Hello. You’ll be pleased to hear that our little boy arrived on his due date and is safely at home with us. H’s waters broke on Wednesday morning and we did what we had planned to do and waited for the surges to progress throughout the day.
Everything was prepped, the hospital bags ready and we had a stop-start walk in the afternoon before driving to the birth centre in the hope of a swift birth. By this time H’s surges were about 6 minutes apart. We were almost sent home H was so relaxed I think but asked for a room and were duly given one. Lavender scent wafting, photos out, music on. We had some resistance at first by our midwife, who was used to working in the delivery suite. Time and again I was asked to monitor both H and the baby, and tried to remember everything you taught us in our sessions. I asked about risks, alternatives and reasons for each suggestion, such as a sweep. I did my best. I eventually relented enough I’m afraid to let H be examined to see how dilated she was. Only 2cm. By this point we had been going steadily for 4 hours and it was in truth a hammer blow for H’s sense of self esteem. However, I think it was the catalyst for us both to step up and completely focus on what Hypnobirthing had taught us. From this point I politely declined any further examination, I changed the music to specific tracks designed to help with each surge and really tried to focus our birth space. H in turn really switched it on. Her focus was incredible and steadily her waves became more frequent. Her breathing became all about relaxing on the out breath and letting nature take over. I have never experienced anything like it.
By use of all we had learnt H went from 2cm to fully dilated in 2 hours and our gorgeous son, G, arrived with the help of some gas and air, and me applying counter pressure when needed. H found the pelvic squeeze exercise particularly invaluable on surges. The previously resistant midwife said she had never known anything like it. She was in her own way as important in the whole journey as any of us. Her resistance helped us to really achieve what we wanted, and double-down on it all.
On a personal level I really do think Hypnobirthing has been invaluable to me as a father and birth partner. It made me feel so much more valuable and helped me to see that ‘I can handle it’ - something I had worried about beforehand. H felt that the clarity and coordination we had as a couple after seeing you was priceless. The words of love and affirmation kept us both present and the experience was anything but terrifying. I couldn’t recommend you and your classes enough. Thank you.
It was particularly pleasing to see the way H’s sister, a paediatric nurse who happened to be on duty the same night was calm, supportive and did not interfere. She too saw the value of our learning at first hand, helping Helen to feel even more loved and more supported throughout.
G is gorgeous, and we are completely smitten. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your help.
H, H & G xxx
I just wanted to send you an email to thank you for the wonderful hypnobirthing class you gave us, and to let you know that our beautiful baby boy Isaac was born on Thursday 16th at 3.44pm weighing 7lb 13oz.
I was 41 weeks when he was born and had got fairly frustrated earlier that week at the midwife, who I felt was pressuring me into a sweep on my 41 weeks date. I hadn't accepted or declined the sweep but was due to attend the appointment on 11.50am on the 16th. I spent the day prior listening to the 'baby we're ready' tracks, taking a bath with some clary sage and most importantly telling our baby that I would really like him to arrive before the appointment the next day.
Much to my delight, the surges started at 2.30am on the Thursday 16th and I woke my Husband Daniel when I was sure they were consistent - at that moment about 20 mins apart. We managed to sleep a little through the rest of the night and my body gave me a wonderful hour's long rest at 7am before ramping up again. I spent the morning having breakfast, listening to all the Mindful Mamma track, sitting on my ball and walking around the house, all whilst Daniel timed my surges. At about 1.30pm Daniel was aware the surges were coming at 3mins apart on occasion and we should really get to the birthing centre. I was very relaxed and said let's wait for a few more, but he insisted we should go then. The drive to the hospital was challenging but helped by listening to my tracks and breathing through each surge.
I can’t quite believe it, but was told I was fully dilated when we arrived at the birth centre and they quickly filled the bath in preparation for the water birth we had hoped for. Things quickly moved on (I think we arrived at 2pm) and after 20 mins pushing, beautiful Isaac was born into the world in the water at 3.44pm with no help from gas/air/paracetamol - nothing. I still can’t believe it. My Husband Daniel was amazing, reassuring me throughout, keeping me hydrated and just being there telling me how well I was doing.
The whole experience was one I will never forget and I truly don't believe I could have done it without the hypnobirthing preparation. It was intense and challenging at times, but amazing to see what the mind can help you do. Thank you again for everything. More than happy for you to share this story with the mindfull mamma team.
Love from, Carina, Daniel and beautiful baby Isaac xxx
So I started to feel a surge at 2am Sunday morning and knew I'd need some rest so I listened to my mp3s and laid in bed. They were between 1hour & 30mins apart at this point. At about 5am the surges were coming 10mins apart. And by 6.30 they were 3mins apart. I was so surprised at how quickly everything was moving along but even more surprised at how calm & relaxed I was about it. I could feel the surges becoming more intense but I was able to breath through them still listening to my hypnobirthing tracks. I kept saying my affirmations over & over in my head and focused on my breathing. We called the for a midwife at 7.30 and at 8am she arrived to assess me. I agreed to an examination as I was curious to know how far along I was, I was 5cm dilated and she was happy with how close together and long the surges were so she called on the second midwife and they stayed with me. They read my birth plan and were absolutely fantastic. They completely let me get on with things and spoke to my partner if they needed any information.
At around 8.45 I made myself comfortable by kneeling on the floor over the sofa as standing through the surges was becoming increasingly difficult. By 9.30 surges were very intense and coming at 2mins apart. I cannot express how much the breathing techniques really helped me to get through these surges. At around 9.50 I felt the need to push. This part was a complete blur but I just allowed my body to take over. As I birthed the baby's head, my waters broke. I then stopped and concentrated on my breath until the next surge. On the next surge his shoulders were born and the rest of him followed. At 9.58 on 27.08.2017 Jaxon was born.
Sending you this email, simply doesn't feel like enough ... I'm not sure we can ever find a way to express how life changing our hypnobirthing session with you turned out to be. Thank you from the bottom of my heart, for equipping me with the self-confidence I needed to bring our gorgeous little boy into the world. After our session, I felt overwhelmed with respect and faith in my body. I listened to my tracks with the lavender diffuser every night (more often when I went overdue) and my confidence grew. I felt very positive and capable.
When we first decided to look into hypnobirthing, when I was pregnant and telling people about our plans I would always say “we’re planning a hypnobirth …. To begin with, then I’ll take all the drugs I can get”. After our class with you, I realised that I was just saying that to put people at ease, to make them feel less uncomfortable with our choice. I stopped doing that after our meeting, I no longer had that doubt in the back of my mind, I knew I could do it and I didn’t care if other people weren’t able to support that because of their experiences or expectations.
On the Tuesday night, after a day out and about, I had a slightly sore back which I put down to overdoing things at 41 weeks +. I slept well that evening and woke up at usual time (6am) feeling like things might be beginning to kick off. I sent my husband off to work and we agreed that I'd call him throughout the day as things progressed. I birthed calmly at home, on our bed with the curtains closed and the tracks playing throughout. Knowing that James was going into a midday meeting, I called him at 11.30 and said it might be time for him to make his way home.
He got back at 12.30 and timed my contractions - time to go to the hospital already! He packed our last bits and pieces up and we got in the car. My surges were coming often and strongly, I popped my sunglasses on and we were on our way. I had surges in the hospital carpark, the hallway, lift, birthing centre reception and then we were given our birthing room. I realised there wasn’t a pool available (which was in our birth plan) but it didn’t phase me. The room was dimly lit, calm and comfortable. James put all our affirmations round the room, set up the tracks, a fan and we settled in.
The midwife asked to examine me to see how far along things were, she needed me to lie on my back, something I didn’t really fancy, so she patiently waited for an hour or so and then I allowed her to examine me. She was pleased to tell me that I was fully dilated and if I felt I should, to start pushing and trust my body.
For the most part, she left James and I on our own in the birthing room with the lights down and a very relaxed atmosphere, she was very respectful and I hardly noticed she was there at all.
After around 4 hours, my waters broke and she monitored me more closely, encouraging me to push and suggesting different positions to varying degrees of comfort. She started to make suggestions about moving to the labour ward as things had been going on for some time, but she allowed me an extra hour, then another. At that point, although I felt a little tired, I was still confident and determined.
Unfortunately, they then realised that the baby’s heart rate had started to drop and so, she asked us to move to the labour ward so they could monitor him more closely. We wandered down the corridor and the midwives changed shift. The new midwife was also very encouraging and I laboured for another half an hour or so before she calmly explained that she’d like to have the doctor come and have a look because, after such a long active labour, they were concerned that the baby wasn’t going to come out naturally after all.
The doctors came into the room, turned all the lights on and started asking me how much pain I was in and saying they wanted to prepare me for theatre and an epidural immediately. My husband calmly asked the doctor to discuss the options to one side and that he would discuss them with me and we would let them know once we had made a decision. The doctor said she would only discuss it with me and as you can imagine, my surges started to slow down as heated discussions were taking place around me in a new, brightly lit room. Although he was clearly frustrated after we'd got so far on our own, I reminded my husband to stay calm and to put more lavender on, to pass my sunglasses and to put my tracks on through the headphones (previously on speakers).
Luckily the midwife had a quiet conversation with the doctor and we were able to salvage a relationship with them which we were all comfortable with. As we suspected, an epidural was not necessary, just recommended but we did not want pain relief as I didn’t feel I was in any pain, only discomfort which was progressing towards the birth of my baby.
They needed to use forceps because the baby has twisted shoulders and we agreed, since they said baby was in distress. They performed an episiotomy to allow the forceps to fit and within 2 surges they had inserted the forceps, twisted his shoulders and Grayson Charles Cowling was born!!
His birth was entirely painless, with some mild discomfort when bearing down during my surges which I felt were productive. My experience was uplifting, empowering and I can honestly say that I enjoyed giving birth. I would do it again in a heartbeat.
I wouldn’t have had such a great birthing story to tell, if it weren’t for your confidence, guidance and support – thank you so so much. Aren’t our bodies and minds amazing things!
Robyn & James Cowling
Hope you are well!
Everything is great with Zelda (we had a baby girl - now 9months), can't remember if contacted you about the birth (?)
If not, the summary is:
It was AMAZING. 4 hrs in a birthplace, no gas, no air. No scars/ stitches /tearing - all good to go home straight after.
I just did the hypnobirthing and ate loads of chocolate brazil nuts. It was kinda like having a mini party because Matt, Mum and my cousin were all there.
I am now a full-on advocate for hypnobirthing.
Of course you deserve a massive ***THANK YOU*** as we found your magical studio (and teaching) very calming and inspirational.
All the best,
Liat, Matt and Zelda xxx
I’m a bit late but we’ve been adjusting to life with a newborn 😍
Baby Harper was born 8th Feb @ 5:10pm weighing 7.9 pounds.
I am not going to lie & say that labour was easy but what I can say is what an incredible experience 😍 contractions started around 3:15 am thurs morning, I sent my other half to work & called him at 11am to come home as contractions were now 10 mins apart! By the time he got home at half 12 they were 2 mins apart 👌🏻 I did panic a little as I started to bleed so we made our way to the hospital! We arrived there at 2:30pm 9cms dilated 😊 exactly how I wanted my labour to go! She was born at 5:10pm, all without pain relief & no tearing!!! I cannot explain the incredible feeling, I felt powerful & extremely overwhelmed that I’d done it. Amazing 😊
I hope you are well. I wanted to email to say thank you for the class and tracks and to let you know that I have a precious baby girl in my arms who is 1 week old and completely perfect! She was born at home with the support of terrific midwives and also my husband Rich who was an excellent, calm and confident birthing partner.
The labour started at about 6am and I just listened to the tracks and used the breathing techniques and then at about 8am I got in the pool. The midwife came at 11 and checked me and I was fully dilated so she called the second midwife. Then I started pushing which did hurt but I just kept thinking it's not more than I can handle because it's my body doing it. Which is definitely from your track. Anyway, lily was eventually born at 1pm and the midwives said it had been more difficult to push her out as she was face to pube. The whole thing was amazing, the hardest but also the best thing I've ever done. And I was so happy to be at home, afterwards we had lots of skin to skin time whilst the midwives cleared up and then they weighed her, she was 7.5lb.
The only thing is now, everyone keeps telling me how lucky I am to have had a successful home birth with no complications and on just two paracetamol. It's very annoying as I don't believe I was lucky, I think we prepared for the birth and meditated and got rid of our preconceptions about birth being scary and dangerous. The thing is I don't feel able to say that to people as you don't want to sound smug or know it all or criticise their births. So I thought I would email you as you understand the process we've been through and I think hypnobirthing is fantastic.
Thank you very much,
I just want to drop you a note to let you know that Clara arrived on Sunday afternoon and is doing brilliantly!
My contractions started on Sunday morning at some point around 8/9am, and after playing with Joshua for as long as I could, I decided to go in the bath which really helped.
At around 10:30 we left for the birth centre, which was earlier than we would have done but I was worrying about the motorway being closed and the traffic on our alternative route. We got to the birth centre to be told that I was only 4cm at around 11:30- I was really disappointed as the contractions were really regular. The midwife was happy for me to stay there and see how I got on, but I didn't want to get into the water until I was a bit further along as everything slowed when I got in the pool with Joshua.
I got in the pool around an hour later, and everything was continuing to progress, but my waters hadn't broken. The midwife assured me that as soon as the waters went, baby wouldn't be far behind and she was right! Eventually at 3:30 my waters broke and Clara arrived in the pool at 3:48. She floated up to me, very serenely and just stared, no tears at all!
We were then left alone to enjoy lots of time together with Clara which was just perfect. The birth centre was fabulous - the midwife left us to use the techniques that you taught us, didn't disturb us at all. Ben talked me through each contraction which was brilliant, and brought out a book of pictures of Joshua which seemed to really do the trick as my waters went within minutes of seeing it.
Thank you very much for all of your help - I firmly believe that the hypnobirthing enabled me to have the birth that I had always wanted.
As your training day has been so amazingly helpful for the birth of our 3rd son I thought I send you a mail to describe the experience and what has helped me most!
About the birth, after waiting for a long time, felt like an eternity particular (due date was Christmas Day) because my parents were here and keen to get to see the baby before leaving on the 6th of Jan...
Every evening it was a bit of a weird 'good luck / good night' kiss from them with lots of anticipation in their eyes. Bless them! But not the most relaxing situation particularly as I was apprehensive and impatient myself!! In any case on Saturday 2nd of Jan I was told by midwife that although anything could happen it was very unlikely that the baby would arrive soon as the opening was not ready yet (not sure what she called it again but basically although it felt like the baby was engaged it was actually not..).
So that evening I went to bed with not much apprehension for the first time in days/weeks! The next morning Valentijn (our 2 year old) came into our bed and later Leonoor (our 4 year old). Bizarrely Leonoor was very cuddly and wanted to stay with me, and started to be clingy, as if she felt that something was about to happen! In any case I thought these braxton hicks feel different, so at 6.45 I started to log first contraction on the app I downloaded. And I told Jasp and informed my parents (although with big caveats as I did not want to get any hopes up for anyone!!).
After dressing the kids and sending everyone down for breakfast I stayed in our bedroom to manage the contractions and have my own space, they came every 4 min by 7.30 and at 8 I called the hospital that I wanted to come in. The midwife was apprehensive, as she did not felt convinced they were strong enough. Ha! Those breathing techniques from the hypnobirthing training really did help! And I used the sheet with the contraction flow, amazing!! Was so powerful to walk through it. In any case luckily I convinced the midwife and she allowed me to come in but 'make my way over slowly'.
The journey to hospital was quite chilled, we did not think it would go quickly either and were joking in the car that if we were send away we could spend the day in siansbury's car park next to the hospital to chill out and read our books that we brought! We arrived at the birthing oasis at 9. I straight away went through the photo book I made with pictures of family and Leonoor had put some drawings in my pack too, which made me cry, so great oxytocin!!
After check up around 9.30, the midwife confirmed I was dilated to 5 cm with stretch to 6/7 cm during contraction. We were allowed to stay - hurray! We did share with the midwife that we wanted to do hypnobirthing and she was fully in tune straight away, although I did make a point that I am not too fussed with the whole music side of it etc. At least it allowed Jasp and me a lot of space. In addition what made it really easy was that the same midwife helped me deliver Leonoor! And we were told that I was going to go into the same room, birthing pool as with the other two! What a coincidence and great help for us to be in such a familiar environment.
By this time (9.30) the contraction became rapidly stronger and longer and I instructed Jasp to go through the breathing technique with me, after a couple of practice ones he got the hang of it and we were in tune. He used the same sheet btw. He did amazing btw!! By 10 I was getting annoyed and said when is this stupid bath ready (the birthing pool), the midwife came back and went almost straight out as one look at me told her to get into gear :) and by 10.20 I went into the pool. Now interestingly nobody, me neither expected that by 10.42 mr Sylvester came out, as I was just managing my contractions and suddenly I screamed 'it's head, it's head is coming out' in a slight panic.
The midwife came over and said 'great that is what we want' and calmed me down and ensured I did not push baby out in one go. This is were Jasp was straight on the alert too and started shouting at me 'breath Marrit, breath' (all this training is not for nothing, he is by now fully aware that you should stop pushing to avoid tears!). You might recall that tearing was one of my biggest fears... Thank god I had Jasp there as by next contraction and this was a split seconds Sylvester came out and I did not tear!! Hurray!! He was born in his membrane as my waters did not break and Sylvester broke it himself, extra special!
In hindsight we both unconciously thought he was going to be a girl, but are so pleased to have another boy too!! The aftermath of this speedy birth was that after first min of euphoria, I was knocked out for a good 45 min, throwing up and feeling dreadful.. Luckily I came around quickly enough and could hold Sylvester and enjoy him once more. We got home by 6pm to introduce him to his siblings and my parents. It would have been earlier if there was not a computer problem.. Argh!
Sylvester is doing great, he is almost in a kind of feeding/sleeping pattern and we are starting to get to know his cries. Some things about caring fora baby are slowly coming back to me, eg cries for tummy ache, putting him on his side in bed rather than back to reduce the aches, washing top/tail - I forgot about this until day 4! Poor him, feeling a bit mucky with all the milk spillage... Haha! In any case he is a little wonder. And my love for him is growing by the min. Very special again, but even more so knowing this will be the last time...
Although sad but also relieved with that idea!!
His siblings are amazing with him, Leonoor today said ' I love you Sylvester' and basically cuddles him every time she can. He does calm down by listening to her voice as well. Super cute.
Valentijn is a little trouper, he looks like a giant to us know next to his brother! He is showing all his animal toys to Sylvester and wants to know everything about him, helps out with changing nappies etc and saying his favourite word these days 'why' with everything about Sylvester.
So all in all we are very very lucky and feel amazingly rich having these healthy children!
Again, I would like to thank you so much for the superb training!! Truly amazing, and it has helped us both getting through this last birth perfectly :)
I am pleased to say that our baby was born at 2.39am on Wednesday (28th February) naturally using hypnobirthing and pregnancy yoga techniques and positions as well as a bit of gas and air.
As you know my waters broke at 37 weeks on Monday at 2pm. I was induced with the gel at 7.15pm on Tuesday evening.
It was quick second stage of labour going from 1cm dilated to baby being born within about an hour and a half. The induction gel worked so no need for the drip. I bounced on and leaned over the ball throughout the early stages of the labour; did some dancing (!) and upright positions then leaned over the bed for pushing whilst kneeling on the floor. I breathed through the contractions using the three techniques that you taught me.
Pushing was quite brutal, although the hypnobirthing techniques did work by keeping me calm and relaxed for most of the birth. I used the visualisations, breathing, positions and back tickles/ massage from my husband. I also had my sunglasses on, the lights off, hypnobirthing tracks on the whole way through with my ear plugs in. I used the lavender and clary sage on hankies and smelt those. I put up pictures of my children as well as ones my son had drawn for me, in my hospital room. I also smelled items of my kids clothes that I took with me.
I felt much more in control and focused with this birth compared to my first two where I just felt out of control with no focus. Your training and all the practice paid off definitely! It was also my quickest birth so 7 hours in total from contractions starting to baby arriving. My last two births were much longer at 24 and 12 hours and I had epidurals both times with those. I didn’t have one this time. I can only put it down to the hypnobirthing and will be recommending it to other pregnant ladies, without a doubt! Mind over matter really does the trick!
I think that using the ‘baby we are ready’ and ‘birth affirmations’ tracks as well as the flower opening visualisation definitely helped the induction gel to work within a swift half an hour of it being put in! Also I read through the birth stories you gave me.
I was a bit disappointed to find out that my cervix had only dilated to 1cm after 5 hours of contractions but then, after using more hypnobirthing techniques such as the waves and baby surfing the waves, I regained focus and after some more waters broke in front of baby’s head, I was pleased that the birth progressed extremely quickly then.
Looking at it, it was a good natural and controlled birth. I'm so happy. I didn’t need any intervention, no stitches, no episiotomy and so am recovering swiftly. Baby weighed 6lbs 15oz so a good weight for 37 weeks and 1 day!!
Thanks so much for all your help. I have no doubt that it helped me and my husband immensely to prepare for and during birth. He is quite a calm and chilled little baby and his heart rate was great all the way through the birth as he travelled down to meet us! I’m sure the tracks and me being so calm helped with that too!!
My husband was great at helping with my oxytocin levels too, I got my much awaited eternity ring (!!) which he gave me just after my waters broke, he also gave lots of kisses hugs and massages, did synchronised breathing with me, spoke to midwifes on my behalf etc. He went out to the garden centre opposite the hospital when I was waiting to be induced and bought this sign, (photo below), which I and the midwives thought was great!! The midwives at pembury hospital were fantastic at respecting my wishes with the hypnobirthing too.
I can’t thank you enough. xxx
I hope you are well and enjoying this lovely weather with your family. I just wanted to update you following the birth of Amelia after our sessions.
Amelia was born on Friday 15th May at 8.10pm weighing 7lbs 2oz at the Maidstone Birth Centre, a week over my due date. I had started having period type pains and twinges on the Thursday and then contractions building up overnight. We started timing them early Friday morning whilst relaxing at home (watching some comedy and pottering around) and using the breathing techniques through the contractions. In the late morning I starting using a TENs machine which also helped as the contractions steadily built up. After lunch I could feel the contractions becoming more intense and so we headed to the birth centre around 2pm. Once at the birth centre we discovered we were over halfway dilated much to my relief as the midwife wanted to send us for a walk as she initially thought we were still in the very early stages of labour. I did make the decision to be examined at this point but you empowered both of us to ask questions and make decisions that we felt comfortable with.
I found the effect of arriving at the birth centre amazing, I had so wanted to go there (following our discussions about how the different environments made you feel) that once I was there I felt very safe. I even had to turn the TENs machine down to the lowest setting as it was too much. I also got to use the birthing pool and I found this fantastic for relaxing and also pain relief. The midwife was absolutely amazing and for the majority of the labour she very much left us to it as we had seen with so many of the hypnobirthing films. I did use gas and air once I felt the need to push and it really did the trick, so much so I had to get out of the pool and come off the gas and air for the final hour as my contractions had slowed down and I had really started to fade. Amelia arrived very suddenly after some big final pushes, much to our relief. Eddie really did an amazing job coaching me through every contraction and keeping me focused throughout labour.
The last 6 weeks with Amelia have been amazing, she is a lovely content baby and we feel extremely lucky to have her.
I would like to thank you for empowering us with both the knowledge and the confidence to have a great birth experience. Your sessions had really trained us to work as a team and without the hypnobirthing course and Eddie's coaching we would not have had such a fantastic experience.
Thank you again,
Sarah, Eddie and Amelia
I wanted to send you a note to say how grateful we are to you for taking us through the Hypnobirthing course and inspiring us with the confidence we needed for the birth of our daughter. We can't thank you enough.
As you know my first child was born after my waters broke at 37 weeks but labour didn't start. So I was induced at hospital the following day which I was disappointed about and had an epidural. Although the end result was a happy healthy son.
This time I really wanted a more natural birth for my second baby. I started listening to the Mindful Mamma recordings from 28 weeks a few times a week and then almost every day after we did your course at 32 weeks. In the entire time I NEVER made it through a recording without dropping off. I even tried skipping to the second half of the relaxation track hoping that I could at least find out what was on it... Nope, I still fell asleep. Often I 'came to' during the 'count up' at the end but normally it was 10-15 mins after it finished. I was worried that it meant I wouldn't know what to do but all the advice from you and the Hypnobirthing forums said it was fine.
My waters broke again in the middle of the night, this time at 38 weeks. But I was much more mentally prepared this time. I started very light surges about 20 minutes later which cheered me up... At least something was happening. I went into the birth centre the next morning for a check up (to confirm my waters had ruptured) and they said that if labour hadn't started to return at 9am the following day for a medical induction. Not really what I wanted to hear.
This time I kept super positive to get as much oxytocin going. Everything from wearing my favourite maternity dress, right down to treating myself to a hot chocolate in the hospital cafe whilst I waited for my husband and son to pick me up. I felt so happy - euphoric even - and I was nearly crying tears of happiness going home. I can't really describe it but I was just overwhelming love. Perhaps the 'training' was kicking in.
I spent the day having light surges at home, playing Lego with my son, smelling his pyjamas and sniffing clary sage on a hanky. I also downloaded the 'baby we're ready' track on your advice. I couldn't get to the end of that either! Asleep every time!
Around 8:30pm my mum arrived to babysit my son and I think she was a bit surprised how good I looked. In her and my husbands words, I was glowing. At this point I was surging every 6-7 minutes.
I decided to have a bath on a whim about 10pm and listened to the relaxation tape. Again I fell asleep in the bath. When I woke up I was starting to surge much more intensely and frequently - every 3 mins or so. We phoned the birthing centre at 11:30pm, and they advised to give it an hour. I think I sounded so calm on the phone they didn't pick up how far along I might be.
I lay down on the sofa - the only place I could get comfy and listened to the relaxation tracks again. Twice I think. I would fall asleep when not contracting, wake and be aware of the surge and visualise a flower opening, and then drop back off again. It was very very intense but just on my limit to control it. Then something switched a gear and I announced we had to go to the birthing centre right now. It's a 5 minute journey by car but it took an hour as I was so slow walking as the surges would take over and I'd need to stop. So getting in/ out of the car was hard.
I got as far as the hospital entrance when I felt the need to push. I made it as far as the corridor the birthing centre was on before my husband managed to get a team of midwives to me and they found a wheelchair for me to kneel on to transport me into the birthing suite. Only at this point did I take my sunglasses off - it was 2am! There was no time to run the birthing pool and my daughter was delivered 10 minutes later. Very happy and healthy at 7lb 2oz. We have named her Astrid.
Throughout the whole labour and delivery I felt entirely happy, confident and in control. I never panicked, even with the close shave at the end. I was totally and utterly in my birthing zone. I can't thank you enough for helping us achieve the natural birth that we really wanted. We are all recovering super quickly at home and could not be happier. Thank you so much!
Big hugs from all of us
Love Tanya, Stephen, Logan and baby Astrid
For the longest time (well, nearly 6 months) I have been meaning to write to you to tell you my birth story - and for you to share it if you wish.
We both want to say thank you so much for your guidance, we are deeply grateful and feel it made a big difference to our experience in a number of ways.
Our little boy, Joshua, was born on Friday 15th April. On the evening of our due date - the 11th - we spent a blissful half an hour doing some relaxation and endorphin massage. We did it because we hadn’t practiced at all but I think it had an effect… My waters broke at about 5am the next morning and we were so excited! We felt like a couple of kids on Christmas morning! I felt very relaxed and ready. I didn’t much want to call the hospital as I knew what they would say, so I waited til about 10am and did everything in my own time.
When we got there they checked me over and said that we needed to come in at 10am the next day to be induced if I hadn’t gone into labour on my own. This was my first taste of how hard it is to argue for what you want, when you can’t be 100% sure of the ‘right’ answer. They were very clear that I had to come in 24 (well, 30) hours after my waters had broken and the baby had to be out within 72 hours.
We decided to defer our decision to the morning and went home to try more massage. Unfortunately I was wound up by this point, so there was no relaxing myself into labour! So that was night one.
We went in the next day as agreed, as being at home was no longer making us feel chilled. The ward was absolutely heaving! They were unbelievably busy and women were getting a long way along on the antenatal ward before being taken to the delivery suite. Not the best environment to establish labour! I was finally given a pessary at 2pm, told that the baby didn’t seem to be engaged and then pretty much left to my own devices as they were so busy. About 5ish the ward started to quieten down and around 7:30 I started contracting gently, with things getting a bit more intense but totally manageable from about 9pm. The contractions were hovering between 2 in 10 and 3 in 10 and my memory of them is a really happy one. It turns out I dance through contractions! I swayed as if I was listening to Bob Marley, arms in the air like I was at a concert and leaned against my husband for support. It was beautiful.
The only difficulty was that I could sit or lie down because it was immediately too intense if I did. So in the early hours of the morning I took some codeine intending to take the edge off the contractions and go to sleep. Well I did go to sleep but the contractions just stopped completely. So that was night two! At 7am I was told I’d definitely be put on a drip that day and I waited and waited to see a doctor but they were so busy it just didn’t happen. Eventually about 4 we went for a walk to try and get things going again. Once more as the ward got quieter my contractions started up. But I felt like the baby’s head was engaging and then when a really strong contraction came along it just popped back out of my pelvis again.
At 19:30 that night (!) I was finally taken round to the delivery suite to start a drip. The one thing I really hadn’t wanted to happen. There was a shift change half way through the midwife taking my notes and a team of about 5 people came in to talk to me and (it felt like) look at me. I hated it and said that everyone could do what they needed to do but then I wanted anyone unnecessary to leave and not come back! (Or politer words to that effect). It was hard to stand up for myself but thanks to you I felt entitled. Before starting me on the drip the doctor asked if anyone had examined me since I came in. They hadn’t, so he said he wanted to know the midwife could touch the baby’s head. She only could with the tip of her finger. So he examined me. He couldn’t feel it properly either. So he asked for a scanner and 2 minutes later said that he believed I had an undiscovered fibroid preventing the baby’s head from engaging as he could see no other reason for my not having advanced. He recommended that I skip the drip and have a c-section straight away.
I had previously been disappointed that my birth was to be ‘consultant-led’ but now I’m so grateful as the midwives were so busy they hadn’t put any thought into *why* things weren’t progressing. Waiting for the c-section was horrible. I was contracting once every few minutes, leaking fluid constantly and being interrupted ALL THE TIME to sign forms and hear risks. I mention this only to show my experience of the difference environment makes. I’m certain the contractions were of the same intensity as the night before but my experience of them was COMPLETELY different.
During the section I was really grateful for the time I had put into learning to relax and focus so that I could stay calm. And James had spent time thinking through visualisations to talk me through which was absolutely perfect. He really helped me mentally. After Josh was out I started to panic and was thankful to the anaesthetist who just gave me a little something extra to let me drift off!! There was indeed another big fibroid that no-one had found blocking Josh’s exit.
I’m painfully aware that if I had read this story before giving birth I’d have thought it was a negative one. But that’s really not how I view it. When I need to go to a ’happy place’ now, I remember my contractions! It was wonderful! The waiting was mostly boring or tiring but not painful. And the bit before the c-section was a few hours but it felt like 1 hour. When you are living in the moment these things are much more manageable. I also felt in safe hands the whole time, even if they were busy ones! I think its worth noting that Josh was finally delivered 67 hours after my waters broke. So in retrospect the rush to have me in and monitored and the baby out seemed a little over the top. That said if I’d got an infection I’d have been in the best place so I guess I can’t complain about that. My milk came in on day 2 which is very early for someone who has had a section. I’m certain it was down to all the hypnobirthing techniques I was using throughout to get the oxytocin flowing - and probably the long not-quite-labour.
James and I want to thank you so much for your part in our pregnancy and birth. We are massive advocates of the benefits of hypnobirthing now, even though we didn’t get the birth we’d have hoped for.
Lee & I now have a beautiful baby boy called Harris Hughes. Born 9/12/15 weighing 8lbs & 6 days overdue. I had such a positive experience birth wise & that is totally thanks to the Hypnobirthing & the course. So thank you so much.
I found it totally manageable, and felt calm & relaxed. In early labour I listened to my mp3's & had a candle lit bath at home. I held off going to hospital until surges were 5 mins apart & lasting a minute. Plus after my waters broke we called. The Hosp said to come in as I hadn't felt the baby move during my surges & they were slightly concerned.
My MP3's & gas/air & tens machine got me through it all. And it was a really positive birth experience. Despite no access to the water birth pools (rubbish excuse of the thermometer being broken) plus they wouldn't allow me as I ended up having to be bed ridden to be constantly monitored (as they were worried about the wee ones heart rate dipping after each contraction & my bleeding). At one point i thought a caesarean was on the cards as the consultant came into see me.
The midwives were totally fab & respected my hypnobirth wishes & I was able to do the final "pushes" kneeling on the bed (to get gravity working on my side). Rather than lying down.
No episiotomy (again that was almost on the cards) & no tears (the perenium massage must have worked after all).
I had a wee babygro in my sights in the labour room to spur me on!
And the midwife suggested a hand mirror during the pushing stage for me to see what was happening & how long I had to go to push & that really really helped. Esp as the pushing stage took a lot longer for me than I had anticipated!
I wanted to thank you so much for your session I genuinely believe it helped me have an amazing experience. My labour in total was an 1 hour and 40 mins I’m still in shock I did it that quick. I pushed/breathed for only 20 mins with no tearing. I think your story helped, lol. I had a great midwife and such a positive experience. I’m so pleased. Once again thank you and I will definitely recommend your services. My princess is also so calm which is definitely a result of my calm birth. Roxanne.
Thanks so much for your support last week ! We had the most wonderful birth experience and have you to thank for that! It was everything we dreamed of and more. He was born by candle light in our birth pool at home.
I had mild period pain on and off on Sunday but we went for a walk and for afternoon tea , done some gardening etc.Woke up at 2am with strong period pains coming every 3 mins lasting for 40-50 secs, so called the midwife they came 30 mins later and I was already 6cm dilated. Both my midwives were so supportive of our birth plan, I got to 8/9cm before having gas and air and getting into pool and stopped having the gas for the push.
Placenta was delivered naturally and no stitches needed, he fed straight away, we were all tucked up in bed after a shower and tea and toast by 11am .
THANK YOU SO MUCH FOR MAKING THIS ALL POSSIBLE !!!
Love Amy, Daniel, Marley the dog and of course gorgeous George! Xxxx
I was initially skeptical about hypnobirthing. Coming from a scientific background I thought it was a bit “woo” and too good to be true. However I decided it would be a worthwhile investment if it helped prepare Stephen & I for labour. So we took the course, a bit nervous and unsure what to expect.
What I quickly found was that it all made perfect sense. It helped demystify labour, clearly explaining what to expect, how Stephen & I would work together as a well prepared team and how my body would know what to do. I practiced the techniques and found myself looking forward to the birth and meeting my son rather than dreading it and wanting to get it over and done with!
As our due month approached I found Leonie to be an invaluable resource whenever I had a wobble or question. When I started to feel surges I felt excited. I used my relaxation techniques, my visual anchors and practiced my breathing exercises. Our son came into the world smiling and has continued to be the most content little baby ever since. I think this may be due in part to his mummy being so relaxed throughout my pregnancy and labour!
I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend doing the course with Leonie to anyone. Im a convert! And have been spreading the word ever since discovering this unbelievable tool. It made something I was scared of into an incredible experience in which I felt empowered and in control. We had a lot of decisions to make in the time it took for our perfect son to arrive. This course and Leonie gave us the knowledge, confidence and tools we needed to make confident choices and stick to our guns when needed! J. Cummings.
We cannot thank you enough Leonie. Your tracks in particular were fantastic & you were with me throughout the experience. If it weren’t for the stitches, I’d do it again in a heartbeat. What a positive and uplifting experience <3 All thanks to you. Honestly, thank you from the bottom of our hearts xx RC.
Arrival of Aurora
After announcing our first pregnancy, a family friend lent me a book about Hypnobirthing, the concept was completely new to me and I initially thought it would be a bit too 'fluffy' for me and my husband. This was our first baby and we wanted to have a positive birth experience, after ready the book Hypnobirthing seemed a logical option for us.
We contacted Leonie and booked a one day Mindful Mamma course and we are so pleased we did. Leonie's course taught us all we needed to know about Hypnobirthing and achieving the positive birth experience we wanted.
I had a fantastic pregnancy which I contribute to the Hypnobirthing course, I used the techniques I had learnt to remain calm, relax and be positive about the stages and changes during pregnancy.
Labour started on a Sunday afternoon, the surges were straight away very strong and regular, I used my breathing techniques and thought about my affirmations, they all allowed me to manage my labour well. Labour continued over the following 2 days. Baby arrived just after midnight on Wednesday after around 50 hours of surges.
We had initially planned a home birth, but due to low blood sugar I was transferred to hospital. We continued our Hypnobirthing techniques in the delivery suite, keeping a calm and relaxed environment. I found a quiet environment worked best for me and allowed my husband to support me and coach me through the surges.
All of a sudden, my surges changed and intensified and I felt the need to push, but my body was telling me it wasn't just 'time', I continued my breathing techniques and allowed my body to do what felt natural, it really did know exactly what to do. With the help of some pushing, Baby arrived safely and had a little cry, she was passed straight to me for skin to skin and was just the most amazing moment.
Hypbobirthing make me feel in control and strong through out my labour, it was such an amazing positive experience for me, my husband and my baby. We are so grateful to Leonie for everything she taught us.
8 weeks on....
Our little lady is doing fantastic, she is such a chilled out little person who loves a cuddle with just about everyone.
I wanted to drop you a quick email to say thank you for your help and support whilst explaining hypnobirthing to us.
Shaun and I welcomed Clemmie into the world last Saturday, 6 days early. Unfortunately we couldn't have the home/waterbirth as planned, due to my blood sugar levels.
After laboring at home for 35 hours, using hypnobirthing, water and yoga. I transferred to the labour ward, where in less than an hour and a few pushes later she was cuddled up in my arms.
Hypnobirthing really helped to keep me focused and the midwife was amazed that I managed to stay at home for as long as I did without any pain relief.
Shaun made me a photo album with pictures of us together, which I didn't even get to view as I was "saving" this until the waves were extremely intense.