Positive birth story: Hypnobirthing and pregnancy after loss

This positive birth story comes from a couple who booked on to my group hypnobirthing class; which ended up being online due to Covid-19. They had a difficult journey to becoming parents; here they explain how hypnobirthing helped them prepare for birth, and also to stay positive through a pregnancy after loss:

I’ve always felt so lucky to have met the love of my life, move in with him and get married. Everything was just right, and the next step for us was children. I have longed for children since I can remember and becoming a Mummy was the most important thing to me. My husband and I fell pregnant very quickly after trying and we couldn’t believe our luck. It felt like it was almost too good to be true. Unfortunately for us this feeling of perfect bliss was shattered when we found out we had suffered a missed miscarriage. This was the start of a very long and painful journey my husband and I had to venture. Altogether we suffered four consecutive miscarriages. Each one devastated us as it took us further away from our dream of being parents.

Eventually we found an amazing doctor that helped find the reason for our losses. We were told the next time we fall pregnant I am to have more tests. That’s exactly what happened and they found a rare blood clotting disorder. I was prescribed heparin to self inject from five weeks pregnant up until six weeks after the birth. It was a very nerve  racking and exhausting pregnancy. With each milestone we reached the closer we got to being a family, albeit still feeling very uneasy we continued to stay positive. We found Colleen by doing some online research and decided hypnobirthing would be great for us. We hoped it would help me to relax, which ultimately would help the baby to relax and have a more calming birth.

Using hypnobirthing techniques in a more complicated pregnancy

The most important thing I learned on my hypnobirthing journey was to choose what worked for me, and to use it in a way that was unique for me. Affirmations didn’t work for me and scripts were hit and miss. At first I questioned if I would be able to do it, but I didn’t want to give up. I sat back and thought about how the baby always reacts so well to music. He always felt like he was dancing in there whenever I played a song I loved. So sorting a soundtrack was number one on my list for our birthing plan.

Now I didn’t listen to typical relaxing music, I listened to music that made me feel good and nostalgic. There was a complete mixture, lots of Queen, The Kooks, Ed Sheeran, Tinie Tempah, songs from my favourite musicals and old music too. Positive triggers like smells and tastes worked for me too. Everything that made me feel good, I really honed in on and took it all in. Even down to the taste and smell of a piece of my favourite dark chocolate orange or my favourite fruit relaxed me and definitely helped release oxytocin.

I was practising my breathing and listening to my playlist everyday and smelling and tasting things I loved. Everything was going really well and then at 36 weeks I found out that I had extra fluid, and that he was a big baby. I found out that the extra fluid was there because I had gestational diabetes. This was a massive shock because I always eat so healthily; but I soon learnt that it had nothing to do with that. So I had to start finger pricking after every meal and monitor my blood sugar levels. Obviously my positive triggers became a little tricky to do now. I had to adapt and only eat half of my delicious nectarine (as fruit didn’t bow well for my diabetes) and smell the hell out of the other half! 

As he was big he had to be delivered early at 39 weeks. I discussed with the doctor the best and safest way to get the baby out and we landed on a caesarean. Many people who practise hypnobirthing want the most beautiful and calming natural delivery, it wasn’t meant to be for me. Being on heparin (blood thinner) meant I was at risk of bleeding more, and having the diabetes meant his blood sugars could be affected. So it was best to get him out safely and that’s all I cared about.

I was sad that I wasn’t going to give birth naturally, but after all we had been through it just didn’t matter. Yes I was scared, I surprised myself how scared I actually was. All my anxiety had come flooding back. I questioned every day if it would go right or wrong for him or for me. But I had to rely on my hypnobirthing. I kept listening to that music and I kept breathing. 39 weeks was finally here and it was time for my husband and I to meet our rainbow baby! 

Hypnobirthing with a caesarean birth

On the day I was shaking as all I could think about was things going wrong in theatre. Once I was gowned up, had the epidural and I was numb, I laid down with my husbands face next to mine. He stroked me, held my hand and spoke to me the whole way through. I concentrated on his voice and the music, sang along to some too. Sometimes my focus went and I tuned into the sounds of the room. This wasn’t a negative thing because I wanted to be really aware of everything. I breathed through the scary sounds and the more intriguing sounds like my waters being suctioned. I could feel pulling and tugging, but it wasn’t painful at all, it just felt funny. With every feeling I knew we were one step closer to finally meeting our rainbow. Then they told me “he’s about to be born”.

Hearing those words gave me a rush of excitement! They then pulled the curtain down and there he was! Our boy in all his glory was weeing on me to the song Earthquake by Labrinth. Not the ideal birthing song, but nontheless a song I love! He was finally here and the euphoria completely took over. I fell so in love so fast with this tiny person. He cried so loud and it was such an amazing sound to hear. I gazed at him and I didn’t care one bit that he wee’d all over me!! I couldn’t feel it anyway!! 

They took him to clean him up and check him over, my husband went with him and I listened to our new baby crying and my husbands voice. My husband cut his little boy’s cord and then they put him on my chest. I couldn’t believe that I was finally holding our baby, our special rainbow sent from four little angels. 

Now, a caesarean isn’t the way I wished for our son to come into this world. However it’s our own personal birth experience as a family and it’s the first place we met our gorgeous boy. His birth was just as beautiful and special and will be a day I will never forget. We are so in love with our boy and he was so worth the wait! 

You might get some hurdles in your pregnancy and you might doubt things and have huge anxieties. You might have had trauma in the past that makes these anxieties harder to handle. The best piece of advice I can give to you is to remember that your journey is unique. Your hypnobirthing is completely individual to you. Use those amazing tools you’ve learnt and if you’re struggling adapt it to help you and you’ll do just great! Be kind to yourself and remember to breathe. 

The greater the storm the brighter the rainbow. Never give up hope!

If you would like to find out more about hypnobirthing, and how it can help you have a positive birth, click here.

If you need support for a pregnancy after loss, Please visit Tommys Or PALS

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