HypnoBirthing - The Mongan Method - Positive Births - Auckland's most popular HypnoBirthing classes

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Birth Stories

Alexandra and Cam's first birth to baby Bryn 17 August 2016

I'd been up and down all night to the toilet on the 17th of August and when my partner Cam woke up he wasn't feeling the best either so my first thought was that somehow what I'd cooked the night previously hadn't agreed with us and I'd given us some mild food poisoning.  Not something that you want the day before you're due to have a baby!  Cam got ready for work and told me he was feeling better but I was feeling quite strange and while I wasn't off to the toilet anymore I certainly wasn't feeling normal (turns out Cam's dodgy tum was a reaction to some antibiotics he was taken and nothing to do with my cooking thank goodness). 

 

I thought it might be a good idea to see if these ‘funny feelings' were consistent or coming regularly so we started to take note of when they were coming.  It turned out that the patterns of what I now know were surges were coming quite regularly, I was in labour!  It was about 8.30 at this stage so we decided that Cam probably shouldn't be going to work today after all.  I got out the swiss ball and leant my elbows on it and found that the rocking back and forth on the ball was really helping how I was feeling, every time a surge came through Cam did light touch massage on my back which was wonderful and really worked for me right throughout labour.  At about 9.30 he started blowing up the birthpool in our living room and we called the midwife who said that she's come round later in the morning.  We had Stephen Halpern's music on the stereo and some lavender and clary sage coming out of an oil burner which all helped me to feel relaxed and focus on using all the breathing practice I'd done up to that point.

 

I continued to relax and rock on the ball until the midwife turned up and covered the room in plastic and towels and told Cam he could start filling up the pool.  I was in a daze most of this time because I was so focused on my breathing and time seemed to suspend, I couldn't have told you how long anything was taking.  Once the pool was full they helped me to hop in and the warm water was so soothing and really helped me to focus even more on my breathing.  We'd put the rainbow relaxation and birthing affirmations on repeat on the stereo and they were like positive reassurance in the background because I'd listened to them so many times, although I hardly heard them on the day.  I actually think a chorus line of dancing hippos could have come past and I wouldn't have noticed I was so deep into the breathing and relaxation practice.  

 

It felt like all of a sudden Cam was dressed in his boardies and was in the pool.  I felt a real build up of pressure and changed to birth breathing which seemed more instinctive at the time than it had when I'd practiced it and then the baby's head appeared in caul.  Cam helped bring the baby out to the surface over the course of about 5 minutes.  It was 2.15pm and we had a baby!  I'd felt very calm and in control through the whole process but now a massive wave of exhaustion came over me and I realised just what an amazing feat my body had been through.  We were so overwhelmed that we even forgot to check the sex of the baby for about 5 minutes until the midwife asked us what we had, and we had a look to check – a little boy.

 

All the practice had really paid off, at no point had I felt any pain and the only real time of discomfort was as the baby was coming out.  I had no idea how long anything had taken but in class the number that I'd come up with was 5, and my awareness of being in labour didn't take much longer than that. The midwives were very impressed that I'd given them a daytime baby and they'd be home for dinner! 

 

I can't emphasise how relieved I now am that I really put the effort into practicing the hypnobirthing techniques. I used to listen to the affirmations in the car and the Rainbow Relaxation CD every night, so when it came time to use them during birth it felt so comfortable and normal.  I also did the perineal massage which I didn't like at first but it got easier and meant that I had a 4kg baby with only 2 stitches.  People don't want to hear that you had a great birth experience and think that it just must have been ‘easy', but having now given birth to a healthy (and large) baby I think I truly have HypnoBirthing to thank.

Keep up the great work Helen"

 

'K' & 'R's first birth to their baby girl 11 July 2015

At about 1:30am on Saturday, 11 July I woke up because I felt a sudden movement against my cervix. I had been having quite a few for the last week, so I thought nothing of it, when to the loo (a necessity at this stage in pregnancy when waking in the night) and went back to sleep. At 3am it happened again, but again, just went back to sleep. And then another at 3:30am. At 4am I realised that I must be in labour, so I woke up my husband, and my Mum who was staying with us.

 

We started the HypnoBirthing tracks and my husband did light touch massage during each surge, which really helped. He was also great at using the 'Deeply Relaxed' hand on the shoulder technique and talking me into a deep state of relaxation. Apart from the need for several trips to the bathroom to clear everything out, I laboured on all fours on our bed until about 7am when my Mum said she really thought we ought to go to the hospital. She realised that things were progressing at long quicker than we did! We were both feeling so relaxed that we weren't even thinking about the hospital. The surges were getting quite intense at that stage and pretty close together, however, so we decided we would go after speaking to the hospital staff and midwife. 

 

Getting in the car was the hardest part of my labour. I tried to sit down in the back seat and got out of the car again because it was too uncomfortable. I must have been in the transition stage at that point because I said to my Mum and R that I wasn't going to go to the hospital! My Mum was quite anxious and said that if I did not get in the car she was calling an ambulance, and I didn't want that so I got in the car on all fours and travelled to the hospital across the back seat breathing deeply and listening to the hypnobirthing tracks. R said I was very quiet on the way there and I hardly remember the journey as I was so inwardly focused. Luckily as it was early on a Saturday morning we go to the hospital without too much trouble and parked outside.

 

The walk to the labour ward was a slow one as the surges we coming quickly and we had to stop several times. We were admitted just after 8am and shown into the room and I immediately lent over the bed to resume a more comfortable position. I immediately felt the urge to push and breathe the baby down, so R called for the midwife and she arrived very quickly. She wanted to examine me, which was the second most difficult part of the labour as I had to get on the bed and lay back, which I found very uncomfortable. Luckily the examination was very quick and my midwife could hardly believe that I was already fully dilated and ready to have a baby.

 

I got back onto all fours, leaning up against the back of the bed and began to breathe the baby down. I also used the unfolding rose visualisation and my husband was brilliant at talking me through it and keeping me relaxed. Although the light touch massage had been really helpful in the earlier stages of labour, I did not want him to touch me at this point, but he had his arms around me so that I could hold on tight to his hands and he could whisper encouraging phrases and help me with the visualisations. It was an incredibly special time of closeness between us, and that period of time felt as though it was only about 15 minutes. In reality it was about an hour and a half, and at 9:34am our beautiful baby girl emerged into the world. The midwife passed her up between my legs and I was just in awe. She was so beautiful and I could not believe that I had just given birth to her.

 

I held her close to my chest (after turning over to relax) and the three of us just enjoyed a wonderful hour together, before I delivered the placenta, which just seemed to come out with very little effort. We left the cord attached until it stopped pulsating, and then I actually cut it myself, because my husband did not like the idea of being the one to break that connection between us.

 

Our birth was incredible and I really felt on top of the world afterwards. I was so proud of myself for being able to employ all the HypnoBirthing techniques we had practices and so happy that they had enabled us to have exactly the kind of labour and birth we were hoping for. I can honestly say that I did not feel anything I would describe as pain during my labour and birth. The surges felt like pressure in my cervix and it just felt as though it was opening and stretching, and breathing the baby down actually felt really good and it was a relief to push her further down with each surge. Our daughter is such a happy and placid baby, which people frequently comment on, and I am sure that it has a lot to do with the birth that she had.

 

Thank you so so much Helen for being such a great teacher. We have told all of our expectant friends about HypnoBirthing and we will definitely be back for a refresher if we have another baby.

 

We have also found that the techniques we learnt have been useful in every day life. I have always struggled to relax but hypnobirthing has really changed that and I often use the breathing and the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 technique.

We are so glad we found your course and put in the time and effort to learn and practice.

 

Jess and Adrian's birth to John, 6 Feb 2014

(Jess and Adrian also used HypnoBirthing with their first son in 2012).

Our little man John was born at 4.30am on Waitangi Day 2014.

Again, by using some of the HypnoBirthing techniques I enjoyed a smooth and quick labour. We had another home birth and I couldn't have asked for a better environment to be in. 

The build up of surges started at 8pm while I was watching TV and by midnight they were 3 minutes apart. I knew that this time I wanted to remain upright through my labour and spent some time kneeling against the bed and then went into the lounge and sat on the couch in my pyjamas with the lights off. At 2am I told Adrian to phone our midwife. He stood there and asked if I was sure as I seemed too calm. I said that I was sure. My midwife turned up at 2.30am and after an examination she confirmed I was 8cm dilated. I continued to focus on my breathing and on relaxing my pelvis with each surge. The second midwife arrived at about 3am. At 4am my midwife did another examination and confirmed I was fully dilated but that there was still some cervix showing. I sat on the toilet for a couple of surges to see if it would clear the babies head. It was not moving so I agreed to have the sac of waters above the babies head broken as they were bulging and tight. Shortly after that I went to kneeling over the couch to prepare to birth my baby. Within minutes my I could feel my baby descend and after a couple of gentle pushes he arrived. 

It really was a text book labour and birth. So, thank you again. HypnoBirthing has allowed me to enjoy two empowering experiences of giving birth to my two beautiful boys in the comfort of my own home.

Jess and Adrian,

Kacee and Jeremy's first birth to Cecilia, born 19 January 2013 (written by Dad - Jeremy)

Kacee and I are excited to introduce you to Cecilia Ballew Slezak, born on January 19, 2013 at 9:02am. It was a long night, but basically drama-free, as Kacee did an amazing job in keeping up her energy, her spirits, and her determination in utilizing the skills and techniques learned in our HypnoBirthing class.

Kacee had experienced dozens upon dozens of practice surges over the past two months.  With many of these surges coming at night, Kacee consistently practiced her meditations to handle the pressure, preparing her mind and her body for giving birth.  It's also worth noting that Kacee remained quite active throughout her pregnancy.  While days of discomfort became more common in the last month, there were probably equal numbers of days when she felt great.  We were very fortunate in that regard.

Friday night at 1:15am, Kacee jumped out of bed suddenly and made it to the toilet just as her water broke.  While we took this as a good sign that the birthing process had begun, we knew that this was only the beginning. Kacee lied down again and tried to sleep while listening to the Rainbow Relaxation and Birth Affirmations.  However, her surges came in quick succession (as they had with the practice surges in the past), making it difficult to sleep.  At 2:00am with surges occurring regularly (probably every 5 minutes), we decided it was time to prepare for the next steps.  Kacee and I made a list of items to add to our “go bag” (iPad, my bathing suit, snacks), and then called our midwife to get her thoughts on how best to proceed.  She requested that we call her again once Kacee's surges were more frequent than 5 minutes apart. 

Almost immediately, Kacee began to feel surges in her abdomen of greater intensity, for longer (about 1 minute each), and averaging just 3 minutes apart.  After an hour of this had gone by, we called the midwife again. We asked that she come to our house first in order to minimize our time in a birthing center.  She arrived at 3:45.  The baby's heartbeat felt strong, Kacee was only a few cm dilated, and the midwife encouraged Kacee to shower to relieve some of the pressure and rest as best she could.

Kacee sat on the shower floor with hot water streaming over her body for a long time meditating and trying to remain calm and relaxed as the surges came and went.  She was even able to doze off during her meditations.  The midwife lied down on our couch to rest, noting that it would most likely be a few hours before the next phase of labor would begin.  I went back to bed, as well. 

At about 6am, Kacee's breathing patterns changed and her light hums became more like groans.  The baby was descending and Kacee's cervix was more dilated.  The midwife noted that now was the time to change locations, recommending that Kacee would feel more comfortable sitting in a hot bath.

Kacee slowly walked from the car to the birthing ward, denying the offer of a wheelchair since she felt she could better concentrate on her breathing while moving under her own power (it took nearly 30 minutes in total, but she was in a zone!).  When we arrived in our birthing suite at about 6:35am, the midwife began to fill up the tub while Kacee sat on a chair in the shower with hot water running over her abdomen and shoulders.

At about 7am, Kacee then moved into the tub, where I joined her.  She felt most comfortable kneeling forward, leaning on the side of the tub, both during surges and in the rest periods between surges.

(Note to birthing partners – Kacee enjoyed the light touch massage throughout these moments.  She also appreciated calming affirmations and words of support at this time during the rest periods but not during the surges – this is something we couldn't have anticipated when we discussed our birthing plan previously, but adapted as needed). 

 After about an hour in the tub, the midwife suggested that Kacee move to the bed as she was now fully dilated.  Kacee knelt on all fours, as I slowly rubbed her back and hips.  The surges became even more intense, but after 5 strong ones, there was still no visible sign of the baby. 

Kacee remained controlled and focused, increasing the forcefulness of her breathing as the pressure intensified.  Yet without any visible signs of the baby's descent, our midwife suggested we switch positions again. 

Kacee sat on a birthing stool, and I sat behind her to provide support.  This was probably the first point at which Kacee broke her trance and became fully aware.  A mere 1-2 minutes after repositioning, the next surge began, and the midwife noted that she could see the baby's head.  We asked for a mirror so we could witness the process ourselves.  It was also exciting and encouraging since we could see the physical proof that we would soon hold our little girl.

The midwife instructed Kacee to gently push, while breathing through the motion in order to avoid tensing up (almost in a rocking motion to slowly open up the birth canal).  After just a few of these rounds of pushing, breathing, and relaxing, the baby's entire head appeared, with her slippery body following shortly after.

As part of our birthing plan, we intended for the baby to be immediately placed on Kacee's chest to find her own way to the breast without cutting the umbilical cord until it had stopped throbbing.  However, due to a short umbilical cord, she only reached as far as Kacee's abdomen.  So, we decided to cut the cord earlier than planned.

Holding our little girl was an incredible feeling!  She seemed alert and curious about her surroundings immediately, and both Kacee and I were overcome with emotion and excitement, as well as (a good) exhaustion.  We were at the hospital for about 2 ½ hours when the baby was born.  From when her water broke, the whole experience lasted a little under 8 hours. 

Not surprisingly for HypnoBirthing parents, Kacee has mentioned that she was not fully aware of the time.  She said very little during the whole process, instead focusing on her breathing and keeping her body as calm as possible.

We left the Hospital at about 1:30pm, and checked into Birthcare.  While at Birthcare, Cecilia began to latch on successfully for the first time.

While as an outside observer I would have commented that Kacee seemed to be in pain as the surges occurred, Kacee has since said that she enjoyed the experience and would classify the sensations as “intense pressure” rather than “pain” (what a good HypnoBirthing student!).  It unquestionably required full concentration and energy, but it was an incredible experience to be able to share together.

 

Vanessa and Thomas' first birth to Alex born 19 November 2010

4am on Friday 19 th November I woke to a feeling that I had wet the bed, I ran to the toilet and to my surprise water kept gushing down my legs, then I was reassured that my membranes had been released. My uterine seal was also evident. I called out to my husband, who thought he was late for work, but then realised that this was the beginning of an exciting day. I rang our midwife who asked me if I was sure if my membranes had been released and I reassured her this was it.

After talking to the midwife I decided to go back to bed but couldn't go back to sleep as my surges had started. I left my husband asleep as I felt I wanted to be alone. I sat in the lounge and listened to Helens' Positive Birth cd and imagined my special place – a sunny beach in Samoa.

I woke my husband up at 6:30am, letting him know my surges were getting closer together and stronger. He then began timing them. Throughout the next 2hours I leaned against my swiss ball on all fours and repeatedly moved my body in circular motions, always going anti-clockwise. Thomas started the soft touch massage which was relaxing.

My midwife came to check me at 8:40am, I was 3cm dilated. My surges were quite irregular but continuing to get stronger. I had 5 surges in 10minutes, each only lasting 30seconds. My midwife advised me not to leave going to the birthing unit to far away. I stayed lying on the bed, now listening to the affirmations and had several showers before heading to the birthing unit.

At 9:45 we headed to the birthing unit. Thomas had the car running and the affirmation cd all ready playing for a peaceful transition into the car. At 10:00am we arrived at the birthing unit. I remember stopping several times in the hallway during surges, all concentration on each wave washing over me. Thomas continued to remind me of my special place. When we were settled in the room the affirmations were put back on. I had several showers, and continued moving my body in circular motions as I leaned against the bed. Thomas carried on giving me soft touch massage and I had a heat pack on my lower back. Both of our Mums arrived, I didn't take much notice of them.

Before getting into the birthing pool I wanted to be examined again. At 11:40 I was 5cm dilated.

At 12:05 I got into the birthing pool. I couldn't eat anything but managed to suck on kiwifruit and oranges. I had back pain through surges and in between. I continued moving my body in circular motions as I kneeled in the pool. I tried to change the direction in which I moved my body but returned to going anti-clockwise.

1:35 – Another examination, I was now 9cm dilated and at 1:50 felt the transition phase. I wanted some time with just Thomas and I, so he asked our Mums to leave the room for awhile. Thomas poured water down my back throughout the time in the pool. This was a nice soothing feeling.

2:55 – I was fully dilated and started “J breathing”. I blew bubbles in the water, submerging most of my head during surges. As I blew bubbles I pictured our baby coming down and out in a “J” shape. This was a positive release. It was such a satisfying feeling, feeling our baby come down.

3:42 – Baby Alex was born safely. I was just ecstatic to hold him in my arms, the most amazing feeling! I didn't feel exhausted at the end of this journey, so I was able to enjoy the first few hours of our new arrival and with close family.

I often look back on Alex's birth, it was very positive and calming. I think I spoke maybe 5 words while I was in the pool, the rest were just hand actions and head shakes as I was in my own special place.

Helen you made this all possible! Thank you so much for making this exciting occasion just beautiful. Can't wait for number 2."

Vanessa & Thomas Stolpmann

 

 

 

Alex and Nathan's first birth to Elsie, born 27 Sep 2010

Our night started with a mini ‘show' at about 6.30 pm after a very busy Sunday. We had been out all day visiting with friends at various restaurants and then my mom and I went for a 45 minute walk through Le Roys Bush. When we got home we had the mini ‘show' and I called the midwife who said we could be in labour in the next week or so. After this news our energy levels increased and we called a ‘team' meeting to discuss our hypnobirthing plan.

My mom had only arrived 2 nights before from Canada and she wanted to be fully up to speed on our hypnobirthing plan. She was open minded to hypnobirthing but had only experienced medical births with drugs and was a little sceptical how hypnobirthing would work.

So we had a chat about the calm, peaceful birth we wanted and how we would do this when labour started. We watched a few of the hypnobirthing YouTube videos to show my mom the calm birth we were planning, and this also helped remind me what I wanted the birth to be like and that it was entirely achievable.

I wrote a list of my favourite birthing affirmations to reaffirm them in my own mind, and also so Nathan would know which ones I found the most inspiring. At this point I still felt like things were moving along (but Nathan was not convinced) and I went to bed to relax with Rainbow Relaxation and Birthing Affirmations. By 10 pm the surges were frequent but not regular yet.

I found having my iPod on with the Rainbow Relaxation and Birthing Affirmations helped me get into the hypnobirthing ‘zone'. I was limp and relaxed between surges, and we used lots of soft touch massage during the surges. As the surges became stronger I was able to go deeper into the relaxation zone I had hoped for (but was not entirely sure I could achieve!).

The night passed very quickly as we laboured at home until 6.00 am. I used the rose imagery to help me visualise opening and thinning. With the visualisation of the rose, I found myself using my hands on my belly during the surges to simulate the opening of the rose and my cervix. This helped me to place the sensations to what was happening in my body and I could understand the sensations to be a good thing to bring my baby closer to me.

I also repeated my favourite affirmations to myself at any of the intense moments. I didn't talk much during labour, but Nathan and I were in synch due to our practicing of relaxation together over the last month.

We credit hypnobirthing to our relaxed state and also intimate connection without actually talking throughout labour.

When we arrived at the hospital (6.30 am) the first nurse I saw asked “ Are you sick? ...” and then “ ..Oh you're meditating! ” which I was able to ignore and stay in my own zone. From this point on I hardly noticed where I was or who was in the room. I was 6 cm dilated when we arrived, my water broke after the midwife did the exam.

We used the birthing pool for about 50 minutes. The bath was down the hall quite a ways from our room, however I was oblivious to where I was when walking there. I even walked into a wall at one point! While in the bath I didn't have my iPod on so Nathan whispered the affirmations in my ear and helped me focus on positives despite a very noisy woman across the hall who obviously didn't use hypnobirthing!

Earlier in the week I had a pedicure and painted my toes orange which was my birth colour. I found looking at my toes to be helpful in calming me while in the birthing pool.

When it was time to ‘push' I took off my iPod so I could hear the midwives talking to me. Nathan supported me during surges and again whispered the affirmations and prompts (from the list handed out in class that my mom was holding onto throughout labour). I also used two mantras from my pregnancy yoga class during this time along with the affirmations. The mantras were “ just this breath ” which I used with the birth breathing to focus only on the breath I was taking at that moment, and “ this too will end ” which reminded me soon I would be through each surge and labour and have my baby in my arms.

I felt amazing after birth and I was so proud and happy not to have used any drugs. I had planned on having gas if I felt I needed pain relief, but the thought did not even cross my mind! I felt empowered and proud to have had a calm and peaceful birth. The midwives described our birth as an intimate experience between the two of us.

My mom was a great help and it was good to have another support person there with us. She was very impressed and explained the birth as a magical experience. She is now an advocate for hypnobirthing!

Our experience with hypnobirthing was amazing. We even credit the fact that Elsie came 5 days early to hypnobirthing visualisations. The doctors were threatening to induce me if I went past the due date, so once we found this out we started visualising Elsie coming a week early. She was also posterior two weeks prior to birth and we used the visualisations of the ‘perfect position' to help.

Thank you to Helen for teaching us the hypnobirthing techniques. Thanks to you we have very fond memories of the birthing experience.

 

Pianika's first birth to Blaise born 9th Sept 2010

Kia Ora Helen,
Just writing to let you know that Blaise Boddington arrived on the 9 th September weighing 7lbs 6oz.  I had a fantastic pregnancy.  Both Luke and I went into the Birth feeling confident and good about what we were about to endure.
The Birth:  On the 8 th September, 1 day after her due date, we were having dinner at my parents place.  After I had dinner I was feeling some different tingles, I thought to myself, this is different.  After not been able to sit down for about an hour and clearing my bowels I said to myself, I think something is going to happen tonight!  I let everyone know I was felling different and decided to go for a hot pool.  Whilst in the hotpool I felt a couple of tingles, really good ones, I said to Luke, something is definitely happening and we better get home so he could get everything sorted and I could start my relaxation. 

When we got home, I got Luke to run across to the video store to get a couple of comedies as I thought we were in for a long night. (We dropped the videos off on the way to the hospital 40  minutes later). I rang the midwife to let her know what was happening and she said to ring her back when the surges were closer together and longer.  I had a hot shower, played the rainbow relaxation CD, 30 minutes into the relaxation surges were getting much closer, 5minutes apart and lasting 90 seconds, at this stage my HypnoBirthing body had truly taken over.  Luke rang Debbie and she said to get in the car and come to maternity.  The drive felt like it took all of 5minutes.  Once arriving at Maternity, I was in a bit of daze, feeling completely relaxed.  The hospital room was great, dimmed lights, calm and peaceful.  I continued to play the rainbow relaxation CD and relax with the surges.  

Surges were manageable and relaxing through them was great!  Debbie decided to do a VE, she explained to me, not too get my hopes up, usually for first time mums there is little cervix dilation at this stage.  When she examined me  my cervix had completely dilated. This was a complete surprise to Debbie…  As baby was posterior, Debbie confirmed that baby was still sitting high and hadn't rotated and the membranes were bulging, she indicated we had plenty of time to get baby rotated and gave me several positions to try and rotate baby.  Debbie briefly consulted with the second midwife, and she come back telling me she had ordered an ambulance and we were going to Rotorua as she had concerns that the umbilical cord might fall before baby had rotated.  A complete surprise!

After being in the ambulance for 20minutes baby had rotated on her own and I needed to push.  I managed to hold out till we arrived at Rotorua Hospital, 17minutes later baby was born. No stitches Needed.  So in total the birth was 5 and half hours.

HypnoBirthing was the best thing Luke and I could have done to prepare us for the arrival of Blaise. We went into the birth with confidence which in turn made us both relaxed.  As the affirmations say, I completely trusted my body and my baby and never let my mind interfere with the process.  Being completely relaxed allowed my body to do everything it needed to and baby come out on her own in a short period of time.

My midwife was really impressed and has never seen a woman using HypnoBirthing, she said my birth was amazing, and usually for first time mums it takes much longer and birthing a posterior baby usually takes twice as long.

 Now I find I can use HypnoBirthing daily, when baby is sleeping I play the rainbow relaxation, this allows me to fully relax and I usually doze off for a half an hour.

So…  I just want to thank you taking the time to see Luke and I back in May, I know it was out of your usual day to day practice and we really appreciate your time that you spent with us.

 

 


Helen's Birth Story of Amelia Rosa – “Milly”
born 14th August 2009 at 9.02am weighing 8lb 13oz (4.02kg)

Our new baby girl Milly was born in the water on Friday 14th August 2009 after a 3 hour labour. She was well past her due date by at least 10 days and I'd been experiencing practice labour for a week leading up to her birth.

Throughout the week I'd been relaxing through any of the practice labour, breathing and listening to affirmations. I found the CDs very useful to get to sleep to – just like I'd found them very useful throughout most of my pregnancy. I felt I was well rested by the end of the week.

On Thursday night I went to bed with the usual mild practice surges (contractions/Braxton hicks) hoping that tonight would be the night. To be honest I was totally fed up of being pregnant – along with the constant pressure from friends and family enquiring as to when this baby would be born! I woke a few times in the night disappointed that nothing seemed to be progressing. However I slept soundly between 3-6am and was woken suddenly at 6am with a stronger sensation.

The surges weren't regular – some coming every 5 mins, others every 2 or 3 mins and some were long, some short. So I was unsure of where I was at. Nevertheless we called my Mum to come look after the kids and by 7.40am I'd decided it was time to start to make a move to the birthing centre.

Meanwhile I'd been focusing on breathing and relaxing through each and every surge; plus I had some breakfast and a shower.

We got into the car and towards the end of our 10 minute journey I noticed feeling pressure intensifying and very low down.

On arrival at the birthing centre at 8.15am my midwife checked baby and me, I was 8 cm dilated, baby had descended right down and her heartbeat was fine.

I got into the pool – bliss to be emerged in warm water. Phil used some affirmations and an anchor through the next couple of surges, but very quickly I felt the intensity and pressure increase and the need to breathe downwards. Our baby crowned and I continued to breathe her out – relaxing and letting go as much as I could. My body and my baby did all the work – all I needed to do was breathe through each surge.

It was truly an amazing experience to feel her head crown and feel it emerge – the water giving incredible support to my body. After her head was born one more surge and out came her body.

My midwife passed her to me, cord still intact and we just enjoyed watching her in my arms, waiting for the placenta to detach. It felt like a long time for this to happen as I felt this part of the process was quite uncomfortable, and it was harder to remember to breathe and relax when you have this new little person in your arms! Finally after 30 mins the placenta detached and was born, the cord was clamped and Milly had some bonding time with her Dad while I got out of the pool.

I then breast fed Milly, enjoying the surreal feeling of having had an incredible experience over the past one hour. A lot had happened in a very short time.

I feel incredibly grateful to have been able to give our daughter a gentle and calm entry into this world. Once again I credit the tools and techniques of HypnoBirthing that helped give me the knowledge and confidence to release, relax and let go. My body and my baby truly knew what to do. Plus - and very importantly I had the complete support of my midwife Kate, who is totally dedicated and committed to a natural birth experience.


 


Sara's second birth to Indeg 3rd July 2009

We had the most amazing amazing experience... I felt things sort of start to happen about 5ish am on the 3rd of July baby was still sitting quite high and apparently it was baby making it's descent into my pelvis... So my husband and our 2year old and I just hung out most of the day, surges were strong but nothing too bad I was feeling quite comfortable, just listened to the cd's and tried to relax and sleep as much as possible.

About 3pm we decided to pop in and see my midwife, she did a check (must admit here guys I was quite keen to see how far I was :0). I was 4cm; it was about this time we decided to send our son to nanas' house and Chris and I went back home watched a dvd and did some relaxation techniques. I was quite big on the shoulder one deeply relax so we did that. About 5ish pm things started picking up and although no real sequence to my surges I noticed about every 5th one seemed to be stronger than the rest, Chris and I did the glove relaxation, which I think helped a little. The surges were strong but bearable (amazing experience enjoy every one of them ladies!!). About 6ish pm we decided to make our way into hospital my midwife had said to wait until surges were about 3 min apart and although I wasn't timing them I was keeping an eye on how regular they were. By this stage they felt a lot more intense and regular so we thought we'd better drive in as it's about a 10-15min drive.

In the car I put on my cd through my ipod as I was nervous Chris might fall asleep; the car ride was an interesting experience and it was a bit harder to relax but the cd helped a lot.... Once at the hospital my midwife who was amazing told us to put our cd's on encouraged us to get comfortable and we decided she could do another check... much to her astonishment and my amazement I was 9cm!!!!! Which was exactly what I wanted I did not want to be in hospital for ages so this was just perfect....

By this time the surges were quite intense but every time I had one on the breath out I'd raise my hand and Chris would do the shoulder technique which worked wonderfully on helping me to relax my breath through them. Chris also used the prompts from the folder on what words to say etc at each stage we used the balloon filling up and letting go which was great.... Man was I letting those balloon's go!!!!

I did spend a bit of time in the spa which was nice but decided to bear down back in the room, my midwife was fantastic and left Chris and I to it, although when I did look up to see her she was also very focused on me and completely there if I needed her.... We had a trainee midwife who was there a lovely young girl so I'm pleased she got to see hypno birthing in action.... Bearing the baby down is the most unreal sensation I think I will ever experience, I don't really want to use the word again but amazing!!!! I didn't think i'd know when to change my breathing from surge to bearing down, but your body is prepared and ready and you know.

I hadn't really spoken to my midwife about wanting Chris or I to receive the baby or tell us the gender as she had been at births the last 3 appointments I'd had with her so I hadn't actually seen her, but when the baby came out she just made sure the baby was safely out of me and onto the bed told me to turn around and pick the baby up to see what it was.... My god what an awesome awesome feeling.... I picked baby up and said "It's a girl!!" "I think isn't it".... I was sure we were going to have another little boy so what a delight to find out she was a girl!!!

So we got to hospital at 6.50pm and Indeg Lily was born at 8.30pm, hopefully I haven't bored you with the details but it was such a great experience such a joy to go through it and come out smiling at the other end....

Jayne's first birth to Charlie, 27th May 2009

The birth itself was really quite surreal, I had done a hypnobirthing course as I really wanted a natural, drug free birth for both of us. I had a show and started leaking water at 2pm and after visiting the midwife for a scheduled check up half an hour later the Midwife did a sweep on me to move things along as I didn't want the hospital intervening if my waters hadn't fully broken 24 hours later. She told me to keep myself busy for the rest of the Afternoon so both Jon and I went to the shopping mall and to Harvey Norman to buy a heat pump for the house.

My contractions started to intensify whilst I was in Harvey Norman so I went and found some massage chairs sat on those for a while and did my breathing exercises before heading home. Once we got back home Jon managed to convince me to sit down so he could time my contractions as he was concerned that they were getting closer together and the midwife had told him that he needed to call her when I was having three contractions in ten minutes.

I had pretty much zoned out of it by this stage so I didn't pay any attention to the look of shock on his face when he timed the contractions for 10 minutes and I had actually had four. He insisted on calling the midwife even though I was insisting it was too soon as it was 6pm by this time and all I kept thinking was that I would really like to watch the six o'clock news but this whole labour thing was making me pace up and down and want to keep moving or just sit on the toilet!. In addition to that I so didn't want to go into to hospital too early and have them intervene but I just let him go ahead and call her just to stop him worrying really!

The midwife didn't seem to believe him and asked to speak to me so I responded to her with yes/no answers as I was experiencing a surge throughout the conversation and she suggested that I go into the clinic so she could examine me before she headed back home for the day just to see if it was worth her traveling home for the evening.

Once we arrived at the clinic the midwives were waiting for me and made a bit of a joke of my face being that of a woman in labour, asking where my sense of humour was now and should they run for some hot towels! I basically looked through the three of them stuck my hands on the counter and breathed through another surge.

They all went quiet and my midwife suggested I get on the bed so she could examine me, I said to her please don't tell me I am only 1-2cm's dilated as these surges are pretty full on. I can tell you I was pretty relieved when the voice came from between my legs actually you are 9cm's dilated and we really need to get you to hospital quickly (I don't think the midwife quite shared my sense of relief!).

We got back in the car after the midwives had put a pile of towels in my passenger seat and told me under no circumstances to push if I felt the urge to in the car, and so with the midwife in hot pursuit behind us we made the 10 minute journey to the hospital.

We arrived at North Shore Hospital and after escorting me up to the Birthing suite Jon went back downstairs to park the car. I stripped off into a hospital gown and insisted I needed to go to the toilet (not for a wee) to which the midwife assured me it was the pressure of the baby not my bowels.

I told her I didn't care I wanted to sit on the toilet and so sit on it I did, after about half a minute I felt a strange sensation called in the midwife who entered the bathroom to be greeted by the what seemed to be a tsunami that was indeed my waters, membrane and all exploding into the toilet bowl / up in front of me etc!!.

I was told in no uncertain terms to get off the toilet and into the other room as the baby was literally on his way down, I got onto the bed feeling absolutely elated as the sensation to push had taken over the sensation of pressure and I just wanted to get the baby out (in the nicest possible sense of course).

Problem was Jon was nowhere to be seen as he was still parking the car and Charlie's head had started crowning at this stage, after a desperate call by the student midwife on the mobile Jon reappeared with all the bags and was told by the midwife he could see his Son being born if he would like to move down the other end.

Jon looked extremely shocked but this was soon forgotten as he saw Charlie's head crowning again and after about six pushes Charlie came into the world at 7.36pm with one of his famous cry's and apgar scores of nine just 25 minutes after we arrived at the hospital.

The memory of it will stay with me forever as it truly was the most wonderful experience of my life, I can only describe the crowning as a stinging sensation and when Charlie was finally born he literally slipped out of my body, I will never forget the sensation. He was put straight onto my breast and started feeding straight away whilst I spoke to my Mum, my In-Laws and my Brother who were all in England. As you can imagine they were all pretty shocked as Jon had only called them all less than an hour earlier when we were on our way to hospital.

As I say it was all pretty surreal and the adrenalin really kicked in a few hours later when I was in the hospital bed by myself after Jon had gone home and I recalled the events of the afternoon and Charlie's subsequent birth.

It was an amazing experience which I totally put down to the HypnoBirthing techniques I practiced and the only thing I will do differently next time is to have my next baby at home as I really didn't enjoy being in hospital away from Jon and away from home.

So there we go my birth story in all its glory, it's a bit of a novel but you hear so many stories about nightmare births I think it makes a nice change to read about a positive birth story. Four months on Charlie is the most amazing baby, he is so chilled out, has been sleeping through the night since he was three months and quite honestly gives me looks and smiles that convinces me he has been here before! He took to breastfeeding from day one like a duck to water, is absolutely thriving and is chomping at the bit to start on solids.

I thoroughly recommend HypnoBirthing to any expectant Mums out there it made my labour and Charlie's birth the most amazing experience I have ever encountered and I am so looking forward to delivering my next baby in exactly the same way (but at home next time!)

 

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