Two Incredible Inductions
The Births of Brothers - Two Incredible Inductions
Taking a hypnobirthing class with Linda is honestly one of the best decisions of my life. Hypnobirthing helped give me two incredible birth experiences and taught me invaluable techniques that I have no doubt I’ll tap into for the rest of my days.
Whilst I was over the moon to be pregnant with my first child, the thought of giving birth filled me with fear and dread. When I envisaged what it may be like, I imagined a typical movie scene - bright lights, lying on the flat of my back, legs in stirrups, screaming, and lots of panicked staff rushing around. The majority of birth stories I’d listened to from friends and family were far from pleasant and being an avid ‘One Born Every Minute’ viewer, I had no idea how I was going to cope with the trauma of labour and birth. That is until I met Linda!
I had never heard of hypnobirthing but the idea that there may be something that could possibly make my baby’s birth anything less than horrific was pretty appetizing! My partner and I tried a taster session and whilst my other half was seduced more by Linda’s magnificent brownies and calming voice, I was intrigued by this alien concept and eager to learn more. Together, we decided we had nothing to lose by giving it a shot. And boy are we pleased we did!
Everything that hypnobirthing stands for is so logical. There’s nothing hippyish or airy-fairy about it, as I had initially presumed. It really resonated with me from the get-go. I devoured the Hypnobirthing book by Katherine Graves in a couple of days. I found it fascinating and so enlightening. The course with Linda then helped to expand on and solidify the key concepts, and relate them to our particular circumstances, as well as helping us get to grips with the core hypno techniques.
My partner and I felt the same sense of enthusiasm and excitement when we left that first class and couldn’t wait to return. We practiced the relaxation techniques together at home, including massage and listening to scripts. They were so intimate and calming and we both felt a wonderful connection afterwards. No matter how stressful or tiring our day had been, we went to sleep feeling happy and calm whenever we took the time to practice together. We soon began to associate things such as the aromatherapy scent and piano music from the hypno class with a sense of instant calm and deep relaxation.
I had a really enjoyable first pregnancy and was looking forward to what I had now begun to envisage as my ideal birth. Until, at week 36, I developed Obstetric Cholestasis, a pregnancy-related liver condition that put my unborn baby at risk and required my labour to be induced as soon as it was viable. This news threw me into a tail-spin. I was so upset to not be able to have the natural birth I’d hoped for and felt like all my hypnobirthing techniques would now go to waste. But having taken a day to digest the news, and after speaking to Linda and my partner, I realised that very little would actually change. I could still practice all the techniques I’d learnt and use almost all the anchors we had planned, improvising where necessary. I felt empowered and confident to ask the right questions of the obstetricians and midwives and ultimately make my own decisions rather than being told what ‘had to happen’.
The birth itself was an incredible experience. I can safely say that, without hypnobirthing, it would have been a very different story. I honestly have no idea what we would have done without it. The midwives supported our hypno preferences and several of them even commented on how calm the room was when they entered. We had soft music, low lighting, LED candles, scripts, massage etc, it was all very intimate. Most importantly, my partner and I worked as a team, and were totally in tune with each other throughout. I had a couple of wobbly moments and each time he used the techniques he’d learnt to calm me down and refocus my mind. It worked like a dream. My beautiful baby boy was born into a room filled with oxytocin and endorphins, it was magical!
Fast forward to pregnancy number two and we felt like we needed hypno more than ever! Life was busy and the pregnancy flew by, so we thrived on those moments to calm down and connect. Second time round I didn’t need to convince myself that the hypno concepts were true because I now had first hand experience. Nonetheless, we found Linda’s refresher course invaluable to remind us of the principles and talk through the first birth - what we could learn from it and apply to the next one.
Once again I contracted the liver condition in late pregnancy but this time the news didn’t phase me. Once admitted to hospital for my induction, I tapped into my trusted ‘up breathing’ and relaxing music to zone out the noise from other labouring mums in the ward, for the stretch and sweep, when the midwife broke my waters, and of course when the surges began. I danced round the ward to help get things moving, did squats and lunges, I even started a dancing train with the midwives!
My second son was born so quickly I feel like we hardly had time to practice many of the hypno techniques but in reality the ones we did use were all the more important given how intense the labour was as a result of its speed. My partner was in awe at how ‘in the zone’ I was and couldn’t believe it when my son’s head appeared! I had remained so calm throughout, he was convinced baby was nowhere near being born! Another equally incredible birth experience to say the least.
And so I will end this rambling story by blaming my sleep deprived state for its wordiness and thanking Linda for introducing us to the powers of hypno. Only this evening I benefited from some deep breathing relaxation to help calm me after a particularly trying day. I couldn’t praise hypnobirthing highly enough and encourage anyone having a baby to give it a try - you’ve got nothing to lose and some pretty awesome birth stories to gain.... thank you Linda! Xx