Mia and Joe were part of my October group hypnobirthing class. Their birth story is amazing! Usually when we think of birth not going to plan, we think of a natural birth becoming medicated. Mia’s labour was so fast and natural she ended up having an un-planned home birth! Luckily, everything she had learnt in her hypnobirthing course allowed her to stay calm and in control.
Mia’s un-planned home birth story
Having had a tough time with Hyperemesis Gravidarum, I was looking forward to the end of my pregnancy. But I wanted to look forward to birth, and be as in control of what happened as possible. Not only am I a self confessed control freak, I have had a previous needle phobia and the experience of pregnancy had really taken its toll. I needed to feel I had something to control. I had heard of hypnobirthing and had done a bit of research. Although I liked the idea, I struggled to see myself using it effectively. However, the science and logical reasoning sold it to me – you can’t argue with fact.
We booked onto a course with the lovely Colleen and prepped and planned for a water birth at The Birth Place at Medway hospital. At a routine appointment it was flagged up that I was measuring almost four weeks ahead of what I ‘should’ be. I was advised to go for a Glucose tolerance test, to test for gestational diabetes, which can be traumatic for someone suffering with hyperemesis. My glucose test was negative but I continued to measure big at my antenatal appointments. I messaged Colleen and we spoke about ways I could stay calm and things to consider. Even before birth, hypnobirthing helped me to stay in control of decisions I had to make about my pregnancy. I was continually warned by different professionals that I would probably be induced because of a large baby or excess fluid and therefore my planned water birth at The Birth Centre wouldn’t be allowed.
When we did the course we learned all about induction, my choices, options and how we have the ability to birth bigger babies, it’s what we are designed to do. I walked away feeling prepared for birth, I pictured my ideal birth, I used techniques that we learned with Colleen to keep calm about the prospect of birth and found myself excited. I was excited to take on a challenge. We prepared positive things to do once labour started, put aside films and a Netflix series to watch. I read books and wrote a birth plan to accommodate different preferences and felt I was informed and ready!
Going into labour at home
On the Wednesday morning I woke up in a bit of a panic. I kept telling Joe I felt something was wrong, that I didn’t feel myself. Again, using complete logic I decided to take a nap, have something to eat and do things that would keep me positive. I made some cookies for me and my best friend to have over a cuppa and catch up. It was a lovely visit. I then relaxed with my family and had some dinner and told Joe I felt better. I ran a bath (a pamper sort of bath with tonnes of bubbles). Put on a face mask and a deep conditioner in my hair, pulled out some books and got in. Using some aromatherapy oils, I relaxed to my hypnobirthing tracks.
I felt what I would describe as a twinge in the bath, but wondered if it was Braxton Hicks as it didn’t hurt. There was probably another whilst I was reading, but I didn’t feel it was noticeable enough to even comment on. I got out after about an hour, put on my favourite pregnancy pjs and prepped myself to bounce on my ball before bed. Then I started to feel crampy type feelings. I laid down to check it wasn’t Braxton Hicks. When they ramped up I rang Joe to come home from work. I was calm on the phone and had prepared for a long labour. So I put on the tv and let my Mum know what was happening. Luckily as my mum turned up she remembered to time the contractions. I hadn’t clocked how close together they had become. I focused on my Up breathing and the visualisations that I had used when I practiced. It was then I realised that I wasn’t really having a break between contractions. My mum had called triage and they did an assessment of me over the phone. Suddenly I changed to another position to feel more comfortable and felt the urge to push. My up breathing was no longer being effective as I was fully dialated. I was struggling with the back to back contractions and let my body take over. I instinctive got on all fours and began rocking on the upstairs landing floor, it was the only place I felt comfortable.
My un-planned home birth
Triage told us to call an ambulance and sent the community midwives out. There wasn’t an ambulance available but they sent a first response car with two paramedics. They provided my much needed gas and air! Taking the edge off helped me to slow my breathing and keep moving back and forth on my hands and knees. I could feel baby’s head moving right down and felt like the baby might just fall out. My waters went just before the midwife arrived. I was so grateful that it happened to be the midwife I had seen for my antenatal care. Having her there really helped. I trusted that she knew me, my plan and I felt safe with her. She had been very encouraging when I said we were hypnobirthing and supportive throughout.
She examined me and confirmed that baby was well on his way. Joe arrived home with ten minutes to spare and supported me through the last pushes. When I suddenly felt I couldn’t do it anymore he reassured me. I gripped him hard throughout the pain of what I now know to be a perineal tear from baby’s head and hand at the same time. Again, I was so lucky to have a midwife I trusted. She encouraged me to go with my body. With a last push I delivered Theodore Joseph Bradley into this world weighing in at a whopping 9lb 4oz! My mum cut his cord and then because I wanted to deliver my placenta naturally, Theo went for skin on skin with Joe and his first feed. The midwives helped me to make the birth experience as close to what I wanted as possible. They negotiated with me to give me extra time to deliver the placenta, gave me time to consider if I wanted to consent to stitches and supported my decisions. Whilst I might have had excellent midwives, before hypnobirthing I wouldn’t have necessarily felt informed and in control to ask the right questions beforehand. Although my birth wasn’t the one I had planned on paper, I had an incredible experience. I felt so powerful after (albeit VERY SORE) and I am so glad I had my beautiful boy at home. I was sipping tea, eating toast and snuggling my newborn in my own bed 4 hours after he arrived (with not even a hint of the sickness or weird taste I had for my entire pregnancy!!)
If you want to find out more about how hypnobirthing help you stay in control of your labour and birth, contact me for class details. I offer group classes every other month in Dartford, which you can book here. I also offer private sessions throughout Kent and South East London, contact me for availability here.