Catherine attended Janet’s Pregnancy Yoga classes and, together with her husband Eoin, Janet’s Hypnobirthing Course. Here, Catherine shares the story of the birth of her beautiful baby girl, Niamh Aster McKenzie Parker.
My waters broke on the Sunday, however I had not gone into full labour by Monday evening so had to be induced (on a drip, my worst fear!). This meant that my desire to go to the Birth Centre and have a water
birth was off from the start.
Although I was already having contractions, within an hour and a half the drip had ramped these up to 4 or 5 every 10 minutes so I had an epidural just to deal with the intensity. The epidural didn’t work properly so I had about 6 hours of contractions at varying degrees of intensity before the pain relief fully worked. Despite everything, I used hypnobirthing relaxation and breathing to ride through all of it, remaining calm and positive throughout.
The whole thing took about 22 hours in total after the drip was administered but, during the night, Niamh started showing signs of distress which led the doctors to start talking about the possibility of a caesarean. This remained in the background right up until the point I was fully dilated on Tuesday afternoon. Just to add to the stress, there were other twists and turns all the way through but again, the birth affirmations and breathing helped me remain calm, focused and enabled me not to get anxious about the other possible outcomes.
The staff at UCH were incredible, and although the birth ended up being almost the opposite of my plan (highly medicalised rather than natural), I view it as a wholly positive birth experience as I felt calm and in control throughout. Even during periods of painful contractions, I was able to laugh and sing with my husband in between. I put that down to the hypnobirthing course and the relaxation practise at yoga. I cannot begin to tell you how invaluable we both found it.
Eoin was a fantastic birth partner and I really feel the course empowered him – on the day he had both a clear understanding of the birth process and a series of techniques, like massage, that he could use to support me.
We were in the delivery room for 8 hours following her birth during which we were skin-to-skin with her. We got back home on the Thursday, have been getting on well and are totally head over heels in love with our little girl.