Prior to being pregnant, I hadn’t even heard of hypnobirthing, but I am so glad I found out about it, as it was such a useful tool to me. Very glad we did the 1-1 course with Rachel, Strong like Mama.
Our baby boy, Charlie was born on 16th January 2020. He is our first child, so we both had a lot of the usual worries and anxieties that most first time parents naturally experience.
My partner- Ben and I both feel that the hypnobirthing course really helped to put us on the same page in regards to our options and birth wishes, which is such an important part of the whole process.
We wanted my labour and birth to be as natural as possible, and didn’t want it to end in me having to have a C-Section. I wanted to ideally only use gas and air as pain relief, but was open to Pethidine if I felt I needed more. I didn’t want to have an epidural.
My labour began around 5am on the Tuesday, and Charlie wasn’t born until 12.27pm on the Thursday, so as you can probably guess, it didn’t quite go to our ‘Plan A’. In fact it was about 100% ‘Off Plan’. My labour wasn’t progressing over time at all. My contractions were constant, but unfortunately not becoming regular enough for me to continue with a totally natural birth, and there was a concern about infection, due to the delay between my waters breaking and labour progressing as it ‘should’. Rachel had been very informative during our course in regards to our options, and timeframes around all types of intervention, and we wanted to avoid interventions as much as possible, because, as Rachel pointed out – One intervention generally leads to another, and another. As she advised, we took time to think and talk about all the decisions we came to, so didn’t feel forced into anything. Under the circumstances in the end we really didn’t have much of an option but to go with having some intervention. On the morning that Charlie was born, I ended up having to be put onto the hormone drip, and then due to Charlie’s heart rate consistently dropping, as an effect of the drip, I had to be rushed into theatre to have an emergency C-Section. Charlie was born safe and well that afternoon, which was still an absolutely amazing experience, despite having the unwanted C-Section.
So, what part did the hypnobirthing course play in all of this? The answer is – I believe a very large part! Even though my labour and birth were a completely different experience to the one we were hoping for, I still felt in control, and know that the choices we and our care givers made under the circumstances were the best ones for us and our son. Although the direction my labour and birth took was what I feared most, I still somehow felt quite relaxed, and despite all the chaos, I was able to go with the flow and enjoy the experience in a different way, and far more calmly than I would ever imagined I would.
I do strongly believe that learning about, and practicing hypnobirthing did really help me through what could have been a really awful experience of labour and birth. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not something that I’d relish the thought of going through again, but hypnobirthing helped me to adapt my thoughts to the complete change to our ‘Plan A’, whilst feeling as in control and as calm as possible under those circumstances.
I used the breathing techniques during labour, which definitely helped. At times of intensity when I began to forget my breathing a little, Ben was able to help me pace my breathing again, as he had gone through the course with me, and knew what we were aiming for, which was invaluable.
I used the relaxations through a little of my labour, and my partner and I both listened to them regularly during my pregnancy, which I feel really helped us to relax our minds at night, and reminded us that we were in control and had everything we needed in order to be able to bring our baby into the world safely. I think maybe subconsciously, these did also help me mentally throughout my labour and birth as well.
As recommended by Rachel during the course, I made a music playlist during the later stages of my pregnancy, which I used and felt it helped me stay upbeat, focused and calm throughout labour.
In terms of negatives, or constructive criticism about Rachel, and the delivery/content of her course, we really couldn’t think of anything. We think that the mix of practical and theory of the course was very well balanced, and held our attention. I’m so grateful to Rachel, and all the information she provided us with, as well as her advice on certain things too. All of which made us feel well armed, and as prepared as possible to deal with whatever was ahead of us, both mentally and practically.
Thank you Rachel!! We couldn’t recommend you highly enough, and will recommend you and your hypnobirthing course to others in the future.