A Mother’s HypnoBirthing Experience

From the first mild contractions that woke me around 12.40am on Sunday night, my labour progressed so smoothly and calmly. I used the HypnoBirthing tapes and techniques – relaxing and breathing into the surges, which gradually increased in intensity (however they always felt totally bearable). By 8am they were 4 – 5 minutes apart and much stronger, I was still relaxing, but knew it was time to get to the Birth Centre.

We arrived at the same time as my parent, whom we arranged to meet us there and we then met with the midwife on duty in the Birth Centre. My partner, Dean, seemed to be the only one aware that I was trying to cope with some strong surges during this time. He constantly talked me through them, reminding me to relax and open myself up for the birth. This helped me so much. The others chatted around me and were oblivious to how close I was to birthing – an indication of how calm and relaxed I was. We later learnt that the other midwife on duty thought I was nowhere near ready to birth and wondered if I should go home! Luckily our midwife said she really couldn’t gauge where I was at because I was so relaxed and gave us the benefit of the doubt.

I got into the bath for a while, then over to sit on the bed. In between surges I leaned against the pillows and relaxed – even drifted off to sleep. During surges I would either kneel on the bed or stand up and lean over the bed. Dean was so in tune with me and continued to help me relax and visualise opening up and allowing the baby to easily move down.

At about 10.30am the surges were closer than two minutes apart. I can’t believe the difference this time compared to my last birth when I couldn’t relax at any stage. No-one realised how close I was to birthing as apparently I still looked quite relaxed and was coping with the surges. They thought I still had quite a few hours to go. At one point during a surge my head told me I couldn’t cope any longer. So during the next surge I focused on Dean’s words and I told myself I could do this and it was easy. The difference was amazing. I could feel the next surge, but it was almost painless. Then my waters broke with a gush and I was breathing through the urge to push. I was hardly pushing. Just trying to let my body do it naturally. Our midwife said to herself, “I’ll just get a hot towel for her back………oops, no I won’t, I’ll just catch this baby!” We were all amazed that it was over after only 16 minutes from the first urge to push. Leah was born at 10.56am, less than 2 ½ hours after we arrived at the Birth Centre. Time seemed to go so quickly during the whole labour and I felt I had enough energy at every stage.

My mum, who had previously watched the HypnoBirthing video, admitted that she thought the video had been toned down and that there must have been footage erased of women displaying pain. She was blown away by how relaxed she thought I was and said she was now a ‘believer’ in HypnoBirthing.

Dean said that even though he was tuning into when I was surging and talking me through, he really didn’t realise how far along I was. He thought I would be going for hours longer. He was inspired by how relaxed and easy it all felt this time.

The important things for me were that my partner played an important role in the birth, which was a fantastic bonding experience for all of us. I knew my options and was able to make my own choices without anyone interfering. Our wonderful midwife and the Birth Centre allowed us the space to do ‘our thing’.

Birthing our child was an amazing and empowering experience and I now know first hand what is possible and what I am capable of.