It is never too late to achieve the dream birth!
Hi my name is Shirin and this is my 4th pregnancy! And not like everything else where experience is an advantage, my previous birth experiences gave me much anxiety and fear that I started having nightmares as I approached the end of my pregnancy. I have always thought my previous 3 births were natural. Little did I know that those births were not and were very much medically assisted. My biggest fear for this 4th one was that I could not ‘push ‘ baby out and have to go have assisted birth again which will require a long time to heal. I prayed for a sign or something to help me go through it this time.
I was inspired by my friend’s HypnoBirthing experience but highly sceptical?
When I was 33 weeks, I was introduced to HypnoBirthing by my son’s classmate’s mom. She is a self-taught HypnoBirthing mom and practiced it for her 3 kids. She had all easy, short and drug free birth. She said labour wasn’t painful at all. I was inspired but highly sceptical. Really? no pain? Then why did I go through all the pain for my previous 3 births?
This friend of mine sent me some links on HypnoBirthing and told me get hold of Marie Mongan’s book on HypnoBirthing. I couldn’t find a copy in the library and so out of desperation I tried posting it on Facebook to see if I could borrow it from anyone. To my surprise I found out a few of my friends did HypnoBirthing. And 2 of them actually did home birth in Malaysia. I was in awe. Got the book at week 34 and started reading. The book was an easy read, very informative & enlightening. However I still am not sure how the techniques work. I was then recommended by a friend to look for Yen from Childbirth Odyssey. I emailed Yen immediately and she invited me to a HypnoBirthing talk at Bove on that Friday, I managed to convince my husband to come along that night. After much thought and discussion, he told me we should go for the class. We attended the 5 session class conducted by Yen the next few weekends and it was one of the best decision we have made. Only wished I had this chance when I had my first kid.
There were a lof of “Ah-Ha” Moments!
Some of the doubts I had before I begin the classes were – since this is our 4th child, is it really necessary to go through the whole course? Will we be ‘bored’? Is it more suitable for first time parent? I am only 6 weeks before my EDD, is it too late? I am surprised and happy to say that I have learnt so much in the course. There were a lot of “Ah-Ha” moments when we looked back at what happened to our previous birth. How on earth did a natural-pain free phenomena became such a heavily medical life threatening event? We have been so misinformed!
Highlight of the course were the practical exercises of hypnosis relaxation techniques, the light touch massage and the discussion and sharing from Yen of the experiences of other moms. I must say that Yen delivered the workshop with clarity and she was very supportive and gave us encouragement during the course and even after.
It took much Courage and Conviction to change hospital and Doctor at 38 weeks pregnant
We managed to complete the 5th session at the 36th week of my pregnancy. The first thing we did was to type out our birth plan (1st actual written birth plan) and submit it to our doctor. Our doctor was very friendly and felt like he was pro natural however after looking at our request, he told us honestly that many of it couldn’t be done due to the policy of the hospital. It took much courage and conviction to then change to another hospital and another gynae who supported HypnoBirthing and our birth plan. At the 38th week we changed to Dr Pamela Tan of Thomson Medical Centre.
My Husband was my Pillar of Strength
On the morning of 12th June 2018, 5am, I woke up feeling wet and realized the mucus plug has released. I emptied my bowels and rested. Surges begin and were about 15 minutes apart. I remembered to breathe through them and to remain happy and calm. I had my breakfast and left the house at about 8:45am when surges became stronger and were about 5 minutes apart. At about 10:30am we checked into the hospital and were left in the delivery suite to labour on our own. My husband was my pillar of strength. He gently supported me, did the light touch massage and kept me happy and loved. This truly helped me relax, visualising the opening rose. I could actually feel the cervix opening with each effective surge. At 12:30pm I started feeling tired and I took a short nap. I then I realized I needed some energy and so I had some porridge at 1pm and immediately after the porridge my surges became very strong. At 1:45pm I was fully opened and felt baby has crowned. I breathed baby down in 3 surges and baby was born at 2:02pm.
This time the Birth was Different because of many factors
Firstly my husband was fully aware of what I was going through and I felt calm and could totally let go knowing he is there to communicate with the nurses and doctor what we wanted. This experience has brought us closer together and he was very much part of the birthing process.
Secondly, the choice of hospital and supportive doctor and nurses made a lot of difference. I like how Dr Pamela was calm, listened and was very respectful of our wishes and request. I was also drug free and fully conscious, prepared and welcomed every surge. With the knowledge from the course, it empowered us to make informed decision. And because I was relaxed, I could eat and drink. This gave me strength to go through the labour process. The most memorable part was that I could feel baby crowned and going down the birth path. I was in disbelief that I actually use ‘J’ Breathing to breathe my baby down and birth naturally. The feeling was just incredible!
Thirdly, because I had a drug free, short labour, I was fully conscious. For the first time I bonded with my baby the moment he was born. This time, I could wear pants and walk around which normally took 3-4 weeks. It’s a miracle.
All in all it was such a blissful, rewarding and healing birth experience for me! I am really happy that I have overcome my fears and achieved my dream birth. Remember, it’s never too late!