BIRTH STORY: Millie’s Calm Hypno-Birth
From the moment I found out I was pregnant (at 10 weeks with my first child) all I could think about was how scared I felt about giving birth. I'd have nightmares about it. I used to think about all the birth stories I'd heard throughout my life which only instilled horror and fear in me. I was petrified of the idea that in less than nine months I would be giving birth myself. Little did I know that giving birth would be the most amazing, empowering experience that I could have ever imagined and that I would be sitting here holding my baby on my chest writing about my positive birth experience.
It all happened when I started reading about hypnobirthing and I got hooked. I decided that I wanted to work really hard throughout my pregnancy to change my negative feelings connected with birth into a positive mindset.
I looked up Positive Birth Movement groups around my area and luckily I found Miriam from Parent Tribe. My husband and I attended her hypnobirthing course and we left feeling really positive and confident that my body was made for giving birth. We understood our choices and how important it would be for us to both feel in control, calm and confident. That is when I started to really believe in a positive birth experience and that my husband and I could make it happen by doing lots of practice throughout my pregnancy.
I really enjoyed my pregnancy and my husband and I made sure we spared 10minutes each day to practice visualisations and relaxations that we had learnt throughout the hypnobirthing course. By the time I was 40 weeks pregnant, there was still no sign of baby making an appearance. Luckily, all was good with baby and myself so I wanted to wait patiently for baby to come when he/she was ready. My midwife started pressuring me to book an induction as it was routine around 41/41.5 weeks to induce after a due date. However, I declined induction as I was so determined to trust my body and for my baby to come naturally so long as there was no risk to us both. In the meantime, I kept very active. I only allowed myself to hear positive birth stories and I went to a reflexology session to help relax me. I also had positive birth statements all around the house and kept reading them a few times a day to remind me to keep positive and wait patiently. Miriam introduced me to doTerra's beautiful essential oils and I had baths using the clary sage oil (known as a uterine tonic!).
All of this seemed to do the trick as at 41 +1 weeks pregnant, I woke up feeling different and knew that something might be happening that day.
It was Sunday 21st January 2018, a perfect day for baby to arrive as my husband wasn't working. I knew he would be the best birth partner after all the practice we did together for the past 10 weeks. It is like our baby was waiting for the perfect day when I could relax knowing my husband would be around all day to support me.
I started having surges at 9am. They were happening every 8 minutes and I was calmly getting through them. I let my body relax and I really felt that I was letting go with the help of listening to my music, using the TENS machine and having a massage. I was even managing to fall into a deep sleep for a few minutes between surges. As they got stronger, I found that I wanted to be alone in bed with my headphones listening to relaxations. By around 4pm I was feeling really uncomfortable and sat on my birth ball in front of the TV watching a funny episode of Friends - funnily enough the episode where Phoebe gives birth to triplets! By 5pm, the surges were very strong and I was very uncomfortable. In the end, I had to sit on the toilet seat as that was the only place I felt I could manage the powerful surges. All of a sudden I got a very strong urge to push and I honestly thought I was going to give birth whilst sitting on the toilet seat! My husband called the hospital to let them know how I was doing and to ask them to start filling the pool at the birth centre (I really wanted a pool birth). The midwife suggested that we made our way to hospital as soon as possible when she heard me shouting that the baby was coming in the toilet! We left the house at 6.05pm (with alot of help from my husband to get me out of the toilet seat) and we got to East Surrey Hospital birthing unit at 6.18pm. Worst 13 minutes car journey ever! I honestly felt our baby was going to come in the car and my husband had no choice but to park in the ambulance parking space and wheel me into the hospital in a wheelchair as fast as possible.
We went straight to the birth centre where the midwives had already started filling up the birth pool. My two midwives were amazing. They took the time to read my birth proposal and respected the fact that I wanted to hypnobirth (I was lucky to have both midwives trained in hypnobirthing). When I was examined, I couldn’t beleive it when the midwife said she could see the baby’s head and baby will be here in no time! At that point, the midwives stopped filling the pool as they said there was no time for me to get in it. That news gave me so much energy to just let my body go, be in control and work with the powerful surges as I knew they weren't going to last long!
The midwives just left me to birth my baby. I pushed when I felt the urge to push, leaning on a sofa and concentrating on my breathing.
Twenty minutes later at 6.38pm, our beautiful baby daughter, Millie Rose Hamilton, came into the world serenely and calmly, weighing 7lbs3oz. The placenta followed naturally 10 minutes later and I only had a very small tear which was perfectly manageable with a few stitches.
I felt on top of the world. It was the most incredible and powerful experience of my life. As soon as Millie was born, I felt like I wanted to experience it all over again. It was such a beautiful moment when my husband told me we had a baby girl (we kept the sex a surprise as I wanted my husband to announce the sex to me). I'll never forget it.
It was such an overwhelming and magical experience holding our beautiful baby girl in my arms for the first time. The midwives respected our wish to have the golden hour (the first hour) just us: my husband, Millie and I and it was perfect. The whole experience was simply magical, perfect and makes me want to cry with happy emotions every time I think about it.
Hypnobirthing does work! Even when I was stressed during the car journey to the hospital, I used the techniques I had learnt on Miriam's course to stay calm and focussed. Every woman should believe that her body is amazing and designed perfectly to grow and birth a baby.