This was our first child and like many first time parents the amount of questions, stresses and concerns we had with what to expect, how to do things and what was the right way deal with your child’s birth were piling up. One thing that we were not actually thinking of was what, “were our rights as parents during the birth process?” This only became apparent after meeting and talking with our hypno-birthing teacher. It was only after we realised this that we felt more in control and secure about what we would do as it gave us the option to say yes or no to certain aspects on the day. Hypno-birthing and the anti natal classes given with it were instrumental in giving us the knowledge and tools we needed to address key issues and feel confident about the day. It became an event were truly looking forward to without any fears or stresses.
As the Father to be I have to state that to any Dads not convinced or unsure about what hypno-birthing is give it a go! It is not just that on the day you will feel ready and confident but during the whole pregnancy you will know your position, what’s expected of you and how much you can be a part of the pregnancy on a different level. You will be given scripts which you can read to your partner at night which will help her relax and sleep better. She will appreciate the support and that feeling of appreciation will work on you in turn. Rather than being simply the Dad you become a part of the event and the responsibility and care giving you provide is a great introduction to looking after your child and your wife. It helped me to build on the fact that this is my family and you are doing these small things for them. That gives you great satisfaction and sense of worth during pregnancy time in an intimate way. If you learn one thing know that hypno-birthing is not some sort of far out non practical method. You will learn everything you would otherwise learn in a regular anti natal class but also how to be ready on the day and how to be there for your partner during pregnancy.
With just 10 minute scripts at night my wife and I shared a moment to relax, a moment of family time and you will see her mood become much more relaxed, happy and confident. This point is essential to know as the strain pregnancy puts on your partner will have a knock on effect to the Dad, where sleepless nights due to being uncomfortable, hormonal changes, hot flushes and fatigue can put a strain on even the most solid relationships! My wife and I practiced the breathing techniques and because of doing relaxation scripts I wanted to make sure she was practicing her breathing properly. That little backup and encouragement helped her and I needed to learn it as much as she did because come the big day all those scripts and techniques came to hand. Talking calmly and using certain words as opposed to others will help her and help you and you will replace any anxiety for the upcoming day with excitement.
My wife started labour at 5.30pm and gave birth by 9.51pm which was brilliant timing, we were really lucky yes but I strongly believe it was due to the hypno-birthing techniques her labour time was cut short. During the time every technique just naturally kicked in with both of us. Coaching her to breathe, keeping myself calm, engaging her needs and maintaining focus. We decided on a home birth as familiar surroundings help to keep your partner calm and feel secured. Our birth plan was basically stay at home, avoid drug use with the exception of gas and air to be on standby and be left to get on with it! We opted for only one examination just to see how dilated she was and discussed at length with our midwife certain keywords we did not want them to say such as “are you in any pain?” but instead use the phrase “are you comfortable?” It may not seem like such a big deal but those small things have a great impact on your partners wellbeing during the time she goes into labour. My wife maintained calm and focus and although our midwife was there it felt like it was just the two of us. We had learned to pick our midwife and see who we wanted to allow in with us during what is the most special, intimate thing you will go through. We knew we had the power to choose and decide what was right for us. This went a long way on the day and we adored our midwife who was supportive and understanding.
The contractions gradually got stronger and stronger and on the one and only examination my wife was 7cm dilated after 2 hours which came as a huge surprise to the midwife. As is common with hypno-birthing mothers, because they are so relaxed and alert during the process midwives get thrown off as it is simply something they are not used to seeing. For that reason they think that the person is not so far along in labour. My wife used an excersise ball throughout the labour as it stabilised her and kept her in the most comfortable position she liked. The feelings are intense but not stressful as you look into your partners eyes and see them giving everything to give birth. It drains every ounce of energy and we kept her hydrated with apple juice throughout. Taking little sips in between contractions and a moment of pause was highly beneficial for her. For the entire time it was like this, push, breathe, focus. Coaching and holding her hand with the midwife occasionally taking heart beat checks to see how baby was doing.
When the final stages approached my wife got into a seating position of the almost classical type we come to imagine with someone giving birth but slightly elevated and to the side. The final pushes were upon her and I noticed a glazed look came over her eyes as the natural pain relief hormones kicked in. It was rather strange as the focus we had been maintainingg intensified and put her into almost trance like state. There seemed nothing else in the world for her right at that moment except her and allowing our baby to pass smoothly into the world. I initially, in fact right up until the moment it happened, didn’t want to see the baby coming out but couldn’t look away. I wanted to see our child come out and see everything was ok. Thankfully it was and my wife was cradling our child, exhausted, elated and dazed in her arms. We waited some time before cutting the cord and our little girl was passed to me for the first time. It was the greatest feeling in the world and all I can say is without hypno-birthing I am not sure where I would have been and my wife also feels the same. Thank you HypnoBambinos for everything.