Birth of James by Liz & Trevor
My waters broke spontaneously at 10pm on Tuesday 11th April. Coincidentally perhaps, this was after attending my baby yoga class earlier in the evening and then practising our hypnobirthing, literally just before my first waters broke. Being 36 weeks pregnant we rang triage who advised us to stay at home and if still sure within the hour to come in to triage. By 1am on the Wednesday we were in triage. Throughout the whole of this time we used calm breathing, especially when they needed to examine me to check that my waters had indeed broken. The staff were great and accommodated our wishes of dimming the lights for us and only used a side light for the examination.
Once the hospital had confirmed that the waters had broke they informed us that we would need to stay in hospital for the next 24hours to see how things progressed. If no progression was seen, the registrar was adamant that I would need to be medically induced.
The Wednesday was all a bit of a blur but we had managed to go through our birth preference with a lovely midwife who then made sure the senior midwife in the birth centre was aware that we were Hypnobirthing parents. As we were on the ward at this time (which can be noisy), we used our headphones to listen to our hypnobirthing tracks as well as relaxing music that we had been using for the previous month or so, whilst continuing to use calm breathing when necessary. In the early evening of Wednesday, because I was doing fine and so was baby, we chose to go home to have a shower and get some sleep in our own natural environment.
We were back in the hospital in the early hours of the Thursday morning. They examined me again at 12noon and at that time I was 2cm open. Because of the concern of risk of infection (it was now around 36 hours since my waters broke), we agreed to be induced with the gel.
We then spent the next 6 hours out in the sunshine enjoying the chapel gardens at the hospital. They moved us onto the labour ward at about 6pm. I was examined again and was 4cm.
The staff were really amazing, our midwife did everything possible to meet our needs, we had our music and hypnobirthing tracks playing, she moved all of the medical equipment out of sight, mattresses, birth balls and even moving the bed to the corner of the room to create more floor space was provided, the lights were low the whole time, only she was in the room pretty much the whole time, we had our hypnobirthing sign put on the outside of the door, even when the senior consultant came in to speak to us even he waited for my surges to pass and asked the other registrars to leave the room so it was just the 3 of us speaking. He was able to talk us through BRAINs options and say what medically they advised but also where he was happy to be flexible. He allowed us to wait the next 4 hours without any further medical intervention. Within a couple of hours, I was 9cm open and the next thing you knew, with us using hypnobirthing techniques (light massage throughout, breathing techniques, drinking water through a straw, music, hypnosis, standing and being on all fours) and with only the addition of gas and air, 1hour 45 minutes later, baby James was here!
It didn’t make a difference to us that we didn’t have the use of a birthing pool or the fact that we weren’t allowed on the birth centre. The birth was just what we wanted even though we had difficult decisions to make and that James was 4 weeks early. Without using our hypnobirthing techniques, I’m sure our birth could have been an entirely different experience.