My learning is that every experience of pregnancy, and birth is different and personal, with this account, we do not wish to assume what is right for others, but want to share what was perfect for us as a family.
I had an anxious first few weeks of pregnancy, experiencing some pain and worry about the babies wellbeing. From 7 weeks on, I made the decision to approach things differently, and I can honestly say what followed was a joyful time. We decided we would commit to KGH, my partner took the all-important leading role in this- in a system and time where everything can become mother- focused (through social dynamics and professional systems). He first read the book to me and then committed to the daily practice and preparation. He prepared a room in the house dedicated to our practice – it almost felt like a spa. I was struck by how powerful it was, from just a few weeks in I was amazed by how zen and relaxed I felt, as well as connected to our baby. I deleted the phone app updating me on baby’s development and decided against reading about pregnancy online and focused on what I could feel and sense of the life growing inside me. This brought great bonding, removed preconceptions or disruption to instincts, and developed early communication. I did, of course, educate myself on birth options and data in relation to this.
I found the voice of my partner reading the meditations grew more powerful each day, to the point I would reach deep relaxation within a couple of sentences- we would laugh at me yawning after the first line! Whether it was removing the stress, or whether I was just fortunate, I didn’t have many symptoms in pregnancy at all, I maintained good sleep and eating, there were no complications or concerns.
We developed the meditations in the week leading up to the birth, aimed more directly at our baby, preparing for the team (Mum, Dad and Baby) effort of birth. We hoped and talked to her about coming a couple of days early, partly because we knew that anything past the due date would mean a pressure of some kind from professionals to consider medical interventions, which we did not want.
Two days before her due date she arrived, and what a special birth it was! After a good and full night’s sleep, I woke up at 5am, in some discomfort. I had a bath and went downstairs, wondering if this was ‘false labour’ and thought it would go after an hour. At 6am, I thought I’d wake my partner just to see if he had any ideas of how to ease the discomfort, I told him I wasn’t in labour, but he thought and knew otherwise. Very soon the discomfort stopped completely. The surges began! The experience became very magical at this point. The surges themselves did not feel like pain, and were oddly pleasurable! I had read about people who said they’d experienced pleasure, and whilst I had whole- heartedly believed in what the book and peoples’ experiences shared, I said to myself “telling me this won’t hurt is a step too far.” Well, I was wrong!
I had surges which were intense and brought about an incredible focus of mindfulness, allowing me to be in the moment completely. There was a pleasurable release during each surge. These would be followed by a very intense, relaxed blissful feeling, almost dreamlike, whereby I would almost fall asleep with rapid recuperation. This state of bliss and relaxation is like nothing I have ever felt, and it was instant.
I had the words ‘relax, relax, relax’ repeated in my head, as it would at the start of meditations. In the room, my partner came and went and while he was present, he was quiet and peaceful. He recorded the timings and give me praise and encouragement. Having him there gave me complete confidence in what we had practiced so much. He called the midwife to let them know at the right point, that we were ready for the home birth we had planned. Whilst on the phone, my waters broke, again with ease and pleasure.
My partner welcomed the midwife as she arrived in the house, directing her to read the birth plan that we had carefully written with the hypnobirthing principles within. We hoped to keep any intervention to a minimum, little did we know when writing it that there’d be no time for interventions anyway. As the midwife read the plan, my partner came to me to say the midwife would like to say hello, I did not tell my partner that I had just felt the baby’s head arriving with my hand. When they returned, I saw a look of surprise and readiness on my partner’s face as he saw the head was there. The midwife said “Hi, I am Wendy, a midwife, there is no time for any checks, your baby is here!”
She went on to guide my partner through catching our baby and placing her on my chest. I had at no point pushed, and it felt as though the baby smoothly slid out, I had not expected it to be so gentle and swift at that stage. At 10.39, I held my baby, in complete awe of her, my partner and how, as a team, we had transitioned her into our arms. We had an hour of skin to skin, where our baby bobbed her head to start feeding instinctively. The placenta followed and was delivered naturally with ease. We waited an hour before my partner cut the cord. We declined the vitamin K.
Within an hour and a half the midwife had cleared up, written her notes, checked the baby’s weight, confirmed I had no tears, and left. There we were, in a state of bliss and amazement. All well, so much so that my partner went and cooked a lunch for us.
What followed was a swift and thankful recovery for my body. We went on daily walks from day 1, my body was back in pre pregnancy clothes by day 4. And any discomfort or sensations of my uterus re shrinking stopped in week two.
The way my partner led us through the hypnobirthing and delivered our baby will leave me forever amazed and grateful to him. It took our bond as a couple and family with our baby to a very special place.