Lucy’s birth experience:
“Rewind back to October 2019, my husband and I were on our honeymoon in New Zealand following our wedding in June, I’d stopped taking the pill just before we left to go on our trip of a lifetime. Our itinerary was jam packed full of adventures, the most thrilling being a 15,000ft sky dive over Lake Taupo – when we got back home I was due on about a week later, so I waited to do a test. My breasts had become quite tender and itchy, which made me giddy at the prospect of what might be.
To our absolute delight, the first test came back positive 1-2 weeks, I couldn’t believe we’d been so lucky to fall pregnant so quickly – I think we’ve got the skydive to thank for that! My dad was 60 on Halloween (I’d done the test the day before), so I wrote the news in his birthday card.
My pregnancy was really straightforward, I had zero symptoms throughout apart from a touch of sciatica in the last few weeks, I went to see a chiropractor about that which really helped. My husband was able to attend both the 12 and 20 week scans (pre-lockdown), and besides having a couple of UTIs, the subsequent appointments were just the usual every 4 weeks with the midwife.
Being 5 months pregnant when lockdown hit, this honestly couldn’t have happened at a better time for us – we both worked from home so business usual and actually found so much to be grateful for at a time of such uncertainty.
As a first time mum I knew absolutely nothing about labour, and just assumed that it would be like what you saw on the TV, the thought of which made me feel quite scared. I’d been spending more time than ever on Facebook, and Rachel’s weeknight taster videos kept popping up on my feed – hypnobirthing? What’s all that about?! Next thing I know we’re on Zoom with Rachel and some other mums and dads learning all about it.
Conscious that I’m waffling, I’ll cut to the chase…
I got to 37 weeks and started to lose lots of mucus, I knew this was normal so didn’t get too excited at anything happening. A week later at 38+1 it was a Saturday morning and we’d just had breakfast, I went to the loo and low and behold – there was a bloody show! After initially panicking, I managed to calm myself down, this didn’t necessarily mean labour was imminent. An hour later I started having surges, you definitely just “know” when it’s the real thing. They were coming every 15-20 minutes or so, so I rang the Midwife Led Unit (MLU) for some reassurance – the midwife was lovely and really put my mind at ease. I spent the rest of the day rolling around on my birthing ball, lit a candle and binge watched some TV!
I’d been having very manageable surges since 9:30am, by 10pm I’d definitely noticed a change in intensity – we were watching Friends by this point after having tried to go to bed. I rang the hospital for the 3rd or 4th time that day, and was just told the same thing “you’re a first time mum, you sound like you’re ok and this could take a while… try and stay at home a bit longer”. 1:30am came and I’d passed some mucus that was mainly blood so I worried and called the hospital again – upon mentioning the word blood I was transferred to a midwife on triage who did a phone consultation with me, her words were “have you been doing hypnobirthing? (Me: yes!!!) Right, well you’re definitely coping far too well with these surges, so feel free to make your way in now!”…
2am Sunday 28th June, we arrived at the MLU and I was examined a short while later…… 8cm dilated!!! The midwife couldn’t believe it, and I burst into tears with relief that the bulk of it was done and that we could just “get on with it” now! I got into the birthing pool, which instantly relaxed me and felt amazing. I asked to try some gas and air and spent the next few hours chatting to my husband and the midwife and eating jelly babies. The midwife carried out intermittent monitoring so I didn’t have to get out of the pool at all. She asked if she could examine me to check I was 10cm so I obliged, turns out baby had had a poo inside so I was unable to return to the water – no big deal, I used my breathing to remain calm and do what’s best for my baby. The next 30 minutes or so I did have a bit of a wobble, I was being moved up the corridor to the delivery suite and it was taking a while for someone to come and collect me so I started to get restless. Once on the delivery suite, I was asking what else I could have as I was getting fed up, they said I wouldn’t be long and that I wouldn’t need anything else so we tried lots of different positions to avoid being on my back, but the monitor kept falling off or not being accurate enough, so they tried a clip on babies head which didn’t really work either. I settled for doing it on my back with stirrups for my hands and feet on the bed, so I could push myself up to try and keep “open”.
The mooing stage was so real, breathing out every surge was a constant groaning/mooing and it felt like the most appropriate way to deal with the powerfulness of what was going on down below. I asked the midwife to tell me what to do as I felt I needed guidance to make the pushing phase as quick as possible. After what felt like forever, the head came out and I felt that ring of fire… then seconds later out came the body! “What is it? What is it?!” I shrieked, “it’s a girl!!!” – my husband and I preceded to burst into tears of pure joy, I couldn’t believe it; we’d had a daughter who was staring up at me from inside a bundle of towels.
I had the injection to deliver the placenta as I’d lost quite a bit of blood, but I didn’t really care at that point I just left the midwives to it as I stared into my daughter’s eyes in disbelief.
My husband was able to stay with us most of the day after delivery as we waited for a bed on the ward. Baby and I stayed in overnight for observations due to the meconium, and my husband was able to go home and get his last decent night’s sleep!
Monday 29th June we were discharged, and were now settling in nicely at home – not knowing what the gender was, it’s lovely and overwhelming to be receiving a daily river of pink cards and presents in the post, the love and generosity of everyone around us has been wonderful.
If you’ve got this far, thank you and I hope it was worth it!!! I am so grateful to have learned about hypnobirthing, it really did make my birth the positive experience that it was, and I know for a fact it would have panned out so differently had I not used the breathing techniques!
I would recommend hypnobirthing to anyone, and I would like to wish those of you waiting for the big day all the love and luck in the world – trust your body, it knows exactly what to do!”
Thank you Lucy and Pedro for choosing Lionheart Hypnobirthing. I am delighted to have been part of your adventure. Have a wonderful and happy life together. Love Rachel xxx