Charlie, a Teacher and Samuel, an Electrician share their journey, thanks so much for these wonderful words…
After a worrying time convinced I was never going to fall pregnant (thanks to PCOS) I found myself pregnant with twins. Cue a long list of anxieties (I had become a professional worrier at this point) about statistics, premature labour, birth defects etc. I realised that I was never going to have a successful pregnancy and birth if I didn’t learn to take control of the situation. This could be my only pregnancy and birth after all, why not try to enjoy it?
Having spoken to my best friend about hypnobirthing and thanks to a couple of friends recommendations I signed up for Keri’s course. Not least because I just felt I needed to do something positive for once! I expected (sorry Keri) to stumble into a incense fragranced, house of hippy whereby we would chant and meditate for the majority of the course! I’ve never been one for holistic approaches and was always a bit sceptical, but decided to be open minded.
I could not have been more wrong in my expectation. Keri is friendly, approachable and completely not the hippy I had in mind. She is so unbelievably knowledgeable and had an answer for every question. I know that my husband was also reluctant to come along (particularly as it was on a Sunday) but was pleasantly surprised to find 2 other couples just like us. It was great to share fears and hopes with others going through the same thing. I felt I learned so much from the course and left confident that I could have a natural twin birth.
Sam and I discussed the parts of the course that we felt suited us. It is very flexible, so you can pick and choose what you’re comfortable with. I.E I hated the idea of light touch massage, but was totally on board with Sam playing a bigger role in the birth by supporting me with visualisation etc. I made up my mind to use a combination of the advice that I had picked up on the course for my birth and Sam and I practiced this in the weeks leading up.
Now, as is often the case with twin pregnancies, things didn’t quite go to my loose plan. I found out that although twin 1 was head down, twin 2 was breech. I was advised by the hospital to consider an elective C section. I didn’t really want to do that, but after speaking to a friend who had the same circumstances and ending up having her twins by two different exits, I decided to go for the elective. It was the safest option for my babies and for me. I attended hospital on 8th October and booked a C section for 22nd October. I left feeling happy and in control.
Once again, the twinnies had other plans and I went into natural labour that night at 36 weeks pregnant. My waters broke at 11pm and my husband and I calmly made our way to hospital by midnight. I felt completely fine. I was told on arrival that it would be better to have the surgery in the morning so I would have to labour overnight. Normally, I would have panicked that I would have had the babies naturally before the, but because I was so confident with what my body was doing, I accepted this without question. I even told Sam to go home and get some sleep (one of us might as well!) so that was that.
I was left alone, in a dark room, working through my contractions by breathing and using visualisation and I felt fine! I know that without the knowledge I gained on the course, I could never have coped on my own. With each contraction I moved around and got myself into whatever position was comfortable. The midwife would often have to hunt for me in the room! The hospital hooked me up to monitors for the twins, but it drove me crazy so I took them off. I managed to sleep on and off and by 6am was ready for gas and air. I continued to contract and when Sam returned at 7am my contractions were 3 minutes apart.
I walked to surgery myself at 9am. It was such a wonderful experience. I felt no panic and rush, the hospital staff were amazing and I felt totally at ease. I was chatting away when the anaesthetist declared “baby one is coming out” I couldn’t believe it as I didn’t feel a thing! I used delayed cord clamping and vaginal swab as recommended on the course to help the babies along as naturally as possible given the circumstances.
My two boys were born at 9.34 and 9.36 am weighing 6lb and 5lb 1 oz. It was amazing.
I know that this isn’t the traditional hypnobirth that I wanted and that many people achieve, but it does go to show that even with heavy medical intervention, the course can be used to make it a really positive experience for parents and baby or babies. I am sure that Sam was equally as calm as me because, unlike many other Dads, he had an idea of what was going on. As a couple we felt so well prepared and as a result I was able to enjoy both my pregnancy and my birth, regardless of the circumstances.
If I am ever lucky enough to fall pregnant again (please god let it be one baby!!) I will definitely use the hypnobirthing again 🙂
I cannot recommend Keri and her course enough. She goes above and beyond and was a real source of support in my pregnancy. She is so passionate about what she does and her knowledge is unmatchable. Thank you Keri.