So, where were we?
So Baby No.2 was on the way for me and the other half. A home birth had been planned, a pool was in the hallway ready to be inflated and we were heading over to the maternity ward after a call requesting our presence so the other half could be induced. Safe to say that nothing was going according to plan.
So why were we so calm?
The answer begins one evening when we received a knock on the door. I hadn’t exactly been looking forward to it; tonight was going to be the first of our hypnobirthing sessions and I really wasn’t sure about the whole thing. I couldn’t imagine how it would help and struggled to see the benefits. However I wanted to be supportive and needed to stay open minded.
Our instructor was new to the process herself, not that we would have known. Conscious of helping us to achieve the results we were hoping for, she took the time to find out more about our previous experiences and discuss how we felt about them, our concerns and some of our views on what we wanted this time around.
Next she took us through the theory behind hypnobirthing and some of the coping mechanisms needed to stay calm and in control. I soon saw the effect it was having on the other half, as well as appreciating that we were both being kept involved as the sessions progressed. My questions were answered and I began to wonder what I had been worried about.
It was nothing like I expected; I had wrongly believed that hypnosis might be involved. The reality is that hypnobirthing is about preparing your mind and body for birth, viewing it as a positive step taking you closer to the birth of your baby rather than perceiving it as a negative stage you have to struggle through.
But the biggest revelation was that I had a role. Helping my other half and supporting her through the labour was mapped out and gave me a purpose. I certainly wasn’t going to be stuck on the sidelines this time – instead I was going to play a part and feel involved. Weeks later we completed our final session in a much better place than when we started, both of us pleased that we gave it a go!
By the time we were heading over to the hospital, our plans in tatters and over £100 in pool rental down the drain, we were still in a good headspace. Even my having to drive home again to get her medical records (her fault!) whilst leaving her at the delivery suite didn’t phase her; she had already prepared herself and was ready for the baby to arrive.
The Little Boofuls was born without any drama or issues – only gas and air was used and our midwife (not the same as last time thankfully) was incredible, delivering our baby whilst the other half was in the bath. Not the birthing pool. The bath. She was just awesome.
But equally amazing in this whole process was our hypnobirthing instructor who made such a difference to us individually and collectively and helped us to have the best birthing experience we could have imagined. We see her regularly – her daughter is a similar age to the Bear Cub and they live nearby, so she’s been able to meet our newest arrival herself and remains part of our lives.
I would recommend hypnobirthing to anyone – a huge leap from where I started with it all. It may not be for you, just like every other option out there, but if your partner wants to give it a blast – stay open minded, be supportive and give it a try. It certainly worked for us.