When I was pregnant, my doctor, friends, family, and even strangers – took it upon themselves to tell me negative birth stories. My gynecologist kept telling me how big my baby was and seeing as I’m not such a big person, how was this baby going to come out of me? Would my birth story be like the many horror stories I had been told?!
One night, when I was around six months pregnant, I was trawling the internet at 3am in the morning (as you do in pregnancy) for calming techniques for when it came for my time to give birth. I was looking for positive birth stories – and something to help me sleep, as my mind was going crazy with everything that I had coming.
This was when I came across hypnobirthing, and it made perfect sense to me. It was a real light-bulb moment. From that day forward, I took control. I wouldn’t listen to negative stories about birth. Instead, I practised calming techniques every single day with my birth partner.
We had a fantastic birth. It didn’t go totally, as we planned, but we were quite well prepared. It was calm and positive – even quite romantic. We were in control.
Since having my son, everyone asks me “how was it?”, waiting for the gory details. When I use words like “romantic”, “relaxing” and “empowering” people look at me like I’m crazy. But it was, and that was the power that hypnobirthing had on me, my baby and birth partner.
After the birth
The baby arrived, and he was perfect, but I was not ok. I was struggling to cope. I wanted everything to be perfect, but it wasn’t.
I was diagnosed with severe post-partum anxiety – something I had never heard of. Everything was a big deal (even if it wasn’t). With tiredness, lack of food and nutrients, trying to stay on top of housework, my relationship, going back to work – in other words, life. I just wasn’t coping. I had forgotten about my hypnobirthing techniques. Mothering and life had taken over.
When my son was four months old, we went to stay with my mum in Glasgow for a couple of weeks. I needed a break, I needed looking after, I needed to be with people who have known me forever: my people.
It was then I got some clarity and focused on what was important. I made a mental shift. I re-introduced my hypnobirthing techniques – even though I wasn’t pregnant. Everything became easier, clearer, and more positive. I was able to gain some perspective. I realised that I felt like I hadn’t been breathing properly since giving birth.
Hypnobirthing techniques are now a solid part of my life and give me the grounding and calmness I need to tackle life and support my family, almost every single day.
This is why I trained to become a hypnobirthing teacher and positive birthing mentor to help other people not only have a more positive birth experience, but have a calmer, more mindful outlook on life.