We couldn’t have dealt with it so calmly without Hypnobirthing

This week’s birth story come from a lovely couple Jenny and Edd who attended TCBS Hypnobirthing course with Madeleine Leizerman of Worcestershire HypnoBirthing and Mums Wellbeing Hub. Thank you for sharing this wonderful story with us.


The Birth of Arthur Henry Sherwood Monk – Jenny and Edd’s Story 

Before I became pregnant, I thought I always wanted a c-section. I thought it was best for me.

Once I fell pregnant for the first time at the ripe old age of 40 a friend of mine mentioned Hypnobirthing to me and I started looking into it. It sounded right up my street and soon enough I had my birth planned – water birth at home. We had a moment where we thought it wouldn’t happen as the baby was in breech, but I decided to go for the ECV, and whilst I used my calm breaths, two people managed to successfully turn the baby. So, we were back on track for a home birth.

The midwife came around to drop off the home birth pack including the magical gas I’d heard so much about.

My guess date was 9/2/20. I finished work on 31/1/20. On my last day at work I had my last growth scan and appointment with the consultant – I had regular scans and appointments as I was 40 and having my first baby. The growth scan showed the baby’s abdomen growth had plateaued. The midwife mentioned that the consultant might want to induce me, and I firmly told her that I would say no to that. I wanted things to happen naturally!

Once we were in with the consultant, she explained the risks. The fact that the placenta has a shelf life and that it seems that the placenta had stopped feeding the abdomen and that if we left if it could continue to reduce and worst-case scenario it would result in still birth. We really didn’t know what to do for the best. We didn’t want to risk any harm to the baby, but the consultant wanted me in the next day to be induced which was so far from my birth plan. We had some time to think things through and used the BRAIN process. We decided that there really was no decision and went back to tell the consultant we would agree to being induced. As we walked back to the car, I knew we had made the right decision as if we hadn’t decided to do it I would have spent the rest of my pregnancy worrying.

I have to admit that I was pretty low and emotional that night, probably sulking that it wasn’t going to happen how I had planned and also that it would result in a hospital stay – is never had a night in the hospital. Along with the knowledge life as we know it was about to change. I was apprehensive.

The next day I woke up and started bouncing on my ball, I sniffed clary sage and watched Michael McIntyre to get my oxytocin going to give things a head start. I called the hospital to be told I had to go in for 10.

I was put on a Ward with 3 other ladies all heavily pregnant and much younger than me. All appearing to be in pain from early signs of labour. At 11 am I had a pessary inserted. I used my calm breathing to try and stay relaxed throughout it. It was a means to an end, and I knew it wouldn’t be forever. After waiting an hour Edd and I went for a walk and lunch. It was a beautiful sunny day but chilly!

We headed back to the ward and did some colouring in of affirmation cards and tried to keep my oxytocin going. It was really hard to do as Edd wasn’t allowed on the bed with me and the area wasn’t intimate. All in all, not conducive to starting the birth process! After a long day Edd headed home and I settled down for a night on the ward.

I got zero sleep. I had a new neighbour opposite me who was in a lot of pain and wanting drugs. Her partner was watching football loudly. To hear the pain, she was in was terrifying. I curled up in my bed with my headphones in and listened over and over to Suzy’s affirmations to block out the noise on the ward.

By 6 am I had been having surges and I started moving about and then I felt like I needed the toilet urgently! I dashed to the toilet for my waters to release. I checked and they were slightly pink and no pessary in there so all good. I was pleased this happened naturally rather than having the broken!

I messaged Edd to tell him so he could make his way over.
My waters continued to release gradually throughout the morning as well as my surges continuing.

By 12 pm I was examined and told that my cervix had softened but was not told I had dilated so Edd and I said we would go for a walk to get things moving. Which we did. I crab walked up and down stairs in the hospital for hours.

We returned back to the ward and we were told the delivery suite were waiting for me. So we grabbed our stuff and headed down.

Once we were there the midwife told me that when I was examined, I was 2 cm dilated but hadn’t been told and that was going to have syntocinon via a cannula. I really didn’t want this as it meant I wasn’t able to try for a water birth at hospital. I’m also extremely squeamish and the thought of a cannula really freaked me out.

We were given some time to think about if we wanted to go ahead with it our go back to the antenatal ward to wait for things to happen on their own. After a discussion we decided to stay as at least we finally had a room to ourselves!

Edd set the room up with led candles, pictures, affirmation cards, scents I love and the iPad with photos. He had the affirmations on his phone playing.

Every time I had a surge coming, I told Edd – ‘sergio’ and he held my hand through my breathing and rubbed my back.

The drip was started at 4 pm but after a while they decided I was dehydrated and so stopped syntocinon and put fluids in my drip. This slowed my surges down. Which I was grateful of – the surges had been coming so fast.

But because things had slowed down, they hooked me back up to the synctocinon.

They had to use a catheter to empty my bladder a couple of times. I began to feel a failure. I kept trying to breathe my baby out but just couldn’t get passed a certain point.

Due to the time that had passed since my waters broke, they started talking to me about antibiotics. I was fine with this when the consultant came in with what felt like an army to ask me.

It was at this point (around 11 pm) someone asked me if I wanted help getting the baby out with the use of a ventouse. I said yes please as at this point, I just wanted the baby out. I wasn’t in any pain but was getting fed up of not making any progress.

That’s when Matt the registrar came in. He was amazing! So calm! The lights had to be turned up, I had to go on my back and legs in stirrups (exactly how I didn’t want my birth to be!)
Matt talked me through the process and asked me what words I wanted him to use – push or breathe. Which was so great.

At 11:15 pm I asked if my baby would be born today and the room all said ‘yes’ and probably in the next 5 mins.

I had two attempts to breathe my baby out during a surge. The first one got the head into the ring of fire position- which actually didn’t hurt as much as I thought. The next surge I breathed my baby out – with the help of Matt.

He let us see the sex of our baby as I was given an injection to get my placenta out. It came out quickly and easily and felt so good once it was out.

Edd cut the cord whilst I had skin to skin before feeding my baby boy.

Arthur Henry Sherwood Monk was born at 23:23 pm on 02/02/2020.

If I had a list of what I definitely didn’t want for my birth, you’ll see it mentioned above as part of my birth story. The different is that they happened as turns to our birth story. We were allowed to make decisions at every point and we still kept it calm and relaxed. I wouldn’t change it because it helped our baby arrive safely.

Some people would be sad they weren’t able to breath their baby out and part of me is, but it turns out his head was at an angle and that I was lucky it didn’t end up in a c-section. However, I’m proud of what I achieved, with no pain relief and dealt with it all calmly and we made our own decisions!

We couldn’t have dealt with it so calmly without Hypnobirthing xxx


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