Natalie & Tom's lovely first birth.
Ethan Oliver made his arrival on Friday at 12.25pm, weighing 5lb 7oz.
The birth was perfect and everything I had hoped for. When I have a little more time on my hands I will share our experience with you in a bit more detail but just to give you an idea of how you helped me...When I arrived at the Rushey Centre at 9.30am I was going to be sent home as the lovely midwife felt that her years of experience could tell that i wasn't in 'active labour' and that the pressure I was feeling was because the little man was back to back. I wasn't showing the usual first time mum 'signs' of having contractions.
I requested an examination as I wanted to know how far I had come along from a visit earlier in the week and she couldn't believe that i was 4cm dilated!!!! Waters broke at around 10.30am and then I was moved from a room in to the delivery suite by 11.15am. Ethan artived with a little help from gas and air at 12.25pm!
The midwives said I was a 'textbook' birth and couldn't believe that for a first time mum how I worked with my body so well. My labour time was recorded at just over an hour!!!! They also suggested for baby 2 a home birth (food for thought!)
All that you taught us about breathing, working with your body, surges and hormones made complete sense. We thanked you at the time but the thank you now seems far more apt and it is a genuine gratefullness that you are so passionate and knowledgeable about calm,positive birthing that this made my birthing experience so enjoyable and wonderful. And as you said in the sessions, Ethan as a hypno baby is so chilled out and content!
Tom was wonderful on the day and did exactly the right things for me and Ethan (and still is - I'm now on night 2 of a full 6 hour sleep thanks to daddy doing the night shifts!!)
Natalie, Tom and baby Ethan xx
Poppy & James' story, a positive first birth.
Matilda Florence decided to surprise us with an early arrival on the 7th October!
My waters broke naturally on the Friday night at 10.30pm and managed to labour for 16 hours at home with our rainbow relaxation, baths, fairy lights and bouncing on the gym ball until Saturday afternoon and we went into the Rushey Ward at about 2.30pm already 7cm dilated (with carefully packed hospital bags still in the car!!!)
Within the next 20 minutes I was fully dilated (with only a very short burst of a gas and air!) and our perfect little girl was born naturally at 17.27, weighing 7lbs. Everything moved so fast we didn't have time to run our water birth in the end but all the techniques learnt with you meant we felt in control of the situation and Matilda has been such a calm, content baby so far we wonder how much we can attribute this to our relaxed outlook on her arrival into the world!
I am still listening to my relaxation when I'm trying to catch a few extra minutes of Zzzz as she snoozes too and it is working a treat.
Thank you for all your help and hard work, we will be recommending these techniques to anyone who asks and definitely will use them again in the future if we are blessed with a brother or sister for Matilda!
Poppy, James & Matilda x
Baby Marley's positive C-Section Story.
Marley Adelaide was born 19th July, at 11.07pm. She weighed 7lb11.
I will start by saying the best advice was not to have too definite a plan as in a way the opposite happened. However she is the most beautiful thing I have ever seen and had a lovely calm entry into the world.
On Wednesday lunchtime I felt my waters break. When I looked it turned out she had been to the toilet inside me so after calling the hospital I drove myself to the maternity unit as they wanted me in as quickly as possible. This is where I used the breathing techniques to keep me calm. Pete arrived and we moved around the room, laughing, massaging, generally feeling excited rather than apprehensive. He kept reminding me of the affirmations and we felt ready.
The doctor asked for a final ultrasound and she turned out to be breech. They explained my options but due to the risk of her swallowing the meconium they advised that a caesarean was needed. Again I took this calmly and we continued with the relaxation techniques.
Maternity was very busy that day so I experienced about 8 hours of surges before we went to the theatre. Despite the fact she was back to back I managed to breathe through until the very end when I had some gas and air.
Again in the theatre I stayed calm, Pete using the massage techniques. And then she was here. She immediately seemed relaxed and happy and was given straight to Pete whilst they closed me up.
In the room afterwards she latched straight on for a feed and I truly believe she had a calm birth. She had not swallowed any meconium which was a relief.
She is struggling a bit to latch on now and is always hungry so breastfeeding is proving a bit of a challenge but again I am using breathing techniques and the midwives are helping with positions. She has a small tongue tie so we are keeping an eye on it.
Thank you so much for helping us with all of the techniques and giving us knowledge. It made the birthing experience perfect, even though unexpected.
I hope to try some of your mother and baby classes when everything is healed.
Thanks again, Vicky and Pete and baby Marley xx
Cheeky Huxley's arrival!
I just love this story from first time parents Fallon and Chris, and cheeky monkey Huxley who had his own plans!!
"We hope that you are well and sorry we couldn't make your coffee morning on Saturday. We have some very exciting news as our little one decided to join us early and arrived on 19th May. He was born at 4:54pm and weighed 6lb 10oz.
With the help and support from your group we felt confident enough to try for a home birth. Had you said that to us before the course I would have probably laughed. The thought of giving birth simply terrified me and I definitely viewed it as a medical procedure.
After your course I felt so much more comfortable and confident about giving birth and for the first time I was genuinely excited about meeting our little one.
Everything started really well and developed really quickly, I was 8cm with in 3 hours which even shocked the midwife as well as myself. We had hired a birthing pool which was wonderful and I managed without pain relief right until the end.
Unfortunately it got a bit complicated at the end as Huxley was in an awkward position and wouldn't come out so we were taken into hospital. It wasn't until we had the scan at the hospital that we realised he was undiagnosed breech (cheeky monkey). We then discussed our options and decided that a c-section would be the best way forward.
Even though this isn't what we had hoped would happen it was still the best experience and we felt prepared for any direction that our birth would take.
Huxley is perfect and we still can't believe he is here!
I will certainly be recommending your course to anyone I know who is expecting. In fact I have given the book and CD to my sister who is due in 6 weeks with baby no.2. I'm hoping it will help her as much as it helped us. Although she might be cutting it a bit close!
Thank you again and I hope we can make the next coffee morning so that you can meet Huxley 😊
Chris, Fallon & Huxley
Frankie's calm C-Section story.
Despite our homebirth plan not working out due to baby's size & position I still managed to use the Hypnobirthing techniques to stay calm and relaxed through most of labour especially while in the early stages at home. On transfer to hospital it was discovered I had a very high level of meconium in my waters and therefore after a 20 hour labour and only progressing to 4cm with most of that being with 4 in 10 surges we considered all factors and it was decided that the safest option was for Frankie to be delivered via c section. Despite the meconium and discovery of an infection in my womb the section was carried out calmly and we were 100% informed of what was happening and going to happen meaning we still felt totally in control.
I found the Hypnobirthing techniques valuable throughout pregnancy and not just during labour & birth. The practice we put in leading up to the birth allowed me to have a calm and relaxed pregnancy with an added bonus of helping with gaining extra sleep leading up to the big day! We both also found the course very informative in terms of options available and allowing us to feel we had more control of our birth plans and wishes.
Hope to join you for another gathering later in the year.
Terri, Charlie and baby Frankie.
Baby Flora's early arrival.
Alice and Charlie had to be induced at 35 weeks with their first baby, as it was felt that she wasn't growing properly due to a problem with the placenta. This was obviously a worrying time for them, but they were absolutely amazing and their birth story is wonderful! They are testimony to how you have the control to make any situation a positive and calm one. This is their story:
"I just wanted to let you know that I gave birth on Monday the 13th of March to a baby girl called Flora Ruby. I was admitted to hospital on Thursday to start the induction, but the delivery department at the hospital was overflowing with women giving birth - they were turning people away! Apparently it was due to the full moon that weekend...
So they didn't break my waters until Sunday at midnight, and Flora was born at exactly 8am the following morning. We used a lot of the relaxation techniques you taught us from Thursday onwards, because we were waiting so long they were really helpful to keep us calm and the rainbow relaxation helped me to get a full nights sleep each night. We listened to the relaxing music once my waters were broken, and dimmed the lights so the room was very calm. The nurses all commented on how calm we were during the labour. However, the contractions were coming thick and fast and were very intense, after being checked at 7.30 I was told I was only 3cm dilated and would be checked again in 3 hours. After this I lost the plot a bit, and made quite a bit of noise (which made Charlie laugh - which actually really helped me!). And Flora was born half an hour later! So I was actually in the transition phase.... but even after everything we've been through, I see the birth a really positive experience. Your course really helped us, not just with the birth itself, but also with the lead up to it and throughout all of the scans and appointments we were attending. So thank you!
Flora was born at 35 weeks, weighing just 3lb 4oz. Other than being small, she is perfect! No problems at all. So she is in the baby care unit until she gains some weight and can breastfeed. I'm expressing lots of milk for her, and today she had a little latch onto my breast. So I don't think she'll be In here too long - fingers crossed!
Thanks so much,
Alice (and Charlie and Flo!) xx
The arrival of baby Tabitha - a positive Induced Birth story!
The birth of Tabitha was induced as Mum Alethea developed raised blood pressure in pregnancy - this is a wonderful story of how the process of induction can be positive with HypnoBirthing techniques! (Find out more about induction here) This is their story as told by proud Dad, Jonny:
"I'm completely delighted to let you know that Tabitha Grace was born on Thursday night at 9.42, weighing 7lbs 1oz!
I think you were aware that Alethea was being induced on Wednesday, but we were able to use what we had learnt to make it as natural as possible despite that. The second gel was applied about midday on Thursday, and after some walking and a bath the tightenings began around 4.30 / 5ish.
Everything happened very quickly and it was a short and intense labour with everyone surprised about how quick the surges were coming.
Alethea was amazing (she will deny it, but she was awesome) and used the breathing and relaxation techniques really well to deal with the first few hours. To the extent that they were surprised when they saw the CTG as to how well she was coping. One of the midwives whispered to me in the lift down to the delivery suite that "she was amazing as was she using HypnoBirthing".
The only pain relief Alethea used was gas and air - and I'll let her tell you about that experience as she got quite spaced out!
Because of the intensity and frequency of the surges they were worried about Alethea trying too many times at the birthing stage and causing distress to her and the baby, so they decided to do a ventouse assisted delivery. Quite a dramatic situation with lots of extra people coming in and out of the room!
But just as they were about to start that, Alethea made the breakthrough and the midwife was able to send everyone else away!
So not the fully natural birth at Wallingford that we had hoped for, but we were still able to apply lots of the techniques! In particular, had we not spent the timing thinking about our birth preferences, it's pretty likely we would have been induced last weekend when the doctor first started, so that decision may well have helped avoid a syntocinon drip and assisted birth, etc!
So thank you for all your help, we really have appreciated it and looking forward to introducing you to Tabitha soon."
Brynn & Charles' story.
Brynn and Charles' story of the birth of their first child is wonderful, they didn't manage to complete the 5 week course as their baby decided to come rather early at 33 weeks. Despite not having finished the course, and despite the fact that they had very special circumstances with a premature baby, their story is astoundingly positive and calm. I love it!
" The day of Nathaniel's birth was relatively calm and relaxing: lunch with chocolate cake, lounging in the sunny garden, naps etc. Into the afternoon I went inside to spend time on the couch and relax, as my stomach was feeling a bit crampy.
We'd been in the hospital 4 days earlier with early onset delivery symptoms but discharged within 2 days as the symptoms had calmed down. These same 'cramps' were coming back and I was just trying to do my best to relax and breath through them calmly. I read news on the internet and even sent a few emails around 4:30. I thought a bath would feel good and I hoped it'd help calm my stomach cramps, which were only getting stronger by that point.
My husband Charles drew me a bath and offered to bring me a drinks or snacks, which I gladly accepted. After 20 mins or so of relaxing the warm tub, I was feeling ok but ready to get out, and I started to wonder whether we should go to the hospital. I got out of the tub and began drying off, telling Charles that I thought we should maybe go. By the time I'd gotten dressed in comfortable clothes and laid down on the bed to rest, the 'cramps' were getting considerably stronger. (Even so it still hadn't occurred to me that these were surges and that our child might be born soon!) Our neighbour drove us the short distance to the hospital where we planned to deliver; we were checked in and very soon taken to a nearby delivery room.
My waters broke while sitting on the delivery room bed and the surges remained strong every few minutes. Charles and I settled into our prepared practices and I was able to fall into a zone, listening to Charles guide me and I felt comfortable following my mantra of 'breath it down' to carry me through the surges. Because the baby was coming early, we were introduced to neonatal specialists as they got set up in the room.
The birthing seemed to just take over naturally and relatively quickly...we arrived at the hospital at 6:45 and our son Nathaniel was born an hour later at 7:50pm. I never felt that I needed or wanted any pain relief and, to my surprise, no stitches were needed afterwards either - an added bonus! We had initially hoped for a water birth but his early arrival introduced an element of risk that meant a water birth wouldn't be possible.
Nonetheless we were very happy with the entire experience and I feel certain that our learned approaches allowed us to stay at home as long as possible in a calm environment. (The Midwife later told us that I was 9cm dilated when we arrived. I guess those weren't 'cramps' after all!) Nathaniel remained in NICU for 2.5 weeks but with minimal intervention. He's progressed beautifully and we are all happily at home, enjoying life as a family of three!
Stephanie & Andy's story
Stephanie and Andy used HypnoBirthing to prepare for the birth of their first child. Their birth story is an absolutely beautiful one, and an inspiration for any Mums & Dads to be:
"I went into labour with a bit of a bang, waking up to my waters releasing at 4.30am immediately accompanied by surges every 3 minutes, each lasting a minute. I was a bit uncomfortable, but not in pain as such. By 7am, I felt like I wanted to be checked at the hospital (which is where we planned to have baby) so we went in. At 8.15 during my first check, I was '3 cm dilated', and then used visualisations and the breathing techniques up to about 11am when I was able to get into a birthing pool and carry on labouring there. When I was checked at 12.15, I was fully dilated and we were ready to go!
There had been discussion that perhaps birthing in the water might not be possible if baby or I was not tolerating labour well, but baby's heartbeat was perfectly fine throughout so we got back in. (He was in fact so chilled out that my Midwife commented that he didn't seem to have really noticed that we were in labour...)
My son was born at 2.20pm, after an hour of letting him descend naturally using breathing techniques and then an hour of more active 'pushing', although my Midwife was happy for me to only work with my body when I was in surge rather than forcing myself to push. I ended up doing the whole thing having taken 2 paracetamol tablets as my only medical pain relief.
Zach's Apgar's were 9 & 10, and we were home exactly 24 hours after his birth, where he has fed and slept like an absolute champ - everyone comments on what a chilled little dude he is. My Midwife seemed quite surprised by how quickly and smoothly we progressed, and even more surprised that despite him coming out very quickly all in one go, I only had a minor graze. She said she was really impressed by my breathing control, and I think most of that has to do with the fact that we went in feeling so calm and well prepared for the birth!
My Midwife at Basingstoke hospital was absolutely incredible, and really respected our birth preferences and the fact that we were a HypnoBirthing family. She basically let my husband and I run the show throughout, and even wrote on my discharge notes that I had a "beautiful birth"
Carmen & Roberto's story
New Mummy Carmen tells the story of the rather exciting birth of her & husband Roberto's first baby, Evelyn:
"Baby Evelyn was breech throughout pregnancy, and we tried everything apart from the ECV to turn her, but eventually I was booked in for a caesarean on 28th June (her due date).
The night before at around 7pm I started having very mild period type pains. At 8pm I phoned the hospital to ask what I needed to do, as I wasn't sure if this was labour or not. They said to take paracetamol, monitor the pains and if they get closer together to ring them again.
20 minutes later I rang them again..
I was told to come in for assessment. We arrived at 21:03, put into triage where my waters broke at 21:30. I was wheeled into the delivery room and told that theatre was being prepared for an emergency c-section. At that point the surges were getting closer and more intense. The anaesthetist came past to see how dilated I was (3cm 10 minutes previously) when all of a sudden she exclaimed:
"There's a foot hanging out! No time for a c-section, this baby's coming now!"
I didn't have time for any other pain relief except gas and air, and all of a sudden there were all these extra people in the room (about 6 or 7). I delivered Evelyn at 22:45 via natural breech delivery after 8 minutes of pushing! I became well known on the ward as the Midwives very rarely see natural breech deliveries - one Midwife had worked there for 12 years and never seen one!
Total labour time: 1 hour 25 minutes from waters breaking to her being delivered.
I went from wanting a calm water birth to needing a caesarean to actually having a vaginal breech delivery. Thank goodness for my affirmations helping me through, and of course my AMAZING husband Roberto for being my rock."
Emma & Rob - The lovely HypnoBirth of baby Holly
"My wife and I decided to look into HypnoBirthing after reading and hearing great things from friends and media/celebrities. We were a bit sceptical at first, thinking it may be 'Wishy-washy', but how wrong we were!
We were lucky to meet the lovely Hannah, who from the very first session was reassuring, very thorough and also a great listener and helped to ease some concerns from my wife.
My wife endured a fairly traumatic birth 4 years ago and of course she was scared that this time might be the same. I can tell you with real pride that the birth of my now 6 week old daughter was unbelievable! My wife chose a water birth and delivered our daughter calmly, quickly and most amazingly with NO pain relief at all! Her ability to remain in control and maintain calm breathing was unbelievable to watch and experience.
I couldn't be prouder of my wife and I'm so happy we chose HypnoBirthing. I would encourage any expectant parents to sign up to the course and would advise people to not believe what they read!!"
Amy & Paul - The calm birth of baby Zane
Finally I have a moment to put in to words how grateful I am for what you did for my husband and I in preparation of the birth of our first baby.
I was naturally nervous about childbirth having never experienced it and after hearing many horror stories which people seemed all too happy to share with me on finding out I was pregnant! I was given the Marie Mongan HypnoBirthing book by a friend, I didn't get very far in to the book before realising it was absolutely something I wanted to explore as it just made so much sense to me - the concept of childbirth being a natural process and something women are built to do without medical intervention, and that by releasing all fear and remaining calm during the process enables the body to do what it needs to do to deliver the baby naturally and without stress.
I found you via recommendation on the WGG Facebook page, and I am just so delighted that I contacted you! From the moment we engaged over email I knew that I would connect with you as you had such a nice calm and friendly manner. I decided to opt for the private sessions as I felt my husband would be more comfortable in our own home rather than the group environment and it also gave us more flexibility on times/dates than the group sessions did.
The sessions were just fantastic, we both felt very relaxed with you and you made us feel like no questions or concerns we had were silly or insignificant. We really enjoyed learning about the birthing process and practising the breathing and visualisation techniques with you and just getting more prepared to welcome our baby in to the world in the most calm and collected way possible. I also believe that it really helped my husband feel like he had an important role to play and gave him so much confidence knowing more about the birthing process rather than standing by and watching.
The course was clearly worth every penny and every minute we invested in it, as I am so proud to say that our beautiful son Zane David Richards was born naturally, calmly, quickly and without any pain relief!
We were a little shocked that the labour had started when it did as it was almost 3 weeks before my due date, but despite this we remained calm and used the breathing, essential oils and relaxing music to get through the contractions at home before going in to hospital, I even took a shower and washed and dried my hair whilst having contractions! We had called the hospital to let them know my labour had started, and as it was my first baby even though I said I felt the contractions had become strong quite quickly, they were putting us off going in as were expecting it to be a long process .... well it is a good job that my husband made the decision for us to get ourselves to the hospital when he did, because the moment we arrived at the maternity ward reception my waters broke, and Zane was delivered 55 minutes later! We hadn't even got my notes or the hospital bag out of the car, and there was no time to even consider getting in the birthing pool! The midwife even said to me that she wished all women made her job so easy! Also what was amazing is how calm Zane was having entered the big wide world - he hardly made a sound and just happily lay on my chest! So many people comment on what a 'good baby' he is because he seems so relaxed and rarely cries.
We feel so lucky to have worked with you and can't thank you enough as we believe that the sessions we did with you really did contribute to our fantastic birthing experience. We would recommend anybody to you, no matter how sceptical they are about hypnobirthing.
Lots of Love
Amy, Paul and Zane xxx
"I will be recommending Hannah to every pregnant woman I meet. Her down to earth reassurance is wonderful. HypnoBirthing is so informative and empowering. It really has been an 'eye opening' journey. I am now excited not only to meet our baby but to experience birth with him."
"As a birth partner, I had no idea what to expect. The course has empowered me to be confident in being a useful participant in the birth process, and the 'de-medicalisation' of the process has actually enabled me to understand what is going on, and what is truly important."
"Hannah is great at giving you professional knowledge that increases your confidence in your own ability to birth naturally. The course is extremely beneficial to any future parents to be, especially if you feel anxious about labour. Highly recommended."
"I felt I could potentially be Hannah's biggest challenge to date! I was full of concern after my first birth experience, am an over-thinker, unable to relax for a minute and somewhat fixed in my ways! Being 'out of control' ranked as one of my worst fears. This course has not only changed my views on how my impending birth may be, but also taught me that there are things I have yet to learn about myself and that there are most certainly other ways of coping with not just childbirth, but a range of situations in life in general. I have got so much more from this experience than I ever thought I would. Thank you.
"I think a HypnoBirthing course should be compulsory. I didn't know there was an alternative, natural and far more instinctive approach to having a baby. Calm Births HypnoBirthing has shown me that there is."
"A great experience, I don't know what or where we would be without it. I think we both underestimated how much it would be a massive help, and a way of thinking that has given us both a lot of confidence and excitement for birth!"
"Before this course I was so anxious about pregnancy, labour and the birthing process. Having no experience I was stressed about delivery months before our due date. I now feel confident, prepared and in control of what is ahead of us. I can't wait to help my wife birth our first child"
"This course has made me look at birthing completely differently. I no longer feel worried or nervous, I just feel prepared and ready to birth naturally. Hannah made me feel really relaxed from the minute I met her and she was happy for me to ask endless amounts of questions. She's really helped me to overcome any fear I had."
"Hannah has been amazing, she has such a lovely calming voice which makes the relaxation process easier. Everything has been answered and I now feel prepared... I feel happy, excited and prepared. Having my fiance and Auntie join in has also put my mind at ease with the birthing process. I can and will deliver my baby safely and calmly."
"Calm Births HypnoBirthing has increased my knowledge and confidence about the birthing process. I now look forward to giving birth and feel I have the right skills to have a calm and natural birth... The course was well presented and directed towards healthy birth. It removed many of the pre-conceived misconceptions I had of childbirth. I feel far more prepared and far less anxious"
"I have enjoyed the course, learnt lots and would recommend to anyone wanting a calm, stress free birth!"
"Hannah presents the classes in a very relaxed and appropriate manner. I wishI knew about HypnoBirthing back when I had my children!"
"I have really enjoyed learning about HypnoBirthing with Hannah. She has helped my husband and I feel far more prepared for when the day comes, and given us lots of techniques to use to help us get through it calmly and with confidence"