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Lauren's Positive Pain Relief Free Induction Birth Story

Even before I became pregnant, I knew I wanted a home birth, stemming from hospital anxiety from a traumatic childhood experience.

I had heard about hypnobirthing and wanted to give it a try, but had totally underestimated its potential, even until I was in labour! Booking Elle’s hypnobirthing course was the best thing I could have ever done.

My pregnancy was fairly plain sailing until around 24 weeks, when I was told that my baby was breech, and measuring large for gestational age - triggering referrals for hospital growth scans! Baby continued to measure large for gestational age throughout pregnancy, and we were repeatedly discouraged from having a home birth due to these factors, being told that we should book an induction on our due date. Having completed the hypnobirthing course, I felt confident in my bodies ability to birth my baby, and continued with my home birth plan.

A growth scan at 35 weeks showed baby was no longer breech, and my community midwife then completed a complex care plan with us to help facilitate our home birth. Despite being warned (rather abruptly!) about risks of shoulder dystocia, we were elated, we finally felt like we were going to have the birth we had hoped for!

A further growth scan at 38+5 showed that baby had grown significantly larger than expected, and I had increased levels of amniotic fluid and an infection that could compromise baby’s health. As baby was unable to engage in my pelvis, there were fears of cord prolapse. Again, we were advised to book in for an induction.

Using the techniques learnt in the hypnobirthing course, we eventually decided that this felt like the safest thing for our baby - an incredibly difficult decision due to my fear of hospitals.

Our induction was booked for the following week at 39+5, and I spent that week focusing on the relaxation techniques and listening to positive affirmations.

Once at the hospital, the midwives were fantastic and helped to keep me at ease. The first induction method (Dilapan rods) was unsuccessful, so a Propess pessary was inserted and left in for 24hrs. During the night I experienced regular contractions, which I was able to manage with the hypnobirthing breathing techniques and my tens machine.

By the morning, the contractions had stopped, but I continued to stay upright forwards and open in an effort to help progress.

That afternoon my waters were artificially ruptured (causing quite the flood!) and I was transferred to another labour room to commence the oxytocin drip. This had caused me some worry, as I had heard from numerous sources that this would be very painful. It also meant that I was no longer able to have the water birth that I had longed for.

From initiating the drip, my labour progressed well, the midwives were supportive of my wishes to remain mobile, and attempted to monitor baby using wireless monitors.

Unfortunately they were unable to keep the monitors in the correct place, so we switched back to wired monitoring but did suggest some positions to try that wouldn’t interfere with the monitoring.

I was able to manage my contractions using my balloon breathing, visualisations and use of the tens machine for several hours.

I had a little wobble and decided to try gas and air, which made me immediately vomit - which gave me the refresh I needed to remind myself I could do this with my hypnobirthing techniques!

I was surprised when my body started pushing involuntarily, and realised the wobble was my transition!

My husband was fantastic in reminding me of my breathing, counting with me and helping to keep me calm.

My beautiful baby boy was born on his due date, weighing 9lbs, (not the 10lb 8oz he was predicted!) with a handful of puffs of gas and air, breathing techniques and a tens machine. I couldn’t believe I had done it!

I experienced a second degree tear which required a spinal block and stitches in theatre after a wonderful golden hour. Our midwife was fantastic, chatting to us just enough to keep us informed but giving us space to absorb becoming a family of 3!

If someone had told me before, that this was how my birth story would pan out, I would have been devastated. But having worked with Elle during hypnobirthing, and pregnancy yoga (plus many supportive text messages, including whilst I was in labour!) myself and my husband were able to make informed decisions, and calmly process each challenge as we were faced with it.

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