When a Hypnobirth doesn’t go to plan…Kathryn’s positive birth story

My waters broke in the early hours of Friday morning and I laboured at home as the latent stage of labour progressed.  My contractions became frequent but were irregular.  Giles went to work as normal in the morning but then came home after lunch as things seemed to be moving along.  Early evening we called the midwife, but I was only 3cm dilated and still in the latent phase so they left until established labour was achieved.  They suggested I have a bath and then use a TENS machine to help with my backache.  While Giles was starting a bath I lent over the landing banister and felt that the contractions were getting stronger and more regular.  I used my surge & relax breathing all the way through.
An hour and a half after the midwives had left they were back and I was 9cm dilated!!  With the birth seemingly imminent, we had no time to get the birthing pool ready and we were upstairs in the bedroom, rather than downstairs where we had intended for the birth to happen!  A bit of impromptu furniture shifting later and we had everything set up for the birth. The midwives were excellent and let me breathe the baby down, but due to his position it took a long time to get to 10cms and both Oliver and I ended up tired out.  Oliver’s heart rate was taking longer to recover after each effort to birth and we were also approaching 24 hours since the waters broke, so we took the decision to head in to hospital for assistance.
In the ambulance I used my hypnobirthing relaxation breathing and visualisation to prevent myself from pushing when contractions occurred (much, much easier said than done!!), and when we arrived at hospital we went straight to a delivery room. The baby had to be monitored constantly, so I ended up on my back, in a delivery bed (one of the least helpful birthing positions possible, neither upright, forward nor open). Rather than breathing the baby down, I was told to actively push and due to the position of the baby it became apparent that he wasn’t coming out without assistance, so a forceps delivery was required.  This also meant that Oliver was taken from me, the cord was cut and no initial skin to skin which I have found very difficult to deal with.  I did ask to be in a different position and to be able to allow the cord to pulsate, but I was told that Oliver needed some oxygen initially to wake him up.  While I was being ‘repaired’ Giles had skin to skin time with him, which was better than nothing.
Pain relief: During the labour and birth I used a TENS machine on the lowest setting (this was mainly because the backache was masking the contractions and we thought it might help), and then I had some local anaesthetic just prior to the forceps delivery.  That’s it.  The rest was hypnobirth breathing, visualisation and Giles using the deepening techniques.
The doctor at Heartlands was absolutely amazing and explained my options to me all the way through.  I refused an injection of oxytocin to ‘highten’ my contractions, but said that I would allow forceps delivery (it was explained that ventouse was unlikely to be successful because of the baby’s position).  I was completely alert and able to voice my wishes all the way through the labour and birth, and this was because of the hypnobirthing techniques that you taught us.  Funnily enough even though I was stuck in the worst position to give birth, in the worst environment (bright lights, no music etc.) I was completely calm.  I have you to thank for this!!!
I’m not sure that we can thank you enough Liz!!  It’s been an amazing journey so far!!