Claudette and Darren
I’d like to introduce you to our second little bundle of joy! We waited an extra 5 days for her, but she was definitely worth the wait!
She’s a gorgeous little girl, weighed in at 7lb 8.5oz, born on the 7th August 2008 at 3:11pm after about 3ish hours of labour!
We were in the birthing pool for most of that (from about 1:30) and she came out swimming! It was fantastic and amazing!
I really felt so much more in control and comfortable – a true testimony!
I must admit that it was a truly incredible experience and I feel wonderful about the birth and now! Although I can’t honestly say it was completely pain-free, I was in control of the level of pain and felt I could manage
I really felt so much more in control and comfortable – a true testimony! I must admit that it was a truly incredible experience and I feel wonderful about the birth and now! Although I can’t honestly say it was completely pain-free, I was in control of the level of pain and felt I could manage it.
Maria and Mike
By Thursday 7th May I was nearly a week overdue and was starting to panic about not being able to have the homebirth I desperately wanted and thoughts of induction and hospital had started to enter my head. I felt really upset that I had done everything right, keeping active, walking with the dog every day and still nothing was happening.
Mike was supposed to have been going on a stag weekend on the Friday morning (planned before I was pregnant) and I was so convinced all throughout my pregnancy that my baby was going to come early that we had talked about him going for just a night if I was coping ok with a newborn. I was so determined I could cope with labour and sure that it would be a really long process that we talked a lot that week and decided that we would see how I was on Friday afternoon and then think about him going just for a night since if labour did start he could be back within a couple of hours and I would probably be in labour for a couple of days with my first baby.
I woke at 7.30am on Friday morning with regular but not painful contractions and knew that something was starting. I told Mike about the contractions but said I wasn’t sure if it was just another false alarm. The problem was everyone had always told me you will feel it in your back and I didn’t my contractions were all at the front in my pelvis. We took the dog a long walk and then at 10am Mike went to the pub to meet the lads before they left for the stag party. He would then make a decision late afternoon whether to join them or not.
By the time Mike left I knew this was it but thought I had a long way to go and I would probably have my baby by Sunday. So I set about some tasks, cleaning the house from top to bottom, taking the Tesco delivery and stocking the cupboards, having a bath and the most ridiculous task – doing my hair and putting on make up! All the time the contractions were getting stronger and I was starting to have to stop what I was doing and focus to get through them. By 1pm I had to stop all tasks and focus on the contractions which seemed to be so close together there was no break.
Mike was still working on his laptop downstairs and I had kept saying I needed him to finish now but by 1.30pm when he still wasn’t done I went downstairs and virtually screamed at him that I needed him to stop and help me now. I think that was probably the first time Mike thought it was really happening because I had been so focused and my usual self.
This phase was the only bit I really lost some of the control because I felt the contractions were so intense and I allowed some doubt to enter my head as to whether I could do this. I think this was worsened by the fact that I always thought I would be able to find a comfy position to labour in and stick with it but nothing was comfortable because my pain was so focused on my front. I had to be upright all the time and ended up moving around loads trying different positions which I feel affected my ability to concentrate and focus.
Mike took control and put some chill out music on and helped me to visualise the Ibiza sunset I has used on the course to calm me through each contraction. He then called the hospital and the midwife and her trainee arrived at home just before 3.00pm. I had always said throughout my pregnancy that I didn’t want to be examined in labour but I asked the midwife to examine me as I needed to know where I was. That was the turning point for me getting the control back over my labour as I had feared that given how intense this was so quickly I was not even 1cm and was unsure I could cope. But she said I was over 5cm and instantly I thought I can bloody do this then! It was like a whole wave of determination came over me. I got in the bath which eased things for me and the midwives called for the gas and air which in the end arrived too late to be of use. The hour or so in the bath seemed to pass so quickly but I was in control all of the time. It must have been funny to look at thought because I was bolt upright like on a high backed chair even though there was nothing behind me because it was so uncomfortable to lie backwards. When I said that I wanted to push at about 5.30pm the midwife was uncertain and wanted to check but confirmed that I was ready and I was pushing by the time they called for a second midwife needed to deliver the baby. I remember thinking of the course at that moment and being told to trust your body I had gone 5cm in just over 2 hours which the textbook says couldn’t happen! I always thought that I would want to push by being upright kneeling forward but that just didn’t work for me. I kept asking the midwives what to do and for advice but all the time felt totally in control like I was in charge and not them. My second midwife suggested I tried to push on the toilet which helped just because I felt how to push and let myself do it properly realising that I wasn’t going to poo! I wasn’t comfortable on the toilet though so after a couple of pushes I tried lying down and pulling my own knees which worked for me. Once I started pushing I felt so in control because I could feel what was happening with every contraction. I was really determined that I wasn’t going to waste effort or a contraction and found the physical feeling of having something to push against much easier than just sitting through a contraction. Again the whole thing went so quickly and in no time they said they could see her head. I was always really scared of this point given what I had read about this being the most painful bit but it wasn’t. I focused on what the midwives were telling me and gave small pushes and took breaths as they were telling me so as to not tear. When her head came out they told me to rest but I said no I need to keep pushing and ended up pushing her out in one contraction. My beautiful baby girl was placed on my stomach at 6.38pm on Friday 8th May. I was just in total awe of her and speechless. I always thought I would be in floods of tears and had cried at every birth I had seen but I just lay looking at her while she grasped my hand. Mike said later that he thought I had rejected her because I was so unemotional but I think I was just so focused on controlling the situation that it took me a while to come around. In my head it wasn’t over until the midwives had gone and we were alone with our baby. It must have looked so odd but I sent Mike to call people and give the dog a quick walk while the midwife gave me a couple of stitches. By the time he returned I was tucked up in bed breastfeeding and they were getting ready to leave. By 8pm we were alone at home in our own bed just staring at our beautiful baby girl and that’s when the emotion came for me. I didn’t have to be in control any more, it was all done, the birth had been even better than I had ever imagined and we had made the most beautiful baby in the world.
Having the birth I wanted is the thing I am most proud of in my life and thinking about it now makes me feel stronger and more confident as a person. I wish I could bottle the feeling!
Whilst I know I achieved the birth I wanted all with did it myself, I know that I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Mindful Mamma course. I used to think it was because of what the course had given me but it was actually what the course had brought out that was already inside me. The course enabled me to release the huge fear I had of childbirth and take control of my own birth experience knowing that I had the inner strength to do it and the confidence to trust in my own body. I didn’t remember the preparation I had done, the music playing or the sunset visualisation being such a huge help to me at the time but some weeks later I played the CD again and remembered so much more about the birth again. I hadn’t consciously remembered the song Livvi was born to but as soon as it came on burst into tears.
Mike unfortunately never got to go on his stag do but he does have the T-shirt and a beautiful baby girl instead!
Four months after she was born we took Livvi to see her very first Ibiza sunset for herself and I hope that one day it will become her special place too.
Hester and Paul
Just wanted to let you know that Paul and I welcomed John to the world on 5th September. He is lovely, healthy and we are thrilled!
I also wanted to say how much the Hypnobirthing course that I did when I was expecting Madeline and the mindful mamma one day course day did for me. John was 8 days “over due” and I remembered conversations we had had Sophie about the relevance or not of due dates as I was waiting to meet him.
During the pregnancy I got in touch with QMC and talked through the implications of the STREP result from last pregnancy and did all I could to ensure that I could still have the comfortable and supported birth I hoped for, including using water. I practised my breathing, perineal massage and positive thinking and did some yoga. I didn’t have loads of time for this with looking after Madeline but a little bit every other day helped my frame of mind. I thought about our basic instincts and the power of our body and when contractions came I tried to tap into the pleasure area of my brain and not the pain, moved around and used the bath at home.
I think this all really worked because I was quite surprised when John was delivered in the Labour suite at QMC just 18 minutes after we arrived there. I hadn’t felt that things were “painful” enough for him to be so close to coming along as Madeline’s birth had felt like a real effort and quite overwhelming at times, particularly the second stage ( which had concerned me a bit as I thought about delivering again). John was born in just under four hours all in all.
I know second births are supposed to be so much quicker but I really think that even if he was always going to come along that quickly the experience was so much better for me having done your courses. The Midwives were great and I delivered as I got into the room pretty much, standing up and with them talking me through breathing down etc ( which I was able to do having practised this).
So thank you for all your support, I know when lack of sleep catches up there will be some hard days but how great it feels to know what my body can do and to feel so “together” after birth. No pain relief needed. Above all just thrilled to have a lovely little boy!
Thanks again, I will always recommend you and your courses.
Laura and Nathan
Although we had decided to have a homebirth, at 42 +1 I felt that I needed to go in to be induced. I didn’t intend to have any intervention, but I felt instinctively that I needed to go in to be induced.
It was a 2 hour journey in the heavy snow and we reached the hospital at around 10am on Thursday . I was seen by the midwives and told that I would be given a pessary, it was put in at around 11am in the afternoon, but nothing appeared to be happening so at around 5pm I was examined and was given another.
I was very relaxed just rocking on the ball and chatting with Nathan. After a couple of hours I started getting stronger sensations, I wouldn’t describe it as pain, just very strong sensations, and I put on the cd and lay on my side on the bed just drifting in and out. Nathan dimmed the lights and then sat and did the crossword quietly. I used the counting down in my mind in time with my breathing and stayed really calm. I knew that labour was progressing well, but the midwives had no idea and I was happy to just focus and stay calm. In fact because they thought so little was happening we were hardly interrupted.
As they got stronger I instinctively felt I needed to change my position and put all the cushions on the floor then knelt on them leaning over the bed. When the midwives asked Nathan how far apart they were he said “oh about 4 minutes” when in fact they were around 2.
I continued to count down and breathe through my contractions as I had practised at home, listening to my cd though the walkman.
At 9pm they changed shifts and as this point they had not put in my notes that I was in established labour. When my waters broke they even assumed that I was leaking urine, and asked Nathan if I had been incontinent during my pregnancy!
I asked the new midwife if I could go in the pool – she said no as I needed to be 5 cms and there was no way that I was 5 cms yet. She said that she would run me a bath however, and that I could relax in there. I knew that I was much further along, being aware of what was happening in my body.
As she was running the bath I called that they baby was coming and she quickly turned off the taps and called out for a birth pack. Rowan was born very quickly and easily in about 45mins. In fact in my notes they had to put the time I was in labour down at 55 mins!
We waited until the cord stopped pulsating and Nathan cut the cord, then we had skin to skin contact straight away.
It was a wonderful and amazing experience, I felt completely in control and am so pleased that I found a way that I could birth my son calmly. The midwives couldn’t believe it and were all talking about it!”
We attended your session on Sat 26th June, from that date we both felt more positive about our impending second birthing experience compared to that of our first daughter, as that experience had left me very fearful. As advised we practiced our relaxation & breathing techniques, listened to the CD’s, read the books & affirmations and also created our visualisations.
When the time came, I felt calm & in control, I used the breathing techniques & listened to my CD’s until it was time to go to hospital.
At the QMC, my room was how I wanted it, dimly lit, use of CD player & aromatherapy oils and generally a calm environment, I also requested no intervention unless absolutely necessary. I can honestly say that the experience was far different from my first, it felt more relaxed, I was in control always & hence it was much quicker and afterwards I just felt total euphoria.
I believe that all the preparation before hand, has been beneficial in my experience, and our new daughter is very a calm & contented baby.
I would recommend this to anyone & just wish that I had the same experience with my first daughter.
Yes we now have pink in the house!!!! Eva Holly Hancock arrived on 10th August weighing 7lbs12oz, after a really good labour! After the course we decided to have a home birth and it was all agreed by the midwife but at the last minute we decided to go in because of the (very small!) risk following a c-section, it meant that I was really prepared for a hospital birth with all of my own things, lavender oil, battery powered tea lights etc.
I did most of it at home, my favourite part was lying in the bath as the sun was setting watching a hot air balloon and listening to the cd’s doing the visualisations, it was pretty perfect! I was really surprised when the midwife told me that it was time to push, it went so quickly and I felt confident and in control. Eva is such a calm and peaceful baby and I am sure that has something to do with all the practise I did when I was pregnant.
I still listen to the music and burn lavender oil every day to create a calm atmosphere in the house! Thank you so much for giving me the tools to have a really lovely experience that I did not think was possible, I am such a big fan and wax lyrical to anyone who will listen! (Eleanor had a VBAC after two previous sections.)
Elizabeth and Orla
I decided to look into hypno-birthing techniques when i got pregnant with my second child. My first labour and birth were the result of an induction which left me feeling out of control and vunerable, so i was determined to have a better experience the second time round. I went to the Mindful Mamma workshop when i was about 7 months pregnant and found it so refreshing to hear a positive attitude towards birth – and that it could be a natural, empowering process!
I used all the material Sophie gave me and did some of the recommended reading, the CD in particular helped me to relax and remain calm during the later stages of my pregnancy.
One phrase from the CD that did stick in my head was “birthing your baby on the day that you choose”, and I kept thinking about the 4th of July – but dismissed it due to it being a memorable day -independence day. However Orla decided to be born on the 4th of July which astounded me!!
When I did go into labourI was in denial that this was really it, as the sensations felt too comfortable and easy to bear unlike my other labour. I focused on my breathing and used the relaxation techniques to see me through each surge.
As my labour progressed it felt very natural and that i was in control at all times. I could hardly believ it when i got to the birth centre and realised i would be soon meeting my babay.
The atmosphere in the birth room was very calm, with flameless candles and my relaxation music playing in the background. Getting into the birth pool was pure bliss!! I just let my body take over and do what it knew how to, and after only a couple of hours Orla was born! I still couldn’t believ it was that easy and my baby was finally here. She was so calm and perfect, and I remember how alert this tiny baby was, taking in her new world. The midwives had to reassure me that she was OK as she wasn’t distressed or crying at all!
I found the whole experience amazing and felt so empowered, all thanks to the techniques I learnt from mindful mamma. So i am now a firm believer in the power of our minds and bodies, and that natural birth really is possible. Thanks to Sophie and mindful mamma for allowing me to have such a calm and positive birth experience! I have already recommended the workshop to other pregnant friends.
Sarah and John
You may remember that John and I came to one of your mindful mama classes in the Park at the end of May. Well Seth Thomas Bird was born on 15 July and thanks to you at home in the birthing pool without any pain relief. We just wanted to let you know and thank you for giving us the confidence to give the home birth a go and that I could have a better birth experience second time round. I found the techniques from the class really useful and we listened lots to the cd in the run up but most of all the class gave us time to focus on the birth and the knowledge and advice to give us the confidence to try and have the birth we wanted. It was such a different experience and one we will treasure, there was nothing nicer than waking up in my own bed the next morning and us all being together at home.