Annabelle’s birth story – by Vicky
I’ve been meaning to message you since our baby girl, Annabelle, was born. You might remember I had some significant anxieties following my difficult birth with my son and could only make half of your hypnobirthing class as my son and husband were unwell. Unfortunately life continued to be busy and I didn’t have chance to arrange any follow up sessions with you, which I would’ve loved to have done. However, I managed a peaceful week of maternity leave before I went into labour, where I listened to the relaxation track every day and focused on making myself comfortable at home, feeling rested and getting the oxytocin going. I went to bed one Tuesday night feeling like something might be happening. I woke up at 2am having contractions, but decided to stay comfortable in bed, listening to the track at times, relaxing and resting and let my husband sleep. At 6am I had breakfast with my son then went back to bed when my husband took him to nursery as I felt a bit sick and like I needed to focus getting back into my birthing zone (I now realise that this was probably transition!). By the time my husband got home I realised that the hypnobirthing had been so successful that I needed to push and wasn’t going to make it to hospital! Baby Annabelle was born on our kitchen floor at 935am with paramedics arriving just in time to catch her. The pushing stage was intense but I didn’t feel frightened at any stage, had no thoughts of my previous delivery and never doubted that I would be able to deliver her. I needed a few stitches afterwards but my recovery has been very rapid and I have felt happy and relaxed in the postpartum period. I have not had any more nightmares about my previous delivery and feel like I can move on from it now. Additionally, I can’t remember if I’d told you that I struggled to breastfeed last time and produced very little milk despite a lot of professional help. This time I am breastfeeding Annabelle and just topping up with formula as required. Again I put this down to me being happier and more relaxed.
As an endocrinologist the concept of hypnobirthing made sense to me, but I didn’t think it would have such a profound effect on me, even allowing for the fact that second labours are usually easier. I’m now listening to the Mindful Mamma audiobook and am finding this helpful in dealing with a 17mo and newborn in this time of social distancing!