I thought I’d report back on my birth experience – maybe this birth story is for the hypnobirthing non believers!! (And women wondering Can I do hypnobirthing alone!?)
Because I went to hypnobirthing classes alone!
I went to Steph’s Oxford classes on my own. Because I didn’t want my partner to laugh at me doing silly breathing. But mainly because I didn’t want him to know how frightened I was.
My 2 other births were:
- A 35 week premature birth
- A 37 week induction after my waters broke but labour didn’t start
Both these births were gas & air and delivered normally. But not gas and air by choice! Rather because I begged for an epidural when it was way too late!
I pushed both my babies out screaming, feeling terrified and feeling totally out of control. I couldn’t seem to calm myself down or ‘get a grip’.
But my calm brain desperately never wanted an epidural or any medical interventions. I loved the fact that after both births I jumped up off the bed and in an instant felt good again.
So I thought about hypnobirthing alone
And third birth looked as if my only help would be to try it. But as my due date got closer I decided I would just go to hospital in early labour and have an epidural. I just felt so scared and I didn’t believe hypnobirthing would work.
Then I decided to go to Hypnobirthing classes my myself!
Each week I sat through visualisations with Restless Legs. It made meditation hard as I just couldn’t sit still or relax. I listened to everything Steph said and I really enjoyed it. But I found it hard to believe that just breathing and listening to hypnobirthing tracks would overcome the incredible pain and fear I’d felt in labour.
Everyone else in the class was a first time mum. They all looked so relaxed and calm. Whilst I fidgeted away and tried to stay focused.
After the course, I maybe practiced once. I read some of the book. And played one KG Hypnobirthing MP3 to my daughter – which she fell asleep to!
I just couldn’t see how I would ever get around that ‘mind over matter’ thing when twice before I hadn’t.
I had a birth plan
Suddenly it seemed like I had a tiny bit of hope. I felt empowered. That even if I could just breathe a bit deeper and longer. Even just through early labour, then that was something. I had a plan. And I’d never had a plan before so I felt a bit more in control.
My waters broke 7am Friday morning. And at 1am Saturday morning the mild period pains started. I didn’t wake my partner up. I didn’t want him to fall asleep during contractions. Because that would have annoyed me 🤣
I laboured at home alone
I download a surge timing app so I could time them. From the very first surge I took 4 slow deep breaths. I knew that after 4 or 5 they would be gone. This continued for an hour whilst I lay in bed. Then I decided to go downstairs into my conservatory because I didn’t want to wake my hubby.
In the darkness, I remembered my mum telling me about a woman who went downstairs (in labour) and put her log fire on. She had her dog there and gave birth on her own. And I thought that sounded lovely.
The moon lit up my garden and I cuddled up on my sofa with a throw and continued to surge. Each time just breathing. And the surges got stronger. Until about 4.15am when I felt ‘pressure’ like I might need the toilet.
Oops – An unplanned home birth
After 2 children I knew this wasn’t me needing the toilet. I quickly realised I had missed my window of getting to hospital! So I went upstairs at 4.20am to wake up dad, telling him we weren’t going to make it. I fancied giving birth in the bath – but we only managed to turn the taps on. When at 4.40am when our daughter was delivered by my mum with paramedics arriving shortly after!
Does hypnobirthing work if you’re on your own?
So from 2 births that absolutely utterly terrified me. A crazy woman screaming out of control. And honestly – not quite believing that hypnobirthing could work. Hypnobirthing was the only coping strategy I had. And I had to give it my best try.
I contracted from 0-10cm on my own without even realising that I had got that far. I stayed calm and kept breathing. Every surge was one step closer and a surge that I wouldn’t have to do again. It kept my focus.
So thank you Steph. This was the best birth I’ve ever had. And looking back I think I may have even enjoyed it (WTF!)
Keep up the empowering work and keep up with the cakes and biscuits in class 😝
Thank you, you saved me.