I’ve been meaning to share Elisa’s story for a while. She attended the group hypnobirthing course in March, pregnant with her second baby. Her first birth was quite long and involved some interventions and Elisa and her husband, Nick, were interested in exploring their options for how they might become more prepared this time around.
It was lovely working with Elisa: she was interested in all the techniques and whenever we did a hypnosis script in class, it was clear how relaxed she was!
Towards the very end of her pregnancy, Elisa began to feel more pressured on account of her age (41) and questions about baby’s growth in the last few weeks. Elisa took on board all the information she received from her caregivers but she also made informed decisions, according to her own research into evidence-based data, second opinions and a clearer understanding of how our babies develop. I love her story because it highlights the fact that the decisions that are made about our pregnancies and birth should be a conversation not a one-way process of being told what to do. Ultimately, Elisa felt confident in the decisions she made (watchful waiting, additional monitoring, weighing up the pros and cons of any interventions) and she had a straightforward (fast) birth.
Please do also note how quickly her birth progressed from her being 3cm to her baby being in her arms. Elisa opted not to find out how ‘dilated’ she was and I feel that this decision contributed to the swiftness of her baby’s arrival. Perhaps if she had known that she was “only” 3cm when she was admitted to the birth centre, she might have felt quite disheartened and worried. We talk all about these choices and strategies in the hypnobirthing courses I teach and I never tire of hearing how that preparation positively impacts women’s experience.
Here’s Elisa’s birth story:
May 12, 2019
We did a private scan on Friday and it was all fine. We then went back to the hospital and saw another consultant. She wasn’t worried at all about the baby not growing. She said that the tape measurement is not very precise in particular at the end of the pregnancy, the belly drops a bit anyway and the scan showed a normal growth for 40 weeks. She basically reiterated that the risk is the age but she didn’t push for an immediate induction. She offered a sweep, which I refused because I want to wait. She said I can go back when I want for the monitoring however she said if I feel the baby moving it is not really necessary.
At the moment my plan is to go to see the midwife at the birth center on Thursday as previously planned (allegedly I’ll be 41 weeks then, but according to my calculation more 40+4) and at that point I may do a sweep and then I’ll agree next steps with them including a possible induction at 42 weeks (I will also pop in to the hospital for a bit of monitoring tomorrow or Tuesday just for my peace of mind).
May 19, 2019
Our baby girl arrived on Friday early evening. We are both well.
Just a bit of a summary of how things went.
I kept refusing the induction and went in for monitoring every day. The monitoring was planned until Monday (tomorrow) when the consultant was then planning to see me again in the afternoon for another induction discussion and give me a first sweep. Good that I can cancel that appointment now!
On Friday morning I had some cramps, went in for monitoring as usual but they didn’t see any contractions. I went out for lunch with a friend, did some shopping and went back home for a nap. I woke up and I said to Nick that I thought labour was starting. It was 2.30pm, I put on the rainbow relaxation, did lots of breathing and started using the TENS.
At 3.30pm I called the birth centre as the surges were 5 minutes apart although not very strong. She said that given it was the second baby I should go in straight away... but unfortunately they didn’t have any space!! So they called me back later and told me to go to a different hospital (still local to where we live)
It was 5pm by the time I got to the pool in the birth centre at the new hospital. The midwife examined me before I got into the pool but I asked her not to tell me anything (I found out later from Nick that I was only 3cm so that would have put me off!)
The baby was born at 6.15pm in the pool, 3.750kg and no tearing.
The last half hour was tough and I think all the breathing and my good propositions went out the window at that point :) but the gas and air helped and I got through. Also it was my first experience of feeling the baby coming out as I had an epidural the first time so that was strange.
I think the videos that we had been watching really helped as well.
I want to say thank you because the course really helped: I think I was more in control and that made a difference. I hope my experience can help other Mums that may feel pressured to do something they are not very comfortable with. I’m still so grateful about the quick easy birth as I think it made such a difference in all areas. She is also an easy baby so far so that helps too of course.