So this is my own (Wendy’s) birth story, as a Midwife, Doula and Hypnobirthing Practitioner the pressure was on! I felt an expectation from those around me and also myself to have the perfect birth… to practice what I preach!
I started practising the relaxation from about 30 weeks and Paul was fantastic at getting involved and understanding what role he would have.
As with our first son Charlie now 3 1/2 yrs old we were planning a homebirth, something that for me personally was very important. We were supported by the wonderful Surrey Hills Homebirth Team. My due date was the 18th of March. Towards the end of the pregnancy, I felt no fear at all about giving birth, just excitement at the prospect of meeting our second son. The 17th was a Sunday, we had discussed the evening before that Paul would get the birthing pool blown up just in case. We put Charlie to bed on a Sunday evening and Paul started sorting out the pool. At about 10.15pm I started to be aware of a mild ache in my right lower back, I got out my birthing ball and started to rock around on it hoping to ease a backache. During the next hour, I started to realise that the ache was coming and going and forming a pattern about every 10 minutes. I wasn’t really sure if this was ‘IT’ as it was so mild. But the pattern started increasing to every 5 minutes. At about 11.30pm I think we both realised that I was in labour. I felt very calm and relaxed and as I watched Paul starting to organise my candles and aromatherapy I remember thinking ‘I love this’. At midnight we decided to ring Paul’s daughter Carys who was going to come over to be around for Charlie in case he woke up. This helped me to relax hugely as I knew Charlie would be ok with Carys here, they are very close and I knew she would look after him. We rang the midwife Tanya to let her know labour had started. We decided I was coping well and said we would ring her back in a bit. Carys arrived about 12.45am and went off to bed with Charlie.
By this point Paul had filled up the pool, I continued to bounce on my ball, whilst relaxing with each surge, concentrating on my breathing, humming through the surges and doing my visualisations. At about 2.30am the surges were about every three minutes and though totally manageable I felt the water would help me to relax further into them.
In the candlelit room, I got into the pool and cannot explain how wonderful the water felt, just the weightlessness is fantastic plus the soothing effect of the water. With the amazing support of Paul, I continued in the water just breathing and relaxing. At about 3.15am the surges were intensifying and we thought it would be wise to ring the midwife. Tanya turned up at 3.40am and was a wonderfully reassuring presence. I just carried on doing what I was doing and she reassured me to just go with what my body was telling me. I was astounded when she said that the baby would be here soon, I felt very calm and in control and pretty comfortable, surely I couldn’t be near to giving birth. Breathing with each surge and holding onto Paul I got through the next few intense surges. At about 4.15am I started to get an overwhelming desire to bear down, really, I couldn’t believe it, how could it have happened this quickly.
During the next 3 surges at only minutes apart, the unbelievable urge to push overtook me and at 4.25am Alfie floated up through the water and into my arms. I think we were both in shock and couldn’t believe that he was here The room was calm and we were left to take in the amazement of what had just happened. I remained in the pool cuddling Alfie skin to skin whilst awaiting the natural arrival of the placenta. Alfie weighed a very healthy 10lbs 7ozs and I was relieved to discover I needed no stitches.
The whole experience was amazing, the relaxations, breathing, positive thoughts and the unfailing support of Paul and Tanya, whilst also knowing that Carys and Charlie were upstairs sleeping soundly all contributed to a truly magical few hours. Alfie is now 4 months old and a very chilled out little chap. I am so thankful to have found hypnobirthing and am indebted to it for helping to bring my two lovely boys into the world as calmly and naturally as I did.