Frances and Munir
I wanted to thank you in helping to transform an experience I was approaching with great trepidation into something beautiful and empowering.
You may remember that this is our second baby and I tore badly the first time. The medical advice was to have a c-section to avoid potentially long term consequences of tearing again.
It was only when we came to your course that it helped us to identify the real reason things had gone wrong the first time. In my first birth, we were progressing fine until we went to the hospital and then I suddenly stopped progressing. With the regular inspections telling us that things had slowed down, our stress increased and eventually we took up the advice to break the waters. This lead to rapid progress but I wasn’t able to push my baby out. Doctors came in and used forceps, and then I had to go into theatre for repair. The consequences were long-lasting. My son was for a short while traumatised by the experience, but eventually recovered from that after a few weeks. For me, when I became pregnant again I was terrified of going to hospital, of the loss of control, of doctors and of tearing, of progress slowing down. And the medical advice seemed clear - we should have a c-section.
Then we came to your course and for the first time things made sense. Maybe my progress had slowed because I was not in my home environment. And with each inspection telling me that I had stopped dilating my stress increased, and this compounded the problem. The midwife, who was lovely, suggested breaking my waters which sounded like the right thing to do, but of course my body was not ready - which lead to forceps being needed and damage to me.
Following your course, we challenged the medical advice - and when asked directly, the doctors conceded that there was in fact no medical basis for suggesting I should tear again. They were concerned, though about the possibility of slow progress. As were we, but we came to the opposite conclusion on how to tackle it. We decided, with the HypnoBirthing principles to guide us, that we would have a birth that was as stress-free as possible - which meant being at home, staying positive in the lead up, and avoiding any interventions whatsoever except where there was evidence to suggest it was necessary for my or my baby’s safety.
We did not have to wait long. We attended your course only two weeks before I gave birth. We quickly registered for a homebirth, and the midwives were very good about that. And we practised visualisations every day, and peppered our walls with affirmations and positive beliefs.
After two days of continuous practice surges, my labour started in earnest at 2am on Sunday 15th November. I stayed calm and relaxed, while my husband notified the midwives - we were in no hurry for them to arrive. They eventually decided that, even though we were calm, they should come over at 6am. My husband greeted them and explained that we were looking for minimal intervention - this was quite a testing discussion, and he was concerned that they would be offended. But after about an hour we developed a good rapport and they were fantastic - suggesting how my husband and I could support each other better, helping with visualisations a little but then disappearing into the background.
At 9am, the midwives changed. I had not let out a peep and so they suggested my first inspection. I agreed, and they were astonished that I was almost fully dilated already. The new midwives were just as fantastic at minimal intervention - only the occasional check on the baby’s heart. My husband was my only support, and the only support I needed. And then, at 11.00am, I let out my first sound as I felt the urge to push. Half an hour later, my waters broke. And at 12.47pm, Layla Florence entered the world, and without any tearing at all. An hour and a half later, the midwives were gone, and my husband and I were sat on our sofa drinking tea astonished at how quickly normality was resuming itself.
The whole experience has been so positive and so amazing. And we cannot overstate the effect your course had in guiding us to the right approach to deal with our concerns, rather than choosing an unnecessary c-section, or making the same mistakes again.
Thank you again - the course really made all of the difference in the end, much more than we had expected when we signed up.
Frances and Munir