Helen joined our online Group course during the pandemic. She was incredibly anxious and found the course and support from Elise to be a huge help during her pregnancy. After the course, she was still quite apprehensive about labour and birth, but look at how all her prep paid off.
If you are feeling anxious and unsure if you can do it, this is a story you will definitely want to read.
Here is Helen's Birth Story:
My baby was due on January 2nd but I had a feeling it would be earlier as I had been having pains on and off for over a week and I just felt a bit "different" and there was also a full moon on the 29th! Following what I'd learned on the course, I tried not to overthink things and continued walking and moving about on a regular basis in order to get the baby in the best position possible.
Throughout the night of the 29th December I was having pains which I later realised were surges, I couldn't stay in bed and every time a surge came I just moved about and began timing them but nothing was really consistent. I went back to bed and tried to get some rest as I realised it was beginning and needed to rest as much as possible.
On the morning of the 30th December I suspected my waters had broken but no surges followed so I decided to keep moving and see how things progressed during the day. Nothing happened at all aside from a few more pains, which again looking back were pretty mild surges, so we decided to go to the birth centre in the evening to see if it was my waters.
They were confident that they had broken, but couldn't be certain, so I had until 10 a.m. on the 31st to start active labour; else, I'd be on the labour ward facing an induction! Obviously this was not what I had wanted, I had hoped to give birth in the water at the birth centre but remembering all the techniques Elise had taught me I tried to stay calm and positive, reminding myself of all my positive affirmations and listening to the hypnobirthing mp3s that Elise had provided me with which really helped me to keep focussed and calm.
On the morning of 31st after a night of on and off surges but no pattern to them I headed to the labour ward thinking I would be faced with an induction. I spoke to Elise on my way into the hospital and told her what was happening. I was having surges lasting about 5-7 minutes but there was no pattern and they were coming every 20 minutes to an hour. She explained to me that this was called "coupling" and was actually a good sign. Her reassurance and guidance before I went in, reminding me to be "UFO," be calm, use my coping strategies and tools, and be positive in general, made all the difference.
On arrival I was told I would need antibiotics as my waters had broken over 24hours ago with no regular contractions and they also wanted to start me off with a gel (it was too late for the pessary)
One thing I really gained from Elise's course was the knowledge and confidence to speak up for myself and ask for what I wanted, so before agreeing to the gel I asked them to confirm my waters were indeed broken and then once confirmed I would start the antibiotics and wait a bit longer before the gel was inserted.
I asked for the drip to be put in so I could remain mobile and as they wanted to continuously monitor the baby I again asked for them to do this whilst I remained mobile. All of these things I had learnt from the course helped me feel more in control and calmer as my birth was taking shape rather differently.
We were left in the room for a few hours after my first set of antibiotics and we set up the room as nicely as we could, put up the fairy lights, had some "Friends" playing in the background for some light relief and just tried to stay relaxed whilst moving around and bouncing on the ball and using my essential oils that I had on a flannel. I continued to have surges which I tracked with the Freya app but again no "pattern".
After a few hours the midwife came in to insert the gel and to her surprise I was 3-4cm dilated, I was delighted as it meant she would give me a bit longer to see how I progressed naturally. I told her that I was continuing to have surges and some of them were quite strong and I asked for gas and air. I was feeling a lot more positive and decided I would get something to eat and then rest as I thought I'd be in for another long night, so after eating, I got on to the bed, laid on my side and settled down at about six thirty.
As soon as I got comfortable, I felt another strong surge coming, this one was very powerful and I had to get out of bed. As soon as I did my waters broke all over the floor and I instantly found myself down onto all fours and knew it was happening! I told my partner to call for the midwife to come back in, and at the same time I felt my body taking over. For a split second I tried to fight it but then I distinctly remember telling myself to "go with it" and "my body and my baby know what to do''...without a doubt the positive affirmations that I had been listening to must have sunk in somewhere along the line!
The midwives were quickly in the room and got me onto the bed so that I was leaning over the back of it which I was really happy with as I really did not want to give birth laying down, after all I'd learnt on the course I was quite adamant about being in a UFO position!
The midwives checked me and I had gone from 4cm - 10cm and they could see the head! They told me to go with my body which is exactly what I did and knew I had to do. To be honest, giving birth is still a bit of a blur and felt a bit like an out of body experience but the main thing was I felt calm.
One of my main reasons for doing Elise's hypnobirthing course was that I didn't want to panic giving birth, I was definitely nervous before the course and as a natural worrier, I was scared that if I panicked everything would spiral out of control. I can honestly say that whilst I didn't serenely give birth in a pool and breathe my baby out (the noises I made were something else!) I felt calm and can clearly remember letting myself go with it and reminding myself that my body knows what to do... My little girl arrived after 45 minutes of pushing (which felt like 10 minutes to me!) and I remember being in shock and absolutely delighted as the midwife announced we had a girl.
I had done it and my beautiful little girl was here, 3.6kg and born on NYE!
We had skin to skin and my partner cut the cord, I chose to have the injection to birth the placenta and I remember feeling confident that I knew what was happening and going on around me and what my answer would be to any questions as Elise had prepared me so well.
We had to stay 24 hours on the post labour ward due to risk of infection (as my waters had broken 24hours before I had her) but once the midwives had left the room my partner and I had some time together holding our newborn baby watching the fireworks over London as 2021 made an entrance as well!
It wasn't how I imagined giving birth but I was so happy with how it went - I didn't panic and I couldn't believe I was lucky enough to have a little girl who came flying into the world at the very end of 2020. I am so grateful to Elise and all she taught me, she couldn't have prepared me any better and I could not recommend her enough!
To book your spot on a Birth Bubble course, simply head to the main section of the website, or contact Elise@birthbubble.co