Zane - Second Baby, Hospital Water Birth
“We had our baby on Thursday! I wanted to share a bit about our birth experience and also give a massive thank you to you for the part you played in making it so positive.
It really was a lovely experience, there was times I felt I couldn’t cope but both my partner and I had been so well prepared by your course that we were able to use affirmations, breathing and supportive techniques to get through it and I really got an even better birth than I could have hoped for.”
I had a sweep and went into labour slowly at home, was having regular contractions all day but they were manageable and we just carried on with a normal day, my husband cared for my toddler most of the time to give me time to go for a bath, bounce on the ball and listen to your tracks to keep the oxytocin flowing and progress going.
I put my toddler to bed whilst breathing through contractions on his bedroom floor as he only wanted me that night! Pretty much as soon as he was asleep the contractions became stronger and closer together, I was still happy and managing at home but had a small bleed so hospital asked me to go in.
When I got there they examined me and I was 4-5cms so they said to stay and let my husband in the room. I requested a room with a pool and was lucky the only room on delivery suite with a pool was available, the midwife filled the pool and I got in and relaxed, we had the lights dimmed, my husband sat beside me rubbing my back and saying affirmations during contractions.
The midwife was totally hands off except to listen to baby’s heart rate a couple of times to ensure they were coping with the contractions which she did in the water without me having to move.
The Midwife offered Entonox but my partner remembered I’d said I didn’t want it so encouraged me that I could do it. Then I began to panic and feel I couldn’t do it and wanted to get out the bath and have pain relief, my husband said he thought I was transitioning and the midwife agreed! Then I had 3 almighty contractions (which I still just breathed through even though I felt out of control as they were so intense) and baby was here! 1st big contraction was my waters, 2nd his head and third his body was delivered, midwife watched hands off and I picked up my baby from the water and lifted him up to meet me. We cuddled in the water for a little while then I got out to deliver placenta then midwife left us alone for a couple of hours quiet bonding time.
It really was a lovely experience, there was times I felt I couldn’t cope but both my partner and I had been so well prepared by your course that we were able to use affirmations, breathing and supportive techniques to get through it and I really got an even better birth than I could have hoped for.
Thanks so much for everything you taught us and the time you spent with us we really appreciate it and it made so so much difference to our birth experience this time.
Ebony - Bury St Edmunds
Emalyn - Lockdown 2020, Home Water Birth
Such a wonderful birth story from an awesome mama who gave birth at home during summer 2020 . She was utterly determined to have a positive birth experience…
“I trusted my body to birth and when I felt I couldn’t do it much longer I gave myself a very good internal talking to! My pain relief was Debbie’s hypnobirthing strategies.”
“I run Baby Massage classes @aweandwondersensoryplay and in the very first class I ask mummies to share their birth stories… When the words hypnobirthing are mentioned I know it’s going to be a positive story!
We booked hypnobirthing with Debbie and had two longer virtual sessions and a third check in session via zoom also. And so here is our positive birth story X
I was very clear that I wanted a home birth, then with Covid, home births suddenly were no longer an option. I didn’t give up hope and seeked support in Free Birthing, where we would still birth at home without a midwife but using a Doula for support. Therefore Debbie’s role for us was to really ensure I understood and took my hypnobirthing seriously – it was to be my only pain relief.
A few weeks before the due date home births were put back on, I felt very confident in my ability to understand the birth process and had also seeked support from a very knowledgeable Hannah at Living Rhythm. She is trained with spinning babies and body work, I learnt that for a quicker and ‘easier’ birth, my baby needed to be in an optimal position. It was very much my role to help my baby prepare for birth, when my body decided the time was ready! Debbie, Hannah and my doula were all worth their weight in gold – never look at their cost and think you can do without. I would never have got the incredible home birth without their knowledge and powerful birthing messages.
I woke up on my birthday at 5am and had my early morning wee. I soon realised I wasn’t comfortable trying to get back to sleep, and listening to my body and instincts felt the birthing ball was what I needed. (I had had two days of constant contractions two weeks before this but nothing I couldn’t cope with and they went away, these had brought her much lower)
After an hour on my ball, my four year old came down to find me and tell me I needed to open my birthday presents! I did this calmly, put my make up on and then told my hubby he needed to get to birth pool sorted out. It had been so so hot that month and we had it up already, having spent the previous evening in their relaxing.
I now needed to stop during the sensations and realised these were certainly contractions that were going to be helping birth my baby, they felt incredibly low and were frequent. Excitement crept but I kept myself calm and my affirmation clear – these were hugs to massage my baby, bringing her closer to me. To help myself I got into the shower and for each contraction I aimed the water on my bump and clung onto the glass shower door. My husband and son were downstairs doing the pool but I was able to keep focused and use strategies from Debbie’s course. I could actually feel myself dilate, it was truly incredible!!!
I phoned my doula, and my husband helped me to the pool. My waters broke just before I got in. The pool was a relief, I got comfortable and used each contraction wisely, I didn’t want this to take as long as my son’s birth so I figured I needed to let them take over my body and allow them to keep on rolling. I found I was vocal this time, creating a low ooooooo sound which I kept up for the whole duration of the contraction. I entered the transition stage and wanted to call the midwife. As she arrived, she immediately phoned for the second as she could see I was close to birthing as I was bulging.
My plan was that I wanted a hands off birth and they were very good at adhering to this. One time she wanted to use the water Doppler again, but as it was approaching a contraction I was able to clearly tell her no, it wasn’t the right time. Debbie’s course gave me the confidence to know I can state what I want, I have choices.
I felt my baby leave the birth canal and enter the vagina, I hold onto that because it was so raw, so magic and full of awe for birth! This time round, without the oxytocin drip I felt the real urge to push. I caught my baby girl and my husband and son climbed into the pool to bond with her to! My son was able to hold her umbilical cord and see how Daddy cut it after it had stopped pulsing.
A few stitches needed on the sofa and Paw Patrol birthday cake dished out by my son!! He had been there for the whole birth, I had prepped him and my hubby has the best video of me contracting in the pool making my noise outlet and then pans over to my son eating his breakfast at the table Our doula had an amazing rapport with him so he was able to play midwives and come and support me.
My birth was from 5am until she was born at 9.20am (active labour around 1hr 20mins)
It was full of oxytocin and magic! I trusted my body to birth and when I felt I couldn’t do it much long I gave myself a very good internal talking to!
My pain relief was Debbie’s hypnobirthing strategies Every pregnant women should book hypnobirthing, see a body worker like Hannah and consider a Doula & placenta encapsulator! Forget about the expensive nursery furniture you don’t need and the ridiculous gadgets!”
Kimberley - Bury St Edmunds
Veia - Home Birth, First time mum
“Thank you so much for all your help and knowledge. I honestly don’t think we would of got through the birth of our little girl as smoothly and as calmly if we had not of discovered you. We wanted to share her birth story with you so here it is.”
“From starting my hypnobirthing journey I always knew from an environment perspective I wanted to give birth at home. I knew instinctively that giving birth as you see on TV in a hospital bed on your back did not feel natural to me. My husband to start with was apprehensive at the thought of a home birth but after attending a home birth workshop at our local hospital, having a hypnobirthing teacher come and teach us all about importance of birthing like a mammal, how key the environment is, let the oxytocin flow and answering all our questions and concerns over two workshops and reinforcing our learning, using positive affirmations and breathing techniques we agreed if possible it would be the way forward for us.
I started listening to hypnobirthing tracks from June on and off in the evenings at least a few times a week before bed. Then from July I discovered the positive birth company and purchased the digital pack using this to reinforce our learning. I practised the breathing technique on and off every few days and listened to positive affirmations twice a day to and from driving to work. In the last few weeks I listened to the tracks in the bath, sitting on my birth ball or leaning over it at various times of day so I was used to being in different positions with the tracks on.
We hired a birthing pool at 36 weeks after the home visit check from midwives. Tom inflated it in our dining room and downloaded the Freya app on his phone so we were ready to go when needed. When I started maternity leave 1 week before baby arrived I listened to the hypnosis tracks daily.
A week before due date I felt my first braxton hicks and that week Monday to Wednesday I was batch cooking getting everything ready for babies arrival. After I finished on Wednesday something inside me told me I just needed to rest up and not do too much. It was then from Thursday I started to loose my mucus plug and this continued over Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
Early hours of Saturday morning I started to get contractions but these were very mild and didn’t last very long from 5am to 8.30am in which I ran a bath and everything stopped we carried on the day as planned and went to my mums for lunch. Early hours of Sunday morning (23rd September) from 3am contractions started they were powerful but they only happened once an hour. I moved to our spare bedroom and breathed through each one, sleeping in between and again this all stopped at 11am in morning. We agreed best for me to stay at home and just rest which I did. I had some lunch and at about 3.30pm had a nap as felt tired. Then 17.40pm contractions started again I was able to breath through them close my eyes and focus.
They carried on for a couple of hours on and off and I moved from living room into spare bedroom and sat on birthball in complete darkness and listened to the hypnobirthing tracks and kept repeating the positive affirmations in my head. ‘The surges cannot be stronger than me because they are me’ really helped me through and reminding myself I was safe. When a few surges were powerful I felt I wanted to stand up and lean over. At one point I lost my breathing and had to get Tom to count with me the 4 seconds of breaths in and 6 breaths out. I felt I constantly wanted to sit on the toilet in complete darkness as needed a wee or felt pressure so spent quite a while just sat on toilet breathing through the contractions. At 10.50pm I said to Tom I thought I should try and rest as we could be here all into the Monday and I needed to conserve my energy so he called the midwifery hub and spoke to them and me through a contraction. The contractions were not consistent and we never reached a period of 3 contractions in 10 mins. They advised we were happy to carry on as we were but to call back if my waters broke.
I laid down in the spare bed on a maternity mat so bed was protected (priorities) and 30 mins later through a contraction I heard a pop and my waters broke. I had a wobble at this point as we had just had new carpets so I said to Tom get me to bathroom without any going on the floor! So there I was back in my favourite place on the toilet. I was surprised how much fluid you leak and felt the toilet was the best place. At this point there was now small specs of blood in the mucus. Tom called the hub and they dispatched the home midwife who was 45 mins away. She called and spoke to Tom to confirm she was on her way and to check how I was. I said to Tom after a while I should get downstairs to the dining room (our living room on first floor) where birth pool was inflated ready to be filled as I may not be as mobile in the next couple of hours.
He placed me in the downstairs toilet (you see a theme here – my favourite place) and I asked him to get me a cold towel as I felt I was on fire he got me one and dabbed me. He then went to set the dinning room up lighting my meditation candle and placing the led tea lights all around the room. I then shouted I needed more cold flannels – I needed loads to cool me down. In my head I went through transition and started to doubt myself because if I wasn’t very far along maybe I wasn’t capable of doing this, but I just kept reminding myself of the positive affirmations and kept those doubts locked in so they didn’t escalate.
We then moved me to the dinning room where I leant over a birthing ball with loads of towels under my knees. I remember looking up thinking how peaceful and lovely the room looked with all the candles flickering. Tom and I had a discussion and said he thought I should get examined when the midwife arrived. I originally said I didn’t want to get examined as didn’t want to be disappointed or feel I couldn’t carry on if I had not a dilated as expected, etc. So I agreed with Tom I should be checked but said I didn’t want to be told the outcome as I could only be 2 centimetres. In the next five minutes I said to Tom I feel like I need to push. Tom looked at his watch and said ok the midwife will be here in 5 mins. I think he then spent the next 5 mins looking for flickering lights outside our house! In my head I still had not registered I was even in the second phase of labour.
The midwife turned up at 00.25am and asked to see my birth plan. Tom explained I was OK to be checked but only she didnt tell me how dilated I was. The midwife came in, introduced herself, listened to baby heartbeat and didn’t even need to examine me. I think she took one look down there and said to Tom go crank your heating up, have you got a hat and outfit, I will get all set up we are going to have a new person here very soon.
I couldn’t believe the calm and felt so normal between the contractions to bring our baby into this world. I could have normal conversations, I remember asking the midwife how long this stage took and she said it’s completely up to you and how you let the contractions work. Tom was also squatted next to me and I told him to sit on a dinning room chair so he was comfortable as it didn’t look comfy where he was. I hadn’t had any drugs by this point so asked to have some gas and air but after 3 sucks whilst trying to let my body do what it needed to do I felt it was too much of a distraction and chucked it away.
Over the bearing down of our baby I couldn’t believe how powerful it felt and Tom thinks its funny as I said ohhhhh flip and only swore once but this wasn’t due to being uncomfortable it was just the intensity of feeling your baby making its way into the world. Once our babies head was delivered I said to Tom can you believe our baby is hanging out of me! then in the next push our baby was delivered at 01.10am Monday morning and the midwife asked Tom to announce the sex and then our little girl Veia Penelope Neve was placed on my chest. Tom and I just felt completely in shock and awe. The second midwife arrived 5 mins after the birth and she was gutted she missed the baby arriving.
I originally said I wanted to birth the placenta naturally but when the midwives asked I said I wanted the injection. I sat back down on the downstairs toilet and we waited while the delayed cord clamping was honoured then Tom cut the cord. They gave me the injection then got me all settled upstairs on the sofa to deliver the placenta and check me over. I had a second degree tear internally with a small external tear. I honestly never even knew and didn’t feel anything (I was conscious of this previously). Tom had precious time with Veia until I was sorted. We then had some time all together on our own whilst I fed her for the first time and got to know her together as a family. Later on they ran me a bath, got us all settled on the sofa and the midwives left at 4am. We were able to go upstairs and get into our bed which was amazing.
The birth happened so quickly, 7.5hrs and I never realised how far I had got, we didn’t get the water birth as Tom didn’t have time to fill the pool, I had so many more tricks in my tool kit I never needed to use. It truly was the most natural, powerful, amazing experience ever and I can’t believe how manageable it all was. I can’t thank our hypnobirthing teacher and the positive birth company enough!! In the week afterwards I went through a period of not wanting to share this story as you don’t want to appear to be showy in how positive your experience was but then I remember how Tom and I read the positive birth stories and really appreciated reading them that I couldn’t not share ours ❤️
Thank you Debbie!!!“
Katheryn & Tom
Elissia - 2nd time mum, water birth on the labour suite
“For my second pregnancy I really wanted to do a hypnobirthing course as I’ve heard so many amazing things about it. I googled and found the lovely Debbie, who I immediately contacted and arranged to attend a hypnobirthing course. Which was amazing! All Debbie’s teaching on the course and the subsequent tracks and literature that we were given were unbelievably helpful. “
“During the day I would listen to the shorter track and each night myself and my husband would listen to the longer track.
One afternoon I went for my normal 3 mile walk, and when I came home I started to feel twinges. Immediately I put one of the hypnobirthing tracks from Debbie on, and day on my birthing ball. Although the twinges continued into the evening, the next day there was nothing to report! So both myself and my husband went to work. At 4pm I was due at the hospital for a growth scan, as there was concern that I was having a ‘big’ baby, so I met my husband there, had the scan and then waited to see a consultant. we spoke to the consultant and I told him I had been feeling twinges, he asked me what I would like to do and I requested a stretch and sweep (mainly because I had been so late with my first baby), which he agreed to. The midwife gave me a sweep, which I really focused on breathing through as they aren’t pleasant, and pop! My waters broke! Both myself and the midwife were soaked, and pretty shocked! After an hour and a half of monitoring, I was allowed to go home, where myself and my husband put our first child to bed and had some tea. About 30 minutes later I started contracting, they came on quickly and were really strong, but thanks to all the techniques I had learnt with Debbie I was able to calmly focus and breathe through them. We called my Mum to come and look after our first child and we made our way to the hospital. By this time the contractions were getting closer together and stronger, typically the weather was horrendous and so the journey was a slow one, but I kept focused and was able to ‘breathe, relax and let go’.
When we arrived at the hospital, there was no one on the birthing unit, so we had to go to the labour suite where I had to have a debate with a consultant and a midwife over having a water birth, as they were concerned about the baby becoming stuck, so they wanted to intervene, which I politely refused. Again, the mantra ‘breathe, relax and let go’ got me through what could’ve been a very stressful and upsetting conversation.
After half an hour I was allowed to get in the water, and within an hour our second beautiful little girl arrived!! I had no pain relief, no intervention and I had the birth I so badly wanted.
Just as an aside, baby was almost a whole pound lighter than the scans predicted, so had I gone with what the consultant and midwife wanted I would’ve had a birth that I didn’t want with unnecessary intervention. Thanks to Debbie and her positive affirmations and the knowledge that you are well within your rights to challenge, I was able to welcome my second baby into the world in the way I wanted to, so huge thank you! And thanks again!”
Krissy - Cambridge
Rose - First time mum
“Thank you again for everything, I really cannot praise the hypnobirthing techniques enough, I felt so in control and confident that I could birth my baby naturally and I know that my birth partner felt they were totally able to deal with everything during the birth and to explain exactly what I wanted and why.
I would love for as many women as possible to use the techniques and have a similar sort of birth experience to me.”
“I woke up at 5.30am on Friday morning with what I thought were relatively strong Braxton Hicks, which were coming every 20 minutes or so. These contractions continued all day without getting any stronger or more frequent so I spent the day seeing patients and cleaning the house as I had planned.
I went to bed about 11pm and woke again at midnight realising my waters were breaking. I phoned the hospital and they asked me to come in to be checked, they confirmed my waters had broken and that I was about 2cm dilated so we headed home for the evening.
Back home I put my hypnobirthing cd on along with some aromatherapy oils and spent about 45mins alternating between cat pose, using my birthing ball and a standing squat, by which time the contractions were coming one on top of the other and were really strong. I was still able to focus on my breathing and remain relaxed(ish) but I had definitely lost my sense of humour!!
By 2.30am and after much discussion, my birth partner convinced me to go back to the hospital (I didn’t believe I was dilated enough and couldn’t face the car journey, my birth partner on the other hand was rightly convinced I was pretty close to delivery).
On arrival at the hospital I got straight into the birthing pool without even being examined and the midwife told me to do whatever felt right for my body. Very soon after arrival I was pushing and 30 minutes later Harper Rose was born at 4.52am weighing 7lbs 2oz with no interventions, no pain relief, no tearing and less than 5 hours after my waters had broken.
The midwives were really supportive of what I wanted to do and the fact I was using hypnobirthing techniques. I had low lighting, everyone was calm and quiet and my hypnobirthing cd’s were playing throughout the birth. I felt in control and able to cope throughout most of the birth and whenever I did question myself I could hear the words of the Hypnobirthing tracks reminding me what to do or what was happening.
The birth certainly wasn’t painless but it was relaxed, natural and a very positive experience for me, baby and my birth partners.
Thank you again for everything, I really cannot praise the hypnobirthing techniques enough, I felt so in control and confident that I could birth my baby naturally and I know that my birth partner felt they were totally able to deal with everything during the birth and to explain exactly what I wanted and why. My birth partners knowledge of the different phases of birth and in particular transition (which I went through at home) meant they were able to coax me into the car and to the hospital!!
I would love for as many women as possible to use the techniques and have a similar sort of birth experience to me.“
Charlotte - Bury St Edmunds
Sylvie Rose - First time mum
“I was so proud to have given birth with just paracetamol, a dose of codeine, and gas and air once we reached established labour. I felt the hypnobirthing techniques really helped, particularly in early labour and in getting the oxytocin flowing! I felt I lost my control a little as labour progressed, but looking back this was likely to have been transition. I was pleased that everyone involved in the labour was aware of my wish to have a natural labour and encouraged me to achieve that.
Thank you so much Debbie for all your guidance and support in the lead up to the birth. I would definitely encourage friends who are expecting to look into hypnobirthing.”
“Early labour started around 9pm on Saturday night. I’d spent the last few evenings doing gentle bouncing and figure-of-eight movements on the birthing ball, and had been having Braxton Hicks for a week or so, but there was a definite shift to more consistent and stronger contractions that night. We went to bed and I managed to get a few hours sleep that night before waking at around 7am. Contractions were now consistent at every 8 minutes. We spent the morning getting final bits and pieces in order – shipping the dog off to the parents, putting a few final bits in the hospital bag etc.
By early afternoon, contractions were around every 5 mins. My mum had arrived and she and my husband were helping to keep a calm atmosphere. They encouraged me to have some lunch with them, which I managed in between breathing through contractions. As the afternoon progressed, we drew the curtains, dimmed the lights and I spent time rocking and leaning over the birthing ball with our playlist of gentle acoustic music in the background. My husband was able to put some of the massage techniques learnt in the workshops to good use.
We phoned the hospital when I was contracting every 3 minutes, but I felt that I was still coping well at home so they encouraged us to stay at home as long as we felt able. Things seemed to slow down a little after this, until at 8pm I began to feel a little queasy and shaky and decided I wanted to go to hospital.
On arrival at the hospital, I was examined and found to be 3-4 cm dilated, which I found a little disheartening. But we set up our ‘baobab tree’ that we learnt about in the workshops in the birthing room, with soft lighting, our own music, cushions, blanket and birthing ball and I started to feel more positive. My husband was really helpful in talking me through the relaxation techniques. We changed position often, using positions we had practised in the workshop sessions. I was still on only paracetamol at this stage. Around midnight I took a dose of codeine. I tried using the birthing pool, but felt like I couldn’t ground myself as well as when I was kneeling or standing, and I got too hot as well, so it was back on dry land for me!
It got to around 3am and I told my partner I felt I wasn’t coping so well, and he rang for the midwife. Until this point we had been left on our own, which helped to create a feeling of calm. The midwife was great at responding to how I was presenting, and suggested I try some gas and air. This took a couple of contractions to get the hang of, as it made me feel lightheaded, but I found it really helped me ride the contractions out once I’d got the knack. I felt like I was losing control at a certain point, which looking back must have been around transition.
Around 5am I was ready to push. I kept upright throughout and was using the birthing stool for much of it. The midwife advised me after a while that I was becoming tired, and advised that I may need a hormone drip to keep the contraction intensity up. She knew from my birthing plan that I wanted a natural labour though, and she encouraged me to lie down for an hour to regain some energy before starting to push again. It was hard resisting the urge to push for that hour, but it seemed to work and when I started to push again, it seemed more effective in moving the baby down.
At 8am there was a midwife shift change, and my husband was great at being my gatekeeper and letting the new midwife know what my preferences were. They tried to encourage me to lie on my side, but I felt I was coping much better in a more upright, all-fours position. Eventually my waters broke and I could feel her coming closer to being born. Both the midwives and my birth partner were great at encouraging me to use the whole length and force of each contraction to move the baby down. At 10.17am little Sylvie Rose Appleton was born, a healthy 7lb 9oz. She was alert and breathing, but didn’t cry. She had remained stable throughout despite the long labour.
I was so proud to have given birth with just paracetamol, a dose of codeine, and gas and air once we reached established labour. I felt the hypnobirthing techniques really helped, particularly in early labour and in getting the oxytocin flowing! I felt I lost my control a little as labour progressed, but looking back this was likely to have been transition. I was pleased that everyone involved in the labour was aware of my wish to have a natural labour and encouraged me to achieve that.
Thank you so much Debbie for all your guidance and support in the lead up to the birth. I would definitely encourage friends who are expecting to look into hypnobirthing.”
Ellie - Bury St Edmunds
Bea-Elizabeth - First time mum
“Thank you so much, Bea-Elizabeth is perfect and Katy was so amazing in birth I was so proud of her. She listened to everything I said and breathed through each contraction like a pro. She only used gas and air near the end when the baby was coming. Can’t recommend Debbie’s course enough for preparing us for such an amazing birth, thank you for everything. Baby was born so alert and happy too” (Birth Partner)
“It’s Sunday evening and I can feel the contractions starting, as a new mum to be I had no idea what to expect them to feel like and right now they are no worse than monthly cramps coming and going. I feel a mix of apprehension and excitement at the thought of meeting my little baby. These pains continue on through the night and sometimes keep me awake, sometimes let me sleep for a bit. As morning comes round and I have been sat up watching the news since 5am they seem to calm and slow down and for the rest of the day I had just a very heavy feeling and a lot of apprehension until the evening ..and it all begins again. This time the contractions feel stronger and I find I don’t want to stand for hours like I had done the night before as each wave seems like it’s using up a lot more of my energy each time. I then feel the baby’s head move further down and wow …that really was a feeling to remember!
Now I feel like I have to start using the hypnobirthing techniques from Debbie’s course to relax as much as I can. Each time I feel a contraction building up I lay down on my bed and take deep breaths, I focus completely on my breathing and let the contraction happen. I feel very sure that I would have fought every contraction had I not have done the course to understand what was happening.
These contractions continued every half hour all through the night and again trailed off, and then not much really happened during the day once again. By now I am really starting to wonder if the baby is going to show! Thankfully I have a lot of patience, but over the past 3 days the contractions have sometimes got right down to five minutes apart only to trail off again. The frustration was beginning to get to me now, but I carried on applying the relaxation techniques and focusing on my breathing every half an hour throughout Tuesday afternoon and let my body do what it had to do.
Tuesday night I went into hospital at 1am, but was just 2cm dilated so I decided to have a sweep of the membranes to see if that would get baby moving a bit and went home. At this point I was 11 days over my due date and I was starting to think the one thing I didn’t want to happen (a c-section) might end up happening.
However, once I got home the contractions are still every five minutes but they are becoming increasingly uncomfortable. My birthing partner Sarah is being a total star, I could not have asked for a better person to take on the role. She has been supplying me with hot water bottles one after the other all evening to help with the constant ache in my lower back and was now telling me to relax into each contraction. This continues through the rest of the night until 9am when we finally go to hospital and I am 4cms dilated – the relief was enormous! I stay like this all day so at 6:45pm we decided to have my waters broken by the midwife …and then the contractions really ramp up. Soon after, she tells me I am at 7cms and it shouldn’t be too long now. At 8cms dilated I have some gas and air because it helps me to focus on the breathing, the contractions are really pulling tight now and I am beginning to feel like a cloth that’s being rung out every 90 seconds. Sarah is right in front of me holding my hands telling me to relax from my toes right up through my lower tummy muscles and my hands and my jaw. Each contraction she is telling me to relax as much as possible. This also helps me to focus as when my body was contracting so strongly I would be concentrating on whether my shoulders were relaxed enough or if the breaths I was taking were deep enough, which I think really helped! My birth partner gave me such confidence, and she had learnt why it was so important to be as relaxed as possible from Debbie’s hypnobirthing course. I cannot imagine getting through my labour without knowing to completely let go and let my body do its job. Sarah was just so good, I can’t shout her praises enough. The baby’s heart rate never dipped once and at this stage other midwives were coming in to see me because I was so calm …I was sat up on a stool watching the 10oclock news then relaxing into each contraction just going silent. I found making too much noise was just a waste of energy and didn’t change a thing!
At 9 1/2cms I felt completely exhausted and wanted to start pushing. Three nights of no sleep and all the strong contractions all day long had finally taken its toll on me. The midwife checked me over and said I still had half a cm to go. I asked her if she could help me and although it may hurt she said that she could push the cervix to go round my baby’s head …I agreed to as by this point I just wanted to meet my baby! I took a few deep breaths and relaxed as much as I possibly could on the bed using the techniques I had learnt, Sarah held my hand and all was done, I was ready to push. Thank goodness for the hypnotherapy, I simply went to the pre-practiced safe place in my mind and breathed through it.
Just six pushes later and there was my beautiful baby girl, the patience needed to get through the latent labour looking back was unreal. It felt like it was never going to come to an end but the hypnobirthing really helped with this. I used the deep breathing after the birth for some stiches and again the technique really helped. I don’t believe I could have got through a natural birth so well without the course and would advise everyone I know to take it. Bea-Elizabeth was born at 11:12 at night and I was on my way home at 3am, exhausted but so proud of myself for achieving the natural birth I had always wanted. Thank you Debbie.” (Mum)
Livie - First time mum
“I found it an amazing experience and I am REALLY surprised how manageable it was. I remember saying to Chris right after that we should have a big family as I’ve found something I can do well!”
“I really wanted a home birth, but as I had increased amniotic fluid and what looked like stagnant foetal growth, the consultant decided I should be induced, so I went in to the hospital to start the process off.
Chris was allowed to stay with me during the day, so we did laps of the hospital every hour and some laps of the heath outside as it was a beautiful sunny day. We consciously tried to get my oxytocin levels up to get the process started and around 6.30pm I was having 45 second contractions every 3 minutes or so. Unfortunately, I was still only 1.5 cm dilated when they checked at 9.30pm and they said the contractions were probably due to the induction pessary rather than actual contractions, so Chris went home and I stayed in the hospital.
Unusually, I was the only one on the ward, and once they’d switched the lights off I put my hypnobirthing track playing and listened on repeat for the next few hours and the contractions got stronger and stronger. I was feeling sick, so went out and asked for sick bowls and some pethidin which i got around midnight. At about 2.20am my waters broke and I called the midwife in. They were really surprised how quickly the labour had progressed as at that point I was 9 cm dilated and was getting urges to push. Chris was quickly called and told not to hang around and I was pushed through to the delivery suite. I remember hearing the midwives saying to each other “this is Keeley, she’s very quiet and in her own mental space”, as I was just breathing through each contraction.
When Chris arrived I heard them asking him if I’m always this calm and he tried his best to keep his voice low so others would copy – there were people in and out all the time checking on the student midwife that was looking after us, but it didn’t bother me at all, I was properly in the zone and calm at that point. The pushing also went well and although I was tired, it all felt bearable and at 4.30am baby Livie was born. I only needed a couple of stitches and we were allowed home again within hours of the birth.
I found it an amazing experience and I am REALLY surprised how manageable it was. I remember saying to Chris right after that we should have a big family as I’ve found something I can do well!”
Keely - Suffolk
Lucie - First time mum, Birth Unit
“I loved my birth, the evening and the whole experience. I feel fortunate to have found Debbie and her hypnobirthing course. And that i gave the Aniball a go. Both were the best investments I’ve made in my pregnancy. Worth every penny. My birth experience, healthy baby and body – priceless!!!”
“After 41 long weeks of pregnancy the day finally came. Monday morning around 9 o’clock – my first daughter was in nursery, hubby at work – I felt slight period pains. Could it be the day? I waited so long for it to come. But I wasn’t sure. So I went on with my day, breakfast, walk outside, lunch… the pain got slightly stronger. Early afternoon it came and went in a pattern between 30, 20, 10 mins. Still unsure I took a nice warm bath where it all stopped and I listened to my meditation and could relax.
By late afternoon I decided it’s probably labour as the period pain got more intense and got into a more frequent pattern. So I sorted our daughters care for the evening and night and rang my husband to come home from work. We prepared fruits, snacks and drinks for the hospital and checked everything. I rang the hospital to let them know that I would come in at one point later in the evening.
By 6 pm I definitely knew I was in labour as I needed to breath through the contractions which were still very manageable. They came now between 10 and 5 min. So we dimmed the lights in our living room, prepared yummy food and streamed a movie we wanted to watch for ages. It was very relaxing. Although I probably have to watch the movie again as I missed a couple of parts due to intense breathing!
By 8pm contractions were 5,4,3 mins apart. And that’s when I thought let’s go to hospital as I still wanted to be able to walk in by myself. I rang the labour suite and said I am coming!
After the walk from the car park to labour suite with lots of friendly faces smiling at me we rang the labour suite bell while breathing through a contraction. The midwife took me to the birthing unit telling me the doctor is happy for me to go there. I have to mention that I had a fibroid in my womb which was monitored closely during pregnancy. Because of a higher risk of haemorrhage after birth I was always meant to go to labour suite. But obviously this evening the doctor decided otherwise because I agreed to get a cannula (only for emergency infusions) and the fibroid was in a low risk position. So Birthing Unit it was. 😊
My midwife of the night Diane examined me and I was already 6cm dilated. I was shown my room where we made ourselves comfy. I got on the bed, put my headphones on and closed my eyes while listening to my playlist. And that’s pretty much it, while sitting there and focusing on breathing, Diane asked me to do some things every now and again like taking my blood, getting the cannula (which was the most annoying and disturbing thing of my labour), and change into my ‘birthing clothes’. I really felt the contractions getting stronger now. Some were really pushing down. I just went with my breath. I changed my position and lied on my side. So my husband now could massage my lower back during a contraction.
I completely lost feeling for a time and really thought it was all slowing down. But at one point Diane said it’s time to take the knickers off! And only a few moments later I felt the pressure from inside and the urge to literally breath the baby out. That’s when baby’s head came out together with a gush of water! We splashed the room. And it was the first and last time during labour I actually felt pain. Manageable, but pain. I waited for another contraction and breathed baby’s body out. And there she was, my beautiful 8lbs 1oz daughter.
Due to my fibroid I got the injection to deliver the placenta quickly and efficiently. Lucie got straight onto my breast and fed. We had skin-to-skin for two hours. I needed one single stitch to even out the tissue. But that was that. No damage, no pain. I just felt amazing. All the happy feelings I have missed out after my first birth were flooding me after my second. I was able to shower, to walk and sit. I just was able to enjoy.
I loved my birth, the evening and the whole experience. I feel fortunate to have found Debbie and her hypnobirthing course. And that i gave the Aniball a go. Both were the best investments I’ve made in my pregnancy. Worth every penny. My birth experience, healthy baby and body – priceless!!!”
Anne - Bury St Edmunds
Zachary Oscar - Second time mum
“Zachary’s actual birth was wonderful and just as we hoped – a calm and positive environment and he was healthy and safe after delivery. As with Leo’s birth, the breathing techniques, happy place and switching off my conscious mind meant I was able to stay in control of my contractions and deal with each one as they happened. Zachary’s heartbeat was perfectly stable through it all which I have no doubt was down to the techniques keeping me calm and focused.”
This couple attended my hypnobirthing refresher course, and just like when they were pregnant with their first and attended my full hypnobirthing course, they did their homework, they prepared, they planned, and they listened to hypnosis.. and here is their beautiful positive birth story:
“So the birth of our gorgeous boy, Zachary Oscar. I went into labour at 38 weeks and 2 days and I really thought he was going to make us wait until around due date as Leo was born at 40+2. However I was so ready so I’m glad he was too!
I was putting Leo to bed at around 7.30pm when I felt myself ‘leaking’. It was quite on and off and didn’t feel that significant, certainly not like my waters had properly broken. An hour later I had my first twinge, a very mild period like cramp and a slight ache in my back. That went and I went to bed as normal. At 10.30pm I felt stronger cramping and by 11.30pm I was most definitely convinced that I was in labour! The contractions were strong and again (just like Leo), very strong in my back. I managed each one through breathing and bouncing on the ball.
By 1-2am my contractions were just over a minute long and just under 3 minutes apart, I was quite shocked at how quickly my labour progressed, even for my second! By this time Phil is calling the Grandparents to collect Leo and the Rosie to say we’d be there soon. We arrived at the Rosie at just before 3am. The contractions were incredibly intense by this point and again, all in the back, but I managed each one through breathing, switching off my bouncer and taking myself mentally somewhere else. I managed to waddle into the Birth Centre where the lovely midwife did a quick exam and told me baby boy was crowning. This didn’t surprise me as just before we pulled off the motorway I had my first urge to push (I didn’t tell Phil this at the time!!).
At 3.38am, just 40 ish minutes after we arrived, Zachary was born. I had no pain relief and had just a small cut made to allow his head to push through (he kept rocking back) he was perfectly healthy and our gorgeous boy was here! It was again, the perfect scene Phil and I hoped for, in the birth centre and a healthy and natural birth.
However, it unfortunately took a slightly different path after that. Due to my quick labour and delivery, I unfortunately haemorrhaged straight after delivery. The team at the Rosie were incredible though and within 2 hours, I had been to theatre, received a general anaesthetic and had the bleeding controlled, received stitches, a blood transfusion and was back on the ward with Phil and Zachary recovering.
Despite that, I still think Zachary’s actual birth was wonderful and just as we hoped – a calm and positive environment and he was healthy and safe after delivery. As with Leo’s birth, the breathing techniques, happy place and switching off my conscious mind meant I was able to stay in control of my contractions and deal with each one as they happened. Zachary’s heartbeat was perfectly stable through it all which I have no doubt was down to the techniques keeping me calm and focused.
So a huge thank you for all of your help, support and guidance through my pregnancy and the birth of our two boys. I feel very lucky to be able to say I had 2 wonderful births (despite the haemorrhage with Zachary’s) and know that is hugely down to everything you taught us through hypnobirthing.
Here are some pictures of our first few weeks as a family of 4.
Love from us all and thank you again xxx”
Fern - Hospital birth
“I felt so proud to have followed my instincts and listened to what my body was telling me. I can’t thank Debbie enough for teaching me to trust my body and follow my instincts and question any interventions rather than just going with them without thinking.”
This birth story has really reminded me about how important it is to listen to your body and your instincts during birth.. and how important being upright can be to help the cervix open and thin/stretch:
“I went into hospital at 3pm on Friday 17th July for my induction. I was 38(+2) weeks pregnant and was being induced due to gestational diabetes. I was initially hoping to avoid induction this time round (I was induced for the same reason in my first pregnancy) but they offered me the option of having Dilapan instead of the hormone pessary which meant I was able to go back home for 24hrs. This felt like a good compromise for me as I was hoping not to be on my own. My previous birth was ok… but I got quite stressed and felt very out of control and pain got the better of me, which is why I’d done the course with Debbie.
When I arrived in hospital baby was monitored and then I had an examination. They told me I was already 3cm so there was no point having the Dilapan. So I was taken to my own room and told to call my husband to come back. Once childcare was sorted for our little boy, Lewis came back and they broke my waters at 8pm. I was already having contractions according to the monitor, but I couldn’t feel them yet.
The rooms at West Suffolk Maternity have recently been redecorated and are very calming. I went for a shower as I was a bit messy from the waters and I felt it would help keep me relaxed. I started to feel the contractions fairly quickly but I felt very in control and was breathing through them with Lewis timing. They were coming fairly thick and fast but I just focused on breathing and staying positive, bouncing on the ball and having a chat and a joke with the midwife and my husband in between. I also had Debbie’s hypnobirthing tracks playing in the background which helped me stay calm.
After 4 hours the contractions were getting pretty intense and I was managing well with gas and air. In my previous labour I didn’t like the gas and air at all, but this time I found it so helpful because I was staying so calm and keeping my breathing under control. This meant I could take 3 deep breaths of gas and air and then breathe on my own and that got me through each one. They wanted to examine me at this point and put me on the monitor for a while. Although the monitor was cordless, my bump was so perfectly round that the straps wouldn’t stay in position so I had to hold them in place and try to stay still on the bed for a while…
When they examined me they said I was ‘still only 3cm dilated’. I found this hard to believe as I felt things were going really well… until the point they got me to lay down on the bed. From the course with Debbie I had the confidence to trust my instincts and not get too disheartened by what they were saying. They wanted me to have the hormone drip and were questioning whether I wanted some pain relief as I would probably need it if I was finding it hard now. I agreed to have some Pethidin as I had this in my previous labour and I was keen to avoid an epidural.
I was given the Pethidin and was starting to get a bit upset about being told I needed the hormone drip. I tried to calm myself and then followed my instincts and took off the monitors and stood up. Almost immediately I felt the urge to push. They were very keen that I still be monitored so attached one to the babies head. I just concentrated on breathing through the contractions and pushing when my body told me to. I had the doubting stage – saying I couldn’t do it, but Lewis kept me calm and encouraged me to keep going. And before I knew it I was pushing out baby’s head!
There was only 20mins between being told I was only 3cm and my beautiful baby girl being born. I never had the hormone drip in the end! I felt so proud to have followed my instincts and listened to what my body was telling me. I can’t thank Debbie enough for teaching me to trust my body and follow my instincts and question any interventions rather than just going with them without thinking.”
Baby Fern was born at 12.25am Saturday 18th July 🥰
Emma - Bury St Edmunds
Theodore - Hospital birth, first time mum
“We couldn’t have wished for a more overwhelmingly amazing moment. I truly believe I wouldn’t feel so positive about my birth if it wasn’t for you. Despite everything, I would 100% have a natural birth again and would use all of the same techniques.
Thank you so much for helping guide us through the best day of our lives!”
This mama knew exactly what to do when it turned out that her baby wasn’t in the best position for birth once she was fully dilated.. she had learnt how she needed to approach it, knew the questions to ask and knew that their (mama and birth partner’s) decisions were the right ones for both mama and baby. This is because we go through all of this during my hypnobirthing course so you are prepared for EVERY scenario. What a great birth story, thank you to Megan for sharing with us xx
“I’m keen to share my birth story with you as I feel it would have panned out much differently if it wasn’t for taking your course. I’m also super proud of myself for going through it all and the way I handled it, which was much better than anticipated.
I was 40 weeks + 6 days and was due to get my first sweep in the afternoon. I woke up at 12.50am and had a feeling that my waters had broken. Strangely, they hadn’t yet but thankfully I had got up and made it to the bathroom when they actually did break.
We then phoned the hospital and made our way over there for me to be checked over as requested. All was well and we were sent home again to relax and go through the early stages at home. I was so thankful for this as I was able to be in my own calm, safe environment surrounded by everything I love. We had the lights low and tried to get some sleep with the duvet and pillows all downstairs. I didn’t manage to sleep but remained relaxed whilst playing your tracks and using the birthing ball if I ever felt uncomfortable.
Once my contractions reached 4 in every 10 minutes for a while we made our way back to The Rosie and went into the birthing centre at 8.30am. When we left home, there was actually a rainbow beaming right above our house and that felt like a great omen for the day.
Once in our room, I made myself feel at home which was relatively easy as the room was amazing and I was still feeling very calm. By 11am, things had started to progress and the midwife asked to examine me – I was 4cm so we were all happy that things were going well. I spent most of the next few hours in the birthing pool which isn’t what I had expected to do but I found it incredibly relaxing and was still able to remain calm throughout. After another hour had passed, I then requested gas and air which helped me focus on my breathing more and remain relaxed. As time went on, the pressure built and at around 5pm I started to feel ready to push.
The midwife examined me for the second time and confirmed that I was 10cm dilated. They discussed a few options/ positions with me and I decided to use a birthing stool. Everything felt comfortable on the stool and my fiancé was able to sit right behind me and aid me with the pushing by pretty much letting me push my full force through my elbows into his thighs. After some time had passed the midwife started to encourage me to change positions in order to help baby come down through the birth canal. It was at this point things became extremely uncomfortable. After I had been pushing for just over two hours, my midwife, along with the senior midwife suggested that I was moved upstairs to the birthing unit to be examined by a doctor.
Once there, the doctor explained that the baby’s head was facing sideways and couldn’t come down any further. Therefore, I was prepped for theatre and they were going to try to turn baby’s head and deliver with forceps. If this didn’t work I would need a c-section.
It was at this point that I realised how beneficial your course really had been. The thought of all of this happening had previously terrified me but because of the information you had passed onto us and the techniques you had taught I was able to think rationally and knew that everything happening was exactly right. I still felt in control, I knew the baby and I needed some help in order to welcome him/ her into the world and I felt amazingly relaxed still, despite being uncomfortable.
Fortunately, the doctor in theatre was able to turn the head, I had a midwife guiding me with my contractions and our baby boy was born three pushes later at 8:43pm! Despite all of the craziness, my fiancé was still able to watch his head appear, announce the sex of the baby, cut the cord and he was then the first out of the two of us to hold him which was a special moment for him too.
We couldn’t have wished for a more overwhelmingly amazing moment. I truly believe I wouldn’t feel so positive about my birth if it wasn’t for you. Despite everything, I would 100% have a natural birth again and would use all of the same techniques.
Thank you so much for helping guide us through the best day of our lives!”