My first experience of Hypnobirthing came with the birth of my second child and it was to cause an enormous change in the way that I thought, felt and understood everything about chilbirth.
Or first child was born via an emergency c-section in a busy city hospital as Janna had developed pre-eclampsia. After days of one of the most bewildering and terrifying experiences I had ever faced, we were gifted our incredible daughter.
This experience highlighted to me just how naive and unprepared we had been for birth, our pregnancy was very exciting and a happy time being our first, but it was not until we came very close to something going very wrong that the reality hit home that we had no idea what we were doing.
We were determined however that this experience would not deter us as we had always discussed the idea of having more than one child but when Janna suggested that we try hypnobirthing to help us gain a better idea of what we wanted to achieve from our next pregnancy and birth, I was in all honesty extremely sceptical. Having been through a very medicalised birth the first time, I had no expectation that anything other than medical intervention would serve any useful purpose.
We decided to use the KG Hypnobirthing practice and found an almost local practitioner to attend one to one sessions with. From the outset, I had pre-conceptions that were I know now were completely unfounded, but at the time were stronger in my mind than the ability to be open and just give it a try. I soon found out that I couldn’t have been more wrong about the value of hypnobirthing.
Our course covered not only the anatomy and physiology of pregnancy and birth and techniques that helped understand how the mind and body are intrinsically linked but also contained topics designed to make you work through your fears, look objectively at the options available to you and to prepare for birth in ways that would actually have an effect on us both physically and mentally.
After several sessions, I had become a complete advocate and spent every evening going over relaxation techniques, ante-natal education and tailoring our birth plan down to the point where we had everything covered in readiness for the event. The feeling of euphoria and elation after each session was incredible.
On the day, it couldn’t have gone better. We elected for a home water birth. Janna began her first contractions in early afternoon, and after a few hours of very gentle, controlled, calm and serene labour, our second amazing daughter was born in a birth pool in our living room. We used no pain relief, were able to communicate throughout, had a natural delivery of the placenta and no remedial medical care was required for both Janna or our baby.