Everyone told me that second babies come quicker, so advised me to have a plan and get moving at the first twinge of labour! During the classes, Sharon frequently mentioned that hypnobirthing tends to speed up labour. This scared me. My first labour felt quite long (actually 10 hours) but was relatively straightforward and non-traumatic. I didn't want to be the mum giving birth in the car park!
Sharon stressed during classes that practice would be key, and listening to the audio tracks would help to embed the relaxation and control techniques that we were learning. I tackled this by going to bed slightly earlier as often as possible, and putting the tracks on beside my bed. I found that I went to sleep during the tracks, but Sharon had said that was OK as my brain would still be absorbing everything. However, I didn't feel like I was giving them my full attention so therefore probably wasn't giving myself the best chance of the calm and confident labour I was hoping for.
On the day, contractions began at 4pm. I called the hospital at about 5pm to tell them things had started but contractions were irregular and manageable. By 6pm I asked my husband to call them as the TENS machine was doing a great job but I felt in need of greater pain relief - I wanted the gas and air and was hoping for a water birth. We left almost immediately and arrived at the hospital at 18:29. I had a contraction as we parked, so remember noticing the time. We were shown to a room with a pool and left for a while. A midwife arrived about 10 minutes later and started doing our paperwork. at 18:45, still fully dressed, I felt the need to push. The midwife left the paperwork to examine me and was a little shocked that she could see the baby's head! Our beautiful baby girl was born just 14 minutes later!
In hindsight, I think I went through transition on the ring road! The contractions were very intense in the car but I don't remember being aware of the journey. I also can't say I was aware of actively deploying any breathing techniques or visualisation techniques. However, I must have been calm because the midwife wasn't worried enough to examine me. I must have been confident because I got to fully dilated with only a TENS machine for pain relief. And I must have been in control because I birthed my baby within minutes of arriving at the hospital.
So in summary, hypnobirthing worked brilliantly for me even though I was unaware of embedding the techniques through practice or deploying them during labour. They just worked!