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Birth Story: An unplanned homebirth for baby Daisy

Kate has kindly shared her story with us and unlike many of the birth stories we receive Kate didn’t take one of our classes. She did however listen to the audio book of ‘Mindful Hypnobirthing’.

Here is her story….

Photograph courtesy of Rachel Jane Photography

“My hypnobirthing story! I’m not sure if I’d recommend hypnobirthing or not 😂 mainly because I was so calm I had an unplanned home birth!

I was monitored more in my second pregnancy due to high blood pressure during my 1st labour where I was given lots of medication, had a very stressful labour and suffered with PND for months after. I knew my raised blood pressure was white coat syndrome and panic not pre-eclampsia but doctors would not agree.

I decided to use Sophie’s hypnobirthing audio book so I could listen to it before and during hospital appointments and labour, it worked so well got signed off to give birth in the birthing centre and was delighted as I could try a water birth and less intervention.

My baby had still not arrived at 41weeks and a induction date was looming, I kept calm listening to the book and making a visualisation board and phrases, I was so calm I agreed to my husband having a work night out an hour away!

I went to my mums house so I wasn’t alone just incase and my 3yr old could stay the night. I started getting a little uncomfortable about 7pm and had a bath, sat on my birth in ball and listened to the book, by 9pm I was calm and talking to my parents but asked my husband to come home and get me on the way. We arrived home at 11pm and I had a shower, contractions started and we decided to time them! 5mins apart 1min long. So we called the birthing centre who suggested having a bath as my waters hadn’t broken.

In the bath my contractions became intense and continuous so I got out and dressed to go in. By the time I got downstairs I needed to push! Yes really 😂 called my husband down as he was getting the hospital bags. Laid on the sofa we could feel her head and sac still intact so he called an ambulance which arrived 7 minutes later and my 6lb 12oz baby girl was born in her waters 6mins after they arrived!

I felt calm, in control and concentrated on my breathing and visualisations so managed without any pain relief in a rather quick and unplanned home birth 😍. Baby Daisy is now 5 months old and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it this time. Even now when I hear Sophie’s voice I feel a sense of calm 😍

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Birth Story: Welcome To The World Monty

Jessica and Richard attended a class in July, here they share what led them to take the class and the story of how they gently welcomed their son Monty into the world.

I just wanted to send through a note to express my gratitude for your influence and role in the wonderful birth I experienced on the 13th October, when we gently welcomed our son Monty to the world.

I completed the Mindful Mamma course with the lovely Ann back in July, having stumbled across the Mindful Hypnobirthing book and audio and completely loving the philosophy and techniques. I’d been listening to the tracks and reading and re-reading the book right from 16 weeks, however the course was invaluable in including my husband in the pregnancy and preparation for birth – he arrived at the course secretly a little sceptical but supportive, and left feeling empowered and having lost that feeling of being ‘in the way’. This totally carried through when our time came to labour, and he was a fantastic advocate and support.

My birth:

I’d found out at 12 weeks that I had Step B, which had been a consistent source of anxiety for me during pregnancy – not necessarily just because of any risk to the Baby, but also because I was extremely fearful that this automatically put me on the ‘high risk’ list and under consultant care. I was really nervous, right up to going into hospital that I was going to have a constant battle with the consultancy team to avoid intervention – something very important to me as I wanted to keep the birth as calm and natural as possible.

At 3:45 in the morning my waters went whilst in bed, following just 2 or 3 strong contractions. Once the waters had gone (and they went with a gush!) I was experiencing very strong contractions every 4/5 minutes for about 1/2 an hour. As I had Strep B I’d been asked to call the hospital and go in as soon as my waters went – so we did this and made our way to the hospital, an hours drive away from our rural home. During the journey I managed through my contractions by listening to the Mindful Mamma hypnosis tracks and the Mindful Mamma music – I don’t remember much of the journey!

Once we arrived into hospital we were shown into our room and we waited an hour or so for my midwife to come and check Labour progress. By now my contractions were very strong and coming every 3 mins, and I imagined I was probably around 4/5 cm… so when my midwife said it was more 1 to 2 cm I felt extremely worried and disheartened – if I found the contractions this painful at this point, how on Earth was I going to manage?!

Baby Monty a few hours oldWhat a relief.. and we didn’t see him again. The following 10 hours were spent calmly labouring in private with my husband and a wonderful midwife, who had taken courses in hypnobirthing and was amazing – most of the time I didn’t notice she was there, until I needed her. I did go through the typical ‘transition’ which Ann warned us about, when I calmly asked for an epidural when I’d got to 7cm. Having been watching me calmly breath through contractions up until this point, my midwife wisely suggested I try some gas and air instead… what a dream!

I feel like I sailed through the last few cm with the help of gas and air, breathing consciously through contractions (Breathe in , I relax, breathe out – I let go!) using the breaks to speak lovingly with my husband, drink water and even snack!

The final stages of labour were the most empowering moments of my life so far, breathing through those ‘pushes’ and feeling totally serene in between, gazing up at my husband and midwife. The midwife has since said it was an absolute privilege to be part of such a calm and loving birth.

Jessica holding MontyMonty joined us at 7pm that evening, following an hour of active pushing (which felt like 10 minutes!) weighing 7lb 2 at 39 weeks.

Our first 3 weeks of parenthood have been beautiful and tough all at the same time – and were thoroughly in love with him! We both found the birth such a hugely positive experience, and I personally feel such a sense of achievement that we managed to have the dream birth which we’d envisaged. I majorly attribute our experience with the way in which we prepared for the birth with Mindful Mamma – and we’ll forever be grateful to Ann and Sophie.Richard the proud father holding his son Monty

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Birth Story: Katie shares the story of her Neo’s birth

Katie attended a class in Loughborough with Fernanda Salfity, here she share’s the story of her son’s birth.

“I would really like to share my birth story with other expectant mothers please as I feel that hypnobirthing allowed me to have the birth I never thought would be possible.”

“This time 3 weeks ago I was  searching for positive hypnobirthing induction birth stories trying to keep a positive frame of mind about my upcoming labour. I had agreed to be induced at 41+5. I am so pleased to now be able to share my own positive birth story!

In the build up to my induction date I tried to kick start my labour as naturally as possible with the usual attempts of eating spicy food, pineapple, clary Sage oil baths and massage, bouncing on my birthing ball, long walks, hypnotherapy, acupressure points- the list goes on. With no success I tried 2 sweeps over week 41 but again, no success.

I had initially started learning hypnobirthing techniques to reduce my fear and anxiety around birth, due to a spinal condition I had been told I was unable to have an epidural and that c-section may be the best method of delivery for me. My partner and I attended Fernanda’s mindful mama course in Loughborough and immediately felt the benefits of viewing pregnancy and birth in a more positive way. My partner and I both felt that Fernanda had a very calming influence on us and so, following the course I asked Fernanda to be my Doula during labour.

I went into hospital on Saturday night and had the first hormone pessary, I ended up having 2 of these over the next 24 hours because they kept on falling out. My body did respond to the hormones and surges built up and slowed back down repeatedly over 2-3 days. This was not the labour I had envisioned or planned. At one stage while being monitored my baby’s heart rate had increased and the midwives needed to find a clear baseline to establish whether or not he was distressed. Using the Mindful hypnobirthing MP3 I managed to calm the baby’s heart rate back to normal. This for me was clear evidence of how a calm mother can help to create a calm baby.

The hypnobirthing techniques I had learned helped me to stay relaxed and maintain an open mind throughout my birthing journey. Fernanda’s knowledge and experience helped us feel in control; she empowered us to make informed decisions during my time in hospital.

At 4pm on the Monday I was taken to the delivery suite and started on the hormone drip, things got intense pretty quickly. I used pregnancy and birth affirmations through headphones, a cooling eye mask to help block out my surroundings and any distractions. I also used a tens machine and gas and air to help manage the discomfort of surges. I listened to the Contraction Wave MP3 when surges became more intense. At 5.17am baby Neo made his arrival weighing 9lb 12oz, I had a natural delivery and extended skin-to-skin contact before my partner cut the cord and Neo was checked over and weighed. He is now 3 weeks old and people regularly comment on what an alert and chilled out baby he is.

As a family we cannot thank Fernanda enough for all her help and support, we now highly recommend hypnobirthing and having a Doula to anyone we know expecting a baby!”

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The Birth of Penelope Rose

Ashleigh attended our one day class in Nottingham earlier this year. She often found that she fell asleep when practising, but her practise still worked and here she shares the story of her daughter Penelope’s birth with us…

Penelope’s Birth


I just wanted to share how amazing my birth experience was and I truly believe it was down to practicing hynobirthing.

I had a beautiful home water birth on 6 June, delivering our beautiful baby girl, Penelope Rose Aldridge, who weighed in at 9.11.I was 40 plus 5 when she came along. I didn’t require any pain relief, no gas and air and no stitches and I think this is due to how relaxed my body and mind was.

My waters broke at 2am, I stayed calm went back to bed, mild contractions started pretty much straight away. When I woke up I went about my day like normal – went shopping at Tesco, took the dog for a walk and to the in laws for coffee. Around 3pm contractions felt stronger, around 5pm they were less than a min apart – by 10pm I was holding my baby girl in arms! Midwives couldnt believe how quickly I dilated or how controlled I was in labour – the whole experience was so beautiful and empowering!

I’d love for other woman to be influenced by my experience!

Although I wasn’t practising regularly or completely committed in terms of ‘watering the roots of the tree’, I would fall asleep listening to the hypnobirth tracks and reading the book completely changed my perspective on birth and really helped me to feel relaxed and trust my body. My husband got so much out of attending the class as it bought him round to the idea of home birth…and now he can’t understand why anyone would want to be in a hospital! I think that’s the beauty of hypnobirthing you can do as much or as little as you like – whatever helps you change you mindset.

I guess I just wanted to say thank you for making this incredible life event a truly empowering experience!

 

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Grace’s Birth Story

Sarah attended our class in Heanor in July 2016, here she share’s with us the story of the birth of her beautiful daughter Grace.

Grace’s Birth Story

I’m not sure how I came to know about Hypnobirthing, but when I found out I was pregnant with my first baby and started thinking about having a nice pregnancy and birth, I read all about it and knew I wanted to give it a go. In life I’m a pretty chilled person, so felt like it would fit in well with wanting my baby to grow inside a relaxed and happy mummy. I also wanted my birth to be something I looked back on with pride, not horror. I wanted a beautiful experience of birthing my first born.

I attended the workshop and read the book many times, practising and practising my relaxation techniques. If I’m 100% honest, I didn’t religiously do the techniques day in day out, but I certainly did them on a regular basis.

When the time came and I went into labour it was a Sunday lunchtime and I just knew that is wasn’t the usual Braxton hicks. It was actually my due date, too. My latent phase was, unfortunately, quite long! My contractions were manageable and I was using my techniques to breathe through them. They were getting stronger and longer and by Sunday night were around 5-7 mins apart. I couldn’t sleep through them so spent Sunday night on the sofa, listening to my relaxation tracks, and feeling an excitement that I was going to meet my baby very soon.

By Monday late afternoon things hadn’t progressed much. Contractions were all over the place but were really quite long (some up to 2 mins) and were getting uncomfortable, but I felt in control and kept bouncing on my ball, having a walk around, and using my breathing techniques. At around 5pm I had a particularly strong contraction and felt quite wet. Thinking my waters had broken I went to the toilet and I was horrified to see quite a lot of blood. I had had bleeding earlier in my pregnancy and I must admit I did panic and made an emotional call to the hospital to let them know. They asked me to go straight down for a check-up.

As I’d gone in with bleeding all my plans of a water birth were out of the window as the birth centre wouldn’t take me. I was now under consultant care. The doctor examined me and I was 2cm dilated. She then swiftly told me that she was going ‘to get this baby out’! I asked if the baby or I were in any danger. We weren’t. The baby was absolutely fine. She said she’d start me on the oxytocin drip and then go from there. The midwife then said I’d probably need an epidural due to the pain of the induction, so I was devastated that all my plans for a natural birth were unfolding. Remembering everything I had learned from Mindful Mama and knowing that, actually, I didn’t have to just do want was being insisted on, I refused the induction, explained my birth preferences and I was sent up to the ward where I was given until 7am to labour naturally.

By 5am I was 7cm and I was delighted as I knew that I didn’t need the interventions planned. Although I couldn’t use the birth centre, my husband made the labour room very relaxing by dimming the lights, putting on the relaxation CD and I felt very calm and in control. However… I was exhausted as I had now been awake nearly 2 days so I did have some diamorphine to help me get some sleep. I totally regret that decision. In my sleep deprived state I felt I needed it, as I didn’t think I’d get through the next few hours due to sheer tiredness. It made me feel sick, made me feel totally out of it and I was pleased when it had worn off by around 9am. Plus, it totally slowed things down for me, I was still 7cm at this point. Looking back I was doing just fine on the gas and air. I was managing my contractions and standing over the bed to help get into the right position…. If only I wasn’t as tired as I was, I would have continued with just the gas and air.
Fast forward to 2.37pm and after quite a lot of pushing my beautiful baby girl was born. I needed a small cut, but other than that everything else I did by myself and I am so proud.

Grace was perfect. She did a little cry and then was so calm. In fact, she was the only baby on the ward who didn’t make one peep!

If I hadn’t been for what I had learnt on the course my birth would have taken a very different path, one which I definitely didn’t want. I look back on my birth with such pride and I honestly cannot wait to do it all again with baby number two. Hopefully next time I’ll get my water birth!

Needless to say, I always recommend Mindful Mama to all my pregnant friends! Thank you so much for helping me to believe I could have the birth I really wanted, even if it didn’t all quite go to plan.

 

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An Unexpected Water Birth

Rita took the one day Mindful Mamma class with Kimberley in 2017, here she shares the story of the birth of her son and how glad she was that he was born in water…

Rita’s sons birth story

As my due date of 1st January was approaching, I was getting more and more determined not to be induced. I planned a natural, unassisted birth and thoughts of any medical interventions totally freaked me out.

I was drinking gallons of raspberry leaf tea and eating 6 dates each morning just as prescribed by ‘google’. I was also walking my dog for at least an hour each day since the start of my maternity leave on 12th December. All to make the baby move down and with intention of going into labour as close to the due date as possible.

My husband has made a note of the first twinges on 30th December around 22.15. I didn’t think much of these sensations as they were more like very minor period cramps; very irregular and inconsistent. Those twinges became more regular at 20 mins apart (although still very weak) on 31st December around 13.00. They lasted for 3-4 hours and didn’t in any way disrupt our day.

In the evening of 31st December, both my husband and I knew that the baby was coming and it’s only a matter of days/hours before things really kicked off.

Having stayed up until just after midnight to meet the New Year- I had a good night sleep. Even if I did experience anything during that night- it certainly wasn’t strong enough to wake me up!

On 1st January we took the dog out for a walk as planned although I opted in for a shorter route as I could feel things starting to progress. We continued with our day as normal, re-checked the hospital bag, installed the car seat etc.

At around 15.00 on 1st January things have started progressing. My contractions were regular and no more than 6 minutes apart. We downloaded the contraction app on the phone and started recording them. They were quite mild between 15.00 and 17.00 however I was still very much aware of them.

At 17.00 we rang the hospital and advised them of the progress. I explained to the midwife that I was keen to stay at home as long as possible and was ideally planning to make way to the hospital when contractions were 2-3 minutes apart. She agreed and asked us to call them again when we were ready to come. At around 18.30 my contractions became closer together with an average frequency of 3.5 minutes. They also became more intense as I was marking them on the app as ‘strong’. I could still continue with the normal tasks, but preferred not to talk during the surges.

At this point, I knew that if things continued to progress as they did, we will be going to the hospital in a couple of hours. I rang my mum and told her that we will be dropping the dog off to her around 20.00 on the way to the hospital (I was determined to stay at home as long as possible and felt that by 20.00 we will have regular and fairly strong contractions every 2 minutes or so)

Just after 20.00 we got in the car, dropped the dog off to my mum’s house and made our way to the hospital. We rang the midwife from the car and advised that we were on our way.

Everyone always describes the car journey as very unpleasant – my journey honestly wasn’t that bad. In fact, I started feeling the contractions slow down and become weaker. It was Sunday and the roads were empty so we reached hospital in less than 20 minutes. I didn’t feel the need to be dropped off at the door so we decided to park the car together and walk to the hospital from the car park. As we were escorted into the birthing suite and my blood pressure/baby’s position checked by the midwife- I was worried that we will be sent back home as my contractions were not as strong as they were prior to leaving home.

Midwife asked us to get comfortable and said she would observe me for some time to understand how far along I was. She also read my birth plan at this time. I could feel my contractions get further apart so the midwife advised that I am still in the latent stage and she would be happy for us to go back home. She also mentioned that as the hospital was not very busy- she would also be happy for us to remain. I was worried that going through the car journey again and coming back to the hospital would make everything slow down again so decided to stay at the hospital, make myself comfortable and get things moving. It took us about an hour to get things going again and by 21.30 the contractions were back to 2-3 minutes apart and quite strong. I was on my feet up to this point, swaying my hips during contractions but was getting quite tired and wondered if I should lie down to get some rest. I asked my husband to put the TENS machine on as I could feel things intensifying.

Up till now I am not sure if TENS really made any difference but I ended up having it on all the way till transition. Lying down made contractions a lot more intense and after 3 or 4 of them, I felt my waters break. Looking at my contraction history on the app now, I can see that I must have reached transition around 22.30. The pain got a lot more intense and I started feeling the urge to push. I also started feeling pressure in my lower back although all the way prior to that it was mainly in my lower belly. At this point i was on my knees on the floor leaning over a stool. I requested the midwife to prepare a bath and also asked for gas and air as I thought that at this stage TENS machine was not doing enough to help me cope.

For some reason the midwife was reluctant to give me gas and air at this stage- she either wanted to make sure I was, in fact, transitioning or she wanted to push me further towards a totally unmedicated birth as per my birth plan. 20 mins later and I was in the tub equipped with gas and air. This made the whole thing a lot more manageable.
From what I remember, I started feeling urges to push around 23.00 as I kept wondering if one hour going to be enough and whether the baby will come on his due date; it felt like contractions became further apart as I felt I was getting a lot more rest in between. I was using gas an air with every contraction and around an hour and a half later. at 00.40 on 2nd Jan, my baby was born.

It wasn’t my plan to deliver in the water (although I never discounted it) but I am so glad I did. The water was very soothing and helped an awful lot.

I transferred onto the bed with the cord still intact and the baby skin to skin. My plan was not to clamp the cord until I deliver the placenta however our cord ended up being too short which made it quite uncomfortable to breastfeed and hold the baby whilst still attached to the cord. We clamped the cord about 20 mins after birth and after it stopped pulsing. I later delivered my placenta whilst still holding the baby on my chest.
I wanted for all baby checks to be done at a later stage to allow my initial bonding with him so the midwife left all 3 of us in the room until 5am to sleep and rest. We had all baby checks done that morning after 5am along with a few stitches that I required for a small tear. We were discharged at 10am that same morning.

I feel extremely lucky that my birth went as planned and am very thankful to the midwife for adhering to the birth plan. I did not want any internal examinations and ended up going through the whole labour without having dilation checked once! I wanted limited presence and talking in the room and can only remember midwife being there for the pushing stage. I was given all the time to help me bond with my baby and didn’t at all feel any pressure to do things I didn’t feel comfortable with.

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Jasmine’s Story

Here is another positive story for you mamma’s out there! Thank you Jasmine for Sharing your story.

Dear Sophie,

I would like to thank you! My baby girl is three months now and my entire family is still in disbelief! We have two gorgeous boys whose births were incredibly traumatic and my joy at discovering I was expecting again was overshadowed by my intense fear of giving birth again. I also suffered severe pnd after my youngest boy and was unable to bond with him for a long time. My antenatal visits were awful as my midwife was rushed and distracted and seemed to think I was being silly as I was already a mum. At 14 weeks I began to suffer pgp which quickly became so bad I was unable to walk unaided and life was miserable.

Still unsupported by my midwife and terrified of what lay ahead I felt alone and scared, i began to look into hypnobirthing and bought your book. I religiously listened to the MP3 tracks and adjusted my thinking accordingly.

Soon I realised I was in control of my body and my birth and felt confident I could manage the birth. When I went into labour all my fears vanished and my body took over. My husband and I arrived at the birth centre and 1hour and 13 minutes later our beautiful Belle Evangeline was born in the pool!

The wonderful Midwife there couldn’t have been more different from my antenatal one and her only concern was the pool wouldn’t be full in time and in fact I was helped in before they had finished preparing it! No panic and no pain just sensations of my baby moving down and out into my arms it was truly my most proud moment and it was all down to your book and soothing tracks.

I had been so afraid and so alone and you helped me take control so thank you again! Three months in and my baby girl is breastfeeding, healthy and the happiest little thing! And no pnd! Thank you for showing me my greatest fear could become my greatest success and joy.

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Hypnobirthing Helped Me Have the Most Amazing Birth Experience

Keri and Dean welcomed their daughter into the world in June and here Keri share’s her story of the birth.

 
“Giving birth is awful, just take the drugs.” Is what I was told often, unsolicited and in a variety of different ways when I was pregnant. Then when I was asked what prenatal classes I was taking and I revealed that I was taking a hypnobirthing class it was mostly met with polite interest, some genuine from people who were already interested in mindfulness but quite often barely hidden looks of incredulity and eye rolls, I was even asked who would hypnotise me in the hospital?

fullsizerenderBefore I finished work for mat leave I often had really painful stitches in my side when taking a walk on my lunch break. I’m sure there were times when I must have looked like I was in labour as I was rubbing my stomach and trying to casually lean against a lamp post waiting for it to pass. However once I started to visualise dialling down the pain and concentrating on my breathing I was able to continue walking quite comfortably.

The only way I can try to explain it is that it’s like my body knew there was a really strong sensation going on but no longer recognised it as ‘pain’ so just ignored it, this gave me a lot of confidence in the lead up to the birth.

Our baby was born at 18:42 on a Saturday in June but I knew I was going into labour the day before at 05:00, I wasn’t nervous just quite excited and started monitoring the contractions and listening to the affirmations.

When I arrived at the midwife led birthing centre at Leicester Royal Infirmary on the Saturday morning I gave the midwife my notes and preferences which explained I was taking a hypnobirthing approach and what support I would prefer. Which was as little monitoring as possible, limited chatter and not to offer pain relief unless I specifically asked for it.

The midwives were fantastic, they didn’t question it, just accepted it and let me get on with things. I have to say at this point that my boyfriend Dean was my birth partner and he was also an amazing support. I know he had some doubts about hypnobirthing, I’m sure partly due to what he’d been told about labour by those with children and partly nervousness of the unknown. But he knew what support I expected and was unwavering the whole way through.

img_8908In the birth centre Dean made sure I walked around as much as possible, I’d have been quite happy sitting on the birthing ball but walking around kept labour going at a quick pace. He encouraged me to put my headphones in while listening to the affirmations in order to stay focused and applied pressure to my lower back whenever I was having a contraction.

Later in the afternoon I was told it was time to get in the birthing pool, the contractions had been concentrated down my back and the water really helped ease the sensations. Throughout labour I found I could come in and out of my mindful zone quite easily, I could talk to Dean when I needed to and ask questions to our midwife as I found I preferred to know how I was progressing on the occasions I was assessed. Our midwife was quietly encouraging and really made feel that me and the baby were in safe hands.

Once in the birthing pool, the lights were dimmed and I had my relaxation music on, I remember looking up at one point to see where everyone was (another midwife had come in at this point should her assistance be needed) and wondered why no one was speaking and remembered it was what I’d asked for, this for some reason made me laugh and I found myself thinking don’t laugh, be serious everyone is here waiting for you to have a baby. I later found out our midwife had been regularly whispering updates to Dean, letting him know delivery was close.

Since labour began through to delivery, I took three paracetamol, although there were definitely times I felt it was hard going, it just never felt like I needed anything stronger. Dean knew when I needed a back rub and put a heat patch on my lower back to help with the back ache but other than that, much like during my lunch time walks it was like I could feel waves of very strong sensations but they just didn’t register as anything to worry about or the need to medicate for.

img_8909Within about 3-4 pushes our daughter was born, she came up through the water towards me and I all I could think was “this looks a bit odd”, not exactly the overwhelming recognition of perfection feeling I was expecting. The midwife told me shortly afterwards it was because she was born in her amniotic sac or caul which something she’d only seen once before and which Google tells me occurs in fewer than 1 in 80,000 births so maybe it was perfection after all.

The sac was quickly broken as our midwives had seen that the cord was double wrapped quite tightly under our daughters chin, I held her as they had removed it, something that must have only taken seconds but was a time that seemed to last infinitely longer.

Being the first hands she felt touch her newborn skin, and to be the first person she saw when she opened her eyes briefly to try and make sense of her new world is a privilege that overwhelms me with love and complete honour.

I chose to use the birth centre at the hospital because I was aiming for a quite low intervention labour with hopefully as little use of pain relief as possible. I wasn’t trying to be a martyr or hoping for a medal, I just wanted to do my best unaided while knowing that all the benefits of modern medicine were only a corridor away should we need them.

It turned out to be the best decision I made because after aiming for a physiological 3rd stage while our daughter took her first feed, then trying to encourage the delivery of the placenta with a dose of syntocinon and then another direct into the cord while a doctor pummelled my stomach (not too pleasant and not something gas and air did anything to help with) It was accepted that I had a retained placenta.

img_8912This meant that having gone through labour without the need for pain relief, I was now having gas and air and a full epidural but that’s just the way somethings go and fortunately didn’t affect the first couple of hours of our daughters life when myself and Dean were the only two people to hold her, ours were the only arms she was cradled in and the delivery room was our haven. At this point though it was changed to a brightly lit space allowing the anaesthetist and surgeons to swing into action, the fact that they were only a corridor away is something I will always be thankful for.

Hypnobirthing is something I recommend to every woman I know, the empowerment I still feel is not easy to explain but I know it ensured my labour and delivery experience was as stress free and dare I say it enjoyable as anyone could wish for.

Keri

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The birth of Jacob

Rachel took our class in Durham in August, here she share’s the story of the birth of her son Jacob and how the techniques she learnt helped her to remain calm and in control of her labour.

Jacob’s Birth Story

Our beautiful son Jacob was born on the 10/10/16 I managed to deliver him completely drug free using your techniques and gas and air.

Many people doubted me when I said I was trying Hypnobirthing but I knew I could do it and will take great delight in sharing our wonderful birth story!

affirmationMy waters broke in the early hours of Saturday morning – 4am, so I listened to my affirmations and trusted my body about when to call the hospital. My husband and I went for a walk in our village, pottered round the house and then even had a takeaway and watched a film during this time. At 10pm we called the hospital and they asked us to come in. They said it was dangerous for our baby if my waters had gone which straight away caused a rush of adrenaline. My husband and I hardly spoke on the way to the hospital and I was very aware this was not the atmosphere we wanted to start our birth with.

The midwife confirmed my waters had broken but that labour wasn’t established and told me to come back at 7am to be induced. I was calm and when we got home I put on candles and my affirmations. I was determined I would not be induced medically as I wanted the natural way and a water birth.

We headed into hospital at 7am on Sunday this time in a calm frame of mind playing music we had chosen to create our own atmosphere and raise our oxytocin levels. When we arrived they confirmed I was in labour and at 1cm. They said they would prepare the pool for us as we wanted a water birth. We were left for a few hours and when the midwife came back she said I was still only 1cm and they would need to use a peccary to help move things along and if it didn’t work then a drip which would mean no to a water birth. My husband and I decided to go for a walk around the hospital car park and he said we needed to stay positive and focus and not be disheartened. This journey was ours and we would not be easy but we could do it if we focussed and changed our frame of mind to a more positive one. We got one of our baby grows out which I used to help me focus.

We went back to the delivery suite and were told I had made it to 3 cm and would need to be put on the drip to be induced within the next few hours and that I couldn’t have the water birth I was hoping for. I was in floods of tears as this was not what I wanted, I called my Mum who had read the hypnobirthing book and she reminded me that I could do it and I just needed to focus my mind.

When they came to induce me they tried 3 times and each time my vein either ballooned or collapsed so they couldn’t get the cannula in. I knew it was my mind rejecting the drip and my husband asked the midwife if they could check and see our progress – we had made it from 3 to 7 cm and didn’t need the drip!!!! Hurrah!!! I then asked for some gas and air to help with the intensity along with my affirmations.
By this point I had been in labour for over 40 hours and they were worried about the baby so gave me some fluids to protect him. We got to 10cm and it was time to push. At 47 hours in I was exhausted but somehow found an inner strength I kept my eyes closed and focussed.
Our baby’s heart rate was difficult to find and they put a clip on his head to monitor his heart beat. I was told I had an hour to push before the doctors came in and again remained calm. I knew I could do it.

After what was an hour and 20 and seemed like 2 minutes the registrar came in. He said he had read my birth plan and didn’t want to resort to a C section if possible but our baby needed help so he would have to assist with forceps. At this point my only focus was bringing my baby into the world safely and so I was given some anaesthetic and they began an episiotomy. I was told when to push and found myself being put in a gown and prepared for surgery. I focussed hard on pushing and kept telling myself I could do it. My husband spoke calmly and gently and told me I was wonderful and we could do this.

Then I heard a voice say, ‘Rachel, look’ – I responded with my eyes closed ‘I can’t’, and they told me my baby was here and safe. I opened my eyes and there he was, lying on my chest looking up at me, calm – no tears and just perfect.

familyThe registrar said my baby was so calm but had turned his head at the last minute and wrapped his cord round his feet. He also said if I hadn’t been as calm throughout the labour I could have put my baby in danger.

It was an intense experience but one that was so amazing and that I couldn’t have done without the help of your book, my husband and Ann Ball from Durham whose class my husband and I went to.

Thank you for empowering woman by proving you can bring a baby into the world as naturally as possible and give them the best start. Hugh Jacob Hutchinson is just perfect and we are so lucky to have him here safely and 2 weeks early!

Thank you again,

Rachel, Jamie and Baby Jacob.
Xxxx

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Birth Truly is Beautiful

This is the story of the birth of Huxley who was born in June to Mum Sophie who took our class earlier this year. The title of this post is from Sophie’s own words and something that we strongly believe at Mindful Mamma.

sophie-and-huxleyHuxley’s Birth Story by Sophie Addison

 

On Wednesday I spent the day feeling more and more uncomfortable and went to bed feeling increasingly so.
At 12.30 ish I dreamt that my waters had gone (this was not a dream) when I woke I jumped out of bed and my waters went in a very movie style way!!

My hypnobirthing played a very important role here as adrenaline could of taken over.
I decided to take a shower and listen to some hypnobirthing tracks with the plan of going back to bed however by the time I was out my contractions were 5mins apart and the white horse birthing centre recommend I went in to be checked.
The hypnobirthing music had me in a very calm and centred place before leaving home I felt totally relaxed and serene.

On route to hospital we played the affirmations and by the time we arrived I was in a very calm mindful place.

Sophie in the second stage of labour
Sophie in the second stage of labour

We arrived and were shown to the most amazing birthing room complete with pool, swing ,birthing balls and lots of space.
I was now contracting every 3 mins with increasing intensity however I remained at this stage for the next 16hours !! (My baby was back to back, which I did not know until he was delivered as I had made it very clear if anything like this was to happen do not tell me.)
I used my hypnobirthing music & affirmations to stay focused through out.
In fact when the track ended I would only speak to say to my husband to say “play the lady.” Now a joke between us.
The hypnobirthing tracks played for the full 20hrs and I am totally convinced I would of ended up with intervention if it wasn’t for my calm hypnotic state all thanks to the techniques we learnt on the course.

Eventually (16hrs) in I felt I was nearing the pushing phase and got into the pool where I delivered my healthy baby boy at 19.36 on the 23rd June.

Although it was a long labour I wouldn’t change it for anything. For me birthing my baby albeit intense at times was the most incredible experience of my life.

The skills learnt on the course and listening to the tracks throughout my pregnancy certainly got me through some tough moments. For this I can’t thank you enough.

And I never thought I would say this I can’t wait to do it again!

Birth truly is beautiful. If only all women could believe it. Sophie Addison