So this is our third birth after the first one being a forced termination at 22 weeks and a second little gem (Mathilda) born 2 ¾ years ago. With our second baby, and our first experience of the whole birth/ labour cycle, things did not roll out the way we would have liked. Esther (my wife) ended up in theatre as the pregnancy was taking just too long, but then she was too far through for the doctors to intervene so Ventouse was eventually tried but with the cord wrapped around the baby’s neck it was a long drawn out affair which ended in Esther being stitched up for hours after she finally gave birth.
When Esther mentioned she wanted a home birth I thought she was joking! How could we contemplate this when the same life threatening incidents could re-occur?
She then motioned that she wanted to be in a birthing pool, and try hypno-birthing. I decided to go along with it as she argued me down claiming it was “her birth” and “happening to her”. As time got closer I realised this was not just an idea, and Esther had organised to hire a birthing pool from the hospital which was meant to ease the pain. I learned that Esther had some concerns too and these added extras were meant to help her- not cause me aggro and make life difficult, but make it easier.
So then came hypno-birthing. This I thought was really for Esther, but I was supposed to be involved. We had done an NHS session last time which gave me an idea of events, but hypno-birthing gave me tools to be a birthing partner, above all- confidence! We learned massage, calming techniques and the series of birthing events and we were given home work which was meant to put us in the right mind set for the forthcoming events!
The relaxation tapes were useful and worked on me as well at least in the short term but was it going to work when it mattered? I was still sceptical.
As events unfolded I came to realise I was a lot more relaxed at home and Esther was too. It took me a long- long- long time to fill the birthing pool which kept me distracted for the majority of the time. I however felt a lot more confident and Esther seemed to use the breathing techniques without encouragement from anyone.
The baby was born in good time, despite being 9lbs 10oz which is on the heavy side. I cannot say whether hypno-birthing worked myself, but Esther is very glad we used it, and is certain it gave her an easier birth, which to me means more, as the event as a whole was a success.
We now have a baby boy and a little girl and are very happy.