When I had Noah, I had a particularly difficult and traumatic labour. I had all these images of how my birth would be… calm, relaxed, delayed cord clamping, skin to skin, but the reality of it could not be further. I had a fast active labour which unfortunately put him into distress but the pushing part was long and slow. I pushed for 2 hours and he didn’t ‘cope’ particularly well with it. This resulted in him being born blue and unresponsive! The happiest moment of my life actually became the worst, when he was whisked away from us before we even got the chance to see him. He was basically pulled from inside me, which left significant damage to me too. The time he was away from me, felt like the longest of my entire life. On a busy labour ward, I kept hearing babies crying but I’d never heard my baby cry so I kept hoping that what I heard was his cry. I lay there, sore, scared and heartbroken hoping that he would be ok and I hadn’t let anything happen to him by not getting him out ‘quick enough.’ When he was bought into me, it was like the biggest relief of my life, which soon faded when he became unresponsive again and was once more taken away. I think Noah’s birth traumatised me in a lot of ways, I often overthink where I went ‘wrong’ and blame myself. I felt like I had no control over my labour and I was felt crippled by fear and panic.
With that in mind, when I became pregnant second time around I became focussed on having a more positive birth experience. Simple things like hearing them cry, Neil cutting their cord and being passed them straight after delivery are all things I can hope and dream for during this labour! I came across the ‘Positive Birth Company’ through instagram and decided to purchase their digital pack. The digital pack is a series of videos that includes: science parts (which definitely changed Neil’s opinions of the course), relaxation techniques, breathing exercises and general information preparing both you and your birth partner for the ‘big day!’ I started the course around 28 weeks pregnant and Neil and I completed a few videos every evening before bed. What I love about it, is there are so many different ideas and suggestions to allow you to find what works well for you. Not every technique was right for us as some of them simply made us laugh at each other!!
It gives you all the information you need to make an informed decision on where to give birth and we have decided to try for a midwife led unit attached to our local hospital. I began my labour here with Noah, however, due to a bleed and becoming high risk, I had to be whisked downstairs to the labour ward. I genuinely felt like I needed the reassurance of being so close to labour ward and doctors etc just in case. The Positive Birth Company focuses on creating a natural birthing environment, which I definitely did not have during Noah’s birth so my aim is a water birth, with low lighting, lavender spray to douse Neil in and I’ve created a relaxing playlist that i have been listening to a lot to make it familiar to me.
One of the amazing things about this course is the access to their private facebook groups. This allows woman to chat and also read positive birthing experiences on a daily basis. I sit and read all the amazing birth stories every morning before i get up and it really reinforces in my mind that i can have a positive birth. I look forward to being able to share my positive birth story with other women. The main things that I took away from the course was general knowledge of all things birth. I feel SO much more prepared going into labour second time around compared with my naive self first time around. I also love the simple and easy breathing techniques that the course has taught me, which i have been practising daily.
I would 100% recommend purchasing the ‘Positive Birth Company’ digital pack if you’re expecting! It will leave you feeling prepared, confident and you really have nothing to lose. Neil really enjoyed the course too and feels like he is better equipped to support me on the big day!!!
Neil’s feedback: I’m always sceptical of anything that could be described as “alternative” and I’d have previously filed hypnobirthing under “hippy crap”, but I would genuinely recommend the course to expectant parents. I didn’t have a clue what to do during Noah’s birth and was glad that Chernice’s sister was with us to essentially take my place and do things that I should have been doing, but we can both approach this birth with a lot more confidence and knowledge. There’s a lot of sound logic and information in the videos and we (myself in particular) would both have benefitted from it first time around. I’ll no doubt still be like a rabbit in the headlights this time but at least I’ve learnt some breathing techniques that’ll help me too!