Birth Story: Induction, Hypnosis and Orgasms by Louise Bate
Induction, Hypnosis and Orgasms
As an instructor of The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme I had all the tools I needed to ensure my baby had the right birth on the day, yet I still hadn’t prepared myself for the possibility that I might not get the birth I had been imagining. So let me tell you about my induction for birth, how self-hypnosis prepared me and how euphoric my baby’s birth was.
My first pregnancy in brief
I felt that going through childbirth didn’t have to be painful or traumatic and when I looked at ways to make this possible I found hypnobirthing. Due to my own medical conditions I was due to be induced at 40+5 weeks pregnant. Fortunately my hind waters started to break at around 2pm at 40+4, surges started at around 7pm. We arrived at hospital around 7am the next morning at which point I agreed to be examined and was told I was ‘2cm dilated’, not yet in active labour. At around 9.30 am I asked to be examined again as my body was trying to ‘push’ baby out, I was fully dilated and our son was born without any medicinal or medical intervention around 10:40am. It was straight forward and I achieved what I had wanted from our son’s birth. I became such a huge advocate for ‘hypnobirthing’ I would tell anyone who would listen about it and I eventually trained as a Wise Hippo Instructor.
Fast forward to my second pregnancy. I was consultant led again for my pre-existing medical conditions. I was lucky enough to have the same consultant that I had for my first pregnancy, and aside from a few aches and an extra large helping of knackeredness, my pregnancy went smoothly and my consultant was more than happy to sign off my birth plan to birth in the Birthing Centre using The Wise Hippo techniques.
All was going well until 38 weeks when I noticed my little in utero gymnast had become somewhat sedentary. We were immediately assessed and though vitals were positive, baby just didn’t want to budge and we were asked to be reassessed in a couple of days followed by a probable induction. I really didn’t want to be induced so I immediately chatted with my Husband, along with my colleagues, peers and Wise Hippos to help me find the evidence I needed to fight my argument against induction. I knew my colleagues would support us in our decision and help me find evidence that induction was not in our best interest. Supporting me is exactly what my colleagues did but instead we discussed that in this case induction might be the best solution, not the answer I was hoping for but I had to now put our baby’s health ahead of my own pig headedness. Two days later we were reassessed, the consultant explained her concerns clearly and suggested that I be induced, I used my B.R.A.I.N.S and was given time to go away to think about what steps we wanted to take next. I got in the car where I met my husband and son, and broke down in tears. I really didn’t want to be induced, no logical reason, maybe deep down I felt unprepared, maybe there was some guilt for no longer having the last few weeks with my son as an only child, who knows. After considering all the information and my own research I agreed to the induction as I wanted the right birth for our baby.
Time to get my backside into gear
We began by ramping up our birth preparation and I started listening to the The Wise Hippo induction MP3. I felt calm and relaxed about the induction and got my bags ready for a longer stay in hospital.
Induction day came, we called the hospital first thing in the morning and were asked to come in to hospital after lunch, which I was pretty chuffed about as this gave me some more time at home with my family. I had some emotional cuddles with my toddler who was no longer going to be my only child and enjoyed some of our favourite funny programmes on the tele to encourage my body to start mixing that lovely cocktail of hormones and get the oxytocin flowing.
We got to the labour ward where we were taken to a small bay to begin routine monitoring. My Husband and son stayed with me a while before saying goodbyes. Monitoring showed I was already having tightenings which I couldn’t feel but my cervix at this point was classed as ‘unfavourable’. What this means is my cervix was showing no signs of doing much, given that I still had several weeks potentially to go into labour naturally this was pretty understandable and normal. I glanced across the bay to the midwives desk and there in big bold letters on a folder was the word ‘AFFIRM’, (a reminder from the universe maybe?) so I started running through my affirmations, meanwhile the midwife came to insert a prostaglandin pessary. I was then settled onto the ward to wait for things to kick start, I decided to try and help things along so I walked, I got a birthing ball and bounced round the ward like a crazy lady, I lunged like my life depended on it. By the time my husband returned in the evening I was getting some strong tightenings and was feeling pretty positive. By midnight I decided to try and get some sleep amongst the hustle and bustle of the ward.
The next morning
I woke early (nowhere is as comfy as your own bed) and I am feeling nothing, no tightenings and certainly no baby yet, a little bit disheartened but I understand that these things can take time and whilst I may not be having surges my cervix should be more ‘favourable’ by now, right? (insert gameshow style giant flashing ‘X’ and accompanying noise).
24 hours had passed and I was examined by the midwife to be told my cervix hadn’t got the memo and hadn’t changed since I had come in. WHHAAAATTT! Nada! Not even a smidge! So….what next? I agreed to another prostaglandin pessary to be inserted and again I walked, I bounced, I lunged, I listened to my MP3’s, I sniffed Clary Sage and Frankincense like I was running out of air. Another 36 hours passed and not even a twinge.
Put the champagne back on ice
I woke the second morning after a night of bizarre and vivid dreams, I sat up on my bed and had a good think and I came to realise that I was calm and relaxed but I still hadn’t accepted that this was the right course of action for my baby. I am a bloody Wise Hippo instructor and I had missed the obvious…mental acceptance! I had chosen to have the induction but I hadn’t accepted my decision to be induced, so I got my notebook and I wrote out my affirmations page after page after bloody page until I had finally got it into my head that I had chosen the right path for our baby and our baby would be coming soon…
”Intervention is the right thing for my baby…my baby and body are ready and know what to do…I am happy that I will meet my baby soon…my cervix softens, thins and opens easily”.
I stopped walking miles through the labour ward (of which I think the midwives were grateful for as I was starting to wear the floor) and instead just chilled out. My Husband came and we watched all of our funny programmes together as we sat on the hospital bed. We talked, we laughed, we watched every other mum come and go like the scene in Friends when Rachel is waiting on the labour ward. I bounced on my ball and waited for the midwife to remove the second pessary and discuss how to proceed.
Roll on the end of 48 hours
The midwife returns…my legs spread eagled hoping this time my cervix had found the carrier pigeon and telegram I had sent. “Your cervix has thinned a little and is still high…. you’re almost 2cm! We need to refer you to the consultant to see if it is possible to break your waters”. I quietly rejoiced as I had made progress as small as it was, my husband sighed relief as he was beginning to think he was going to have to set up a tent in the car park.
(So far not much has happened, it hasn’t been painful, not even uncomfortable just unbelievably boring and no amount of books or films downloaded onto my tablet could have prepared me for that – but finally I feel like I can see the finish line glimmering in the distance).
A couple of hours later I was taken to one of the labour rooms where I met the consultant. I was warned that breaking my waters would be ‘tricky’ and ‘painful’ and was offered gas and air three times before we had even started, I thanked the consultant and let her know I would ask for it if I needed it. I wasn’t trying to be stoic or stubborn, I felt confident in the Wise Hippo techniques I had been practicing and preaching and didn’t want her words to put any doubt in my mind that my experience would be anything but positive. Was breaking my waters hideously painful? Did she need to go elbow deep with one of those mining hats with the torches because my ‘awkward’ cervix was barely yawning 2cm? Honestly, it really wasn’t that bad. It was a bit uncomfortable but it wasn’t as bad as they had made out.
Ask and you shall receive
My waters at this point had been successfully broken and I had been given two hours before they wanted to re-examine and discuss the syntocinon drip. I really wanted to avoid the drip, their policy doesn’t allow for women to birth in water whilst on the drip, I really wanted the chance to birth in water as I didn’t get the opportunity first time around with our son. So we started with some walking around the car park (because I hadn’t already done enough walking during my stay) to pass some time, get some fresh air and try and get things going. One round of the car park and a few intense Braxton Hicks later we returned to the room and put X Factor on (don’t judge my guilty pleasure). Between the occasional surge I spent my time dancing, swaying my hips and wiggling my backside while my Husband watched, poised and ready.
X Factor hadn’t finished but my surges were becoming more intense and more regular, I was working my way through every position we could think of to find optimum comfort, and I eventually found myself draped over the birthing ball on all fours with my earphones in listening to my MP3’s and going to my relaxing place, before I knew it the midwife was walking in…my 2hrs were up and in my head I could hear the jingle to ‘Countdown’. She asked if she could examine me, and so between surges we checked baby and we checked how dilated my cervix was. “You’re only 3cm, we need to put you on the drip now”. 2hrs at this point hadn’t seemed very long, I trusted my body was working in the way it should. My body was making progress (even if it was slow), I used my B.R.A.I.N.S and we asked them for more time. The midwife went and spoke with the consultant who agreed to give me another hour to make sufficient progress before discussing the syntocinon drip again.
Commence operation: I’m a baby, get me out of here!
The midwife left and I got back on the ball, back into my zone, stuck an invisible ‘do not disturb’ sign on my forehead while my husband occupied himself waiting for my next instruction. He asked if I wanted soothing strokes or words of comfort but I wanted nothing more but to be deep inside my own mind, I didn’t even want my music at this point. I listened to my breathing as I moved further into trance. I felt waves of intensity rising quickly, becoming longer and stronger. I breathed through each surge, I felt powerful, strong and excited. My breathing became a deep hum. By now there was no break between, just ebbs and flows of intensity and I needed to pee! I needed to pee badly but I wasn’t moving for anybody, I felt so in control I didn’t want anything to break my stride. I even remember my husband offering to help me to the loo, but that all too familiar pressure came and I told my Husband “too late, I’ve peed!”, along with a *gush* as more of my waters released. The next surge came quickly along with that primal force from within trying to expulse my baby from my body, there was no stopping the urge to bear down. I knew our baby was nearly here and the sensations just like with our first baby changed from discomfort to pleasure. I was enjoying the sensations and each ripple within my body as I completely gave in to my instincts.
“I need to push” I told my husband. Given that an hour hadn’t even passed since I was told I was 3cm he was a little taken a back and went to get the midwife, I could hear the disbelief in her voice as she entered the room… “your husband says you think you need to push”. At this point I was no longer talking, just breathing my baby down and feeling intense waves of euphoria and pleasure as my baby descended, I could feel the sensations crescendo, they were truly orgasmic. I still had my knickers on and was struggling to get them off, when with the next breath I felt it, as the midwives pulled down my knickers I heard “my goodness the head is out”. We just about got them off when baby arrived with the next breath and the midwife caught our baby daughter. They were equally surprised by my progress and hadn’t even had time to read my birth plan. I felt euphoric as I breathed in our baby’s essence for the first time, she was super chilled and welcomed skin to skin and booby cuddles. My face beamed with happiness and love and my cheeks glowed from ecstasy.
It is absolutely possible to have a calm and empowered induction for birth (even if it was mostly boring) and it is absolutely possible for your birth to be enjoyable and deeply pleasurable.
Facebook - @breatheandbirth
Instagram - @breatheandbirth
Website - www.breatheandbirth.com