My first born... where it ALL began!

After stumbling across Hypnobirthing on an episode of The Wright Stuff (of all places!) 'Thank you Nadia Sawalha'​

I knew that this was something that I absolutely had to explore when I fell pregnant.

 Whilst I was very excited about what lay ahead, I was also terrified at the prospect of giving birth. 5 years ago I would most definitely have described myself as a pretty anxious person and the thought of giving birth absolutely terrified me! 

 

For many years I had listened to horror stories and subjected myself to reading things in the media and on the TV.  All of which portrayed birth in an excruciating, negative light.  I just couldn't believe that birth had to be like that.  My instinct was telling me that there had to be another way, so I set about doing my own research into alternative birthing options.  Thankfully it wasn't long before I discovered the wonderful world of HypnoBirthing.  Instantly I knew this was the right path for me and I booked onto a course.

The course was fantastic.  It gave me a clear insight into the way our bodies are perfectly designed to give birth.  It opened my eyes to the true beauty of childbirth and I felt empowered by what I was learning.  Over the weeks, we were taught specific relaxation and breathing techniques alongside simple visualisation strategies, and before long I found I could take myself into a wonderful state of relaxation, and dare I say it...I couldn't wait to give birth!  I continued to practice everything I had learnt from the course and when my birthing day arrived I was met with a feeling of pure joy and calm.  I was able to turn my birth over to my body and utilise all of the skills I had learnt to have such a truly magical birth experience.  I had never felt so safe, relaxed and profoundly calm.  I felt absolutely no fear, anxiety ot worry (which was a great surprise to my friends and family!).  I was calm, confident and relaxed and although my birthing journey was relatively long due to having a back to back labour I was able to remain in a state of deep relaxation using the breathing techniques I had mastered.  At 1.42am on February 1st 2014 my beautiful baby boy Jude was born, weighing 7lb 7oz.  He didn't cry when he was born, after all, there was no reason to. He had been birthed in a peaceful, relaxing environment and was just as content as I was.

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For days after my birth I couldn't stop thinking about the experience I had encountered and wondered how many other Mums had been fortunate enough to stumble across HypnoBirthing, but a part of me then began to wonder just how many women had never discovered the world of HypnoBirthing.  Many of my friends and family hadn't even heard of what it was, and to me this seemed so strange.  I honestly don't know how I would have given birth without HypnoBirthing, so from that moment on I knew what I had to do.  How could I not share something so powerful and empowering to other women, with other women?  This was my calling and my opportunity to work alongside other inspiring practitioners to help spread the word of HypnoBirthing; to change women's perceptions of birth; to instill confidence and to help create a new generation of women that do not talk of their negative experiences, but instead stand proud and united in the knowledge that they have been given the tools to allow them to have the most beautiful experience possible

...and so my journey began.  I trained with the Hypnobirthing institute and founded Worcestershire Hypnobirthing!

Then, two and a half years after giving birth to Jude I was blessed with my second son Joshua..  After such a hugely positive first birth experience I was so excited to be pregnant again.  This time round things were a little bit different as I was now a qualified Hypnobirthing teacher so it was amazing to be teaching other women whilst growing my own little baby too!

I spent months practicing all of the tools that I knew would make all the difference to my birth experience. . .

 

. . .and when my labour started I was filled with so much excitement! I woke in the night at around 3am on Wednesday 6th July 2016 with a bit of backache but thought nothing of it really and tried to get back to sleep.  I had experienced several of these episodes in the last couple of weeks with tightenings lasting up to a few hours so I assumed this was another one of those. 

 

By 3.30-4ish it was still there and I began to notice a little bit of heavier pressure/tightening around my tummy.  When I went to the toilet I had a show and soon realised this was it so I went back and woke my husband up!  We put on my lovely hypnobirthing relaxation music and I sat on the ball and bounced for a little while whilst watching the sunrise out of the window.  It was just beautiful.  

By about 5am, my surges (contractions) were coming every 4-5 minutes and lasting between 45secs - 1 minute.  I continued to focus on my breathing and just let my body relax.  My Mum and sister arrived at around 5.30am and we sat and had a cuppa whilst I carried on breathing through each surge.  Matt (my husband) was there right by my side and during every surge he would read out some really positive birthing affirmations which gave me so much strength and confidence in what my body was capable of.  

 

At about 7am, the surges were now 3-4 minutes apart and lasting well over a minute so we decided to go for a walk in the meadow in front of our house.  We walked around for about 45 minutes and it was so nice to be outside in the fresh air.  This was something that I had spent so much time visualising during my pregnancy and it felt amazing to be doing it for real!  At this point I noticed the pressure/tightenings were getting stronger so after our walk we went back inside and I listened to some of my hypnobirthing relaxation scripts.  These were amazing and allowed me to get into a really deep state of relaxation which helped with every surge that came and went.  By this point it was about 8.30am and Matt decided to ring the Meadow Birth Centre, Worcester to let them know we would be heading in shortly.  I continued relaxing at home and then at around 9am we started to make our way in.  When we arrived we were taken into the Violet suite.  It was just perfect, I burst into tears!!  I was so emotional and knew that it wouldn't be long. 

 

I was hoping at this stage to get into the water but when I asked the midwife she explained that after she had felt my tummy she didn't think I was in established labour as of yet (I think because everything was quite calm and chilled out!) so she encouraged me to go for a walk and keep active and she would examine me after her staff meeting.  I agreed even though in my gut I knew that I was definitely getting close.  So I carried on relaxing, breathing and listening to affirmations.  I then decided to take myself off to the bathroom as at this point I really wanted some privacy.

 

After about 10 minutes of sitting there my waters went and then almost instantly I could feel Joshua's head coming down.  Luckily at this point the midwife came in and could see that our little one's head was right there.  She then asked would I like to go into the water but I remember laughing and said I didn't think I would make it and was quite happy where I was.  So we carried on and a couple of breaths later our beautiful little baby boy was born.....Joshua Peter Nicol Robson...weighing 6lb 14oz.  He didnt make a sound, it was so peaceful and calm and I just burst into tears!  

It was the most beautiful, empowering and rewarding experience and one that I will cherish forever.  Being able to birth without fear and filled with a sense of calm and inner confidence absolutely transformed my birth.  I embraced every single surge and was able to retrain my mind to focus on the feelings of pressure rather than thinking about the 'pain'.  In doing so I was able to comfortably move, sway and breathe through the whole experience without any form of pain relief.  

'We are the only species that can doubt its ability to give birth, think about that' 

     - Ina May Gaskin