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For my second child I planned a home birth with an Independent Midwife using just HypnoBirthing and a birth pool. This is an extract from my birth blog : www.maternallink.com/blog/general/diary-of-free-range-pregnancy-birth/.
"Got up, had irregular twinges through morning, had friend for brunch, put toddler down for nap, told friends coming to tea to come, continued twinging lying on the sofa, farmed toddler out to neighbours for tea, told friends coming for tea not to come, birthed baby, champagne and sausages for supper, in bed by 11pm."
Anatolia was born 8lbs 2oz. She is spectacular and took everybody by surprise!
Having gone to hospital on Monday for an 11:45 appointment about an induction which I didn't want, we were finally seen to about 15:30 by a midwife who on examining me and telling me that although the baby's heartbeat was fine, my cervix was still nowhere to be seen, wasn't going to let me go home - she wasn't convinced that the baby's movements were good enough, and so very reluctantly they decided that they would give me Propess.
Then they informed me that I would probably be there for a day or two at least - all my hormones came together after Jamie left and had to pop home briefly to get the dogs and my bag (so intent was I on going home I had refused to pack it!), that I cried!!!
Anyway, Jamie returned at 7pm and I had very mild cramps, nothing to worry about. By 8pm the cramps were increasingly uncomfortable and Jamie was having to stroke my hair and help me with my breathing. The midwife suggested a bath, and though that soothed things a little, it just wasn't working for me! By 8:30/9 ish I was definately in a bit of pain so Jamie (who fortunately had not been ordered out of the hospital - the nurses thinking I was a moaning Minnie no doubt) went to find a midwife and ask her to examine me - they were very reluctant saying I was just having Propess cramps, gave me some paracetemol, but by 9:15 or so I told Jamie I felt the urge to push - fortunately he was remembering all the hypnobirthing better than me and told me to resist the urge, and breath deeply and slowly. He then went to insist that they examine me, whereopon they reluctantly did and discovered that I was fully dilated...!!! So eventually I was wheeled into a labour room - on going through the door my waters broke, and exactly one hour later or so Tolia was born.
I did have to resort to the use of gas and air, but I maintain that is due to the Propess as the labour did not start naturally. Jamie was just fantastic - he kept very calm, and continually stroked my hair and shoulders, and very calmly and evenly told me to breathe the baby down - the midwive who delivered Tolia was a wonderful girl and put on a classical cd for us and kept the room quiet, turned people away and was a general star. So much for birthing plans, but if nothing else the hypnobirthing kept it a fear free, and calm event, nobody could believe how fast it happened - in fact I think we may have set a Hospital record in terms of time from induction to birth!
Tolia is a great weight, and beautiful baby - so far (and long may it continue, but so far anyway) she is a very calm baby - she feeds extremely well and sleeps like a treat during the day, no crying except to let me know she is awake!
Many thanks to you for absolutely everything!
My HypnoBirthing techniques definitely made a huge difference to the labour and birth. I woke up with period like cramps which got stronger and more regular as the night went on, but I kept trying to stay relaxed and think of releasing, letting go etc and managed to get through the night without waking [husband]. I thought I was still in the earlier stages of labour as hadn't felt any pulling up or tightenings in the top half of my uterus like I had expected. Really didn't want to go into hospital too early either!
Finally woke Calvin up at 7.30am to say I thought was in labour and he should phone his work and say he wouldn't be in. Started feeling everything much stronger then and thought stomach was going to be upset so went through to the loo then found just couldn't move back off it. Calvin rang the hospital and just as he hung up the phone [baby] was born!
Couldn't have done it without you, so a huge thank you.
Despite having a caesarean-section due to significant meconium in my waters , I did labour for 12 hours using the breathing techniques only. As it turns out she was facing the wrong way and I was informed following her delivery that I have a bi coruate uterus and she was stuck in the wrong corner.
I was chuffed to bits however to have been able to use the technique - [husband] was brilliant and created the perfect atmosphere. Throughout ...[baby] was completely calm which is why they allowed me to go for so long. She was also very calm at delivery with only a mere whimper.
The midwife who looked after me in the main was very impressed, commenting that she also felt very calm and could not believe how calm we were. All in all [we] feel it was a success despite the technical outcome.
Throughout the labour and birth the baby's heartbeat was never raised, he was never in any distress and arrived totally calm and happy. He didn't make a sound for at least the first day having had a good birth experience himself. He has remained a placid baby in excellent health, and I am a calm and happy mother.
HypnoBirthing for me was about much more than just the birth. It was about a calm antenatal period, excellent birth preparation for us as a couple, wonderful pain relief while it worked during birth and then a very calm baby and mother postnatally. I recommend this to everyone and positively look forward to my next experience. Motherhood as it should be.
My scientific background meant I took a slightly cynical view of HypnoBirthing. I normally reserve judgement for non-medical approaches but I hope the following testimonial is useful for future fathers who feel slightly removed from this process.
2 sides of the argument
1 .Natural, positive and calm approach.
2. If all goes well there is no need for any intervention and allows mother and child bonding straight away post birth.
3. This is a family approach to birthing with medical assistance on standby rather than a medical approach.
4. The well being of mother & baby are the primary drivers, not medical timelines or pressure to adhere to statistical norms.
1. Can place pressure on a mother to 'keep working' at it if things are complicating leading to her getting overtired. This is a marathon and not a sprint. Mothers have to pace themselves so fathers have to manage expectation and mother's energy levels.
2. This requires a lot of practice and focused time prior to birth to ensure success.
3. It requires buy in & belief from both parents for it to work.