I thought I'd share how hypnobirthing helped me. During pregnancy, I found the online course really helpful in reinforcing a positive mindset towards birth and to overcome my fears. Due to extenuating personal circumstances, my husband and I were in separate countries during most of my 3rd trimester & postpartum. The relaxation and breathing techniques not only helped me prepare for the birth but also in coping with a very stressful period of life. The exercises became a daily ritual for me that gave me an anchor to hold onto, and I looked forward to them, they also helped me to bond with my baby during the last weeks of pregnancy. When my husband arrived in Oz just before the birth, I gave him a crash course in Hypnobirthing and he picked up the techniques really quickly.
I started to get severe period-type cramps a day before my guess date and started using the visualization and breathing techniques to get me through these mini-surges. When the surges became more intense and regular, we headed to the hospital and I was admitted at 3am on 4th April, though my surges were a bit all over the place, sometimes regular sometimes not. During my labour, the surges felt like intense period pain around my lower stomach, my lower back ached and the surges radiated down my thighs. The breathing exercises really got me through every surge. Sometimes I got extremely sleepy and drifted off to sleep between contractions. I would wake up forgetting I was in hospital, and my husband would remind me to continue the breathing techniques and would lead me through them. As the surges intensified, I used the visualization of climbing a mountain, specifically, Mt Fuji. I had made this climb previously during a tough time in my life, and it had been a rewarding journey. So I visualized climbing from mountain station to station for each surge and being encouraged by those around me, with the aim of reaching the summit by sunrise. I also used a relaxation oil during surges which helped keep me focused.
I had planned to do a water birth at the birth center, so the pool was prepared. We placed candles (LED haha) around the side & I had my hypno tracks playing. I was fully dilated in the water but soon after getting in the bath, my surges melted away to nothing and I did not know when to push! Tried pushing for an hour and a half to no avail, I couldn't feel anything & baby wasn't budging. Then the baby started to get distressed and I had to get out of the bath. Tried pushing again but bub was getting more distressed. In the end, I had to undergo an episiotomy and ventouse suction. Pushed really hard and was reminded of the famous poo comparison in the hypno vids haha. I did not have any pain relief except for the local used for the episiotomy. The breathing and visualization techniques really helped me get through this change in events & all the pushing, and Koji Victor was born on 4th April 2016 (51.5cm long, 3.5kg).
Thank you Hypnobirthing for helping me stay positive and keeping me calm during my birth experience. I felt really empowered and secure throughout. Will definitely do the hypno approach again if I have another babe!
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