First baby, October 2013 workshop
When I was pregnant with Rowan I realised that I was very scared of giving birth and wanted to enjoy the experience. A friend of mine told me that she had two amazing birth experiences using hypnobirthing, so I was interested to try something similar. As I looked into it I realised that the American style of the hypnobirthing CDs and workshops weren’t really for me. Then I came across Maggie Howell’s “Effective birth preparation” book and really liked the way it was written. The language was positive and it framed the birth experience in a natural and beautiful way. I looked on www.natalhypnotherapy.co.uk and discovered that Ruth was running workshops on birth preparation. I chose to do the workshop so that I could create space in my busy life for focusing on the birth ahead and address my fears related to giving birth.
Ruth’s workshop was lovely. It met all my expectations in looking at my personal fears around birth, breaking them down and transforming them so I was no longer scared by them any more. It also helped me frame the birth ahead in a positive way in my mind. We practised some hypnotherapy techniques which were incredibly relaxing and enjoyable. I left the day feeling transformed and ready for labour. In the lead up to Rowan’s birth I listened to the birth preparation CD every day and read the book. I enjoyed the special time with my baby that the tracks on the CD provided.
Just a few weeks later baby Rowan arrived 10 days before his due date. The birth was an incredible experience. My friends were very sceptical when I told them that I could honestly say that I enjoyed his birth – but I did! The labour companion CD and relaxing birth music CD really helped during the birth, along with a TENS machine and the birthing pool.
My waters broke around 4pm in the afternoon and I very quickly got to 10cm. I arrived at the hospital around 10pm, and didn’t need any pain relief I was managing so well. I felt incredibly relaxed and calm during the whole birth experience (which was such a transformation from how scared I had been while pregnant). Because I was so relaxed the natural birth hormones were allowed to flow through my body, which I think is what made the experience so magical. There aren’t words adequate enough to describe just how incredible the whole experience was. I didn’t experience the birth as painful as I was just able to relax and let my body do what it was supposed to do. But it was exhausting!
The birth didn’t all go according to plan either. The last stage of the labour took the longest as Rowan was coming down the birth canal at an awkward angle and in the end had to be delivered by ventouse. This was fine for me because I remained calm but was unavoidably stressful for him. However because I remained so calm I was able to enjoy breastfeeding him straight away and helped him make a speedy recovery.
Rowan arrived at 2.31am the following morning after a 10.5 hour labour weighing 3.4kg (7lbs and 8ozs). The labour felt very short and as soon as he was born I felt like I wanted to do it all over again!
If we are lucky enough to have any more children I will definitely use Natal Hypnotherapy again.