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.
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?!
What 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.
Monty 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.