One of the affirmations we use in the Hypnobirthing Australia program is “I am prepared to calmly meet whatever turn my birthing takes”. As a Hypnobirthing practitioner I have always emphasised this to couples as I believe it’s so important to realise that the birthing process is not always predictable and you need to be adaptable for whatever twists and turns your baby's birth may take.
The first time I used Hypnobirthing, it was almost text book perfect. I slept through most of it at home to wake up in advanced labour, and arrived at the hospital only 3 hours before Darcy was born. I was able to use all the hypnobirthing techniques I had learned - breathing, listening to affirmations, light touch massage, and visualisations. The next experience surely tested everything I knew about Hypnobirthing, from my previous birth experiences and my Hypnobirthing practitioner training.
Being 9 days over, with a history of 10 pound plus babies I agreed to be induced which included artificial rupturing of membranes and oxytocin drip. The major challenge was remaining focussed and calm during the interventions and continually being interrupted and monitored. Despite all of these interruptions I was able to stay calm and focussed even when labour became really intense. However when the obstetrician came in and told me that I was not progressing as fast as I should have been, so she would check me in 2 hours and if I hadn’t progressed satisfactorily the only option would be a cesarean, it was at this point that I was truly tested. I began to lose focus and started to feel emotionally distressed. In hindsight I should have listened to my body and not the obstetrician, as I would have known that I was already in transition, and in reality only 40 minutes away from holding my baby in my arms. My husband (my birth support partner) was my absolute rock at that moment and absolutely earned his hypnobirthing companion ‘stripes’. He helped me refocus by using his birthing companion prompts, reassuring me that I knew what to do, and needed to trust myself and go within, which I did.
There are many similar stories to mine where the birthing process has not gone to a preconceived or ideal plan, but even under trying circumstances Hypnobirthing can make a huge difference to how you feel about your birthing experience. I was really delighted to hear that a Hypnobirthing mother who ended up with an emergency caesaerean still felt very positive and happy with her birthing experience even though she was aiming for a natural birth.