“I was sceptical due to the complications with my previous labour. But I felt totally in control and knew exactly what to do.”

This week’s birth story is from a client of Shona Baxter’s from Empowered Hynobirthing.

“I delivered my second beautiful baby girl on 19/05/18 at 40 weeks + 3.

I was three days overdue and one failed sweep down, trying my best to keep positive that ‘baby will come when baby is ready’. Which I have to admit was difficult at the finish, as my first baby arrived early at 38 weeks, so I was certain I would go early again.

It all started shortly after 10am on a glorious Saturday morning, whilst watching the start of the Royal Wedding, bouncing vigorously on my birthing ball and eating my 347th piece of pineapple. With an almighty gush, my waters broke! I couldn’t believe it! Finally it was my time!

After speaking on the phone to the Pregnancy Assessment Unit at NSECH, they asked for me to come in shortly after lunch time just to confirm and check my waters had definitely gone and to take things from there.

With nothing other than the odd crampy period-like pain occurring, we left NSECH about 3pm after being monitored and were booked in for 11:30pm that night for an induction if nothing progressed beforehand.  At this point I went in to crazy Hypno-Mama mode and felt determined to get things going on my own.

Once home, my husband and I took the dogs for a walk not too far from our home. About half way around I could feel the odd small surge coming and going, but nothing too exciting. We decided to have some nice food and chill a little just in case we had a long night ahead of us!

Around 5pm, I headed upstairs for a little lie down to conserve some energy, listening to my MP3s and practising my breathing whilst inhaling some clary sage. I must have drifted off for about 40 minutes and was woken by a much bigger surge.

I went downstairs to tell my husband to get his trainers back on and off we went for another walk. Keeping active and making sure I kept my breathing under control really helped me. My surges were about 7-8 minutes apart at this point.

I knew I wanted to try and stay at home in my own environment for as long as possible, so once we were home again I had a nice warm bath with some drops of Clary Sage and I also put some candles on to add to the relaxation. My surges got toabout 3-4 minutes apart, lasting 40-60 seconds.

I was more comforable walking around the house and pottering on as normal, keeping upright and leaning on things when I needed to focus. I actually tidied my daughters entire room and toy room whilst in labour, as you do!

Once my surges were lasting over a minute and 2-3 minutes apart, I asked my husband to ring NSECH. He informed them of my surge timings, that I had been practising hypnobirthing and I was also hoping for a water birth if the pool was available.

We arrived back at the hospital at 8:50pm, and I was over the moon to be taken straight into the birthing centre, where a room was dimly lit and I had been given the ginormous birthing pool I’d hoped for.

The midwives completely supported my birth preferences and made sure I had the birth environment I wanted. I wanted to stay upright and active, avoiding the bed where possible, for a hand held doppler to be used to monitor baby when needed and for talking to kept to a minimum so I could focus completely on my relaxation techniques.

Around 9:40pm I was happy to be examined, I was 6cm dilated and could now get into the birthing pool.

Once in the pool I asked for some gas and air and within about 15 minutes I could tell my body was ready to birth my baby. From there I completely let my body take the lead and listened to it, doing whatever felt right.

The down breathing came completely naturally and I just kept reciting my positive affirmations to myself in my head. Our perfect baby girl was born at 10:27pm, with only 7 minutes of ‘pushing’.

I was certainly sceptical about the fact that if you relax and trust your body you will “just know what to do”, due to the complications I experienced with my previous labour. But I still can’t believe I actually did it! I felt totally in control and knew exactly what to do and when to do it. There was no coaching or forced pushing, just me having my baby with the support of my husband, who was brilliant throughout.

I don’t believe labour is completely painless, but it definitely is manageable, and with the right education and guidance can bring the most amazing and positive experience ever.

After my Hypnobirthing experience I literally would do it all again tomorrow in a heartbeat. It was THE most incredible experience I’ve ever had – it’s just a shame my husband says no chance, no more babies!”


Proudly featured in

The Observer
BBC London
The Huffington Post
The Independent
Selfish Mother
The Guardian