After a traumatic first birth with my first son, one of the first things I thought about when I found out I was expecting with baby no.2 was giving birth again. The thought actually filled me with dread. I had heard a lot about hypnobirthing and came across Jenies advert to do a hypnobirthing course via zoom as we were in lockdown.
I spoke with my partner (Mike) about it and we signed up, eager to do anything that would help me get through the birth process again. We shared the course with another lovely couple, and Jenie made me feel really at ease, even if it was via an online source! She filled us with information different birth scenarios and making informed choices for ourselves ( some stuff which I didn’t even realise! ).
We learned breathing techniques, birthing positions, the use of aromatherapy in birth and the feeling of being able to remain in control. I came away from my first session with her feeling enlightened and my anxiety had already lessened. By the time the course was done I not only felt ready for birth, but I was actually looking forward to it! About a week before my due date, Jenie even came around to give me a quick refresher and went over everything with me. I was so ready!
I had planned a homebirth, and in the week leading upto my second baby coming me and Mike ( well mainly Mike, hello cankles and bad back!) got our home ready. I had my birth board ready, affirmations printed, birthing box filled with my aromatherapy and birthing plan at the ready. Our twinkly fairy lights all over my lounge and bathroom.
On the Friday afternoon (2 days overdue) I had an accupuncture session for the induction of labour. The following Saturday evening I had my bloody show. Me and Mike went out for a lovely meal just the two of us and I had a couple of twinges. I went to bed that night feeling excited! Around 3am I woke up uncomfortable and noticed I was having surges. They were manageable at this point, but also too much to be able to get any sleep. This carried on throughout the day every 5 minutes or so, until early afternoon where they seemed to die down a little bit. I used this opportunity to get some sleep and managed about two hours before I was woken up again by some stronger surges. Around 1am they started coming every 3 minutes and lasting for over a minute.
I’d left Mike downstairs to try and get some sleep as he had also been awake this whole time, whilst I stayed on my bed in our bedroom. I found being on all fours the most comfortable position to be in. The surges were starting to become really painful, but I remained completely focused on my breathing using the golden thread technique we had been taught, and smelling my lavender oil. At 2am my water broke and my surges ramped up. I woke my partner up and we called the midwives out. I got in the bath and carried on labouring, focusing on my breathing and my partner rubbing my back.
The midwives arrived around 2.30am. At this point I was on the sofa on all fours with surges coming every two minutes and lasting for over a minute. I asked the midwife for a vaginal examination and she told me I was 1cm dilated, and to try and keep going for a few more hours and they’ll come back out. I was disheartened, but also remembered what Jenie had told me about women all dilating at different times.
At 7am, I decided to call the midwives again, as my surges were becoming extremely painful, and I felt like things were starting to move. When the midwife arrived I consented to another vaginal examination. I was 2cm dilated. At this point I requested some pain relief, however, due to me not being in ‘established’ labour she was unable to give me any. The midwife explained if I wanted pain relief I would have to go into the hospital. After speaking with Mike and the midwife, I decided to go into the hospital as I was no longer managing the pain, and at this point I was exhausted. Due to the current pandemic, Mike was unfortunately not allowed to come in with me until I was classed as being in ‘established’ labour and this was the point that I also did have a bit of a breakdown as I did not want him to leave me, he was my support.
I went into the maternity assessment unit crying that he had had to leave me, and in all honesty became a bit distressed. Fortunately the midwife who I dealt with (Jo) was fantastic and stayed with me and supported me as best as she could, helping me refocus and get back on track with my breathing. I had some pain relief, and after an hour and a half was transferred to the delivery suite! Mike came about 10minutes later. I went from 4cm to 9cm dilated in 25 mintues!
By this point my surges were continuous with little break in-between. It was also established that my baby, just like my first, was back to back. I continued using my breathing techniques and just remained completely focused. The midwives ( who again were fantastic and only speaking to me in-between contractions) stated they were finding it heard to find the babies heartbeat so I agreed for them to attach a fetal scalp monitor to the babies head. After what felt like a long time I needed to push, however my baby went into distress and I was rushed to theatre for emergency forceps delivery.
The babys head was transverse and stuck in my pelvis which is why when I pushed nothing was happening. The cord was also wrapped around his neck twice, which explains why he had gone into distress. At this point, I again had a bit of a breakdown as it was exactly the same ending I had had with my first birth. But Mike helped to keep me focused and told me what an amazing job I had done. At 13.46 on Monday the 7th September 2020, our beautiful son Nate was born weighing 7lbs 1oz.
I unfortunately did not get the birth that I had wanted, however because of Jenie and her amazing work with me, I had a much better labour where I was able to stay focused, and I also made all the decisions myself with Mike also being an amazing support and advocate for me. If you are thinking about a hypnobirthing course with Jenie I would say go for it and you will not regret it!
That lady works wonders, and I’d have been lost without her. Jenie has even been there for me after my birth, and worked with me to help with my trauma from my first birth. I am so glad that I met her, she really does make all the difference. Thankyou Jenie!