Hi Dani sorry this is so late! I guess you know how it is with a new baby. Paul is at home this week so I am finally finishing up some little jobs I’ve been meaning to get to for ages.
The birth story gets longer and longer and shows no sign of being finished, so here in the meantime are some words about the birth for you, if they are useful.
What your natal hypnotherapy course did for Paul and I, principally, was let us know what was to come. No one in the medical profession or in the books really tells you what will happen. It was brilliant to learn that together and have an opportunity to ask questions. This meant that a great part of our fear was taken away – I came to the class confident that I could give birth, but Paul didn’t know that and didn’t know what he would be able to do / how he would be able to help out, so learning about the practicalities of it really empowered us to look forward to the birth as a team. This was an attitude that stayed with me through the rest of my pregnancy, and the relaxation exercises brought Paul and I closer together and increased our trust in each other.
As for the birth itself, I dealt with it confidently and calmly, choosing to forego any routine interventions from the midwife (who arrived just 50 minutes before I gave birth), and to manage my progress on my own. We did have a doula with us, so I knew that she would let us know should my instincts take us anywhere from a safe process. The Natal hypnotherapy techniques I had learnt became very useful to create a safe and comfortable space for myself inside my own mind, where I could go and be absorbed for each contraction. The house and birth room were not prepared at all (I was in labour two weeks early) so amongst it all were Paul and our doula tramping back and forth clearing furniture, setting up candles, inflating the birth pool and filling it with buckets of water so it would be ready in time. This meant that often I found myself alone during contractions, and I used breathing and relaxation techniques to remain calm, accepting of what was going on, and deeply focussed on the job I had to do.
Three hours after I got home from Camden (where serious labour began), at 8.50pm, my gorgeous, happy and very chilled out son was born, head first into water, his shoulders and body following one and a half contractions later (the half being the only time I had to push). Who knows, but I absolutely attribute his stoic demeanour and his perfect latch about 2 hours later to his calm, controlled and entirely drug free delivery.
I would absolutely recommend learning some natal hypnotherapy techniques to other parents to be, and in fact I already have (one couple in London who I think have already contacted you!). I knew already I could cope with birth but I could not have imagined how beautiful and enjoyable the whole process would be. When I learnt it wasn’t even 9pm, I felt ready to do it all again, and I still feel the same.
Thanks again for a great course.