A HypnoBirth story from the UK
This is the birth story of a UK couple's first birth - the Mom was terrified of birthing at first session. The couple was planning on a home water birth with midwives. The practitioner received the birth story from the Dad. Here is it:
My experience as a HypnoBirthing partner.
(My partner to be known as A throughout.)
A's waters broke at Midnight on the Sunday and surges were erratic and light so we phoned the midwives to inform them. They agreed that the waters had broke and we went back to sleep.
The following morning the surges were getting stronger but were still some time apart so we decided to go on one of our favourite walks. A was a bit tired and needed to stop walking as the surges grew in strength and were twenty minutes apart. We returned home, had lunch as normal and A went to bed for a nap, for a couple of hours. When she awoke the surges were nearer to 10 minutes apart so we rang the midwives again as planned and they came out to see how things were progressing.
When she arrived we told her about our birth plan and discussed where we up to in the labour. The midwife was happy to either stay or come back in a few hours once the surges were nearer to approximately five minutes apart. We decided to have tea and watch a film to relax so asked the midwife to return later. This did the trick because not much later the surges were down to about three minutes apart. So yet again we called the midwife out. This was approximately 19.00. I busied myself getting the pool ready and making sure everything was tidy and in place for the birth.
The midwife arrived and asked to do an internal examination. A agreed but said she only wanted the initial examination, and did not want any subsequent examinations. At this point A was not needing to relax through the surges so it would not break her concentration. I kept going through my prompt card and adding a few of my own to relax A down. Time seemed to be flying by at this stage, so I filled the pool to the maximum mark and A got in. She enjoyed the water as it made her feel light but the midwife kept on talking to A between the surges asking what she was experiencing. I tried to answer all the questions but she kept on asking A more. This broke A's concentration and she started to get agitated and hot. I was trying to calm A down and keep her cool by putting wet towels on her forehead and fanning her constantly. The surges continued to get stronger and closer but we were running out of time before we would have no option but to go to hospital. Neither of us wanted this at all....
A second midwife arrived and they went into the other room to discuss the case. When they returned I could tell it was not good news. A was getting tired and shaking through lack of food. With hindsight I felt I should have given A more food, but time seemed to go so fast and all I had given A from 7:00 pm til midnight was a banana. Unfortunately by this time it was 24 hours since A's waters had broken so we were told we had no option but to go to hospital due to the risk of infection to both A and the baby. Also the midwives said that A had to get out of the pool because she had been in for over 5 hours. I managed to persuade A to get out of the pool and then we had the awful conversation of going to hospital. I listened to all the reasons and eventually agreed there was a risk to mother and baby so we called an ambulance and off we went. All the time I was trying to keep A relaxed, and even though inside I was screaming I could not show any of this to A.
When we arrived at hospital we were ushered into a room and given over to a very "matter of fact" midwife. She insisted that A lie on her back on a bed whilst she attached her to a heart monitor for the baby and put an IV drip in her arm. This caused A to swear at her as she was not the gentlest, but the midwife said she wanted at least twenty minutes on the monitor. Lying back on a bed was the last thing we wanted, so as soon as twenty minutes was up I removed the baby monitor and took A in to the bathroom so she could sit on the toilet. Shortly after this another, younger midwife entered and addressed me directly explaining she would take over our care. When we went back into the room she had rearranged it to make it look less clinical, found us some peaceful music and offered me aromatherapy oils to use on A. This allowed me to truly relax A and concentrate on the training we had received. The only examinations she insisted on was a baby heart monitor pressed against A's stomach for a minute or two every ten minutes. As this was unobtrusive we did not mind.
Everything was going well with the new surroundings and midwife. A started to relax again and I kept on telling her everything was fine and the baby was fine. I was listening and talking to the midwife all the time without disturbing A and only telling her things that she really needed to know. The midwife even brought me a cup of tea. A was relaxing well. The surges were very strong and a lot more regular and the sucrose/IV drip was helping A to wake up and have a bit more energy to breathe the baby down. Unfortunately a couple of things got in the way and almost brought the labour to a complete standstill. The midwife asked A when was the last time she had urinated, which was about 7 hours previously. Therefore A tried to go to the toilet naturally but could not. The midwife explained that she needed to help A clear her bladder using a catheter and showed us on a chart why this was necessary, therefore I agreed. This was only the second time A had been in any real discomfort. Once her bladder was empty the baby moved further down due to the obstruction being taken away. The second problem was that A had become so relaxed she could not feel the surges building in strength, so she did not know when to breathe the baby down.
Again the midwife came to our help and placed a hand on A's stomach and told her when the surges were beginning to build. A started to push but she was getting very tired now, because the labour had been going for some 19 hours and we had been awake for nearly 36 hours with only a 2 hour nap inbetween. I was supporting A who was sat between my legs and leaning back against me, so I could not see the baby birthing. Therefore I asked the midwife for a mirror to watch the birth. Approximately 30 minutes later I watched a beautiful healthy baby boy being born into our world at a staggering 10lbs 10 and a half ounces, 56 cm long and 37 cm head circumference. Considering A is only 5ft 7 and a size 10-12, this was a big baby! She had no need of any stitches thanks to the perineal massage that we had carried out during the last 5 weeks of the pregnancy. The bit that staggered the midwife the most was the fact that the baby's heart beat never changed over the entire labour, which showed that the baby was relaxed throughout.
Baby was placed straight onto A and I cut the cord after I was certain it had stopped pulsating.
I think that had the baby not been so big and if the first midwife had not constantly talked to A at the beginning then it is possible we could have birthed him at home in our pool. Also if we had our last midwife first, things would have remained much more relaxed. We have told everyone who will listen about HypnoBirthing and believe it has helped us a lot to have a safe natural birth.
With hindsight we do not regret going to hospital as it was the best thing for mother and baby at the time. A has thanked me lots of times for my support during the labour and said she could not have done it without me. When I talked to other Fathers they said that during their babies' births they just stood and watched whilst holding their partners hand. I feel like I was part of the birthing experience, not just a bystander.
Norma Gillett MA
Member National Council for Hypnotherapy (Reg)
Member Hypnotherapy Register
Hypnotherapy Practitioner Diploma
HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator
Emotional Freedom and Theta Healing Practitioner
LifeStyle Hypnotherapy 01257 266815
Thanks for sharing this wonderful story, Norma. It shows how even with a special circumstance (transfer to a hospital), HypnoBirthing helped this couple stay in the right frame of mind AND helped this Dad be an interactive partner during the birth of their child.