This week’s story comes from Eki F Tunjungsari. Thank you Eki for getting in touch and sharing your special birth story with us!! Eki lives in Sweden and prepared for her birth with TCBS via the home study (online) course.

“My goal for this pregnancy and birth was to have a positive experience, no matter how my baby arrived into the world. That is why I immediately fell in love with hypnobirthing as Suzy taught it in her free videos and I enrolled on the online course without hesitation.

Having a positive experience was crucial to me because I am away from my family in a foreign country. My husband and I are currently living in Sweden, without our big families to support us in the early days of parenthood.

I believed that having a positive pregnancy and birth experience would help me in recovering quickly and adjusting to motherhood more smoothly.

I can now say that I have achieved that goal!

On the afternoon of Sunday 5 August, after doing prenatal yoga, I had a bloody discharge. I was pretty sure that it was my mucus plug. Upon calling the hospital to make sure, the midwife asked me to come in for a check. Apparently I was already having mild and painless surges. More powerful and regular surges came later that night every 10 minutes, but I was still able to sleep.

The next morning the surges became more frequent, but my labour progressed quite slowly. By the end of the day the surges were only six minutes apart. Looking back, I think the sluggish progress was because I was constantly looking at the contraction timer app . Even though I was calm and not afraid at all, looking at the app did not help me reach complete relaxation.

By the third morning my surges were four minutes apart. I was confident that it would soon be three minutes apart (the hospital advises mums to stay at home until contractions are three mins apart, unless there is bleeding or your water breaks).

However, after taking a shower and getting dressed, my surges slowed down and I got a bit frustrated. The midwife at the hospital advised me to take paracetamol and go to bed to save energy, so I did.

Upon waking up, the surges went back to 10 mins apart. Fortunately I was able to stay calm. I took a walk with my husband and went to McDonalds to have ice cream and apple pie!

Every time the surge came, my husband readily rubbed my back. He was really supportive, reminding me to have something to eat and drink, and rubbing my back.

By midnight the surges became more powerful but remained at the same frequency. I called the hospital again and they advised me to take paracetamol and try to get some sleep because I had been having surges for 48 hours and I should get some rest for the active labour. If I couldn’t sleep, they asked me to go to the hospital for a check up. I did what they asked but I couldn’t sleep.

At 1 am on 8 August we went to the hospital. I’ve read that it’s normal for the surges to slow down on your way to the hospital, but my surges actually sped up (I guess I was too excited to go to the hospital!).

By 2 am in the hospital, I was 3 cm dilated and having surges three minutes apart, so they didn’t send me home.

By 6 am, I was 4 cm dilated. This time I used the TENS machine to replace my husband’s back massage so he could rest for a bit.

By 9 am, I was 6 cm dilated but my water hadn’t been broken yet. The midwife had to break my water because it was the hospital’s policy. I was surprised that she didn’t explain the reason behind the procedure. She did it so quickly I didn’t even have time to question her. Thankfully I didn’t get stressed about this, and continued to focus on my breathing.

By 11 am I was still 6 cm dilated and the midwife said that I had to receive an oxytocin drip. At first I disagreed with her, but we ended up compromising. She gave me one hour to see if my dilation progressed. If it didn’t, then I had to have the oxytocin. She reminded me to stay relaxed and move around.

That was when I realised I had been “resisting” the pain. I corrected my breathing technique and let go of any tension with each surge. I was then able to ride the sensation and felt that the surges became more manageable. However, after one hour I was still 6 cm dilated. I could no longer refuse the oxytocin. I accepted this peacefully, because I had tried my best in the past one hour. I asked for gas and air, because the surges were more powerful after I had the oxytocin.

The nurses took away the TENS machine because they had to monitor my baby vaginally and TENS would interfere with the signal. My husband was back to his massage duty! I tried several positions to ease the pain and found that leaning on the standing frame was the best for me.

By 3pm I was fully dilated. The surges was so close together that I almost continually breathed the gas (which was not good because it made me lightheaded!). My husband was really good because he reminded me to take off the gas mask. I focused on my birthing breath whilst waiting for the pushing urge to come.

My baby girl arrived after 3 contractions. After she arrived I suddenly felt recharged and full of energy. She was immediately brought to my chest and everything I went through in the last three days felt so worth it.

I may have used painkillers and had some assistance, which some may consider as a non ideal situation. But I feel positive and have no regrets about my experience, and that’s what’s important to me.

Looking back, hypnobirthing tools helped me to remain positive, focused, and mentally strong in facing the long labour. This positive experience has definitely helped me start breastfeeding (no major problems so far), stay positive in the midst of sleep deprivation and overwhelming change in routine and strengthened my emotional bond with my baby and my husband.

I would totally recommend hypnobirthing as a tool to mentally and physically prepare for a positive pregnancy and birth experience.”