Grab a Cuppa and sit back and relax as Sara shares her birth story with you...
During my first pregnancy, I looked forward to birth with great excitement and anticipation. I tried not to become frightened by horror stories shared with me in the staff room and imagined a beautiful calm birth under the sparking lights at the birthing suite. However things didn’t quite go to plan. A combination of my labour progressing quickly and me fighting my body’s instinct in a bid to get to hospital in time meant that my birthing slowed and monitoring and intervention began. However, I came away with my beautiful baby boy and as everyone around me was quick to tell me ‘he’s healthy, that’s all that matters’
I put my thoughts and feelings about his birth to the back of my mind and carried on. A few years later I fell pregnant again and although I was ecstatic after so many months of trying, the doubt and fear surrounding birth began to creep in. I found myself unable to discus birth preferences with my midwife or family without becoming emotional. I very quickly realised I did not want to go into hospital so I decided to explore a home birth, to which my husband reluctantly agreed.
Great, I was happy. No hospital. I’d be fine!
As my pregnancy progressed so did my concerns. It’s all well and good planning a home birth but I needed to put a plan in place. I needed help to ensure my home birth went to plan. That’s when I started to look into the idea of hiring a doula and found the fabulous Doula Katy Hemus, who invited us to a hypnobirthing taster session in order to meet and get to know her. I admit I had no intention of doing hypnobirthing, my husband and I were very sceptical but we wanted to meet Katy so we went ahead and attended the class. I instantly felt at ease with Katy from the minute we met and the more she talked about hypnobirthing and fear release the more I realised this was something I needed to do! During the coffee break I looked at my husband and didn’t need to say anything, he instantly said ‘we need to do this’.
Over the last 6 weeks of my pregnancy we met with Katy weekly who guided us through hypnobirthing techniques and learned about how and why it is helpful. We spent our evenings learning more and practising the techniques we had learned and going through our birthing scripts.
At 39 weeks exactly, after spending the morning gardening, planting lavender coincidentally which was my birthing colour, I started to get regular but mild tightenings. By 6pm everything seemed to ease off so I was a little disappointed.
Around 8pm the tightenings started again, a little stronger and more regular than before but I continued to manage them through surge breathing. I had some supper and went to bed. My husband and I went through our birthing affirmations and did a self hypnosis script. During the script my surges became stronger and I went to the toilet at 10:45pm where my waters broke. I rang Katy and the midwife. We couldn't get hold of grandparents to pick up my little boy so my husband did begin to panic slightly but I felt completely at ease in my little hypnobirthing bubble.
My doula arrived at 12am and I was still comfortably managing surges through breathing however they were become longer and closer together. I suddenly felt nauseous and found it no longer comfortable to lay down on my side so moved onto my knees leaning against the bed. Each time I heard my doula's voice I felt instantly calmed and felt more deeply in tune with my body.
The midwives arrived at 12:15 and immediately wanted to examine me, I didn't feel able to move out of my position so I refused examination. Within minutes, my body began to bear down and I responded by changing my birth breathing. Supported my my husband and doula, I went with the natural expulsion reflex of my body using my birth breathing to get through. My gorgeous little girl arrived at 00:56 and I received her myself, she latched on within 2 minutes and my husband and I spent 40 minutes of uninterrupted skin to skin and bonding time. During this time I birthed the placenta and cut the cord myself once the placenta had birthed.
My little boy arrived to meet his new sister whilst the midwives performed their checks and cleaned up. By 4am everyone had left and my little family of four got to snuggle up in bed after an unforgettable night.
Having a doula was absolutely amazing and I can't recommend hypnobirthing enough. The whole experience felt so empowering yet calming and just perfect.