Georgie’s Birth – When Things Go Against You At First
We’ve had the baby! Now proud parents to a little boy called Tristan, born 04.57am on Thursday.
I wanted to say thank you and share with you my birth story, of which I believe is solely down to doing hypnobirthing and all my work with you.
First signs of labour were actually feeling my waters breaking, about 4.30pm on Wednesday followed by some mild surges about every 30mins or so. Owain came home and we cooked some pasta for dinner and I danced around to uplifting soul music to keep moving & positive. As the surges grew stronger we went to our bedroom and listened to the hypnobirthing music and did the partner’s script followed by a visualisation or two. By this point the surges were getting stronger and I moved to the toilet & landing outside as we walked up and down the stairs listening to your positivity in birthing recording during surges. By 10.30pm I’d reached the ‘3 in 10mins’ threshold and decided to go to hospital (as just wanted to get the journey over with). The taxi driver was hilarious as he felt so lucky to be driving us & acted like he was in a movie, driving far too fast & getting over excited as he dropped us off!
Once at the hospital my progress had predictably slowed and things started to go against me, but I’m proud to say I managed to stay calm and relaxed. The first disappointment was that the natural Birthing Unit at Chelsea Westminster (with individual rooms, birthing pools etc) were so full they didn’t even want to check how dilated I was. Once I persuaded them to check me (I was adamant I didn’t want to be checked down at the general labour ward for fear of end up delivering there) they said I was only 2cm dilated! You can imagine how gutted I was by this point as I had been 6 hours of labouring for only 2cm! They gave me 2 paracetemol and told me to go home - I couldn’t face that so kept asking for other options and ended up being offered a bed on the general labour ward for women who had been induced & were awaiting going into labour. When I got there I found it stressful as was put in a corner bed of a small room with 6 other beds and only curtains to separate us. There was no room to move or use my ball. All the other women were asleep or trying to rest & it was deadly quiet but for the sound of baby heart monitors which I found overwhelming.
I think this is where all my work with you paid off the most as I trusted my instinct and went back out into the corridor with Owain and started to pace up and down the corridor listening to your recordings and breathing through the surges. I remember holding his hand and focusing on the anchor point we had created only that day - it meant such a lot to me to tap into the inner strength and confidence. By keeping moving I felt like I was riding the waves. When I tired we stopped at some chairs in the corridor or I leaned against the midwife’s reception desks and I breathed (and groaned) for about 2-3 hours through the night. This was the toughest part but by then the midwives kindly ran me a bath next to our labour ward and (although it was confined) the warm water helped distract me. By this point the surges were so strong and frequent that the midwives checked me again: now at 6.5cm dilated they said they found space for me back at the birthing unit and I walked back around, with an eye mask on to keep out the fluorescent lights & with Owain guiding me. I must have looked hilarious but was obviously beyond caring!
At the birthing unit they gave me a room and began running the water bath for me. By this point it was 3am and I was struggling a lot more with the strength of the surges on my body, the pressure to bear down was so strong and I resorted to gas & air, waiting nearly an hour to get the bath filled & to the right temperature! I breathed & moaned but refused any other pain relief just because. I am so proud I was able trust my instinct and kept questioning and being involved in the midwife’s decisions. Within the next hour my body rushed towards 10cm dilated and I made sure I got into the water as soon as possible. There I felt a lot calmer and was able to use the gas & air to focus on using my breath. I remember Owain coaching me throughout this tough stage, reminding me to breathe and ‘blow it out, let it go’. His words were so powerful & he knew what to say from our sessions with you.
The rest was amazing - the power and strength of my body to push my baby out was immense. I had this innate belief that he could fit through my birth canal and he did (just! a little tearing but typical for first time mothers apparently). It was such a privilege to be able to give birth in the way I had wanted, with limited intervention, and by trusting my body.
Tristan was born 04.57am. The whole labour had been just over 12 hours, but I had moved from 2cm to 10cm in about 5 hours and felt ‘in the zone’ for most of it. I was able to stretch and move my body right up to the end, walking, lunging and even climbing out of the bath unaided. I was able to focus on finishing the marathon the entire time, and rarely felt like giving up. I made decisions and was listened to. I attribute all of this down to hypnobirthing.
Thank you so much for all your help & guidance, your positive encouragement during our sessions made all the difference and I thought of what you had said in my training a lot. You understood and helped me let go of my fears and for that I will be forever grateful!
Now onto recovery & getting to the coffee shop at the end of the road! Owain and I are doing relatively well for sleep & nappies and Tristan is so gorgeous - I am besotted. So far we’re hooked so hopefully will see you again for no.2!