"Nick my waters have broken, no contractions yet, don't panic though, I feel fine and it will be a while yet, keep you posted."
I had just received a text from my friend Caroline. Not being a mum I had dreaded this moment for a long time, I was also dreading it as Caroline, having had a number of strokes and having lupus, a very dangerous blood condition, giving birth could be potentially fatal.
Caroline and Daniel, dear friends of mine had spoken about having a child for a long time. The only problem was with her condition, there were just far too many risks involved in having a child. The time came however when they had made the ultimate decision, they were going to definitely try for a baby.
On a nice summers day, we had gone to theirs for a barbeque. When I got home I said to my partner, "Caroline felt different, I wonder if she is pregnant?" She had not mentioned anything but a week later had found out that she was indeed expecting.
Caroline had been to see all of the relevant specialists and had been assured that she would be in the safest possible hands that she could be.
All well and good, however, there was still that unspoken fear of the risk. So as ever, Caroline started to research how the birth could be as stress free as possible with minimal risk of bleeding.
She sent me an email showing me an article on hypnobirthing. It basically was a way of going into labour and having your baby in the alpha brain wave state, relaxing the whole way through and allowing your body to blend with your baby and allow your baby to naturally be expelled from the body with no trauma, no pain relief requirement and no damage to mum or baby.
Well when I first saw the information, I thought what a load of nonsense, as I had seen many depictions of birth on the TV and nothing looked further from relaxing, pain free and no damage down there, (if you know what I mean!).
Caroline loved the idea and asked me if I would like to be her birthing partner. I was absolutely honoured and speechless to be asked.
So wind forward and our first hypnobirthing session is about to take place. This was a three hour stint every Saturday morning for five weeks. You can choose whatever times to take your course and this is sorted out with your tutor, they generally come to your home address.
We had a lovely lady come to teach us and help us through the motions of showing how to keep Caroline in the alpha brain wave state. In other words a state of meditation or sleep state, a complete mind and body relaxation. The relaxation was assisted by body massage, mantras and powerful visual exercises.
Luckily I took to this part like a duck to water as I can ease into the alpha brain wave state as easily as breathing, so keeping Caroline in this meditative state was reassuringly simple!
I have to say though on the first day of the course, I thought, "What a load of fluffy nonsense, soon as that baby is anywhere near the opening everything will go out of the window." In one word Sceptic. But after seeing footage of the first five births, watching mum and dad naturally and very simply welcome their child into the world, I sat up and started to pay attention.
So wind forward to the waters breaking text! Another thing that should be mentioned at this stage is to maintain the ambience of hypnobirthing and to provide a conducive atmosphere, certain vocabulary has to be adhered to in order that mum is not reminded of anything stressful, i.e pain, labour.
So labour is called birthing, contracts are surges, dilating is thinning and opening, etc.
So I turned up to Caroline's house, Daniel was looking decidedly fraught as I come in. Caroline was up the wall in discomfort, pain and slightly dishevelled. Within about eight minutes, she was completely relaxed, sipping drinks and talking normally. Caroline had now been placed into the alpha state and fully in tune with her body allowing baby to blend with her and thus affording them to listen to each other.
Time went by and I decided to psychically connect to baby. I had no birthing skills to offer so it was up to my instinct instead!
I felt baby and knew the position and stage of birthing instinctively. I then started to get a few passed relatives chucking things into the mix so I knew there would be no problems!
After a while, we all decided to make the move to Southend hospital.
The journey was quite successful.. Caroline kept cool, calm and collected in the most amazing way, whilst Dan and I clucked around like headless chickens, hiding it as best we could!
This part of my experience was the most frustrating. A message to any mum that reads this is PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN WITH THE MIDWIFE AND ANAESTHETIST!
At this point when you are bustled into a room ready for birthing, all that has been taught to you flies out the window as the maternity staff don't understand or respect any of your wishes.
We wished to create a birthing room, thus creating a relaxing and stress free environment, respecting Caroline and Dan's wishes, using our language and allowing nothing to inhibit this process.
Well as soon as we walked in, both Dan and I commented that we believed that baby was engaged and that the head was engaged (full dilation). We were totally ignored.
e handed the request slip asking for the staff's cooperation, one had already been sent to staff weeks previously, this was placed into a pocket unread.
The anaesthetist then came waltzing in and started to give Caroline options for her PAIN. Arrgh, a naughty word! I interrupted the doctor and kindly explained that we would rather not have the word 'pain' used, we would not be requiring any discomfort relief and if that decision was made by Caroline later on then fine. Nope, he was having none of it.
He continued his speech running through spinal taps, epidurals, pain relief, gas, possibilities of heavy bleeding, caesarean procedures. I then interrupted again feeling, one, quite queasy myself! And two he wass not adhering to out requests, Dan then took it into hand and whispered to Caroline to let it go over her head, I stood there angrily allowing him to say his thing. At the end of the conversation he then looked at me and stated, "WHEN you need your pain relief, let me know." I THEN SAID, "She won't be needing that thank you." He retorted, "Yes I have heard that one before!" Great!
We then try to tell the midwife that we believed that the baby's head was engaged. She smiled and allowed us to set up our music and create a room of pleasant, tranquil surroundings. She then walked out not examining Caroline, as she looked at her sitting back having a sip of water completely relaxed and chilled out and said, " I think we have a little while yet," and left the room just after asking me if I was a midwife myself!
So no one really has grabbed hold of hypnobirthing in this place. Caroline sailed through her surges, we keep her there in the alpha state. Dan was a complete star as we went through the massages and mantras for mum.
Eventually the midwife came back and stated that she is (FINALLY!) going to examine Caroline.
Well, the midwife's face was indescribable, "Oh the cervix has gone, I can see the baby's head!" Really? We had told her that ages ago!
She was obviously confused as Caroline was completely relaxed, at one with her body and in no way looked like a lady about to give birth.
So the hours went by and during this time the midwife had completely turned her view around. She adopted our requested language and was a hundred percent with us. Even the doctor was curious as he would come in and see Caroline sipping a cup of tea, eating a biscuit and listening to Dire Straits!
The time came, as mum and baby were so relaxed everything completely stopped, baby was almost crowning but mum or baby couldn't be bothered!
After a little jab to bring things along, baby decided to come out and see the world.
I have to say with all the spiritual situations that I have witnessed, nothing could have prepared me for the pure miracle that I was so honoured to be present at.
Caroline was magnificent, her beautiful baby girl Edith May graced us with her presence, with hardly a grumble. Caroline was supremely relaxed and had no damage or pain relief throughout the whole experience. I was immensely proud of her, Dan and Edie.
I was even more humbly shocked when I had to hold Edie very quickly afterwards so that Caroline could be looked after and monitored properly due to her condition. Daniel placed that miracle in my arms. I had been feeling her energy whilst she was still inside Caroline and now she was looking straight into my eyes. Dan had noticed the scene and took a photograph. Edie was minutes old.
The photograph was amazing, both Edie and I were surrounded by coloured orbs. I have never seen anything like it. I was buzzing with spirit energy around me and knew that there would always be a spiritual bond between me and beautiful Edie.
Caroline recovered brilliantly and had no extraordinary bleeding, no pain relief and no damage at all. Both baby and mum were completely relaxed afterwards.
The best part of this was that the doctor came to see me afterwards and asked for the details of hypnobirting as his wife was pregnant and wanted to go through the birth using this method!
I have decided to add this article as I know that it will help nervous mums to be or even mums with medical conditions.
There has even been a natural birthing unit now added to the maternity unit at Basildon hospital in Essex.
I hope that other hospitals will follow suit and create this wonderful environment that not only helps mum and baby but I believe reduces birth trauma that leads to so many other problems such as post natal depression and post traumatic stress disorder.
I also write this article in honour of beautiful Edith May Spitzer, born at 0629 hrs on Monday the 30th April 2007.
I would like to thank my wonderful friends Daniel and Caroline for allowing me to share this story as well as allow me to be present at one of the most beautiful, miraculous and spiritual experiences of my life.
I would also like to thank my beautiful god daughter for allowing me to have the privilege to be present at the beginning of a her life plain miracle, as usually I am at the other end, the departure lounge to spirit!
God Bless the three of you. X
For more information on hypnobirthing please contact:
Karen on 01245 600655 or email her at [email protected]
or you can visit www.hypnobirthingpages.
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