Hi Louise,

I gave birth to our beautiful little girl Bailey 1 week early, weighing 6lb 10oz. I had a full Hypno water birth using only Tens and gas & air and my labour was officially recorded at 4.5 hours. This is my birth story:

At 22 weeks my husband and I attended a Wise Hippo Hypnobirthing course by the lovely Louise Balm. She gave us the techniques and training, all we had to do was put them into practice.

I was intent on having a water birth so to associate relaxation, baby bonding and positive boosts with water, I would listen to the MP3s while I was in the bath. My favourites were Bond and Breathe and the affirmations. By the time I was in labour I actually knew most of the affirmations off by heart and started reciting them during the pushing stage.

I kept upright and forward leaning from about 30 weeks, listened to my MP3s daily and practiced breathing. I also submerged myself in a relaxing smell which came with me to the hospital.

At 38 weeks I gave my little girl a nudge with the old favourites – raspberry leaf tea, reflexology, curries etc. On the Monday of the week she was born the midwife told me she was fully engaged and back to belly – perfect position.

By the Wednesday I had what I thought were Braxton Hicks but in fact I was in early labour. I can only imagine that I was so calm and relaxed that I was coping with the early surges. On the Thursday – I went about my day meeting friends for lunch even though by this time I was having more frequent surges  they were not painful just a feeling of tightening in my belly and bottom at the same time. At this point they were every half an hour. Still manageable.

By 8pm the tightening sensations were every 3/4 minutes and had definitely intensified. I figured I was in labour so we went to triage to find out what stage I was at. They informed me it was my cervix ripening and I hadn’t started dilating yet. I went home, lit my candles, put on my Tens and listened to the instrumental MP3 whilst my husband slept – I went from 0-4cm dilated in 6 hours by keeping as calm and relaxed as I possibly could.

My husband set my room up with electric candles, dimmed lighting, my anchor smell, and the Instrumental MP3 playing. He also had a great idea to print out our scan picture to give me something to focus on. He fed me tangerine pieces, jelly babies, water and constantly told me to go and wee. He was amazing – my rock! I went from 3 – 8 cm in the room on only gas and air and my husbands support.

At 6.30am I got in the pool, finished dilating and started pushing. I’m not one of those silent hypnobirthers – I knew I never would be, I needed to channel my effort somehow and it helped to make some noise. Again my  husband set the pool room exactly how I wanted it. For most of my pushing I listened to the instrumental MP3. However when she crowned I seemed to hit a wall – I was just exhausted. My husband decided to take charge (much to my dismay) and changed the MP3 to the affirmations – in hindsight this was the best thing he could have ever done as it gave me the boost to get my baby out. In my final push I managed to get her head, shoulders and body out in one go – she was also born in her sack of waters which I know is a rare magical thing.

Finally the best part of the birth story was that I didn’t tear, this was my biggest fear of childbirth and perineal massage along with the water played a big part in prevention.

It’s certainly my biggest achievement and I feel so proud that I did it without intervention.

Bailey is a really calm baby, hardly ever cries and had taken to breastfeeding really well. Im sure this is because we had a really positive birth together and Richard and I are still trying to keep as calm and relaxed as we can even through the trying first newborn month.

Hypnobirthing gave me the tools, techniques, confidence, tenacity and drive to have the positive birth I endeavoured and I can honestly say that it went even better than I could ever imagined.

Thank you so much Louise  🙂 I’ve persuaded five of my friends to do Wise Hippo. I’m such an advocate. Thanks again for everything – I might see you again for number 2.

Karen, Richard and Bailey

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