I was very anxious about giving birth, terrified of pain and also wanted to be calm during pregnancy and not constantly thinking about the big event! I had previously had hypnotherapy for something and so decided to investigate hypnobirthing.

We both really enjoyed Kats sessions and liked the mix of science (all very interesting), with the relaxation / hypno part. My partner Tristan only did it because I asked but he really got in to it! Practicing in the evenings (and turning off the TV) brought us even closer and made me excited to meet our baby and definitely less nervous. 

I was 100 times more informed about choices that I never would have known I had. I looked into things like the vitamin K injection which I never would have and made a clear and thorough birth plan. 

Of course it didn’t go to plan! And almost everything I had been against I ended up having, but hypnobirthing still helped by keeping me relaxed in what could have been a very stressful situation.  

One Monday I had a stomach ache so stayed off work, and Tristan did too saying he felt unwell (humm… day off…!), but thank goodness he did. I began to get a back ache also and so had a bath. When I got out I noticed there was a show in the bath so we decided to go to the hospital as I was not even 34 weeks pregnant. They strapped me up to the machine with measures the baby’s heart beat and left me for 20min. We had both been laughing about something and I commented about wondering why the straps kept getting tighter. When the nurse came back in she said you’ve been having contractions, have you not felt them? 

I then stayed in hospital for a week and the nurses were amazed at how calm I was (I listened to Kat’s recording a lot) & practiced the breathing, as the contractions were continuous (but not as powerful as when it came to birth). After a week of no baby, they swabbed me to see if a chemical was present (it won’t be the doctor said), which appears when you are in labour. It was. Another day and they sent me home, bemused!     

On the Friday of that week I woke with very damp underwear, but the nurses had said it was just discharge in the hospital so I left it until the Monday and decided to go back. We waited hours and hours and nearly went home, but they did an internal examination and there was a tiny tear in my waters, so the doctor said I had to be induced at 34 weeks. I asked to wait a day to see if would happen naturally (if I hadn’t been to class with Kat I wouldn’t have been confident to ask that), as I was really against induction. But it was a different situation, the baby was not overdue, but could be poorly from an infection. 

I had to be induced at 10pm with the serum, and luckily it worked and I didnt need the synthetic oxytocin. I played the affirmations and music continuously and had very clear visualisations in my head of standing at the top of a beautiful valley watching the hot air balloons be inflated and drift off in to the distance. Each surge was manageable but incredibly powerful on my back (we later found out baby was back to back), and Tristan applied the counter pressure on my back each time which helped.       

At one point I went to the loo (one of the only places I felt comfortable was sitting there!) and my waters fully broke, after that I knew I was in transition and the intensity really ramped up. It was at this point I asked for some gas and air which took the edge off. The doctor came and was concerned that the baby was in distress, they wanted me on the bed and strapped up to the heartbeat machine, which was incredibly uncomfortable and I went bit mad saying I didn’t want to be lying down wanted to be on my hands and knees. Suddenly there were 3 doctors looming over me shouting at me to ‘stop trying to breathe my baby out and just push!’ So I ended up lying on my back, gurning and pushing. Exactly when I didn’t want to do!, but she needed to come quickly as her head was stuck, and it then happened very quickly by 6.15am. 

Everyone was then gone and we cuddled and lay with our baby for quite a long time. Later I had quite a long conversation with a consultant as I had said no Vit K, but baby Elva has a huge bruise on her head when she had been stuck so I agreed. I was against it if there was no need, but happy to as she had (unfortunately) some trauma. Sadly she did have an infection and had to be tube fed for 3 weeks so stayed in hospital, I was glad we were there and she was able to get the treatment she needed. But I had to go home every night which was heartbreaking. However we now have a lovely lively 8 month old, who we adore.  I may not have had the peaceful water birth I’d hoped for, but the practice made me adapt to the situation as it unfolded in a calm and almost equally peaceful manner. I’m really glad I had the skills I did. Thanks Kat!

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