Dear Katherine,

My partner John and I attended your hypnobirthing classes around 6 weeks ago in the lead up to our daughter’s birth.

I was feeling rather nervous about the birth and the anticipated pain so I wanted to do as much reading and preparation as I could. I had done some hypnosis work previously so was keen to see if it could help with this momentous occasion.

I found that the classes and the hypnosis sessions that we did in class were very useful for reaching a positive and deep state of relaxation. Also it helped to get my partner on board with what I wanted to do.

After the classes (finished at 35 weeks) I listened to my cds daily and practiced some of the relaxation and visualisation techniques on how I wanted my birth experience to go, ie. fast, easy and drug free preferably.

I felt great throughout my pregnancy (apart from sickness at start) though my back was aching by the last week.

I reached 40 weeks and 9 days. I had been having period like cramps for around 2 weeks and Braxton Hicks tightening but no pain. When I had my 41-week check up they said I was 3 cm dilated and her head was fully in position. The doctor did a light stretch and I waited to see what would happen. I had resisted setting the induction date till around the 14th day.

That night I felt slightly more crampy but nothing major and went to bed at 1am. I woke at 2.30am to a shooting pain and some discomfort and tried to go back to sleep. However, my back was aching so I got up for a bit. I had a band of period type pains around my belly and back and became aware of tightening but wasnt sure if these were contractions as the discomfort didnt really go due to the period type cramps and it didnt seem that ‘bad’. They did seem to be 2 minutes apart but I wasnt sure if this was it. It didnt seem ‘full on’ enough.

I got my partner up and hopped in the bath. He started timing them for me and got a little freaked when we kept getting 2 minutes. This went on for around an hour. In the bath I listened to my relaxation cd and felt fine. I had done a lot of meditation/visualisation in my bath in the lead up, so this was a very chilled space for me.

John got me out the bath and we rang the hospital. I spoke to the midwives and they listened to a few contractions, which were growing now. They thought they were lasting long enough (around 40 seconds) and that I should stay at home. In between contractions I was organising what we needed to pack and calming my partner.

They then started to become much more intense so John packed me into the car and we went to hospital (2 minutes away). By the time I got there, it was getting full on and I was a bit ‘out of it’. On entering the hospital I found the loo and was sick and gave my partner a fright. I then had to hang off the reception desk as my time seemed close. My partner organised everything, I couldnt have eye contact or talk.

The nurse then was checking for the heartbeat but was struggling to find it. I think she was quite junior. The baby had possibly turned maybe posterior or transverse hence my back labour.

She checked and I was 8cm dilated and begging for the bath. It was around 5am now.

Once in the bath I felt much better and was having some gas and air. It distracts you rather than relieves the pain but it worked for me. Though I did vomit all over my partner due to the big balloon breaths and the gas.

My partner got in behind me to help with the counter pressure on my back. He said he could feel the intensity of the contractions coming and that my muscles went as stiff as bone after the rippling waves like feeling- he was amazed by it all.

Before very long I had the urge to push and was told to go ahead which surprised me. I did feel scared I have to say and asked about pain relief options but I knew deep down that she was ready to come out and it wasnt really going to happen. Plus, I wanted to do it naturally if possible. I think I just wanted to think I had a back up if needed. The midwife was good and said just try a few more pushes first.

I could feel the membranes between my legs (she came out en caul) and they said she was nearly there. The gas relaxed me a bit too much and was taken away for the final job in hand. After 5 or 6 hard pushes (I had tried to do birth breathes but was encouraged to push her out for speed) the head appeared. It felt like I wanted to do a bowel movement but once I realised that it was her it was easier to push her out. I was scared as to how it would feel having her part way out but it was okay, I stretched slowly and the endorphins dulled the sensation plus I had trained my perineum. 3 more pushes and she was out, head quickly followed by the body and she was put on my chest.

The whole birth had taken 5.15 hours. It would have been 30 minutes shorter but I had got a bit scared and zoned out just prior to her entry.

She looked gorgeous, long and thin and she had a good cry on my chest. She stayed with mum for a good hour before they weighed her.

I was up and showering and felt great, if rather in shock at the whole speed of the event. However, I had programmed myself for a fast, easy birth so I shouldn’t really have been that surprised!

Hypnobirthing kept me calm in the pregnancy and in the labour lead up. It was really only the final few hours that felt scary but my partner helped me cope really well after being hypno trained too. When I breathed properly it really did assist with the pain reduction and panicky feeling.

She is 7lbs and 50cm long. I tore slightly but didn’t need stitches. I had used the Epi-No balloon to 8.5cm so I highly recommend that for birth preparation.

She is a calm baby who doesnt make too much of a fuss and I have played the hypnobirthing cd’s to her since if she is a bit upset. It helps us both really stay calm.

I have recommend this to my 2 other girlfriends, one who had a hard last birth and one who is pregnant now. I am sure it assisted me with a positive relaxed approach.

I have to say, as a first time mum who was very scared I am very proud of what I achieved. So thanks Katherine for the training – it really helped us out and I will use it next time.

PS I have been on cloud 9 since she was born and lack of sleep has not been an issue, I feel great. A lot of women in the hospital looked very tired and frazzled whereas I felt fresh as a daisy, short birth and no drugs I guess!

I will include photos too, these were taken 15 minutes after the birth and after a shower.
Many thanks
Sharon A.

7 months later… an update

Hi Katherine,

We are all very well and Scarlett is 7 months old today!

She is a real joy Katherine. She is a relaxed and happy little girl who we can take to cafes and restaurants no problem. She will just sit and play in her pram or sit on our laps and take it all in. Life just gets better and better with her.

Sure I am only too happy to answer questions. Feel free to handout my email address.

I have included a photo of her at 3 months. It was the easiest to find and since, 3 more photo’s at 7 months, you may like to use.

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