Baby Ada Jayne, born at James Cook hospital during covid19. Induction, first time Mum.
‘I was always terrified of giving birth - smear tests and internal exams had always been so uncomfortable it had given me a real fear. So, when we found out we were expecting I knew I had a big hill to climb! A few people had mentioned hypnobirthing to me but I really didn’t know anything about it. I did some research and read a few books and soon realised it wasn’t just this ‘weird’ or ‘hippie’ thing, it actually made perfect logical sense.
I started having sessions with Claire on zoom at around 30 weeks. Myself and my husband took part and Claire really took the time to get to know us to tailor the sessions to what we needed. This was amazing and something we felt we wouldn’t have got from anyone else. I felt confident, prepared and armed with lots of tracks and resources when it came to giving birth.
When it came to it, my birth couldn’t have been further from what I’d wanted. Originally planning a home birth, a few complications during the pregnancy meant I ended up being a high dependency mum and getting booked in for an induction at 41+1. My colour breathing and other calming techniques helped me deal with the stress of things not going as I’d planned and I continued to use these techniques in the first 24 hours as the hormone I was given began to kick in and start my labour. The tracks were also invaluable to keep my mind focussed during what felt like a really long night of contractions.
The next morning, because I was contracting well, my waters were broken and I was moved to a delivery room. At this point I was going into my own zone and breathing through the contractions using a birthing ball. I was imagining myself walking up a mountain and then reaching the top as it became intense and then walking down the other side. This visualisation really helped me in the early stages.
Once my husband was allowed into hospital, we sat close and encouraged the oxytocin to start flowing. This sped up my contractions and soon I was 6cm. I was active and moving around the entire time (something I’d certainly recommend). Unfortunately, Due to the earlier complications in the pregnancy, baby’s heart needed to be monitored constantly and my activity was preventing the monitor picking up. At this point I had to come to the bed and lie down; I needed pain relief because I couldn’t use my techniques effectively in that position. The midwife gave me some meptid and that did settle it down. After that I used gas and air only until I have birth. Soon I was ready to push and excitedly wondered how long I would have to wait to meet my daughter.
What followed was difficult but I really feel I could not have achieved it without my hypnobirthing training. I was pushing for just over four hours and baby was stuck in the birth canal. The doctors suggested intervention in the end as they were worried about baby’s heart rate. She was born at 21:29 via forceps and episiotomy. I was absolutely terrified but the doctors, midwives and my husband were all aware I was hypnobirthing and constantly reminded me of my techniques such as colour breathing, the comfort dial and visualisation. Although the ending was uncomfortable, in two pushes I met my daughter and the relief was overwhelming.
I could not recommend hypnobirthing with Claire enough! She went the extra mile and was even providing support throughout my labour via WhatsApp. Hypnobirthing is something every woman should be doing before giving birth - it really does make a huge difference. Despite my birth not going to plan, I felt fully in control, respected and strong throughout the experience. If I hadn’t had to be monitored, I know I could’ve gotten much further without pain relief. Good luck to all the expectant mums out there - you can do it!'
With thanks to Katy, Tom and baby Ava Jayne 💜