The following is the story of Meredith’s birth experiences with all three of her beautiful children. You will note how similar her two birth experiences were without HypnoBirthing, her third baby had quite a different entrance into the world, a smoother more progressive labour in a shorter time for Meredith. These are her words, nothing has been edited. I am so so grateful she agreed to share her three birth stories with us!
‘I am a mother of three now. My first pregnancy with my daughter Penny went smoothly. I practised yoga once or twice a week to try and focus on breathing patterns and relaxation. I was pretty keen on birthing naturally with only the pain relief that I really needed. I was NOT keen on an epidural as I have a fear of taking medications as I react quite strongly to them (irrespective of what they are). I also had a fear of losing control of my body and the way it wanted to birth, naturally. I went into labour with Penny at 36 weeks on the dot. I lost my plug on the Sunday night and 24 hours later my waters broke. Being premature, I went to hospital late on Tuesday night as they would need to administer IV antibiotics. I started contracting early in the morning, they were mild and 10 minutes apart. By sunrise, they were becoming stronger and starting to wake me. I was managing fine, the pain was not affecting my ability to concentrate and glide through each surge. By the time midday came, I was have stronger surges 5 minutes apart. I was transferred to the labour ward and hooked up to the CTG and was still attached to an IV. At this stage I was feeling a little trapped. I did not want to be confined to a bed for my labour. A nurse conducted an internal early afternoon and found I was 4cm; but it was the act of having an internal that send me off the rails. I then started to lose focus, I couldn’t concentrate on surges, yet the thought of having another internal. Being my first birth I wasn’t sure what was ‘normal’ in terms of the examinations. Through the rest of the labour I listened to relaxation music and practised my ‘yogi’ breathing techniques. It did help to bring me back to the present and to flow through each surge. However, I reached 7cm dilation and I started to struggle mentally, and I was physically tired too (it was now 5pm Wednesday night). I was asking the midwife for more pain relief (I had already been breathing gas for an hour). She said that she didn’t think I needed it……she was right…..but at the time I thought she was very wrong! It wasn’t long after that my Obstetrician arrived. He announced I was 9cm and it was almost time to ‘push’ the baby out. I was in a lot of pain; I felt a burning sensation through my hips and lower back. When it was time to ‘push’, I felt out on control. I wasn’t ‘pushing’ effectively and the pain was excruciating (and generally, your energy for pushing comes from each contraction and you shouldn’t actually feel pain). After 2.5hrs of ‘pushing’, I birthed our daughter Penny. I had an episiotomy to allow her to enter this world. And it was at this stage that I learned Penny had arrived posterior. This explain my unbearable hip and back pain. All in all, I birthed our girl quite well; however I’ll admit that I did become hysterical at times and lose focus a lot. I was hoping to stay more in control; but I will learn from this birth for the next.
Almost 2 years later I fell pregnant with our second child, Ethan. From the onset, I started my prenatal yoga and also listened to relaxation music at home. I was already looking forward to the birth and was hoping to get through easier than for Penny’s birth; with more control and focus. The start of labour was identical to that of Penny’s. When I arrived at hospital I wasn’t experiencing any contractions, but as I was only 36 weeks I needed to start antibiotics. Later that evening, I started contracting and very quickly they were comingevery 5 minutes. I was in control, I felt really good. At about 8cm, my contractions didn’t progress and I was having piggyback contractions (one after another and then a long break). This pattern lasted for an hour or more with no progress and the baby was starting to feel distressed. It was now we decided to move things along with a very small dose of sintocin. Immediately, my contractions increased in intensity and went back to a normal rhythm. In no time at all it was time to push this baby out. I used my energy from contractions to help the baby out, he was difficult to birth. The Obstetrician tried helping me and stretched my cervix during a push, however something in my body was telling me this wasn’t right and my muscles were contracting against me pushing. After half an hour, I managed to birth Ethan with one large push. He too, like my first baby, turned posterior in the birth canal; inevitably making his entry into this world difficult for me. Ethan’s birth was a step up on Penny’s but I was still emotionally scarred by the fact that my body was working against me at the pushing phase…..maybe it was actually telling me something but I wasn’t reading that well.
Before the birth of our third baby, Toby, I decided that I wanted to birth in a more relaxed state and I also wanted to be more in control of what was happening during labour and my body. I stumbled across your story about birthing Matilda on the side of the road, and it was inspirational…..then I read further and noticed that I knew your husband. I viewed your website and decided that I wanted to try Hypno Birthing for our third child. I was so pumped to have a ‘better’ birth.
Like Penny and Ethan, I went into labour at 36 weeks. I started having mild surges on the Tuesday, on the Thursday I was 2cm dilated and lost my plug on the Friday. I was still experiencing surges throughout this time for 2-3 hours at a time, then nothing for 4-5 hours. By the Monday I was at 3cm dilated and still having mild surges. I was walking, taking my raspberry leaf tea, and even ate chilli for dinner. But most importantly I was practising my HypnoBirthing techniques, relaxation and scripts. This was very helpful in getting me to relax and not become anxious over the long wait I was having.
I had another appointment with the Obstetrician the following Monday. During that week I had been having more serious surges. I was in a bit of pain, which lasted a couple of hours, then subsided for the same time. I went to see my Obstetrician and as I was almost 4cm dilated and 75% effaced. It was now that we decided to induce me to speed things up. I had been labouring for 2 weeks, I was tired, I wasn’t sleeping very well – so i was OK with this decision we had made.
On the Thursday I went to hospital and we broke my waters; surges started becoming stronger and things progressed well. I was listening to my relaxation music and the rainbow script; which had been a strong grounding for me during the pregnancy. I made it all the way to 8cm without an issue. I was feeling relaxed and whenever I could feel myself losing focus, it was very easy to bring myself back.
At 8cm, I started feeling intense pain in my hips and sides of my belly, as well as a little pressure in my tail end. I didn’t realise at the time, but the baby was entering the birth canal and trying to turn sunny side up (posterior) as opposed to face down. This is the reason for the pain I was feeling. I made it to 10cm and my focus was beginning to fade. My attention started diverting to the intense pain and how I was going to birth this baby, rather than staying relaxed and in control. At this time, my body had a longer break in between contractions and I had time to regroup and draw my focus back to bringing this baby into the world.
As I was breathing baby down, I had even more intense pain, which again diverted my focus, but with my HB training I was able to recognise this and bring myself back into the moment. I still had moments where I felt I was losing control but for most surges I was able bring myself together. I tried breathing baby down for about 45 mins with not a lot of progress as he was not presenting the right way. At this time I needed help as baby was becoming distressed. My best option was the vacuum to assist the process. After 2 big surges and breathing down, our boy was born.
Overall I felt really proud of myself for being able to stay focused as well as I did. I feel it really helped with getting through to the end without becoming distressed. I am grateful for your help through the pregnancy and for teaching me so much about myself and that I can “train” my mind to take control of the situation and relax/focus on the task.
I definitely recommend HypnoBirthing to my friends. An amazing experience.
Thanks Corinne xxx’