I had been feeling very anxious about the birth of my baby, and in fact had been worrying about what the experience would be like for years before even trying to conceive.
I’d heard of hypnobirthing and had met a couple of people who’d had great experiences with it – but I was a little bit worried that while a brilliant idea it might not work on me because I might not be able to get myself into the right mindset / wouldn’t have time to do the practice.
The hypnobirthing sessions Alice ran for us really changed my way of thinking. Alice came over to run the sessions for us at home which I think really helped as we were in a relaxed environment and it just made everything seem a lot less daunting. Alice was also very flexible at fitting in with our schedules which was refreshing after the after work rushes to the NCT classes! The sessions were just as informative as the NCT course but the idea of positive thinking really permeated everything and really it was impossible not to feel uplifted almost straight away.
Alice is one of those people who just naturally radiates tranquillity whilst managing to remain extremely pragmatic and down to earth. The visualisation exercises she taught us were amazingly relaxing and I really looked forward to doing them every day in the run up to the birth of our son. The CDs were also wonderful – I listened to them in the bath every day to wind down.
In the end, the birth couldn’t have been any more straightforward – I still can’t really believe it! I went into labour during the night but was really calm about it – I didn’t even wake my partner John up for ages because I thought he’d probably need the sleep! I put the CD on the following day and just tried to relax at home as much as possible. At one point the contractions/surges seemed to slow right down so I sent John off to work for a while.
I tried to do the up visualisation as much as possible and this along with the breathing really helped to make the surges manageable. The frequency and intensity gradually increased so eventually we decided to go into hospital that evening (having delayed it as long as possible). However when we got there the midwife sent us home again because they said that although my cervix was very ‘soft and stretchy”, I was only 2cm dilated when they weren’t stretching it! In fact as I got up to leave the hospital, the surges suddenly got a lot more intense! Without realising it I’d gone into the final stage of labour!
Nevertheless we went out and got a taxi home (with one extremely nervous looking taxi driver) and I had a bath as the midwife had suggested. This was probably the only point where I started to worry because the midwives had basically told me this was still early labour. Luckily John realised this was clearly not the case and rang an ambulance who based on timings said to get me out of the bath right now, and they’d better talk him through how to deliver a baby (he didn’t tell me this at the time).
Fortunately the ambulance people arrived very quickly although they still treated me like I was in very early labour. I think they only realised when they had a look at me en route to the hospital and probably saw the baby’s head or something!! I just remember the woman’s face changing and she suddenly became very quiet. When we arrived at the hospital, the midwife had a look at me and said ‘right we’re having a baby’ and our lovely little boy arrived straight away with no interventions.
All was fine after the delivery – the main thing to cope with was the shock that it was all over already and we now had a baby right there!! I still can’t believe how easy it all was and feel that my experience would have been very different had I not managed to remain so calm – I can’t thank you enough Alice!!
I just wanted to let you know that we had our baby girl Wednesday morning. Possibly due to the baby lying back to back, I felt the discomfort exclusively in my back, which led to the midwife on the phone initially telling me that I was not in labour.
So, to cut a long story short, by the time a midwife came out to me 3 hours later I was already 7cm dilated. She then couldn't get another midwife to me quickly enough, so accompanied me to the birth centre instead. The midwives there were brilliant & I ended up having my baby girl in the birthing pool approximately 7 hours after we made that first telephone call.
My waters didn't break at all, which I think must have helped her turn right at the last minute, just before she came out. So I think you were right when you said that 'baby knows best'
Thank you again for all of your love & kindness & support it was absolutely invaluable during the run up to the birth.
I love you for the confidence that you instilled in me and our next child (I feel ready for it again already!) will be born at home.
My top tips -
Don't listen to others (esp scary) birth stories
Know that you are different and nothing that you have seen before you needs to define you and your experience
That your pregnancy and birth will reflect in your child
That you can bring your best to your child
I wanted to let you know that from the start of the contractions to delivery, it took Lisa 9 hours to give birth to our son. She was amazing. A complete star!
I wanted to thank you for the trust in herself and empowerment your seminar brought about. To say that it has changed her perspective on childbirth would be a gross understatement. The birth was calm, and the word that really comes to mind is not “pain”, although there were a number of painful moments but “intense”. We kept on breathing, visualising the sea, focusing on the road ahead and the result is that the birth went really well and today we also have a calm, relaxed baby.