When I became pregnant I very quickly realised I was quite fearful of labour and wanted to ensure that I had prepared myself fully for what was to come. I had spoken to a lot of my mum friends and it quickly became clear that the majority of them didn't feel empowered during labour and that a lot of decisions had been taken out of their hands because they didn't know to question the medical professionals. I wanted to take this power back; I wanted to know why every decision during my labour had been made and make that decision for myself fully understanding the facts and figures behind why that course of action was right for me and my baby on the day.
Hypnobirthing gave me that power, gave me that confidence to ask those questions and the confidence to make my own decisions as to what was to happen during my labour.
I remember when I had my first meeting with my Doula I began to talk about why I was looking into hypnobirthing and I burst into tears just thinking about going into labour as I was so fearful. I had a mild fear of being in hospitals and I also had a fear and a massive lack of trust of doctors. Looking back on that time now I can't believe how much hypnobirthing changed my way of thinking and prepared me for when I walked into Queens Hospital in Romford on the 27th October 2013 completely calm, relaxed and in control!
I had stayed at home for as long as possible, I had used all the tools and techniques and when I walked into the hospital I knew it was because I knew I wasn't that far away.
On arrival at the hospital I walked from triage up to the birthing centre and after a quick examination the midwife told me (with quite a shocked expression on her face) that I was a good 9cm and pretty much ready to go.
I spent the next few hours bobbing about in the birthing pool, chatting and laughing away to my husband and doula just closing my eyes and remaining calm with every surge (Contraction). I was at this stage for 6 hours, and at no point did my baby or I become distressed which is why they allowed me to stay at this stage for so long. Eventually I remember looking at my doula and husband and said to them that I felt that I had done everything I could and that I felt it was time to hand over to the medical professionals and that I in no way felt like I had failed.
What was great was that although the midwives had been hinting at me moving down to the labour ward from the birth centre for quite some time, the hypnobirthing classes had taught me to question why they thought that was for the best and I made the decision to initially not to go down as they couldn't give me a reason why it was beneficial to me or my baby. When I was ready I made that decision for myself as I knew there was nothing more I could do.
After being moved down to the labour ward and being examined (numerous times!!) it was decided again by myself and my husband on listening to the doctors advice that I would have my little man delivered via forceps.
I love looking back on my labour - it was amazing! At no point did I feel out of control or writhed around the floor in pain. It was all manageable and I have never looked back on it being traumatic or a negative experience. The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme taught me how to stay in control at all times and that even when something didn't happen the way I had dreamt of it didn't derail me - My birth experience was a positive experience because of this.
I remember the trainee midwife coming up to me at the end of her shift and telling me how it had been the first hypnobirth she had witnessed and that it had completely opened her eyes to how labour can and should be.
Hypnobirthing also gave my husband a role to have during labour, he wasn't just a bystander holding my hand he was my advocate, he had a role to play and that was to be my voice when I was concentrating on being calm and relaxed, he was there to help keep me calm and be my anchor.
He had learnt all the tools and techniques and fully understood hypnobirthing and how the body works whilst in labour as he attended the training with me, so he could fully understand and also have that confidence and knowledge to help us as a partnership take control of our baby's entry into the world.
I have a very calm baby and I fully attribute this to hypnobirthing. The practise I put in before Arthur was born and by being calm and relaxed during labour has helped him develop skills in the womb knowing how to remain calm himself even when put into stressful situations.
I was so lucky to stumble across hypnobirthing and it has completely changed my life. Not only did the hypnobirthing tools and techniques that I was taught on The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme ensure that I had a calm and enjoyable birth experience I have also continued to use the tools and techniques in my everyday life.
After my positive birth experience I left the career I had spent my life working up towards as I had to get the message out to other women that there is another way to birth, it doesn't have to be like they show on TV and so Inner Calm Birth was born, my second baby!