Karianne, I wanted to thank you for your part in the smooth and safe arrival of our son, Harrison.
I signed up for hypnobirthing after a recommendation from a friend. I liked the sound of using mindfulness techniques as a coping strategy in labour, but I didn’t really know much else about hypnobirthing. In fact, before the course, I thought labour was just something painful to get out the way! However, the knowledge you shared during the course helped reset my expectations of what the birth could be like. One of the key things I took away from the course was an understanding of what could happen and what our choices were for any type of birth. The focus on the science and practicalities behind labour gave me confidence to feel prepared and quite excited for the birth (though still nervous) as I could see how empowering it could be.
It wasn’t just preparation for the day itself either. Many of the hypnobirthing tools I used during the pregnancy itself, such as listening to the recorded relaxations to calm me during sleepless nights and creating birth affirmation cards for my work desk with motivational and silly phrases and pictures to keep me smiling and positive about the birth. I appreciated how inclusive your course was for birth partners, and I felt my partner Simon and I came away as a stronger, well prepared team, despite him initially being sceptical it was going to be some alternative / hippy type course (which I am partial to!).
We were lucky to have a smooth birth with only a few small surprises, one being the timing of his arrival. As two people who are perpetually late for everything, we were very surprised when two weeks before my due date my waters broke at 5am! It was supposed to be my last day at work and only the night before I’d been on a call with friends saying how much I was looking forward to at least one week of downtime before the birth! Despite this change of plan the preparation before labour really helped calm me on the actual day.
My contractions ramped up within an hour of my waters breaking and we arrived at the hospital at 8.30am with contractions every 4-6 minutes. I was breathing calmly through the contractions and so the midwife suggested I come back later or tomorrow morning. Despite worrying I was being a nervous first-time mum who goes in too early to hospital, my knowledge of the different stages of labour and my body meant I used my BRAIN and asked to be measured to check my progress. I was quickly shown to my room in the birth centre after she es found I was 6cm dilated already!
There then followed a slight comedy of errors when Simon, who was now allowed into the hospital, was sent to another Hannah giving birth in a different part of the hospital, while I was fighting the urge to push so he wouldn’t miss the birth. Thankfully we were reunited just after 9am in time for him to help me into the birthing pool and support and encourage me. I want to paint a realistic picture for others and say that my initial calmness did disappear at times, and there was definitely some swearing and crushing of Simon’s hand during the birth. However, I was able to feel in control and aware during birth which was a feeling I’ll never forget and can’t put into words. Five hours after my waters broke, our beautiful boy Harrison entered the world at 10.11am, healthy and calm, and we have been on cloud nine ever since!
I’m aware how lucky I was to have had a short labour and give birth to a healthy boy. I hope by sharing my experience it gives confidence to others that you can have a quick birth using your birth preferences, rather than assume your choices will go out the window when it happens. I believe that even if things hadn’t gone to plan, the course prepared us for all birth possibilities, and we would still have had a positive and happy birth experience.
Karianne, I can’t thank you enough for your guidance and support!