The Birth of Toby –Tessa’s Positive Hospital Birth Story

When I got pregnant I knew I wanted to try hypnobirthing as I’d heard really positive things from friends. I was already interested in meditation and did a lot of physical activity.

I wanted to do everything I could to make my birth run smoothly. I’m also very much someone who would rather know all the “gory details” to prepare myself for what’s to come!

Myself and my husband did a one on one session with Laura, having done some reading and prep beforehand. Our session put all that into context and really convinced my husband of the value of hypnobirthing. We found the sections on decision making & using “BRAIN” particularly helpful.

Before then, we had assumed we didn’t have much say in how our birth went, and both had thought I would labour and birth on my back, in a hospital room. Our birth couldn’t have been further from that!

Just after my due date I experienced some reduced movements and the consultant offered to induce me. Without hypnobirthing, we would have automatically agreed; but we used BRAIN to talk through the decision, risks etc and ultimately decided, as the monitoring showed no issues, to decline. I really didn’t want an induction, and decline a stretch for the same reason, as I believed baby would arrive when he was ready. I always thought I would go overdue.

I went home and spent the next week keeping a close eye on baby’s movements, bouncing on my ball and doing lots of affirmations. 10 days after my due date we agreed to an induction, as I knew I would start to worry which would impede labour regardless.

On the morning I was booked in I started getting contractions , so said I wouldn’t be coming into hospital for a while to give them a go at continuing. I knew I wouldn’t progress so well at hospital, so I walked around our village in the sun for hours, stopping and resting at contractions.

I braided my hair and packed all our snacks and went into hospital at 4pm. I really thought I was in established labour and the midwife agreed. I popped my headphones on, TENS machine on and walked about my room. My husband pinned up photos and affirmations around the room, and set up the music, fairy lights and electric candles.

I suddenly started progressing quite quickly; I didn’t have any time to watch my Netflix series!

I gave my midwives my visual birth plan which my husband took them through. He was the gate keeper and spoke to them so as not To disturb me. They were fantastic, literally taking a back seat and saying they loved how relaxing the room was , like a spa!

At around 8pm I got into the pool. I had my headphones on with my relaxation tracks on. After a couple of hours in the pool I felt like I wasn’t progressing & the pressure was really intense,  so got onto my yoga mat onto all fours.

My husband was holding my hands, showing me photos and affirmations and telling me how well I was doing.

I had gas and air and used it to help with my breathing. Again the midwives occasionally monitored me with a hand held Doppler, and agreed to check my dilation whilst I was on all fours as I refused to get on the bed.

I went through transition here, saying I couldn’t do it – my husband kept telling me “you ARE doing it!”

Knowing this was transition and that it would pass was so helpful. My midwife suggested I stand up in the final stages as I was getting tired – I lent over the bed and my husband kept talking to me and giving me sips of lucozade.

My midwife told me that my baby was still “in his bag” – that my waters hadn’t broken and as I was pushing they could see the amniotic sac, not his head! I had asked not to be coached to push so was left alone to do my own thing.

Quite soon after standing up, I said “he’s coming!” And baby Toby was born very dramatically, with my waters finally breaking as he emerged!

We’re not sure if I or the midwife caught him but we were very quickly cuddling in bed with lots of skin to skin.

Unfortunately I needed a bit of help after the birth but we managed to have the golden hour and my husband continued with skin to skin whilst I was being looked after . Toby didn’t cry, just slept happily all cuddled up!

Birth was definitely the hardest thing I’ve ever done, and I wouldn’t say it was “painfree” and certainly not one of those peaceful water births you see on YouTube – I was swearing and shouting my head off!

But it wasn’t scary – I knew the sensations were productive, we were so well prepared and knew what birth we wanted but we’re fully open to other alternatives if we had to go down a different route.

We were very lucky to have the birth we had hoped for but I really believe being equipped with the skills and knowledge (and knowing it’s OUR birth!) made a huge difference.

Our midwives thanked us for “letting them watch” our birth and said they’d never seen a birth partner so engaged with the process – we are so grateful to Laura for giving us the tools to welcome toby into the world in the way we wanted!

George’s Homebirth – Elle’s Birth Story, 1st Time Mama – Leeds

George Mark Jack Bentley arrived on the 29th October at 10:38 pm and we achieved our homebirth which was absolutely incredible!

Contractions began 24 hours earlier and I managed to go from start to finish using hypnobirthing techniques meaning the only pain relief I felt I needed was the pool we had set up!

We treated part of the labour just like date night! And although we had Alexandra our doula present and different midwives attending we had lovely Xmas candles lit, Xmas films on & nice music playing.

Labour was exhausting and we almost ended up in the hospital due to ‘slow progression’ but while the ambulance was en route George & I pulled together and he arrived about 20 mins after it’d been called!

We’re so pleased we explored the hypnobirthing world as it kept me
present & in control through labour & drug and medical intervention-free.

Marlon was amazing and super confident; even cutting the cord without a moment’s hesitation!
We worked to protect our space and consider decisions using brains!
Marlon’s used the skills he’s learnt from your course during my pregnancy, birth and since George has arrived; challenging when needed, making informed decisions based on research; especially when ‘scare tactics’ have been used – which they certainly have been!

Alexandra complemented this perfectly. She’s an absolute treasure! There every step of the way but not intrusive in any way.

I just wanted to say thank you for the role you also played in our pregnancy and labour journey!

 I never felt any anxiety since your course and felt super confident in our decision to home birth even though we were first-time parents.

The book, relaxation techniques; especially the visual poster (baby in the birth canal) and positive affirmations I put up really helped stay positive and embrace the arrival of our lovely son!

Keep doing what you’re doing! It’s clearly the right path for you!

With love Elle, Marlon & George xx

Lilys Homebirth – Nicola, 2nd Time Mama

Lily Raine was born on Friday morning after the most amazing home birth. 

I wanted to thank you from the bottom of my heart for enabling me to have the most amazing birth, quickly and easily at home with no drugs or intervention needed at all. 

I knew I was going into labour on Thursday night so We set up all my tools and anchors, Put the tens machine on, I sat on a birthing ball and simply breathed her out – no pushing required! The midwives arrived about 5:30 after we called them and I was already 9cm dilated so all that was left for them to do was catch her when she came out.

There were problems with the home birth kit with 3 taxi’s having to be called with drugs and kit still missing. They weren’t being particularly quiet about it but I was so in the zone it didn’t matter. I could hear them commenting on how calm and relaxed I was which just spurred me on. 
I still keep getting flashbacks of how easy the whole experience was and pinching myself to see if it was real, a whole different experience to last time. 

You were so helpful in letting me run through what I needed to understand better, which areas to practice and why and the importance for Richard’s role which made the difference from my last birth to 7 hours of breathing totally in control so thank you again. 

I will be highly recommending you to any of my friends that may get pregnant in the future. 

Elizabeth’s Positive Birth Pool Story, Baby Ben – 2nd Baby

It’s been a little while as we’ve been settling in, but I just wanted to update you on how our birth went! 

I started with regular surges on the morning of Wednesday 19th of April and things hadn’t ramped up much by the Thursday evening, so I called the hospital who said I could pop in for an examination to see how things were progressing. We took all our bags just in case, which was lucky as they asked us to stay in and I got the pool room that I missed out on last time when I was induced with Sophie.

I had the time to set up my hypnobirthing space, with photos, birth affirmations, fairy lights and forest sounds (which I’d been practising and relaxing with since our session). Nathan was incredibly supportive, making sure I had everything I needed and encouraging me through the surges, which carried on for a few more hours at which point the midwife said we could go home if we preferred. I trusted my body though and decided to stay, we managed to take a short nap and when I woke up the surges were getting more intense – I cracked on my music playlist (everything from Blink 182 to Pantera haha!) and stayed active, breathing through the surges. We put the water in the pool at around 11, which really helped me to relax and take some weight off. I also started squeezing my comb at this point (great tip!) as things got more intense.

Our baby boy Ben arrived at 1:29am on the Friday after lots of slow, controlled pushing. I got away with no stitches or tears using the breathing exercises we’d talked about.

The midwives commented afterwards that they’d not seen such a calm and beautiful waterbirth (not that it felt anything like that to me at the time, I definitely made a lot of racket!) which makes me so proud looking back on it. As a very anxious and self-critical person, I tend to focus on everything I think I should be doing better so this was really lovely to hear, and I’ve drawn a lot of courage from it over the past few weeks, which I’ve found really hard.

I can say with certainty that our session with you gave me the confidence and tools to have such an amazing and positive birth experience, which I’ll always be able to look back on as a wonderful memory. What an incredible gift – thank you from the bottom of my heart.

Elle’s Birth Story – The Birth of Odette – A Positive Caesarean Birth using Hypnobirthing

I was incredibly anxious throughout my pregnancy. Hypervigilant and quite concerned for mine and baby’s welfare.

I had lots of friends and knew of lots of women who really suffered through birth, and I was petrified.

I got in touch with Laura after repeated requests for a C section kept getting batted away – could you not try?

Are your scared of the pain? Have you thought it through?

I felt I may have to deliver vaginally and how would I do it?
Laura seemed like the perfect fit from her website, and I got in touch. The toolkit and anchors have been life changing for me.

After the course I decided to still advocate for a C section but knew I could give birth vaginally if I needed to. I was given a date at 39 weeks
and 6 days. This made me spiral a bit: what if she came early?

I rang Laura again and she coached me through this. I accepted the date and hoped I would get there.
At 39 weeks at 4 days I started with surges. My mucus plug had been coming away over the space of a few weeks and I had Braxton hicks. These felt different- like a waves of pain and were coming every 40 mins or so.

My stepdaughter was here so I tried to keep calm and waited for my husband to drop her off before and panic. Would I still be able to have my C section?

I had a hot shower, downloaded the freya app to chart my surges and went to bed about 8 to see how things progressed.

Soon they were every 16/18 minutes and I decided to ring Mac to get some advice. I wanted the delivery I had been working for. I spoke to a midwife who advised that no one would do a c – section on a Sunday night and to see how I got on.

If I had 2 in 10 mins to ring again. I used my hypnobirthing breathing with each surge and played the positive affirmations that Laura had sent me – my favourite being ‘all aspects of pregnancy and birth are safe.’ I got through each surge with the breath in for 4, out for 8 and I used my ball and the UFO acronym to help me.

My husband stayed awake through the many surges with me, occasionally dozing off– about 2am – it slowed, and I tried to sleep a bit. By 5 am, the surges were 4/5 mins apart so I rang MAC again and they told me to come in.

I was booked in at Jimmy’s but they redirected me to LGI. I used my breathing all the way in the car and felt very calm.

The contractions weren’t slowing despite the change of location and losing some of my anchors so this told me labour was quite established. We parked up and went in.

The midwife could see I was having surges and suggested a vaginal examination. I had said I didn’t want them in my birth preferences but I knew now was the time to make the decision- continue in labour or advocate for my section. I said to my partner if I was 4cm dilated I would try to deliver vaginally.

I used my advice from Laura on being honest and advocating and explained why I was concerned about a vaginal exam: the midwife was great and so understanding.

My husband held my hand and stroked my arm and reminded me of my breathing techniques and affirmations. I was 1 cm.

She said she could see the surges were very close together, did I want to have my c section today.

We used BRAIN and decided to have the C section. Things moved fast then: I was consented and had a canula before being taken to the delivery suite.
Several staff commented on how well I was dealing with the pain of the surges – I used my breathing throughout. I also refused pain killers. I wanted to experience how close the surges were together.

I had an amazing team – another of Laura’s affirmations came into play here – ‘you are safe with your trusted team.’ Lots of brilliant young women helped deliver my baby and I felt very empowered.

We went to theatre. Matt got his scrubs on, and I began the spinal block.
It was difficult with the surges but again used my breathing and Matt was too far away from me, so I did visualisation of a run I do on our family holiday to Spain and kept running it in my head until the spinal block was over. I then lay down and the C Section began.

Matt stayed by my head and he told me the story of our engagement, a technique we had practiced, to help me keep my oxytocin. We put on our wedding ceremony playlist to anchor us, and Odette was born to Here Comes the Sun by The Beatles: it was perfect.

We had optimal cord clamping and Matt moved with Odette to get her weighed. I had a small complication -a bleed which meant skin to skin was hard to do but I got to touch and kiss her, and Matt stayed at my head for the next hour. I continued with my hypnobirthing techniques.

Breathing was especially important. I had another complication later that day and needed another catheter – again I used my breathing to do this without pain relief.
Overall, I was so proud of myself and I had an amazing experience.

No small part of that was down to hypnobirthing and especially Laura.

A First Time Mum Home Birth Story – The Birth of Eloise Grace

Eloise Grace
Known girl
EDD 9.2.21
Born 18.2.21

I was feeling so fed up of being pregnant in the final couple of weeks. Everybody had been telling me that they were convinced Eloise would arrive early and so for the final few weeks, I was waking every day expecting that day to be the day.
Just like her mum, she was keeping her own schedule, though and it wasn’t until I was 8 days past my EDD that my waters finally started to break.

I had sought reassurance from my hypnobirthing teacher (Laura) and the Leeds Home Birthing group about how safe I was to decline a sweep and induction after having my 41 week appointment on Wednesday 17th Feb. My confidence in standing my ground had started to waiver, but Laura and the group’s support renewed it and I felt happy to continue to refuse both. That evening, at about 10.30pm, as I was bouncing about on my birthing ball and watching Kingdom with my husband, I felt a little trickle. I went to the toilet and saw a very pale pinkish liquid in my pad and went downstairs to tell my husband that I thought my waters had started to go. The trickling kept coming for ten minutes and we called the home birth phone. They dispatched a midwife to come and check if it was my waters and she recommended I have a speculum VE to check as the majority of the trickle had soaked away into my pad. I accepted this and she confirmed it. She then told me that if I had not gone into labour naturally within 24 hours, my infection risk would be increased and they would recommend I come into hospital for induction. She then went on to do my observations, but didn’t have a BP cuff to fit my (incredibly swollen and already substantial) arm and she was concerned about my BP, so advised me to go to MAC to have my BP taken on one of their machines. In hindsight, I don’t think I needed to do this. I had had my BP taken earlier that day at my midwife appt and it was fine. Plus, I knew I was fine. My temp was normal and I felt perfectly alright. The powerful thing about taking Laura’s hypnobirthing course was feeling confident in trusting my own instincts. My husband and I got into the car with all of my things (just in case) and drove to MAC, where it turned out they had no idea I was coming and didn’t understand why I had been asked to come for no reason other than to have my BP taken. Anyway, all was fine and I was sent home and at 2.30am, I was finally able to climb into bed.

During the night, I slept through continuous period sort pains. I have never been the type to have back ache period pains, it’s always been lower abdominal pain for me and that is what this was. They were perfectly manageable and I slept well. When I did wake, I practised hypnobirthing up breathing, whilst squeezing the lavender bag I was given in my hypnobirthing pack to settle me again. In the morning, I woke up and got dressed and decided to keep myself as calm and relaxed as possible to try and encourage my body to go into labour. I drew on what I had learned throughout my hypnobirthing course so often and it kept me really calm. I sought further reassurance from Laura and the Leeds Home Birthing group on Facebook that I was OK to monitor myself for signs of infection rather than following the recommendation to go into hospital if I hadn’t gone into labour naturally in 24 hours. They were amazing again and I felt confident that as long as I felt ok and had no temperature and baby’s movements were still normal, I would be fine. I didn’t realise that labour had already started. I pottered about doing little jobs as my husband worked from home and in between jobs, I bounced on my ball with my AirPods in listening to Shagged Married Annoyed and my labour playlist (which mostly consisted of 50 Cent, Drake and old school Twista and Kanye rather than relaxations because that’s just my jam 

). As I bounced, I lent on the back of the sofa and rode the waves of the surges (which I still didn’t realise were actually contractions and that labour was progressing) by breathing, keeping my eyes shut and thinking happy thoughts. I danced about a lot on my ball and I felt so happy and calm and relaxed all day with my husband working behind me. He kept bringing me tea, juice and chocolate and rubbing my back and shoulders.

At 5pm, my husband went to take the dog out and as he was out, I felt the surges ramp up a notch. They became significantly more intense and that’s when I realised I should probably start timing my contractions to see if there was a chance I was actually in labour after all. Clueless FTM and all that. I realised pretty quickly that I was in fact having contractions that were about 2 minutes apart lasting for around 45-50 seconds each. I cracked on with folding the washing, breathing through them until Dale (husband) got home again. When he did (at about 6pm), he called the midwives and they said they would be with us ASAP.

Dale went upstairs and ran me a bath at this point and I tried to focus on keeping my breathing controlled and slow. I remember having a few panicked moments thinking ‘how long is this going to go on?’ And ‘how much can I take?’. Dale was so reassuring, though, and he got me through all the wobbles by reminding me to practise my up-breathing and think of meeting our baby girl. I got into the bath and what I thought was my plug came away. It was floating about and I had a bit of a laugh watching Dale try to fish it out. It was sliding all over the place and reminded me of Flubber. I had to get out of the bath after 15 minutes or so because even though the water felt lovely, I couldn’t get comfortable in it. I’m not a small person and the bath is not a big bath. The only position I could be in and be submerged was by laying on my back and it wasn’t nice. Dale helped me out and got me wrapped up in a dressing gown and I decided I wanted to go to bed. I climbed in, covered in lots of fleecy blankets and it was absolute bliss for about 2 minutes, until a surge hit. I couldn’t stay laying down and I had to get up. I did struggle to remember my breathing a bit at this stage and Dale had to keep bringing me back to the Freya app to count me through the surges, especially as they intensified. I wanted to move about. I think I was trying to get away from the intensity of it. Dale got me set up with the TENS machine to help with the discomfort and I found it such a relief. I started on a relatively low setting, but turned it up with pretty much every surge.

I went downstairs and decided to get back on my birthing ball. We had the living room covered in fairy lights and Dale had lit all of the candles. When I had my home birth assessment, the midwife I spoke to said I wouldn’t be able to have candles once they arrived because they carry canisters of gas, but they never ended up being blown out, which is nice. I kept switching between bouncing, rocking, standing, pacing and leaning on the back of the sofa for the next while, until the midwife and a student arrived at around 7.30pm. I remember telling them I didn’t think I was coping very well and I think it was at that point that Dale went to get me 2 codeine from the prescription he had collected for me a few weeks beforehand. The midwife also asked if I would like her to order me some gas and air to be delivered by the hospital, which I accepted. She took my birth plan and offered me a VE, which I declined. I wasn’t interested in knowing how dilated I was and I didn’t want to increase infection risk. Again, thanks to Laura, I felt confident and happy to decline as I knew it was the right thing for me. I remember the midwife saying something about it being quite possible that I wasn’t yet in established labour and that they might leave for a few hours and come back later. I remember thinking ‘Jesus Christ, if this isn’t established labour, I do not know how much more I can take’. It was, though. Very much so. I think the midwife quickly realised that from my behaviour and without the need for a VE because they never left and they got everything set up in the corner as I carried on bouncing on my ball and pacing.

My husband went off and decided to make himself something to eat and even though I can laugh about this now, I wanted to kill him in the moment! He made himself the quickest meal he could find, which just happened to be crab and prawn ravioli (!!?!?) with a garlicky tomato sauce. I was labouring right next to the kitchen and it absolutely STANK. He was flapping about trying to shovel it in as quickly as possible and keep the smell away from me and I was heaving into a washing up bowl. Luckily I wasn’t actually sick, I just felt it. As soon as he had finished, he ran upstairs to brush his teeth so that I could stand to have him near me again.

The next part is blurry and I can’t remember which bit happened first; the bloody show, or being encouraged to go to the toilet. I know that I stood up and was pacing at one point and that the midwife looked at me and said she needed to check me. I looked down and saw that I had soaked right through my pad and into my knickers with blood. She helped me to take down my knickers and there was what looked to me like a huge amount of blood. It was mucus like and clotty. I panicked and asked if we needed an ambulance. The midwife was definitely hedging her bets a bit as she checked it because it really was a lot, but she confirmed pretty quickly that she was happy that it was just my bloody show. I hadn’t expected it to be as much, or as bloody as it was and I did take some reassuring. When she encouraged me to go to the toilet to try and have a wee, I remember feeling irrationally furious that we had moved house just before Christmas from a house with a downstairs loo to a renovation project with just the one toilet upstairs. I huffed and stomped upstairs whilst also still trying to breathe my way through the surges and hanging onto Dale.

Afterwards, I came downstairs and started to feel the uncontrollable need to push at around 10.15pm. I was really baring down. The urge just completely took over me with each surge. This was definitely transition and it made my surges much more bearable as the break in between them was an actual break, whereas the surges I had been experiencing beforehand had been pretty much constant, with no break. The midwife recognised the change in me and sent my husband upstairs to get the shower curtain and all of the towels we had stored for the birth. They set about covering the floor below where I was standing and once they had done that, I felt my legs beginning to buckle. I asked for help to get down onto my knees and I found myself leaning with my arms on the seat of one of the dining chairs and hanging onto the leg of the dining table as I kept breathing my way through. It wasn’t until this point that the gas and air arrived in a taxi. They set it up for me immediately and I was so grateful for it. It really helped me to refocus and calm my breathing and I loved chewing on the mouth piece. I struggled with the midwife being around me and trying to put the Doppler on me to check baby’s heartbeat because it made me really anxious if she didn’t find it straight away. I just wanted to get on with it. I kept asking for reassurance during this final hour that baby would arrive soon and the midwife told me quite confidently at about 10.50pm that she was sure the baby would be born within the next half an hour.

Around this time, the second midwife arrived along with another student. They asked if I minded and I genuinely didn’t. I found it quite amusing that there were 6 of us and a dog in my tiny living room. I felt a lot of relief with the urge to push. I didn’t feel much of a ring of fire. One thing I did find quite painful (no other word for it) was when baby moved back up the birth canal after a surge and then the initial moment when she moved back down at the start of the next surge. That made a sharp ache in my lower abdomen that I didn’t enjoy. Eventually, she stopped moving back up and down again and I could feel her properly descending. The midwife and Dale kept chatting about how much hair she had and it felt exciting that she was so close to being with us. As I was pushing, I was making very loud and guttural noises. In my haze between surges, I kept thinking about our next door neighbours and what it must sound like to them. They knew I was having a home birth, so it won’t have been a surprise, but I chatted to one of them the next day and she said her young teenage daughter was ‘quite surprised’, which made me laugh. The poor girl! After I had pushed out the head and the surge had subsided, the midwife asked me to spread my knees more to open my pelvis and allow for the body to be born in the next surge, but before she could properly finish her sentence, the body was born. She just slid out, almost cartwheeling with her hand over her face and I bent down and caught her. That moment was totally surreal. It was 11.17pm.

I sat back on my heels holding her and I declined the placenta injection, opting to wait for it to come naturally. We did delayed cord clamping and I was having my placenta encapsulated. Around 10 minutes after, my placenta came away painlessly and the midwives took care of it after the cord had turned white. I moved onto the sofa for the midwife to check for any damage and to have skin to skin and try to feed for the first time. I remember being quite shocked by the sensation of suckling at first. I had a minor tear that required a couple of stitches. The midwife handed me the gas and air again and stitched me up on the sofa and my dog Joey didn’t leave my side. He was fascinated by our little girl and his new little sister, Eloise Grace.

Scales were sent in another taxi and the midwives weighed Eloise. She was 7lbs 13 and perfect. The second midwife and student left after I had been stitched up and they were happy all was ok. Before leaving, both told me it was the first home birth they had attended and that it had been a privilege to see and the kind of birth that made them really remember why they did the job, which I found so touching. The first midwife and student stayed for another hour or so to do observations and sat chatting, having biscuits and tea with us as I ate toast. They did say that as it had been almost 25 hours from my waters breaking to Eloise’s birth, they would recommend we both be transferred to hospital for monitoring. I declined because I felt fine and both Dale and I agreed that Eloise seemed perfectly fine, too. When they left, Dale and I made our way upstairs and I showered, whilst Dale settled Eloise. We got into bed and stayed in our little baby bubble till morning.

The birth of Adaline – A positive hospital birth story

I am PETRIFIED of needles and hospitals so when my husband and I found out we were expecting our first baby, I knew I would have to overcome my fears.

I had heard a few people recommend hypnobirthing and as someone who loves yoga, meditation, positive affirmations and crystals (yes crystals), I figured it was worth a shot.

A friend recommended Laura after having some private sessions.

Nauseous, sleepy and far too lazy to Google different local courses, I jumped straight on to her website and booked the next lot of available group sessions. 

Let me tell you now that our birth would not have been remotely close to the empowering experience we had if it wasn’t for the classes we booked and the expertise Laura shared with us. 

After weeks of growth scans showing baby b to be on the small side, it was recommended that we be induced between 39-40 weeks.

At our last growth scan (38 weeks) I was offered a sweep by a very pushy doctor. I used my BRAINS and asked for time to discuss with my husband before agreeing. I was hopeful it would mean an induction wouldn’t be necessary but I think I knew deep down it was unlikely to work miracles.

We knew that agreeing to an induction meant saying goodbye to the birth we had pictured. We wanted a pool birth. We weren’t allowed a pool birth. I went back to work feeling upset and deflated.

Laura’s words ‘take control of what you can and let go of what you can’t’ came to mind and I went straight to my boss and told him I was starting my maternity leave at the end of the day. If we were to be induced in a weeks time, I was going to enjoy one last week off to myself. I was going to enjoy a Christmas movie marathon, go for lunches at nice cafes and fill my week with bubble baths and oxytocin. 

Without telling anyone, we booked our induction for 39+1 weeks. The day after our first wedding anniversary. 

When the day came, we sat waiting (very impatiently) for a call to head in to hospital. Our bags were ready. At 2pm off we went, excited at the prospect of meeting our baby. We listened to Laura’s mp3 tracks in the car and talked about how we were looking forward to our mince pies!

After monitoring and an examination, we were told that my waters could be broken without the need for a pessary or other hormones. However, it was looking like it would be several hours until a delivery suite would be available and my husband would have to go home in the meantime.

Using our BRAINS, I put my foot down and said that I was also going to go home until the call came despite this ‘not being advised because you’re here for an induction’. An induction that I could have booked for 5 days later I added. Reluctantly, the midwife agreed to have me discharged. She came back 15 minutes later to tell us that there was space for us to move up to delivery.

We were given an explanation of the next steps of induction and introduced to an overwhelmingly large amount of midwives and doctors. I agreed to have my waters broken on the basis that we could wait the maximum amount of time they would allow before starting the syntocinon drip. We were told 2 hours. 2 hours is better than nothing we figured.

My husband hung the fairy lights, spritzed the room with sleep spray and we sat and watched Miracle on 34th Street as I bounced around on a birthing ball. 2 hours later, we were told we could wait another 2 hours but that would be it.

I had a nap, listened to some music and bounced some more. At midnight, which ended up being 5 hours after the breaking of my waters, it was time for the drip.

The canula was something I feared the most but my husband sat at the other side of me distracting me with talk of our recent holiday. 

After only an hour, the surges were INTENSE. I used the breathing techniques to get through each one, knowing that I was making my way closer to meeting our baby.

After three and a half hours, it was clear to my husband that I was struggling. He spoke with the midwife (using his BRAINS) about having an epidural.

With a calm, clear mindset, I, phobia of needles, asked to have an epidural. I was told it would be at least 30mins as the anaesthetist was in theatre. 2 hours and a lot of controlled breathing later, he arrived. Did the sight of the scrubs and the equipment scare me?

No. I knew I had taken control of this decision and that it was going to help lead me to our baby. 

I had my first examination at 6.30am and was told that I was 5cm. By 8am I had an extreme urge to push. We were told by the midwives that my body wasn’t ready for that yet and that I could damage my cervix. We knew I wasn’t due another examination for another 2 and a half hours. I stood my ground, again. And told them incessantly that I needed to push.

The midwife said she could do the examination to see if anything had progressed. It had. I was 10cm.

We were told that it is advised, when on the drip, to wait an hour before coached pushing but the midwife was happy for me to listen to my body and push when the urge came. She told us that she could see the head and that our baby would probably arrive in the next 20 minutes.

The atmosphere in the room changed. The midwives moved me on to my side and held one of my legs up, my husband sat in front of me holding my hand and encouraging me every step of the way.

How exciting. We were so close. “I’ve changed my mind,” said the midwife “It will be here in 10 minutes.” I felt so empowered knowing I had come so far and all I could picture was meeting our little one. 

At 8.45am, as the sun rose over the skyline, visible from our hospital window, my husband told me that we had a little girl. I asked halfway through my contractions why anyone would give birth more than once.

I knew the moment they placed her on my chest for immediate skin to skin why. After delayed cord clamping and my husband cutting it, we were left to enjoy some incredibly delicious toast and a lot of emotional cuddles. 

Our birth was by far the most empowering experience of my life and it wouldn’t have been without the help of Laura.

From the bottom of our hearts, thank you! 

Georgie’s Positive Birth Story – Birthing in a lockdown

I went into hospital to be induced at 41+2 which was really daunting going on my own due to birth partners not being allowed. 

At the point of induction, my waters were accidentally broken which meant I was then admitted onto the antenatal ward, as my surges began to come and I was facing the unknown with the birth of my first baby, listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and focusing my mind really helped, including spraying my favourite calming perfume, to help me relax into it. 

Later that evening I was taken into the labour suite and told I was unable to give birth in the pool, so a change to my original plan, but with the lights dimmed and music playing I created a calming environment, made even better when my boyfriend was finally able to come in. I delivered Indie Sophia Eileen Newman 7 hours later with just gas and air, without medical intervention despite the Midwives and doctors saying I would need assisted delivery as we got to the later stages. 

In my birth plan, assisted delivery really worried me and something I really didn’t want, so I gave everything I’d got by taking myself out of that room, letting my partner speak to the medical team and taking myself to my calming place, repeating affirmations over and over again, and had a natural birth xx

The Birth of Alfie – Amy’s Birth Story – A transfer from home to hospital in birth

My first birth was an induction and although not a negative experience I knew I wanted to take back some control over the way I birthed the second time. 

I’d heard a lot of amazing things about hypnobirthing and with amazing timing my lovely friend set up a company teaching and invited us to join. I also downloaded the yesmummum MP3s before attending the course so I could start listening and practising. I did this from 30 weeks. 

At my 8 week booking appt one of the first questions I had for my midwife was a home birth request. She was a bit surprised to say the least and although I didn’t actually get a home birth in the end it was amazing.

I had a full 8 days of contractions every other night for 2 hours. More than once I thought I was going into labour but because I was planning a homebirth we just got back in bed when the contractions died down and didn’t need to travel anywhere.

The hypnobirthing tracks and training from the course were amazing to get through this time which was understandably both frustrating and exhausting! 

FINALLY 3 days overdue the contractions started around midday and didn’t taper off after two hours. I got in the bath where my little girl pretended to rub cream on my bump and tell me baby was going to arrive today.

At 4:30pm I told Gary to take her to grandmas as the contractions were starting to increase and become more regular. At 5:30 I forewarned the homebirth team and 30 mins later asked for a midwife. She came out and did the observations to find both protein in my urine and my blood pressure much higher than normal. 

Despite not having ANY problems previously and being low risk my entire pregnancy I needed to go to the hospital to get checked out. I was worried that my contractions might stop but they carried on regularly on the car journey and we got checked out at the assessment centre.

Whilst waiting on my bloods to come back I was checked to be 2cm dilated, this must’ve been around 9pm and therefore not even in active labour. After all that!!

The contractions were getting stronger and I started vocalising during them. Gary’s hypnobirthing training kicked in and he kept reminding me to breathe through them. 

At 10pm we were told we needed to move to the labour ward as even though my checks came back fine my blood pressure was still high. I used my BRAIN and decided I didn’t want to challenge this, I knew I couldn’t face another 20 min car journey home and if my blood pressure remained high I would just get sent back in again.

At 11pm we got on the labour ward, I immediately turned the lights off and put my tracks on. I calmed down immediately. I sat on the birth ball, used my TENS machine and breathed through the contractions. Gary was an amazing birth partner and kept reminding me to breathe instead of “mooing” through them!

At one point I broke down crying because they were getting more intense and the last time I’d been checked I was 2cm and couldn’t cope with the thought that it was going to get worse than this!

When I was induced the contractions came back to back but this time they remained every 2-3 minutes and just increased in intensity so I thought I was still a long way off giving birth. Again his hypnobirthing training kicked in and he reminded me I could do it, to be positive and keep breathing. He quickly calmed me down and the midwife offered to break my waters and do an examination. This never happened as at 1am I suddenly felt the urge to bear down and I told Gary I had the urge to push!?

The midwife ran back in and announced she could see the baby’s head??? I was in shock, a few hours ago I was 2cm and all of a sudden he was crowning. I asked for gas and air and got on the bed. I immediately said I didn’t want to be laid down and she suggested I turn around and hold on to the back of the bed. My waters broke as he was crowning!

With just a few pushes he was out! 

The adrenaline and shock kicked in, I actually couldn’t believe he was here when a few short hours ago I wasn’t even in active labour?! I cried from the shock and Gary had to hold him as I was shaking so much.  

All in all a MUCH better experience and I really feel hypnobirthing made a massive difference to our mindset and birth. Gary in particular felt a lot more confident in knowing how to help me and he was an amazing birth partner.