This is Sheryl’s story of a healing birth after birth trauma and how hypnobirthing supported her.
Please be aware that some stories may trigger difficult memories and emotions so remember your own self care as everyone will be at different stages of healing.
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‘There is no such thing as darkness- merely the absence of light. But oh how powerful that light or absence of it is. Without light we cannot see, and if we cannot see we cannot dare to hope about what lies ahead.’
After my Birth Trauma I came to understand the world now as dark, and life lived out in black and white. Each day much the same as the last, I survived, just. I smiled. I looked after my baby. I waited for the joy to come. It didn’t.
This isn’t a sad story though. Yes I was stricken with grief, but something within me knew that there had to be another way. I couldn’t bear for this to be my only experience. So after a year, we tried again, and the pregnancy stuck, and the anxiety was dreadful, the Gestational Diabetes an unexpected bump in the road that led to the decision, in the end, to elect for a C-section, knowing this way would give me some control at least. And it turns out it was the best decision I ever made.
Throughout my pregnancy I had been having private hypnobirthing ‘lessons’. At first, they were more like counselling sessions, allowing me to feel what I needed to feel, to process the emotions and fears that were holding my body and mind to ransom. Then they built me up, made me feel important, valued, loved and worthy of that love. Every night I went to sleep listening to the script that told me everything was well and my body knew what to do.
The sessions that my partner came to though, in the last weeks of my pregnancy, were perhaps the most powerful of all. You see, up until that point, the burden of making this experience a positive one was completely on me. And although I had started to believe it was possible, the slightest wobble in my confidence meant that the weight of responsibility became too much. When my partner was asked to share that responsibility, when he came to understand that this was his birth too and that he could influence its outcome, I became lighter, and we became stronger.
We laughed together as we spoke out loud “I deserve to be happy” several times a day, our hypnobirthing ‘homework’ during week 36. We wrote our gentle C-section birth plan in our final hypnobirthing session. We were fully informed, we were confident, we were ready.
The night before the scheduled Birthday we stayed together in the private room that my birth plan had requested. We read relaxations, did massages, talked and visualised about the birth we wanted. We were nervous but excited.
We were first on the list due to the GD, and realising the importance of our positive birth, each individual came to see us to talk us through what their role was and how they would help us achieve our goals. It was our birth, we owned it, it belonged to us, and that mattered so much.
There was no pain, only discomfort at times. The oxytocin was potent in my body, I could feel it; it made me ready for anything, but especially to receive my baby. And ten minutes after entering theatre he came screaming into the room and weeing all over the surgeon (the baby that is), and I had immediate skin to skin, and I cried.
This little tiny baby (just 5lb 15oz) was held to my breast and weed (again) all over me, but in that moment the world changed, from black and white back to colour. So much colour. The breath I had been holding could finally be let go. The joy I had waited 2 years for came flooding over me. I finally knew that the darkness was over, because it could never be as dark as before now that I had light in my life.
Empowering Minds and Enabling Bodies through the Power of Positive Thought