When Natalie mentioned a blog I wondered what I could write it on: I thought
about motherhood in general, Pregnancy, labour. The list was endless, as my life
and I have changed so much since becoming a mummy. I decided – how could it
be anything else but the birth of my babies? It was the one thing that I was
terrified of doing my whole life. Actually terrified! I am a wimp. I stump my toe
and cry, how could I possibly manage to deliver a baby? I feel like throughout
my whole life, women would say things such as, “Child birth is the worst pain of
your life.” When people described any type of pain they would compare it to
child birth. They’d use words like horrific, awful, and painful. TV programmes
always show dramatic births with women screaming, sweating, and red faced.
When I got pregnant, the anxiety and worry set in. I thought ‘I hate pain’; I’m
the worst person when I’m in pain. I worried how I would cope with child birth
when the time arrived.
Fast forward and I had a good first pregnancy – ‘I must have been one of the
lucky ones,’ I thought my labour was bound to be terrible.
For my first birth, I took things in my hospital bag like battery candles, scents,
and wore a tens machine. These were all little things that lovely ladies had said
may help, but the deep, conditioned fear was still there. Women loved to talk
about their own horror stories of labour just as it was approaching for me! I
never quite understand why women do that. The labour went fairly well, it was
long; it was tough, hard work and very exhausting. But what did I expect? This
was called ‘labour’. It wasn’t going to be easy! When my little baby was finally
here, if I could bottle that feeling and sell it, I would be a billionaire!
Over the next few weeks/months, I constantly thought and debriefed myself
about the labour, the birth. What was good or bad? What could have been
better or different?
When I got pregnant for the second time I was determined to make labour feel
easier and less stressful for myself and try to reduce the fear even more now.
Plus I had a new fear….. A fear that I knew what it was like, granted it was not
the horror stories I had heard of, so that did offer some reassurance, but I
still thought, what if?
Then somebody mentioned hypnobirthing. I’d never heard of it, I actually recall
that when it was mentioned, I was with a colleague who said “Oh that ‘airy, fairy
useless nonsense.” To which the person replied, “Worked for me,” and I wasn’t
that ‘hippie’ type. It got me thinking though… why not? What have I got to lose?
It may actually help. So I started to read and research hypnobirthing. I was
shocked, Wow this is actually science based stuff, this is psychologically and
physically effective, it’s instinctive, it’s hormones, human response, and it
sounds like it works for a lot of women. It’s everything that I now believe so
much in. I could go on and on as to why I just fell in love with the idea. I couldn’t
believe what I was reading, it all made sense. Maybe I did have a preconception
that it was a load of rubbish and ‘hippy’ junk! Wow. How I’ve changed my mind,
and my way of thinking.
I’m a nurse; I have experience working in clinical acute areas where pain relief,
medication and intervention is given frequently to save lives and make people
better. I do also believe, (as most nurses do) that optimum treatment is holistic,
individually tailored and assessed regularly. Hypnobirthing prepares the mother
and partner for each ‘what if?’ event, by informing them of the science and
psychology behind birthing. It’s proven that hypnobirthing mothers have shorter
labour times, experience less pain and require less intervention than a mother
who doesn’t do hypnobirthing and that I like – a lot!!! I just don’t think I realised
the power of our own minds before and how your mentality can have either a
positive or negative effect on your overall experience. Well I certainly do now….
My second pregnancy, I really got my partner on board, to help and use the
strategies we had learnt to make this birth a positive experience for all of us.
We printed positive affirmation posters, packed battery candles, scents and
oils. Not much different to last time really, except this time we had
hypnobirthing on board too. I felt a sense of control and ownership of my surges
and a real sense of empowerment. The labour started fairly quickly at home, my
husband and I created a spa environment. I had lovely spa music, scents, and
lowered the lights to make the atmosphere really tranquil. This time it felt
different. I was in a ‘zone’. I’d already started breathing through my surges and
I just felt completely in control of my body. The midwife said “With that
breathing you’ve got this!” That made me feel good! The only way I can describe
the next stage of labour is, magical!
It wasn’t like a scene from the soaps: red faced and being told, “Come on, push!”
being coached through labour. It was the total opposite, just calm, serene,
peaceful, relaxed and feeling utter bliss. Like the ones I’d seen on One Born
Every Minute and thought, how are they even like that? That’s totally not me,
but it was.
The midwife and my husband said I just breathed our baby in to the world, and
I did! The most natural thing on this planet – I did what we are designed to do. I
birthed my baby as women have done for years and years, with no intervention, no disturbance
and no distractions. I felt like bloody superwoman and I am so
proud of myself – I DID IT!
Even afterwards I thought, well how did that happen? How did I just do that so
easily? How was it all so calm? It actually felt good and I want to do it all over
again!!! No one was more shocked then me. I can truly, whole-heartedly say, I
think it was all down to the preparation we had done with hypnobirthing. It
really does work and I’m proof of it – your mind and body is so powerful and if it
is prepared, it can do wonderful things.