birth story 2: Katy & Bry meet baby Sonny
Sonny’s birth was just the biggest surprise I have ever had!
From 32 weeks I listened to Maggie Howell’s Homebirth Preparation CD. Work was very stressful, I had crippling pelvic pain but I didn’t listen to my body, or my baby. The only time I relaxed was when I was in hypnosis. Maybe this is why it worked so well!
So I thought I was having a girl, she would be 2 weeks late and I would have a homebirth and a longish labour. Instead I had a boy, 6 weeks early, 3 hours 22 minutes from my waters breaking, and 2 hours from the first contraction.
I had nothing ready for the baby, but in hindsight I had been nesting all of that week so I had half packed a bag. My husband proudly announced he had just finished painting the nursery when I stepped out of the bath and ‘gush’ went my waters all over the floor. We messed about at home for ages, in denial I think. I believe the hypnosis had already kicked in as we prepared to go to the hospital – as it was my husband who told me I was contracting every 2 minutes and my midwife friend who insisted she came in to look after me even though I said I was fine and not in labour.
I was seen in triage and treated as a pre-labour rupture of membranes, they tried to do a speculum exam (but they couldn’t – I was already 5 cms dilated), they thought the baby was breech but when they scanned me they realised the head was so low it was barely palpable abdominally. Even when I did the long walk from triage to the labour room a few of my colleagues thought I was working, and was bringing a labouring client in. This was about 1 hour before he came!
The labour was intense. At points I felt like I was drowning in the waves but the deep relaxation I had learned without even realising it got me through. I admit, I toked on that gas and air like my life depended on it but all the time I was saying affirmations in my head and using the trigger 321 relax. And it worked. Everyone wants a fast labour but honestly, having had one of each I would pick the slow burner any day. In between the contractions I was having a fabulous time, lots of laughing and excitement.
After Sonny was born – he weighed 5lb7oz – and despite only being 34 weeks he was a screaming wriggly healthy little thing. We had a son, I couldn’t believe we had a boy!
Afterwards I lost a lot of blood and had to have some examinations – Natal Hypnotherapy™ and good old gas and air got me through, however this wasn’t a very nice time.
I honestly believe the techniques my subconscious mind had learned helped me so much. What could have been perceived as quite a traumatic labour on paper was really ok. The shock of having a premmie, the speed, the intensity and the pain afterwards all felt like mountains that I knew I could climb. At no point did I think I wouldn’t reach the top and come down the other side. I also remember feeling, my body has done this before, she knows what she is doing and me trusting this feeling. Having since trained as a practitioner I now know this is proof of the Natal Hypnotherapy™ working-in-action.
Natal Hypnotherapy™ birth stories
birth story 3: Katy & Bry meet baby Sasha
I had the stitch (cervical suture – due to having an incompetent cervix) taken out on Friday when I was exactly 37 weeks. The anaesthetists repeatedly offered me a spinal anaesthetic but my lovely consultant and I didn’t think I would need one. With the help of some Natal Hypnotherapy™ techniques and copious amounts of gas and air he removed the stitch and I immediately dilated to 2-3 cms. My consultant said I had really needed the suture & baby would be here in next few days max.
Things started about 3am on Saturday morning, I got up at 5am and woke Bry to go to hospital at 6am. I was anxious that the baby would come quickly like last time so I was relieved to find out at 7am I was still 2-3cm dilated but the cervix had gone from 2cm thick to fully effaced. I decided to potter around labour ward as I knew baby wouldn’t hang around for too long, and I needed cannulating and IV antibiotics.
So I then proceeded to have the most lovely labour one could wish for, slow build up, frequent but effective contractions, very mobile. Got Bry on the massage case, had some tunes on the iPod. Then at about 10.30am we moved to the lush pool room, I had my IV antibiotics due to the strep infections and my lovely midwife made me a glove thing to keep my cannula dry in the water. I started on the gas & air about 11ish, then mum came in as well. Having the stitch removed yesterday had reminded me all about the Natal Hypnotherapy™ techniques I’d used in Sonny’s labour – to be honest I hadn’t dared to think I would ever hold this baby in my arms so birth prep wasn’t something I did in this pregnancy. But when things got intense the breathing, the triggers, the relaxing and surrendering feelings all came back to me. The subconscious mind is so powerful.
Anyway, I think I got in the pool about midday, it was lovely. I was 6cms. Then I had a cry, got a bit emosh about our journey thus far – made everyone else cry too. Then my waters broke and I went a bit crazy!! Then my midwife showed mum the baby's head (new bezzie mate), then Bry caught the slippery thing, then I brought him up to the surface & he screamed. It was awesome! Mum cut the cord.
Due to said amazing midwife and me being me we decided to omit any drugs for the delivery of placenta. In view of my previous significant haemorrhage I do understand why every doctor and most of the midwives I had spoken to beforehand advised against this but my instinct told me it would be fine this time - I had such a normal, different labour this time. Anyway, I’m so glad I did it naturally as the placenta came 20 minutes later, and my blood loss was about 15% of what it was with Sonny, hopefully this will help boost my milk supply this time (it did).
We had loads of skin to skin, he had a feed and I had a very small tear which didn’t need suturing. Sasha Alexander weighed 7lb 5oz. I felt on top of the world, and enjoyed those first few hours that I hadn’t been able to after Sonny’s birth.
birth story 1: Karen & Rich meet baby Harriett
I was really scared about giving birth second time round so when my midwife suggested Natal Hypnotherapy™ workshops, provided locally by Katy White we thought we’d give it a go.
The birth of our first baby was a particularly traumatic experience. Throughout this labour, neither my husband nor I felt in control, and the prospect of going through this again was extremely frightening.
The Happybirth course was insightful and changed my perspective on giving birth. It gave me the confidence to centre my birth plan around what I wanted it to be and the techniques gave me something to focus on during the build up to the due date. I was able to be proactive and I felt almost like I was able to do my homework in preparation!
Our second child was also overdue (we do like them well baked in this family) and I was booked in for induction at 12 days. We arrived at the hospital and after the usual checks I was given a pessary. Intent on being proactive with this labour we set off for lots of walks round the hospital, as the labour pains were getting fairly intense we headed back up to the ward. I got comfortable and settled in to listen to the Natal Hypnotherapy™ CD and relax in preparation for labour. The techniques were incredibly useful and I was feeling relaxed and confident about the labour ahead. Unfortunately the pessary came out and I had to wait for 4 hours until a new one was put in which meant that the progress of the labour slowed, but I didn’t let this set me back.
At 8pm visiting hours ended and my husband had to go home and wait for any news. I was nervous about being left alone as this hadn't been part of our birth plan but I settled down and used the Natal Hypnotherapy™ CD again and felt really relaxed. At 10:30pm I felt my waters break and informed the midwife, I was placed on the machine so baby could be monitored. Things were progressing well and I remained relaxed despite the gradual increase in contractions and pain in my lower back.
At 2am I was checked by the midwife on the ward, dilation was still only at 3cm therefore I asked if I could go for a bath. On getting out of the bath half an hour later the labour pain was now extremely intense. I asked for the midwife to check me again and I was 5cm dilated, time to go down to the delivery suite! The midwife phoned Rich at 3.20am and after a mad race to the hospital he arrived in time to see me come down on the bed. The pain was intense at this point and in a moment of weakness I asked for an epidural! I was however too far dilated and baby was already coming as I had the urge to push!
Rich stepped straight into what we had practised, he was using the relaxation techniques, stayed calm and clear when speaking to me and was supportive and encouraging. We also had a fantastic midwife with us who was completely on board with Natal Hypnotherapy™ - she was so supportive of what we were doing and gave fantastic encouragement. Between us we made a great team and I can't imagine a safer more comfortable environment to give birth in. Although I felt distracted at time I managed to use the techniques, did lots of breathing and a heck of a lot more pushing! At 4.18am having only had 2 paracetamol, our beautiful baby girl arrived weighing 8lb 11oz! It felt so incredible to experience giving birth naturally and I know that without the skills and techniques we learnt at the Happybirth workshops there is no way I would have been able to get to 10cm dilated alone without it.
Seeing my wife go through such a traumatic time during the delivery of our son had been a difficult thing to watch, much of the birth experience was one of feeling like a helpless spectator. We were both entirely led by the medical professionals as to what was happening throughout the delivery and did not feel at all in control. There was lots of intervention and ended with a forceps delivery resulting in a third degree tear. Immediately after delivery Karen was taken off for surgery to stitch the tear and I was left holding a small (well 8lbs 14oz so not that small!) screaming baby wondering what on earth had just happened.
We knew that we didn't want an only child but I was not keen on Karen going through such a traumatic experience again. After much discussion we did decide to have a second child and Karen became pregnant.
When Karen suggested we look at Natal Hypnotherapy™ I was fairly sceptical, it sounded a bit too alternative for my tastes but knowing that Karen was keen to give it a go I engaged with the process. I am so glad that we did, for me the Happybirth course gave me a clearly defined role within the delivery of our second child.
Receiving the call from the midwife at 3.20am certainly got my heart rate going but as I got to the hospital I felt strangely relaxed. I knew that Karen was prepared and I knew exactly what my role was during the labour. I was nervous about a repeat of the first birth but the preparation we had done gave me a different perspective. During the labour I felt confident in supporting Karen while she used the hypnotherapy techniques and I felt confident in being part of the decision making. Me knowing our birth plan and being part of the process took some of the pressure off Karen and allowed her to be far more in control of the delivery.
Ultimately Natal Hypnotherapy™ allowed me to feel useful in the process, and as my little girl was born I felt so proud of what Karen had done having delivered in less than 2 hours on only 2 paracetamol!
I had cared for Karen during her first pregnancy so felt very lucky to be around when she birthed baby Harriett. Firstly I noticed that she had weighed up the decision to be induced very carefully, rather than just accepting the hospital guideline. I think the Happybirth workshops helped her with this process. During the labour Karen was amazing. She declined to have a cannula inserted into her hand, preferring to wait and see if it was required. She had wanted to use the birth pool but the room was already occupied and Karen was labouring quickly. She didn’t let this dishearten her – another factor of the Natal Hypnotherapy™ I believe – and she spent her labour remaining very active, using deep breathing techniques. Things were intense, as they are in labour, but at all times Karen remained in control.
The most beautiful part of it for me was simply watching Karen and Rich interact – he was so involved, so encouraging and knew exactly how to best support Karen. In fact, towards the end I stopped speaking at all, and Karen birthed baby Harriett with just Rich talking softly to her. They were both so calm and in control.
I believe that the Happybirth workshops gave Karen and Rich the tools they needed to plan a safe and calm birth and make the choices that were right for them. In labour Rich was totally involved and Karen had let go of all her fears and tensions and surrendered to her birthing body. Baby Harriett is gorgeous and it was a privilege to witness her being born.