My baby girl was born in June 2013 at our local Midwife Led Unit (MLU) which is attached to a hospital. My main birth aim was to avoid any drugs other than entinox (gas and air), and any intervention, and I am really happy that hypnobirthing techniques helped me to achieve that.
I had originally discussed having a home birth but my husband and my mum weren't happy with that idea and so I settled on the MLU which seemed like a happy medium as they have a birthing pool in each room and double rooms so the fathers can stay overnight.
My husband and I had private hypnobirthing sessions in our house in the lead up to the birth. We learnt a lot of information about the birth process and my initially sceptical husband was fully behind me after our first session as everything made a lot of sense. He really started to enjoy our relaxation sessions.
Towards the end of my pregnancy I listened to positive affirmations before I went to sleep each night. I used visualisation techniques to picture a positive birth and felt so excited to go through labour, which is in stark contrast to the beginning of my pregnancy when I was fearful and anxious about giving birth. I had a picture of a baby in the optimal position for birth (ie head down) and bounced on my gym ball every day whilst looking at it.
The short version of my story is that my waters started to leak at 6am, 5 days before my due date. My contractions started later that morning and they got more and more intense throughout the day. I used my hypnobirthing techniques and CD to keep me calm and my tens machine to help me manage the contractions.
I arrived at hospital at 9pm fully dilated. The midwives directed me onto the bed. I used gas and air during the pushing stage and my baby was born at 10.17pm followed swiftly by the placenta. I was able to get Ella to breastfeed immediately and we all stayed in a double room overnight before going home the next morning.
The birth didn't quite go how I'd planned it, I had wanted a peaceful waterbirth and definitely didn't want to be on my back on a bed! But my hypnobirthing techniques really helped me, especially in the early stages, and I felt so calm and relaxed for most of my early labour.
Here is the longer version for anyone who is interested!
And here is the story of my second birth