Birthing Baby Anwen – Nearly a home birth

Dear Katherine,

Finally I seem to have a moment to write and tell you all about the wonderful hypnobirthing birth I had. I’m a very proud mother of a beautiful baby girl (I’ve attached a photo so that you can see her!) who is calm and contented, all due I’m sure to my practised hypnobirthing relaxation and the lovely (but not as planned!) birth that we had. I’ve also attached a detailed description of Anwen’s birth day for you, I hope you will be able to use it on your website, as I would really like to be able to help as many women as possible to have the experience of a natural and wonderful birth as we did.

On the 28th of November, 2005 our beautiful little daughter, Anwen Elizabeth Gregory was born. She arrived four days late, but in a rather unexpectedly quick 9 hour labour!

Firstly, both Andy and I would like to thank you for the wonderful Hypnobirthing classes. Without the relaxation techniques, the birth would have been a very different (and far more painful) experience I am sure.

I awoke in the morning with irregular tightening and believing it would be a day or so before true labour was established, as this was my first baby, Andrew went to work. At 10.30am, I had to call him to let him know I could really do with his support as the contractions were strengthening and beginning to make me feel a bit nauseous. By the time he arrived home I had listened to your hypnobirthing CD and was relaxed, as the surges became more and more regular. We called the Birth Centre to let them know that I had gone into full labour with contractions one minute apart, but on hearing how calm I was they suggested we stay at home for a while longer and so I got into the bath with some more relaxing hypnobirthing cds in the background. Andy’s practice of the light touch massage certainly worked, in fact so much so that I wouldn’t let him leave my side! He took 2 hours to eat a sandwich at lunchtime, poor thing!

The labour progressed quickly and I soon found myself unable to keep still during the surges. They were very strong and now lasting 80 to 90 seconds or so. I certainly couldn’t face getting into the car and being driven 25 minutes to the hospital, especially as it was nearing rush hour!

This is when I really noticed how wonderful the hypnobirthing technique was. When I was relaxed and concentrating on my breathing and thinking “let go” the contractions seemed just like powerful waves, but when I began to worry about getting dressed and ready for the car journey the pain was quite unbearable!

The Birth Centre then called to ask where we were as they had been expecting us for a while. I had since got back into the bath, and had started to feel the urge to push. We were told to call an ambulance straight away, as we might be having the baby at home!

The ambulance arrived and (after a while of trying to persuade me to get out of the bath!) we were rushed to the nearest hospital and not the Birth Centre we had planned on having the baby in. The ambulance men kept asking whether Andrew or I were medically trained as they could not believe how calm we were, it’s a shame I wasn’t feeling talkative enough to tell them all about the hypnobirthing lessons that we had to thank for that!

Unfortunately, the rest of my labour didn’t go as we had planned. As well as ending up in a delivery suite in a different hospital, when my waters broke we discovered that the baby had already passed meconium, so I ended up on the bed, unable to move off my back and strapped to a machine to continually monitor the baby’s heartbeat and well-being. This slowed the contractions right down and made the second phase of labour much more difficult. The midwife even commented that pushing the baby out was like pushing her around a U-bend, so I had to work hard, it was so annoying knowing it would be much easier if I could squat or stand, but I was not allowed to move. Nevertheless our beautiful baby girl arrived into the world just an hour and a half after arriving at the hospital, with no pain relief and only a small tear, but not of the perineum!

Unfortunately, due to the presence of meconium, Anwen’s cord had to be clamped and cut (and not by Andy!) and she had to be taken for suctioning, although it wasn’t too long before I could hold my lovely baby and let her suckle for the first time. A moment I will never forget.

Anwen is such a calm and contented baby (well, the majority of the time… she does have her “off” days here and there, but I forgive her those!) and I’m sure we have the relaxation techniques taught during the hypnobirthing classes to thank for that too, so again, thankyou so much and to anyone thinking of trying Hypnobirthing we would definitely recommend it!

Catherine, Andy and Anwen


Catherine also had another baby girl, Gwenllian Mae. Click here to read her birth story.


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