Original post on my site www.mecuperate.co.uk
The inevitable labour is on my mind a lot, and has been throughout this pregnancy. Determined to learn from my mistakes of previous birth, labour and M.E I have been looking for ways to make it a more positive experience, one in which I feel more in control.
M.E has played a pivotal role in my last two labours. Looking back I wonder if it played a more prominent part than was necessary. Although M.E is a physical illness and places very real limitations and restrictions on my body, I allowed myself to panic and the stress impacted on my body more than it should.
With my first I was more in control and was able to handle the contractions for longer till I felt that I needed to rest to be able to push the baby once the time came. At this point I was allowed an epidural, which gave me a few hours rest before the birth. Luckily, my son arrived in three easy pushes, so the recovery time was relatively quick.
Throughout my second pregnancy I had dreaded the thought of labour, remembering all too clearly the pain and effort required. I knew I wanted an epidural, but I worried if this next labour would be quick and not allow enough time for an epidural to be administered. When the contractions became serious I dived right into panic mode. My body shook uncontrollably after each contraction, which caused it to lose strength quite quickly. The hospital did not want to give me an epidural so soon, but once my husband had convinced them that my contractions were moving things along hastily they checked me and gave me the desired epidural! The rest this allowed me was pure bliss, but unfortunately it slowed labour right down, which meant that the baby was not moving and they were considering a c-section. After an hour or so things, fortunately, started to move again, but unlike my first birth he required some serious pushing. I was terribly sick after and it required an injection to try and calm it down. The consultant was worried about me with some test results not being as they should be. I knew my body had handled too much and needed significant recovery time. I want to avoid this same scenario happening again this time.
There is lots of information available about how to prepare for labour and birth. I'm unable to attend any classes, so I've been submersing myself in Google searches and Hypnobirthing stands out as a way in which I can be more relaxed in labour to allow myself to retain the strength I need for birth. My wonderful Perrin practitioner just told me yesterday of a lady she sees with heart problems and M.E and because of hypnobirthing she was able to deliver her baby naturally.
Hypnobirthing uses self hypnosis and breathing techniques to help you have the most natural birth possible. The idea is to encourage a natural pain free birth and lose the fear that surrounds birth, seeing it as a wonderful experience instead.
Information on the techniques are hard to find online as they want you to buy the books and go to classes. However, I keep searching and have found some things, mainly on YouTube, that have been useful.
Here's one example of a breathing technique from when I searched for "hypnobirthing techniques" on YouTube.
I'd like to hear from you, what have been your experiences of childbirth? What did you find helped the most? Are you pregnant and wondering what your best options are? Leave a comment, I'd love to hear your experiences :)