby which meant I couldn’t move around, which became pretty uncomfortable. After two sets of readings I had to be transferred to the labour ward for further monitoring as baby’s heart rate would decelerate when I was having a surge. I managed to have wireless monitors now so I could move around, but baby didn’t like the upright and forward positions I so wanted to be in, so I had to sit in a chair. Still not happy with the monitoring, a FSE was attached to baby when I was 3cm dilated and I was hooked up to a drip for hydration (which was quite stressful as it took them 3 attempts to get the cannula in!). This meant I could get up and move around but the tens machine or water birth was now out of the picture. One of the strong messages in hypnobirthing is to accept any situation during labour, and that’s when the techniques we’d practiced really helped. The midwife was also an advocate for hypnobirthing and really guided me into keeping as calm and relaxed as possible. 

     

    The midwife went on lunch and Andrew and I were left alone finally with hypnobirthing tracks playing in the background. During this hour I went from 3cm to 10cm dilated, which was a really powerful, all encompassing experience, but Andrew helped with massaging and applying pressure my back and using a hot water bottle. When the midwife finished her lunch I was going through transition. I was convinced I needed an epidural and that I just wanted it all to stop. She took one look at me and said, I think it’s time to start pushing! After an hour of pushing with gas and air, and sitting in a chair with my legs up in stirrups, Archie finally made his appearance, born at 14.43 on the 5th April. Andrew was brilliant throughout the whole thing, staying calm and having the confidence in me to get through labour in a really relaxed way. 

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    I can’t recommend Sarah’s course enough. It was so vital in to us having the birthing experience we wanted, and especially for Andrew to be reassured that labour doesn’t have to be like what is portrayed on tv and in films. 

  2. My labour was nothing but amazing. I never thought I'd use the word labour and amazing in the same sentence.

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    Due to my son not growing at the rate he needed to I was having regular growth scans. On Tuesday 6th February I went in to have my last growth scan to be told they wanted to induce me that afternoon, completely taken back by this I told the doctor No and that I needed to go home and think about it. After going home and discussing the options with my husband, we made the decision that we needed to do what was best for our boy and with that I booked in be induced the following day.

    Going into hospital the next day I was scared and uncomfortable at the thought of having a sweep and being induced but using the breathing techniques I was soon back in my calm place and getting excited at knowing I would soon have my boy in my arms.

    That day I kept as active as I could, regularly walking around the hospital despite being in constant pain. That evening I barely slept as the pain was all down my back, legs and bum but despite this I remained calm listening to the MP3 tracks. My head was where it needed to be and I knew I was getting that one step closer.

    The following day the doctor removed the pessary and told me it hadn't worked and inserted another one. The pain got worse as the day went on and I was unable to walk or sit down for longer than 5 minutes but I still kept as active as I could.

    At 10pm my husband was convinced I was having  surges but the midwife assured us it was just pessary pains and they would be breaking my waters the following morning, with that we tried to get our heads down.

    12.30pm - I went to the toliet, with that my waters broke but I was told this didn't mean I was in labour and to get some rest.
    A midwife soon came in to see how far dilated I was and was shocked to tell me I was 7cm and needed to go to the delivery suite.

    Within the next hour I was moved upstairs and my Mum and midwife had arrived. My surges were getting stronger, I got into a high kneeling position up against the backrest of the bed, with the instrumental music playing in the background and my husband rubbing my back I began to breath through the surges while humming the baby down. My midwife told me he was only 1cm away and I needed to start pushing and without any thought I began to push, 20 minutes later Byron was born at 2.55am.

    I had skin to skin for nearly an hour while I let the cord finish pulsating. Byron was incredibly calm and didn't cry or scream at all, not like the labours you see on one born every minute.
    My midwife congratulated me and told me I did an amazing job and remained calm and in control throughout, she also commented on the music and said how beautiful it was. My Mum couldn't believe I had no pain relief and was blown away by the effect hypnobirthing had had.

    Before hypnobirthing I was petrified of giving birth to the point it was one of my reasons for not wanting children but after my labour I can positively say I'd do it all again tomorrow and it was an amazing beautiful experience.