A father's experience of a hypnobirthing and a non-hypnobirthing birth
My wife and I have three children, one hospital born and two subsequent home births using the Hypno-Birthing technique. To say that we have experienced the extremes of child birth would be to put it mildly.
I have seen my wife deliver with both physical and emotional trauma and then have also seen her deliver with a calmness and serenity that defied my previous held belief.
Our first child was born in West Middlesex hospital and was, i am told, a pretty standard experience; an experience that forced us to consult a medical negligence lawyer and write a formal complaint to the hospital itself. In basic terms, we were threatened with not being able to have me stay in the hospital if she didn’t have an induction immediately, she was told ‘she was risking killing her baby, ‘you don’t want to kill your baby do you?’ if she did not allow them to proceed with an induction and told she risked an emergency c-section which could also damage her and the baby. My wife refused all of these threats and attempted emotional blackmail and then later, around midnight, had to threaten to walk out of the hospital and get in a cab if they did not call me to come in as she was by now having steady contractions 5 minutes apart. I arrived and found my wife with her waters broken squatting on a filthy bed having contractions 3-4 minutes apart with no nurse in sight.
What followed was a 10 hour labour with a lot of pressure to have a c-section as the baby was spine to spine and according to the mid wife was ‘stuck’ with no chance of getting out ....... luckily we had connected with a junior doctor who was observing and she literally rescued us and kept us sane, so much so we nearly named our daughter after her! She suggested a vonteuse delivery while being prepped for a c-section and this is how our first child entered the world.
We were determined not to follow the same course with our second child..... and searched out various options including attending a hypnobirthing course led by Katherine Graves.... we were pretty sure we wanted a home birth and wanted the tools to ensure it went as smoothly as possible.
Needless to say, our second child entered the world in the entirely opposite manner, we were at home, relaxed and calm with my wife doing what we had practised for weeks before; the hypnobirthing techniques of visualisation, positive affirmations and breathing. We called our midwife who barely had time to get in the door before she said ‘you’d better get in the pool as you are about to deliver’. Neither my wife nor i could believe it but sure enough, with no fuss, or drama and with my wife completely calm and in control she gave birth to our second ‘spine to spine’ daughter. It all happened so quickly and easily that we were all stunned, our daughter was as a result very calm and settled easily, her arrival into the world the complete antithesis of her older sibling.
Our third child was also delivered at home using what our friends now called our hippy-birthing techniques ..... we have told so many people and made so many recommendations about the benefits and joys of hypnobirthing that most of our friends simply roll their eyes at us and say yes!
Hypnobirthing allowed us to experience what birthing is all about, the joy of delivering a new person into the world, delivering this little baby calmly, happily and relaxed.
Being able to see both sides of the delivery experience has made us very much hypno brthing evangelists and i am terribly sorry that i cannot be there with you today to share this in person and to answer your questions. I truly do believe that all children should be brought into this world, wherever possible using the skills that we were taught and that these techniques should be at the very core of what expectant mothers are offered in terms of preparatory education.
If it were possible to put every expectant mother, particularly first time mothers through a hypno birthing course, whether they chose to give birth in a hospital or at home, i am sure that the need for intervention and the number of emergency cases would dramatically reduce.
This is about giving women back the skills that they have forgotten.