I had a real sense of purpose & something practical to do
We decided as a couple to try hypnobirthing as it was considered to be a positive approach to pregnancy and could do no harm, and therefore worth looking into. I was put to task to do some research. I did my usual quick web browser search and found the KGH website. It was clear, informative and the digital book with audio sessions were easy to access and affordable.
The hypnobirthing package appealed to me as we could pick-up and go with it. We were 5 months into the pregnancy so we needed something we could start using straight away. That evening I started reading the book aloud to Katy. This was such a good idea as we learnt the practice together and would discuss details after each chapter. The book was an easy read and I found the factual background theory and statistics reassuring.
We finished the book in a matter of days and moved onto the audios with both of us listening to them in bed before going to sleep. More often than not I found myself falling asleep to them. Very relaxing. The book contains the written text for the relaxations and prompts you as the partner to read them aloud for a guided relaxation. This seemed a natural thing to do given I had read the book to Katy. This was very effective as Katy would have a deeper meditative experience.
This gave me a real sense of purpose. I had something practically I could do that was supportive and could demonstrate my interest in the birth which can be difficult to show as a man during this precious time. Pregnancy is physically and emotionally demanding and can put a strain on relationships. This gave us both a focus and something in which we could bond with each other and the baby. As we worked through the book and followed the plan, I grew in confidence and started looking forward to the actual labour and birth rather than fear it.
Leading up to the birth, our evenings became increasingly focused on the relaxations. Our front room became like a spa -very Zen and tranquil. Hypnobirthing gave us the confidence to write the birth plan we wanted. We planned a home birth. Katy even suggested that I should deliver the baby onto her tummy. This may have been something in jest at first. We both continued to grow in confidence together through our relaxation practice. Over time I would then start tailoring the relaxations so that they were more personalised to who we were as a couple and how we envisaged the birth to be.
As the due date was looming we started visualising going into labour. Lo and behold Katy went into labour 2 days before the due date. During labour we both seemed to go on autopilot. We had a completely natural and swift birth. Our midwife arrived just as our baby’s head did. I guided the baby’s head out and placed our daughter onto Katy’s tummy. It was such a joyous experience, better than we both could have wished for. I was very proud of Katy, the baby and myself with how we worked together.
Katy’s recovery has been just as swift and natural. This was another motivator for me to put the effort into the practice in the weeks before the birth. Knowing this approach gives you the best chance of a safe delivery for mother and baby.
The more time you spend on doing the relaxations the better experience you will have during the labour and birth. I’m convinced of this. Every pregnancy and birth will be different and yes unfortunately some will have complications but hypnobirthing will still be a supportive approach to enable the best possible outcome whatever happens. Our midwife agrees that most successful home births that are swift and natural are due to the couples ability to do hypnobirthing.