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.
Belinda’s Birth Stories
You wouldn’t wake up one morning and decide, hey, today I’m gonna run a marathon! If that was something you were going to do, you would most likely do a little research, take care of your body, have a plan and definitely do some training right! Well then why is it that so often we go into labor without proper preparation?
I have three little girls and I can tell you for certain that each delivery has been completely different! That of course is to be expected, also a lot of what happens on the day can be out of our hands, but there’s also plenty that is in our control.
If someone told you that you had the option to have a calm and really special birth experience, wouldn’t you want to know more? I would, and that’s exactly why I’m sharing my story with you, because I’m sure my first two deliveries would have been quite different had I know about this sooner.
I’ll tell you a little about each delivery and then I’ll share how I believe they may have played out a bit differently had I know this sooner.
Belinda’s First Birth: induction, epidural and episiotomy
So with my first daughter my water broke early in the morning, I’m not talking the ‘hollywood gush’ more like a little slip when sneezing that leaves you feeling a bit wet… only I hadn’t sneezed. I waited around a bit to see if anything happened and after lunch, when nothing did, my mom and I set off to met my hubby at the hospital. The car ride must have done the trick cause when we got there I got that big gush I had expected, there was no denying it now, this baby was on her way.
We waited, and waited for ages and when nothing got going I was told I was being induced. It wasn’t what I had hoped for but I didn’t seem to have any option. It started off feeling like food poisoning and soon my contractions were in full swing. Hours passed but things were moving SO SLOWLY, I was only a few centimeters dilated and I was exhausted! I asked for an epidural but unfortunately thanks to the time I had to wait near on 6 hours before getting it. I had a contraction as he finally put the needle in my back, it was awful and worse yet it only just took the edge off! When I was finally told we were moving to the delivery room I was so scared of what was coming next that I cried. This was it, they told me to push – but I couldn’t feel. They told me to hold my breath – but it was impossible. This was so uncomfortable and it just wasn’t working…. Contractions stalled, we took a break, they started up, I got help moving into a different position and FINALLY one episiotomy and a few big pushes later my beautiful baby was born.
We were both so overwhelmed that we cried together, holding our tiny body. Total labor time counting from when the induction meds kicked in 12.5 hours.
Belinda’s Second Birth: the total opposite
My second time round was the polar opposite! I woke up around 3 am with what felt like period pain, I stayed in bed and started timing contractions and soon after I called my mom to come and look after Emily. The 20 min it took her to get to me felt like an eternity, the contractions were only a few minutes apart, they were SUPER INTENSE and I was starting to freak out! When she arrived we were in the driveway with the car running, we hugged, took a picture and sped off to the hospital.
I had already called my doctor who arrived shortly after. I was 7 cm dilated already, everything was moving so quickly compared to last time, I was terrified and completely tensed up.
Not even 10 minutes later I HAD TO PUSH but I was scared that I wasn’t far dilated enough, I couldn’t talk, I motioned for my husband to get the doctor’s attention, he turned around, took one look at me and asked if I wanted to push? I nodded, he said go for it, three big pushes and she was out, we couldn’t believe it!
Total deliver time counting from when I woke up with mild cramps 3.5 hours.
Belinda’s Third Birth: a game changer
This last time round was the game changer, I did hypnobirthing and was super excited to try it out and see if it really works or makes any difference.
39 weeks, 40 weeks, 41 weeks…. Oh gosh, please don’t let me be induced, I can’t bare such a long labor again! After all this preparation it really wasn’t what I wanted but, I had to find a way to accept it. After plenty of walking, bouncing, spicy food, pineapple, a few false starts, sex and two failed stretch and sweeps I was still pregnant!
The doctor had waited as long as she was happy to and the induction was booked for Sunday morning. I made my peace with it, we had given her every chance to come on her own and it unfortunately hadn’t happened…
Saturday night I felt a tiny bit crampy but after a few false starts I tried not to get my hopes up. At about 3am I woke up and started timing contractions, ten minutes later I woke my husband and jumped in the shower.
I was calmly breathing through each contraction while he was timing them. I called in aunty Nik who was looking after the others, a few hardcore contractions and 10 minutes later she pulled up, I gave her a hug and we hopped in the car. I pressed play on my birth affirmations, put my earphones in, closed my eyes and focused on what was happening in my body.
When we got to the hospital we told them we were doing hypnobirthing, the nurses and midwives were amazing! They dimmed the lights and let me take the lead. I got on my knees and hugged the ball, all the while listening to my birthing affirmations. This time I was relaxed and although the contractions were very close together, flippen intense and yes, still painful, I wasn’t scared. I was in tune with my baby and my body, I was calm, my body was relaxed and I knew I could do this.
I used the breathing techniques to help with the pain. I listened to my positive affirmations which kept my mind distracted from the intensity of the pain and also reminded me to breath and not tense my muscles. It’s amazing how when you’re in that moment, you can unintentionally hold your breath.
Related: Hypnobirthing Breathing Techniques
My husband and the nurses were amazed at how calm and quiet I was (last time I sounded like a dying cow), at one point I heard her ask him if I had done this before.
I got the shakes and knew I was in transition labor, that meant we were in the home stretch. I asked my husband to call the doctor in. I felt her moving down, I told her to be ready. I stood up to try and move onto the bed but it was too late, the final contraction hit and she was born with me standing next to the bed with the doctor on the floor behind me. LOL.
She was born on Mothers day, the same Sunday I was booked to be induced, What an epic gift! Total delivery time from when I woke up less than 3 hours.
The differences between the different births
The main differences from this last delivery to the others? I was SO prepared, I was well informed and those two things meant I was calm, relaxed and able to birth my baby more easily. I was in tune with my body, I knew what was happening at every turn, I wasn’t waiting for someone else to tell me. It was the best and most empowering experience of my life!
My husband was pretty damn impressed too, he’s obviously been with me each time and he could see the difference and is now a walking salesman for hypnobirthing.
I believe that my other deliveries would have played out differently if I knew half of what I know now. I would have asked other questions, I would have better understood what was happening. I wouldn’t have had to rely on someone else to tell me what was happening. I would have been less scared and more relaxed, that alone would have been a game changer.
In the lead up to this delivery I told anyone who asked that I was doing hypnobirthing and most seemed to think it was a little weird – Probably because they simply didn’t understand what that actually meant. All it really is, is some education around what’s actually happening in your body, how it all works, what to expect and then some mindfulness practices on relaxing and trusting your body. There are also some practical things to try on the day, like breathing techniques, massage, birth positions to try etc.
Related: Hypnobirthing Breathing Techniques
You never know how things will play out on the day so having a bunch of things up your sleeve, means you are well prepared and have good odds of having a really positive experience.
I seriously don’t understand why it’s not more mainstream, even just the educational part that comes with it is priceless. I had already been through two deliveries (and I had done my research beforehand) and I still learnt LOADS from doing this course!
So that’s my story, I wish I knew about this sooner and cannot recommend it highly enough – It’s even worth it if you don’t do the hypno part and only use it for education and preparation!
Here is a picture of my family a few days after the last little one arrived… Taking a picture with five people smiling and looking in the right place at the right time isn’t easy! LOL
Classes are available in person but I did it all online – For more information you can find out more at Hypnobirthing Australia (No I don’t get any kickbacks for recommending this). There are a host of other options but this is who I did it with.
From Monica: I love hearing stories of women that gave birth with hypnobirthing 🙂 And I really like how Belinda compared her three birth stories to show how hypnobirthing can make such a huge difference! I personally gave birth to my second daughter with hypnobirthing as well and I cannot agree more: it was a game changer!
If you are curious about hypnobirthing and want to find out more, you can have a look at this articles:
- Hypnobirthing 101: the basics for a positive birth experience
- Hypnobirthing breathing techniques
- Best Free Hypnobirthing Apps
- Top 5 Online Hypnobirthing Classes
- The Most Powerful Birth Affirmations for a Positive Birth Experience
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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