The Birth Story of Eleanor
Lizzie and Dan booked a private course with Miriam Greaves Hypnobirthing. They practiced every day, had positive birth affirmations up around their home and even laminated their relaxation scripts ready for the birth! They were committed to getting their minds in a really calm and confident place and it certainly paid off! Lizzie reflects on their amazing experience...
At the beginning of my pregnancy a home birth never crossed my mind. I assumed I'd have my baby in hospital just like my first. However, as we progressed with our hypnobirthing journey, Miriam, so wonderfully informative, listened to our fears, hopes and concerns that surrounded this birth and gave us the tools we needed to make our own decision. My first didn't exactly go to plan and left my husband (more so than me) traumatised by the whole experience. Miriam worked with us both to release these fears and we contacted the East SurreyHospital Home Birth Team for their opinions. After a lot of research, we decided that a home birth was right for us and right for our baby.
I had my favourite affirmations hung up in the living room where I could read them everyday, as well as a few random ones displayed around the house. I had my purple cushion with lavender oil on the sofa and my bed to help me relax when practising our scripts and visualisations. We practised every night and even when struggling with staying calm with our two year old, the breathing techniques came in very helpful.
So it all started with a few light surges at 5am on the Friday morning. I laid in bed for about an hour before waking my husband. We'd had a false start a week before so I wasn't convinced it wasn't the real thing. My daughter woke at 6am (weirdly early for her) and the first thing she said was "are the doctors going to check baby sister today?" My heart filled and I said "yes, maybe we will see baby sister very soon." So we all got into bed together and started to watch Kung Fu Panda! I don't remember a lot of it as I was focused on my 'up breathing' as my surges got gradually stronger. At 7am we called the Home Birth Team who sent out the lovely midwives. My husband packed my big baby girl off to her nanas and everything became a whole lot more real. The midwives arrived at 8am and were amazing at keeping both of us calm and in control, everything was our decision! I chose to have an examination at 8.30am and was around 4cms-this was a huge shock! Within the next hour my surges got increasingly stronger, but still very manageable. My husband was great with telling me visualisations and reading my affirmations off the wall. I had laminated our scripts in preparation but never even had time to get them out. I got downstairs and was leaning over my birthing ball when I felt that 'pressure'. My waters broke and the midwives agreed the pool was warm enough so I could get in. My husband did an amazing job of keeping me focused throughout and bringing me back down when I started to lose the plot. Mirroring breathing really helped me. Just a few gentle concentrated down breathes and she was here. At 9.38am our newest baby girl was born. Our midwife guided her through my legs and I lifted her up onto my chest. We sat in the pool for a couple of minutes and as the water wasn't quite up to temperature we had to get out, but remained together sitting on my sofa cuddled in towels. I birthed my placenta naturally 5 minutes later while my baby girl started to latch and feed! The previous fears of a post-partum haemorrhage were diminished and we got through the whole experience with no gas and air and very minimal bleeding. We sat together on the sofa for hours while the midwives helped my husband to empty the pool and clean up. My midwives, Emma Motley and Alison Raine were amazing at looking after us all. I have to say I was completely at ease with them both and they left all the weighing and checks until we were ready. My baby girl spent the whole day having skin to skin with either me or my husband and we slept and cuddled on the sofa enjoying our undisturbed time together. It was a truly magical experience. Go with your gut and take all advice with a pinch of salt. If I hadn't listened to Miriam when we discussed exploring all the options and her encouragement to take control of our birth, in addition to the Home Birth Team looking into my notes of my previous birth, I would've most certainly gone along with my consultants advice to have this baby in hospital. I'm so grateful to those three wonderful women that helped me realise and make this pregnancy and birth the experience I wanted and should've always been.