Laura came to my short hypnobirthing course and went onto have a beautiful and natural birth centre birth. I love how relaxed she was during labour and how her and her husband trusted their instincts about when to go to hospital

I was really excited about the prospect of becoming a mother for the first time and couldn’t wait to meet my baby, but for the first few months of my pregnancy I stubbornly ignored thinking about the birth. However, as my due date approached I realised that I was becoming increasingly anxious about it. In particular, I was terrified that I would become panicked and feel like I had lost all control during labour.

I had heard good things about hypnobirthing but was unsure whether it was for me so I decided to go along to one of Deborah’s Short Courses to find out more and learn the basics. I practised the techniques Deborah taught me a couple of times a week alongside listening to hypnobirthing CDs. I then increased this to 30 minutes daily in the two weeks before my due date. Aside from practising my breathing techniques, I found it really beneficial to take that time each day just to relax and enjoy bonding with my baby.

My estimated due date of 29 August came and went, although this did not come as a surprise to me, as I had always felt that my baby would be at least a week late.

I started experiencing mild surges a couple of days after my estimated due date had passed. After four days of discomfort and sleepless nights I was beginning to feel fed up that they were not developing into anything further. So I treated myself to a long bath along with my favourite bath products and a gossip magazine. Feeling a lot more relaxed after my bath I was just about to settle down to watch TV for the evening when out of nowhere I suddenly felt my waters break with a dramatic gush!

Breathing beautifully

We went to the hospital so that I could be examined and the midwife confirmed that I was 1cm dilated and sent me home remarking that she expected us back later the next day. On returning home my husband ran me a bath, lit the candles that I had been saving for the occasion and put my favourite radio station on for me. Using the 5,4,3,2,1 and surge breathing techniques I had practised I laboured in and out of the bath for 4 hours at home until my husband decided to call Triage to let them know that we needed to come in.

He was told that as a first-timer it was unlikely that I would be ready to come into the hospital and as I was breathing beautifully through the surges we were encouraged to stay at home. However, having been monitoring my surges my husband’s instinct was that things were progressing much more quickly than Triage expected and so he insisted that we go into the birthing unit so that I could be examined. It was a good thing we did as when I was examined on arrival at the hospital it turned out that I was already 8cm dilated and was almost ready to start pushing!

I continued to use the breathing techniques alongside gas and air for the final stages. I found that by concentrating on my breathing and visualising breathing the oxygen down to my baby through labour it kept me calm and focused and stopped me experiencing any feelings of panic or fear during the labour.

A beautiful first birth story

Just six hours after we arrived at the birthing unit, we welcomed our gorgeous baby boy Henry into the world. The midwives said, both at the birth and afterwards on the ward, that they could not believe how content and relaxed he was and Henry has continued to be a very chilled out baby. I am convinced that this is a direct result of me managing to stay so calm and relaxed during the birth.

As a first time mum I honestly never would have thought that I could be someone who would give birth naturally! And 6 weeks later I still feel an overwhelming sense of pride and achievement that I managed to birth him so calmly and experience such a positive birth.

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