Rebecca and Stuart had signed up for a group hypnobirthing course with me but when Rebecca’s waters broke just after 33 weeks, a condition known as PPROM, we knew she had around a 50% chance of going into labour that week. So we arranged to start a private course for the next day and I tailored it to support them in the changes they were facing. I really can’t express how incredible I think Rebecca and Stuart were at mentally and emotionally making the changes from a planned home water birth at full term to an unknown outcome due to the PPROM and secondly to the way Rebecca birthed Benjamin with Stuart’s support. I am also fairly sure Rebecca is the only women I’ve taught the final part of the course to while in actual, albeit early, labour!
Here is their story. I am sharing with full permission and would also like to highlight that whilst people are free to draw their own conclusions on the responses and actions of the Health Care Professionals in this instance, in my experience as a hypnobirthing teacher, it is not uncommon that women are hindered in, or instructed to act against, their natural instincts and bodily responses in labour.
This empowered woman, against many odds, showed how entering labour informed, confident and determined to stay calm and trust her inner knowing kept her and her baby safe.
“Hi Jo, Sorry for the delayed reply, it’s all been a bit crazy!
So the birth! I’m pretty sure I was actually in early labour when you came to see us on Saturday as I was having waves of back ache, I hoped it was just normal pregnancy aches and pains and went to bed.
When these waves started waking me up we went to triage, they hooked me up to a monitor and told me it wasn’t contractions so to go home, I lasted about an hour at home before they were quite intense and every 7 minutes so I went back to hospital where they still told me it wasn’t labour. I managed these waves with just paracetamol but the pain was quite intense and I felt scared that if this wasn’t real labour I really didn’t feel I could manage real labour and asked the question about an epidural.
Eventually they examined me and I was 4cm dilated, even though we didn’t want me to be in labour so early it actually felt like a real relief because then I knew this was real labour. It all became a bit of a rush then because I needed antibiotics and didn’t have a cannula in, while they were all panicking I just concentrated on my breathing.
Then I was taken to delivery suite where we put on one of the guided meditations but we couldn’t hear it properly because the amount of people who needed to be in the room (neonatal doctors etc) so we put on some thunderstorm sounds that I like to listen to to go to sleep. I think the breathing techniques really helped with the gas and air and I had a real sense that I could do it, and it was too late for epidural anyway!
The doctors told me he was back to back which is why all the pressure that I was feeling was in my back but when they examined me I was fully dilated but they thought he was breech. They told me not to push while they scanned me to check.
Not pushing when every part of your body is telling you to push was harder than the actual birth! Not to mention the worry that it might be a breech birth. But again I focused on my breathing and the wave passed, it turned out that he was actually head down but because he was back to back his forehead was stuck in the birth canal and was swollen and that’s why it had felt like it was his bottom.
He was born soon after that, he cried straight away which was such a relief considering he was only 34 weeks and we had immediate skin to skin and delayed cord clamping, Stuart was the person to tell me that we had had a little boy and I felt such a sense of relief that he was here safe, it was beautiful.
Thanks again for everything, I really feel like I had confidence that I could birth my baby and despite all the challenges I did it because I believed I could!