Irene & Pete
Baby Chloe born at home on 26th July 2017.
My husband and I wanted to give birth in the calmness of our own home, so we were with the Homebirth
Team of Birmingham Women's hospital and we cannot praise them enough! Every midwife and health
care professional we met was fantastic! The care and support we received was just phenomenal!
My first surges started in the early hours of Friday (21st July) and were on and off for 5 days. Each night I
had 6-9 hour periods of frequent, but not strong enough contractions (or strong, but not frequent enough) while in the day hours the period of time between the surges was lengthening to 15-30 minutes. This made life very uncomfortable and sleep very difficult.
On call midwives from the Homebirth team were with us on Sat, Sun and Monday night. On the Monday night we sat and made a video for our baby asking her to come quicker as mama is tired, generally I was coping ok I think.
By Tuesday lunchtime I entered established labour and we decided to have the membranes released at 8:30 pm, and the labour re-started at 9:30 pm, at 10.30pm I felt the overwhelming sensation to push at 0:53 am on the 26/7/17 my little one was born weighting healthy 10 lbs (as predicted)!
She was born in water and it seemed like she hadn't even registered that she was out of the womb.
I think that breathing techniques are the key for me. I learn't a lot at HypnoBirthing™ class majorly helped us going and remain calm for this long. Thank you Katy for empowering to have the birth of our dreams! I didn't for a moment think “I need an epidural”.
Midwifes were super proud and they told us that they always know if expecting parents had done a HypnoBirthing™ course or not.
It wasn't easy, I did a lot of breathing, I’m still over the moon. You know how it works: you remember birth as easy-peasy pleasant experience and it truly was.
Baby Riordan Born 14th June 2017
I briefly heard about HypnoBirthing™ quite a while before I ever got pregnant, I read about some women in America who said they enjoyed their birth experience, they didn't feel any pain, and one apparently even had an orgasm during her baby’s birth! I thought the latter part was strange personally and I didn't believe what they were saying could be true either. At this point I hadn't read about Marie Mongan or actually about HypnoBirthing™, I’d just read a small account of what these women had said. I thought it was nonsense and dismissed it. Years later I happened to see something about eradicating fear of your baby’s birth and it intrigued me. I didn't fear the pain that as a society we've been told from a young age to expect. I simply thought that was part and parcel of labour as the worst pain of my life but it was worth it.
But the pain wasn't what I feared, I feared that I would lose my son in childbirth or that I wouldn't survive it. My fears weren't completely irrational as they stemmed from the only birth I had experienced at the time which was of that my still born daughter. That birth was of course an extremely difficult and traumatic one. So I wanted to see if this HypnoBirthing™ thing could help with that, upon reading more I learn't that it also taught you how two manage pain aspect which also appealed to me as I knew I didn't want any pain relief at all but didn't know of an alternative way.
Everyone I spoke to told me to take it all and thought I was crazy for even contemplating not using any pain relief. But I wouldn't even contemplate taking paracetamol throughout my pregnancy so why would I then decide to use all these strong drugs? It made no sense to me. I was intrigued by HypnoBirthing™ and the concept of birth just being a natural thing that we were designed for to do with a focus also on the spiritual aspect really resonated with me but I assumed it was only in America until I decided to search in England to see and sure enough there were people teaching it. However, I was also certain it wouldn't be in Birmingham but I decided to try my luck and search anyway. I was very pleasantly surprised to see the wonderful Katy pop up. I quickly read about her and saw that see had actually used HypnoBirthing™ and so I messaged her. To cut long story short we got on straight away and her kind nature enabled be to share deeper reason as to why I wanted to be taught HypnoBirthing™ and she said she thought it would help especially as there is a section about releasing fears.
So my classes begun, I loved learning about HypnoBirthing™, the biology side fascinated me, the jargon I much more preferred to the usual words and being educated about my rights and choices empowered me. Plus I was lucky as I had a lovely bunch of people in my class. I stopped feeling as scared about my son’s birth day and I started to feel more excited. We did a range of activities through the classes that helped me understand and prepare. I practiced every night and the support outside of the class was so helpful too.
My actual labour lasted for 5 full days and a few hours of the next morning, calmly birthed into the world at 3:21am on 14th June 2017 HypnoBirthing™ enabled me to cope with the 5 days of long slow labour, often just spending the days listening to my rainbow relaxation CD, bouncing on my birth ball and talking to my son or singing Ed Sheeran to him. The drug free labour and birth that I so desperately desired whilst giving me an alternative way to deal with my surges. The HypnoBirthing™ births that I watched were so beautiful and that’s how I hoped my son’s birth would be. My son was back to back and although I could deal with my surges; the minute of back surges straight away afterwards wasn't something I expected and they were certainly intense! But I breathed my way through it all and birth breathed my son into my arms. Even though I was experiencing intense discomfort from the back surges HypnoBirthing™ allowed me to deal with them without pain relief and without screaming. So much so that 20 minutes before my son was born the midwives tried to send me home as they didn't believe I was far enough or even in active labour. Imagine their surprise when they checked and I was 7cm thinned and opened and my membranes were bulging ready to release!
I walked down from the ward to the delivery suite and stopped to surge breath whenever I needed to which was for times ad twice my membranes released. Upon entering the room I felt pressure and knew it was time and sure enough although they couldn’t believe it my sons head was already starting to emerge through my birth path. I then began to breathe him down within 5 minutes he was born, without the need of medical intervention. It felt like only minutes but the placenta soon followed naturally.
I felt mild discomfort I couldn't have gotten through without HypnoBirthing™ and all that Katy taught me. I highly recommend Every Birth Matters HypnoBirthing™ course to everyone. The course empowers you and I highly recommend Katy as she is a lovely person who wants help mum prepare for labour and birth. All that I learn't and practiced enabled me to calmly and safely birth my son into the world.
Sarah and Stephen
Nathaniel born at home on 11th January 2018
HypnoBirthing & Birth Doula
As a Hypnobirthing teacher Katy was fab, I felt like I really got to know her through the classes and loved all of the personalised suggestions that she floated, some of which I used to prepare for birth and adopted during my labour. It’s well worth putting time and effort into achieving a positive birth because the effects have continued to bless us well beyond that incredible event and I really attribute the work we put in with Katy to how we feel now (incredible considering we have a six week old baby... I’m still walking on sunshine!).
I welcomed my second son, Nathaniel, into the world at 21:33 on 11/01/2018 in our lounge at home with my husband, Katy and a rather flustered Midwife-having evicted some very pleasant but extremely confused ambulance men from the living room.
My previous birth (2014) had been an induction for post dates and I had been very dissatisfied with a hospital birth that began and ended clinically. Birth may be about a baby but it’s also about a new mother too!
I was extremely discouraged on 10/01/2018, knowing I was 41 weeks and the next day I would discuss induction of labour with my community Midwife. Although I had early labour (latent) signs, it was nothing that I hadn’t experienced when I’d prepared for my first baby-when I’d not physiologically laboured without intervention. Discussing things with Katy increased my confidence to challenge decisions around my management, which was originally consultant led care. I successfully and for good reasons managed to make the case that medically there was nothing that would make it inadvisable to labour and birth at home but I really didn’t want to reach 42 weeks and discuss induction (again). I’d eaten six dates a day since 36 weeks; taken 2-3 raspberry leaf capsules; walked over 10,000steps a day; consistently, creatively and regularly romantically accosted my husband, as well as consumed far too much curry and pineapple for my digestive system to respond with any gratitude. My community Midwife had given me extra sweeps and my friend (still practising as a midwife) had slipped me in an extra covert one in as well.
So, to combat the absolute despair and funk we were sliding into, my husband inflated the birth pool. I may have tearfully mentioned that the longer I had to look at it, the more it would taunt me but it was a somewhat defiant gesture in the face of a depressing appointment.
When I saw my community Midwife, I described myself as “actively latent-ing” -regular but short lasting tightenings that I did not feel were strong. She performed (yet another) sweep and told me not much was happening. We postponed organising the induction appointment until Monday-since I’d decided to transfer to a closer hospital if I’d needed induction. This was at 16:00(ish).
I went shopping and carried it home and then I told my husband I was ravenous so we finished eating around 18:00. I felt like my tightenings were getting stronger.
He put our three year old to bed and I called Katy to tell her to come when her children were in bed.
My knowledge of birth and women’s bodies includes them not following text books and guidelines, but I didn’t think I’d be actively labouring before 22:00 or give birth before 02:00 the next day.
Katy was probably a bit surprised to hear me crying-which I was on the phone-because “I was just so happy to be finally labouring at home, where I had planned”. My husband came downstairs having put our big boy to bed and I made him compile a birth playlist on the computer. We turned the lights down. We swayed/danced during some of the more intense sensations (which, hypnobirthers may understand, were more like intense pressure rather than pain, it’s well worth doing the birth preparation!).
My timeline is a little shaky because I was very in the zone (thank you hypnobirthing!). Happy that Katy was on the way, happy that I was having my baby. Then I suddenly got to a point where I said I’d like entonox and told Stephen to fill the pool and call the midwives. After Katy arrived it can’t have been too long before my waters went. I lost a bit of calm because the lights were dim and I saw some meconium (later documented as insignificant).
After my waters had gone I felt like things were speeding up and we needed to know where people were. My husband dealt with all of that on the phone away from me and Katy kept me in an oxytocin zone of calm and peacefulness. This is where having a Doula was well worth it, I wasn’t aware of any stress at all because I had a constant source of peace and support all the way through, despite my husband having to talk to various people which could have otherwise left me feeling alone.
I was a bit distracted/upset that I didn’t know how the baby was coping and I was aware that events had progressed quickly but there wasn’t a Midwife so I was just following my body and appreciating the support from Katy. Cue the ambulance crew entry (midwives had advised this call in case of the need for baby resuscitation/emergency and the distance they were coming from)... The paramedics were quite abrupt in their entry and I wasn’t too happy to see them. I have post-event guilt that my language wasn’t too polite. They seemed to expect me to want to transfer, so there was a lack of clarity in communications.... what is life without a little drama?!
The Midwife arrived in time to clock the appearance of the Nathaniel’s head, followed swiftly by his body. I saw him open his eyes, announced he was fine, informed everyone we had a boy (that bit we had kept a surprise even for ourselves) and bought him to the surface of the water myself. The ambulance crew retreated to our hall at this point (I fully appreciate that an angry, sweary, naked, birthing woman can be quite scary) and my husband supplied them with coffee.
The second Midwife rocked up and I requested optimal/delayed cord clamping for 10 minutes but because I’m a negative blood group I wanted cord blood taken in case I needed Anti D (which I did, since Nathaniel is A Positive). I had active delivery of a lovely large placenta that was beautifully complete. The ambulance men left at this point (bless them). I watched in a blissful daze as Stephen sorted out emptying and deflating the birth pool, fed Nathaniel, then showered in my own shower, with Katy helping me into clean maternity knickers and a gloriously large maternity pad. I declined stitches for a small second degree tear. Came downstairs and had a beautiful cup of tea. I eventually took my newborn to bed having waved everyone off and after they’d gone I noticed Katy had even done the washing up. Doula's are amazing.
My eldest came into our bedroom at 05:00 and met his baby brother, having slept through everything.
It was perfect (even the ambulance men, because with hindsight, it’s hilarious).
I strongly recommend Katy because I feel that we had such a fantastic experience that I LOVE TELLING PEOPLE ABOUT largely due to the input we had from her. If anyone can help you to achieve confident, empowering births it will be her! 💪😘 xxx