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Positive Birth Stories

 

Below you can find a range of my clients' birth stories in which the hypnobirthing techniques I teach have been used. As you can see from how different the stories are, the techniques are useful whether you're having a homebirth, a caesarean or an induction for example.

 

I'd love to work with you so you can write your own amazing birth story! 

  • MY STORY
    When I was pregnant for the first time with my son, I originally had the attitude of 'ignorance is bliss' when it came to the act of actually giving birth. I figured that it would be best not to know about what could happen; after all I wouldn't have any control over events, right?! This was all turned on its head as I headed into the second trimester. I got chatting to a friend who had actually had a positive birth (unlike everything else I had heard!) and I started to realise that perhaps being informed about my choices would be a better strategy to adopt. Its normal to read up and prepare for anything else you experience in life, so why should giving birth be an exception? The more I read about hypnobirthing the more it all made sense to me and I did a complete u-turn, swotting up on all things birth and asking my community midwife tons of questions! I had decided that I wanted to be informed about my options and more in control over the birth. ​ After completing a hypnobirthing course along with my husband this left me feeling far more relaxed and confident. I made sure that I set aside time to listen to the mp3's and practise the techniques as the weeks went on. I was in touch with my hypnobirthing teacher and found this invaluable for reassurance and guidance throughout the pregnancy. Fast forward to 2 days before my due date and my contractions (or surges) started on the Friday night and continued through the weekend. All this while I was accepting of the situation, using my mp3's and breathing techniques to keep me calm throughout. I eventually headed to the hospital arriving at 2am on the Tuesday morning. I was using a Tens machine to help with the intensity of my surges. My husband who is a music buff had put together a long playlist of ambient music that helped to keep me calm. Visualising a hill to climb with a fantastic view at the top (the peak of the contraction) along with my breathing was getting me through each surge. At one point the surge was so powerful that I was struggling to keep focussed. My husband then stepped in and got me to mirror his breathing, allowing me to get a handle on things and regain control. I was so glad he had done the course with me as he was instrumental in keeping me on track. ​ I got to a point where I felt I needed some help so the midwife gave me some gas and air and not long after that examined me. Much to my surprise I was fully dilated and I could then get into the pool! I was so relaxed that my surges slowed down but at this point my son's head was crowning! I had to get out of the pool to try to get things progressing again, which involved me walking around the ward all the while still breathing through my surges. Eventually the midwife suggested that I might need some help and suggested the syntocin drip on the labour ward (augmentation) to help things along. My husband stepped in and asked if that was really what I wanted (again, I was grateful he was prepared and confident enough to protect my space!) At this point I felt that I needed help, so I was happy and onboard for this to happen. I remember thinking to myself 'Breathe for me, breathe for my baby'; I knew that if I could stay calm then that would help keep my baby boy calm too. Despite this unplanned turn of events, the techniques meant I was accepting of the situation and felt fully informed. I wasn't on the syntocin for very long before my son arrived! ​ I felt so buoyant afterwards, the midwife commended me on how well I'd coped with my first labour and a day later I told my husband that I would happily do that all over again! Even though the active labour stage had been 13 hours long, to me it had felt about half that, maybe 6 hours. Hypnobirthing had meant that I had no concept of time. My second labour was a lot quicker! Surges intensified at 7pm, arrived at hospital at 3:30am and I remained kneeling whilst leaning on the bed just as I had through early labour. This position just felt instinctively right. I used a Tens machine and gas & air, had no time to get in the pool (although that would have been my preference), and felt the urge to push so went with it. I had put in my birth preferences that I didn't want to be examined this time, but I dont think there was a necessity anyway as everything was moving so fast. Before I knew it my daughter had arrived at 5:27am! I did need stitches afterwards so my hypnobirthing techniques helped me to stay calm whilst the midwife did this. What was lovely was another midwife later telling me that she had been 'in awe' of me. It is this thoughtful comment that has cemented in my mind that all midwives should be 'in awe' of their labouring women, and has led me to becoming a hypnobirthing instructor. ​ Throughout both labours, the healthcare team I had were very respectful of my birth preferences. Taking down the clock off the wall so I wasn't feeling hurried, keeping the lighting low, facilitating the right environment was all really important in helping me have two very positive experiences. Practising hypnobirthing with both labours has meant that I look back fondly on the two biggest events in my life.
  • CHARLIE'S BIRTH
    My name is Kate, I’m 35 and this is my birth story. Having epilepsy I was told as a teenager that I may never be able to have children due to my medications. Incredibly, I was able to change medications successfully during Covid and later on went on to fall pregnant with my amazing partner, Jake. Being epileptic meant that by default, I was a high risk pregnancy, and was told I would likely need extra scans and there would be limitations around my birth plan. I had always wanted as natural a birth as possible, with a holistic approach. I did a lot of reading and found Katie’s hypnobirthing courses. When we undertook Katie’s 1:1 hypnobirthing course we did our research together and explored all our options with her guidance and support. This meant I was able to speak with my epilepsy nurses and in turn arranged a meeting with the consultant midwife to discuss my choices and any risks. I decided I would like to use a pool pre active labour and this was arranged. I made clear I was happy to use the labour ward as it was my first labour but we made a detailed birth plan outlining that we wanted minimal medical intervention. This helped me feel informed and confident. My due date was 6th October and I couldn’t wait. I was struggling with sleep, part excitement/ part anxiety. In the couple of weeks leading up to due date baby’s movements were becoming more random and less frequent. Twice I had been advised to attend Princess Anne for monitoring. There I had a CCG where the midwives were able to check the baby’s heart and my observations, all of which appeared normal. On the third time of being asked to go in for a check the consultant saw me and advised that whilst reduced movement could be nothing to worry about it could also mean something is wrong and there is no knowing till the baby arrives. With this in mind she suggested a sweep, and if no progress then to consider induction once at term. I had the sweep as I was hoping to get things progressing naturally but this didn’t seem to do anything so I had another sweep booked with my midwife in a couple of days. In the meantime I had raspberry leaf tea, curry, exercise, sea swims and rested and nested, listening to my hypno tapes. Baby’s movement became reduced again and I was now at term. The doctors booked me for an induction on the 8th October given the lack of fetal movement and my high risk pregnancy. I agreed on the basis that we could review things again after a pessary. I was nervous but my boyfriend and I were told it could take days. So we stopped for a carby pasta dish for my energy levels and then packed bags, board games and downloaded some surfing documentaries on the iPad to keep us occupied. I went in at 6pm and was given a 24 hour pessary, and was warned it was likely nothing would happen overnight. Afterwards, I was sent up to the ward, and my partner sent home. I got into pyjamas and settled to sleep with my hypnotape. What seemed like out of nowhere I had a strong wave, but put it down to nothing, but within five minutes came another, then another. I told the midwife, she examined me and told me I was starting labour, and explained I was having surges but needed to be a bit more dilated. She helped me put my TENS machine on and I sat on my birthing ball. I was very nauseous and vomiting regularly so was given an anti sickness injection. At 3am that morning I found myself wanting to push through the surges and I was now ready to go to the labour ward. I did not feel like going in the pool in the end, as I was so hot and I felt confident in my breathing rhythm and safe in my “zone”. Jake met me there and he started getting the birth space ready. He hung fairy lights, stuck up our manifestations on the wall, dimmed the lights, turned the alarms and monitoring noises off and decorated the space with gifts from my mother’s blessing and LED candles. He put on relaxing wave sounds in the background. I took x2 paracetamol and then focused on my breathing. My partner was incredible and guided me through my breathing when I lost focus and was present with me through every minute. The midwives had read our birth plan in detail as Jake had also presented them with a paper copy. They left us to it for the most part as we had requested and popped back in to check things or if we needed anything. After a few hours my waters hadn’t broken and there was talk of them doing this for me. I asked if I could try some different positions first. We did this and I lent all the way forward in a sitting position and they broke naturally after a couple of waves. From then surges became more regular and my body was telling me it was time. I listened to my body’s instincts and got on all fours and pushed, and little one showed his head! In one more big push he came out very quickly. I turned around and the midwives helped lift baby up towards my chest for skin to skin. What a moment, euphoric and utter bliss, time stood still, it was perfection. Jake then held and checked baby and told us it was a boy. Charlie was born on the 9th October at 11:11am. We remained connected with optimal cord clamping and I birthed my placenta naturally an hour later. This golden hour was skin to skin, and tears of joy and happiness, feeling so blessed. Jake cut the cord as we had requested and the midwives guided him through this brilliantly and then did their checks on baby. Charlie weighed 7lbs 4oz and was perfect. He struggled to latch at first which was down to a tongue tie which was rectified the following day. We stayed for a few extra days to work on feeding technique with the support of the midwives and lactation consultants. I expressed colostrum from birth till he could latch properly over the following days. Charlie has now been exclusively breastfed for 6 months with no plans of stopping any time soon, as we both love it. The labour was such a positive experience, I feel deeply grateful to my partner Jake, and to Katie my hypnobirthing guide and advocate and our wonderful midwife Finnoulah for all their time, support, knowledge and encouragement.
  • THE BIRTH OF MEADOW
    I was 40 weeks + 6 and due to go into hospital the next day to be induced. But in the end it all ended up happening naturally, and Meadow was born within about 7 hours of me feeling the first inkling of a contraction. Pretty quick for a first time! It started with an achey period pain in my abdomen at about 10pm. That feeling grew over the course of half an hour into contractions. Pretty soon I was having regular relatively strong contractions. We rang the hospital and they suggested that it would be a while yet and we should stay at home but to call back when things progressed. The contractions were quite intense, starting as a sensation in the lower abdomen and back, but surging into an intense sensation. We called back about an hour later and the midwife could hear me in the background as I was having a contraction and agreed we should come in! I wasn't too keen as I didn't want to go in and be sent home and risk disrupting my oxytocin levels, but Graham was insistent that we went in. We arrived at 1:30am and the midwife checked me over, I could feel my body going into a sort of involuntary stomach crunch every time I had a contraction! Was this an urge to push? Surely not? After half an hour the midwife examined me and... I was almost 10cm dilated. Within minutes they had a wheelchair and took me through to a delivery suite where I was starting to push within minutes. I then had 3 hours of pushing - after 2 hours they brought in more midwives to help cheerlead me on as I started to become really exhausted. I knew I was going to have to dig pretty deep! Meadow was born at 5:30am and weighed 9lb. She was plopped straight onto my chest and I gave her a cwtch and a kiss, the first of many. The breathing and relaxation techniques Katie taught us in the Hypnobirthing Workshop helped throughout to keep me calm and in control. In the days leading up to the birth I was trying to keep my oxytocin levels high by doing lots of lovely relaxing things like going for walks and having baths, and listening to hypnobirthing tracks. I like to think this helped fast track me to within hours of pushing without me even knowing it! The knowledge of labour helped us to understand what was happening at each stage, which means that you are less scared of what is happening and can deal with any decisions you might need to make. Thank you for everything Katie!
  • ASHLEE AND SEB - A POSITIVE INDUCTION
    We booked our hypnobirthing course with Katie quite close to our due date and I had gotten my mind set on a natural birth on Broadlands. However, that all changed when the bump started measuring small and we began going for growth scans. We were told that the baby’s blood flow was not looking good, possibly due to the placenta not working well anymore and we would need to be induced at 37 weeks. The doctor also told me that as I would have to be on a syntocinon drip, I would experience more pain and be likely to want an epidural which would then make me more likely to need an instrumental delivery. That was not at all what I had expected to hear, and my confidence was completely shaken. An epidural was something I really didn’t want for many reasons. I started getting a lot of anxiety about getting induced and not being able to cope with the pain. Luckily, we saw Katie the next day and she gave me hope that I could still have a positive birth and even without the epidural. I got to work on practicing the meditations and I watched and read lots of positive induction stories. Katie was very supportive and accommodated us by moving our course earlier so we could complete it in time.By the time it came to the day of our induction, Seb and I felt we had done everything we could to prepare. Our mindsets were in a MUCH better place after finishing the course. Katie helped us to realise that even though it wasn’t the ideal birth we had in mind, we could make the best out of it. We went in with a positive mindset. On the Wednesday afternoon, I had the pessary put in. I had to stay overnight on the antenatal ward for monitoring. We went for a little walk outside and I even did some yoga next to my bed in the evening. My waters broke the next morning around 8am. The midwife noticed that I was having some small contractions already but they weren’t strong enough for me to feel them. Halfway through my breakfast, the doctor came in and told me not to eat in case I needed a c-section, as they were a little concerned about the heart monitoring. After a few hours, I got whisked away to the labour ward. I was then allowed some breakfast again but later told I have to be nil by mouth when I start the drip in case of a c-section. I was also not allowed to hire the TENS machine unfortunately due to my situation. But I felt okay about these road bumps and kept my calm attitude. Seb made sure to hand out our birth plan and we were very blessed with an amazing midwife who really respected our birth plan. I was put on the drip around 12pm. The midwife found the only telemetry monitor on the ward which meant that I could move around more freely. We had a playlist but I preferred getting into a relaxed state with the meditations straight away. I went to the toilet and came out to a lovely surprise, Seb and the midwife had transformed the room with lots of tealights. They moved the bed out the way and laid out my yoga mat and put on the essential oil diffuser.I spent the next 5 hours on the yoga mat with the birth ball, moving into different positions. I found that the light touch massage, curtesy of Seb, really helped when the contractions came. There was only one time where I started to overthink, but Seb brought me back to my breath and I felt in control again. I started feeling tired, so the midwife suggested that I lie down on my side with the peanut ball in between my legs (labour ward has one!). I had a VE and found that I was 4cm. The midwife said we would probably be in labour for about 12 more hours. I tried not to feel disheartened by this as I was getting very tired. After about an hour, I turned over on my other side and decided to use the gas and air. It was after this that I started getting really painful contractions. The midwife said it was back labour so I tried my best for an hour to manage them through with the gas, but something didn’t feel right to me. My body was involuntarily contracting and as I thought I was still only 4cm, I started to worry and asked for an epidural. At this point, the baby started to have heart decelerations, so we had to wait for the doctor to come in. Seb cleverly suggested that I was in the transition phase but the midwife and I both brushed that idea off. However, when the doctor came in and checked me, I was fully dilated! She broke my hind waters that were still intact and I began pushing with each contraction. Once I started working with my body, there was no pain! She came out after just a few minutes and we were able to have skin to skin straight away. In fact, we were able to have skin to skin for 4 hours after birth which I think even the midwives were chuffed about, and optimal core clamping. I had such a huge rush of oxytocin and adrenaline after giving birth that I wasn’t bothered by the second degree tears at all. All in all, it was truly a positive experience and we felt so happy and relaxed afterwards. Couldn’t have done it without the support from my partner and having completed our hypnobirthing course with Katie.
  • KOSIWA AND MATTHEW
    Firstly I'd like to thank Katie at Heavenly Hypnobirthing for her support throughout my pregnancy. We started The Complete Hypnobirthing Programme in April and I was due at the end of August. Little man however had other ideas and arrived 10 days late on 7th September! During those long 10 days I reminded myself of everything Katie had taught me, remembering babies come on their birthdays, silencing all the noise around me and listening to my relaxations, positive birth scripts, and watching or listening to positive birth stories. I had an unsuccessful membrane sweep the week before Elijah was born, his head was down (as it had been for weeks) however my cervix was positioned posteriorly. I felt a bit disappointed as I was past my due date and was so excited to meet my baby. 6 days later, I had another sweep at 10am which was successful. I was 2cm dilated and my cervix was now central! Hours later at midnight on 7th September, I woke from my sleep with a trickle of waters. I'd been asleep 90 minutes and my husband hadn't slept! I went to the toilet and saw my mucus plug, my waters continued to trickle down. I began having light period pains and spoke with the labour line. They booked me into Broadlands birth centre for 10am that morning in case things hadn't progressed overnight. My pains started ramping up pretty quickly. My husband had been timing my contractions on an app and it said to go into hospital. We called labour line back but were on hold for ages. They agreed for us to go in, my bags had been packed for weeks so we were ready to go. I listened to my positive affirmations on the way to hospital and we arrived just after 2am. After this point, our timings are a little hazy. What I did know is that the pains continued to intensify. Thank God for my husband who was reminding me to breathe and all the techniques I'd been learning in our sessions. After a couple of hours, I requested to go into the bath to help with the pain. I continued with the techniques I'd learnt but the pain continued to intensify so I requested pain relief. However as there had been 2 unexpected deliveries on the ward, I didn't receive this until I got back to the room and to my surprise it was time to start pushing. I was 9cm dilated! I couldn't believe it. I was given 2 Paracetamol and 1 dihydrocodeine however this wouldn't have provided much relief as I had already started pushing. I requested gas and air however it was too late to have this as they said it may stop me from pushing. My husband was my pain relief, I had him in head locks, pushing his pressure points and all sorts - poor man! I was unable to go into the birthing pool as per my plan as they believed by the time it had been filled up, the baby would be here. And he arrived at 7am on 7th September, the midwives joked that I needed to push the baby out before their shift ended which I did! They were fantastic. The sex of the baby was a surprise, however I always had a gut feeling I'd be having a boy. I honestly don't think I could have birthed my baby the way I did without having done my hypnobirthing course and I am eternally grateful to Katie! Thank you for everything you did to help us along the way.
  • KIRSTIN'S POSITIVE BIRTH
    I would say had a very straightforward pregnancy, relatively speaking. The usual going to bed at 7pm during the first trimester and only eating beige foods, followed by the ease of the second trimester and then the back pain and thumb twiddling of the third. I like to know what I am getting myself into so I read everything I could about vaginal births, water births, pain relief - mainly so I knew what I didn’t want - and hypnobirthing; that’s how we met Katie! Being one of the last of my friends to have a baby, and being slightly older (geriatric according to obstetric medicine), I felt relatively prepared for pregnancy and birth. I knew I wanted to have an unassisted vaginal birth, hopefully in the birthing pool. I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible, move around during labour and stay off my back. My little boy decided otherwise! When we met Katie, I had an ideal picture in my mind of what I wanted for labour and birth, as I think most women have. Admittedly, I was a bit scared at the thought of any medical intervention so to address this fear she directed me to her website to read about positive assisted birth stories. With hindsight, I am so glad I followed her advice! We had a scan at 40+1 and our baby’s growth was tailing off, a trend for the past few growth scans. The midwife floated the idea of induction and my heart sank. I knew, from all my obsessive reading, that as soon as one intervention happens, it is likely to be followed by others. My partner and I discussed induction together and agreed that we wanted our little boy here safely and didn’t want to risk his health by waiting. I was booked for the balloon catheter for the following day, opting for the more ‘natural’ induction method. Once the catheter was in, we were sent home and had everything crossed it would induce labour - it didn’t. When I returned to hospital the following day, I was 2-3cm dilated, moved to labour ward and the midwife was able to rupture my membranes. I did not realise how much amniotic fluid would saturate the hospital bed! I managed to eat a load of carb-laden foods, knowing that the syntocinon drip would mean I couldn’t eat again until baby was born. That was 7pm on the Sunday evening. As soon as we arrived in our room, the midwife dimmed the lights, turned on a coloured night light and showed my partner how to set up the calming playlist I had been curating for weeks. I was able to walk around the room, wheeling my drip with me, until the contractions started to kick in and I didn’t want to be too far from the gas and air. I remembered all the breathing techniques Katie had shown us and focused on these to help me get through the contractions. However, by 11pm, when I heard I was still only 3cm dilated, with contractions becoming more and more intense, I wanted an epidural. I remember my partner reading me the information leaflet in order to get my consent (when I was high on gas and air) and telling him to read faster. By midnight, I was lying on my side, having had my epidural, gas and air still fully gripped in my hand and focussing on my playlist. My partner was incredible: stroking my arm, holding my water bottle and reminding me to keep breathing through the contractions - my epidural hadn’t fully worked so I could still feel them. He is my rock but I didn’t even need to ask him to do anything for me; he knew instinctively. We had many more discussions about my birth plan after we met Katie and this ensured he was fully informed of my wishes and birth plan. The next few hours were a blur of trying to feel more comfortable by moving around the bed into different positions, with the help of my midwife and partner. I kept trying to avoid looking at the clock and remain focussed on my breathing and music. By 5am I was fully dilated and at 5.30 I was ready to push. I ended up having to push lying on my back, which I found frustrating as I knew this wasn’t what I had originally wanted to do. After two and a bit hours of pushing, I was exhausted and couldn’t do any more. Looking back now, I think I was in transition but my body felt exhausted and I had nothing left to give. My partner spoke to the midwives and, he said, there were some quiet conversations between the two of them before the room filled with people. I started to worry as no-one had said what was going to happen. The doctor then sat down and explained that the baby's chin wasn’t tucked so he kept getting stuck, and that she could either hold his head in the right position so I could push him out or he could be pulled using ventouse. She also recommended carrying out an episiotomy due to the risk of tearing. More interventions that I hadn’t planned for but I opted for the ventouse and episiotomy. After two more pushes, and a few adult words escaping me, our little boy was born just after 8am on the Monday morning. He was placed on my chest straight away and given a quick clean. I had requested to have delayed cord clamping; however, this wasn’t possible due to the risk of bleeding following the induction. There were many unplanned interventions that happened during my labour and baby boy’s birth, but as soon as he was placed on my chest, I didn’t care. He was here, safe and healthy, letting everyone in the hospital and surrounding area know that he had a good pair of lungs! We cuddled and fed on the bed, as a new family of three, for a very long time, just letting our wee one adjust and being completely left to it by all the medical staff. Throughout my labour and birth, I was able to use all the hypnobirthing strategies we had been taught. I had my playlist, breathing and such a calm environment the whole way through until the ventouse. Even when I was being stitched, I used my breathing techniques. I felt heard by all the staff at Winchester hospital and my partner was my champion. I didn’t have the birth I had planned but it was an extremely positive experience - one I feel I could do again!
  • GEORGIE AND ROSS THE SEQUEL: HOMEBIRTH!
    This is the second time we’ve used Katie’s course and I’m so glad we did! I started having contractions at 11pm. We had planned for a home birth and once we had confirmation they could send midwives out my husband started to fill the birthing pool. I was in our lounge with the lights low and music on, embracing every contraction and staying active in between going up and down the hallway making sure hubby was doing it right. The midwives turned up around 1.30am, everything stayed very calm and peaceful just how I wanted. They checked baby’s heartbeat and ask if I wanted to be checked but I declined. Time went on and the midwives suggested I get in the pool so I walked down the hallway to the kitchen, but by the time I got there I felt the urge to push and within 3 contractions at 3.38am our beautiful little girl was lifted into my arms! I couldn’t believe that I had her at home, the most amazing experience and exactly how we wanted even if I didn’t make it into the pool! Around 10 minutes after I gave birth I had a postpartum haemorrhage which resulted in going into hospital. This meant that unfortunately we didn’t get the immediate post-birth experience we wanted, but the main thing is we are all ok! Without Katie I would never have had the confidence to go for a home birth, and even with our post birth experience it was amazing to be at home and in our safe and happy place to welcome our baby girl into the world. Thank you so much Katie, forever grateful, Georgie & Ross
  • MIDWIFE-LED BIRTH OF MAEVE
    I had a pretty straight forward pregnancy, however I was deemed high risk due to having a low placenta and having a history of post partum haemorrhage. It was therefore recommended that I give birth on the labour ward. I wanted to be as relaxed as possible and was keen to birth in the birthing centre. After speaking with the consultant midwife, she agreed to my birthing plan of initially going to Broadlands in Southampton but to move to labour ward if there were any complications. As I attended my 40 week and 41 week midwife appointments, I knew that they would be keen to book me in for induction. I wanted to avoid this as I was induced with my son. I went into those appointments confident with my choices and requested extra monitoring instead (though they still booked me and induction for 40+14!). There were no signs that labour was imminent at my 41 week midwife appointment, however that evening at 8.30pm I started to have surges every 10 minutes. I was soon getting surges every 3-4 minutes so made my way to the hospital at 1am. During the car journey I put on my eye mask and listened to my relaxation tracks. Once at hospital I did agree to a VE (vaginal examination) where I was told that I was 2 cm dilated but not in active labour therefore I was advised to go home. I was disheartened for a second but went home to try and get some rest. I spent some time in bed and also had a bath all the while listening to my relaxation tracks and positive affirmations. At this point my 3 year old son had woken up and kept coming into the bathroom to see what Mummy was doing! At 7.30am, the surges were becoming more intense therefore I went back into hospital. The midwives had clearly read my birthing plan and were aware that I didn't want any unnecessary examinations. I never felt forced by them to make any decisions but at 9am curiosity got the better of me and I requested an examination. They informed me that I was in active labour and was 5cm dilated. From this point onwards I did not have another VE and they monitored baby's heartbeat every 15 minutes after each surge. The surges soon became closer together and more intense. The midwives started to fill up the birthing pool as I leant on the side of the pool swaying and breathing through each surge, repeating to myself that each surge was bringing me closer to my baby. At this point I did ask for gas and air. By the time the pool was full and ready, my waters had broken and I felt that my baby was nearly here. I was right! There was no time for me the get into the pool and my baby was ready to be born. I had a bad tear with my son therefore they wanted to support my perineum as my baby was born. Once I was on the bed I used my breath to bear her down, mindful not to push too much. I felt this immediate relief and my baby girl was placed on my chest, born at 12.25pm. I did have a few stitches but nothing compared to my previous birth. Active labour lasted 3.5 hours. Without having done the Hypnobirthing programme with Katie, I do not think that I would have been able to navigate the birth so calmly. It still amazes me that i managed to birth my daughter with gas and air! Afterwards, my partner told me that he would never have guessed that I was in labour!
  • THE BIRTH OF NOVA
    First time mum Megan explained at the start of our sessions how she was being pressurised into accepting an epidural due to high BMI (not a valid reason! No one can dictate what interventions you accept - and there is no research that recommends an epidural for higher BMI) We worked on regaining confidence back, practising entering into a deep relaxation during the sessions, and we talked about consent and rights in childbirth. Megan stuck to what she knew was right for her, even when another anaesthetist tried to coerce her into accepting an epidural midway through labour! With the support of her partner Sam, her Mum and the midwifery team, she was able to focus on her breathing, stay in the zone and not let 'his words get in my head', resulting in baby Nova being born not long after! Being pregnant was always something I couldn’t wait for! To be able to feel their little kicks, hiccups and to know you were growing a little human that depended on you so much. My pregnancy was not at all what I expected it to be. From early on I started suffering from SPD, which resulted in using crutches towards the end. They don’t show you in movies everything else that comes with being pregnant haha! I just kept thinking “I will get my baby girl at the end”. I have high BMI so I had to have a few more appointments throughout my pregnancy, such as the glucose test, growth scans and an anaesthetist appointment. All throughout, everything was going smoothly! No high blood pressure, happy baby, nothing in urine etc. I had my anaesthetist appointment and felt very pushed towards having an epidural due to a raised BMI. This was something I really did not want! She was telling me the worse case scenarios in case they couldn’t get an epidural in, or if they needed to take me down to theatre. I mentioned a water birth, which I had also mentioned to my midwife before, only to be told that I wouldn’t be allowed one again due to the raised BMI. I went from walking into the appointment knowing what type of birth and pain relief I wanted, to walking out confused and worried. This was when my friend found Katie online and booked me in for the full 8hr course. Everything I learnt from these sessions calmed me down and made me feel prepared for the birth of my baby. The growth scans showed that my baby was on the larger side. Due to this, the consultant (who I saw after every scan) was of the opinion that it would be best to be induced at 39 weeks. I was okay with this due to the SPD pain and I was struggling. So at 39 weeks, when a bed became available, I got the call to go in! They were using the cervical balloon induction method (Foley catheter/Cook balloon). It consists of two balloons on the end of a catheter. One balloon goes through the cervix and the other stays in the vagina. They inflate them once in and then deflate and remove them 12 hours later, hoping the cervix has thinned between the two balloons and the waters are ready to break. Mine worked well and ended up falling out before they could deflate the balloons! They took me round to the labour ward and broke my waters successfully. Within half an hour, I started having contractions. To begin with my breathing was all over the place until my partner and my mother reminded me to focus on my breathing. I then picked a spot to look at and sorted out my breathing. I was then offered gas and air which I found personally helped me keep control of my breathing (and obviously helped with pain). Originally I made a playlist to listen to, but found out I was happy in the quiet and relaxed setting! Also took a pillow in just to have that comfort from home. This actually helped a lot! Even though I had made it clear that I didn’t want an epidural to start with and that I wanted to see how me and my body coped, an anaesthetist came in to the delivery room uninvited half way through my labour and strongly suggested an epidural. He also said that if I needed assistance delivering, they would take me to theatre and use forceps, and that if they need to perform a c-section, then they would have to knock me out completely! I made it clear that I was coping well and still did not want an epidural, and did not feel like I needed any extra help. Even the midwife told him I was doing really well and baby was happy. I definitely knew I could do it by continuing to focus on my breathing and not allowing his words to get in my head and continue in my zone. I had an examination and was 8cm dilated. Throughout the birth I was calm and even though I stayed calm, I could feel myself starting to struggle a little with the pain, so they offered pethidine which I accepted. After this, the only way I could handle the contractions was to push against them. The midwife checked again and confirmed that it was time to push. After 7 hours and 25 minutes of labour and 9 minutes of pushing, our Nova was born! She was placed straight on to my chest and we enjoyed her first moments together! I was slightly worried about tearing and needing stitches. I had in fact torn and had a second degree tear which was almost a third degree. They said that it would be okay to address this bedside, and there was no need to go to theatre. I will say to anyone worried, not to be! Once your baby is in your arms, you zone out to everything else around you!
  • THE BIRTH OF MATILDA
    I was 6 days past my due date expecting my second baby. My husband Paul and I (Vicky) had completed the hypnobirthing course with Katie. We had listened to the hypnobirthing tracks on a daily basis for a number of weeks, watched or read a lot of positive birth stories and made all the necessary plans for the birth. We were feeling ready for our baby to arrive and starting to feel quite impatient. I was getting ready for bed and felt a popping sensation in my back. From what I had read, some people have this sensation when their waters break. There wasn’t much fluid leaking at this point but I thought I should try to sleep and was convinced that labour would start during the night. However, aside from a few mild stomach cramps, there wasn’t much in the way of progress by the time I woke up the next day. In the morning we went into the Princess Anne hospital where it was confirmed that my hind waters had gone. The midwife gave me a membrane sweep and I was sent home. We were hoping to have a home birth so we started getting things ready and filling up our birth pool. Whilst this was happening my contractions started and within a couple of hours I was having three every ten minutes and they were feeling quite intense. At this point we called the labour line and were told that there weren’t enough midwives on duty for us to have a home birth so I would need to come into the Broadlands Birth Centre. We were initially disappointed about this. However when we arrived at Broadlands, we had a large room with a birthing pool and the midwives were all lovely - it felt like a good environment to have our baby. My contractions had slowed down during the car journey and on arrival at the birth centre but after a while their frequency and intensity returned and things felt like they were progressing again. I focussed on my breathing during the contractions whilst moving around the room, bouncing on a birth ball and then sitting in the pool. The water was very warm and helped a lot with the discomfort from the contractions. However, after a while I found I was getting too hot in the pool so went back to walking around the room. It was at this point there was a definite increase in the intensity of the contractions along with a feeling of pressure and an urge to push. I remember the midwife asking me questions about how I was feeling but wasn’t in a state to respond as I was so focussed on the contractions and my breathing. A few contractions later, our daughter Matilda was born, only two hours after arriving at the birth centre. I felt like the second stage of labour was a struggle given the intensity of the surges. However, the hypnobirthing course we had done with Katie and our birth preparation meant that I was able to manage any pain through only breathing techniques and some gas and air. I also felt very lucky that the team of midwives on duty were so supportive of my preference to have a natural birth and the care we received was so good. I would recommend the hypnobirthing course to anyone expecting a baby. It was so helpful in understanding the labour process, what to expect from the birth and how to stay calm throughout. I had a very positive birth experience, which I don’t think would have been possible without doing the course and practicing the hypnobirthing techniques.
  • RACHEL AND TOM
    We had our baby boy at 4pm yesterday! Overall a really positive experience although absolutely nothing went to plan. I was coping really well with contractions at home and was planning on riding them out throughout the night and waiting for them to get stronger. I thought I should be feeling them more intense and more regular before phoning labour line, and I wanted to stay at home as long as possible (it was about 2am at this time). But then I went the loo and noticed a lot of bright red blood. I knew that a bloody show was normal, but that bright red wasn’t good (especially the quantity I had), so we made our way to hospital as the labour line was busy and not picking up. Labour line picked up on the journey there, and said to go to labour ward because of the bleeding. When I got to hospital they said I was 6-7cm dilated and offered me an epidural. I didn’t feel I needed one as I was coping well with contractions, but accepted one because I thought that might be my only chance given that I was nearly in transition stage. I had always strongly considered an epidural. The epidural was given about 5am and took away all the pain and allowed me to rest for next 9 hours, which was lovely as we had dimmed lights and music playing the whole time. Baby’s heart rate went down at one point and they were worried (about 10 midwives rushed in) so put on the foetal scalp monitor. Out of our plan, but put my mind at rest knowing he was being monitored closely given how concerned they seemed to be. I got to 9cm in about 9 hours. Was struggling to get to 10cm, and baby’s heart rate would drop every now and then, so they used an oxytocin drip to help get to 10cm to speed up the process. Once at 10cm I pushed for a bit but baby had his hand by his face. The midwives said he was not happy and wanted to get him out quick (if they couldn’t soon then they would consider c-section), so they did an incision and used suction cap to get him out. As the baby was distressed and had the cord round his neck, they cut the cord straight away to get him treated (again out of plan as wanted to do ‘wait for white’). I then also had 3rd degree tears, so was taken quickly to theatre for 2-3 hours to be operated on as they were concerned for blood loss. So there was no skin to skin straight away and he had to have some formula instead - again out of plan. He is now breastfeeding really well. I can’t believe how calm I was throughout the whole process despite all the circumstances - no doubt this was the help I had from you. I do wonder if I should have tried without the epidural as I was coping so well with contractions, and I wonder if things may have gone differently if I had. That being said, I’m really pleased with the whole experience and so perhaps it was the best way for me, guess I will never know. The team said that I would have needed the incision and would have got the tears regardless of the epidural due to his position and the fact he had a hand by his face. He turned during labour from back to back to a more favourable position so that was good but he still had the hand there. I’m obviously in discomfort now but that will get better in time. Thank you so much for all your support. The fact I got to nearly 7cm with no pain relief and I would have kept going alone at home had it not been for the blood I think is incredible and shows how effective the Hypnobirthing is. The whole labour was a positive experience even though things did not go according to plan. And we now have a beautiful healthy and happy baby boy! You have been absolutely fantastic, gone way above expectations and because of your help me and Tom have a positive birth experience which we will have for the rest of our lives - I really mean that so thank you!
  • A POSITIVE PLANNED CAESAREAN
    I decided to have an elective c-section because I have a fear about giving birth naturally. The hypnobirthing helped me understand that natural birth could be calm and beautiful but I didn't feel I could go through with it. Katie was brilliant and changed our course to suit my needs. On the day of my operation anxiety started to creep in and I became fearful of what was about to happen. I was incredibly lucky to have a very supportive student midwife who I got on well with throughout my pregnancy and was able to attend the birth of my baby. She held my hand whilst the cannula and spinal block was given. The staff encouraged me to relax so they could insert the needle and I started to focus on my breathing. It was like a switch had gone in my head. My shoulders came down, I was able to take deep, steady breaths and I remained incredibly still. Before I knew it I was on the table, the screen was up and my partner was sitting beside me. I kept incredibly calm as I focused on breathing. In a very short time frame the surgeon had delivered my baby and declared it was a girl (we decided to opt for the surprise of the sex). Once she was out they could focus on stitching me up. Sadly I reacted badly to the drugs and became unwell. Whilst back in recovery I went into shock and started violently shaking, couldn't catch my breath and my teeth were chattering. My partner was able to remain in control and encourage me to focus on my breathing to calm me down thanks to the skills we had learnt on the hypnobirthing course. I am pleased I opted for a c-section, despite having a rough time afterwards, because it meant everything was calm and my birthing plan was followed completely as I wanted it to be. Thank you again for all your help and support.
  • A POSITIVE VBAC
    This mum was feeling apprehensive about the birth of her second baby after having a Caesarean birth with her first child. After doing the Hypnobirthing Workshop with me, she realised the importance of staying calm and relaxed during labour and went on to have a positive VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean). We had our little boy at 37+2, it happened really quickly! Went to bed with my daughter at about 7:45pm. Woke up with cramps at about 8 and then the contractions got more frequent quite quickly. I called the hospital at 8:40pm and they said I sounded really calm and was only in early stages of labour. But the contractions were about 4 minutes apart by 9pm, so I called the hospital back as I knew it was a good 35 minute drive to get there. The breathing exercises really helped in the home and in the car. When I arrived at the hospital, the midwife said I seemed calm. She examined me and I was 6cm dilated already! I felt the urge to push at about 10:45pm, I found this easier than the earlier contractions as I just went with what my body wanted to do. I only used gas and air as everything was happening pretty rapidly! My little boy was born at 11:54pm. The workshop helped me to realise the importance of staying calm and relaxed. I would recommend it to any of my friends who are expecting. Thank you!
  • ALEX'S BIRTH STORY
    This formidable woman and her incredible birth partner felt that they had still had a positive birth experience despite having an emergency Caesarean, with some extremely challenging circumstances. Despite the unplanned turn of events, Charlotte & Carlos felt educated and prepared having done the Complete Hypnobirthing Programme with me. PLEASE NOTE: This story includes an incidence of resuscitation. I had our little girl Alexandra at 40+10 days via emergency c-section. When I first found out I was pregnant I had no idea what to expect and felt completely unprepared. I did some research, read several brilliant books and was recommended the hypnobirthing course with Katie. I think this was invaluable for me as someone who likes to feel in control and informed – it gave me a chance to learn the science behind birth, practice the relaxation techniques and ask every question which came to me! Our plan was for a natural water birth in Broadlands midwife led unit with, in an ideal world, only gas and air. The reality couldn’t be further from that in the end! I went into labour on the Thursday morning, 10 days “late” having declined 2 sweeps prior to that. The contractions were light at the start and it wasn’t until the evening at about 17.00 that they ramped up and I told my husband I was definitely in labour! They then intensified and after just under 12 hours at about 3am we made our way to Broadlands. They did a VE (vaginal examination) and confirmed I was fully effaced but only 1cm dilated. We headed back home and I spent the following 24 hours having contractions. I focused on my breathing, we watched our travelling videos and listened to the hypnobirthing tracks. I was on the sofa, then on the floor, in the shower, then the bath, finally in bed. Anything which helped in the moment, with my husband forcing me to eat and drink. Finally, after another day and night of contractions which were pretty intense and coming 2/3 every 10 minutes, we headed back to the hospital. At this point I had had enough and was ready to be told I was in established labour – I’d barely slept for 48 hours other than drifting in and out of sleep when I could between contractions. We got to the hospital at about 2am and I agreed to another VE. Unfortunately, during the second VE, my cervix tore a little which caused a fair amount of bleeding, and the midwife confirmed that I was 3cm dilated and in established labour but would need to go to labour ward for continuous monitoring – water birth out of the window! The midwife was brilliant and very on board with hypnobirthing. We lowered the lights and I was able to stand and lean over the bed, with some gas and air for the more intense contractions. After another 6 hours of contractions I agreed to another VE to check progress. I was now 4cm dilated. After more than 2 days of labouring, I was still only at 4cm and completely exhausted. At this point we decided to go for an epidural. I knew I couldn’t keep going at this pace and although we tried to create a calm environment, I was struggling to zone out and progress as I wished. The epidural was unplanned, but allowed me to rest and sleep for a bit, and after another 12 hours, a VE confirmed I was at 10cm and ready to push. By this time the epidural was wearing off and I could feel the contractions again. I pushed for 2 hours, sat semi upright with support from a midwife, a trainee and my husband. After 2 hours, a Dr came to check progress and confirmed that she was still very high and, in his opinion, I was unlikely to be able to push her out without some assistance and Alex was under a fair bit of pressure with some dropping of her heart rate. He advised to head to theatre for forceps and episiotomy and topped up the epidural as by this point I was feeling the contractions completely again. On arrival in theatre, the surgeon checked again ready to do the episiotomy but felt I wasn’t actually completely 10cm dilated. At this point Alex's heart rate suddenly plummeted and they needed to do an emergency c-section. Due to the urgency, they administered a top up of epidural to ensure I couldn’t feel anything but due to the rush, the top up numbed me completely including my arms and chest, so I was unable to move even my upper body. The c-section was fine and I was comfortable. However Alex came out unresponsive and required resuscitation. I was inevitably very emotional at this point as there was no cry, and several people rushed in to help resuscitate and manually rise her chest as she wasn’t breathing on her own. The whole team were amazing and although they wouldn’t let my husband see what was happening, they were talking to me the whole time. She was finally handed to us at 11 minutes but due to how numb I was, she had to have skin to skin with my husband instead as I couldn’t hold her. They were great, allowing him to take his t-shirt off and wrapping them in a towel with her against his chest. I couldn’t even move my head to see her so I was quite tense at this point. We were taken to a room after where my husband and the midwife had to help establish breastfeeding as I was still numb. It was quite frustrating! However, despite the unexpected turn and the emotional start Alex had, we were so grateful that she had arrived safely in the end. Alex had irregular breathing and due to the complex labour, was at high risk of infection so we ended up staying in hospital for 5 days and my husband was sent home at about 5am as I was taken to the ward. I couldn’t have planned for the unexpected twists and turns and although we ended up with a caesarean section, I felt totally informed and in control at every point of the labour. The c-section was an emergency but I trusted my caregivers entirely and felt respected throughout. I know the hypnobirthing made me go into the labour feeling informed and prepared, rather than with any fear, which for me is the most important thing. I understood what my body was going through and what my rights were at every stage so, despite the difficult labour and the drama, I would do it all again!
  • GEORGIE AND ROSS
    On the Wednesday whilst watching Jurassic Park (I will always remember that!) my waters broke. The excitement was overwhelming, knowing we would be meeting our little human very soon. I called the hospital and got an appointment for the next morning to be checked unless contractions started. That night of course I hardly slept, and I didn’t start with any contractions, so we headed to the hospital for 9am on the Thursday. I was seen by a midwife who did a VE and said she was 50/50 on whether my waters had gone. She said she could feel baby’s hair, so was pretty sure they had. I was then booked in for an induction 48 hours from my waters breaking so I was sent home to try get things started naturally. The whole of Thursday and Friday we tried everything we had been taught, from watching funny movies, affirmations, massage, walks, clary sage etc but nothing was happening. So on the Friday evening at 7.30pm we headed to the hospital for my planned induction at 8pm. When we arrived we were seen pretty much immediately, and were put into a private room where they strapped me up to check baby’s heart rate. We were in this room for a few hours before being transferred into the labour room. We got into this room around midnight hoping to be seen by a midwife soon. We set up the room and tried to get some sleep. We weren’t seen until 10am on the Saturday morning by a midwife who unfortunately wasn’t fully on board with the hypnobirthing and wasn’t quite the midwife for us. Firstly she couldn’t sign onto the monitor and was getting a bit stressed, then when she tried to put my cannula in she hit a valve inside the vein so got another midwife in to try who did the same thing! After 3 attempts finally it was in. The whole time I was questioning whether my waters had actually broken, so I asked to be examined again before they started my induction. Again she was 50/50, however she then told me leaving it any longer would have increased the risk of infection, so we decided to go ahead. After about an hour of the drip being on (and turning it up every 20 minutes) I was at a high dose and nothing was happening apart from a few cramps. The midwives said I should definitely be feeling stronger contractions by now so they decided to get the head midwife in, who did another VE and then told me my forewaters hadn’t broken, and wasn’t happy that I had been in all day and this wasn’t picked up. My waters now needed to be broken, and this also wasn’t straight forward. The tool they normally use wasn’t clipping it so after three attempts they decided to use another tool. This worked straight away and at 3:30pm the contractions started. Once the contractions started it was full on. We had the room calm still and with our music playing. Once the contractions got stronger I put my TENS machine on and I got into the zone. I had a little routine with each contraction which seemed to work and get me through. Around 3 hours later I was sick and told that was a good sign, then shortly after I felt the urge to push. The midwife, who by the way was now a new one and was amazing, totally understood what me and my husband where trying to do and worked with us. She said I was 20 minutes away from the 4 hour mark where they would normally do a VE so I waited. At 4 hours she checked and I was 8cm dilated…I couldn’t believe it, I was so happy!! And with that I got off the bed and the urge to push became stronger so I started and went with it, and for the next hour and 45 minutes I was pushing with each contraction. There was no concern about me or baby but I was getting tired. A doctor came in who also was amazing and really encouraged me at each contraction to push, however nothing was changing so he decided to use forceps. By this point I was ready for baby to arrive. Within 15 minutes of this our little boy was in my arms at 9.49pm with the skin on skin contact I asked for. Because of the induction they gave me the injection to help get the placenta out but I was so engrossed with our little boy I didn’t even notice. My labour was a completely pain relief free experience and I wouldn’t have done this had my head not been in the right place with everything Katie had taught me. My husband said I was a different woman in that room, like someone came in and took over. I can honestly say even though my experience wasn’t what I had planned it was amazing, and all in all was a positive one, which is what my aim was regardless of its direction. A massive thank you to Katie for all your help, support and knowledge.
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