Our birth story by Rosie and Stu
Hypnobirthing was recommended to me by a friend, who was one of the only people to tell me a positive birth story throughout my pregnancy and so I was keen to know more. I knew nothing about hypnobirthing initially, but the more I read into it, the more it seemed like the perfect fit.
I’m the kind of person who likes to be in control as much as possible, something which I was constantly told wouldn’t be possible with child birth. However, the more I read about hypnobirthing the more I began to understand that this wasn’t the case and so I started looking for a course. I found East Yorkshire Hypnobirthing online, and Sandra invited us along to a free taster class to see if this was something we would be interested in pursuing further.
I’m sure he won’t mind me saying that prior to this taster session my husband, Stu, was rather sceptical and was convinced I was taking him to some Derren Brown impersonator! However, after this class we could both see that Sandra’s hypnobirthing course was as much about meditation and breathing, as well as providing us with lots of information about pregnancy and birth. I’m someone who needs to know as much as possible about what to expect and so this really appealed to me.
Sandra’s course was fantastic. The sessions where a great mix of information, mediation and practising breathing techniques. I had a really tough pregnancy, with sickness and dizziness every day, yet I always left Sandra’ sessions feeling calm and relaxed, more so than any other time in my pregnancy. The information provided appealed to Stu’s scientific nature, explaining in detail exactly what my body would go through in labour, and how he could best support me. He also enjoyed the meditation – often too much as he fell asleep nearly every time!
I’d been to other antenatal classes and found that the information provided either left me with more questions or feeling scared and anxious. However, Sandra’s class made me feel prepared, ready and actually excited for the birth of our baby. With Sandra’s help, we wrote a birth plan and compiled a thorough list of items for our hospital bag, and then it was just a waiting game.
In terms of my birth, I absolutely loved it! It was straight forward and quick, and I felt so empowered that I wanted to do it all over again the following day – I still get strange looks when I tell people this.
I was 41 weeks pregnant when I woke at 4am on a Sunday morning with stomach cramps. They weren’t too intense and so I waited a while before I woke Stu to tell him ‘I think something is starting to happen’. From there, things started to progress rather quickly. My surges increased in intensity and started to come quicker, however I was determined to stay at home as long as possible, as I was comfortable and calm(ish) and so I got into the bath while Stu took the dog for a walk.
However, by the time he returned my surges where lasting nearly a minute and coming much more regularly. Stu was fantastic in talking me through what was happening in terms of labour progressing and what my body was preparing to do, using all the information provided by Sandra’s course. Stu reminding me that I could do this really helped to calm me and refocus my breathing. We called the hospital around 8.30am as by then I was struggling to breath through the pain. We were told to come straight in. I have never been more grateful for the breathing and meditation techniques I learned from Sandra than when I was in the car. The journey was nearly 30 minutes and I managed to focus on my breathing to such an extent that I entered a really deep meditation. By this point my waters hadn’t broken so I still didn’t think I was anywhere near active labour – however in hind sight my body was naturally starting to breath my baby out!
We arrived in the Midwife Lead Unit at Hull Royal at 9.30am where it was confirmed that I was fully dilated and in active labour. The birthing pool was filled while Stu quickly got the relaxation music
playing and massaged my back to help ease the surges. I got straight into the birthing pool, and by 10.16am our beautiful son, Jack, was born. Without any pain relief my labour had taken just over 6hrs. Jack and I had skin to skin contact straight away, and I stayed in the birthing pool with Jack for a good 20 minutes before Stu cut the cord.
I didn’t push once. My body new exactly what to do, and thanks to Sandra’s course I knew just what to expect and how to breath to optimise my body’s natural instincts. Jack’s arrival was so quick and calm that we were home by 5pm the same day, with him feeding like a champ.
I would recommend Sandra’s course to anyone, especially those who have heightened anxiety around birth and want to feel more in control. Sandra enabled me to bring my son into this world in a calm and empowered manner, and for that I will be forever grateful