During my first pregnancy I was positively overwhelmed.
There were so many books, leaflets and online resources telling me the do’s and dont’s of pregnancy and labour that I ended up reading up on every subject and taking my findings as cold hard facts. I had no birth plan because to me, it was the midwives that delivered the baby, I was just there to do as I was told!
After she was born, I was left in a deep state of shock. I had researched for hours upon hours, but realised I hadn’t learnt a single thing about what I wanted for myself and my own baby!
So when we found out we were expecting our second child, I was adamant that this time birth would be something that I am in charge of; not just something that I am present for.
I reached out to Natalie and arranged to meet her. She was everything I had hoped for; calming, friendly and overall, easy to talk to!
I was so invested in hypnobirthing after the course that I couldn’t wait for delivery day to arrive to put my new-found skills to good use!
It was 10pm on a Saturday evening and I was breastfeeding our daughter to sleep in our bed (for the second time that night!). I was 39+4 and most upset that I wasn’t already in labour yet – as I had been at this stage with our daughter two years ago. I remember dozing in and out of sleep when suddenly I felt a trickle of water. I laid there for a few moments convincing myself that it was all in my head, but soon enough there was another trickle.
I got out of bed and went into the lounge to tell my husband that I thought my waters had broken but that nothing else was happening just yet.
We decided to let our daughter continue to sleep, and that once the surges began, my husband would take her down to my parents’ house.
At 11:30pm I had my first tightening. It wasn’t intense, and this was a little disheartening! My labour with my daughter was 38 hours in total and I thought I was once again in for a long few days.
By 12am the surges were coming quite quickly and lasting for a few seconds at a time. I didn’t feel I could relax with our daughter sleeping so close by, so we decided it was time she was tucked up in bed with my mum with no possible distractions.
When my husband got back he ran me a lovely warm bath. By this point the surges had become uncomfortable and to be in the water was very soothing.
We put our birth playlist on and my husband brought me my essential oils to use.
I focused on my breathing exercises and reassured myself continuously that this was a natural process and that my body was doing exactly what it should be doing.
At 2am the surges were getting more intense. My husband called the home birth midwives to inform them that I was in labour and they told him to call back once the surges were more frequent.
I stayed in the bath until 4am when I’d had enough of being in there. My husband noted a shift in me, and asked if perhaps we should call the midwives back to see what they suggested.
He did, and as I was drying off, he came to say one was on their way to check me.
At 4:45am a midwife arrived. I was now in the living room, candles flickering and my birth playlist the only sound. It was calm, serene, and everything I needed it to be.
The midwife asked me to get onto the sofa so she could check me. I agreed hesitantly; I didn’t want to be disappointed, but I felt I needed to know my progression.
To my total surprise I was 10cm dilated and suddenly ready to push.
My husband and midwife put some sheets down from our birth box and prepared the room, all while my body was pushing and I was breathing through the surges.
My husband was sitting on the sofa and I was crouched in front of him with my arms tightly gripping onto his waist.
The pressure got more and more intense, until she informed us she could see baby’s head. My body was pushing and I did not feel I could control the urge, but the midwife told me he was coming out with one hand up by his head in the superman pose, so I needed to slow things down with my breathing in order for him to be guided out safely.
After a few more controlled breaths our baby boy was born. At 5:22am, just 32 minutes after the midwife had arrived!
I showered, got dressed and was in my own bed within half an hour feeding our baby and feeling on top of the world!
Natalie not only gave me the tools to have a calm and empowering birth, she also taught me that it was my own experience; and I was in control of how I dealt with each situation. Even if the labour had taken a different turn, I felt equipped to deal with anything we faced.
To know that I laboured in my own home with just my husband beside me will forever be credited to Natalie and her course. I trusted my body and went with whatever it needed to do. Her teaching meant I was calm, accepting, and happy in the knowledge that my body could birth my baby.
It was a beautiful experience, and I would (and do!) recommend Mama Bear Hypnobirthing to all of my friends!