Hypnobirthing and yoga are two of the best things I have ever done!
I had heard four friends' home HypnoBirthing stories before I became pregnant and until that point I had two hours yoga under my belt. My HypnoBirthing friends had all done yoga and I figured there was no harm to give that a go, so at sixteen weeks I got stuck in. Admittedly it took a while for me to understand exactly how much I was benefiting from it. A couple of weeks later I bought the HypnoBirthing book to read in Sydney airport waiting for a delayed plane of all things and by the time we boarded I was sure it was the best route for us to take. And that's how we then looked for a course and found Carrie. Derek wasn't especially keen to give up five week nights to talk about childbirth but did do his homework and read the book, eventually being hooked to the point where he was more confident than me!
The course itself was relaxed and reassuring, but it was the home exercises that helped the most. There was a lot of learning and bonding to be done along the journey and the course gave us tools to help with this and resolve any fears we had as soon-to-be parents, not just for the birth. Seeing Carrie alongside this for yoga too was a huge bonus - for one reason or another, as my pregnancy progressed, although I felt well, enough reasons were found to get me extra antenatal appointments, scans and stress factors I hadn't expected. Yoga nidra, home yoga and relaxation got us through it. I was pleased to go the entire pregnancy and birth without any back pain whatsoever. Carrie was in touch the whole time and was willing to offer her time beyond the HypnoBirthing course itself.
Charlotte's hospital birth was relatively textbook in the end, she was perfectly positioned, which I attribute to the yoga. I was in established labour for over twelve hours, during which time Derek was supportive, with massage and helping with visualisations. At six days 'overdue' labour started off gently with a show on the Friday morning and intermittent painless surges. All seemed to be going well and I was alone in the house so took the opportunity to do some rainbow relaxation and listen to my birth affirmations. I was feeling excited more than anything! By the time midnight approached things started to become more noticeable and I was aware of strong surges from the early hours of Saturday morning. Relying on music, child's pose, my trusty yoga bolster and exercise ball I managed to nap occasionally until around 6 am when things seemed to ramp up again and we went to hospital.
We were fortunate with our midwife, although we hadn't met before, she was respectful, fun and not at all intrusive. I was only examined once; I was 7-8cm dilated, for most of the time we were left to do our own thing, which was fine with us! Admittedly I did sneak a little bit of gas when we first arrived at hospital, however Derek soon confiscated it! Apparently it took a fair while for Charlotte to be birthed, I remember it being tiring work but not painful. In fact the final surges were just sensation and the feeling of her being born was maybe two surges and some stretching sensations. She was very content when born at 8lb 6 oz with no blemishes or marks whatsoever, we didn't use water, but did use a birthing stool and I delivered her on my hands and knees.
I would certainly recommend the perineal massage, Derek was not looking forward to it at all, but I was pleased to find I only had a graze and a small tear, both of which healed within days and required no stitches. Our midwife told us that my perineum "just slipped over her head" and the last doctor I saw before being discharged asked me how my stitches were going. When I stated I had none, I remember them exclaiming with bewilderment "how did you manage to deliver an 8lb baby with no stitches?!" So I felt pretty smug with that! It's now I appreciate how much yoga and HypnoBirthing techniques have assisted in my recovery as I don't think it could have gone any smoother. For this alone I would recommend it!
Yoga is now a regular fixture in my life - it has given me a new positive way to approach life and has allowed me to take a step back and relax when things have felt overwhelming or I have felt isolated from my family. I am certain that if it wasn't for discovering Carrie the experience would not have been as wonderful as it was.
Our daughter, besides being our favourite thing, didn't cry much at all in her early days and even now she is very content, growing well and is very happy. Even my parents are sure she's as easy going as she is due to the HypnoBirthing and we can't wait to do it again!
With love and much gratitude,
Katherine, Derek and Charlotte