A positive caesarean birth
I enrolled on a hypnobirthing course with my husband with the expectation of being able to
learn the techniques needed to enable me to have a calm, natural and controlled labour and birth. I wanted minimal pain relief and to be able to birth my baby in the Home from Home birth suite of my chosen hospital with as little intervention as possible.
As events during my labour continued to unfold, my prior wishes and expectations had to be
continually revised but it was the experience of having learned the hypnobirthing techniques and philosophy that allowed us to have such a positive experience, in what, from the outset may appear to be a disaster from the point of view of the natural and calm experience I wanted.
My waters broke when I was 40+6 in the morning on Sunday 11th November, before any
contractions started. At this point it took me a little time to come to terms with the fact that I now needed to alter my mindset a bit as induction would take place on the Hospital Birth Centre if contractions did not start naturally within 24 hours. This would be away from the Home from Home experience with the option to use the birthing pool that I had so
wished, due to being now classified as 'high risk'; after spontaneous rupture of membranes being the onset of labour without any contractions.
My contractions did start in the early hours of the following morning, however, my hope of
being able to stay at home and get to the active labour stage in my familiar environment
before having to head to the hospital was dashed when the Maternity Assessment Unit
advised I go in to be assessed for antibiotics as it had been 24 hours since membrane
rupture. After being admitted to hopefully allow labour to become established, I continued to use the hypnobirthing practices and visualisations with the up breathing to move through the
surges. I was on continuous CTG monitoring but having done the hypnobirthing course with
my husband, for him, being able to see the surge building, watch it peak, and fall away again on the CTG trace made him feel fully involved and able to talk me through our visualisations of climbing a mountain step by step up to that peak, walking across the crest and sliding down the other side with each surge!
Hypnobirthing had empowered me to ask for the wireless CTG monitoring I knew was available, so I could keep active and make use of a birthing ball and when I felt the strength of the surges were more than I could cope with, to make an informed decision to have further pain relief. I was able to openly discuss my thoughts and feelings at each stage with my husband and he was able to support me in this.
During the course of the following day with the help of a Syntocinon drip and an epidural
alongside it I got to the stage of being 8cm dilated. This was however, as far as things got
before the baby monitoring parameters made it necessary for the maternity team to recommend that a caesarean section be performed. The thought of soon being able to meet my baby allowed me to put aside my initial twinge of upset and disappointment at the prospect of requiring a caesarean.
From the above, in terms of what I previously understood hypnobirthing to be, this probably
sounds like the complete opposite, but my husband and I both had a very positive experience and hypnobirthing had the biggest part to play in that. I could not have got through the surges for the length of time that I did without the use of hynobirthing techniques and without my husband supporting me with these and the confidence he had also gained to do so through the course.
So while I might not have had the conventional hypnobirth as I previously saw it - and often
it took a fair bit of energy to roll with the punches as the labour unfolded and we were
moved further and further from our plan; and visualised preferences - with the
hypnobirthing techniques, we were able to appreciate the experience and take such a
positive experience from it. My husband and I both really feel that it was only through
having done the hypnobirthing course that what would have been a really tough 48 hours
otherwise was actually a very positive and empowered experience.