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Birth stories
Birth story

20 March 2024

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!

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