I was 8cm on arrival

This week’s birth story comes from the lovely Scot and Shauna who gave birth to Florence after attending Hypnobirthing sessions with Patricia McElduff (or Tish to her friends) of Co. Tyrone, Ireland.

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“I was so very nervous and scared of birth before I attended the Hypnobirthing class with Tish, she made me feel better informed about the while birthing process and knowledgeable about what to expect.

I really wanted to avoid a medically induced labour! I went in for a sweep in 7th after I came home my puppy didn’t leave my side. I wasn’t sure if I was in labour or not?! Soon after my partner came home from work on the 8th, contractions began at about 6pm.


I went between my birthing ball, the shower, sitting on toilet and my tens machine. I did deep breathing in through nose and out through mouth and tried to remain relaxed. I found the most relief sat on toilet while taking deep breaths and using the tens. We rang hospital at midnight and was told to try get rest, I rang again at 1 am and said I wanted to go in as I was bleeding and in a lot of pain – we got to the hospital about 2 am.


Once I reached hospital I was examined and told I was 8cm – I thought I’d only be about 4cm and sent home! My temp was high, and I was told that I wouldn’t be allowed in the birthing pool. I was very disappointed, however once this decision was made, I accepted it and decided I would take diamorphine as a form of pain relief.

Unfortunately, my contractions slowed down and I required the drip to bring them on again, I had more diamorphine when permitted.


I calmed down once I received the pain relief and was able to practise my breath work again.  I informed the midwives I was Hypnobirthing when we arrived and requested the room to be dimly lit at all times and I played my labour playlist. I kept my eyes closed during the labour as much as possible.
My partner was with me and showed me the photos I had brought with me, gave me water and handed me gas and air when I needed it.
I felt the first midwife I had was not as supportive and panicked quite a lot when she realised, I was 8cm on arrival as she thought I would have been a lot less when I was speaking to her on the phone when I was at home as I am a first-time mother, and I was quite calm on the phone. A younger midwife then took her place and I felt she was a lot more helpful and supportive of my desire to Hypnobirth.

I got an infection during the labour and was advised that it would be best for me to try get the baby out by suction/ forceps and if this didnt work by c section. I therefore needed an epidural. I accepted this as this was the safest option to get the baby out as quick as possible.

Once I was brought to theatre, I kept my eyes closed and eye mask on and kept practicing my breathing. I was glad I did the classes at this stage because had I not I would have had no idea of the suction/ forceps process as it wasn’t in my plan. I remained calm due to the Hypnobirthing, and I know if I didn’t take the classes I definitely would have panicked when my plan A wasn’t able to happen.

The anaesthetist asked me why I was wearing an eye mask, my partner explained we were hypnobirthing and when people shone bright lights on me he explained why I didnt want this . The doctor also wanted me to be to push and hold my breath and my partner told him I wanted to breathe the baby out.

I was overwhelmed and cried when I first saw our baby girl, I was happy she was here safe and well.  In the first hour my baby was placed on my chest for skin to skin and attempted to feed. My partner cut the cord. We could not delay the cord clamping due to my infection and risk of it being transmitted to the baby via the placenta. I was disappointed with this but understood why this couldn’t happen. I was just happy myself and the baby were ok.


I would definitely recommend the calm birth school, Hypnobirthing and Tish in particular, even though I didnt get the birth I wanted I still feel the Hypnobirthing techniques and the knowledge I learnt the labour and birthing process greatly benefitted me. I feel I would have panicked a lot more during the labour and birth had I not taken the course. I am very grateful to Tish for helping me through this experience.”

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