Real people, real hypnobirthing stories...
See also - my favourite hypnobirthing videos
Natalie, St Agnes... "I had the most amazing labour and birth. Trixie was born at home in the pool on 22nd March. Your hypnobirthing class created a mindset that allowed me to believe that birth was natural and my body would know what to do... and it did! The MP3s really reaffirmed this. I was not afraid during any part and used the breathing techniques and active birth/yoga positioning to support a calm delivery.
My waters started to trickle at 2am and I went back to sleep eventually, for a couple of hours in between contractions that were every 5 minutes. We then got up and called the midwife at 8am. She came to check me at 11.30am and I was 3cm and fully effaced. She came back at 2.30pm and I was 7cm so got in the pool. What a relief it was to get in as it felt wonderful. With a bit of gas and air, she was born at 4.49pm in the water. A truly amazing experience.
I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your inspiring hypnobirthing class and your wise pearls of wisdom within. Your teachings really resonated with me and I know you have made such a difference to the labour and birth of our gorgeous little girl (a surprise as everyone tried to convince me I was carrying a boy!)"
Judith, Truro... "The labour was 24 hours long, beginning at 4am on my due date. I was so excited that I couldn't sleep so woke up then to start managing the contractions with breathing techniques. The contractions were very irregular, with some as close as 3 mins apart and others 10 or 15. This lasted all day and I was able to use hypnobirthing to cope easily with this. As evening drew on I was more anxious about the length of the labour and about going into hospital. I noticed that whenever I was anxious the contractions slowed right down and then when i relaxed again they would speed up. I felt that my mind and mood were very much affecting this. At 9pm we decided to go to hospital, because I was just a bit bored and anxious at home and was hoping things would move on.
When we got there, the delivery suite was completely full so we were on the downstairs ward. This was not ideal at all because it was a shared room with lots of noise and too much light. I continued to use my breathing techniques successfully but the contractions still weren't regular. Eventually we moved into the bathroom and with the door shut and nice and peaceful, I really relaxed into it and things started moving along very quickly then.
The hypnobirthing breathing was absolutely essential as I moved towards transition and the contractions got really fast. Just when I doubted my ability to cope, the midwife brought gas and air at just the right time. The delivery suite was still full and I couldn't go upstairs! I think the midwives doubted how well I was progressing, until I got on the toilet and felt the urge to push! Then I was rushed upstairs very quickly and into the delivery suite. It was quite exhilarating then,as the pushing sensation wasn't nearly as painful as the contractions, I quite enjoyed it with the gas and air!
Lucy was born quite quickly with maybe 10-20 mins of pushing, and I really let go and had no fear thanks to my knowledge of the expulsive reflex. She came out 'in the caul' and it was all very straightforward. She is now feeding well and very settled after only 11 days.
I am so grateful for the techniques you helped us with. Ian was able to support me through the difficult contractions, and help me to breathe into them. Next time I will definitely have a home birth because being relaxed is so important! But I have to say the staff at Treliske were very supportive of our need to be left alone, and they didn't once try to offer me anything I didn't want."
Stacy, Penzance... "I'm just writing to thank you for all your help during our hypnotherapy sessions and to tell you how fantastic it was! Baby Ohran is now 6 weeks old and the birth went so well. After being strongly advised to have that cesaerean, I delivered him naturally in three hours. He weighed 9lb 6oz which is a lot smaller than we expected although he was very long!
The hypnobirthing was absolutely incredible. As soon as we arrived at the hospital, Liam set the room out the way we had planned - battery operated candles, deep purple throws, birthing ball, our chosen smells (spiced vanilla), the Calmtime CD and the blinds closed. We made sure the midwife was aware that we were hypnobirthing and she was very supportive. I hardly made a sound throughout the labour, which I spent on all fours on the floor with Liam and my throws and blankets from home, and when Ohran arrived, he was very calm and content. Even when I was about to start pushing I remember thinking how easy the labour was! We had a completely natural third stage too as we discussed and it was perfect.
Ohran is still a very contented and happy baby and I really believe the birth we had is a contributing factor. The midwife attending said it was one of the best births she has ever witnessed. It really was one of the most beautiful and amazing things I have ever experienced, a complete contrast to my last two births!
Thank you again for all your help and support, without it our birth would have been a completely different story!!!"
Ruth, Camborne... "I'm really grateful to you as hypnobirthing helped remove the fear I had about my previous birth and enabled me to look forward to Daniel's. I gave birth on Monday and found that hypnobirthing was what got me through the contractions and back pain.
Last time I found the backache crippling. This time Chris put his hands on my shoulders each time I tensed, which reminded me to drop my shoulders and relax again. That helped enormously.
I was determined not to lose the plot and focussed on imagining the cervix stretching and thinning with every contraction. During pushing I imagined the baby moving down gladly to be born and willing me on. I was so tired for some of the final contractions, but I really relaxed and found truly that if I avoided tensing and allowed them to pass over and through me, I could see the pain without it affecting me.
One thing I'd like to share with you (although I'm embarrassed now) was that when I was in most pain with contractions, I found myself chanting "! am strong and powerful and connected to the female energy of the universe". I felt so in touch with all life somehow. It was quite a spiritual experience.
He wouldn't turn and they were really concerned about the way he was pushing onto my spine. They were amazed I wasn't screaming for pain relief. At the last second he turned and was born smoothly and without tearing me, because I seemed to be breathing him down rather than forcing him out. Lots of fluid, 9lbs 7 1/2oz and a head well over the 100th centile!The other benefit I was told was that the baby was unlikely to be stressed due to being born so gently. They were impressed with his 'handling' and wellbeing. Anyway, thank you again for turning what could have been a horrible, painful, long, back to back labour into something special I can remember happily. I would recommend you to anyone. It changed my perception and fears and enabled me to feel strong and in control throughout. With more practice I could have had a totally still and relaxed birth. Very powerful technique."
Liz, St Austell...
"We just wanted to let you know that Emma Eloise Kane was born at 2:17 Thursday morning, and I had the natural labour I so wanted :) Thank you so, so much for your part in that!
We had practised contractions and I listened to the birth MP3 with the grapefruit essential oil on a muslin. I'd written out 3 affirmations drawn with pictures, framed them and kept them out for me to see every day. I think the key ones for me were that my baby was in the right position, and that my body knew what to do. And the affirmations you posted on Facebook
in the couple of weeks leading up to the birth were scarily pertinent to me too :)
The long version:
The MW was fantastic when Emma was born - I was passed her through my legs right away, and think I was back lying down and feeding before they cut the cord. It felt like ages, and I didn't even need to ask :) I got to hold Emma for about 1/2 hour or more before they weighed her - brilliant skin-to-skin time. I feel so lucky to have got the birth I wanted without having to explain it!
On Wednesday, I woke up with period type cramps. These were coming and going all day - but slowly getting more intense but I never felt them over the bump, only very low down. Everything I read told me it was just pre-labour which was a bit depressing, but in the end I phoned Penrice to describe them - they said it sounded like contractions and to come in when they were 5 mins apart.
I used your tips to set the lighting down low, had a really comfy seat of cushions on the floor, leaning over a pile of cushions on the sofa and listening to the Calmtime music, and I had a muslin with the essential oil on (which I took to hospital with me and was breathing it in like a drug LOL!!) Counting through breathing REALLY helped keep me calm, and made me concentrate on the breathing rather than the pain. Although I kept trying to 'summon' my calm place by a stream, I couldn't quite get there but was feeling I was doing well - not tensing up and feeling I could relax even during contractions.
The contractions didn't get regular for long enough, but by 11pm I wasn't coping too well anymore. Penrice said I could go in for a check. I was 3cm and disheartened, but they let us stay in as after the check the contractions stepped up their frequency.
The contractions were getting really painful now, and it was too early for pain relief. Out of nowhere I started imagining drawing around a door with each breath that we'd used in pregnancy yoga. I hadn't practiced it as much as the hypnobirthing scenes, so no idea where it came from! But just counting was all I could do.
I then had gas & air which helped loads, and again the pain was ramping up. Most contractions were lasting 10 breaths, then I got a couple that lasted 20 and I was starting to lean towards going to Treliske to get an epidural. I'd only been at Penrice 2 hours so I thought that I would only be another couple of centimetres along and it was too hard.
But out of nowhere, a contraction ramped up and never left. My husband ran to get a MW to check me, and I was 8cm!! Yeay! This was at 1.30am and I had the strongest urge to get on all fours, which the MW helped me to do. Then that was it - waters broke, it felt like I needed a big poo, they talked me through not pushing (as i wasn't quite 10 cm), then that i could push, when to pant, and in 3 pushes out came baby Emma at 2.17am - before the pool had filled up :)
Although I still felt a wimp and drama queen about those early contractions, the ending was absolutely amazing - to feel everything and it happen exactly as you and the books described it was a surreal but rewarding experience - and so different from my first birth where I headed down the intervention route at 3cm and ended up with a forceps delivery.
Martin seemed more confident with his 'role' too - leaping up to rub my lower back at each contraction, and translating my gas & air ramblings into what I wanted from the midwife, e.g. supporting me when I said something had suddenly changed and asking the MW to examine me. He was a superstar.
So i just wanted to say that I couldn't have done it without having dealt with a lot of the fear from my first labour, nor without having affirmations to help me with the final stages - thank you so much"
Lee, St Ives... Just wanted to let you know that our gorgeous little girl was born around 7am on Saturday morning (23rd) weighing 7lb 2oz. Her name is Darcy Rose, she was a week early and we are besotted! Throughout the pregnancy we both practiced our hypnobirthing exercises regularly, and despite my worries that I wasn't 'doing it right' it did bring me an awful lot of comfort in the lead up to the birth. I especially loved the 'Breathing & Bonding' visualisation which gave me a real connection to what was going on inside me.
I went into labour on Thursday (21st) evening and eventually went to the hospital on Friday night around 9pm. Darcy was back-to-back so causing me an awful lot of back pain; despite that however I was able to use the breathing exercises to manage the contractions and went from 1cm dilated, when I arrived at the hospital, to 9.5cm dilated just 3 hours later.
Unfortunately I couldn't dilate the last 0.5cm and the pushing on the last remaining bit of cervix was making it swell up rather than dilate so around 3am I was given an epidural to stop me pushing.
Around 6am, when I was fully dilated, I started to push but Darcy was very high up and after half an hour (and having been awake for 2 days) she was still quite high and both me and the baby were very tired so was given a bit of help by the doctor and Darcy was delivered by forceps just 20 minutes later.
Throughout the experience I don't really remember feeling much pain - apart from the back pain at the beginning - and was very proud of the fact that I got to 9.5cm without anything but gas and air (which I didn't feel provided any pain relief but having something in my mouth did help me focus on my breathing).
The hypnobirthing definitely made a huge difference and from Danny's perspective, gave him a real role in the birthing experience. All the way through I could hear the affirmations in my head. 'I give birth easily' and 'I surrender to the sensations'.
Just wanted to let you know how things had gone and to thank you for your help and
encouragement throughout it all."
Katie, Helston... "Just to let you know Ruaridh was born Thursday 20th Dec at home in our bedroom. He weighed 8lb12oz and came out no problem. My labour was about 5 hours and I used only a tens machine and the breathing techniques I'd practiced up to just before transition...I then had gas and air, but only for about half an hour :)I am really chuffed with the whole experience and luckily I never felt that I needed a birthing pool , as I chose not to have one in the end! Fortunately I didn't have one anyway because Ruaridh's umbilical cord was very short and I could only hold him between my legs and no higher!! Unlike the lady on your FB page, my boy was crying even before all of him was out!! He is a very calm baby, but has a huge pair of lungs on him, I don't think I've ever heard a baby cry so loudly!! Anyway, thank you for all your help and giving me the tools to be so positive about giving birth naturally; although very painful in transition, it was an amazing experience!"
Donna, St Keverne... "Just wanted to drop you a line to say thanks so much for sharing your hypnobirthing wisdom! I gave birth to our baby Reggie at 4.24am on Friday 19th July, he weighed 8lbs 1 3/4 oz with nothing other than hypnobirthing and a little gas and air!
My waters went at around 9pm but contractions didn't start until a couple of hours later. At around 1am contractions still weren't coming particularly regularly but having had a bit of a bleed I called the delivery suite for advice. They said that nothing would be happening yet but suggested I go in just for assessment to check baby was all ok.
By the time we arranged childcare for George (our 3.5yr old) and got sorted, it was almost 3am before we left for the 30 mile trip to Truro. As we left home my contractions had ramped up quite a bit, they were coming fairly quickly (perhaps every 3-5 mins) and were enough to stop me and need concentrating on. Hypnobirthing affirmations and breathing were getting me through at this point (and my Mum, who had come to collect George, commented afterwards on how calm I had seemed).
As you know, the car journey to Truro was the part of labour I was dreading, but I stuck the affirmations MP3 on my phone, plugged in my earphones and concentrated through the contractions. This saw me through most of the journey in relative comfort - contractions were getting closer and stronger, and the pain was increasing but I was still managing.
As we arrived at the hospital the surges were very strong and as we were walking through the corridors I began to have doubts and become fearful. I believe now this may have been transition. I managed to focus myself back into it and after being quickly admitted to a delivery room and being examined by a midwife, I was declared to be 8-9cm dilated.
At this point my body started to take over and I was pushing. The midwife initially tried to dissuade me as there was still cervix there, but my body had other ideas. She informed me that if I was going to carry on pushing I'd need to open my legs and give my baby some space! I tried to keep relaxed and let my body lead the way. Within a few minutes I heard her asking for a delivery trolley, and just half an hour after arriving at hospital, Reggie was born.
Having had rather extensive tearing from his speedy arrival, the hypnobirthing also helped me through the stitching, after which we enjoyed a couple of hours of family time just cuddling and feeding.
I am absolutely convinced that hypnobirthing helped me to have such a good delivery. It helped me to remember that birth is a natural event, and to remain as in control as possible over my fears to keep the pain to a minimum. I am so proud to have given birth as I did, it was an amazing experience and in no small part that was down to hypnobirthing. I'll be recommending your workshops to every pregnant woman I know!!
Reggie is an absolute sweetheart and we are all smitten. Thank you for making this such a brilliant experience, such a contrast to my previous experience and my lasting memory of birth will be positive and happy"
Samantha, Saltash... "At just over 38 weeks my waters broke last Tuesday night. I called the doctors and they gave me 24 hours then they would need to induce me due to increased risk of infection.
[Note from Alice, trusts offer induction of labour after 24 hours of the waters breaking (pre-labour rupture of membranes) because some research has found that the risk of a baby having a serious infection increases to a figure of around 1% (from 0.5% otherwise). Women should be offered the choice to wait and monitor instead. On asking Sammy how this information was given to her she said: "They presented it and didn't enforce the 24 hour rule"]
"My contractions started 6am Wed morning and became progressively stronger throughout the day. I spent this time focusing or on Mantras, staying calm and deep breathing. As you suggested focusing on what the pain was and what it was doing i.e stretching and releasing and every one brought me closer to my baby.
This all helped and although I had to go to Derriford at 10pm I was progressing nicely and the midwife said she thought I was unusually calm.
Sadly although my contractions were 2 mins apart and over a min long I was only 1cm dilated. This meant an inducement and as I had been coping with pain by walking around and was now forced by exhaustion to lie down I did opt for the epidural. This however due to my spine complications deadened my legs and left hand side but contractions were the same going down my right.
Unable to now move and with the inducement now making things stronger I felt as though I wasn't coping but afterwards my husband said he couldn't believe how calm I had been and that I had breathed my way through it. They did eventually fix the epidural and I gave birth Thursday night with the help of forceps and a cut.
A lot of people think this must have been horrific but I tell them that I actually enjoyed the whole experience and from relaxing and deep breathing found the whole experience enjoyable. I get a lot of funny looks when I say that. But if you focus and don't let things get to you it makes a big difference, so thank you. I would recommend hypnobirthing to future pregnant mums."
Lizzie, Praze-an-Beeble... "I can't thank you enough for the amazing support, being a fountain of birthing knowledge and sharing all those invaluable tools needed for both my birthing experiences. Although both births were quite different - one baby was induced and the other was a beautiful natural birth, I was able to easily apply the hypnobirthing tools you taught me.My first child George was born on 4th June 2010 by induction (using a pessary) at Treliske. As the induction could easily take 24hrs to start we were encouraged to wander off as long as we returned around 2-3pm for a check up. So we walked via the shops to Pizza Hut. During lunch I had a few very mild contractions. Although it was only 1pm we decided to walk back to the hospital.
The midwife offered me a bath and paracetamol but said that there was a long way to go as nothing was really happening yet. I declined them and carried on the hypnobirthing techniques and pacing the ward whilst visualising the birthing canal opening and the tummy muscles helping to push the baby out. About an hour later my contractions were getting quite powerful so finally I accepted one paracetemol. However very shortly after this point, my husband who had been quietly monitoring my contractions decided to call the midwife again. She looked at us as if to say 'What do you want NOW?!' She asked if I was in pain or was I feeling pressure. To be honest, until this point I had been so focused (and was in the zone) I hadn't realised that it was pressure. The midwife did an examination to find the cervix was 8cm dilated and the baby's heart beat was not recovering quickly enough to a normal rate after each contraction so they rushed me to the labour room where we were greeted by a half a dozen midwives and a doctor. The midwife told me to lie on my back and I had three goes at pushing the baby out or... I don't remember a lot except feeling scared for my baby and pushing with every bit of energy and strength. This was totally going against my natural home birthing plan. However, my gorgeous son was born at 15:51 weighing 7lbs 3oz. George did need a little assistance in the first few moments but afterwards he was fine. [Note from Alice - It's unclear exactly why George's heartrate was having 'late decelerations', but some induced babies can become distressed. The drug manufacturer reports this as a common undesirable effect affecting more than 1 in 100 but less than 1 in 10 babies]Looking back on the birth, I really wish I had listened to a piece of information you mentioned - "You can choose whether or not to have an induction. It's your decision." I 100% believe my due date was later. In fact after George was born the midwife said to us "This baby doesn't look like an overdue baby at all"Putting that aside, I totally believe that without your hypnobirthing techniques which kept me focused, less tense and more positive, the birth would have caused a lot more stress for both the baby and myself!My second son's birth was completely different to George's.Initially, worries from my last experience and dramatic TV birth documentary stories were playing on my mind. The hypnobirthing activities you taught me - reaffirming the positive points and discussing how to cope with a first child coping with a sibling really helped to dispel my concerns.This time my waters broke unexpectedly over a period of 30 minutes around 10pm. There were no other symptoms until after 11.30pm. Between midnight and 1am I focused on the breathing techniques and wandered the house. From 1am my contractions appeared to be around every 5 minutes so I woke my husband. He decided we should pack and get ready for the hospital. We arrived at 2.20am and after the midwife palpated my tummy she left to do my admission notes on the computer.
Within minutes of the midwife leaving my contractions changed. Thankfully, my husband noticed this and called for the midwife who returned - slightly disbelieving that things could change so quickly. Subsequently, she did an internal examination, and then said "On the next contraction, we will see the head." I was shocked! Edward was born at 2.46am whilst I was in kneeling position. I was given him immediately for skin to skin contact, and the cord was not cut too quickly this time. He weighed 7lbs 10oz. By 6am we were all home making a big cooked breakfast and waking George up to introduce him to his baby brother which was an amazing moment too!!I truly believe that the hypnobirthing techniques allowed me to experience a relaxed and speedy birth where I felt in control and each contraction was managable. From start to finish, this birthing experience was amazing, natural and I can almost say enjoyable. It was everything I had hoped it to be. Thank you Alice!
"Just wanted to thank you for the workshop. We had a baby boy, Harrison Jack McKenzie on 28th April. The birth was completely natural and I managed to avoid an epidural and didn't have any pain relief.
I never thought I would have such an amazing and empowering birth experience especially after a c-section and then forceps with my two girls. I listened to the music and words almost everyday usually as I was going to sleep. I really believe this helped me massively. It turned the painful sensations into something positive and I was able to tell myself that my body was coping with it and I was able to do it without any help.
Surprisingly he was 10lb 0.5oz!! Lots of people were amazed I had him naturally and my midwife thought he was going to be maybe 8lbs at the most!
I wish I'd given hypnobirthing more attention with my other two labours but am absolutely over the moon that everything went so well with Harrison."
Jayne (midwife), St Columb Minor... "I just wanted to say a huge thank you for your hypnobirth sessions earlier this year! Our beautiful daughter Jessica Ashling was born on 24th March at 41 weeks weighing 8lb 13.5oz (our second baby). She was born in the water birth pool at Penrice. My first contraction started at 12.30pm and by 7pm they were getting pretty painful and I needed the TENS machine. By 10pm I was fairly convinced it was labour and by 11pm we were using the affirmations we had practiced (albeit not practised as much as we would have liked to have done). We kept it really simple, just about three lines that really helped me to focus and stay calm. We also used lavender and frankincense which I had been using when I had a bath in the evenings for a few weeks. We arrived at Penrice at 1am and I got in the pool at 1.20am. Andrew felt a bit shy of using the affirmations when we were at Penrice (even though we never mentioned what we were doing to anyone else) but I made sure he kept it up... It kept me sane & focused! I was 5cm when I got in the pool and at 2.42am with no further pain relief our baby was born :-))
We were so chuffed and I'm very confident that the hypnobirthing was what made it possible and so bearable. I was quite sceptical at the initial idea of hypnobirthing but I truly couldn't have been more wrong and would recommend it to absolutely everyone. We both really enjoyed your sessions and I really wanted to say a HUGE thank you."
Sammy, Goonhavern... "Just to let you know we had a little boy by c-section on monday! He weighed 5lb 4oz and we've called him Chetan.
After my waters broke [at 34+4] they planned to induce me 10 days later but after a last scan baby had turned breech so I was booked in for section.
I used the breathing and calming techniques I had learnt when going in and I was surprisingly calm! We are so relieved its gone well and we have our son who we are totally in love with. Thank you for your support and advice which even if I only used a little of it, it did help a lot." [Note from Alice... Wonderful skin-to-skin bonding pic!]
Vic, St Eval... "I started having irregular contractions in the early morning on the 17th. I woke a few times in the night, but by the time it was morning they had stopped! I had a midwife appointment that day at 4pm where she did a stretch and sweep and said I was about 1cm. It certainly worked!!! I was contracting all through the night, becoming progressively stronger, I spent the night laying on the lounge floor, then bent over the pouffe when contracting!
We got to Penrice about 2pm on the 18th, where I was 3cm but very stretchy so she let me stay! I got in the pool when 5cm. By 7pm I was 7cms and so relaxed! I cannot explain how relaxed and in control I felt, we had the hypnobirthing music on and joe was massaging my head. I kept on falling asleep in between contractions! I was so happy that everything was going as I had imagined.
But I thought too soon as just then my waters broke along with some clots. Then again more with more contractions. The midwife wasn't happy and we discussed being referred to Treliske. I really didn't want to but the thought of anything happening to my baby that they couldn't deal with there made me agree. We got to Treliske about 7.30pm and I could feel I was definitely losing it, the relaxing, serene atmosphere of Penrice felt like a distant memory!
The contractions seemed so much more intense and I couldn't manage them anymore. I stayed at 7cms for about 5 hours - Very disheartening. I couldn't get out of the negative frame of mind and upset the way things had gone - which I totally believe is why I didn't progress. I gave in to having an epidural about 12.30am, still at 7cms. It wasn't something I had wanted but looking back it was the best decision I made given the circumstances.
Then all of a sudden all hell broke loose as Stan's heart rate really dropped, the room was full of people shouting at me to push! I'd gone from 7-10 cms in about 10 mins and he'd dropped into the birth canal and was getting stressed. He popped out in about 5 mins! I had to have some stitches but who cares when you've got the most beautiful baby in your arms?! Maybe I didn't practice the techniques enough under stress as I might have been able to control it better at Treliske. Who knows. But I will definitely use the techniques next time and hopefully things will go a bit smoother!"
Sammy, St Erth... My contractions started in the early hours and were every 2-3 mins lasting 1 min. After a couple of hours I woke Gary up and he called the midwife who met us at Helston Birth Unit at 4am. Obviously with me not wanting examinations she couldn't tell how dilated I was, but she said it seemed early because my contractions weren't strong. It made sense that it was early stages because I could feel the lifting feeling you told us about! So we went home to try and sleep.
Contractions carried on throughout the day but they were all over the place and not that strong until the evening. Went to bed and around midnight again they started getting more and more intense. Gary decided around 2.30am to call the midwife because I felt I needed gas and air. They were very strong and I could feel something pushing down each time - I didn't tell Gary because I didn't want any panicking!
The midwife arrived within the hour, and I decided to be examined... She could feel the head! I then had to make the decision whether to risk travelling in the car to Helston without the gas and air, or stay at home.... So I wasn't budging! I was going through the gas and air pretty quick so she had to call the the 2nd midwife.
I'd been lying in bed on my side all night because I was most relaxed that way. Around 5.30am when the 2nd midwife arrived with more gas and air, I got up and was leaning against the back of the bed. After a while we remembered we had a birth ball so I got that out. After getting up, leaning on the ball, my waters broke around 6am - which Gary and I think was pretty amazing - it was literally like someone burst a water ballon! It was a big pressure release. There were mats down but I was on the mattress... Oops! Gary was very hands-on helping the midwives though.
Not long after the waters went the head started to show. I started panicking saying I couldn't do it, but I did! The head was soon out - can't remember how many contractions it took. Then I think it was the next push when I had to do the panting and her little body came out at 6.25am! Most amazing thing I've ever done! I forgot to see what sex she was, so we had a lil look! We were over the moon!
It definitely wasn't pain free, but with your sessions I really felt able to cope with it and believe that my body was capable of giving birth. No screaming either, just a lot of grunting noises when it was time to push. When I got up on the ball I was imagining the baby coming down and breathing her down so I wasn't pushing as much until I really needed to. I had the music playing, and lying in my own bed (which is where I practised all my hypnobirthing) with the bedside light on all made it very relaxing. Where's more relaxing than your own bed?!
I would definitely choose to have a home birth again, the midwives are so hands-on listening to baby's heartbeat every few minutes. I knew if they had any doubt whether it was safe for me or the baby they would have got an ambulance straight away. I only had to go Treliske because they weren't sure if I had 2nd or 3rd degree tearing. Turns out it was only 2nd so I didn't need a spinal anaesthetic. Was back home within a few hours :)
Thank you for your sessions, I don't think i would have managed without them, and probably why I lasted the contractions out for so long before we called the midwife! Really didn't think it'd be possible to have such an amazing birth... will be recommending you to everyone! :D
Caroline, Porthleven... "All the way through I said that I would do it all again... I was due on the 29th August but was already a week late when I went into labour. At 1am on Thursday morning I woke with what I thought was a stomach bug. I was having to run to the loo about every 20 minutes. This went on for the rest of the night but by the morning the 'stomach bug' had cleared although the pains were still there. After texting Alice and another friend, I decided that it could be labour as I had a show start the night before and the pains were coming every 5 minutes. I got my husband Josh to ring the on-call midwife, expecting to be at the birthing centre in a few hours and have a baby by the weekend... We were both very excited. The midwife told me to wait until the contractions were a lot stronger before ringing again as I was able to cope with them well on my own. By the evening they had got quite a lot stronger so the midwife came around and explained that its difficult to tell what stage I was at from the way I was coping with the contractions, as the hypnobirthing that I had done with Alice often makes women able to cope with the pain far better than those who haven't done it. She decided to examine me but said that with the speed they were coming - about every 5 minutes or less, that I should be quite far along and may even be going to the birthing centre. Unfortunately, after examining she found that I was effaced but hardly dilated at all. What a disappointment! The midwife recommended that I take some paracetamol and have a bath. Both of these things helped. My contractions became much stronger through the night so we called the midwife back early in the morning. She checked me again. This time I was just over 1cm dilated. Once again we were very disappointed. It was Friday morning by now and the midwife said I could go to Treliske for pethidine. This was not in my birth plan and I really didn't want to start this route so early as I felt ok about continuing on my own for a while. I stayed at home, had more baths and more paracetamol, listened to the music and relaxation MP3s from Alice's website and coped with support from Josh. Occasionally I would lose concentration and Josh would help by breathing with me. I also found it really helpful to tell myself that the pain will pass. By Friday evening we didn't feel as though there had been any change. I was still getting contractions regularly and strong but I was able to cope. Yet by Saturday morning I was worn out, fed up and tired from lack of sleep. Every time I fell asleep I would wake up mid-contraction. I coped better when I had time to build up to it with the relaxation techniques and breathing. Josh was also worn out as he had stayed awake to support me. We rang the midwife again and had a visit. The baby was fine but I was still not even 2cm dilated. We were very disappointed by now but the midwife seemed sure that she would see me later so we carried on. It was getting closer to my induction day which was the Monday and I was becoming upset at the thought of having to go to Treliske and be induced. This was so far off my birth plan which was to stay natural and to use the local birthing pool. I had to start processing and become open to changes. At the same time I was willing the labour on to avoid what was becoming plan B! It didn't work and by Sunday I was tired, upset, scared and prepared for all sorts of complications. Josh sat down with me and we had a chat about the next day, all the time hoping that I would start active labour naturally. We had an equally bad night and contractions had slowed again by Monday morning. .
At Treliske, we were on a ward with two other couples who were also waiting to be induced. I was relieved to be there as I just wanted a rest! I was no longer against having an epidural but I did not yet want to go down that route... I was actually feeling quite low by then and told Josh that I wanted a caesarean! The midwife who welcomed us in explained that there was currently a backlog of labouring women so we were welcome to go home and come back later!... I burst into tears as I just felt that I couldn't do it any more! Josh had unpacked everything and blown the birthing ball back up! The midwife was really lovely and came to have a chat with me. I had a check and was 5cm, so would be sent to the delivery suite as soon as space was available. She also got me some gas and air so I could have some pain relief. I was also advised to consider an epidural so that I could have some rest before the baby came. Once we got into the delivery suite the new midwife helped Josh and I feel more comfortable with an epidural and offered extra support through my fear of needles. My experience of the epidural, despite a big fear of needles was entirely positive. The staff were all very supportive and once it was done the relief was immediate. Unfortunately I didn't get much sleep as I was too excited! I still felt very tired and not up to pushing a baby out but at least I could try and switch off. When I was checked next I was still only 6cm dilated so I was then put onto the syntocinon drip. By 7am, the drip had not worked as expected so I saw the surgeon who said that a caesarean was an option but he was not keen (I was very keen by this point as I was so tired... What birthing plan?!) We compromised and he said that he would turn the drip right up and if nothing had happened by 7:30am then he would prep me for surgery. He returned at 7:25 and I was 10cm! We then had to wait for the epidural to wear off so that I could feel to push... This was fine as the pain was not too bad contraction-wise. I pushed for about an hour and a half but I became very tired and needed help at the end. The doctor then came in and used a ventouse to help pull her out. To aide this, I was also given an episiotomy which although I felt it, it didn't hurt as I expected. Our little girl Leilani Amelia Tora was born on Tuesday 11th September at 10:33am at 8lb 5oz.
All the way through I said that I would do it all again. I am a positive person anyway but I think I owe this attitude to the hypnobirthing and the sessions with Alice. I was asked by a midwife a few weeks after the birth whether I was traumatised by the experience. I was really surprised as it just seemed fine to me. I know now that my experience was not usual and most births are easier and a lot quicker, but I am by no means traumatised. It was what it was and I coped. I am now expecting baby number two and Leilani has just turned one. It has been the best year of my life and that includes the birth. Although I'm hoping that I don't have a repeat of Leilani's birth, I know that I can cope with anything that the next birth throws at me, with the help of Alice, her experience and MP3s! I'm very excited to see what the next birth will be like! Thanks Alice xx"
Ellen, Looe... "Now that I have a quiet moment (Peter has taken the baby out for a walk) I thought I'd write and let you know how my pregnancy and the birth of our baby boy went (name to be confirmed) and to thank you for the hypnobirthing classes and use of the MP3s.
I was very lucky with my pregnancy so did not suffer from any problems apart from a little pelvic girdle pain so I was able to have a pool birth at Penrice Birthing Centre in St Austell as planned.
Prior to starting hypnobirthing I was insistent on paying for a caesarean section as I was always very scared of natural birth. I am 5'5" and have very narrow hips so I could not see how I could give birth naturally without problems - and large babies run in my family, I was just under 10lbs when I was born and my partner is 6'2". However, the positive affirmations MP3 helped me believe the baby would be appropriate to my size and the birth would go smoothly. The MP3s definitely kept me relaxed through the pregnancy and enabled me to not be affected by other people's scepticism and horror stories.
My due date was 19 June but my waters did not break until 28 June. They broke before I went into labour which I understand is due to the position of the baby. I had a sweep the Wednesday prior and was 4/5ths engaged with a 'paper thin' cervix. My contractions started at 11 pm and right away they were so painful all I could do was pace. I had hoped the hypnobirthing would help me relax through the contractions and manage the pain but I was unable to relax and focus. The baby was back to back which meant I was experiencing severe back pain with each contraction.
In the early hours of the following morning, my contractions were between 5 and 9 minutes apart and as they were irregular. Penrice told me to have a warm bath (which was lovely), record my contractions for half an hour and then phone them again.
After my bath, I started recording my contractions which were a minute long each and about 2 minutes apart. Peter suggested now might be a good time to go to hospital and he phoned Penrice for me as I was in too much pain to speak apart from during the brief break in my contractions. During the drive I listened to the positive affirmations to distract myself, which worked.
We arrived in Penrice at 4am and I was 4 cm dilated (that was quite disheartening!). I was fully dilated some time prior to 8.40am. This is when I entered the pool and after an hour of pushing our baby was born on 29 June at 9.40 am weighing 8lbs 4oz. I only had gas and air and started this at quite a late stage.
I am told that was a very quick labour for a first baby and the midwives said they considered the hypnobirthing would have helped me during my labour. I think the positive beliefs towards the pregnancy and birth helped me cope. It was incredibly painful but I managed to achieve something I could never have imagined. I understand the baby didn't turn so I think his entry into the world may have caused more pain than usual and it gave him a slightly funny shaped head, which is gradually becoming more regular. I had only a small amount of tearing - I think I had four stitches in total."
Charlotte, Falmouth... "After a traumatic emergency caesarean with my daughter two years ago I spent this pregnancy worrying about the birth. At about 28 weeks I found Alice's website and we had a half day session with her. I found it incredibly relaxing and affirming but still worried about my bodies ability to really do birth naturally! I took her advice and every day used the MP3 downloads and read the affirmations while visualising a natural, peaceful birth.
After two weeks of on and off contractions I finally went into labour after a blissful day at the beach with my toddler and family. The contractions took 14 hours to progress to five minutes apart at 2am during which time I bounced on my exercise ball and did the breathing exercises Alice had taught us. We went off to the hospital once my mum and dad arrived to stay with our daughter. I was disappointed to be told I was only 2cms and began shaking as I was convinced it would be like last time. However, I continued breathing and calmed myself down. After one hour downstairs to relax the labour suddenly progressed and I went to 4cms and then before we knew it I was at 10cms with an unstoppable urge to push. It was an incredible feeling, so right and so natural! Our son was born with just a little help from the ventouse and I was up and walking around 20 minutes after stitches for tiny tears. It was the most affirming, positive experience I could have hoped for and I credit Alice's workshop with helping me to finally experience what I hoped for. Our son Ernesto is now almost three weeks old and a happy little soul."
Helen, Portreath... "So our birth plan didn't go to plan! Got pre-eclampsia and various other issues, as a result Hazel was delivered by c-section on 4th July [35 weeks] and is now in SCBU, but doing well and has always breathed and everything on her own - she just needs to fatten up and is in a hot cot. The attached photo is Hazel at two minutes old! Real shame we didn't get our home water birth but we did use our hypnobirthing techniques to stay calm in times of stress, and hopefully we can use them next time. The main thing is that Hazel is healthy and at the end of the day that is all we could really ask for. The Treliske teams were all amazing."
Charlotte, West Midlands... "I often think of that weekend when we did your course - I can honestly say that I think it was one of the best things I have ever done, you really did give me back my self-belief and helped me to trust my instincts and body, something which not only helped in Isla's birth and breastfeeding but with Gabriel's too and also just in general day-to-day life, from using the techniques for general pain control (headaches, etc!) to generally just being at ease with my body again."
Abbie, Helston... "Having had a negative experience with my first labour, I especially wanted to have a straightforward natural birth and I am very grateful to Alice for helping me to achieve this. She made both my husband and I feel totally at ease and with her positive support I was able to prepare for the birth with confidence. The hypnobirthing and relaxation techniques that she introduced me to were invaluable and helped me to stay relaxed and calm throughout my short labour. Her calm and positive support both before the birth of my baby and the encouragement afterwards made the whole experience totally fulfilling."
Louise, Chacewater... "The hypnobirthing and breathing really helped with the contractions and I'm sure if he'd been in a more favourable position the birth would have gone more to plan. But he obviously wasn't ready quite yet and even at 42+5 he was very, very comfy in there and just didn't want to budge.
At 42+3 I went to hospital and had the pessary and a calm day waiting. It was a very quiet weekend for the maternity unit which was great - only me and one other woman on the antenatal ward that evening! On Sunday I went upstairs on the IV drip and progressed to 4cm no problem. I tried the gas and air but found it more painful than breathing through the contractions because it was so distracting and just made me feel in pain and woozy.
Unfortunately, after 4cm the best position for me was sitting on the edge of bed or the birth ball but baby's heartbeat seemed to go down lots when I sat like that so they attached a monitor to his head and the same happened with that so I was forced to lie down, which was excruciating and I ended up on the gas and air (being just as ineffective as before but there was nothing else to do). So I opted for epidural which was a total godsend.
So contractions continued with the IV drip and by 3am I was fully dilated. Whippee! So started pushing. Two hours later and baby didn't wanna come out - his head was facing an unhelpful way so off to theatre we went. They examined me to see if forceps would do the job, decided not and that c-section was only option left. So a c-section I had and they delivered baby at 8lb 15oz. He cried lots - good set of lungs. Robin held him skin to skin whilst they put me back together - an amazing experience I have to say because you can feel everything, just without the pain. Amazing! The team really were brilliant! I have to say it was a really positive experience despite not being at all what we'd planned. Even during labour I was saying I'd like to do it again!
Thank you so much for your support. Your session and the resources you provided were invaluable and of use in so many ways."
Klaire, Redruth... "I became a very proud mummy to Jacob Harrison Edwards at 5.20am on October 27th 2011. He weighed 7lbs 13oz of pure gorgeousness.
I was a few days over my 'due date' but still felt comfortable and happy to wait for my little man to choose when he was ready to be born, although I thought a little gentle encouragement wouldn't go amiss. I was getting the odd 'cramping feeling' during the week prior to his birth and kept getting excited that it was the start of his arrival. The day before his birth I went for a lovely lunch for my Aunty's birthday, followed by a walk across the sand dunes and beach in Hayle with my partner Matt. That evening we relaxed on the sofa watching TV.
We went to go to bed at about 10pm. Just before we switched off the TV I felt a tightening sensation which came and went within 30 seconds. I didn't think a lot of it, but by the time we had got into bed I felt another and told Matt I 'think' I just had a contraction. He didn't seem at all phased... Maybe we were both in a bit of denial but I thought we should get some sleep. However, 5 mins later I got another contraction. There was no denying labour was starting and they came fast and steady from that point on.
I got in the bath at about 11pm and put my hypnobirthing MP3s on. Matt brought up the oil burner from my 'birth kit' full of lavender to relax me. As I lay in the bath I was swaying my hips and breathing deeply though the contractions with my eyes closed for a good 30mins. I then felt the need to be more submerged so I could move more freely and asked Matt to start filling the birth pool and to contact Alice. I was unaware of times at this point but when Alice arrived she said if I felt I wanted to get in the pool she didn't see a problem with this (I was worried about getting in too early and my labour slowing down).
I walked into my 'birth room' which Matt had been busily organising while I was in the bath. It was beautiful... we had the birth pool set up in the corner with dim lights and candles, my birth music CD was playing quietly in the background and I climbed into the pool at around 1am. The warm water felt amazing around my tummy and gave me that extra boost I needed to remain relaxed. My contractions were soon coming 2 mins apart and Alice and Matt decided it was time to call a midwife and our birth photographer Bekkie.
My contactions were strong and I began to become fearful of how I would cope. Alice suggested a glass of wine.... Ahhh that was a well deserved glass of wine, and really helped me to loosen up. I was laughing between the contractions and relaxing more and refocusing on the task ahead.
Matt had been on the phone to the midwives outside of the birth room and had been advised that nobody was available and I would have to come into Treliske or Penrice. At this point there was no way on earth I could have gotten out of the pool, so Matt relayed this.
[Note from Alice - if the local team are unavailable and mums decline to transfer to hospital, then other staff will sometimes be called upon instead, including midwives from other areas, an on-call midwifery supervisor, or paramedics as a last resort]
The midwives arrived and were keen to do a VE to see how far along I was. I again said that I couldn't get out of the pool and she agreed to try and do this in the pool... I didn't find it uncomfortable as I thought I would and when she told me I was 7cms I beamed with happiness. It was so encouraging to hear that I was making good progress.
I moved around in the pool getting myself into whichever position my body felt it needed to be in. Matt was leaning over the edge of the pool, supporting me and I really used his body to anchor my own and was soon beginning to feel my body start to push. What an intense and powerful feeling that was! At this point I felt my waters pop, the fluid was clear and all was well... I could feel Jacob moving downward and was trying to breath him down gently and let the contractions do the work.
After about an hour of this the midwives became slightly concerned that Jacob's heart rate was starting to show signs of distress... I was instructed to try some forced pushing to help get him out. I got myself into an upright squatting position and pushed with every ounce of my worth... suddenly his head popped out so fast it took my breath away with shock. I reached down and felt his soft little head, I then felt his head turn and on the next contraction I guided him with my own hands from my body to my chest for his first cuddle...
We stayed in the pool together for about 30mins, where Matt and I just blissfully stared at our little boy and fell in love with him. He was starting to get a little cold so the midwives took him to check him over, weighed him and then he was given to Daddy for cuddles. I was left to just sit back in the pool and smile. I was on such a high from the birth that I didn't even feel tired.
I had a natural 3rd stage and my placenta was carefully handled ready for the placenta encapsulation. I also had a fruit smoothie made from the raw placenta and although I was sceptical of being physically able to drink it, I have to say it was delicious and full of goodness. I couldn't convince Matt to try it though!
The midwives helped us into bed at around 7am. We lay there with our little boy snuggled in between us as a new family... I am not sure I slept at all really. I just couldn't stop looking at the perfect little person we had created."
Klaire and Matt with Jacob in my La Bassine hire pool. Documentary birth photography by www.Bambino-art.co.uk
Jacob's birth slideshow by Bambino Art Photography...
Andrea, Camborne... "Well, to cut a long, long story short I went to 42 weeks and then upon feeling my tummy the head consultant at Treliske realised that he was lying in a transverse position... I ended up having a c-section that day!!!! Very bizarre but I was happy with the outcome as I was told I couldn't have a waterbirth at Helston as soon as I went more than 12 days over.
[Note from Alice: With negotiation women may be permitted to use a midwifery-led unit after 41+5. Homebirth is also still an option after this time, though local guidelines recommend closer monitoring and hospital birth as the risk of stillbirth may be slightly increased. For more info read this research summary].
"With regards to your course I cannot express how fantastic and absolutely helpful it was. It really doesn't matter what sort of labour you end up having - the course was so worthwhile. If it wasn't for your course they would have induced me at 41+5 and due to his position I would probably have had a horrendous time of it... But due to my knowledge I declined induction and I had a smooth c-section, which is what I wanted if the waterbirth didn't happen. I have recommended you to anyone who is pregnant and will continue to do so."
Vicky, Penzance... "On 19th Sept at about 4pm I was getting out of the car to go into the supermarket with my 3 year old daughter when I felt a gush of liquid – I was 37+2 so was a bit shocked that my waters had gone as my daughter was born at 41 weeks but I felt really excited that I would definitely be meeting my baby in the next few days. The night before I had finished everything that needed doing and said “ok baby, you can come now” and I had been joking with my friend that day that I was going to have the baby the next day.
I called my hubby but said not to get too excited as it could be days before anything happened. I decided not to call the midwife yet as I didn’t want to be pressurised to go in if things hadn’t started happening to their timescales (waters were clear and baby was moving). DH came home from work and he got dinner ready for our daughter and him and I started having tightening at 6pm that were coming every 10-15mins but were very manageable.
I showered and washed my hair then listened to my CD in bed – the tightening continued through this. I then had to write out instructions for my hubby as everything was on the laptop, which had died earlier that day! Poor thing wasn’t at all ready and said ‘I better get a good night sleep tonight” I said that I didn’t think either of us would be getting much sleep and I thought baby would be here tonight or early tomorrow.
After getting everything ready (oil burner etc) I spent the evening sitting on my birth ball, watching x-factor with DH – laughing and breathing through surges. By 10:30 they were coming every 5 mins and lasting about a minute. We called the on-duty midwife who, it turned out, lived almost an hour away so I said I’d like her to come out just in case things speeded up. Midwife arrived at 11:30pm and read birth plan. She was not really on-board with my request for no internals and said the other MW was an hour away so it might be good to know how far along I was to let her know. (I didn’t really care whether the 2nd MW came or not to be honest – as long as we had 1 there!)
Surges were much stronger at this point but I just practiced my surge breathing and DH used shoulder anchoring through each one, which really helped. At this point I was just chilling on the ball, listening to a CD of my favourite music and singing along between surges. I found that walking around and leaning on a wall / fireplace helped too. I felt really nauseous with each surge but couldn’t be sick.
At 1am I felt like getting in the pool and curiosity got the better of me so I said MW could do a VE. I was 5cm and cervix was very thin and baby very low down. I had been in established labour for 2.5 hours. The internal was way more uncomfortable than the surges – esp as I had SPD. The pool was amazing – and I just zoned out from then on. The endorphins were making me feel great and I can honestly say I have never felt so relaxed as I did between surges.
By about 2am the surges were getting really strong but still not painful just really intense. I start vocalising instinctively on the out breath and find it really helps to release the tension. I am then sick during a strong surge and think I’m probably in transition – woo hoo! I start feeling pressure but the contractions aren’t expulsive yet. It doesn’t take long before I start grunting and feel my body pushing. I ask DH to get in the pool and he comforts me.
At 2:35 the MW goes into the other room to call the 2nd MW but I know she’s not going to make it and I’m really glad that there isn’t going to be a complete stranger flapping in at the last minute! The noise wakes my daughter but amazingly she agrees to go back to sleep until baby arrives! The pushing completely overpowers me and is really intense just like it was with my daughter. Not at all pleasant! I didn’t actively push myself but my body was doing it all for me. I was slightly dreading crowning as I remember this being really painful with my daughter but the head was born really easily (am sure the water helped) and I told the MW and DH that the head was out. I put my hand down and felt a mass of hair. And a hand and arm! No wonder I was struggling to get him out – the same thing happened with my daughter. He was a bit stuck because of the compound presentation and I didn’t think the his body was ever going to come out but at 2:55am with a bit of help from me, baby Jude swam into the world, caught by DH.
He weighed 7lb 14oz and the cord was wrapped round him twice. Because of that and being stuck his face was very bruised but scored got 9 and 9 apgar scores. Established labour was 4.5 hours. I delivered the placenta in the pool – it just happened when I stood up to get out. DH woke our daughter to meet her new baby brother and we all snuggled up on the sofa.
Having had 2 home births – the 1st without hypnobirthing, I would recommend it to anyone. I can honestly say I felt no pain until the 2nd stage and It only occurred to me afterwards that I hadn’t even thought about using gas and air, which I had done with my daughter. I felt completely different afterwards and people kept telling me how well I looked. The Dr that did the newborn check said I looked more like I’d been on holiday than had a baby! Needless to say, Jude is super chilled out too. I feel like I could do it all over again even though we are not planning any more!"
Alice, Gweek... "Thought you might like to know that our baby boy, Henry Rowan, was born at Treliske on 28th April at 4.13am weighing 8Ib 7oz. He was 12 days overdue and missed his induction by 4 hours! I was lucky enough to have a completely natural delivery, no small thanks to the hypobirthing techniques which helped to keep me calm (ish)! Stayed at home til my waters broke then we raced to the hospital and I had Henry 40 mins later. I was home by 9am! Anyway I just wanted to say thank you for the introduction to the hypnobirthing techniques. I think they did help, especially when I was tense about being overdue. "
Claire, Truro... "I found the workshop very positive and inspiring and felt it made the subject feel very accessible.... Isla May Dark was born at 7.46am on Friday 25th March, one day before her due date. My waters broke at 1.50am on the morning of 25th when I had got out of bed to go to the toilet. I dried myself off and went back to bed, however within 40 minutes I had to get up as from the time my waters broke I had started getting contractions, coming about every 6 minutes, so was unable to go back to sleep.
I phoned the on call midwife at about 2.30, to say that my waters had broken, that things seemed to be progressing, and that I was planning a home birth. She reassured me that there was no problems with midwife availability, and to continue as I was, but to ring back when I felt that I needed the midwife to attend, or if I wanted any other advice.
I spent most of my labour sitting on my birthing ball. Mainly because I found this by far the most comfortable position, but also, as my membranes had ruptured I periodically, if I was up and walking around let out VERY large floods of water! After soaking 3 pairs of pyjama bottoms, 2 dressing gowns, multiple towels and a large number of maternity pads, I felt it was better to just stay put and hold a towel between my legs!!
After 5am the contractions seemed to be getting more intense and were coming about every 3-4 minutes when I sat on the ball or every 1.5-2 minutes when I was walking about., Neil phoned back to request a midwife come out. She arrived at about 6am and examined me, by then I was 7cm dilated, so she suggested if I wanted to give birth in the birthing pool Neil better get on with filling it, and she contacted the second midwife.
At this point Neil swung into action! He was amazing – filling the pool, making tea and toast for everyone, getting our daughter Evie up and collected by Grandma and Grandad, yet throughout remaining a constant support for me. It took Neil about one and a quarter hours to fill the pool and I got in it as soon as it was filled, at about 7.25. After a couple of contractions in the pool I felt the urge to push and with 3 pushes (at 7.46am) Isla was born into the water and I pulled her up into my arms.
I chose not to use any gas and air, mainly as I'm not keen on the “out of control” feeling it can give you, and also because I felt comfortable breathing through the contractions, and using hypnobirthing techniques. I couldn't have asked for a more calm, relaxed birth, and I couldn't have done it without the amazing support of my husband."
Charlotte, Midlands... “Thank you so much for all your help – this really did make a difference, not just in the short term sense of helping with the birth but long term in that you have helped me to change how I felt about Noah’s birth and my ability to have a baby naturally. I don’t think that I’d have had the confidence to even try for a VBAC, let alone the labour and birth I’d hoped for if I hadn’t met Alice. In addition to achieving it this time, I not only now see my first labour and birth as a positive experience but the confidence I gained in my body through our time with Alice and by achieving a VBAC has helped me to overcome fears of a recurrence of mastitis and to try again – and this time succeed – at breastfeeding. So thank-you Alice,... I will forever be grateful.”
Sarah, Falmouth... “I definitely support hypnobirthing and believe that if madam hadn't been posterior that I could have dealt with the contraction pain no bother as they weren’t hurting much at all with the relaxation etc....But our hypno-waterbaby is definately a relaxed laid back happy one!”