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Vicki and baby Callahan

Vicki and baby Callahan

We really enjoyed our hypnobirthing course with Jade, we felt it gave us the knowledge and confidence to have a positive birth. My husband especially felt like he learnt a lot as well as being properly included in the process which he didn’t always feel in our antenatal appointments.

We had made birth preferences along the lines of labouring as long as I could at home, and a water birth in the birthing unit of our local hospital. But were fully aware that these choices could change and that we would try and manage the situation with flexibility and using the BRAIN principle.

I was certain I was going to go into labour in the early hours of the morning when I was at my most relaxed, and sure enough at 5am on a Monday morning (5 days after my ‘due date’) my contractions started. We had made the decision to try and labour as long as we possibly could at home. I didn’t really have a gentle lead up as they were quite intense and not too far apart from the get go. But our course with Jade and listening to the MP3s meant my mind sprang into action and I was practicing breathing through contractions from the very start. I was always a bit concerned that I might ‘freak out’ but hypnobirthing had taught me how important it was to stay calm and relaxed, so I managed to use all of the techniques I’d learnt to focus my mind and concentrate on my breathing. I used various yoga positions and positions Jade taught us at the beginning as well as getting in the bath and shower to manage the surges. As they increased in intensity I tried the tens machine which I found really helped.

After around 5 hours my waters broke (luckily on the toilet as I kept feeling the need to go!) but I was keen to carry on at home although my husband was timing my contractions which were getting closer and closer together. We called the hospital who asked me to monitor my waters to see if they were clear. Unfortunately, they weren’t clear which meant we had to go into the hospital to be monitored.

I found the journey to the hospital and walking to the hospital from the car seriously tricky because it was harder to concentrate and maintain my breathing which was really helping me through the surges. But we played the MP3s in the car and made it to the delivery suite of the hospital. We were told that the baby would have to be monitored due to meconium in my waters which meant I couldn't go into one of the birthing unit rooms to use the water, and whilst this was quite disappointing, we understood the benefits of having the baby constantly monitored and I was happy with the decision as long as I was able to labour not on my back.

The midwives in the delivery suite did all they could to stick to my birth preferences which we really appreciated. For the next few hours I used the gas and air and my husband guided me through the relaxation breathing which 100% got me through this stage. After about 8 hours the midwives explained that if I was fully dilated I would be able to start pushing, but if not it might be a good idea to consider an epidural. Luckily we didn't have to make the decision as I was fully dilated (thanks to the relaxing breathing I was doing all afternoon I would imagine!) and could start breathing down to push the baby out. This part was harder than I expected and my contractions seemed to slow down which didn't help, when I was getting close to 2 hours the doctors were keen to use a kiwi but the midwives explained how close I was and insisted I was given a little longer to try on my own - I really appreciated this support from the midwives. Unfortunately, the baby was starting to get distressed, but he was so close that I refused an episiotomy and the kiwi pulled him out super quickly and our perfect little boy was placed on my chest. We had done it! Callahan Bruce was born at 10.49pm on the 24th January 2022.

A quick trip to theatre for a few stitches - which didn't bother me as the baby was still on my chest and my husband next to me - the midwives even latched him onto my breast whilst I was having the stitches!

A truly empowering experience thanks to the hypnobirthing!

Vicki and baby Callahan
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