Positive Birth Stories are here to revolutionize the way we look at birth (and change the world 🙂 )! Fear and stress associated to birth are one of the main reason why women don’t manage to achieve a joyful birth experience. And it doesn’t have to be that way! You can read more about Positive Birth Stories here. Or head to my birth story: How I had a natural and pain free birth thanks to hypnobirthing.
Ana’s Birth Story
When I was 22 years old and single, a friend at the time shared her birthing story with me, she was graphic. The phrase that stayed with me was: ‘and then I ripped from one end to the other’. I then decided I would never have children.
Fast forward 12 years and that memory had faded (just enough) and I was having my first boy. I was deemed low risk so I got a room at a lovely new NHS birth center in Lewisham Hospital. My pregnancy was pretty straight forward and I worked full time through most of it. We had done a prenatal course and I was reading all about hypnobirthing. We were scared, but we felt ready.
Related: Hypnobirthing 101 – the basics for a positive birth experience
And then I found myself on all fours on the floor of my room in the birth center in early active labor and the panic kicked in, remembering my friend’s story. I cried to the midwives (on repeat) ‘please I don’t want to rip’. They told me very calmly that I was ok, that I needed to breathe slowly and wait for the right moment, and if I followed their instructions exactly, I would be fine. While that sunk in I begged for drugs, but they said my labor had started and it was time to just go for it.
I remember screaming so much I started losing my voice. And then slowly, survival instinct kicked in. I closed my eyes and I had a bit of an outer body experience, I was in my own special place in my mind, with the pain and everything else going on at a distance (my version of hypnobirthing). I started to control my breathing, holding tight to the sheets on the bed, concentrating on the job in hand.
Related: Hypnobirthing breathing techniques
Then finally the magic was happening, his little head was coming through and I screamed to a whole new level. I was in so much pain, I was scared and then the midwife gave me the best tip ever… she said ‘look at me and imagine I have a birthday cake on the top of my head, you need to blow the candles out, but gently. I nodded and did just that. And in a couple of final pushes the little chappy was finally out. 5 hours from the first contraction in my bed at home to holding my baby.
We stayed overnight, having a shower after all that was the best feeling ever. We left the next morning and the midwives said…see you in two years. In my mind I said ‘yeah right!?’
Two years later I was back to the same birth center giving birth to my second boy. This time I knew what to expect and again I had a standard pregnancy. I went into the calming place and I was way less panicky but I said the same words as I had said before. The visual from that story was still playing in my head. Again no time for drugs and he arrived in 3hrs.
My third boy arrived in 45 minutes! I had counted myself lucky that my first two births were quite short, but this was ridiculous! I almost had him in the car, waiting at a level crossing. I nearly had him in the entrance of the hospital, I nearly had him in some empty part of the hospital when my panicking husband drove me the wrong way in a wheelchair. That baby was in a hurry! This time I was very zen, I was fearless and I no longer had the panic of ripping. I was calm, breathing and listening to my body. It was a lovely birth (once we found the right maternity ward) and if you ask me if it was painful…I would say ‘No, it wasn’t’.
Ama is a personal brand photographer, a wife and a mum of three boys. She’s based in West Sussex and all over Surrey. Her website is: www.anabohane.com
From Monica: this story clearly demonstrates how hearing a bad birth story can really affect a mo-to-be in her own birth experience! Our mind doesn’t let go of things easily, and a bad experience is very likely to scare us off! While hypnobirthing didn’t help Ana in her first birth experience, with practice and the guide of a certified practitioner, it can really help releasing any fear a mom-to-be may have about giving birth. This is a crucial step if wanting to achieve a peaceful and positive birth experience!
If you are interested in learning more about hypnobirthing:
- Hypnobirthing 101 – the basics for a positive birth experience
- Hypnobirthing breathing techniques
- The most powerful Birth Affirmations
If you are looking for more tips or information on how to prepare for birth and postpartum, also have a look at the following related articles:
- 23 Tips for a Natural Birth without Epidural
- Printable Natural Birth Plan Template (FREE Word + PDF)
- 15 Signs that Labor is 24 to 48 Hours Away
- Hospital Bag Checklist for Mom, Baby and Partner (with FREE Printable)
- 12 Must-Have Clothes for After Delivery in Hospital
- Postpartum Care Kit Checklist (with all Essentials!)
- What to REALLY expect with your Postpartum Recovery
- 10 of the Quickest Ways to go into Labor Overnight (with Stories from Real Moms)
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