I noticed myself going from grasping the door for dear life to relaxing my grip and resting my hands in my lap
"I used your labour companion CD on 31st March when I birthed my third son. As it was a very quick birth - 1 hour 50 mins from first contraction to him being born, I'm afraid I only listened to track 3 on the CD - I went straight into active labour with the first contraction, no time for the excitement phase! And as I was in transition in the lift on the way to the labour ward I wasn't able to concentrate on the CD player enough to change the track from repeat. .
OK, firstly I found it immensely helpful to have the same music in the background to your birth preparation CD. Even though I was in the car I found that as soon as I heard the music I relaxed - I noticed my shoulders drop immediately, without even listening to any words.
When your voice started as well and it matched the soothing voice on the preparation CD, my body automatically responded by relaxing and I found I was breathing more deeply.
I wasn't always able to listen to the individual words on the CD, depending on where I was in the contraction - I dealt with them by really focusing on my breathing so zoned out sometimes - but key phrases such as 3,2,1 relax stood out and really seemed to work, I noticed myself going from grasping the door for dear life to relaxing my grip and resting my hands in my lap. My husband said apart from one moan, all he could hear was heavy breathing - he even wondered if it was a false alarm and that it wasn't proper labour!
I kept the CD player on throughout the journey to the hospital, getting out of the car into the wheelchair, going in the lift and then in the labour room I had it on throughout the birth. I still heard the midwife and my husband and was able to respond to both of them, but in the background I could always hear the music and your voice. It was incredibly helpful as it seemed to just let my body get on with things without my needing to think about it - which was exactly what I wanted. I think all I said to the midwife was 'I'm pushing' and that was about it until he was born! I did have G&A but I was expecting to need that, I got a bit distressed in the lift as I was in transition (which I knew to expect) and the wheelchair went over a bump getting into the lift which distracted me, so I asked for gas as I knew from previous births that it helps me concentrate on my breathing. I didn't actually need it much since I was pretty much pushing as soon as I got there, and could feel every stage of his head and body coming out.
As my body had done so well on it's own, I also felt confident enough to ask for physiological third stage which I had previously been concerned about, having had 2 x pphs. However, my body knew what it was doing and it all went fine, with no pph either. Again, I repeated 3,2,1 relax in my head to deal with the contractions to push it out and it seemed to automatically relax me.
I was a little bit unsure as to whether natal hypnotherapy would work on me or not, as listening to the preparation CD in the weeks leading up to the birth I never felt 'hypnotised' - I was always scratching my nose, fidgeting in the seat and generally being aware of my surroundings despite my best attempts to sit still. I did however find them incredibly relaxing and surprisingly emotional - the first few times you spoke about the golden light warming my baby I was in tears! Given my concerns, when the time came I was amazed at how well it all worked - I genuinely didn't feel scared (even though I began to realise I was only just going to make it to hospital) and both my husband and the midwife were really surprised and impressed with how I coped as well.
I have recommended hypnotherapy to anyone who has asked and cannot thank you enough for helping me to enjoy my birth so much "