Ilona attended a group hypnobirthing course back in January. She was a lovely client: engaged, friendly and with experience of mindfulness and meditation. We stayed in touch through the duration of her pregnancy (I gave her the swiss ball that I had used for both my pregnancies!) and I was so delighted to hear about the wonderful birth of Lola in early May. She laboured on the shared antenatal ward after being given the prostaglandin pessary, and was amazed to find that her baby was getting ready to be born...cue a quick move to a private room!The story below is written in Ilona's own words...
I was at my due date appointment on Monday morning and due to a few risk factors the Dr recommended that I stay and be induced.
I agreed and was given a pessary around 5pm that evening. After a short period of monitoring they gave me the all clear to move about as normal. My mindset was to be as active and upright as I could for as long as I could to help move labour along, so I walked around the hospital, up and down the stairs, bounced on the birthing ball and did endless figure of eights. That evening my partner and I went out for a great meal and a walk about returning to the hospital around 11:30pm to get ready for bed.
My contractions started around 3:30am, mild at first, I switched it up between sitting up in a chair and bouncing on the birthing ball, listening to my affirmations and rainbow relaxation and doing my golden thread breath. By 8am the midwife came in to check my vitals and reassured me that what I was feeling was pre labour contractions and that I should go outside and enjoy the beautiful sunny day and they would be back to examine me in 6 hours. By now the contractions were getting stronger, lasting about a minute and were 2 mins apart. That two minute break was a big relief, gave me time to rest, close my eyes, eat a bite of breakfast and to continue practicing my breathing.
At 9:30am the surges were getting stronger and my body began feeling quite warm. I started to get nervous that I'd have to labour like this for the next 4-5 hours until the midwife came back but I tried to stay positive and I kept doing my golden thread breath and moving through each surge happy for that one to be over and reminding myself that each surge was bringing me closer to meeting my baby.
From there things progressed very quickly, by 10:15am there wasn't much of a break between contractions and I was starting to feel my body wanting to push, it was amazing how I didn't know what was happening but my baby and my body took over and guided my breath and my movements. I could feel some pressure between my legs and decided to see if I could feel anything. To my surprise when I touched I could feel the top of the babies head. From there it was all a bit of a rush. I was quickly wheeled over to the labour ward just in time for a few pushes and then my baby was on my chest, in my arms and I was in total bliss. All the midwives were shocked that things progressed so quickly as was I. I hope this story is encouraging because for me, when I think about that day it was the most incredible experience of my life and I wouldn't change a thing.
Hypnobirthing taught me that pregnancy isn't an illness to be managed but a very natural part of life. As a first time mum, not knowing what to expect it taught me to trust my baby and my body to be my guide so I could let go of control and follow their lead. The affirmations were so encouraging, keeping my mind focused on the end goal of bringing my baby safely into the world and following/accepting whatever turn my birthing took.