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Olive's Birth

It's nearly a whole year since my beautiful friend Lizzie gave birth to Baby Olive at home in London. I was lucky enough to be there as one of her midwives. She used hypnobirthing and was absolutely INCREDIBLE, I still feel so proud and emotional thinking about that night! So to celebrate Olive's impending 1st birthday, Lizzie has kindly shared her magical hypnobirth story...

"After a whole day of regular tightenings I finally started to believe it might be happening, I was 3 days shy of my due date therefore couldn’t possibly believe I could be in labour after a 42 week long first pregnancy. At 4pm I asked my husband to make his way home from work as caring for our nearly 3 year old wasn’t easy now I was having to breathe through the surges leaning over a birth ball! I was filled with excitement and trepidation after a really reeeeeally long first labour. I kept reminding myself to go back to what I had learnt, not to dwell on the previous experience, and keep coming back to this labour and this baby. I made an effort to be positive and have total awareness of my breathing and movements to keep me calm and in control. I was lucky enough to have support of two midwives who were colleagues and friends, and I completely trusted them. After telling them all day not to worry its probably a false alarm they knew better than to listen to my doubts and they arrived at my house around midnight, they told me I was 6cm dilated and this was the real deal! I was so so relieved to hear this, and it really helped me to believe it was happening (I spent at least 75% of my labour in denial) after the examination the surges really picked up in intensity and were taking all of my focus, I had a playlist prepared but interestingly I just wanted guidance and counting via the Freya app I had downloaded, I found it really helpful and helped to focus my busy mind whereas I found music quite distracting! My husband had turned our living room into a candle lit sanctuary and using a combination of the app, up breathing, and my trusty tens machine I got through the next few hours. My midwives and husband were amazing, intervening only as necessary, using gentle encouragement to change positions and offering massage and drinks. At around 3.30am I felt a shift, without real awareness my breathing changed to down breathing and the practiced visualisations flooded my mind. I made an effort to push those fears and doubts out and follow my body, I was encouraged to get into the pool and the warm water felt absolutely incredible. I continued to use down breathing and when the intensity peaked and I thought I was at my maximum tolerance my midwives said those magical words; they could see the head, so after a few more surges and whispers of encouragement (which felt like a lifetime!) our baby girl was born into my arms at 0437. It was the most empowering, euphoric moment and the overwhelming feeling it instilled in me will be with me forever. I was in absolute disbelief that we had done it, I had to work really hard to push those negative feelings away and hypnobirthing techniques and the support of my amazing birthing team really helped me to achieve that."

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