The birth of Mason – a hypnobirthing induction

This is the positive hypnobirthing induction story from Sarah and Aaron. They are actually the first couple I taught hypnobirthing to, it’s just taken me a while to share their birth story! Sarah is my cousin and was half way through her pregnancy when I had finished my hypnobirthing teacher training. I asked her if she would like to do a course with me, as it would benefit both of us. Sarah answered she didn’t believe in hypnotizing, but would do the course to help me have a practice. (disclaimer – hypnobirthing does not involve ‘hypnotizing’!). Read on to find out how Sarah and Aaron went on to love hypnobirthing, and how it helped them when their labour didn’t go to plan.

The start of labour

I went into labour on his due date, which we were surprised at as we don’t believe in due dates. If people asked when we were due we would just say in a couple of weeks.

At around 12.40am my waters broke, so I called the hospital and told them. They said to go back to bed, relax and call back later if things progressed. Then I noticed there was a green tinge to the waters, so I called the hospital back. Because of the risk of meconium (this is when the baby does a poo inside the womb), I went in. On the drive I was having a few contractions, so things were progressing. However, when I got to the hospital my contractions slowed down and then stopped.

I showed the midwives a pad that I had been wearing. It was confirmed that there was meconium, and it was recommended I went to the labour ward for monitoring and an induction. I had previously hoped for a water birth on the birthing suite.

From the monitor, everything seemed fine so far with the baby. He wasn’t in distress, so I decided to decline the induction. I had a bit of time so I wanted to try and implement my hypnobirthing. I asked for cordless monitoring so I could move around and be active. Unfortunately, no cordless monitors were available, so I had to be constantly monitored.

Using hypnobirthing on a labour ward

I then decided to make the room more cosy. I set up some led candles, dimmed the lights and used some essential oils (lavender and clary sage). These were all tips that I had learnt on my hypnobirthing course. It felt good to have control over some parts of my birth, as I couldn’t have a water birth.

I got chatting to my midwife, who had only been qualified for four months. She was really up to date with recent research and answered all of my questions brilliantly. She instilled confidence in me and we really felt comfortable with her as a person.

I was trying to be as active as possible over the next eight hours. Not a lot was happening, even though I I was using a birthing balland moving around. I eventually realised I used to get braxton hicks (practice contractions) at home when I was watching TV, if I got up and moved around it eased them until they stopped. I decided to try the opposite, so rested and watched TV to see if my contractions would start again.

Choosing a hypnobirthing induction

It was at this point induction was mentioned again, and I agreed. I went on the drip of artificial oxytocin. I knew I could still have a positive hypnobirthing induction, by focusing on relaxing as much as possible. Aaron had recorded himself reading some scripts so I listened to these. We’d done some hypnobirthing practice as a couple every day, either affirmations, visualisations and scripts along with the breathing techniques. This helped a lot, as it was another eight hours before the baby was born.

Throughout the labour everything was manageable with my breathing techniques. The only pain relief I needed was two paracetamol. I had planned to use gas and air, but as I had already been sick I decided not to use it. (Gas and air can make you sick). I also didn’t want to use anything stronger as it can affect breastfeeding, which was something I wanted to do.

I just concentrated on listening to my music, with my eyes shut. There was one point where the consultant came in to talk to me, and when I took my headphones out I felt in pain. I was really surprised, as even though I’d practiced hypnobirthing I’m not the sort of person to do meditating or anything. Once I put my headphones back in, I was comfortable again.

The consultant told me that he didn’t think the baby would be born that day. I was worried about being in labour for another day, or that maybe he wanted me to have a caesarean. Although he did say sometimes hypnobirthing induction rthimums surprise him.

This was the point when I started to worry. I didn’t want to be in labour for another twelve hours, as I was so tired. Soon after the consultant left, I was upright and bouncing when I had the sudden urge to go to the toilet. Then all of a sudden his head was out! I got on to the bed and was leaning over the back. It took a further 45 minutes for the rest of him to be born. At no point did I need to push, I just breathed him down. The affirmation ‘each surge brings me closer to my baby’ really helped me through it all.

After the birth

Despite my preferred labour not being possible, my labour went really well. I felt in control throughout, as I was informed about my options beforehand (by Colleen) and understood what was happening. A lot of people are surprised when I describe my labour as ‘really good’, as I think a lot of people expect to hear something less positive.

I used all of the techniques taught and could even hear the scripts in my mind, as well as Colleen’s voice, which enabled me to focus and relax. It might not have been our planned birth, but a hypnobirthing induction was the right choice for us.

If you want to feel prepared for birth, no matter what path it takes, book on to a Harmony Hypnobirthing course here