Jen and Justin have been my friends for years, so when they announced they were pregnant I knew I wanted to support them for a positive birth. I invited them on to my group hypnobirthing class in Dartford and they accepted. Halfway through their pregnancy the corona pandemic happened and I moved my classes to online. It was lovely to still be able to support Jen and Justin, even though this was now remotely. Jen was so focused on her hypnobirthing practice, I knew that her birth experience was going to be great. She planned for a home birth, but put her determination and decision making skills to great use when their situation changed. Here is the birth story of baby Jesse, as told by Jen.
Preparing for a home birth using hypnobirthing
I knew from early on in my pregnancy that I wanted a natural home birth with no interventions. However, due to the corona pandemic my local trust would not support this as home births were cancelled. I looked for an independent midwife, but there were none available in my area. I went ahead and hired a birth pool and continued to plan for a home birth, in the hope that the guidelines might change. As my due date got closers the guidelines did not change. After an unsuccessful appeal to the head of midwifery, I was eventually put down as freebirthing on my notes. (Freebirthing means birthing without the assistance of a qualified midwife or medical professional.)
The most stressful part of pregnancy for me was the effect of coronavirus on homebirths; my local trust would only support women who fit a certain criteria for homebirths. As a first time mum I did not qualify. My midwife was very unsupportive, and when I appealed their decision I was sent a list of all the complications that could arise during childbirth; despite me making it clear that I would plan to homebirth with or without a midwife present. I received no advice or guidance about the actual birth from the midwife. All they did was try to scare me into a hospital birth. I am so thankful for the skills and knowledge I gained from Hypnobirthing as it meant I remained calm and still felt informed, positive and in control in a situation where I would otherwise have been extremely stressed out and would have admitted defeat. I am disgusted by the lack of support I received from my local trust and my midwife.
The midwife had reassured me that someone would come out to check on me once I was in labour, but wouldn’t be able to stay with me. I was told they’d come out to me as soon as Jesse had been born, so I didn’t feel I would be completely going it alone. Plus, I only live a ten minute drive from the hospital so if there was any emergency I would be there quickly. I had my birth room set up with fairy lights, positive affirmations, oil burner and Hypnobirthing tracks at the ready.
I was 27 weeks when I took the Harmony Hypnobirthing course, but I had already been reading up on it since the beginning of my pregnancy. I found that practicing the relaxation techniques from early on not only helped me prepare for birth but helped me have a calm relaxed pregnancy. It also helped me bond with Jesse as I could always feel him moving around when I was meditating in response to the oxytocin and it was the most amazing feeling.
Changing the birth plan to a caesarean birth
Giving birth during the corona pandemic
If you would like more information on how hypnobirthing can help you have a calm birth, even when plans change let me know! I run group hypnobirthing classes in Dartford and online which you can find out about here. Or I run private sessions throughout Kent and South East london.