How wonderful and life changing a positive birth can be
Zoe, thanks so much for everything you taught Ben and I on the Hypnobirthing Place course. I think it has changed our lives.
Sounds dramatic but I feel like we were truly together throughout the whole of labour and birth, Ben was so confident and calm throughout and really involved - he would not have been like this without the course! I too remained calm, positive and strong throughout- it was an amazing experience.
We are closer than ever, despite living with a tiny bonkers person.
I woke early on the 8th December about 3.45am with a very very dull period pain type feeling. I knew I was in labour. By this point I was 3 days overdue, I had refused a sweep and just trusted my body and my baby, I kept telling him (Sonny) we were ready for him and he could take as long as he needed. I had been meditating everyday for about 3 weeks by this point and Ben and I had been practicing various exercises from the Hypnobirthing Place course about 3 times a week.
I couldn't get back to sleep as I was so so excited. I left Ben to sleep but eventually he woke and told me I wasn't in labour and to go back to sleep(!) I was just laying in bed enjoying the tiny tiny twinges. Eventually I went to the toilet and my waters broke, just a little liquid came out. Ben then got up and by the time I came out of the loo he had filled the flat with candles. We kept the curtains drawn and I stayed in our room for a couple of hours just letting the feeling of the mild surges wash over me.
We went for a long walk, took it very slowly and I really tried to take in the surroundings and the water. By this point I was stopping for each surge and we just held each other and cried each time because it felt so magical.
We went home eventually as I felt ready to use the tens machine. I then stayed in the bathroom (our tiny bathroom!) for the rest of the day, by candlelight. I sat on the birth ball and Ben sat on the edge of the bath timing my surges (contractions).
The whole time I kept reminding myself that this sensation was my body opening up and that I was accepting that my baby knew best. The image of flowers/ confetti etc didn't really work for me, I found it more useful to think about the amazing ability of my body to release my baby at the right time.
We stayed in the bath room until I felt the need to push- whoops! Too long, we called a taxi and I thought I would give birth on the way to the birth centre! My surges slowed and by the time we arrived I was 7cm dilated.
I got into the pool and things started to really slow down. My surges slowed to every 10 minutes and were very weak.
I got out of the pool and tried a variety of positions, I sensed a changed in the mood of the midwives and realised they were considering transferring me to hospital. I really didn't want to be in hospital, so I summoned all of my energy for the next surge.
This worked, the surge was powerful Sonnys head came out, then another surge and then on the third he was out! I couldn't really hold him as I felt so shaky. Sonnys heart rate didn't change through labour, the midwife said he seemed surprised to find himself on the outside! He didn't cry, he was so calm. 6 months on people still comment on his calmness.
It wasn't the perfect birth but it was actually enjoyable, the most powerful experience of my life!
I have gained a massive amount of respect for the female body and mind, and hypnobirthing gave me the knowledge to relax enough to fully experience childbirth.
I didn't need pain relief, apart from the tens machine and I hope I will be lucky enough to experience birth again without the apprehension of what's to come.
Thanks for everything!
Simone Ben and Sonny
With huge thanks to Simone for sharing her birth story so beautifully and honestly. I hope this will be an inspiration for any lovely pregnant folk .... to see that birth doesn't need to be feared, traumatic or painful. That birth can in fact be an 'amazing experience'... empowering and something to look forward to. It is the female body at its most powerful and best, after all.