I had a very quick but intense labour using just gas and air and from my water being broken to Sonny arriving, it was just under 5 hours. I had a natural delivery without any complications or tears and didn’t even require any stitches. I’ve had a super quick recovery, to the point of that it doesn’t even feel like I’ve given birth!
I listened to the birth prep and some of the other downloads every day for about seven weeks leading up to the birth and used the techniques, especially the "321 relax" during my contractions. My partner was amazing in using the verbal prompts we had been given and he created a space in which I could focus and concentrate whilst he supported me with everything we had planned and practiced.
Sonny was born on 16th January at 9.01am weighing 8lbs 3oz... his estimated due date was 28th December making him 19 days late! He is absolutely amazing, feeds well, sleeps well and is just an overall happy little chap!
Although we were confident he would come when he was ready, however we had to bite the bullet and have my water artificially broken at 42 + 5 weeks.
I didn’t get the water birth I planned for due to the intervention, but I had a brilliant, positive and at some parts primal experience with an amazing team of midwives at North Manchester. I don’t think I could have remained as composed and as focused without the hypnobirthing preparation.
Thank you for playing a part in my positive birth experience
We attended one of Natalie’s weekend courses in October before Elliot was born. After not coping well at all with my first caesarean delivery having to have a second caesarean was my worst nightmare. However due to being rather ill and other factors a planned section was exactly where I ended up. Without the techniques we learnt with Natalie I wouldn't have had the confidence to opt for a gentle caesarean.
But using the hypnobirthing pregnancy relax and fear release track mostly and using the music during my cesarean I had the most amazing experience. Not only did I cope, but I loved the whole experience. Being able to see Elliot being delivered meant it felt as close to giving birth as possible.
I was able to maintain a low blood pressure and heart rate throughout and at one point where I began to struggle to cope Graham was able to step straight in with a prompt which centred me again.
I just wanted to say thank you to Natalie for everything we learnt during the sessions which helped me cope with a difficult and stressful pregnancy and the empowerment it gave us to make the best decision for ensuring the safe arrival of our son. An experience I will truly treasure instead of trying to forget.
I was induced which was something I had dreaded happening, however hypnobirthing gave me the tools to accept my situation and let go of fear. In the delivery suite we were able to dim down the lights and use our LED candles. My partner gently massaged my feet with aromatherapy oils as the contractions began, we listened to calming music and he reminded me to go to my safe place.
As my surges got more intense we used the TENS machine and then, when they moved up a gear, I used gas and air. My partner reminded me of ‘dialling down the pain’ and I used the affirmation, “each contraction brings us closer to our baby”.
My body knew exactly what to do and four and a half hours later, just as I said “I can’t do this anymore” and my partner reminded me that meant our baby was close. After what felt like two big whooshes our baby slipped right out of me. The birth felt magical and I felt so in awe of my baby, the rush of hormones at that point was so intense!
I was very hopeful I could have a natural birth, so when I heard about hypnobirthing I was really keen to learn more. Natalie taught us a lot of different techniques and I used the ones that worked best for me. I accepted a stretch and sweep at 41 weeks and my contractions started that night. By 6am the contractions were every two minutes; we called triage and made our way to Bolton hospital. When I arrived I went straight to the birth suite. I chose to accept examination and they found I was 3cm. I walked round the hospital whilst they prepared the pool and when I got in it was a lovely feeling to move lightly and freely in the water. We had the lights low, calming music on in the background and a natural lavender spray which filled the air.
When I was 16 hours in and very tired I chose to accept the midwives suggestion of breaking my waters. I got back in the water as the contractions began coming faster and stronger. It wasn’t long before the urge to push took over my body. Whilst the feeling of needing to bear down is incredibly intense, I managed to stay mentally calm. Baby came out looking down and to the right. She pushed one hand out and pulled it back in, before rotating herself around to face left, so she was in the best position for me to deliver her body. At this point everything slowed down and I got a small break in my contractions. I felt calm though, eventually another long contraction came and I delivered her body. The midwife caught her and my husband leant into the water to grab her. I sat in the pool for about 15 minutes with the umbilical cord still attached. I also managed to deliver the placenta naturally.
Hypnobirthing gave both of us a focus and provided me with the power to truly trust my body. It would have been easy to let the pain take over, but by using the techniques Natalie showed us and remembering everything she taught us about how birth and labour are natural I was able to have a very unforgettable and enjoyable birth.
I gave birth to Flora in the early morning on the 26th September, so she was exactly a week late. I went into labour spontaneously, and had her at home as planned, with Andy and my sister beside me. I'd had pains through the day. Once I'd realised this was definitely it I was very calm! Excited, but I felt really calm and really ready. My sister came over about 6pm and by then I was having frequent and more painful contractions, so I had a shower, a couple of baths, listened to the track and got something to eat... just spent time together trying to be as comfortable as possible, moving about, drinking...
We dithered about phoning the midwife for a while because I was wary of having someone else there until I needed them but by about 11 I felt ready, and I also felt like I needed gas and air so we asked the midwife to come. There was a bit of confusion about getting the gas and air there, and a panic that the second midwife wouldn't make it and I'd have to transfer... I didn't actively panic, or feel my mind start racing. I felt that I actively managed the worry and kept the anxiety at bay - I never thought I'd be so calm (I don't think I ever have been!).
The contractions HURT and I did struggle at times, but Andy and my sister were brilliant and said all the right things, and I feel like I managed the pain well - after it had slowed down the midwives said I was best upright, which obviously hurt a lot more, but I just got up and did it and in retrospect that's surprising of me, to have handled it so calmly!
And I had a really short pushing stage, it was only about ten minutes, and it was definitely the easiest part...I'd been dreading it, without realising, and I think when I did have a self-doubt phase it was focussed less on "I can't do this anymore" but more on "And I've still got to get the baby out, I can't do the next bit". But I did I was stood up holding on to Andy and Harriet's arms and reached for her as soon as her body came out. Andy and I looked at the sex together and then I got on the sofa for skin-to-skin and to feed her.
It was painful (and I did have a few "never again" moments!) but I felt so in control throughout, and calm in a way I'd never expected. I think I was completely prepared for the whole experience, I knew what was happening, I knew how to manage it and I knew that it was nothing more than my body could take. I tell people the hypnobirthing was a definite success!!