Hypnobirthing Birth Stories
I love to share my client’s Hypnobirthing stories as they are so inspirational.
To know that another women locally, who has sat in the same seat as you, managed to achieve a positive birth is hugely encouraging.
By reading these stories your confidence and self-belief will grow. And just as every birth is a unique event, every Hypnobirth is different.
I share all the birth stories that I receive so that you can learn from real life gritty but happy experiences.
Hypnobirthing isn’t about having a perfect birth – lots of women have amazing, drug free water births using Hypnobirthing but as equally many have well-informed super lovely more surgical births for lots of reasons and still have an empowered calm time.
For me that’s what Hypnobirthing is really about – preparing couples for all eventualities. Keeping it real. Hypnobirthing does greatly reduces the need for interventions and chemical pain relief but sometimes special circumstances arise.
Through the education & skills that Hypnobirthing couples learn they are able to stay calm and make educated decisions rather than feeling vulnerable, scared and helpless.
I sincerely thanks all the couples from the bottom of my heart for sharing their wonderful Hypnobirthing stories with you.
I know the couples on my courses and thousands others worldwide find them hugely helpful.
This page is always the most popular and most visited on my website, as it really helps to raise awareness of all the amazing benefits of this beautiful way of birthing.
Please keep on sharing your stories to be included in my Hypnobirthing page of fame!
I hope you find encouragement and enjoyment from these stories (get your tissues ready!).
Naomi’s very own 1st Hypnobirth story written for her Hypnobirthing teacher back in 2011 – 5 hour Hypno-water-home Birth!
When discovering I was pregnant for a second time, I was very keen to learn techniques to help me achieve a beautiful homebirth, as I was bitterly disappointed to find myself in hospital after attempting 24 hrs of labour at home for the birth of my 1st daughter.
I had hoped for a home birth for my 1st child after being inspired by my mother-in- law and her stories of birthing at home. I also dearly wanted to escape any unnecessary medical intervention as the words forceps, epidural and caesarean sent shivers down my spine. I am a big wimp when it comes to anything to do with hospitals. After 24hrs of labouring at home I gave up and requested hospital admittance as I was exhausted, felt out of control and totally overwhelmed by what was happening to me.
My daughter was born an hour after hospital admittance, drug free. However, as I forcefully pushed her out without using the contractions to help as I wanted the ordeal over with as quickly as possible, I tore very badly below – 3rd degree tears – ouch! I then had to endure a humiliating experience, whilst as high as kite on gas and air, waiting for a consultant to arrive and subsequently stitch me up, which took over and 1 ½ hrs as he was busy with other patients. I feel, I therefore missed out on those initial precious moments with my baby. Also, my daughter had been born so quickly due to my panicked pushing she’d swallowed too much mucus and was therefore did not breathe when first born, so was whisked straight away in those 1st few seconds to help clear her airways and it took what seemed like an eternity to hear that reassuring 1st cry.
When my husband was sent home an hour later (as this had all taken place in the early hours of the morning) I was mortified. I was stuck on a hospital ward by myself, with a baby in a clear plastic cot staring at me and I had no idea how to even pick her up, let alone comfort her, it really wasn’t how I’d planned my start to parenthood. I’d envisioned my husband and mum alongside me, in the comfort of my home, providing the loving support and reassurance that the hospital simply didn’t.
So, despite my first experience of child birth being mostly positive (it certainly wasn’t on the same scale as some of the horror stories I’d heard) I felt determined that this time round I was going to find a way to achieve my dream birthing experience in the comfort of my own home. It was then that I discovered HypnoBirthing and was enthusiastic and convinced by the logic and theories from the start of our classes.
I absolutely loved the lessons and felt amazing after my practise sessions. We were desperately trying to move house before the baby arrived and endured the most stressful moving dramas along the way and with a hectic toddler in tow, I was very grateful for all the deep relaxation techniques that we’d learnt together as they gave me the strength to remain positive and find time to refocus and give my unborn child the attention that it deserved, which I had so freely dedicated to my first pregnancy.
So, despite my mental erasing of my due date, it came and went, and the midwives started discussing inductions and monitoring. I was absolutely determined to avoid hospital but paranoia about baby’s health had started to get the better of me by +14 days, so the night before hospital monitoring was due to begin, Aaron and I tried every trick in the book to get things going (Sex, Major hot curry, DIY reflexology from youtube etc) and low and behold at 1am that night, I woke up with a tummy rumble that felt like it could just be the hot curry playing havoc internally. After two more quite intense tightenings, I awoke Aaron who tried to go back to bed again thinking that nothing would happen for a while. However, instinctively I knew that this baby was in a hurry to come, so after about an hour and half of listening to the Rainbow Relaxation CD in my bed, coping marvellously with the sensations, we called my other birthing companion out who raced over in taxi and arrived at 3am. By 3.30am, Kerri thought we should call out the midwife as my surges were beginning to pretty much come continuously. I was quite oblivious and so deep in my “zone”, I was surprised when the midwife arrived and introduced herself.
She asked permission to examine me just to determine how far away baby was, which I was happy to let happen although I didn’t want to know the response (I afterwards found out I was 4cm at this point) and soon after I found myself in my water pool in my kitchen which relaxed me even deeper.
My surges were pretty intense from this point onwards, Aaron and Kerri did an amazing job reminding me of the affirmations that were all around us which helped me to remain focussed. I must admit though that during this period there were times when I came out from my trance and felt less at ease but when I was able to go back within using the breathing techniques the surges were reduced to discomfort.
The final stage took around ½ an hour to birth, I went with what my body was telling me and with a few almighty but controlled surges, the baby’s head was born into the water. The midwives were really encouraging me to push her out as the head was quite big. Waiting for that final surge felt like a lifetime, but in the most magical moment of my life, finally our baby was born into the water and was placed on my chest. I’ll never forget the most beautiful moment when we looked into each other’s eyes, so glad to be meeting each other at last and continued to bond skin to skin.
I was in shock for a while afterwards, as I seriously couldn’t believe that it had all happened so quickly and smoothly. Our wonderful daughter Freya Lilly was finally with us. My birth from the 1st surge to Freya’s emergence took just 5 hours, 2 ½ hours of established labour but it only felt like half that time. I was amazed to discover it was morning!
I totally credit Hypnobirthing with empowering me to be in control of such a beautiful experience. It certainly wasn’t the silent affair seen on a lot of birth videos but it was our special unique birth that we’d been dreaming of. I was chuffed also as there was absolutely no damage down below which was one of my biggest fears especially as she was a fairly big girl at 8lb 12oz.
One of the best bits about birthing at home was being in my own bed moments after, breast feeding, eating Coca Pops and drinking tea followed by a glass of champagne with just my husband, Kerri and Freya.
Freya is the most chilled baby possible. She’s an absolute dream. She settled in her Moses basket from night 2 without ANY fuss, and has done so from that night on. Aaron and I couldn’t believe that we were getting at least 7hrs sleep a night! She’s also slept through the night f
rom 7 weeks and at 13 weeks, regularly slept for 12 hours at night. We are blessed! A total contrast to our 1st baby.
Thank you so much Di, for teaching us so well and being a great source of support when I had moments of doubt. We’ve had such a super positive experience. Hypnobirthing defiantly rocks and has changed my thinking and life so much that I’m now training to become a Hypnobirthing practitioner!
A fantastically quick and easy birth at St Richards, Chichester – Big baby boy, 9lb 13oz – no problemo! Emma’s 1st baby.
Rupert James Palmer born at Chichester Hospital on Sunday 10th July at 9:10pm weighing in at a whopping 9lb13!
The story goes as follows… 40+5
Ever since the estimated date I had started to use natural remedies to try and bring on labour – raspberry tea, curry, hypnobirthing techniques, affirmations and of course, sex! I was not concerned about being heavily pregnant. I never felt I ‘wanted it out of me’ like some women experience, I just didn’t particularly want to be induced. The night before the big day I took the most relaxing bath, with music and hypnobirthing affirmations. It was blissful and I was totally relaxed and felt ready to meet little one if it happened.
We were invited to dinner at my brother in law’s Sunday eve, and I said I was happy to make a pudding and bring it along. So I went about planning a cream cheese and raspberry brownie desert! I went to Waitrose in the morning and happily went about getting ingredients, with no signs at all. I started making brownie pud at about 2pm, and started to feel a very slight ache that would come and go – but could easily have been stomach ache and not obviously anything like surges. It wasn’t at all painful, just noticeable. I was so focused on following the recipe I didn’t think anything of it! My husband Matt spent the afternoon clearing the garden and helping a friend with numerous trips to the tip (highly glamorous), and on his last trip I asked him to be quite quick coming home.
By 5pm it was clearer that I was indeed having surges, as they were coming and going with more clarity. I asked Matt to start timing them on the contraction App he had downloaded. From then I was watching TV and starting my breathing, yoga and swiss ball moves- although it was impossible to find a position that alleviated the sensations. The hypnobirth and yoga breathing techniques were amazing and gave me a real focus during this period.
By 7pm I thought it was time to call the hospital. I spoke to the nurse who asked a series of questions (I found it quite strange to be answering questions, when I knew she was trying to assess my state by listening to me have a surge!) Due to hypnobirthing techniques, it is possible to appear calmer than anticipated and she suggested that I stay home and take paracetamol. I wasn’t convinced this was right and said we were coming over anyway, which they were happy with too. So Matt loaded the car and we were on our way. I closed my eyes for the whole journey and went inward to focus on my breathing (4 and 8 and deep slow counting to 10, in and out, through surges) and hypnobirthing visualisations, which kept me calm and positive through surges.
On arrival at the hospital we found that sadly the Birthing Centre was full, although someone was due to leave and I might be able to get in after. They put me in the labour ward where I waited for a midwife. I had a lovely midwife arrive to explain shifts were just at change over and she said it would be best to wait for the next one, as she didn’t want inconsistency. I was standing up and holding Matts arms while breathing deeply at this stage – I bearly had time for one breath between surges and then the midwife said she would just check my dilation before handing over, considering how quickly they were occurring. I was 7cm! I was so pleased, mainly that they wouldn’t send me home at this stage!
Due to how far I had gone, the birth centre was not an option and instead they arranged the pool in the labour ward for me to use, as desired in my birth plan. I remember the pool was ready really quickly, and following a few breaths of gas and air, I was able to get into the pool! It was heaven. The temp was perfect and I moved around to the handle end and stretched out! I was probably in the pool for an hour before Rupert was born. Jane, the midwife, was amazing. She encouraged me and facilitated a calm and easy birth from here – in addition to Rupert who never showed signs of distress and did a text book job! When he emerged, the cord was wrapped around his head, but was not tight and it was unravelled quickly. We enjoyed immediate skin to skin and I remember thinking how beautiful and smooth his skin was! Although a little blue (which I was prepared for), I could feel his warmth and heart beat, so it is not so concerning. I was allowed to stay in the pool for a while just holding him before needing to come out. Matt then got a chance to cuddle our new little boy skin to skin and I received 6 little stitches.
We took advantage of the private room option at Chichester hospital, and spent our first night as a family together, which was fantastic. I requested to stay in for another day to ensure the breastfeeding was working (I would recommend anyone do this, I would never have achieved this without their help). On Tuesday morning we left the hospital and are delighted with our little bruiser!
Thank you Naomi for all your great hypno sessions, and the detail you go into when explaining labour processes. The breathing techniques really are the key ladies! I feel Hypnobirthing was truly valuable mental preparation for labour and coping with such a significant life event. I would encourage all future mums to look up hypnobirths on You tube. Top tip – It is a good idea to try neck pillows in hospital birth pools – We were miraculously organised enough to get one, which turned out to be a God send and highly commended by the midwife.
Good luck to all the mummies on their births!!
They arrive at Worthing Hospital…. Just in time!
My birth story
In the beginning…
I’ll be honest, I hated being pregnant. From the moment I found out, my life changed completely. Being a self-confessed party girl and lover of alcohol, I soon discovered how much my life revolved around drinking, and how much now hated drunk people. Coping with the tiredness and hangover feeling whilst trying to get my head around the enormity of what was happening was overwhelming. Whilst on yet another sober night out, I got chatting to Naomi who was telling me all about hypnobirthing – her new found passion. “Great,” I thought, “someone else with yet more advice for me”, but I looked into it, and being petrified at the thought of childbirth, I decided it was worth a go.
I decided to go for the private classes, as the idea about sharing my thoughts and discussing childbirth with a group of strangers didn’t appeal to me. Initially Dave and I said I would do the course on my own as he was working 7 days, and after all it was me giving birth. As it turned out he didn’t have to work on the day of the first class and we went together. We both really enjoyed the first class, although watching a birth was still daunting. Naomi made us both feel comfortable and was so enthusiastic about pregnancy and birth, we both left the class on a high, excited about the prospect of our birthing day. I listened to the rainbow relaxation every day, practised the breathing and downloaded other relaxation scripts. By the end of the course I was finally enjoying being pregnant, and feeling positive and confident about the birth.
So like many other women, my due date came and went without the arrival of our baby. However I didn’t mind too much as I knew it wouldn’t be long and that baby would start his journey when ready, plus I’d been having backache and diarrhoea so was convinced baby was imminent (although I only told Dave about these signs as I didn’t want people to get over excited, and was fed up with well wishers anyway). On the evening of my due date Dave and I went out for dinner, and I chose aubergine parmigganno, as I knew this was the recipe hypnobirthing says can start labour, and this was much better than making it myself. Dave and I really enjoyed our evening and forgot all about the exciting days ahead.
At 1am the following day (Friday the 13th no less), I woke up with some strange goings on in my tummy. I wasn’t sure if “this was it” or whether it was Braxton hicks (I hadn’t had any so far, so wasn’t sure). I tried staying in bed and listening to the rainbow relaxation, but I couldn’t find a good position to get the breathing going, and I was worried I would wake Dave, so I headed downstairs. I put on the hollyoaks omnibus I had recorded, and every time I felt, what I can only describe as a stretching feeling, I practised the surge breathing and visualised my baby moving down and out of the rose! I slept and watched TV and continued to relax and visualise. Dave came down at 6.30 to go to work, and although I wasn’t sure whether this was it, as I wasn’t in any pain, I said that maybe he shouldn’t go to work.
By 8.30 the waves were coming every 5minutes, but I could only feel it at the base of my tummy, so I didn’t know if I should go to hospital. I phoned up, as I thought I would quite like to go in, just to get checked out, but when I phoned, and was able to talk through my contraction, I was told it wasn’t time and to continue on at home. I was fine with this as I didn’t want to be in the hospital too long, and I definitely didn’t want to get sent back if I went in too early. An hour later at 9.30, everything had changed, and with each wave I was feeling an enormous pressure and running to the loo each time as I thought I needed a poo! I got Dave to phone the hospital this time, as I knew it was time to go in, able to speak or not. The midwife told him it was unlikely I was ready, but to come in if I really couldn’t cope any more. He was also told to leave our bags in the car as it was likely we would be sent home.
I had rainbow relaxation on my ipod on a loop in the car, interrupted only by the need to give directions to Dave as he had gone a different route from planned! When we got to the hospital I decided to walk to delivery suite, in case the midwife was right, as I thought walking would help get things moving. I was really feeling the urge to push, but thought I was probably over-reacting, and this was reiterated by the look on the midwives faces as they showed me to the delivery room, I got the impression they thought I was a drama queen. I went straight to the toilet, where I thought I had explosive diarrhoea, which I later discovered were my waters breaking!! I threw the ipod across the room as I thought the hypnobirthing wasn’t working – this was a big error on my part. The midwife helped me onto the bed, and was shocked to discover I was fully dilated. I had asked for a water birth, but there was no time for that. At this point I switched from hypnobirthing to listening to the midwife, and pushed my baby out. I was using J breathing as well, but my impatience and inexperience got the better of me. Dave was amazing throughout, making me laugh, offering me encouragement, and generally keeping me going. Frankie arrived at 11.46, an hour and 45 after we arrived at the hospital.
The next part of my birth story was by far the most traumatic, I spent the next half an hour being stitched up, the tears I put down to me ditching the hypnobirthing. Dave and Frankie were outside the room, and it was just awful us being parted so soon after the birth, but there was no way I wanted my boys to see me in this state.
So… regrets? Not really, it was quick and pain free until the end. There are things I would do differently next time, I would opt for a home birth and hire a pool to ensure I get the delivery I want. I would also consider having a hypnobirthing practitioner present so she can intervene with the midwife if things go off plan. As I arrived at the hospital so late I don’t think anyone read our birth plan, which is quite frustrating now, but I couldn’t have cared less at the time. Everyone I share my experience with say how lucky I am to have such an easy delivery, and I simply reply “it’s not luck it’s hypnobirthing, and a lot of practice and preparation.
I had my first baby, a little boy on 22 December last year at exactly 40 weeks on his due date. Before I share my birth experience with you I’ll give you a bit of background….I was lucky enough to have a straightforward pregnancy with some nausea and the obvious tiredness, but I generally felt well throughout and had no complications. Once my bump started to get bigger I had to face the fact that this baby was coming out! So I reluctantly dragged myself out of denial and realised I had to face my fear of childbirth! I was recommended to hypnobirthing by a friend and decided to sign myself and my husband up. Much to his delight he was now signed up for 12 hours of “tree-hugging hypno stuff”. Well, within 30 mins of our first session he was a convert and proceeded to explain it to all our friends at various get togethers! My last midwife appointment was at 38 weeks when I was advised that he was head down and 3/5 engaged.
So onto the birth experience…..
My waters broke at 11.50pm and after phoning the hospital I was told to try and go back to bed…..about 10 minutes later I realised that wasn’t going to happen as my surges (hypnobirthing term for contractions) were already 4 minutes apart and quite intense. I waited an hour before waking my husband and an hour later my contraction tracking app told me to ‘make my way to hospital’. So off we went only to be sent back home as I was only 2cm dilated at that stage (although I didn’t know this until after the birth as I had requested in my birth notes not to be told). So I set up my led candles, hypnobirthing music and birthing ball, got out my aromatherapy inhaler and got my husband to set up my tens machine. The surges were all in my back so I spent most of my labour at home on all fours on my birthing ball. I found the breathing techniques , music and aromatherapy oils really helped me to relax and zone out from everything else around me. At around 6.45am I suddenly got an urge to push so we quickly (well as quickly as I could!) made our way to the hospital, thankfully we’re only a 5 minute drive. On arrival I was assessed and advised that I was fully dilated and there wasn’t enough time to fill up the birthing pool. If you’d told me this before the day I would have been really disappointed but at the time it didn’t bother me at all. After an hour of pushing we were thrown a curve ball as it turned out our baby was a surprise frank breech. I want to reinforce at this point that it was in no way a negative or scary experience as thanks to hypnobirthing I was very relaxed, and incredibly, I was not at all phased by the news that he was breech or when 9 people came into the room to investigate! I was fully aware of what was going on but remained in my hypnobirthing bubble, in fact I even made a joke about how many of them were in the room! At no point did I doubt my ability to birth him naturally and he arrived safely at 8.56am weighing 6lb 3oz. It took me 9 hours to birth our baby start to finish, 2 of those In the down stage and I was able to deliver him naturally (butt first!) with a little gas and air toward the end with no stitches, I am incredibly proud of what I achieved and put it down to the amazing power of hypnobirthing!
Baby no 2 arrives in time for lunch at home in less than 3 hrs!
We had planned to have a home birth with our 1st daughter, Alice (now 2 ½ years), but had gone into hospital after an exhausting 20 hour 1st stage of labour. Alice was born at 38 weeks weighing a petite 5lb 2oz, and had to stay in SCUBU for a week due to a few problems associated with her (unexpectedly) low birth weight. So when we fell pregnant again, Stuart and I felt a hospital birth was the sensible choice. However I was keen to find something to help me cope with the first stage. So Stuart and I signed up for a hypnobirthing course with Naomi Newland.
The four week course taught us the importance of deep relaxation, which lets the body labour much more efficiently and comfortably. It all made so much sense, and the idea of a chilled home birth kept popping into my head. To make sure we had a more accurate idea of the baby’s weight I had 2 extra growth scans this time. We were thrilled to learn that the scans showed that our baby was doing well and of average size, so I spoke to Stuart about the idea of trying for a home birth again. He’d been thinking the same thing, and after a chat to our supportive midwife the home birth was booked, and birth pool bought!
One concern I did have regarding a home birth was that I only had 1 birth partner, my husband Stuart. How could Stuart be by my side in the birth pool while doing the practical stuff such as warming up the baby’s towels etc? By chance when I was 38 weeks we were introduced to Nicola, a birth Doula. I’d heard of Doulas before, and Nicola explained how she provides practical, physical and emotional support to labouring women and their families. Stuart and I were reassured by her kind and calm nature, and felt that having her presence at the birth would be a welcome support.
As our 1st baby was born at 38 weeks, and we have a family trend of having our babies ‘early’ I told everybody how I expected this baby to arrive any time after 37 weeks – Ha! I’d jinx myself, and as my EDD (guess date) arrived and I was still pregnant, my thoughts turned to the ‘what if’ scenario of having to be induced. Although we were trying to concentrate on what we wanted (ie. our home hypno water birth) and not on what we didn’t want (ie. an induced hospital birth), I felt myself becoming more stressed as the days went by and still no signs of baby arriving. Luckily I received great support and advice from my midwife Kayleigh, Doula Nicola and Hypnobirthing teacher Naomi. My EDD came and went, and we went into over drive with methods to encourage baby to make an appearance – raspberry leaf tincture, acupressure, acupuncture, long walks, horizontal exercise ; ), curries, pineapple, bouncing on the birth ball, reflexology…. We tried it all. Every evening I’d get period type cramps, and kept thinking that night would be the night, but baby had other ideas and stayed put!
At 41 weeks +2 Kayleigh (our midwife) came to do a home visit. Nicola also came over for support, and Stuart was working from home. We’d decided that to try to avoid chemical/ hospital based induction we’d try a membrane sweep first, so after doing the routine antenatal bits Kayleigh did the sweep. I’d been listening to my hypnobirthing cd earlier that morning and felt very relaxed during the sweep as I practiced my relaxed breathing and let my body go limp. Kayleigh felt very positive that the sweep had gone well, as I was already 2-3cm dilated and she could feel the baby’s head. I can honestly say there was no discomfort at all, which I put down to being so relaxed. I was feeling much more optimistic that things were going to happen, and as an extra encouragement to baby an hour after the sweep I had a blissful reflexology session.
Although Kayleigh had been really supportive of us trying to avoid induction, she did explain that procedure meant I had to go and have a chat about our options with a Consultant. I was expecting this as from what I’d heard/ read from other birth stories, and I actually already had a follow up appointment booked that afternoon with the Consultant who I’d been under for the growth scans.
A few hours later, still floating on my cloud after the reflexology, Stuart, Nicola and I went to Worthing hospital for the appointment. We chatted through with Nicola how we were feeling about the appointment, and what we were going to ask for. I was determined not to be induced if there wasn’t a medical reason for it, and so was expecting a bit of a battle with the Consultant to get monitoring and scans booked, not an induction! We were called through to the Registrar who I hadn’t met before, flanked on both sides by Stuart and Nicola I felt very supported, and joked to the Doctor that I’d bought my bodyguards. The appointment went really well, as the Doctor asked in his very calm manner what we would like him to do, and when I said about not being induced, but being monitored up to 43 weeks, he said ‘no problem’! He did explain that it was his job to inform us of all the risks of going past 42 weeks, but he didn’t exaggerate or put any pressure on us. With a week of monitoring booked for 5 days time we all left smiling.
That evening I was feeling very positive that tonight was the night. Since leaving the hospital I’d been having the period type aches again, so Stuart made us a green curry for dinner while I bounced on the birth ball.
We went to bed expecting not to get a full nights sleep…..
I woke the next morning at 9am after the best nights sleep I’d had for months, but without so much as I twinge! Stuart had already gone to work, so he obviously felt that things weren’t happening. I felt strangely relaxed though, and after a quick bathroom trip I snuck back into bed next to little Alice who had (as usual) got into Mummy and Daddy’s bed. Alice woke up and gave me a gorgeous cuddle, and just as I was thinking that maybe we should get up for breakfast I felt a pop and my waters gushed out! The waterproof mattress protector meant that I was sitting in a puddle. I giggled and felt a rush of excitement, but very calm at the same time. Pointing to the puddle, Alice asked ‘whats that?’ , and I explained that my waters had broken and the baby was coming out. Avoiding the puddle she lifted the end of my nightie up and called ‘baby come out girlie bits’ hee hee!
I then realised that gentle surges (contractions) had started, and so thought I’d better call Stuart straight away. He’d only been in work about 10 minutes and was in the middle of a meeting. He answered his phone but left it on the table, so for the next 5 mins I sat in my warm puddle listening to his boss speaking. When he eventually picked up the phone he couldn’t believe that my waters had gone and that surges had already started, and for a minute he forgot what he needed to be doing, ie. coming home! Stuart said he’d call his sister (Alison) to come and help me get out of bed (I was worried about getting the carpet wet!). While I waited for Alison to arrive I called Nicola, who said she’d be straight over (even though she was in the middle of painting her lounge as I learnt the next day), and my Mum. Alison arrived and helped get us sorted so I could get into the shower, and get an amazingly dry Alice up. The surges were already feeling stronger and seemed to be coming more regularly. As I stood in the shower my weeks of practicing my hypnobirthing breathing and relaxation techniques seemed to fall into place. Outside the bathroom I could hear Nicola, then Stuart arrive, and Alice go into excitement overdrive. Stuart came into the bathroom and checked that I was ok, and staying relaxed (which I was). I asked him to call delivery suite and let them know what was going on. My waters had been clear, but the surges seemed to be coming thick and fast.
I gave Alice a goodbye hug as she was going home with her Auntie Alison. Nicola stayed with me, helping me get comfortable, making me toast and setting up my TENS. Stuart started blowing up the birth pool and getting the labour and baby bags down. Staying chilled I laid on the sofa with my ipod on, listening to my hypnobirth affirmations. I must have lost track of time as before I knew it the pool was being filled and as I opened my eyes after a surge, Jane, the community midwife that had done my initial booking, was sat in front of me smiling. It all felt a little surreal and so calm! She had arrived and Stuart had gone through our birth preferences with her without me realising. Jane reassured me that she was totally supportive of our choices although she hadn’t attended a hypnobirth before. Jane did an internal examination, telling Stuart, not myself the result as we had asked for in our birth preferences (although Stuart did let on that we were over half way there when I pressed him!). I was happy to be given the green light to be able to get into the pool. It seemed that things were moving forward so quickly, and I welcomed the warm water as the surges were becoming more intense. I remember looking into the kitchen and seeing the clock reading 11.45. Stuart got into the pool with me, and helped me find a comfortable position. He helped me get back and stay in my relaxed zone, as Nicola stroked my hand and kept a cold flannel on my forehead (even though I kept dropping it into the warm water – sorry Nicola!). We had our ipod birth playlist on in the room, and I was vaguely aware of another midwife arriving (who’s name I can’t remember – sorry), and Jane chatting to her in the next room. The surges were getting pretty strong and so I asked for some gas and air, which helped me relax into my breathing again.
A while later I felt like I needed to push. In our hypnobirthing classes we were taught to breathe the baby down. I had been doing this but now I felt subconscious need to bear down. I was forward kneeling up against the side of the pool resting my head on the side when a breathed/ pushed the baby’s head out. The 2nd Midwife had been checking baby’s heartbeat in between surges, and suddenly I was aware that it had slowed down and wasn’t coming back up. With a sense of urgency but still quite calm Jane told us that the baby needed to be out with the next push. Auto pilot kicked in, and before my brain had caught up I was on my feet and Millie had been born. She was completely tangled up in the umbilical cord (across her shoulder and hooking the opposite leg up). Stuart quickly cut the cord, and within a minute our fantastic midwifes handed us back our gorgeous baby girl. I had only been up for 3 ½ hours, and our baby had been born in time for lunch!
Nicola and Stuart looked after Millie while Jane helped me with a natural 3rd stage, then Millie settled into her 1st breastfeed which lasted nearly an hour!
By 3pm Stuart and I were settled on the sofa watching daytime tv while Millie snoozed on my chest.
We both feel hugely grateful to Naomi Newland ( our hypnobirthing Practioner), Jane Milner and the other community midwifes, and Nicola Rumsey (our birth support Doula) for helping us achieve the birth that we both had hoped for. Before, during and after the birth I felt totally supported by these wonderful ladies that help women have informed, calm and empowering births – thank-you!
Tegan’s first birth was so easy she didn’t realise she was in established labour and baby was born in bath!
On Wednesday 7th September 2011 I had my last midwife appointment. Baby Leo was 11 days ‘overdue’ (I was 41 weeks + 4 days) and I had already discussed my choice not to be induced with one of the midwives but today I had a different midwife. I had seen lots of different midwives during my pregnancy and the previous one I’d had for four consecutive appointments and had built a good relationship with. She had been very supportive of my decision to wait and let labour start naturally and said most people weren’t that patient! She was very positive and had commented on my good health and flexibility (I put that down to the fabulous pregnancy yoga!). Unfortunately, today I had a midwife who
didn’t know me. She was covering due to holiday and sickness, was in a rush and a bit of a bad mood! She was very short with me and said I would have to go to see a consultant at the hospital to make a care plan because they were finished with me now! I knew that this would be
the next stage but the way she spoke to me was very brisk! The appointment with the consultant was made for the next day and that was that. I wasn’t looking forward to having to argue my case but was very certain that if the baby and I were both well, we would wait for labour to start naturally. I was hoping for a home birth and had a birthing pool hired from the community midwives, which was due back on Friday!
I walked to my appointment and back, to try to help gravity and baby work together. (I hadn’t been able to do as much walking towards the end of my pregnancy due achy hips and pelvis.) A couple of hours later (about 2pm) my waters broke. It wasn’t a big gush but a slow trickle and at first I wasn’t sure if it was my waters or if I’d just wet myself! I’d had no surges (the hypnobirthing word for contractions) and so just hoped that things started within 24 hours, so I didn’t have to argue against being induced.
By 6pm Matt had come home and I thought maybe I was starting to have some light surges – again I wasn’t really sure if it was labour or if I was just a bit hungry or maybe baby had just got into a funny position! Matt rang his friend, to let her know he wouldn’t be coming to his badminton club night, as we hoped baby might be on his way.
About 8pm I had a bath and by 9pm I was pretty sure I was in labour and started listening to my hypnobirthing CD and relaxing upstairs in our bedroom. Matt came to bed about 9.30pm but I couldn’t sleep. Matt was great, reminding me to do my breathing and to try to relax as the surges got stronger. By about 1am I was getting stressed telling Matt the surges were really strong and saying I felt I wasn’t doing very well.
The surges were very sporadic coming anything from every 5 to every 15 minutes. We knew they had to become regular and frequent (coming every 5 minutes, lasting for about a minute, going on for around an hour) before calling the midwife. I felt disappointed that it wasn’t really working very well and that I couldn’t sleep, as I thought I’d be so tired by the following afternoon when I suspected baby might arrive. Matt suggested I have another bath and ran it for me. He reassured me saying I was doing really well and telling me that it was all ok and natural.
I got in the bath and it really helped. I totally relaxed for about 20 minutes. Then the surges started coming more strongly again and getting a bit more frequent but still not regular. I asked Matt if we should fill the birthing pool but he said it would just go cold by the time we got round to using it and then it would need warming up again. He asked me if I wanted him to ring the midwife but I said I thought there was no point as it would be ages yet and they’d just have to go away again. Matt suggested I try to check my own progress. (I’d learnt how to do this during my pregnancy. It takes a bit of practice but I felt it would give me greater awareness and control of my own body. For about the last
two weeks I’d been 1cm dilated.) Matt went to do something and I tried to check my progress. I felt something hard and hairy that had never been there before and which I was pretty sure wasn’t me! It was the baby’s head! I shouted to Matt to come back and stood up to show him saying ‘Is this that baby’s head?’ He was amazed and said it was and that he should probably ring the midwife then! We laughed and I agreed!
From that moment on my mood totally changed. I felt great. I was really calm and happy. I could not believe that the baby’s head was already starting to crown and that I was so far along! I realised that the hypnobirthing had totally worked! I’d been stressed because I thought I had another day to go and that I’d be exhausted by the time baby finally arrived. I realised the surges had been strong because baby was about to be born! (I’d had very strong rectal pressure with the more recent surges and realised that was baby’s head descending!)
Matt rang the midwives – no answer on the first number so he tried another. The woman told him to ring an ambulance in case the midwife didn’t get there in time! He was instructed to go and open the front door and then asked how I was and told not to leave me! Poor Matt said he was the only one here! He rang my Mum who came in (my parents and youngest sister live next door). The ambulance crew arrived and came and asked me how I was. I said I was fine and that the baby’s heads was just crowning and showed them! The midwife arrived having followed
the ambulance. There was a point when there were six people in our bathroom! (It’s a pretty small bathroom too!) The midwife asked if I was comfortable and I said that well we’d planned to use the birthing pool but I thought this would have to do now! (My father-in-law had joked, saying I should just use the bath and I’d told Matt that it wouldn’t be possible because it was just too narrow and not deep enough! Famous last words!)
I was really chilled and able to talk normally to everyone and asked my Mum to get the camera and take some film and photos, which she did. Everyone was there ready and at one point I said, ‘Come on baby we’re all waiting for you now!’ The ambulance guy asked me how strong the contractions were and I said I was having strong surges now. He said, ‘Right on the next one give it all you’ve got and push’. I said, ‘I’m not pushing, I’m doing hypnobirthing, I’m going to breathe my baby out’! Poor bloke! They went and sat on the stairs then and left Matt
and the midwife to it! My Mum gave them tea and biscuits.
The midwife said how well I was doing and just 20 minutes after she and the ambulance had arrived, baby Leonardo was born, in the bath! It took just three surges for his head to come and I didn’t push at all, my body did all the work. Then I said to the midwife that I could feel the cord around him and she said ‘ok, so what we’ll do is….’ I interrupted her saying, ‘No he’s coming!’ and with one more surge he shot out between my legs (I was kneeling low in the bath, being careful to keep his head in the water). Matt said baby Leo banged something on the side of the bath (head?! Leg?!)! The midwife scooped him up and passed him to me. He was pink and perfect with brown hair and blue eyes. I said I know
everyone loves their own baby but he really is gorgeous! He needed the extra time to get extra cute! He was crying at his rude and speedy entry. After a bit of a cuddle Matt cut the cord (which had stopped pulsating) and then took him for a cuddle in the bedroom. Matt talked to him and he stopped crying.
The midwife helped me out of the bath and I delivered the placenta on the toilet with her suggesting I do the same as before, bear down and use my breathing again. I did and it came out quickly and easily. I went and joined Matt in the bedroom and after checking me, the midwife said I did need stitches but that she could do them then and there and Matt and baby were able to stay with me. I had second degree tears, which I put down to the narrowness of the bath (I couldn’t get my knees very far apart!) and the speed with which he came in the end.
After that I got into bed with Matt and my youngest sister came in to see the baby with my Mum. Leo was weighed and was a lovely 8lb 6, again a benefit of that extra time in the womb. I fed him and we all had tea and biscuits and then champagne! It was just so wonderful.
Everyone left at 6.30am. Matt and Leonardo both went straight to sleep. I had little Leo in my arms and realised I should probably get some sleep, so put him in his Moses basket and we all went to sleep.
I felt great after the birth. I didn’t experience any pain – only the tightening of my muscles and the pressure of the baby’s head descending. I didn’t push; my body did all the work. I know hypnobirthing played a major part in our birthing experience. It gave us the confidence to have a home birth and enabled Matt to support me throughout the labour and help me stay calm. All the information we gained meant we were well informed to make decisions throughout the pregnancy and labour and in the end I had exactly the birth I wanted – a natural-home-water(!)-hypnobirth.
Even if things had gone differently I really believe the hypnobirthing practice and tools would have been useful. We didn’t get the chance to listen to my playlist, light any scented candles or read through scripts but the overall experience was amazing and I wouldn’t change a thing.
I would like to again thank Naomi Newland who was our inspirational hypnobirthing practitioner and also Rachel and Shirley whose fabulous pregnancy yoga groups I attended throughout my pregnancy. I wish all the pregnant couples out there wonderful birthing experiences and could not recommend more highly hypnobirthing.
Quick and easy homebirth for their 2nd baby
The morning that Evie Rose Stanbridge arrived I woke up felling an urgency to use the toilet for no 2’s! So I practised my J breathing. This happened twice more within the hour so it gave me plenty of J breathing practice!
I began to experience some surges from 5am. These came every 5 mins, as I’d planned for a home birth I remained calm, relaxed and comfortable in my own bed listening to my Hypnobirthing CD’s. At 7am when my surges were 3 minutes apart we informed the hospital who advised someone would be with us by 9am.
I continued to remain comfortable in my bed whilst my husband Shaun had the task of preparing and filling the birthing pool for our pending baby girl.
At 9am my waters broke and at 9.15am the midwife & a trainee midwife arrived who were very respectful of my Hypnobirthing. The midwife examined me straight away and at my own decision I got into the birthing pool. At this point I was 7cm dilated, very calm and relaxed.
At 9.45 things continued to be controlled and peaceful and as things were progressing very quickly the midwife called for the second midwife from the hospital. It was now 10.30am and the second midwife had arrived. By this time Evie’s head was making an appearance and urges to breathe her out were beginning to take over.
At 10.51 she made her full appearance wanting to go straight on my breast for feeding. She was calm, alert and a beautiful colour. She had a good feed and there was no rush at all to get out the pool.
My husband cut the cord and at my request I got out the pool and delivered the placenta on the toilet.
I had no problems throughout my birth and NO PAIN RELIEF required. I
I thoroughly enjoyed our experience of our home hypnobirth and as a result I have a healthy happy calm baby daughter.
Thank you so much for teaching us all about Hypnobirthing. You are a star and a great teacher! I will always be willing to tell my great story of Evie’s birth.
All our love
Caz & Shaun X
Hypnobirthing helps 1st time mum and midwive Mel to focus for her home birth
Melanie, Jeremy and Joshua- Our Birth Story!
40+4 weeks pregnant
At approx 18:30 on the 6th January 2011, we just had dinner. Jeremy said i looked flushed in the face- i didn’t feel hot so thought it was odd- most probably a rush of
hormones. At 20:30 i began to feel mild “period-like” discomfort so I decided to rest in bed. At 22:30 the discomfort was becoming worse and by 22:40 i realised i had my 1st contraction. I text Rachel and Louise (my colleagues and midwives) to inform them i had begun to “niggle” and will wait to see how things progressed overnight. From then the niggles were becoming more frequent and i had to lie down on the bed. I used breathing techniques through each “surge” (contraction) that were taught to me at hypnobirthing classes and was calm breathing in between. I told Jeremy that i felt things were moving on quickly and we decided to time each surge. Some were 5-6 minutes apart lasting 90 seconds. I didn’t realise how long each were (I thought they were a lot shorter) as i remained completely focused on breathing slowly and calmly.
40+5 weeks on 7th January 2011
At 2:00am i had made a decision to ask Rachel to come and see me as i was becoming increasingly uncomfortable and felt i needed support. I could not get hold of Rachel but i did manage to speak to Louise and said she would come over if i could not get hold of Rachel. At 02:30 Louise made her way over. Rachel rang me at 03:00 and i explained the situation. She rushed over.
At about 3:20am Louise arrived- shortly followed by Rachel. Rachel assessed me and told me i was 8-9cms dilated with the head at +1 to the spines (very low down). I felt very relieved at this point and quickly got into the lovely pool that Jez had been filling up for me! It was an amazing sensation to feel the pressures of labour being relieved by the lovely warm water. Shortly after i got in the pool the surges became more uncomfortable and i thought i would try my breathing with the gas and air for some relief. I did not like the gas and air as i felt all it did is dry the back of my throat. I continued with breathing without the gas and i felt much more in control.
At about 4:30am i was feeling a lot of pressure and Gail was called to attend the delivery as the 2nd NHS midwife (as Louise is independent). As the surges progressed i continued breathing and found myself “jay breathing” when i felt the urge to bear down. I remember feeling more uncomfortable as the head was descending and becoming vocal with the breathing but at he same time felt very much in control. Jeremy occasionally prompted me to relax and not clench my jaw which I felt was a natural thing to do, but the prompting really helped to bring me back in control.
I drifted off into deep relaxation in between surges. I realised when i hit the transition period of labour as it was a lot harder to stay in control.
I continued to stay calm, focused and positive…then began to get stronger urges to bear down and “went with my body’s signals”. If i needed to push i did whilst i ‘jay breathed’ my baby out.
At 7:38am on the 7th January 2011 i lifted my baby boy out of the water and onto my chest. He was born in good condition. We named him Joshua Michael Lambert. Daddy cut the cord. Mummy ended up with having no stitches and had minimal blood loss. Joshua latched on the breast without any prompting.
He is the most beautiful and amazing thing Jeremy and i have ever done and now we finally get to meet our son and will look forward to a long and happy life together. Xxx
A calm, positive, natural birth
After reading the book, Dave and I understood the Hypnobirthing concept and techniques, but it wasn’t until we had the classes with Naomi that we felt we had the support and confidence to be able to have a drug free home birth. Naomi’s classes enabled us both to think positively about the whole experience and look forward to the day we would meet our baby girl.
From the second we decided to try for a baby, the thought of a hospital birth played on my mind. I absolutely HATE hospitals, blood, injections, pain…basically everything I would previously associate with, or what I knew (or had heard from friends) about giving birth. As soon as I heard about Hypno birthing, I knew I wanted to give it a try, have a home birth and try and make it the most pleasurable experience I possibly could.
After reading the book, Dave and I understood the Hypno birthing concept and techniques, but it wasn’t until we had the classes with Naomi that we felt we had the support and confidence to be able to have a drug free home birth. Naomi’s classes enabled us to think positively about the whole experience and look forward to meeting our baby girl.
Our total birthing experience lasted about 12 hours, we did hire a birthing pool but unfortunately I was more comfortable out of the water so only spent about 20 minutes in it. We played the CD on repeat and made the house as relaxing and comfortable as possible. The only thing that kept me focused and able to stay in this state was Dave. To be completely honest, there were times in the night that I thought about going to hospital or started getting slightly scared but all I can remember is Dave being next to me the whole time and talking in my ear, bringing me back to my calm state (even if sometimes this was sub consciously). If there was one piece of advice I would give to anyone thinking about this method, it would be that THE most important and crucial part of having a calm, positive, natural birth is your birthing partner’s support and how well they remember and execute all the techniques.
After my waters broke, I felt exactly how I imagined I would….my baby slowly moving downwards with each surge. The midwifes arrived with 15 mins to spare, and our baby was born with one single, small, push on our utility room floor. Within an hour, I had a bath, made coffee for the midwives and was able to completely enjoy our gorgeous baby girl in our own home.
Sofia Elizabeth Bovey arrived on her due date, 100% drug free (not even a paracetamol), with NO pushing, NO cuts/rips, NO injections, an alert mum and baby…and in our own home…a perfect, amazing birthing experience I would do all over again tomorrow.
HypnoBirthing gives them confidence to remain at home and have a wonderful experience for their 1st baby
Finley Mayer born 15th October 08:46 am at home weighing 7lb 3oz. A few months into my pregnancy it began to hit me that the baby I was carrying was going to enter this world and it my job to deliver it as best I could. Although I knew that it was inevitable and everyone does it, it still left me with sense of uncertainty and unease that would I be able to cope, and how traumatic would it be. I had heard stories from friends and family and their horrendous times and seen the stereotypical images and films of pain and panic. I was aware it would be hard work as my mother said to me it will be the toughest job you do but well worth the experience. Needless to say it still left me feeling anxious. At the very beginning of the Hypnobirthing classes we were sceptical of what we were going to achieve. However very quickly these doubts were put to rest with the more we learnt about the approach and processes of the classes and the feelings of ease we took form the teachings. Our HB lessons were within a group which we found very useful and often reassuring that our anxieties matched others. Often the “homework” exercises were useful as they meant we had to take time out and talk through our anxieties and our ideal birthing plan, which we perhaps would not have allocated set times as much if we had not done the course.
The most helpful part of the course for both of us was the relaxation techniques and using the CD. We used the CD throughout our birthing experience and felt that it was profound in keeping the mood and mum very calm and in the zone…. We used the CD most night before bed to achieve an ultimate state of relaxation and actually felt it helped us sleep better. It was reassuring to be taught by someone that had followed and experienced the course and been able to use it through her delivery. It made it seem possible and a realistic goal that a moving and controlled experience could be achieved. Having been through the course and practising the techniques as best we could, we felt more in control and relaxed about the experience. We felt we were armed with the necessary tools to achieve our goal.
When our big day (night) arrived it was with great relief. We had been set on a home birth and at 8 days late we were cutting it fine. The midwife had told us if there were no signs within the next 48 hours I must be induced and would not be allowed the home birth we wished for. I had already refused a couple of procedures to initiate something however we felt that we needed to be calm and things would start when the wished…. As soon as we were aware that the labour had started we used the CD to create a calm mood. Once I felt that things had become more intense and I was assessed, I began to feel anxious. The midwife had said that I had progressed very well and was surprised at how calm and relaxed I appeared. At this point we found out that Finn was positioned back to back and it was going to make the delivery difficult. I was given the option to go into hospital as they felt it sometimes required more help and pain relief as they tend to be longer deliveries. However with their support, we all agreed that we would proceed with our intended plan. We continued with our visualisation techniques and the music which helped hugely at creating ease. It took a little longer than expected, but at 08:46am our baby boy was born at home after 9 hours with mum, dad and baby on the sofa minutes after admiring our new son . We felt that had we not done the course we would have panicked. But by using the techniques we felt it gave us the confidence to feel in control. Even the midwives allowed us to follow our plans and techniques without pressure or interference.
Renee has her 1st baby at home thanks to Hypnobirthing techniques!
Our birth story…
I had my show on the morning of Thursday, 18th August just before we had our midwife appointment. We were at 40 weeks and a day. Instinctively, I knew that our baby – Magic (our baby’s womb name) – would be coming soon.
Our birthing journey started around midnight on Friday,19th August. The surges started to come every eight minutes, then seven, then six, then five over the span of six hours. By around am the surges started to wane and we called Bramber Ward at Worthing hospital. The midwife said that I was exhibiting the classic latent stage for a first baby. I was slightly disappointed as I really wanted to ‘get the show on the road’.
However, by around 6pm that same day the surges started again. This time they came more strongly and more regularly. Steve kept reminding me to breathe and he kept giving me the light touch massages we did in Hypnobirthing classes. We watched funny films to keep cheerful and distracted (Fawlty Towers, Friends, The Simpsons, Monty Python); I kept eating, grazing and drinking fluids to keep my energy levels up. I also took a little walk outside in our garden to keep active, get some fresh air and catch some early evening sun. I clearly remember seeing a half-open, bright orange calendula/marigold flower, which has somehow randomly grown between the cracks in our garden. The birth colour we chose was orange, so I took this as a very good sign.
By around 7pm, we called Bramber Ward again as my surges further intensified and became even more frequent. The midwife on duty listened to me on the phone as I went through another surge; she said I was handling them very well and that a midwife will be with us at home by around 9pm.
At around 9:15pm, the midwife arrived – it was the same midwife, Hayley, who looked after us throughout our pregnancy! We were very happy and grateful for this as Hayley knew our entire history and our preference for a home hypnobirth. Before doing an internal examination, Hayley told me that if I was less than 4cms dilated, she would have to leave and she or another midwife would come back after a few hours, once my labour has progressed more. Luckily, after the examination, Hayley confirmed that I was 5-6cms dilated, so she would be staying – much to my relief! As well, my waters were still intact at this point.
I continued to have stronger surges for the next hour or so. I remember drinking water with Bach’s Rescue Remedy and our cat Guinness staying close and watching me. Steve was back and forth between helping me focus throughout my surges and filling up the birthing pool, making sure the water was the right temperature.
By around 11pm, I got into the pool. Oh what a relief it was! I continued to use Hypnobirthing techniques and breathing to go through my labour. At around 2am, I decided to try some gas and air to take the edge off the surges that were getting more intense. It helped a bit, but after around an hour or so, I stopped using it and only went back to it occasionally. Our midwife also kept encouraging me to get out of the pool from time to time – to have a walk around, have a change of scenery and manage some of my surges in the bathroom. We all found that my surges were stronger and more intense out of the water. Steve was with me the whole time – holding me, hugging me and giving me cues for visualization.
Hayley called for a second midwife (Rachel) by around 7am as my surges were becoming stronger. However, 9am came around and still no appearance from our baby! Hayley had to go home as she had been with me for already twelve hours! Another midwife (Vicky) came to relieve Hayley.
At around 10:30am, the baby still had not made an appearance and Rachel suggested that I have another internal examination and to possibly break my waters as the labour was taking a long time. I got myself out of the pool and on the couch ready to be examined, when my waters finally broke! I felt a rush of relief, but from this point onward the surges intensified further.I went back in the pool for a little bit, but the midwives encouraged me to go through my surges while sitting down in the bathroom. As much as I loved being in the pool and warm water (it was SO comforting), I instinctively knew that I had to stay out of the water in order to birth my baby – the water was relaxing me too much! This was probably around 11am.
Things started to happen faster once I was out of the water. I remember squatting down, really breathing and focusing with every surge. At first, primeval, animal-like sounds were pouring out of my throat, but Vicky encouraged me to focus all that energy and strength downwards. Great advice, because this really helped me! I was very quiet and focused during the surges right before our baby was born. Poor Steve and midwives – I just really needed to hold their hands during my surges! I am surprised I didn’t crush any of their fingers!
I clearly remember Rachel telling me she could see the baby’s head, and she made a circular symbol with her thumb and forefinger to indicate the size she was seeing – and I thought ‘Gaaaah! All that work and you can only see that much?!?!? That’s not much at all!’ She also told me that I could touch the baby’s head if I wanted, but I opted not to as I thought that would just totally distract me and excite me; I felt like I really needed to bear down and focus,focus, focus!
Steve was sitting on our couch in the living room and I was squatting between his legs, holding (crushing!) his hands when our little Beatrix Gracie was born. I remember totally focusing and breathing, breathing, breathing as I calmly waited for another surge to come while the baby was crowning. Next thing I knew, our baby slid out easily and she was on my chest. I remember seeing her beautiful eyes – wide open and so alert, taking everything in! She immediately latched on to my breast. The midwives could not stop remarking on how calm and alert she was. To this day, she is very curious, observant and inquisitive!
I gave birth to the placenta naturally as well (it took almost another hour!). Alas, I had to have five stitches and I totally used a whole lot more gas and air for this part of the process than during my actual labour! I was so disappointed that I had to have stitches, that I cried and then proceeded to pass out briefly and then come to, not remembering what happened!
I clearly remember feeling a myriad of emotions – I was utterly exhausted, but I also felt so empowered, giddy, joyful and extremely proud of what I, Steve and Beatrix had all done. It was all so spiritual and beautiful. The midwives told us that the only reason they did not recommend for us to go to hospital was because Steve and I were such a calm, solid team. They said that their jobs were made easier because of our calm and that Steve was doing their job for them. As well, Beatrix’s heart rate remained strong, calm and steady throughout.
We attribute all this to our Hypnobirthing training and previous yoga experience. We would like to extend a very BIG and heartfelt thank you to Naomi, our Hypnobirthing instructor, for making this beautiful experience possible for us. We would also like to extend big thank yous to the midwives who looked after us during labour – Hayley, Rachel and Vicky – they were all superstars!
Oh – and remember that half open marigold that I saw in the garden while I was in labour? Next day, after Bea was born, the flower was in full bloom – a very bright, beautiful orange!
Emma’s 3rd baby – A painfree arrival, without stiches!
1st Hypnobirth experience and our baby 1st born at home
Am currently sat in bed baby gazing and so so happy, she’s utterly divine!
We’re both sorry you weren’t there, but by the time things heated up events over took and we completely forgot to call.
My surges started at 5.30am and they kept up all day, I managed to get a little kip around noon and it was all super chilled. The surges kicked up a notch around 6pm and were coming every 5 mins. 2 midwives arrived at 8 ish, both incredible; one had newly qualified the other more experienced. I was examined and stupidly insisted on being told the results. Tom feels bad as he felt he should have been bossier with me, but I don’t regret it as I was already quite surprised I’d been labouring for so long given Aidan’s birth was so quick, only 4 hours from start to finish.
I was only 3 cm, but my midwife was great and said to dismiss it as I was clearly the type to suddenly go really quickly. The surges were so strong at this point but was using the slow breathing and getting through it ok, Tom was great with the prompts and I found them so powerful.
I got in the pool around 9 ish and it was fab and maxed out for 3 hours, during this time my surges slowed in frequency but not intensity. I was examined at 12.30 with my complete agreement and no pressure. The poor midwife didn’t want to share results but again I insisted which although if I did it again I would’ve relinquished control to Tom as it was disheartening to know I’d only gone to 4 cm, again the midwives were really encouraging and said not to worry and that it would be best to move around if that’s what I wanted, which I did as felt the need to get active.
It did the trick as the surges came thick and fast and like with Aidan I was ready to breathe down in no time, this last hour or so was when the magic of hypno birthing really happened. I went into myself, had a truly spiritual experience. Don’t get me wrong, labour is still what it says on the tin but my power to cope overwhelms me still. I was standing in the bathroom when I knew it was time to breathe her down – I’d been a bit sceptical as to how this transition would naturally happen, but blimey it did!
I felt an immense sense of calm and euphoria that I would soon meet my girl, guided by Tom I simply breathed her down feeling her slowly emerge without any pain or the so called “ring of fire”. she was out in 2 gentle surges!
The midwife sat me on the loo and I was handed my angel. She needed a good rub to get her awake she was so chilled! Tom cut the cord and I spent the next 4/5 hours skin to skin with her, she fed for 4 hours straight!
The midwives were amazed at the lack of blood loss and I was overjoyed that I didn’t need any stitches and could pee without stinging!!!!
All in all it’s been the most wonderful experience of my life and I have you and hypno birthing to thank for empowering us to be masters of our own destiny, fight society’s conditioning and create an event that we’re still reaping the benefits of. Ella is such a chilled contented baby and we’re all amazed at how alert and responsive she is. The “secret life of the unborn child” had it right when it said about infants being able to pick out their father’s voice from within the first few hours of life. Tom read the rainbow script almost every day and it has had such a profound effect on how they’ve bonded.
I could gush on and on, but really wanted to let you know how well it all went for us. Pop over for tea and cuddles whenever suits.
Much love, Emma xxxx
Birthing a 10lb baby at home with no stitches!
Naomi’s Birth Story… My long awaited home Hypnobirth… No 3!
My story begins 14 days past my due date. The fortnight since my EDD had dragged along very slowly and I was looking forward to arriving at 42 weeks as my previous 2 babies had both been born at exactly 42 weeks. My whole pregnancy I had been telling everyone and myself that it was likely that I would carry right to the bitter end as this is clearly how long my body took to cook its babies. However, with having 3 babies in 3 years I was secretly hoping that my body would remember what to do and give me an early surprise. But as my guess date came and went and every day slowly dragged by, I soon realised that I was in for the long haul and felt confident that my baby would again also be born on day +14.
I was therefore very happy to field off offers of induction from my midwife and explain to all my well wishing family and friends that I was happy for nature to decide when my baby should be born. My daily mantra became “baby comes when baby is ready”.
I did let my midwife book me in for a planned induction on day 14 though, as both of my girls had arrived on the night prior to planned inductions, so I thought that perhaps I needed that threat to let go mentally and let my birthing begin. Ha ha! Not the case this time, as I awoke on day +14, still pregnant and absolutely no sign of anything happening anytime soon.
As a HypnoBirthing practitioner, I was super keen to avoid induction as I was desperate to have another home birth and also I knew that by interfering with, what I believe to be, a very natural process, I could perhaps send my birth into a different direction which could eventually lead into invention being required. I had supreme faith that my body was in charge and that my baby should decide when the right time to be born would be. I did however understand that there are risks involved in prolonged pregnancy but felt that whilst my baby was strong and active and my health was fine, I was happy to take each day as it came. So when I phoned triage at 8am that morning I explained that I was cancelling the planned induction but willingly agreed to attend the hospital for monitoring.
The monitoring process involved being strapped up to a machine that measured baby’s heart rate, uterine tightening and baby’s movements – all of which were perfect. In fact, I was having surges (The HypnoBirthing word for contractions) that I couldn’t even feel. I agreed to a vaginal examination as I curious to know if things were getting started and “hurrah!” my cervix was 1cm open. Perhaps the baby would be here soon, I started to think.
As I was now +14 days, before I was allowed to leave Triage, I had to endure quite a pressurised conversation with the doctor who was trying to persuade me to be induced there and then as planned. I found the language that he used particularly threatening and fear inducing. In fact, at one point he actually told me that I HAD to be induced. I had suspected that I would need to have some difficult conversations about my decision to continue with my pregnancy past 42 weeks, so was prepared with all of my answers and very firmly and politely explained that I fully understood the risks of prolonged pregnancy and that I did NOT have to be induced that day, I was aware that he had to offer me the CHOICE and I could respectfully decline. I agreed to return the next day for monitoring and to discuss the option of induction again. However, the whole experience of attending Triage which reminded me of the dramas in “One born every minute” and the intimidating nature of the doctor made me even more determined that I was going to have my baby at home in a loving, peaceful, positive environment where I could focus on my beliefs that birth can and should be normal and natural.
My husband dropped me over at my mum’s house in the early afternoon so that I could spend some time with my 2 girls, aged 19 months and 3yrs old. As soon as I was in a safe, calm environment, my surges suddenly became more apparent and I spent the next couple of hours playing with girls and distracting myself by sorting out a huge box of Duplo that my dad had found in the loft.
By 3.30pm I felt that things were picking up quickly so called my husband to drive me back home so that we could prepare for our homebirth. I spent the next couple of hours doing some last minute housework (I wanted a clean orderly house before baby arrived!) whilst Aaron prepared our beautiful birthing area by moving furniture, inflating the pool, setting up the music and lighting candles everywhere.
Given that my last birth had been an amazing calm, quick and relatively pain free Hypnobirthing experience which only lasted 5 hours from the 1st surge to my baby girl being born – just 2 ½ hours of established labour, I honestly thought that this baby was going to fly out. I’d joked the whole was through the pregnancy that I was just going sneeze this one out and had even prepared my husband for the possibility that the baby may be born before a midwife was in attendance and had explained to him how to check if the cord was round the baby’s throat! So I was deadly serious when I spoke to my 2nd birthing companion and my best friend at 5pm and said that I was sure we’d have a baby by the end of the day. Little did I know!
I was experiencing very erratic surges, they would be very intense for 40 – 50 seconds or so and then drop off to weaker shorter ones but the whole time I could feel my cervix stretching open and my muscles working together. I was so happy that things had finally started of their own accord.
Hypnobirthing works on the theory that by being totally relaxed during birth a woman’s body behaves in a different way to that if she has fear or anxiety within her system. This ensures that the uterus behaves in the way that nature intended and eliminates the FEAR – TENSION – PAIN syndrome.
Therefore, I knew that I had to totally relax and surrender to the birthing process in order for my body to be able to get on with the job in hand, so I lay on my sofa surrounded by candles, listening to my HypnoBirthing affirmations and relaxation CD on loop for a couple of hours until my surges finally felt more intense and productive. During this whole time I focussed on staying calm by using Hypnbirthing breathing.
We called out the 1st midwife who arrived at about 9pm by which time I was in a blissfully calm state, totally chilled out. After examining me, she informed me that the baby was still in unfavourable position as its back was round on my right hand side rather than the optimum position on the left or front. I had been aware that the baby was OP since my 36 week appointment and had been doing yoga positions, hypnosis sessions, using affirmations and had even purchased a doughnut shaped beanbag to encourage gravity to be able work with the baby whilst I lay on my front, but this baby was determined to stay put until it had to move! I was 3cm open at this point which was great news, things really were finally happening. The midwife explained to me that while the baby could be born in it’s OP position it would be a much easier birth if it moved round before descending down the birth path.
As time went by I felt that it was time to get in the pool as I clearly remembered the wonderful relaxation properties that the warm water had from my previous birth. I got into the pool and was delighted to find that the water assisted my comfort levels considerably! I happily floated in the pool holding onto the handles in various positions, mentally willing the baby to turn. After 90 minutes the midwife examined me again and to my absolute dismay, I discovered that I was still only 3cm! I was completely devastated by this news, especially as the midwife had been requesting the baby’s changing mat and warm towels only moments previously! I really had felt like we’d been making progress.
It was now midnight and I couldn’t help feeling that the last 8 hours had all been in vain. My midwife was brilliant at this point, as my positive mental attitude started to dissolve. She explained that I was doing brilliantly by remaining superbly relaxed and that the reason I hadn’t made any progress was that my body was trying to turn the baby to make my birth easier for me. We decided that she would go home to get some sleep and that I should try to get some rest and call her again when things picked up again.
The next 3 hours or so were really tough. I was very tired and my HypnoBirthing skills were really tested. I had moments where I totally lost faith in myself and even at one point considered going to hospital. As soon as the doubts and anxieties crept in, I lost control of my breathing and the panic and pain would spiral. I kept bringing myself back to trusting in my body, that body knew what to do and my determination returned. I spent this time doing various yoga positions and trying to relax on my “bump bag” when finally I decided to sit on my birthing ball learning forwards onto my dining table. I was circling my hips and pelvis on the ball when suddenly my waters popped and gushed everywhere. I think at this point the baby also moved round. I was elated! Just as I was about to give up, my body gave me a signal that actually my labour of love was advancing. I had a “show” at this point too, so I was finally reassured that the baby was on its way.
We called delivery suite and the same midwife came out again. My husband and birthing companion spent ages getting the birthing pool back to temperature while I focussed on becoming deeply relaxed again with my CD’s on loop. Once again getting in the pool was magic. Everything finally came together and happened relatively quickly from this point. I was 4cm when I got in the pool and within 2 hours I could feel the pressure in my bottom and as my surges continued to grow in intensity I knew the baby was making its journey down the birth path. I used my Hypnobirthing breathing techniques to assist this process but don’t mind admitting that the urge to push really took over at this point. So I followed the lead of my body, however I was extremely tired by this point and found this made the sensations incredibly intense. I kept losing control mentally, I requested some gas and air which really helped ground me again. The mouth piece was particularly useful to help me control my breathing techniques. I used the gas and air at the start of the surge and then used the power of the surge to assist my body with moving the baby down the birth path. It took about 90 minutes to reach the birthing stage. I had some moments of doubt again at the “transition” stage as my cervix became fully open but my birthing companions were brilliant at using Hypnobirthing prompts and getting me back in control and relaxed again.
The final stage of the birth was quite unexpected. I could feel the baby crown and I was being very careful to take this stage very very slowly as I didn’t want to tear. I tried to let everything unfold naturally. The wait in-between surges felt like an absolute eternity. I could feel the baby trying to twist its shoulders round but it seemed stuck. Suddenly, the midwifes were ordering me to get to my feet with my leg on the edge of the pool and instructed me that I needed to push with all of my strength at the next surge. The next moments are all a bit of a blur but when the surge finally arrived, the midwives assisted the baby and quickly cut its cord. My husband shouted “It’s a boy!” but none of us could take in this news as our baby was very blue and floppy and the 2nd midwife was busy using rescue breaths and massaging him to bring him to life. Finally, after these heart stopping moments we heard the wonderful sound of his cry! The midwife later told me that his cord had been wrapped very tightly around his neck. They’d become aware of this when the baby’s chin had failed to present when the head was crowning, hence the urgency of the end of the birth. The midwifes were absolutely brilliant and I can’t praise them enough for remaining so calm and keeping me so unaware whilst they must have been having a minor panic.
I finally got to hold my gorgeous baby boy and feel the magic of our life long emotional bond. I was amazed at how big he was, however, I would never have guessed that I had been carrying a 10lb baby! (Well 9lb 15 ¾ oz) – Especially as I am only 5ft 2″! No wonder it had been such a mission to get him to turn and also to move down the birth path. He looked about 3 months old! He went straight the breast and fed easily for the 1st hour.
It took a while for the shock of the whole situation to wear off but eventually I felt totally empowered that I’d stuck with my intuition to have a home birth and felt incredibly proud of myself that I’d birthed a 10lb baby at home with no damage to my perineum (no stitches hurrah!) and no chemical pain relief. My total birth had taken 18 hours…. 14 of which were spent at 3cm trying to get him to turn and only 4 hours of established labour.
I must admit that the HypnoBirthing practitioner inside me was a bit disappointed that my birth wasn’t the text book HypnoBirth that I’d dreamed of, but after discussing it through with the midwife the following day, I realised what an amazing birth I’d managed to achieve. I agreed with my midwife that if I’d been in hospital then it would have been highly probable that interventions would have been used, as if I hadn’t of been calm & patient and allowed the baby to get into the best position, then birthing an 10lb OP baby would probably have had a totally different outcome. Having 2 other small children to care for meant that I was very concerned about having a quick recovery time and I can happily claim that after I got over the initial exhaustion I was feeling on top the world and was back to being a proper mum again within 2 days. I haven’t even experienced baby blues as i’ve been so pleased with the way my birth played out and totally in awe of my clever body and baby who knew what to do. This is another lovely benefit of Hypnobirthing.
So I am writing this as Leonard (known as Lenny) is 12 days old. He is an absolute dream baby, I honestly couldn’t ask for a better behaved chap! He sleeps and feeds, sleeps and feeds, even at night! I am getting more sleep now than when I was pregnant, which is an absolute blessing as I need all my energy for this crazy family life that I now have! It also supports the Hypnobirthing theory that calm pregnancy and birth = calm baby.
I’ve learnt a lot about birth from this experience, most importantly, about how all the tools that Hypnobirthing can be applied to birth, whatever path the birth takes. I also know now that birth doesn’t have to be easy and straight forward for it to be empowering and positive. After achieving this challenging birth…. I now feel like I can do anything that I set my mind to, which is what HypnoBirthing is all about. The power of the body and mind connection.
I have had a lot of comments about how lucky I’ve been to have straight forward births but I do point out that is not all down to luck, I put a lot of work into getting myself in the best position to be able to achieve my wonderful births. I attended pregnancy yoga twice a week, practised daily relaxation and fully embraced Hypnobirthing theories which have totally changed the way I think about birth. I believe that all this emotional and physical preparation has helped take control of my birthing destiny.
Hypnobirthing helped deal with special circumstances and a positive c-section story!
There was controversy over our estimated date of arrival from the time of our first scan back in January. For the last ten years I have been a strong advocate of natural family planning methods and in the past have used a persona machine as well as the more old school method of morning basal temperature taking to chart ovulation and my menstrual cycles. Therefore I was pretty confident that my LMP (last menstrual period) date was correct, knowing that I always ovulate on day 14-15 of my very regular cycle.
Stephen and I discovered that we were pregnant in November and our first scan was delayed slightly because of the Christmas and New Year’s holiday, meaning we didn’t actually have the first scan until the 13th week of pregnancy. However, when we actually went for the scan they dated me as 14 weeks pregnant and moved my EDA back from the 25thJuly 2011 (based on my LMP) to the 18th July 2011. Because there was a whole week’s difference between my date and the scan date the medical profession insist on going with the scan date because of the supposed potential irregularity of a woman’s cycle, time of ovulation, time of conception etc. This whole week discrepancy proved to be quite significant as our official guess date loomed…and then predictably came and went.
I had a midwife appointment booked for the morning of the 18th July and was disappointed that my regular midwife was off sick, as we had already discussed our birth plan and she had been reassuringly supportive and had even reminded me at my last appointment that first babies are routinely 10-12 days late. This particular midwife wasn’t on the same wavelength at all and the appointment was quite disheartening. To her disbelief I refused a sweep and was promptly booked an appointment to discuss my options at the hospital for Wednesday 20th July. I felt quite belittled as she made it clear that she thought I needed to make sure I had a plan and shouldn’t just be prepared to go on indefinitely – even though I had only JUST reached my guess date.
The appointment on the Wednesday at the hospital was fine and although I refused any intervention I was happy to book in for daily monitoring where they checked my blood pressure, the baby’s heartbeat and whether I was having any surges. Happy that everything was still fine I continued with these daily check-ups until I was booked in to see an obstetrician on July 29th. I was completely unprepared for the conversation that followed with the consultant. He was very keen to push induction on me and happily drew out a line with his finger indicating the increase in death rate as baby’s go over their due date. I didn’t really have my answers ready as to why I wanted to hold out on induction and came back with a silly answer of “Because it’s not very nice,” luckily Steve was there to save me and explained that we were trying to keep everything as natural as possible. After the consultation I had agreed to have a scan done to check the function of the placenta. I asked the radiographer a couple of questions about the size of the baby and she said the machine didn’t go past 41 weeks so she had to look up the size of the baby in her hard copy manual and confessed that “we rarely see people this late on in pregnancy,” which made me feel even more like I was the only woman to have ever gone past her due date!
Saturday the 30th July I booked in for some acupuncture. I tried reflexology, I tried sex, I tried going for a curry, I tried loooonnnnnnggggggg walks, I tried listening to audio birth rehearsals designed to get your oxytocin levels flowing but the baby was completely on its own utero-time and still showed no sign of being anywhere near ready to be born. In the end I decided that this ‘extra’ time I had been given was a gift and I began to relax and was very content to enjoy my last few days of pre-mummydom.
I was booked in for another consultation with the obstetrician on Monday 1st August. This consultation was a million miles away from my previous one the week before with the scare mongering Dr who had made me feel quite belittled for not wanting to be induced. I was seen by a Dr Buddha (with a name like that how could I not like her!) and through discussing my case she sensitively discovered that I had had a bad experience with a painful smear test in the past, which is another reason why I was reluctant to have a cervical sweep. However, with her completely different approach, her reassurance that she had “the smallest hands in the department” and Steve’s support I decided to give consent for a membrane sweep. It wasn’t as bad as I was anticipating and I was hopeful that this would be enough to get things going.
Finally, on Thursday 4th August I felt my first surge at about 11am. They continued regularly at about 3-4 per hour for most of the afternoon. By about 6’o’clock in the evening I decided that it was definitely happening as the surges were coming more regularly. Steve and I started to rally round and get the house ready. We checked that the hot water was switched on and then that’s when I realised we had a problem…the heater was on BUT there was no hot water coming out through the taps. I made a panicked call to my friend and second birthing partner Jade who’s Dad is a retired plumber and lives up the top of my street. He came round within half an hour and confirmed that the immersion heater had gone and that he could fix it but it would be a 2-3 hour job and at 7’o’clock at night it might not be so easy to get the parts.
Steve and I sat down and discussed our options for a couple of hours as I procrastinated over the decision. Should we see if we could relocate – take the pool to my Mum’s or maybe to Jade’s, should we stay put and attempt to fill the pool with kettles and saucepans of boiling water, should we ask the neighbouring flat whether we could run a hosepipe from their tap or should we go into hospital? We had had a home, water, hypno-birth planned from the beginning of the pregnancy and I had never had any doubt about our decision but finally Steve and I decided that both of our gut instincts were telling us to go to Worthing hospital and I was hopeful that we would also stand a good chance of getting to use the pool there. I didn’t even have a hospital bag packed so at about 9.30pm we abandoned our home birth plan. I ran round and gathered up everything I needed, called Jade to tell her the decision and asked her to stop off at the supermarket en-route to pick up some snacks. As the surges intensified we called the hospital a couple of times and finally headed in when they were regularly 2-3 minutes apart, which Jade was religiously keeping time of on her i-phone (I knew I’d asked such a pragmatic yet empathetic person to be my second birthing partner for a reason!)
We arrived at the hospital and I was examined at midnight and told that I was 4cm dilated and therefore in established labour and allowed to stay at the hospital rather than being sent home. I felt quite chuffed and was convinced that I was going to be with babe in arms just a few short hours from this point. My mum had already told me that she’d had really uncomplicated, quick and easy labours with both me and one of my brothers. I had eaten well all through the pregnancy, I’d stayed fit and active and had prepared for the birth as much as I could with HypnoBirthing, yoga and positive affirmations. I felt ready, unafraid and actually looking forward to the experience.
We were shown into a private room and I continued to experience regular surges. I moved around the room, used the birthing ball and found all fours and kneeling up against the bed frame the most comfortable positions. Once the surges began to intensify I found myself naturally taking deep breaths in and releasing the breath through my mouth with a resounding AUM. And this continued for each and every surge. I hadn’t particularly planned to use sound but instinctively this tool felt very right for me and I quickly got over any embarrassment of being so vocal and continued to move inward, finding myself in quite an introspective and meditative state.
From the moment I was shown into the room I asked about the birthing pool and in my naivety thought that I would be given the pool more or less straight away. Because of the fact that I was now 40weeks+18days according to the scan date, the protocol required me to have continual foetal monitoring. I declined this because I knew movement was going to be really important for me but struck a compromise of being hooked up to the machine every 2 hours for 20 minutes of monitoring. There was doubt over whether I would be allowed the pool at all because of how ‘late’ I was but after yet another request to be allowed in the pool my midwife said that it was being filled for me and I would be allowed to go in it soon. I was over the moon and couldn’t wait for the soothing properties of the water. I was offered gas and air and although I didn’t really feel the need just yet I was curious more than anything so decided to try some to see the effect it had on the surges. And then it happened – I turned into one of the women from ‘One born every minute’! I went from being completely in control of the surges and my breath to an addict of the mouthpiece. Retrospectively, I wish I had held out longer for the gas and air as it made me feel quite spaced out and I felt that it made me loose some of the control I had over my own birthing techniques.
My midwife went off on a break and she explained we would be looked after by another midwife who would be between two rooms. During this hour break things really started to hot up and I began to feel an intense pressure in my back passage. I was convinced the baby was minutes away from being born and this was my quick and easy birth coming into fruition. I frantically asked Jade to help me off with my clothes as Steve pushed the panic button. Unluckily for us the second midwife was half way through birthing a baby in the room next door so didn’t come to our rescue. Steve pushed the button again and a nurse rushed in from triage and to my shock and horror inspected me and left again – didn’t she know the baby was about to be born?! After this false alarm our midwife came back to the room, hooked me up to the machine again for monitoring and finally, finally at 7.30am I was allowed to go into the pool room. The midwives swapped shift and 9 hours after arriving at the hospital I clambered into the pool with a HUGE sigh of relief. After 9 hours of active labour the water was heaven and although I couldn’t describe the surges at any point being painful they were definitely intense! The water really helped me to relax and I carried on with my glugs of gas and air on the in breath and my OM-ing on the out breath. Occasionally, if the surges intensified the perfectly formed sound of A-U-M would morph into more of an AAARRRRHHHHHHH sound but still I found the release of sound through an open mouth incredibly therapeutic.
At some point during my time in the pool again I had an intense feeling of pressure in the back passage and was again convinced I was minutes away from holding my baby but it was another false alarm and 2 hours in the pool came and went. At 10am I got out of the pool for my monitoring and was strapped up to the machine once again. As the midwife listened to the sound of the baby’s heartbeat I started to realise that there was a problem. When I was experiencing strong surges the baby’s heartbeat was dropping. Steve’s eyes were glued to the monitor and although I couldn’t see the screen his face told me a thousand words. I asked Steve and Jade whether everything was OK and even though they were reassuring me I started to get anxious (Steve confessed after the birth that the baby’s heart rate was dipping from a health 150-165 down to as low as 86 at some points. This was the point when I agreed to another internal examination, even though my birthing plan had specifically said I didn’t want these.
I was examined and told that I was 6cm dilated. I spent a couple of stunned seconds absorbing and translating what that meant before bursting into tears as the realisation of the situation hit me. 10 hours after being examined upon arrival, 11 hours of established labour and I had only dilated by 2 cm, the baby’s heart rate was dipping and I was exhausted. This was the only point in the whole birthing process that I lost myself for a few minutes. I allowed all the fear, apprehension, disappointment and frustration to leave my body in huge heaving sobs before deciding that by me being upset I wasn’t helping the little being inside me and I pulled myself back together. There and then I decided that the most important thing was to get my baby out, healthy and with the least amount of trauma possible and I let my aspirations for a natural birth go.
I consented to my waters being broken and as suspected very fresh meconium was found. I had already resigned myself to the fact that a C-section was probable and by this point I had had a 180 degree turn around in opinion as I actually wanted one immediately as I felt it the safest option. I was left for a further 2 hours to see whether I would naturally dilate anymore or whether labour would take its own natural course. I spent the 2 hours listening to the HypnoBirthing positive affirmations and some deeply relaxing chanting and music. I tried to completely rest in this time and allow my body and mind to recover. 2 hours later I was examined again and told I was 6.5cm. Taking everything into consideration as I had known 2 hours ago, a C-section was deemed the safest option.
From here on in everything ran like clock-work. I met the anaesthetist and the surgeons and had the process explained to me. We didn’t know the sex of the baby and opted to be shown rather than told when the baby was delivered. Steve was allowed into the room and Jade waited in the recovery area. The surgery itself was quick, painless and a very positive experience. With at least 10-12 caring professionals in the room, the familiar face of our amazing midwife Jo and Steve by my side I felt so well looked after and an enormous relief that I would soon get to meet the little one I had been carrying for all this time. 20 minutes later our beautiful baby boy was delivered safely into the world weighing in at 8lbs 8 and a 1/2oz. He was perched on my chest and shoulder and we savoured that first meeting with joy. I have never felt such overwhelming love, happiness and gratitude. Finally, 18 days past my scan due date and 11 days past my LMP due date our little bundle of joy had arrived and he was worth the wait. He was born at 2.15pm on 5th August, which held particularly special significance as it was also my birthday and the best birthday present I could have wished for.
Although my birthing experience completely defied all the careful preparation and detailed plans that I had made it was still a profound, amazing and overall surprisingly calm experience. Before giving birth I had heard horror stories from women who had ended up with emergency C-sections. One friend whose story isn’t a million miles from mine was so badly traumatised that she talked her partner into having a vasectomy after their first child as she NEVER wanted to go through the experience again. I couldn’t feel more different and although I would have obviously preferred to have birthed Dillan naturally it wasn’t to be and I really feel that my yoga practice and HypnoBirthing preparation allowed me to remain open minded, calm and able to go with the flow of the situation even though it wasn’t how I envisaged it would be. Particularly, by practicing HypnoBirthing prior to the birth I managed to clear any negative feelings or fear leaving me feeling confident, calm and actually looking forward to the birth, which was invaluable. Yoga, sound, meditation, breathing techniques and audio relaxation and affirmations kept me present and connected during the birth and provided me with fantastic tools to keep relaxed even when things got tough.
My recovery from the surgery has been good and my scar has healed fantastically well. I’m loving being a mummy and Dillan is such a well behaved baby. He’s calm and sleeps well at night usually just waking twice for a feed. He took to breastfeeding amazingly well and is a little piggy so he’s growing fast. I don’t feel as though I’m harbouring any negativity about my birthing experience even though it couldn’t have been further from my envisaged experience and would it do it all again in a heartbeat. A couple of years previously I had undergone a small laser procedure on my cervix to remove a few abnormal cells. This could have possibly been the reason behind why I was slower to dilate but it doesn’t really matter either way as the most important thing is our baby is here safe and sound. I’m actually really looking forward to doing it all over again in the not too distant future as we would love a little brother or sister for Dillan and I hope that I will be able to have a natural birth next time. But if not I’ll be eternally grateful once again to the medical profession for assisting me to deliver a perfect and healthy baby and will still use all the amazing techniques that allowed me such a positive birth the first time round.
Good luck to all of you who are eagerly awaiting the birth of your babies. I hope you enjoy your delicious waiting time and experience a positive, happy and memorable birth in whichever form that may manifest itself!
Baby Freddie emerged into our world on December 14th and the experience of giving birth was everything that HypnoBirthing had suggested it could be – empowering, immense and life affirming. Unfortunately the lead up to the actual birth was far from positive…
My waters broke at 5.30am on the Thursday morning (five days before Freddie was actually due and 65 hours before he was eventually born) and as I rushed from my bed to the toilet I was doing a mental high five – I’d had a good sleep following yoga and a relaxing bath whilst listening to my HypnoBirthing CD plus my waters were clear! Five years previously our daughter, Sophia, was born 3 weeks early by emergency c section. More than anything I wanted to avoid another operation – I’d found it quite traumatic and felt like I’d missed out on a real birth experience.
Anyway, my initial enthusiasm soon waned when absolutely nothing happened for the rest of that day. Following a frustrating and sleepless night we went into hospital on the Friday morning. My intention was to give myself up to 48 hours to go into labour before getting too concerned.
Unfortunately the consultant had a different idea and to cut a long story short I was pretty much scare-mongered into an internal exam and reluctantly agreeing to an induction. I wish now I’d had more resolve and had known more about pre-labour rupturing of membranes so that I could have been more confident in sticking to my plan.
However, it’s hard to ignore a medical professional who keeps reinforcing risk factors. Disappointingly, after the initial panic we then seemed to disappear down the priority list – I was made to wait until 4.30am the next day so another night of no sleep, this time on the labour ward. When after six hours I was showing no signs of labour the same consultant rather flippantly concluded that I would have to have a c section. I was devastated. I could see everything I’d been working towards slipping away and it seemed so unfair.
Anyway I was determined not to have another negative experience so my husband and I decided to focus on the positives – we would be seeing our baby soon. Throughout all of this I’d been having increasing tightenings in my back and although the midwife dismissed them they were starting to feel quite uncomfortable. It was now 4pm on the Saturday and I was all prepped for theatre – I couldn’t possibly be in labour! But when the midwife offered me gas and air I nearly lost it – why on earth was I being offered gas and air and yet about to walk down to theatre? We asked for an exam and lo and behold I was 4cm dilated! I couldn’t believe it but I was so mentally exhausted that I felt like I couldn’t possible face the challenges of labour.
However, my fantastic husband gave me the encouragement I needed reminding me just how much I wanted a natural birth and telling me I was strong enough to do it. So I refused the gas and air, declined to go to theatre and off we went – my body took over, my breathing techniques kicked in and the visualisations from HypnoBirthing came to mind and within six and a half hours Freddie was born in a calm and serene atmosphere. I will never forget the moment we realised we had a little baby boy – for me and my husband it was a truly bonding experience and a wonderful start to our lives as a family of four 🙂
We’ve got some exciting news – our daughter Elowyn Rose Lucas arrived safely into the world on September 1st at 15:42 weighing 6lbs 10oz.
After being convinced she was going to be late given that she still hadn’t engaged, my waters broke at about midnight on the Wednesday night. My surges started a couple of hours later and built through the course of the night. I used hypno breathing and music/candles/low lighting and felt very in control. By 9am they were 3 mins apart and 60-90 seconds in length so off to hospital we went. Dave made them aware we were hypnobirthing, but unfortunately the combination of them not being able to see my cervix together with the fact I wasn’t rolling and writhing in pain during a surge meant that they sent me home until they got “stronger”. I think I went into transition during the car journey home which was luckily only very short, as was freaking out somewhat! Once home I lent over my birthing ball and felt another huge gush of fluid and I suddenly had the urge to bear down! Dave was straight back onto the midwife who said come straight down so we did! A rather frantic journey and wheelchair ride later (plus lots of mooing noises….) found me back on the bed in triage only about an hour after we had left. The midwife reexamined me and could feel the head 1.5 inches away and I only had an anterior lip remaining of my cervix! They just about managed to get the pool filled and I’m so glad they did as the feeling of relief in the water was amazing (that and the gas and air!). My surges slowed down in frequency because of the water, which I’m glad about as it allowed me to get back in control with the breathing. I found myself back in the zone, and Elowyn was born about 2-3 hours later without the need for any assistance. The midwife was amazing and was very supportive of our preferences. I used the down breathing right until the end when she was starting to crown and I needed to help her out but it felt like I was listening to my body and my baby at that point. She was all wrapped up in the cord and as blue as as blueberry, but they managed to untangle her and we were able to have delayed clamping. I then had a natural 3rd stage (although pushing again was the last thing I wanted to do!) aided by Elowyn latching on straight away and lots of skin to skin.
We both wanted to thank you again for all your help and guidance. We feel that hypnobirthing greatly enhanced our birthing experience and I ended up having a far more natural, empowering and beautiful birth than what I was thinking prior to discovering hypnobirthing. Dave’s support was invaluable and we were very much on the same page thanks to your course, and that was one of the main things that got me through. My mum commented on what an amazing team we made, and how we really seemed to put into practice what you had taught us!
My birth story 26.12.12 yes Boxing Day
> It was Christmas Eve 2012 and I felt like I had a bowling ball in between my legs!!! I hadn’t really gone out in a few days (took far too long to get anywhere on foot I’m afraid!!) as everything was well prepared for Christmas Day. With a due date of Boxing Day I had to be organised for once didn’t I ?!!
> We had decided to go to the children’s church service which was beautiful and that night as I sat watching tv I could feel slight waves in my womb but it took me a while to register that these waves were coming and going. This was interrupting my Christmas tv viewing!!! By midnight we had decided that maybe they were surges and this was maybe the start of my labour but agreed to try to get some sleep. I didn’t sleep one minute as the waves kept coming. I really did try to sleep but no and in the end I decided to sit in my comfy chair and wrap myself up warm. I started doing my 4/8 breath and surge breath through each wave.
> By 8am after being up all night we called the midwife, we had opted for a lovely home hypno birth.. This was plan A. The midwife came and went on Christmas Day morning. I was 2 cms dilated.
> I carried on through the day with my surges getting stronger. I continued to breathe through them and even managed a little Christmas dinner.. Only a little though!
> Around 6pm we called for the midwife again as I was convinced we must be moving along or my cervix was. The midwife came and went. I was still only 3cms dilated but we had decided to get in the birthing pool. It was lovely and soothing helping me tremendously to cope with the next 7 hrs as that’s where I remained refusing to get out as by now the intensity of my surges had ramped up another gear, however I was still using only my breath to ease. I had asked the midwife about going into hospital.. Oh no she replied you can’t your only 3cms you have to be 4 to go into hospital!! What!!!! No one told me this?? So on I breathed with lots of encouragement from my partner and my mum and 1 paracetomol!!
> By about 1.30am ish. My partner called for a midwife again as my surges were closer now. We were told only one community midwife was on so no delivery was going to happen at home this night and due to the length of time I’d been in labour they asked my partner to bring me in to the hospital. I felt relief at this stage… I was ready to go.
> We arrived at the hospital around 2am and I was given paracetomol and tamazipam to enable me to get some rest. They left us to sleep and I felt very safe, however still unable to really rest as my surges made sure of that but I was still calm. Around 7am I was examined, still only 3 cms at a stretch. I found myself begging the midwife unnecessarily to not send me home as they were keeping me in anyway. Phew! This was now the right place for me and my bump!
> By 8am I had asked for gas and air which due to me only being 3cms they were reluctant to give but again I was literally begging. So in the bath I went with the gas and air. It did help but it was at this stage that I started to lose focus and my breath.. I was struggling.. I asked for more pain relief and was given an option of pethadin or an epidural. We opted for an epidural as I was adamant I didn’t want pethadin passing onto my baby.
> The anaesthetist came quickly and painlessly I was given an epidural and within 10 minutes I was out of discomfort, sighing in relief and able to finally get some rest. Heaven! The plan was to now break my waters (something else we weren’t keen on but it was absolutely fine) and really get things going, however it didn’t really get things going.. So I then spent an amount of time throughout Boxing Day on a drip of synotocin.. Another thing we didn’t want but we were well into plan b by this stage and I had given my care over to the midwives now.. I was completely in their hands and a great place it was to be.
> The midwives on the delivery suite at worthing hospital and the care that we received was second to none, they were amazing and we felt very safe.
> Anyway, by 6pm ish still no movement with my cervix, still stuck around 3cms. We started to discuss other options with our medical team and the word caesarean was mentioned. They left us for another 2 hrs on the drip to see if any more movement but by now me and my partner Jason had made the decision that we wanted to meet our baby boy and even if all of a sudden my cervix did start to open I didn’t have the physical energy to help him out, I was exhausted, going onto night 3 with no sleep had just about done me in.. In more ways than one. By 8.30pm we had given the go ahead for a c section and by 9pm boxing day our baby boy was born into this world safe and sound crying his little head off!! What a most beautiful sound.. He weighed a healthy 7 lbs 3 and his name was Ted. Within the hour he was suckling away on the boob and I was the happiest person alive.. Obviously..
> The reason for me sharing my birth story is to bring awareness to the fact that just because you have a section, it doesn’t make you a failure or less motherly or whatever they may say, it’s just another way that babies are born and some babies need a little help. Although it wasn’t the natural birth we had planned for, it was still a hypno birth all the way and Ted is still a hypno baby as on that operating table I was still practicing my breathing and bringing all my hypno birth techniques into play to keep me calm as I could have quite easily lost it here but I didn’t and I just accepted that this was the way my labour and birth was meant to be. Naomis beautiful Hypnobirthing course gave all 3 of us the tools, knowledge and insight to be able to deal with whatever was sent our way. Without it I think I would be telling a completely different story. Thanks Nai your amazing. X
Just to set the scene I was 18 days “overdue” with my second (Lola). My son Otisʼ birth had gone “overdue” by 11 days when the hospital decided to induce me. I didnʼt have a positive experience at all and consequently suffered with post traumatic stress following his birth. This time I knew I wanted a positive experience and so thankfully found Naomi and the wonderful Hypnobirthing! We planned a natural home water birth.
I had been in slow labour for two days and nights. I knew on the wed morning that she would be born that night as my surges were stronger than usual-although I had said that the night before!! Any way we did exactly what we said we were going to do. Got the birth pool up and filled, watched stand up comedy DVDʼs, chatted, listened to the rainbow relaxation CD and just generally chilled awaiting the arrival of our little bundle.
I felt so confident and calm and in control the whole time. In fact it was completely different to the first time as it was such a natural gentle build up of surges. Just the way our bodies are designed to do it. Not once did I feel i couldnʼt go on. I got into a little routine of every surge I had I felt the need to have in the hallway and then once that wave had peaked I would re join my partner in the lounge and carry on bouncing on my birth ball and chatting.
At around 5.30pm we rang the hospital to ask for a midwife as the surges were approximately 4-5 mins apart. She arrived about half an hour later. Although I had previously said I didnʼt want internal examinations I changed my mind and was found to be 6cm. She called the second midwife pretty much straight away and they were both really lovely, very respectful of my birth plan and hypnobirthing.
At approximately 7.30pm The mood shifted and I felt I wanted to go in the water. I asked that the DVD be turned off and knew it was time to listen to the Rainbow relaxation CD. The water was heavenly and I was very much zoned out still meeting each surge just with my breath. I remember I became rather emotional and said Iʼm just so happy Iʼm going to meet my baby soon and also said that I missed Otis as he had been staying with my mum for two nights. I realise now that this must have been near completion.
I then had a surge that was very intense and stronger than all of the others-still manageable just really intense. I thought hmmmm if the next one is just as strong I will ask for the G and A. In my mind I thought right here we go I must be about 8-9 cm now and this is where itʼll get tough. The next one was just as strong so I got started on the G and A.
With the next surge my waters broke and I shouted Babyʼs coming!! I could feel she was right there. I hadnʼt realised how close I was at all!! Hereʼs where it gets weird folks!! I then had a beautiful spiritual out of body experience. I always wonder whether or not I should include this when recounting my story but it is something so wonderful that I will cherish forever and never forget.
I got bathed in a giant ball of warm white light that had opened up right in front of my face and I felt utter peace and serenity. I had these little helpers who came from the light and their “job” was to help little babies into the world safely! I found it completely pleasurable and actually orgasmed as this was happening. I came back into my body just as her head had crowned and it was then time for her shoulders. With the next surge Lola was born and I lifted her into my arms. I could not believe she was here and what a crazy time I had just had!!
Hypnobirthing is absolutely the way forward and I am so pleased that the NHS is trialing it. Take it from someone who was horrified at the thought of giving birth again to someone who ended up having an orgasmic time!! God bless karma!! Much hypnobirthing love Rachael xxxx