This is my birth story which I sent to my hypnobirthing instructor, Kathy:
I gave birth a week ago on 12 Feb. I guess my story kind of goes like many of the other hynobirthing ones- that no one believed I was in real labour because I wasn’t audibly screaming in agony. I also progressed through the final stages at lightning speed.
We first went to the hospital when I’d been having 5 minute apart surges for 18 hours and my waters started to leak. The midwives monitored my surges and said it looked like I was still in early stages as they didn’t appear too strong and I was also still able to just talk through it. I felt like things were starting to progress quickly and wanted to be admitted, but the midwives insisted I could still be in this stage for another “10-12 hours” as I was a first-time mother. They didn’t want to check how dilated I was as this meant they would have to admit me and intervene medically if I didn’t progress quickly. Wanting to stick to a natural birth, in the end, we were convinced to go home.
I should have stuck to my instincts though, as literally in the car ride home, I could already feel my surges revving up. Almost immediately after I got home, my waters gushed out, my surges got suddenly violent (pushing downwards), and I started feeling the urge to push. However, despite that, I did doubt how far along I was because the hospital kept telling me I was still in early stages and even advised me not to push when V called them up again to update them on my progress. They were quite unconvinced since they had JUST seen us! I should have trusted my own body but being a first-time mother, I didn’t know better. At least I did have enough sense in me to tell the hospital we were coming back in although they strongly advised us to stay at home. They even stressed that if we came back in and they checked me and found I was still in early stages, they might send us home again.
By then, my surges were so strong I could barely walk. I did for a moment consider the thought of giving birth on my own at home because I didn’t think I would be able to survive the car ride. Somehow I did though and V had to get a wheelchair to take me in to the birth unit. Fortunately, there just so happened to be a birthing suite available when we went in. Being so convinced by the hospital that it was still going to be a while, I went to labour on the toilet while V even went to repark the car. The midwife took a while to come in and when she did, she asked if I could get on the bed so she could check my cervix. I told her I couldn’t move as my body was already automatically pushing so she reached round and touched me on the toilet and said “well done, it’s there”. At this stage, Vinh had just come back into the room and asked, “what’s there?” The midwife replied, “the head’. Suddenly, things swung into action. Midwives poured into the room and they quickly pulled a mat out so I could squat on the floor like I wanted to. I went from being told “not to push” to “push!” Within some 20 minutes, my daughter was out and immediately put on my skin. She was calm and alert and attached perfectly to the breast within the hour.
While I admit my end-stage breathing wasn’t anywhere near perfect, I did manage to hold it together and give birth somewhat calmly and silently. It was very calm anyway compared to the woman next door screaming her head off! The midwives were all very impressed with me and agreed it’s the way birthing should be (quick and easy) and welcomed me back to have my second child there in the future. The only pain relief I had was my TENS machine. I had also used the Epi-No in the last few weeks of pregnancy and my perineum did not tear. When the midwife who had seen us the first time around heard I’d already given birth, she couldn’t believe it and came into my room to see me for herself.
While in the moment, I felt like I did struggle to consciously relax and breathe as practiced (especially since I was exhausted in the end from a lack of sleep the night before due to the surges), in hindsight I feel hypnobirthing definitely aided me on a subconscious level. Subconsciously, my body knew what it was doing from all those months of visualisation and meditating on the scripts. It did a wonderful job even though I was tired and my head wasn’t always in the right space. None of my family and friends can believe how quickly I gave birth and how fast I recovered after as my body wasn’t traumatised. I am pretty sure the outcome would be quite different had I not done the course. Thanks, Kathy, for helping us learn how to welcome our daughter into the world so naturally and calmly and enabling her to have the best start in life.