After finding out I was pregnant I felt so excited to finally experience what pregnancy was like and also excited to finally get to use the techniques I had taught so many other couples. I had had a miscarriage three months previously so had understandably some anxiety that everything would be ok this time round.
We were given a reassurance scan and when we saw the heart beat flicker back at us I felt so much relief. From teaching Hypnobirthing I'm very aware of the impact that stress can have on the body and how aware developing babies can be so I made a point from that moment to become an expert in relaxation not just for me but for my growing baby.
I listened to my Hypnobirthing music and just loved how quickly I could switch off and destress and soon this became easier and easier with repetition. The only occasional distraction was my husband’s snoring. Stuart couldn't get more than three minutes into the music before he was sound asleep. I took such comfort in the fact that when I relaxed my baby did too and this was definitely apparent by the lovely movements I felt when I relaxed.
We found out the sex of the baby and felt this helped us bond even more and we just could not wait to become a family of three. As the end of my pregnancy approached I grew more and more excited to experience labour and put my practice to use and meet our precious baby. Seeing the difference in Stuart was amazing too. With the knowledge and skills he had from the Hypnobirthing course he knew what I needed from him as my birthing partner and he felt he had a role and a purpose in the labour environment. I'm sure he thought I was making him do the soothing strokes massage much more than it was required and maybe I did!.
When labour got going I was having regular surges and kept waiting on it to escalate to a level that I expected to be labour. Even with my knowledge of Hypnobirthing, I was still cynical I could relax enough in labour. More fool me! The techniques were excellent. I was calm and relaxed in the ward, bouncing on a birthing ball and listening to my Hypnobirthing music and keeping hydrated.
I felt so excited and at this point my surges were coming every four minutes. I was moved to the labour ward where I had lovely midwives that I knew well looking after me. The doctor came in and was suggested rupturing my membranes because they were concerned my labour wasn't advancing.
Stuart and I spoke it over and decided this would be a good idea. I had excessive fluid and when the baby’s head came down he was not in the optimum position for labour. I continued moving about and was dancing at the side of the bed, rotating my hips and we were all singing along to The Carpenters and the Dirty Dancing soundtrack.
The atmosphere in the room was calm, relaxed and fun. Things progressed quickly and I made the decision to have an epidural as the baby was back to back. It was something that personally I didn't feel made much of a difference as I was still aware of a deep pressure when it got to the height of my surge. The breathing techniques kept me calm and in control and at no point did I feel any fear at all.
The day staff then arrived and I saw Tracy, a midwife I had previously worked with, and I instantly felt calm and reassured. Tracy is hilarious and I knew her personality would keep the environment calm and happy. There was also a student midwife in the room who was so lovely and really curious about Hypnobirthing. I was explaining to Tracy that originally I wanted a pool birth but due to special circumstances here I was in the labour ward on an epidural
Stuart read scripts and I could feel my whole body relaxing down and felt the connection with my baby intensify. Within a couple of minutes the pressure feeling had gone and all I could hear and focus on was my breaths, my music, Stuart's voice, his touch and Tracy being generally awesome.
Time distortion happened and at one point I opened my eyes to a room full of doctors on the ward round and I didn't even know they had came into my room and the truth is I didn't care. At that point I felt like I was lying on the beach and could have continued like that for hours more. After a while I got examined. I was 9.5cm dilated but baby was still back to back. Through informed choice, I decided the best plan would be to go for a section. Having the confidence to choose what was right for us and our baby was incredible and I felt so empowered. Off to the theatre we went and I had my music playing in the theatre and there I remained calm and relaxed.
Our precious boy Jonah Wilson McGillivray was born on 30/06/2014 and weighed 9lb 1oz. He is the best thing that has every happened to us. He is such a calm and chilled out baby and everyone comments on this.
I never got the pool birth I planned but I truly believe I got the right birth on the day and can't wait to do it again!