Dear Katherine,

I apologise that it has taken me so long to send you this email, but with a newborn, a toddler and a busy festive season things have been a little hectic and have only just calmed down.

I wanted to send you my sincerest thanks and appreciation for all that we learned from you in the HypnoBirthing class that my partner and I attended in August 2006.

On November 16th, we welcome our second son Dakota Charlie into the world and the birth experience was all we could have hoped for, and more. I hope you don’t mind me sending you our story, I am just so thrilled with how things turned out!

My contractions started at around 6.30am on the 16th November. They were 15 mins apart and very dull so we went about our normal morning routine with our 2 year old son.

At 8am, we called my mum to come and sit with us, as she was to look after our son when we went to hospital. I sat with my son and mum and partner in our lounge room from around 8.30am till 10.30am with contractions coming every 10mins or so. I was amazed to be able to sit and chat and play with my son only pausing to focus and use my HypnoBirthing breathing through a contraction. After the contraction passed I felt relaxed and happy and continued playing with our son.

At 10.30am the contractions were 5 mins apart and becoming more noticeable so we headed off to the hospital. When we arrived just after 11am the midwife offered to do an internal, which we declined, as I wanted to stay focused on my relaxation and breathing. We didn’t use the CD’s during the birth. I had the rainbow relaxation on my iPOD which we took to the hospital, but to be honest I didn’t feel the need to use it as I was happy with the level of relaxation I was achieving on my own. I listened to the rainbow relaxation every day from the time we completed the weekend course and found I would often fall asleep (no matter what time of day I listened to it), it was extremely beneficial and the imagery helped me to relax.

Steph would remind me of my breathing, encourage me and also, was my voice to our midwife. She explained why we wanted to delay having an internal when we initially arrived and she communicated with the midwife as to my progress when she popped in and out of the suite. During the transition stage, I did begin to feel I was losing my focus and Steph picked up on this straight away, and helped and encouraged me to focus once more on my breathing and our baby. This may not sound like doing a great deal, but at the time it was special and important to me that I didn’t have to communicate in words how I felt or what I needed but that my birth partner could read me and know what I needed from her.

We didn’t use any of the light touch massage or deepening techniques during the labour as I found that I was able to relax sufficiently without the use of these techniques. The discussion we had during classes, explaining the contracting of the uterus muscles to facilitate dilation of the cervix was the most beneficial to me. As I breathed through the contractions and felt the tightening across my abdomen, I visualised the muscles tightening and pulling upwards and nudging the baby down as you had explained. This helped me to trust my body and to try and change my thought pattern from interpreting the feelings as pain to envisioning the baby descending lower and lower and viewing the sensations as my body working, to deliver our baby. Once I could view the contractions in this way, I just tried to focus on my breathing and to keep my body as relaxed as possible so as to not interfere with the process. I did, towards the transition stage, try the use of gas as the contractions were feeling very strong, however, I didn’t find it useful and it was quickly abandoned during the third stage.

We didn’t have a written birth plan, however, our OB was aware we were hoping to use HypnoBirthing and was also aware we wanted to have as little intervention as possible. The midwife that attended was fantastic and, once she assessed Steph and I were comfortable and not needing any instruction etc, she was more a silent party in the background which was fantastic. My OB was supportive of HypnoBirthing as his wife had studied it for the birth of their daughter.

By 11.35am the midwife returned and again suggested an internal, which we agreed to and I was found to be 8cm dilated. Shortly before midday, I felt I was in transition and needed to push so our OB was called. I was not able to breathe our baby out as was taught in the lessons as the need to push was so overwhelming, but found the breathing helped after the baby’s head was delivered as my OB needed to unwind the cord from around his neck.

So, with a final push at 12.26pm just 6 hours from first contraction, our beautiful baby boy Dakota Charlie was born and placed straight into my arms. He didn’t cry initially he just stared with wide eyes and took in all around him. He was 52.5cms long and weighed 3.9kgs.

This birth was a completely different experience to that of my first son’s. This time I was up and showering shortly after the delivery and felt full of energy and alert. I was not tired or drained and was able to spend the next few hours bonding with our new baby boy. Our family and friends all commented on how well I looked after the birth and for me the recovery time was remarkably different. Photos taken immediately after the birth are in stark contrast to those taken even 2 days after my first son Luka’s delivery, I looked exhausted and drained in all those photos, until around day 4.

I think for me the difference between my first birth and the second was my attitude to the birth. I felt scared and overwhelmed at Luka’s birth. I felt I had no choice but to give in to the control of the staff, as I didn’t know how to give birth. The birth was for want of a better word, ‘directed’ and ‘controlled’, by external people.

For Dakota’s birth I felt calm, confident, centred and had a huge trust and faith in my own body’s ability to birth my baby. I knew that my only task was to relax my mind and in doing so, my body would be allowed the opportunity to do what it is designed to do. This trust and confidence in my body was for me what was hugely lacking in my first birth.

I can not thank you enough for all you taught us in the classes. Our bub is now 3 months old and is a well-natured little boy who barely cry’s and is happy and healthy. I can honestly say that I thoroughly enjoyed my son’s arrival into the world and look back fondly on the experience. We will definitely be using the HypnoBirthing techniques for our future babies.

Thank you again for everything.
Kind regards,
Yvette

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