Birth plan. It’s a funny term isn’t it. Because I don’t think many births really go according to plan. Or maybe some do but not exactly in the way you thought they would. Or if that happens then you are extremely lucky. So let me start off by saying that this time much like last time, I don’t really have a birth plan. Would I like to have a natural birth? Yes. Drug free? Yes. But I think the best thing you can do is approach the whole thing with an openness and to not be afraid. I never felt fear the first time around and because I had a very positive experience of labour and I don’t feel afraid as I get closer to it this time around. I think that already has such an impact on your experience. As this is my second baby I know more of what I want and what I don’t want. I have birth preferences which I will talk about in a second but for me the bottom line has always been and will always be that I just want my baby to be healthy and for her to come out safely and at the end of the day I don’t care how that happens.
Its all starting to feel very real now. I have under 6 weeks to go until my due date and am slowly starting to pack my hospital bag (I will do a post about that too!) So what are my preferences this time around? First of all, I really do NOT want to get induced. I will never forget my sister in law telling me first time around “whatever happens do not get induced.” However when I walked into my appointment with my obstetrician at 39 weeks and 3 days and I was already 2cm dilated and she suggested we get things started I said OMG YES PLEASE! I felt so heavy and tired and thought how bad can it be? Plus I was just so beyond excited to meet Mila. Anyone who has been through it knows how tiring those last days are. Overall the experience was positive but did it hurt? Hell yes! Within 30 mins of her breaking my waters I was having contractions every minute and I dilated very quickly from 2cm to 7cm and my body just wasn’t warmed up so I ended up having an epidural. Our bodies are made to do this so I would much rather let nature take its course. I am using the same obstetrician for this birth but hopefully things will start a little differently second time around. It almost feels like I am doing it for the first time because I don’t know what to expect – or how to know that its time to go to hospital! But I trust that my body will and I want to try to stay at home for as long as possible!
The other thing I have done differently this time around is that I have had a few hypnobirthing sessions (with a lovely lady named Jemma whose Instagram handle is @stilettostostrollers and if you want to check her out then you can find her website here) and I hope to implement some of the skills I learned with her during my labour. My main reason for this is that I basically had a bad reaction to the epidural last time and would therefore love to have a drug free labour. I can’t tell you if hypnobirthing works for me yet – I can only tell you that post birth – and I don’t like to set myself any absolute goals. What will be will be. But what I can tell you is that having a few sessions made a difference in the way I feel.
So what exactly is hypnobirthing? It is actually made up of lots of little things but essentially it is a birthing course that aims to teach you ways to stay in control and calm during labour and birth, whatever happens. It does not mean that you will have an easier labour and I think that is important to remember. It is also worth remembering that you don’t magically just pick up the skills after doing the course – like anything in life you have to practise. And I think that is where my biggest issue is at the moment. Finding the time to practise. To read my book. To listen to relaxation exercises. To repeat my affirmations. But the course made a big difference in my general understanding of the whole birthing process. It helped me to understand how my body actually works during labour. What my muscles are doing. To understand how my body is designed to give birth with efficiency and comfort. To understand that it is important that my mind and body feel connected during labour. Because as soon as you start to fear the birth, your body reacts. Its totally logical that you would then have more pain. It teaches you to release fear that you might have and to look at birth in a purely positive way. Even in the way you talk about labour – to use different words for certain things. For example instead of talking about contractions which can be quite harsh and often conjure up horrible images for women, you talk about surges which sound much softer. Even if the hypnobirthing only helps me deal with the initial stages of labour, then it will have been worth doing the course!
So how did it work with Jemma? Because this will be my second labour we had two evening sessions at home as a couple with her. If it is your first baby then she will most likely do more sessions and she also offers group classes. I sort of thought beforehand that my husband might find the whole thing was a bit silly. I know he would of course fully support me in any sort of labour I wanted to have but he actually totally got hypnobirthing and thought it made complete sense. Jemma is fantastic. Very well prepared. Very realistic. She had a very positive hypnobirthing birth experience herself (she actually had a water birth at home!) and so she really knows what she is talking about. Her aim is to talk you through your thoughts, worries and aims and to leave you with the tools to have a more positive birthing experience. And that consists of knowledge about labour (whether its your first or fifth child I think you can always learn new things!) relaxation exercises and breathing techniques.
So thats really it for now. I just need to practise, practise, practise and I am sure that 6 weeks will fly by in absolutely no time and soon enough I will be sharing my birth story with all of you. I want to also share some thoughts about my pregnancy with you soon but I will leave that for another post. Oh and this post doesn’t really have anything to do with my outfit but thought it was a cute outfit so wanted to share! Have a great week everyone xx