Your Experienced Birth Educator
Sacha Taylor HBCE DipHB(KGH)
What a way to end 2013 for Serenity Birthing!
I taught 3 very different couples recently, all privately, but they were all due around the end of November to early December. And now that all the babies have been born, I am excited to share with you their stories…
This couple started their HypnoBirthing course with me at 32 weeks, but as they were planning a home birth, they dedicated themselves to practicing the techniques from day one and I loved the way they adapted some of the material to suit mum’s wishes so that all of the imagery and suggestions used were more personal for her.
They had an amazing home water birth, with the overall labour lasting just 12 hours, but amazingly mum did all her dilating (from 1cm – 9cm) in just 2 hours! Although the sensations were intense, mum managed it all without any pain relief and lifted her little baby girl out of the water herself, birthing exactly as they had hoped and planned – a lovely result for a dedicated couple!
This couple started their HypnoBirthing journey with me earlier on in their pregnancy and really benefitted from the course – I remember at the start how surprised they were that they had a choice on where to birth, having expected that the only option was to give birth in hospital. I loved watching their confidence grow as the course unfolded and they ended up deciding to birth their baby at the midwife-led Cossham Birth Centre.
Mum went into labour one evening and rang Cossham accordingly, only to be told that they were fully booked and they would have to go to Southmead hospital instead. As a result, her labour, which had been progressing calmly and normally up to that point, stopped. Her contractions stalled as they dealt with this unexpected turn of events, which can happen when mum becomes anxious or fearful for any reason. Once she accepted the new situation, however, things got going again and they phoned Southmead to let them know. Thankfully the midwife on duty suggested they check with Cossham again before going in, just in case, and they were delighted to find out a room had only just become available so they could go back to plan A and have their baby at the lovely new birth centre.
On arrival, in spite of her surges coming thick and fast, mum was only 0.5cm dilated, so they tried their best to relax and use their HypnoBirthing techniques for an hour or so…only to find out they were still only 1cm dilated. But instead of panicking or feeling disheartened, mum did a fantastic job of staying calm and focusing on the task at hand – it turns out there was something specific holding her back, and when it passed a short while later, she went from 1cm to 10cm at an incredible pace!
Less than an hour later (having only just managed to get into the birth pool in time) she birthed her little baby girl calmly and easily in spite of the various hurdles she had faced. She was the talk of Cossham as a result and everyone was amazed at how well she managed, with only 2 paracetemol needed throughout labour and birth.
This couple started their course with me at 34 weeks and had the wind taken out of their sails after just the first session when mum was diagnosed with a rare condition that changed everything for them and meant they were facing induction at 37-38 weeks. To their credit, they didn’t give up, they embraced HypnoBirthing completely and the outcome was quite simply extraordinary.
Using affirmations (positive statements to change the mind’s perception to events) that were specifically focused on keeping her medical condition under control, her body responded accordingly and the early induction was called off as no longer necessary. They knew they would still need to have a hospital birth and chose Bath Hospital due to their supportive stance on helping her have as natural a birth as possible in spite of the special circumstances.
In a classic case of mind over matter, mum found as she went past her due date that she was feeling more and more anxious – not so much about the birth itself, but because of several outside factors going on, beyond her control, that were causing her stress and worry. It was clear when we spoke 9 days past her due date that her body was ready to birth, but her mind was holding her back. Luckily, one of my HypnoBirthing colleagues, who is also a Reflexologist, was available to go and see mum the next day for a reflexology session and extra fear/release work to try and get her ready to labour naturally before her planned induction a couple of days later at 12 days past her due date.
Although her labour didn’t start on its own, all mum needed at the hospital was one pessary. Her waters released spontaneously at 8.30am the following morning, her labour started and baby was born at 12.50pm, less than 5 hours later!
Ending on a high
All three couples showed what a massive difference preparation can make to your birth experience, and for couples 2 & 3 in particular, everything they learned on the HypnoBirthing course made such a difference to their birth outcomes, enabling them to stay calm and relaxed in spite of obstacles that presented themselves along their birthing journeys.
I am truly proud and amazed at these couples, all with very different circumstances, as well as all the other mums & dads I’ve taught this year, who allowed me to be a part of their birth experiences and to help them achieve better births as a result. I’ve learnt so much from teaching them and can’t wait to see what 2014 will have in store!
It is, without a doubt, the best way to end an amazing year at Serenity Birthing and truly the best job satisfaction I’ve ever known – I love my job!