Leïla’s Birth - How A Second Birth Healed A Traumatic First Birth
I wanted to let you know that I gave birth to our little girl, Leïla, on the 7th of June! Thank you so much for the hypnobirth class... we had an amazing experience.
I have to admit that I was not completely convinced of the "hypnobirthing power", especially after the birth of my son, which was a bit traumatic, 18 months ago... I was really wondering how I could keep control during painful surges. I listened to the MP3’s nearly every night since the class in February, but I did not finish reading the book and I felt that I did not practice the breathing and visualisation exercices enough...
The labour started on the 6th of June around 10pm, and the first surges were quite intense. I was a bit worried about our toddler as I wanted to ensure that our friends could come home before we had to go to the hospital, so I did not manage to focus on my breathing and visualisation at first... Once I knew they were on their way, I put down all the lights in our flat, lighted up a candle and started working on my breathing with the MP3’s you sent to us.
The best images for me at this stage were the bubbles and the sun rise. I kept walking in our flat and for each surge I was holding my husband shoulders, breathing the way you taught us and visualising the bubbles or sunrise. I asked my husband not to talk at all in order to stay in my "bubble" during each surge. The caseload midwife arrived around midnight to check me before going to hospital. She was really happy to see how the hypnobirth technique was working (although I told her that I was not an expert and was still open to pain relief if needed). She observed me and read some of the hypnobirth material you gave us. Around 2am she did not think that I was ready to go to the hospital (I was only 2cm dilated) and suggested to leave and wait for my call.
However, I told her that I could feel that things were happening as the surges were more intense. I could still walk and talk between each surge, which was amazing comparing to my 1st experience for my son (I could just cry between surges). She listened to me and told me that if I wanted I could go and she will meet me at the hospital. I took my headphones for listening to the recordings in the taxi and my husband kindly asked the driver to stop talking during the surges (I was squeezing his hand) as I really needed to focus.
When we arrived at the hospital, around 2.30am, another midwife welcomed us and told me that I was getting the last room available in the home from home (really lucky). The surges were more frequent, longer and intense so it took me some time to walk to the room. When my caseload midwife arrived, I heard the midwife who welcomed us telling her that she could see the surges were very intense but I was still smiling in between (so nice for me to hear that because I was being so rude during the labour before I got the epidural for the birth of my son). This was encouraging. My caseload midwife checked and was surprised as I was at 9-10cm. Unfortunately, she told me that the pool would probably not be ready on time (I don't know why but I really wanted to go in the pool), and she offered me some gas and air. I preferred not to take anything as I was thinking this might distract me. I took a shower and the surges were really strong. I felt that I could not control my breathing anymore and remembered that as you told us, the stronger the surges, the closer we are to meet with our baby. I was talking to the baby a lot telling her that we can do it, we are strong. The midwife asked me to go on my all 4 on the top of the bed.
I really lost control when I started feeling the head of the baby... I was not breathing anymore and the baby was going back. But the midwife was great, like a coach, she told me to remember what I learned during the hypnobirth class, that I did an amazing job so far and I could do it. I re-focussed, visualised a rose opening up, changed to breathing from my nose only and ensured that my face was not tensed (something you told us to do when breathing which was a surprise at first). I also remembered the picture of the uterus with the arrow going up and down (this really helped me understanding how to breath effectively to help the baby) and tried to see myself with our little girl. This worked and our baby was born at 3.44am. The midwife showed me the placenta (really interesting to see). I did not tear (although I had an episiotomy the 1st time). Physically, although exhausted, I was feeling great and managed to take a shower 1 hour after the birth. We came back home in the evening.
The whole experience was amazing, my husband really helped by holding me during each surges and listening to what I needed. I kept walking / standing up during the whole time until I got on my all 4. The midwife was great and really really impressed by the hypnobirth. She told me several times that it was a beautiful birth.
Since then, I cannot stop talking about hypnobirthing. My midwife, asked me your details and 2 pregnant friends in France did some researches and got some MP3’s and a book.
Sorry for the long e-mail, but writing it brings back great memories! Thanks again for helping us experiencing such a great birth.