Dear Katherine,

Hypnobirthing family, mum and baby thriving after birthIt’s Elena, I  attended your hypnobirth class with my husband Gianluca a couple of months ago. Our son Oliver was born last Friday, we’re both well and I wanted to share my birth story with you.

In the last weeks of my pregnancy I made my priority to stay relaxed and focussed on the imminent arrival of my baby, practicing breathing, yoga, visualisation, listening to the CDs and talking to the baby. My due date came, then week 41, and then week 42. I was only 1cm dilated and experiencing mild contractions, and an induction was scheduled on the last day of week 42. I also had 3 acupuncture treatments, sex, and a lot of raspberry leaf tea.

In the end I had to surrender to the fact that my baby was not coming exactly how I wanted him to, despite I had been doing all the right things.

First day of induction at RPA didn’t do much, it only softened my cervix a bit. On the morning of the second day my waters were broken by the doctor, and I was attached to a drip of synthetic oxytocin. By 10am I was in active labour. I had no access to shower or bath, baby heartbeat was constantly monitored, and I had lots of uncomfortable internal examinations, nevertheless I managed to stay calm focussed and silent for at least 2 hours. Then contractions became really strong, baby heartbeat dropped, there was talk of an emergency c-section, but I was already 10cm and I managed to give birth vaginally, with the help of that vacuum thing.

My son was born after only 4 and a half hours of labour, and I managed the contractions without having to ask for any gas or morphine or epidural, and I think hypnobirth made me achieve that.

The midwife said I did extremely well and it’s uncommon for delivery ward to see women so relaxed during labour.

My husband did an amazing job, understanding what I needed and when, giving me massage, love, telling me when I needed to relax my shoulders more, and giving me kind words of encouragement. I am proud to say I never swore, nor cursed him or the pain.

I found amazing how the sensations of baby moving down into the birth canal; the need to push, and the way my baby latched to my breast straight away; were extremely familiar feelings, as if I had done it before.

So I thank you for your teachings, they were very precious to me in these less than ideal circumstances.

I hope next birth will be a bit more natural, but if I did well through this, I can do anything!

When I tell my girlfriends the details of my labour and delivery I get sympathy and comments like “that must have been hard, I hope you recover well” but actually all I felt was working hard together with my baby and sharing an amazing moment with him once he was born.

Elena

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