I used natal hypnotherapy which involved two 1 day workshops and listening to a cd 3 times a week from 30 weeks (although I did it from 25) and every day from 38 weeks (I didn’t get that far as Iris came at 38 weeks). Essentially it’s all about staying calm and trusting in your body’s natural ability to birth your baby and helping it to do so.
I’d had period pains all day then had a contraction at 4pm, listened to my cd thinking it was just a practice run then called Andy to come home at 5pm. He walked through the door at half past and my waters broke.
We went to the hospital at 7pm thinking we’d be sent home as I felt ok and was coping with my breathing and tens machine but I was 5cm dilated. 4 hours later I was 9cm and was allowed in the pool which I loved!
After an hours pushing in the pool I had to get out to get checked as our midwife couldn’t see any progress and had suggested sending me for help – no way was I having that! – and when I got out the pool the baby was crowning!
I stayed on dry land after that as my contractions had gone a bit funny after being so relaxed in the pool but it only took another 30 minutes for Iris to arrive with no pain relief, not even gas and air!
I ignored Andy most of the labour and just went into my own world – when I was ready to push I said “you might want to put your book down now”. I never hit the self doubt phase (“I can’t do this/ I need pain relief”) – I turned it into “I can do this, I will do this” as I didn’t want any intervention.
Afterwards the midwife said she couldn’t believe how calm I was and was amazed when I was 9cm and I wasn’t “huffing, puffing, swearing or seemed anywhere near almost there”. I didn’t realise how much the hypnotherapy helped me until I looked back afterwards but it was amazing and I would probably have a home birth with my next baby as I’m so confident in it!
I was terrified of the pain before the workshops and actually the only pain I felt through the whole labour was Iris’s head which only stung a bit.
I’m over the moon with how amazing Iris’s birth was and both myself and Andy rave about hypnotherapy to whoever will listen now! It also gave me the confidence to stand up to doctors when my pulse went a bit high afterwards.
I had Iris at the RVI Birthing Centre and I found the midwives really good there and would go back.