Thank you Helen & Sammy for sharing your positive birthing story! Jasper is so gorgeous!
"Before even falling pregnant I used to worry about how I would cope with labour to the point that it worried me. I am squeamish when I feel sudden pain, like when something went right under my nail once I almost fainted over my Dads bicycle in the garden! But even worse than that, I would go faint if something happened to someone else I was with! I thought there was absolutely no way I was going to cope well with labour and I would just tell every medical professional to pre warn them and hoped that had dealt with plenty of women like me, maybe even worse.
When I fell pregnant I started to share some of these thoughts with people who had children and they all said it was different and it would be ok, all the usual reassuring things but none of them changed my opinion! However, one friend who had a difficult labour said she had the same concerns and really didn’t want to have pain relief so had tried hypnobirthing and said it made a massive difference! I spoke to Sammy, my partner and she said “let’s look into it now, you almost faint when I hurt myself!”
Meg was recommended to us by some friends of Sammy’s so we booked an online taster session, she was brilliant, really approachable and knowledgeable, so we booked the course straight after.
Each session covered different topics that were really well presented and informative, giving us the opportunity to speak and reflect on what had been discussed. After the first session I felt like I had been reprogrammed! It was like a light bulb moment for me. I suddenly realised that instead of fearing birth I needed to view it as the process to meeting our baby. The affirmation cards and the audio tracks really helped with this. I used to listen to the audio’s in the shower and in bed and visualise a positive birth. I didn’t allow any negativity to creep in but just kept focusing on meeting our baby and shifting the focus to being as calm as possible to give the baby a safe arrival….and telling myself I could do it!
On the 9th April my waters broke (in M&S!) at 3pm, I felt really calm and had been at work in the morning (with a week to my due date!) and thought perhaps I should start maternity leave but knew we could still have a few days left. We were well prepared with all the bags packed and well prepared mentally after completing the course. We had to go and get checked to see if it definitely was the waters that had broken and they discussed the next steps in terms of induction. We were really clear on our wishes for this because Meg had discussed this with us and got us to reflect as a group, but I
didn’t need to decide yet because it might just happen naturally….which it did!
We carried on our evening as usual and I didn’t feel any different until I tried to get into bed and couldn’t get comfortable, I said to Sammy “this is it! It’s started!”. My contractions were in my pelvis and this took me by surprise so I was a bit thrown and struggled to get conformab
le. Sammy kept trying to remind me of the breathing techniques and positions but I couldn’t get in the zone. At 4am we went to Lister (Lister Hospital, Stevenage, East & North Herts NHS Trust) as the contraction app was saying we should, however when I was examined and they said I was 1cm dilated and this was a massive blow. Sammy gave me a talking to on the way home and reminded me of all the te
chniques and the fact it could be a slow process so I should rest and stay positive. On the drive home I focused on the affirmations and tried to get in the right frame of mind.
2 hours later the pain ramped up, something felt different. We called the midwife and she asked Sammy to look and explain what she could see. She then instructed her to gather towels and put her on loud speaker next to me! I pushed for the first time on my kitchen floor while Sammy ran upstairs! I couldn’t believe I was at home and there were no community midwives available, so they were sending an ambulance instead. I knew I had to stay calm, think of the audios and the affirmations. Wherever I was I had to tell myself I could do it.
The paramedics observed me for a bit and then made the call to move me to the hospital. The journey felt really long but I just kept breathing through the contractions and ke
pt myself focused. On arrival I was stretchered into the maternity suite and met the midwife who had tested my waters and been on loud speaker while I was at home.
The labour was honestly the most incredible experience and when I tell people this, I’m not sure they believe me, but it really was. It felt so natural and I felt in control and as though my body was made to do this. My body told me what to do, all I had to do was stay calm and let it guide me. I kept thinking that this process is not about me, it is about delivering the baby in the safest and calmest way possible. All I wanted was to do my best for our baby. I used gas and air for the labour but no other pain relief. When I describe the feeling of birth to people I say that it wasn’t painful and I am being completely honest. It was like nothing I have experienced and it was demanding on the body but not painful. The midwife kept checking the babies heart rate with the Doppler and saying they’re very calm this i
s great and I felt amazing knowing that staying focused was helping. There is no way I would’ve been able to allow my body to do what it’s made to do if I hadn’t been on Meg’s course. I was able to relax and accept what my body was doing because I understood it. The whole experience has really changed the way I view things as I now believe my favourite affirmation “All the strength I need is within me”."