Aubrey’s Calm Hypnobirth

“I first realized that Aubrey was on her way at about 2am on the Saturday morning. I had a feeling that she might be coming over the weekend as I knew my husband, Peter, would be home and this made me relax more and I knew this was conducive to labour starting.
I was feeling incredibly confident about Aubrey’s birth, as I had just finished reading the last chapters of the Calm Birth School book, knew my affirmations inside out from religiously listening to them daily, and would lull off to sleep each evening listening to the Birth Rehearsal MP3.
Liz’s support as my hypnobirthing tutor, meant that not only was I kept on track on the importance of my preparations for birth, but also that all my birthing fears had been replaced with a readiness for giving birth and excitement at Aubrey’s impending arrival. I had gone from someone who had managed to avoid anything to do with pregnancy and birth (because it freaked me out), to actually looking forward to what it all meant! Reading the positive birth stories of other hypnobirthing ladies made me believe that there was no reason why I too couldn’t have an incredible birth experience.
So, I woke up at about 2am on the Saturday morning with what felt like dull period pains. I tried to get back to sleep but couldn’t, probably as much out of excitement as anything else, but I found that getting up and walking around was much more comfortable than lying down. I’m not sure I can call them surges at this stage, as they were very mild but I also felt they were very frequent, so at 4am I called the hospital to ask them whether this was really the start of labour, and it was normal for them to be frequent, but inconsistent in intensity.
I was advised to call back when they were more frequent and more intense, and was advised to take Paracetamol and a warm bath to make me more comfortable. As we didn’t have any Paracetamol, I opted for just a bath and continued to let my husband sleep, as I’d read that it could be a long ride for him too during labour, and he was to play an important roll as my birthing partner.
The surges continued and must have increased in intensity, consistency and frequency, although I can’t tell you that I noticed as they were developing. During this time, I managed to watch 2 episodes of Game of Thrones (my addiction for the last weeks of pregnancy) and FaceTime my folks!
This took us to about 7.30am, when I was becoming much more focused on the intensity of the surges and advised my husband that we needed to start preparing our dog Freddie dog for his stay with our neighbour. Peter suggested that he would walk Freddie and go to the store at this stage (ha ha!), but I asked him to remain with me. I took this as his complete confidence that I was handling everything really well and that we both felt very relaxed and calm. At this point the surges felt very frequent so we started timing them.
The surges were coming in at 45-50 seconds per surge, every 2.5 minutes so I called the hospital again and this time they asked me to come on in. At this point I definitely felt ready to head to the hospital but had been dreading the 25 minute journey as I was worried it would halt or slow down labour. But, I got in the car and closed my eyes – and from that moment onwards I withdrew into my own little world and focused entirely on relaxation and breathing through the surges. We drove in silence, and my focus on relaxation techniques meant that the journey was much better than I had actually felt while at home, and I am sure this is because I was engaging my brain at home, rather than focusing on my hypnobirthing.
We had stopped timing the surges at this point and on arriving at the hospital at 9.30am, I had 4/5 surges between the car park and labour ward, and on examination I was advised that I was 8cm! Whoohoo… so the midwives went off to start filling the pool for my requested waterbirth.
Surges were pretty uncomfortable at this stage and I was led down the corridor to the birthing pool room, where on entry into the room, my waters broke. This gave a release of pressure, and so I had a little break from the intensity of the surges. Throughout this time, from getting into the car, my eyes remained closed most of the time and Peter did nearly all the communication with the midwives as I remained focused on my body and breathing. I couldn’t even tell you what any of the midwives looked like or what the rooms were like! Peter had given the midwives our hypnobirthing preferences to aid in their support of our plans.
I was offered a kneeling position on a pillow on the floor, resting over a low bed, and this felt ideal as I went straight into active labour. I was offered gas and air, (as the midwives knew we didn’t want to be offered pain relief), and Peter kept me on track with my hypnobirthing breathing as I used this. I was keen to get into the pool and when I asked if it was ready, I later found out that there was a little fibbing going on with Peter and the midwives who kept reassuring me that it was nearly full, when in fact it was barely an inch deep! I stayed like this, with Peter coaching me on my breathing, and keeping me on track with all our practicing, until I was advised that Aubrey’s head was starting to show and I had the choice of staying where I was or getting into the pool. It felt like everyone was very relaxed and calm and this allowed me to focus on what my body and baby were doing.
I chose the pool as this was what I had planned for Aubrey’s birth, and on entering the water it felt heavenly – perfectly relaxing and preparing me for the last part of her birth. The water was incredibly soothing, and still kneeling, it felt amazing as we worked calmly together for what felt like a moment (I think only 3-4 more surges), before she was underneath me and I could sit back and scoop her up in my arms. A truly incredible moment, so happy and exciting, as I saw for the first time how beautiful my little girl is!
I honestly believe that hypnobirthing is responsible for such an enjoyable pregnancy, such a wonderful birthing experience, and such a relaxed, calm and happy mum and baby, and this has meant that we have been able to enjoy every moment together, to its fullest, from the moment little Aubrey joined us!”