My Hypnobirthing and Premature Baby Delivery Story

My Hypnobirthing and Premature Baby Delivery Story

For a long time I’ve wanted to write down my hypnobirthing labour and birth story for when I had Miss M. I’ve told it so many times of course but wanted to document it so she can read it herself when she’s older.

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Given I’m pregnant again now, I spend a lot of time thinking about the birth experience I would like for Mini’s arrival and I’ve been reflecting on my last experience, what I wanted for it and what actually happened.

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For as long as I could remember, I was petrified of childbirth. Not the usual level of fear of the unknown, the pain, the ‘what-if’s’ but truly and deeply petrified. It obviously wasn’t enough to put me off getting pregnant, as I always knew I would do anything to be a mother, but it kept me up at night for some of the early part of my pregnancy.

I had toyed with the idea over the years of choosing to have a C section (I naively had not realised when I was younger the impact of this major surgery, the recovery time etc) but I was just so scared at the possibility of my body not being able to handle giving birth. Perhaps I’d seen too many over-dramatised TV shows with the women screaming in pure agony but it was enough to make me sick with fear.

During my pregnancy I had regular acupuncture appointments, firstly to help me conceive and then afterwards until the point I gave birth. My acupuncturist had recently trained to become a doula and I spoke with her about my fears. When I was about 8 week’s pregnant, me and Mr M went to our local hospital for a tour of their Birth Centre and my acupuncturist offered to come with me. She hadn’t yet seen the birth centre so it was a great experience for her and also was lovely for me to have someone there to ask any questions I didn’t think of.

While we were there I first heard about hypnobirthing. Although I’d obviously heard of self-hypnosis before, I’d never heard of it being applied to childbirth and it fascinated me – was it the answer to my prayers?! The midwives on the tour all seemed lovely and explained how for me to give birth in the Birth Centre, rather than the hospital attached to it, I would have to be considered as a ‘low risk’ pregnancy, make it to full term (at least 37 weeks), not need to be induced and not wish to take any drugs during labour (apart from gas and air).

Could hypnobirthing work for me? No drugs?? I had many fears about childbirth – the pain of labour, if an epidural would be painful, tearing, stitches – well, every part of it really. What I quickly realised as I started to research my options is that personally, I had more fear of an epidural than chancing a painful labour. Not just the possible pain when it was administered but also the chance of it not working fully or at all. I was fixated on this a bit which was a bit irrational given most of my friends had had epis and not one of them had a major issue with it. I couldn’t get it out of my mind though so, with Mr M, I made a firm decision that I would do everything I could to have a natural birth. As I read up more and more on hypnobirthing, I decided that this was the avenue I would pursue to make this work. I loved the idea of a peaceful, pain-free birth and when I started the hypnobirthing classes at around week 30 of my pregnancy, each class I took empowered me more and more. The classes were ran by a midwife at the Birth Centre who was wonderful. She was extremely experienced, genuine and calm and by the end of just the second class, a miracle had occurred in my head. I was no longer scared of birth, I had no fear whatsoever and in fact I felt so empowered I felt excited and prepared to give birth right then. I will talk more about my experience with Hypnobirthing as I go on but I might write a separate and more detailed post in the future for anyone who is interested in hearing more.

The week’s went by and I grew more and more confident. I continued to have my monthly midwife appointment at the Birth Centre, each time meeting a different midwife who might work with me on the day to delivery my baby. At week 36+6 days I had my only appointment with an OB there – at 11am. Although I was midwife led, it was their policy that you have one OB appointment sometime in week 36. The Doctor was nice, she checked my bump and confidently told me that the baby was head down and all was going well. I told her that a few days earlier, I’d had a dream that the baby would come early and I couldn’t get it out of my head but she laughed and reassured me that no, the baby was nowhere near ready and I could relax and continue to plan. Phew! In my dream, the baby was also a girl :)

I travelled home on the bus to continue working from home as a business writer. By this time in my pregnancy, I felt HUGE and tired and everything felt very squashed inside so at around 3.00pm I had a lie down on my sofa to stretch out. A little later I sat up and immediately felt a small gush of water. Um, what was happening?  I took a minute to contemplate the possibility that I had accidentally peed my pants, knowing full well I hadn’t of course.

I waddled to the bathroom and saw that the water was pinkish, and still coming down slowly, and panic started to set in. I called the midwife and explained what had happened and she told me to lie down for another hour, then stand up and if it happened again, to call her back. I called Mr M, he panicked but I assured him that I didn’t ‘feel’ anything else and it could easily be a false alarm. I lay down, emailed a few friends and waited. Then having stood up again I had quick confirmation that my waters had in fact, broken. Argh! What did that mean? Was I having the baby? Was there a problem with me being 3 weeks and a day early? I tried to clear my mind and called Mr M again who came home quickly so we could take a trip to the Birth Centre. Once there, they strapped me up to be monitored and confirmed that contractions hadn’t started. They confirmed my waters had broken and in the back of my mind, I knew that one way or the other, I was going to have a baby within 48 hours!

In my birth plan (that I was going to write the following week!) I intended to have no internal checks unless absolutely necessary, something the midwives there practiced anyway. After about an hour when we established I wasn’t yet in labour, I was sent home and told to come back when contractions started. So home I went! At bedtime I put towels down on the bed as had visions of waking up in a big pool of water! Then I attempted to get some sleep. The midwife had told me to come back at 6.30am the following day, whether or not contractions had started as there was only a 48 hour window after my waters broke where if I didn’t go into labour naturally, they would induce it to get the baby out quickly and safely.

On the way to the hospital in the car the next day, it became clear to me that labour had began and it felt just like light period pains. I had downloaded a tracking app and timed that they were coming only every 5-8 minutes so early days. We got to the Birth Centre and made our way to our room with my mini suitcase of what I later realised was unnecessary stuff! Whilst the water kept slowly coming, I had also start losing some blood clots too and the midwife was a bit concerned that my placenta had abrupted. She informed the doctors in Labour and Delivery who came in quickly to recommend I move across to there and get induced to get the baby out faster. This was not my plan! The midwives were lovely and told me that the doctors recommendation was very routine and in their opinion, my situation didn’t yet warrant that level of panic.  Despite being a day off being full term, they were happy for me to give birth in the Birth Centre.

By this time, I was timing my contractions as coming every 1-2 minutes and lasting about 45 seconds. I told the midwife this but unfortunately they were not tracking that way on the monitor and lovely as she was, she didn’t really believe that I was as far along in labour as I knew I was. I continued to labour where I was but because I was losing blood, I had to abandon my plan of having a waterbirth. I was continuously monitored so I couldn’t really move around much either unfortunately. The midwife bought me some toast. I took one bite and threw up! Finally another doctor came in, this time saying that I had little choice but to move into Labour and Delivery and get induced. I was confused as I could see on the screen that the baby wasn’t distressed and I knew physically I was now in active labour but unfortunately they could only go off what the monitor said and they thought I needed things speeding along.

I walked next door to L&D and was introduced to 2 lovely midwives who would be working with me. There I lay on the bed, was strapped to a new monitor and hooked up to syntocinon to speed up the labour. I laboured for a while on the bed, standing up, walking around where I could and back on the bed. Since the earliest contraction, I focussed on the hypnobirthing breathing techniques I had learned and they worked brilliantly. I was quiet throughout and only spoke to Mr M when I wanted water or a back rub!   I needed my back rubbing and with a heat pad pressed on it a lot as unfortunately being so early, the baby hadn’t turned fully and was back-to-back which although not painful, was really uncomfortable at times.  The midwives left us to it most of the time so we spent the majority of my labour just the two of us in a peaceful room, which was lovely.

Although breathing meant I was not in pain, I was exhausted and I got to the point where I didn’t think I could manage for much longer.  I really just wanted to sleep! I realised afterwards that of course this is the ‘transition phase’ that many women go through before pushing where you just want to stop! Although the midwives still thought I was only having ‘mild’ contractions, they did an internal check and realised that I was fully dilated – I knew it!  I expect I had been for a little while.  I don’t know whether it was because the monitor wasn’t working properly, or because I physically looked like I was only in early labour (thank you hypnobirthing!) but they were very surprised but asked me to start pushing.

Pushing was a relief, although with her facing the wrong way and needing a bit more ‘encouragement’ to turn and come out, it took 2 hours from there. Right at the end the midwives thought they would need to do an episiotomy but thankfully at 3.17pm, 24 hours after my waters broke, Miss M arrived! She was 7lbs 7oz with a mop of light brown hair and the most beautiful little baby girl I had ever seen! She was put on my chest immediately for a skin-on-skin cuddle and she stayed there for a long time. Mr M cut the umbilical cord after it had stopped pulsing. After some lovely cuddles for what seemed like hours, she was cleaned up and weighed and then back on my chest where she ‘breast-crawled’ for her very first feed – hungry baby! It’s magical how they just know what to do – I think I was still a bit shocked and clueless!

I was just so happy that she had arrived safely and despite not being able to give birth in water, I had the calm and peaceful birth I had hoped for. I had some gas which helped to regulate my breathing and the midwives were just wonderful, they took such good care of me.

Afterwards I was told I had lost about 1.4 litres of blood all up and I felt so weak and exhausted. I tried to hobble to the bathroom myself but fainted in dramatic style. Other than feeling weak and a bit sore from stitches I had, I felt elated and so happy. I stayed in the hospital that night and the one after and then we headed home as a threesome!

Although earlier than we expected, I loved my birth experience and wouldn’t change a thing. I managed to adopt the hypnobirthing techniques I had learned to the situation I actually ended up in and I’m so grateful to my husband and to the midwives for supporting me through it. Hypnobirthing made a terrifying experience into a wonderful, empowering one for me and has changed my life forever. I so hope to have a similarly calm and peaceful experience with baby #2 so watch this space and keep your fingers crossed for me!

A friend of mine, and fellow blogger, Evie had a different experience to mine entirely which was also vastly different from the one she had planned. Hop on over to Muddle Through Mama to read about her ‘Birth Story’ and C Section experience.

Did you get the labour and birth experience you had planned?  Let me know if you had a hypnobirth or if you’re thinking about it.

How to get the house ready for a Newborn Baby - lovefrommim.com Parenting New Parents New Mum New Baby Products Newborn Baby Products What do newborn babies need Getting the house ready for a baby Bringing baby home

Read next:

*  Joys of Pregnancy – the things they didn’t tell you
*  8 things I LOVE about being Pregnant
*  Pregnancy Updates
*  Travelling with Babies & Toddlers Series
Some of my favourite new baby items (affiliate links):

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28 Comments

  1. 13th December 2014 / 7:01 am

    This is such a great birth story, so refreshing to hear of a positive experience!
    My own natural birth story is about as awful as it gets but I did go on to have a very positive c-section experience with my second child.
    I think feeling you have some control (even if it’s just through the decisions you’re allowed to make) is what makes the difference.
    Great post. Best of luck with this birth, fingers crossed its just as good!
    Xx

    • 19th December 2014 / 3:05 pm

      Oh thank you :) It was incredibly positive and has empowered me so much – I want a repeat performance for the next one :) I’m so glad you had a positive experience too :) :)

  2. 15th December 2014 / 9:57 pm

    Great birth story. I planned not to plan for my first daughter’s birth. There’s a history of labour complications in my family so, like you, I was more interested in staying calm and going with the flow. Breathing techniques and a TENS machine got me through the first 24 hours and a bit of gas gave me the boost I needed for the final 15 hours. It was epic! I’m aiming to go for as little intervention as possible with my second little girl – hopefully things will move along a lot quicker! Good luck with labour 2! X

    • 19th December 2014 / 3:06 pm

      Thanks Claire! Ah I’ve heard of the TENS machine but didn’t know anyone who’d used it yet. good luck to you too and thank you! :)

  3. 18th December 2014 / 9:36 am

    How lovely to read! I have had to have an emergency and elective sections with my son & twins x #brilliantblogposts

  4. 18th December 2014 / 8:13 pm

    Love these posts with both my work and mummy hats on! I never used hypnobirth techniques but I have assisted women in labour who have and have seen first hand how well it works! x

    • 19th December 2014 / 3:08 pm

      Thank you so much! It’s awesome isn’t it – the power of the mind :) Ooh what a lovely experience for you being able to help other women give birth :)

  5. 18th December 2014 / 9:56 pm

    such an amazing experience isn’t it! loved reading your story, I’ve not tried hypnobirthing but if i ver have aother baby big IF i will be looking it up. thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

    • 19th December 2014 / 3:09 pm

      Ah thank you and yes, definitely give it a shot if you go again :) :)

  6. 19th December 2014 / 10:09 pm

    Thank you for sharing your birth story, it’s always great reading other experiences. Congratulations on your pregnancy and all the best with your second birth.

    Thanks for linking up to #SundayStars.

  7. 20th December 2014 / 1:37 pm

    What a wonderful birth story, thanks for sharing and linking up to #brilliantblogposts. Happy holidays x

    • 7th January 2015 / 1:40 pm

      Thank you so much!! Happy New Year :) :)

  8. Georgia
    21st December 2014 / 9:24 pm

    I used hypnosis and feel I had a similar experience to yourself, although my LO wasn’t premature. Part that especially rings true is everyone being so surprised at how dilated you were. Wishing you all the best with birth number two.

    • 7th January 2015 / 1:40 pm

      Ah thank you! I’m a firm believer in self-hypnosis, I really really hope to have a similar experience this time round :)

  9. 4th January 2015 / 11:13 am

    Loved reading this! I am due no4 in 12 days! I haven’t done any hypnobirthing classes but I have used relaxing music and found what I could on youtube! :)

    • 7th January 2015 / 1:41 pm

      Oh you’re so close – that’s wonderful!! Good luck for the birth :) :)

  10. 4th January 2015 / 10:10 pm

    Great that you had a positive experience! Both my births were good actually, the second was so fast though and my husband wasn’t able to be there due to illness so my friend stood in! It was very quick the second time, but both were born in the water and positive thinking did really help! Good luck! Thanks for linking up with Sunday stars x Julia – Rainbeaubelle

    • 7th January 2015 / 1:41 pm

      Ahh I would love water births too – how wonderful! Have you written any posts about your births? I’d love to have a read! :)

  11. 22nd January 2015 / 9:27 pm

    Your hospital sounds fantastic. I love that they offer the classes. How fantastic that they had such a positive impact for you. It was so lovely to read about your ‘magical hour’ after the birth. I wish I could have let Sophie have the chance to ‘breast-crawl’. We were shown a video of this at a breastfeeding class – its amazing! Thank you for linking up your #birthstory x

    • 24th January 2015 / 1:46 pm

      It was such a wonderful hospital – in Sydney unfortunately so going to a UK one this time but all looks well so far if I do end up there :) I remember that video and until it actually happened I didn’t think it could be real but it was amazing :)

  12. 23rd January 2015 / 8:43 pm

    What a fabulous post. It’s refreshing to find a positive birth story these days. I don’t know anybody whose had a straightforward delivery with their children recently and it’s such a shame. Women really want it to be as natural as possible. I would have loved to have tried hypnobirthing but it’s not really offered around here! Such a shame. Thanks for linking up, lovely to read x

    • 24th January 2015 / 1:47 pm

      Thanks so much Jade! It really was so wonderful – I really hope this next one is the same as I have high hopes now :)

  13. 18th April 2015 / 9:42 pm

    Great idea to document your labour – I did the same thing albeit in less detail after having my little girl. I think it’s great to share your story, and it does really go to show that labour can vary so much from 1 person to the next. My friend tried hynobirthing but her little boy had different ideas and she didn’t get to use it, although did say that the relaxation techniques she learnt helped with contractions.

    I think it’s good to have an ‘ideal’ but not be too tied to it in case the baby follows their own plan!

    All the best and good luck with #2!

    Rhi Rhi xx

    • 23rd April 2015 / 4:00 pm

      Thank you so so much! :) I completely agree – good to plan but you have to see what happens on the day and go with it :)

  14. 5th June 2015 / 8:03 pm

    I never heard of a hypnobirth before. Is there any difference from the normal antenatal classes?

    I had three epidurals. 1 and 2 were great. The third was scary! It somehow went up instead of down. I could feel everything below my waist but it paralyzed the left side of my upper body and face. :/ When I told the anaesthesiologist she did very well to keep a straight, unconcerned, face. However I could see the fear in the midwives eyes! After what felt like 20mins of sitting on the bed saying, I still can’t feel my face the contractions got excrutiating. I lied and said my face was fine so that they’d let me push!
    Childbirth was agony, they gave me something stronger than the normal epidural into my spine. It felt like ice and went all over my body. It was wonderful!!

    I got my perfect little girl and she is wonderful but if I go again I will think twice about an epidural!

    • 6th June 2015 / 3:37 pm

      You should definitely research hypnobirthing as an alternative to pain relief :) I was put off by epidurals because I was worried they might not work or go wrong like yours did! Although I’ve had friends who had wonderful experiences with them too, like your first two :)

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