Birth story - Poppy and baby girl

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When I fell pregnant my friend had just been a birth partner for her sister who had been practicing hypnobirthing and described the whole thing as almost spa like: candles, dimmed lights, calm breathing, massages, oils and relaxing music... this is my first child so this sounded amazing compared to the stories you always get told and the births you see on TV that involve screaming ladies in stressful births.

I got straight on to trying to find a course but unfortunately they were too expensive for us to do and I had no idea where to start with buying books.

Luckily when talking to my sister about hypnobirthing she mentioned that she heard about Siobhan’s affordable online digital pack. I downloaded it straight away and my husband and I listened to it every night before bed, falling asleep to the affirmations. Everything I learned made perfect sense and I was actually quite excited to experience birth!

I trained for birth like I was training for a run, I went to pregnancy gym classes and practiced positive thinking daily.

Sixteen days before my due date at 3am, whilst in bed my waters broke with a small gush! I ran to the toilet shouting to my husband that my waters had broken!

We were both so excited but as contractions hadn’t started yet we decided to try and get some rest so attempted to sleep. 4am and I felt a dull period pain which I now know were the beginning of my contractions. They slowly got stronger and by 8am we called the hospital to see what we should do and they asked us to come in to be assessed.

By the time we got everything ready and got to the hospital it was 10am and I was happily breathing through the contractions. I went in and they assessed me on the monitor and did an internal examination to find out that I was only 2cm dilated. They told us to go home and rest and booked us in for an induction first thing the next day.

As soon as we left the hospital I felt the contractions come on stronger and by the time we got home they varied from 3/5 minutes apart - as we got told to go home we thought we should try and stay there as long as possible. Every contraction I had I went down to my knees, head on the ball and did my up breathing, reminding myself that every surge bought me closer to meeting my baby and that this was not pain, it was my muscle doing exactly as it should be!

By 1pm they were getting quite intense and I asked my husband to call the hospital (as I had been assessed a few hours before only to be told I was 2cm I thought I was having these intense contractions and would only be 3cm - although I was calm and breathing through them I wasn’t sure how I could handle them becoming any stronger and discussed with my partner about the need for an epidural.. (little did I know that this was actually nearing my transition stage.) I remember when he called the midwife and she asked how well I was coping - because I was so calm with the breathing my husband said that I was coping really well.. They were asking if I could stay at home any longer but when my husband relayed this I told him no and that we were going in. I felt pressure down below but again I wasn’t sure if this was just part of the process as I had never had a baby before.

It took us 20 minutes to get downstairs and into the car as my contractions were every 2 minutes now and I had to keep getting to the floor to breathe through them.

We got to the hospital at around 2pm and were told to wait as the assessment centre was full - after the longest 10 minutes of my life we were finally called in and was assessed, only to be told that I was 10cm dilated and the babies head was close! They couldn’t believe how well I was doing by breathing through the contractions considering it was my first baby (neither could my husband or myself looking back on it). It was time to start pushing!!

Despite asking for no student midwives to be in the room on my notes to minimise the amount of people in the room.. (I’m not sure they even had time to read them as it was all GO as soon as I got there).. we ended up having a third year lead the delivery and I could not get over how amazing she was! She helped me through each contraction and allowed me to push my baby out without any pain relief and eased the babies head out without me having to have any stitches.

3.46pm our beautiful baby girl arrived into the world, weighing 6lb 4oz.

The birth I had visualised was a water birth with music, dimmed lights, massage oils, candles and minimal people.. turns out that my up breathing got me through so well that, apart from the dimmed lighting, I didn’t have time for that.. we actually never even had time to bring the hospital bag into the room as we left it in the car, convinced we would be sent home for the second time.

The digital course amazes me and I could not believe that I would have ever been able to breath and visualise myself without any pain relief to produce a baby.. the whole thing has not only helped in pregnancy and labour but has changed the way I think about life, it is amazing what a positive mindset can do!

Good luck everyone on your births!!

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Download our app FREYA here. FREYA is the world’s first hypnobirthing-friendly surge timer and virtual birth partner. She will coach you through every surge whilst keeping track of your progress.