Alex and I went to Sandra’s Hypnobirthing sessions for 5 consecutive weeks on the run up to Christmas 2019. We decided Hypnobirthing would be a positive route after hearing so many wonderful stories of calm births. I was wanted this and wanted my baby to be born into a calm and happy environment, not one finned with pain and chaos.
I was due on 6th January with our baby boy. I remember on my due date feeling frustrated and in an unusual grumpy mood which was unlike me when I’d been mainly happy, upbeat and excited throughout my pregnancy.
At my midwife appointment that day, my midwife said “I wouldn’t be surprised if you’re in early labour”. I shrugged it off and went home for a nap. I started to experience some small tightenings but I was unsure if it was anything or nothing. I bounced on my exercise ball and practised my deep breathing exercises as I had been for weeks leading up to this point and went to bed as normal.
At 7am on 7th January I got up out of bed and my waters started trickling down my legs. It was so slight I wasn’t sure but I couldn’t stop it and very quickly realised things could be starting. I was so excited but calm. I waited a couple of hours to see if my surges would start but nothing. Still waters trickling going through pads and knickers very quickly, I soon changed into an adult nappy (one of the best things I ever bought!)
I called the hospital to let them know I thought my waters had gone and they asked me to make my way in to check if they had. This was confirmed and our baby was monitored. I was having more irregular surges but nothing painful, more like light period pain and my tummy went very hard and tight. I was sent home and told to return to the labour ward the following morning at 7am to be induced if my surges didn’t become more regular and ramp up. They didn’t and we were in hospital for 7am on 8th January.
We’d taken battery powered fairy lights and candles, printed inspirational birth affirmations to put up around the room and our choice of relaxing music and speaker. My husband swiftly made the room a very calm space whilst I settled into my nightie.
I was soon put on a syntocin drip. This took a while to get the quantity right for my body and for it to have the desired affect. After an hour my surges were regular and the midwife was happy. Baby’s heart rate was happy and my surges regular and coming every 2 minutes.
Hypnobirthing at this stage was incredible. It helped me relax, stay calm and was wonderful for my husband to support me in my breathing and use light touch massage on my back and legs. This helped so much and I can honestly say I enjoyed the experience. I felt strong, empowered and excited knowing we would meet our baby soon. After 5 hours of using hypnobirthing techniques I felt I needed something more and requested gas and air. This helped to slightly take the edge off. After 6 hours I was given a vaginal check. To my complete disappointment I was only 1cm dilated. I was so disheartened and suddenly felt exhausted. I discussed my options with my midwife and I decided to opt for a epidural knowing I had a long way to go and I was getting tired. Once I had my epidural, I was able to sleep for an hour. I didn’t feel my surges, my legs were completely numb. This was tricky when trying to get comfortable. My husband had to move my legs into position for me but the respite from the surges every 2 minutes was a welcome break. 4 hours went by and I was given another vaginal examination. Unfortunately, I was not even 2cm dilated. After 10 hours active labour our baby’s heart rate was beginning to rise and the decision was made for an emergency c-section to be the safest route. I suddenly felt scared, not for me but because I knew my son was no longer happy and I just wanted him out safely. I was told I had a about an hour before I would be taken to surgery but 10 minutes later the team were ready to take me down. My husband was given a set of scrubs and my epidural was topped up to the right amount. I kept deep breathing, keeping calm, spirts were high, I felt excited. Our boy was nearly here!
During the C-Section I couldn’t see a thing other than the top half of my body, my husband who was holding my hand and the anaesthetist who I was chatting away to about my job, his job, his girlfriend; it was all very relaxed. I could hear the radio playing and the chatter of the amazing surgical team yet, I tried not to listed too much and focus on my breathing and staying calm. At one point my body started to uncontrollably shake and I was sick, this was due to the medication I had been given. My husband was more anxious about this than I was. I still felt calm, happy and in very good hands. I was in no pain, just felt a lot of pushing and shoving. I soon felt a huge suction sensation, a big release of pressure from my stomach and I said to my husband “he’s out”. I just knew. He was passed to my husband and he brought him next to my head whist the rest of the procedure was completed. I kissed him, talked to him, it was the most incredible moment of my life. Not the birth I envisioned but I wouldn’t change it for the world. I can honestly say I loved the labour and the birth and it was due to staying calm, feeling supported by my husband, having an incredible medical team with me and practising Hypnobirthing techniques. I know without these techniques my son’s birth could have been very stressful and scary.
Thank you Sandra for all of your support in making Ivar’s birth so beautiful.