Meghan here, mama and midwife behind Herts Hypnobirthing. It wouldn't be fair to ask others to share their birth experiences without sharing my own first. So here goes...
I had been supporting mothers in labour and birth for nearly 12 years by the time I had my own baby. I have always been fascinated by birth, and excited by the propect of doing it myself so I could really know what my clients are going through. But I guess as a midwife I had seen so many births I had no idea how mine would go, which left me feeling somewhat anxious (you see, even midwives feel the fear!).
I had already trained as a KG Hypnobirthing teacher so decided my husband and I should practise the course, knowing how important it is to have your partner involved and on the same page. From 28 weeks, it became our bedtime routine to listen to the tracks which were very relaxing...I'm sure it helped our sleep!
40 weeks came and went. The pregnancy and birth affirmations were so helpful at this stage, I had them pinned all around the house and listened to them every day, keeping me positive. Finally at 2am at 40+10 weeks I woke up to regular surges. Good things come to those who wait! The surges were strong but manageable and I spent most of the time in our living room on all fours, watching 'Bridesmaids' (laughing=oxytocin=surges). At 9am I felt like I might try a bath. In I got with a couple of drops of lavander oil to help aid relaxation. It certainly worked...so much so that the surges slowed right down and actually just about stopped. I crawled into bed for a snooze- my body was giving me a well earned break!
It wasn't until the evening when the surges really came back. My husband made our living room a sanctuary. Candles, my favourite essential oils burning, TENs machine on and the Hypnobirthing tracks playing in the background. By 3am we were on the A10 on the way to Homerton Hospital with powerful surges coming every 3 minutes.
As a first time mama, I was expecting to be in early labour so when one of my lovely colleagues told me I was 6cm and ready to get in the pool I was chuffed to bits! The picture here is me at that stage with a pint of coconut water. 6cm and smiling :).
In the pool I stayed, swaying away on hands and knees to my RnB labour playlist. Husband at my side throughout, feeding me fruit and water.
Something changed around 7am, my body started bearing down and I knew baby wasn't far away. What a powerful sensation! My midwife was wonderful, quietly observing and supporting me whilst letting nature take its course.
Around 8am I decided to come out of the pool to be able to use different positions. The birthing stool helped baby come down really well but once he started really coming where I wanted to be was on the bed (not where i planned to be but it was calling to me). I won't lie, I found the sensation of bearing down and baby crowning intense. My husband kept me positive and in my zone, reassuring and relaxing me by encouraging my Hypnobirthing breathing.
At 9.11am on 7th July 2019, Bodhi Evan Roe was born and handed to my husband and I. The relief and pride I felt was immense, I couldn't believe what had just happened! Hypnobirthing and my midwives helped me birth him slowly and calmly avoiding any perineal tears. We went home later that afternoon and the rest of our lives began...