I was very happy to see Shelley and Martin return to Talking Babies when they were expecting their second baby. Their first baby came 6 weeks early, meaning they didn’t get a chance to attend their Talking Babies course, more importantly the session covering common interventions in detail. Their first birth experience was scary. She writes that she experienced a placental abruption this is when the placenta comes away from the uterus this is very rare but, without a doubt is a worrying childbirth emergency. Your baby cannot survive without their placenta being attached. They received fantastic life saving intervention, we mustn’t forget that medical intervention can save lives, we are incredibly fortunate to all have the NHS at our finger tips.
This time around they were determined to make their birth a more positive experience. They wanted to prepare properly so signed up to the Talking Babies Midwife Led Hypnobirthing course. Together, they wanted to learn techniques to remain calm, focused and able to make great decisions.
Shelley has kindly shared her experience with you. I’d like to take this opportunity to thank Shelley for writing it. I know so many expectant parents will benefit. Especially for anyone wanting to improve on a not-so-nice first birth experience.
Well done to shelley and Martin.
‘We decided to do Hypnobirthing with Emily after joining her Talking Babies Antenatal classes for our first baby. The first time round was cut short as our little girl arrived 6 weeks early, we hadn’t finished antenatal & certainly weren’t prepared for our early arrival. My first birth story wasn’t how I imagined, I had a haemorrhage from a placenta abruption due to a low lying placenta which we thought had moved out the way, this ended in an emergency c section under general anaestheic & our little baby in NICU. Although we had amazing care this wasn’t a positive experience & I really wanted the 2nd time to be different.
Fast forward 2 years & we started Emily’s Talking Babies Midwife Led Hypnobirthing classes when I was just 20 weeks pregnant – we wanted to give ourselves lots of time to understand and practice. I listened to the scripts every night, my husband read them to me, I did my up breathing daily and surrounded myself with positive birth stories, podcasts and photos. Our due month was February, I had regular Braxton Hicks from Christmas time & had so many signs as Feb began that our baby would arrive sooner rather than later.
At 4.30am on Monday 17th Feb my surges started, at first very sporadic & manageable so I sent my little one to nursery & husband to work & spent the day snacking, watching funny films, listening to podcasts & trying to release lots of oxytocin! From midday things became more intense with surges every ten minutes. As we were going to Salisbury (40mins away) as the afternoon went on I was worrying about the car journey so my husband came home & we called the hospital around 5pm, although my surges were sometimes 3 in 10mins, they weren’t regular and hospital said I could still have a while to go so we decided to stay home. The pattern continued, sometimes 3 surges in 10 but then I could go 10 mins without one! I decided by 10pm that me and Martin should go to bed and try and rest, he managed this, but I didn’t, my surges were intense, I was either on the ball or on all fours & couldn’t do much in between, I was listening to my scripts, up breathing & using the Freya app to time them, I flitted in and out of what was classed as established labour, this was the hardest part & lasted all night!!
By 6am (now Tuesday) I knew something needed to change, so I got in the bath for some kind of relief, it was then my waters broke & I knew the game changed. We called my mum and she rushed over to look after my little one & by 7am we were on our way, I had my headphones on with the scripts constantly playing just saying over and over ‘you can do anything for 60 seconds’. We arrived just before 8am and went straight into our room, Martin shut the blinds, put the coloured lights on, candles out and sprayed my favourite smells around. He gave the midwives my birth preferences & from then on he was my voice & I stayed in the zone with my headphones and scripts for the whole birth. Martin read & showed me affirmations, gave me water, encouraged me, put a cold flannel on my head & supported me in all my birth positions. I used my up breathing constantly, as I had been for the last 20+ hours, but now it felt like it was building & I asked for gas and air, however this just made things worse, it messed with my breathing & meant I suddenly felt pain, so I trusted myself, and went back to breathing where it was intense but not painful. I used the birth ball to lean on whilst on all fours on the bed for this whole stage.
Just before 10am things changed and I knew it was time to down breath & baby was coming, even though for a while the midwife didn’t seem to respond to me saying it was changing, I knew! My body took over & I decided to stand up holding the bed and squat through every surge using my down breathing, Martin saw the head starting to crown & told me baby had hair!! At this point I remember thinking, I’ve got this, I can do this now – I honestly felt so in control and not in any pain at all. I did the squatting for a while but it was exhausting and my legs were struggling so I moved onto the bed on all fours again and was now in the best place to get our baby out, just breathing and rocking he slowly edged his way out, no ring of fire, no noise or pain, at 12.07pm Woody Alexander entered into the world for his daddy to see him, announce he was a boy and come straight to mummy for instant skin to skin, no loud cries, just wide open eyes and a very calm content baby. I delivered my placenta naturally, had no tears or stitches and was home by 6pm that day, one of my midwives even said how amazing my hypnobirthing was and asked all about where I learnt it and how I practiced for it, which felt like a huge compliment.
I am truly grateful to Emily for supporting us in making this such a positive experience, I felt like I put everything into hypnobirthing practice and knew that whatever my story it would be a positive one this time, but I never imagined it would be as amazing as what it was, I am a huge advocate for understanding & listening to our bodies because when the time came mine knew exactly what to do ‘
If you would like to prepare properly for your birth join a Talking Babies Midwife led course. Our Hypnobirthing courses are run by Hypnobirthing Midwives so we can give you a real insight into what it is like in hospital or at home. Realistic expectations are the foundation to a positive birth experience.
Shelley’s story shows the importance of attending MIDWIFE Led Antenatal or Hypnobirthing course. Midwives understand what you truly went through. We have probably seen it first hand and can help you to understand what happened and why. Midwives are professionally regulated, meaning we have to remain evidenced based and up-to-date.
During a hypnobirthing course you will learn all of the skills Shelley discussed, the varying breathing techniques, visualisations that will complement the processes with in the body. Great decision making strategies for every situation. Also listening to professionally written hypnobirthing scripts regularly helped Shelley to stay calm and focused.
I am a Midwife I’ve seen a lot of different coping mechanisms or strategies in labour. There is so much fear around birth. The one method that stands out as helping is Hypnobirthing – when taught well. Therefore, I recommend quality Hypnobirthing courses to everyone. Hypnobirthing does not guarantee a natural birth, but what it does do is promote calm, focus, control, and confidence whilst removing fear and anxiety. So regardless of your birth journey it will feel much more positive.
We mustn’t forget the benefits to birth partners. Martin, Shelley’s partner learnt many ways in class to truly support Shelley in labour. I’m sure you will agree he was amazing, he did everything Shelley could have possibly wanted!
We all have to make adaptions to avoid the spread of the Corona Virus. Therefore, Talking Babies will start live streaming courses at a reduced price very soon. You will be able to purchase your place and interact easily from home. The groups will remain private and lead by a fully qualified Midwife and Hypnobirthing teacher, so you will feel comfortable asking questions during the live stream. I will also encourage your group to stay in touch so you can still build invaluable, local friendships with like-minded parents.
It is arguably more important to prepare properly for your birth during these times.
If you are camera shy you will have the added option to turn off your camera and/or microphone.
To be able to take part you will need a smart phone or computer with WiFi connection.
Keep following @TalkingbabiesUK on Facebook/Instagram for the latest information on our online courses.