The birth of our baby girl

Hypnobirthing baby

by Catherine and Sam

I found my first birth frightening, painful and disheartening, and when I found out I was pregnant again I was very keen not to repeat this experience. My initial plan was to ask for a very medicalised birth with an epidural just to avoid the pain again. I wasn’t sure how much something like hypnobirthing could help, and after seeing how difficult our first birth was my husband was very sceptical indeed! However we had heard great things about hypnobirthing, and we thought that it could not do any harm to try.

Kirsty’s course was fantastic; informative and well taught. It included a good mix of hypnobirthing theory and practise along with practical advice on the birth and positive birth stories.
I know I’m not naturally good at relaxing so I practised the exercises almost daily for the last 2-3 months of the pregnancy, did the relaxation exercises with my husband after work and listened to the CD before I went to sleep most nights. It sounds a lot but the exercises only took 5 minutes and the CD almost always sent me to sleep in a relaxed state of mind. I found hypnobirthing very useful during the pregnancy as well as during the birth. It allowed me to enjoy the pregnancy much more than my first one, during which I’d had a tendency to worry about the birth and the baby’s health.

I went past my due date and though I was hoping for a natural birth the hospital booked me in for an induction. Two days before this I had a sweep to try and and start the labour. With my first birth I’d also had a sweep and had found it very painful. So this was a chance to try my hypnobirthing techniques and I was so encouraged that with the help of the breathing techniques I didn’t feel any pain at all!

The next evening the surges started. I wasn’t sure if they were surges at first as they felt quite mild, but after getting my son to bed and timing them for an hour I phoned the hospital. They said I was in labour but that it was too early to come in and to have a shower to relax. I did as they advised and while I was having a shower they speeded up a lot. I used the hypnobirthing techniques to cope with them and found the techniques incredibly useful. Even ideas I’d been very sceptical about, such as thinking of contractions as surges, were very useful. In contrast to my first birth I was able to go with the process rather than tensing up and fighting it.

I think I was a bit too relaxed actually as I stayed in the shower too long and we left going to the hospital quite late. By the time we got in the car the surges were very intense and close together. We put on the CD and I could feel my body relax as it started. The baby’s head started coming out in the car and at that point I did panic a bit but the hypnobirthing helped me cope. Luckily we got to the hospital in time and 9 minutes after we arrived our lovely daughter was born.

The techniques we’d been taught helped so much, much more than we’d expected in fact. If you’d told me or my husband before the birth that I wouldn’t need any pain relief we’d have laughed in disbelief! The birth was a totally different experience to my first birth and left me feeling happy and proud. Kirsty’s course should be available on the NHS!