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calm birth

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A VBAC? At home? Are you mad?......

Well today has been a lovely day at Calm Births HQ as not just one, but TWO Calm Births HypnoBirthing babies have been born!! I've yet to hear the full birth stories, but I know that all is well. And I know that something totally wonderful has happened for one of my families. 

I met the lovely Sarah and Chris* back in January this year at the beginning of their 5 week course. Little was I to know then what a huge, life changing journey that would be for them, and what a journey of affirmation it would be for me.

Let me explain: Sarah and Chris already had two children, aged 5 and 2. Both babies, for various reasons, had been born by emergency caesarean section. The couple were embarking on a HypnoBirthing journey as they wanted to give themselves the best possible chance of having a very different experience this time around. To such an extent that they were planning to have a home birth this time.

When Sarah initially contacted me and told me where she lived I was a bit unsure about travelling the distance (a 100 mile round trip!), but when she told me of her plans to try for a VBAC (vaginal birth after cesarean) at home with this baby I couldn't help but be very excited to be part of that journey with them.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Berkshire

And so we began our 5 weeks of HypnoBirthing sessions. They had already read the book when we met, and I joked with Sarah that she knew so much about VBAC's from her research that she should train to be a Midwife after this baby. (She'd be great!) Over the period of time that we worked together, Sarah and Chris went full circle from being excited, passionate and determined to have the birth they were choosing, to being scared by caregivers into giving up that dream, and all the way back again.

Sadly, on paper it would seem that Sarah was a 'risk' as a VBAC and the fact that she wanted to do it at home clearly put the heeby jeebies into her local caregivers. She was made to feel that she was endangering her baby by choosing this path, and made to feel very sad and disempowered. But the couple found strength, continued to research and understand exactly what it was they wanted to do and what any (teeensy) risks might be. They then re-grouped, and cracked on with making plans for their homebirth.

And. They. Did. It. 

It makes me feel emotional just typing it. I am so utterly thrilled that this couple have taken their birth into their own hands, listened to all the advice, made their own, INFORMED decision and chosen the path that was best for THEM. And it WORKED!!!!! 

The reason I wanted to share this story with you, was because it has just been such a wonderful example of women standing up for themselves and choosing how their birth will be. Sarah and Chris were fully supported by their caregivers in their choice, once they had (very eloquently) explained their reasons and shown that they had fully researched it. 

I am sad that they had to go through this battle to achieve the birth they wanted, but thrilled that they felt empowered enough to stand up for themselves and to know that you ALWAYS have a choice. I just hope that more women begin to feel the strength and confidence that it takes to choose their birth journeys, and not be made to feel that they 'have' to do things a certain way.

The wonderful AIMS was very helpful in the research for this couple, and this article in particular is very good for anyone thinking about VBAC x

 

 

*Not their real names as they choose to remain anonymous

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A beautiful birth story from a Calm Births Family.

Calm Births Hypnobirthing Berkshire

I received this wonderful testimonial birth story today from the lovely Amy and Paul, whom I taught whilst they were pregnant with their first baby. Together they were a superstar HypnoBirthing team, and have a gorgeous calm baby as a result. Yay! 

"Hi Hannah,

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


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When a calm birth hits the headlines

I have been really saddened today to see an article in the paper (not one that I am a fan of, admittedly) - with the headline:

'London woman claims her 5 hour labour was PLEASURABLE'

Now, I have several issues with this. Firstly, the use of the word 'claims' - the author is clearly implying that the mere suggestion that a labour can be pleasurable is absolutely preposterous, and is mocking the Mother. This author also emphasizes the point that the Mother didn't use drugs - as if this is something unheard of and ridiculous.

Whilst I'm happy that HypnoBirthing is in the news, and this Mum clearly had a wonderful birth, why one woman's beautiful, enjoyable, calm HypnoBirth should be headline news bewilders and saddens me. This is how birth can and should be for every woman, and a natural, 'normal' birth should exactly that, the norm, not a freak occurrence to be scorned.  I am also saddened that the author of this article is a woman, and although she hasn't written anything outwardly negative, she very clearly has an issue with the fact that a woman has enjoyed and is celebrating her baby's birth. Women should be supporting each other, and celebrating together when a baby is born. Whatever happened to the sisterhood?!

I would be really interested to hear your comments on this, the link to the article is here

 

 

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