Guest blog post by first time mum Kat Howe

We had a fantastic first hypnobirth in the Royal Berkshire Hospital birthing pool with no pain relief

We’d attended group Wise Hippo Classes with Deborah Pryn (after a friend raved about attending a Wise Hippo course and the relaxed and empowering labour she had as a result). By the end of the course we were both feeling confident and excited about birth.

My surges started at midnight and were intense and close together right from start (I felt the discomfort mainly in my lower back). I stayed in bed listening to the MP3s and held off waking James or getting up for as long as possible.

We tried to watch some comedy shows with me leaning on the birth ball, but I found I needed to focus on breathing and visualising and we soon thought we should go into the hospital.

We went in at 7am and were a bit demoralised to be sent home, because I was 1cm dilated and we were told that they had no water to fill any birth pools until at least 2pm.

Using relaxation and breathing techniques

Once home again, my surges continued to be 2-3 mins apart but I was keen to stay home for as long as possible. We went back to bed, and then I progressed to leaning on the bed, James rubbed my lower back with each surge and I used the relaxation/breathing techniques.

At 2.30pm we went back to the Hospital. I got into the pool at about 3.45pm and Oscar was born at 4.30pm. I was in a complete trance in hospital so I had no idea of the time back then or even what the birth pool room or midwife looked like until after he was born!

The pool felt great, so much so that once in it I forgot about asking for gas and air.

I got to scoop Oscar out of the water and James cut the cord and told me the baby’s sex. It was amazing!

Disappointingly I had a retained placenta and lost quite a lot of blood after the birth, so I had to have a spinal to have my placenta removed manually. That all went smoothly and it didn’t take away from the fantastic first hypnobirth that we had.

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