kg hypnobirthing

Tegan, Matt and Leo's Hypnobirthing Story

leo tegan hypnobirthing worthing storyTegan's first birth was so easy she didn't realise she was in established labour and baby was born in bath!

On Wednesday 7th September 2011 I had my last midwife appointment. Baby Leo was 11 days 'overdue' (I was 41 weeks + 4 days) and I had already discussed my choice not to be induced with one of the midwives but today I had a different midwife. I had seen lots of different midwives during my pregnancy and the previous one I'd had for four consecutive appointments and had built a good relationship with. She had been very supportive of my decision to wait and let labour start naturally and said most people weren't that patient! She was very positive and had commented on my good health and flexibility (I put that down to the fabulous pregnancy yoga!). Unfortunately, today I had a midwife who
didn't know me. She was covering due to holiday and sickness, was in a rush and a bit of a bad mood! She was very short with me and said I would have to go to see a consultant at the hospital to make a care plan because they were finished with me now!  I knew that this would be
the next stage but the way she spoke to me was very brisk! The appointment with the consultant was made for the next day and that was that. I wasn't looking forward to having to argue my case but was very certain that if the baby and I were both well, we would wait for labour to start naturally. I was hoping for a home birth and had a birthing pool hired from the community midwives, which was due back on Friday!

I walked to my appointment and back, to try to help gravity and baby work together. (I hadn't been able to do as much walking towards the end of my pregnancy due achy hips and pelvis.) A couple of hours later (about 2pm) my waters broke. It wasn't a big gush but a slow trickle and at first I wasn't sure if it was my waters or if I'd just wet myself! I'd had no surges (the hypnobirthing word for contractions) and so just hoped that things started within 24 hours, so I didn't have to argue against being induced.

By 6pm Matt had come home and I thought maybe I was starting to have some light surges – again I wasn't really sure if it was labour or if I was just a bit hungry or maybe baby had just got into a funny position! Matt rang his friend, to let her know he wouldn't be coming to his badminton club night, as we hoped baby might be on his way.

About 8pm I had a bath and by 9pm I was pretty sure I was in labour and started listening to my hypnobirthing CD and relaxing upstairs in our bedroom. Matt came to bed about 9.30pm but I couldn't sleep. Matt was great, reminding me to do my breathing and to try to relax as the surges got stronger.  By about 1am I was getting stressed telling Matt the surges were really strong and saying I felt I wasn't doing very well.
The surges were very sporadic coming anything from every 5 to every 15 minutes. We knew they had to become regular and frequent (coming every 5 minutes, lasting for about a minute, going on for around an hour) before calling the midwife. I felt disappointed that it wasn't really working very well and that I couldn't sleep, as I thought I'd be so tired by the following afternoon when I suspected baby might arrive. Matt suggested I have another bath and ran it for me. He reassured me saying I was doing really well and telling me that it was all ok and natural.

I got in the bath and it really helped. I totally relaxed for about 20 minutes. Then the surges started coming more strongly again and getting a bit more frequent but still not regular. I asked Matt if we should fill the birthing pool but he said it would just go cold by the time we got round to using it and then it would need warming up again. He asked me if I wanted him to ring the midwife but I said I thought there was no point as it would be ages yet and they'd just have to go away again. Matt suggested I try to check my own progress. (I'd learnt how to do this during my pregnancy. It takes a bit of practice but I felt it would give me greater awareness and control of my own body. For about the last
two weeks I'd been 1cm dilated.) Matt went to do something and I tried to check my progress. I felt something hard and hairy that had never been there before and which I was pretty sure wasn't me! It was the baby's head! I shouted to Matt to come back and stood up to show him saying 'Is this that baby's head?' He was amazed and said it was and that he should probably ring the midwife then! We laughed and I agreed!

From that moment on my mood totally changed. I felt great. I was really calm and happy. I could not believe that the baby's head was already starting to crown and that I was so far along! I realised that the hypnobirthing had totally worked! I'd been stressed because I thought I had another day to go and that I'd be exhausted by the time baby finally arrived. I realised the surges had been strong because baby was about to be born! (I'd had very strong rectal pressure with the more recent surges and realised that was baby's head descending!)

Matt rang the midwives – no answer on the first number so he tried another. The woman told him to ring an ambulance in case the midwife didn't get there in time! He was instructed to go and open the front door and then asked how I was and told not to leave me! Poor Matt said he was the only one here! He rang my Mum who came in (my parents and youngest sister live next door). The ambulance crew arrived and came and asked me how I was. I said I was fine and that the baby's heads was just crowning and showed them! The midwife arrived having followed
the ambulance. There was a point when there were six people in our bathroom! (It's a pretty small bathroom too!) The midwife asked if I was comfortable and I said that well we'd planned to use the birthing pool but I thought this would have to do now! (My father-in-law had joked, saying I should just use the bath and I'd told Matt that it wouldn't be possible because it was just too narrow and not deep enough! Famous last words!)

I was really chilled and able to talk normally to everyone and asked my Mum to get the camera and take some film and photos, which she did. Everyone was there ready and at one point I said, 'Come on baby we're all waiting for you now!' The ambulance guy asked me how strong the contractions were and I said I was having strong surges now. He said, 'Right on the next one give it all you've got and push'. I said, 'I'm not pushing, I'm doing hypnobirthing, I'm going to breathe my baby out'! Poor bloke! They went and sat on the stairs then and left Matt
and the midwife to it! My Mum gave them tea and biscuits.

The midwife said how well I was doing and just 20 minutes after she and the ambulance had arrived, baby Leonardo was born, in the bath! It took just three surges for his head to come and I didn't push at all, my body did all the work. Then I said to the midwife that I could feel the cord around him and she said 'ok, so what we'll do is....' I interrupted her saying, 'No he's coming!' and with one more surge he shot out between my legs (I was kneeling low in the bath, being careful to keep his head in the water). Matt said baby Leo banged something on the side of the bath (head?! Leg?!)! The midwife scooped him up and passed him to me. He was pink and perfect with brown hair and blue eyes. I said I know
everyone loves their own baby but he really is gorgeous! He needed the extra time to get extra cute! He was crying at his rude and speedy entry. After a bit of a cuddle Matt cut the cord (which had stopped pulsating) and then took him for a cuddle in the bedroom. Matt talked to him and he stopped crying.

The midwife helped me out of the bath and I delivered the placenta on the toilet with her suggesting I do the same as before, bear down and use my breathing again. I did and it came out quickly and easily. I went and joined Matt in the bedroom and after checking me, the midwife said I did need stitches but that she could do them then and there and Matt and baby were able to stay with me. I had second degree tears, which I put down to the narrowness of the bath (I couldn't get my knees very far apart!) and the speed with which he came in the end.

After that I got into bed with Matt and my youngest sister came in to see the baby with my Mum. Leo was weighed and was a lovely 8lb 6, again a benefit of that extra time in the womb. I fed him and we all had tea and biscuits and then champagne! It was just so wonderful.

Everyone left at 6.30am. Matt and Leonardo both went straight to sleep. I had little Leo in my arms and realised I should probably get some sleep, so put him in his Moses basket and we all went to sleep.

I felt great after the birth. I didn't experience any pain – only the tightening of my muscles and the pressure of the baby's head descending. I didn't push; my body did all the work. I know hypnobirthing played a major part in our birthing experience. It gave us the confidence to have a home birth and enabled Matt to support me throughout the labour and help me stay calm. All the information we gained meant we were well informed to make decisions throughout the pregnancy and labour and in the end I had exactly the birth I wanted – a natural-home-water(!)-hypnobirth.

Even if things had gone differently I really believe the hypnobirthing practice and tools would have been useful. We didn't get the chance to listen to my playlist, light any scented candles or read through scripts but the overall experience was amazing and I wouldn't change a thing.

I would like to again thank Naomi Newland who was our inspirational hypnobirthing practitioner and also Rachel and Shirley whose fabulous pregnancy yoga groups I attended throughout my pregnancy. I wish all the pregnant couples out there wonderful birthing experiences and could not recommend more highly hypnobirthing.

For Hypnobirthing Classes in Worthing West Sussex & Beyond contact Naomi Newland

☎ 07717 842448

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