I was really pleased with how the HypnoBirthing course had given me the opportunity to learn to have a calm and natural birth. About half way through the course we decided we wanted to have a home water birth. I was slightly nervous about this, mostly due to many people saying “a home birth, are you mad?”
However I religiously practised the rainbow relaxation and as my due date approached listened to the affirmations and soon began to feel more excitement than nerves.
We had a trial run with the pool that we hired from Sandra and everything was ready to go at home.
My waters broke just over a week before my due date in the middle of the night in the middle of a huge thunder storm! I had mild but fairly regular surges so I gave the hospital a ring and they asked me to come in the following morning for them to check if my waters had broken.
Despite the fact I knew they had we went in to the women and children’s hospital in Hull in the morning where they examined me and confirmed what I already knew! They told me everything was looking good but if I wasn’t in established labour in around 36 hours I would have to come in. I was desperate not to go into hospital so I just kept calm, returned home and tried to carry on as normal, keeping as active as I could.
The surges came and went throughout the day and around tea time they started to get a lot stronger and more intense so I decided to have a bath and listen to the rainbow relaxation. The warm water really helped and I was looking forward to getting in the birthing pool later.
At this point I asked Dan to start filling the pool -we found it tricky to know when to start filling it but thought it was better to be safe!
We also rang the midwife at this point and I continued to relax with the rainbow relaxation, essential oils, candles and surge breathing. I felt the surges getting stronger and although I did feel them to be painful I continued to stay focused and relaxed. I let the midwife examine me and I was only 4cm dilated so she said she would go home and to give her a call when we needed her again. At this point I was wondering how long this was going to last as the surges were getting stronger and a lot more intense!
However I used the birthing ball and got on all fours to help ease the pain and soon the surges were really strong and I started to feel a pressure from the baby so I asked Dan to ring the hospital. They asked to speak to me as I was experiencing a surge to make sure I was in established labour and thankfully they sent the midwife back out to us around two hours after she had left.
I wanted to wait for her to arrive before I got in the pool and when she did she examined me and discovered that in two hours I had gone from 4 to 9 cm dilated!
She also discovered that my pulse was high, as was the baby’s heartbeat and she wanted to check with the hospital if they wanted us to go in. Unfortunately they did and I never made it into the pool as we had to get an ambulance into hull royal.
I continued to remain calm and declined the offer of gas and air. When we got into hospital I sensed things weren’t quite as they should be and despite that fact I was now exactly how I didn’t want to be, on a bed with people telling me to push I knew I had to stay calm and do the best I could. When the baby started to appear they quickly realised that what should have been a head was in actual fact a bottom, someone shouted breach and lots of people ran into the room. At this point I knew things were not going to plan but I still tried to keep calm and keep breathing.
The next few minutes were fairly awful, the baby was stuck, oxygen levels dropping and me being threatened with an episiotomy. There was no way that was happening to me so I gave it my all and my baby daughter Anya was born at 1.24 am.
She was put on my chest, Dan cut the cord and then she was whisked away as she was struggling to breathe properly. I then had a retained placenta and had to be taken into surgery while Anya was taken to intensive care.
She recovered well and I got to see her at about 8am in intensive care, as she was being moved to special care. She stayed there for two days and then eventually she came into my room. We had to stay in hospital for a week as she had developed an infection and that week was one of the most challenging I have ever experienced.
Despite the fact that Anya’s birth went completely the opposite to how we wanted, I am certain I would not have managed a natural birth with no pain relief without HypnoBirthing. I didn’t realise how rare a natural delivery of a breach baby is until every midwife I spoke to in hospital commented on how well I had done! All down to HypnoBirthing, I can’t recommend it highly enough.