Birth Story - Antonia and Baby Atlas
We are super excited to introduce our boy Atlas Taro Kiddy. Born at home in the water on 23.03.17 at 13.53pm weighing 7lb 10ozs.
This was my second home birth, with our first son Solomon being born on the sofa some 2 years previous. Although my first labour was technically 'good' with no complications I certainly felt it was traumatic and struggled to cope with the intensity at times. I realised afterwards looking back that I hadn't really believed in my ability to birth him so when push came to shove (quite literally) I panicked and ended up leaving the birth pool and pushing for him coached by others. I remembered feeling totally out of control, and although proud we'd managed to have him at home, a bit traumatised by the whole thing. In fact, the first thought I had when they placed Solly into my arms was 'I AM NEVER DOING THAT AGAIN!!' Which is why when Sam and I found out we were expecting our second child, I knew I wanted to conquer this fear and make my next birth something I could be really proud of.
Our weekend course with the Positive Birth Company, and especially Shivy's awesome encouragement and outlook on labour put such a different spin on things for me. With some practice and positive thinking I was truly able to change my mindset about labour, and started to (dare I say it) look forward to the challenge!!
On the day of my labour I woke up at 1.30am with what felt like the start of contractions. I immediately went into a minor default panic but knew that if I could just stay in bed and conserve my energy I would be helping myself out massively. I started listening to my relaxation track for hypnobirthing and breathed through all the feelings I was having until they started to come with some frequency. When we finally called the midwife in the morning I felt calm and relaxed. By 8am I was in established labor. Sam and I were in the lounge together candles burning, music playing and very much in our own space.
When things started to hot up I got into the pool, Sam helped me remember my breathing when things felt like they were getting too much. This helped massively, him knowing what I needed and doing the course with me made me feel like we were in it together. Also for Sam, I think it made him feel much more included than in my first labour when he perhaps just felt like more of a spectator.
I remember so many of the affirmations going through my head when I felt overwhelmed and them really calming me down. In particular, I found comfort in the fact that I was not alone and women all over the world were doing this with me. Instead of in my first labour when all I wanted was the surges to stop, I almost welcomed them as I knew they were bringing me closer to my baby. And finally and most miraculously for me was the fact I got to believe in myself and my ability to trust my body and birth my baby naturally. My midwife was amazing and in those final surges simply stood back and allowed me to birth him. I literally couldn't believe what I was feeling. My baby coming to me naturally without any need to be told to push. The reflex was so strong and within a couple of big surges he came floating up between my legs to meet me.
To say it was amazing was an understatement. This birth was such a gift and has left me on a high I don't think I'll ever come down from. For anyone who is nervous or who may not trust in their ability I could not recommend Hypnobirthing enough. If only all women had access to it the way we think and feel about labour and birth would be different. I am forever grateful for my chance to own my birth instead of being overwhelmed by it. There really is no greater gift!
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