On the 24th January at 23.18 our beautiful daughter Sable Ligeia Lanceley was born at home in water, with my husband and Mum present, I still can’t quite believe it. There I was, not so very long ago convinced that the only route for me would be a hospital birth, having Group Strep B and my placenta not detaching for my last birth I really did think that was the only way to go, that was until I had the chance encounter with what was to be my fabulous One to One www.onetoonemidwives.org midwife Michelle and my equally fabulous hypno birth teacher Maureen Collins www.hypnobirthingmerseyside.co.uk and it really is all thanks to them that I have been lucky enough to experience child birth in a way that I had never imagined before, to be so well informed and for giving me a knowledge I wish I had with my other 2 pregnancies.
I had already registered at my local hospital and to be honest I had never heard of One to One Midwife’s before it was only thanks to my mother in law giving a card with Michelle’s number on. She said it was a new scheme and that through your pregnancy you had the same midwife right the way through until birth and after your baby is born; you don’t need to go to the hospital as your midwife will visit you in your own home. Any way I gave Michelle a call not really knowing what to expect.
Michelle came round to visit and I knew straight away that I wanted her to take over as my midwife and to be there at the birth of my baby, she immediately made me feel at ease and answered all the little things I’d been worried about, was no time limit and she was quite happy to stay and chat over all the little things regarding my pregnancy that I’d been concerned about, Strep B being my main concern. She reassured me that there were other options.
I’d already heard of HypnoBirthing but it was only after discussing it with Michelle that I decided it would be a real option. She gave me Maureen’s number, but I was unable to go to the first open day so I sent my sceptical husband alone on a fact finding mission. I think he expected to meet Derren Brown as the ‘Hypno’ part of the title is a bit of misnomer. He came back fairly convinced but not 100% about actually giving birth at home, and without pain relief having witnessed my last two births! I had more drugs than Pete Doherty on a night out.
However I was determined to give it a go, so off we went to the first HypnoBirthing session in Oxton on the Wirral, where we met similar couples who wanted to experience a natural birth. Over the following weeks we learnt about changing our language to describe the birthing process to a less medicalised way, relaxation and breathing techniques to cope with the surges, confidence building and self-belief. Maureen was very good at addressing any concerns and anxieties that would get in the way of your goal of having a natural birth whether it was to be in hospital or at home.
I completed my birthing plan using a template that Maureen had provided, which detailed our home birth choices. As we drew closer to the approximate due date of 13th Jan (although you don’t have a specific due date in HypnoBirthing terms as this only leads to anxiety when you go beyond your date) we practised our techniques and I said my affirmations and drank copious amount of raspberry leaf tea! We waited and waited, until I started the early thinning and opening stages of birth on the afternoon of 24th. Our two children were deposited at the grandparents and then Ken prepared my birthing environment (the living room) by setting up the pool, dimming the lights and lighting candles, playing the rainbow relaxation music and burning lavender oil. He got some lights snacks and drinks ready for me, and then with light touch massage and controlled breathing I descended into a deep relaxed state. Emma, the midwife on call arrived about 6pm but saw that everything was under control and then left us to HypnoBirth until she returned around 10pm when I was in the active labour stage in the pool and my surges were getting stronger and more frequent. At about 11pm, Michelle my One to One midwife turned up even though she wasn’t on call, which was amazing. Finally, when I reached the expulsive stage just after 11pm, our baby’s head emerged as Ken watched in amazement. Then at last she propelled into the water suspended, after a moment or two Ken scooped her up onto my chest where I was overwhelmed with a feeling of love, happiness and elation of actually having a birth the way I’d always wanted but never thought possible.
And hey we have such a chilled out baby! She seems to have calmness about her that I can only imagine comes from the fantastic way she entered the world. As for me I have to say hand on heart I feel fantastic too, no baby blues or stress just a real thankfulness for having met the people who made this experience possible. H x