“Thank you SO much for all your help, you gave me the most useful tool to be able to labour on my own as I wanted. This was an emotional victory after such a long time feeling let down by my body. Thank you!!”
One day we went to a cafe and found some lovely hypnobirthing cards. My husband wanted to keep one as a token of hope and I remember being so sad, in the middle of an IVF treatment, wondering if we would ever use it. I still keep Ruth’s card, just to remind me of the long journey we had.
After a hard time getting pregnant and a diagnose of SCH during my first trimester (also called threatened miscarriage!), I was really tired of medical intervention. I did a lot of research and hypnobirthing seemed like something very interesting to try. So to Ruth we went!
Her approach was very positive and down to earth and I committed myself to practise the exercises and listen to her tracks every day. After a few weeks I noticed a big shift in my perception of labour, I was actually looking forward to it.
A week overdue, contractions started at around midnight and continued for several hours. I stayed at home playing with my cat and listening to music until the morning. I had quite a lot of Braxton Hicks during the last few weeks so I wasn’t completely sure this was the ‘real thing’ but it seemed a good idea to call the Birth Centre. I was admitted as soon as we arrived and they were surprised my labour was quite advanced. Being there things slowed down a bit and during the next 10h I listened to Ruth’s recordings and some music while bouncing on the ball, walking and moving around. I was really focused, quiet and with eyes closed. There was a distracting giant clock in the room and I was shocked every time I looked, I think my sense of time was gone. My husband was amazed at how much I was eating and drinking: hospital food, my own snacks… I was so hungry!
At some point the contractions started to get very intense and I went into the tub. The next couple of hours were very exhausting and I remember telling my midwife I couldn’t go on for much longer and started to cry. I was frightened. She said I was a fighter and for the way I sounded the baby was going to be born very soon. Then I felt a huge pressure (baby pushing down) and some sort of disconnection between mind and body. From then on, I remember the strange sensation of being outside my body, able to feel but unable to control even how I moved. They helped me out of the pool when someone noticed a bit of meconium in the water and more midwifes came into the room. I felt like an animal enduring something really powerful. My midwife didn’t guide me, she said I knew what to do and gave me encouragement. I don’t even remember to push, whatever was happening was being done with my mind switched off. Alice was born 20min later with wide eyes and very alert. Healthy and strong little baby! She crawled up and started feeding straight away. When she was in my arms I started to notice the people in the room, the smell of her skin, the feel of the sheets under my body, and for the first time in nearly 20h I made visual contact with my husband.
It was a very intense experience, the hardest thing I’ve ever done but also very empowering and strangely beautiful. I was lucky I didn’t need any intervention but I also worked really hard during months, changing my mindset about labour and keeping an open mind. Hypnobirthing was a huge help, it brought me to another place where I was safe and focused. My baby is nearly 6 months now and I keep seeing Ruth in her mindful mothering workshops, she’s got three amazing daughters and is an inspiration for me as a mum.