About Shelley

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So, this is me, Shelley...

I am wife to Martin and Mummy of two, Willow, 4 and Woody, 1. I live just outside of Christchurch (near to Bournemouth) right between the seaside and the forest.

We can often be found building sandcastles and dipping our toes in the sea, or in our wellies with the off road buggy looking for horses and piggies in the woods.

My professional background is in charity fundraising and I still work part time in that sector for a charity called Dreams Come True. I have spent over 14 years raising funds through my jobs for the likes of Heart Radio, The Royal British Legion and Cancer Research UK. Having tested the water in other roles I found that charity and helping others is in my heart of hearts and I think that is partly what has led me to the other half of my professional life in Hypnobirthing. 

My first baby Willow arrived into the world very unexpectedly, 6 weeks early, the day after my husband ran the Brighton Marathon (and I’d walked 18km cheering him on). Ironically, Martin had run for Tommys, and Willow went on to be cared for in NICU, where Tommys funded much of the research and equipment. After a relatively short stay in hospital, we embarked on parenthood with a very happy healthy baby. Roll on 3 years later, when I found out I was pregnant again, both myself and my husband realised we needed something to support us in pregnancy and birth following my previous birth with Willow. 

Hypnobirthing changed everything for us, we healed from previous trauma, talked over so much we hadn't ever before, prepared and discussed everything for my second birth and were positive and excited for baby number two’s arrival! Woody arrived just before his ‘due date’ after a long but calm labour with his eyes wide open ready to meet the world (you can read my full birth story below). 

Fast forward a few months and I started following The Little Birth Company, I was so interested in the training they offered. So at about 11.45pm one night in bed, I decided this was the time to approach the idea with my husband (all the best decisions are made after midnight!!).

 He of course, was totally on board with whatever I did and suddenly I realised, that on that day Woody came into the world, our lovely midwife Freya had asked me where I learnt to Hypnobirth and said to me “you should teach it” - well who knew that subliminal message would be there just niggling away at me and have got me to where I am today! 

So, now a qualified Hypnobirthing Teacher, I am here to show that births can be polar opposites, you can have a positive birth after trauma, a vaginal delivery after c section and show all Mummas to be that Hypnobirthing is the tool you need to be calm, relaxed and positive whatever journey your birth takes. 

I am teaching group classes on the edge of the New Forest in a venue which oozes the perfect Hypnobirthing Environment, plus I am always happy to teach 121 in the comfort of your own home. I pride myself on the support that I give couples,I am here to teach you all about Hypnobirthing, but I am also here to champion you, support you and be here whenever needed to get you that positive birth you are planning for! I can’t wait to meet you! 

I decided to download The Positive Birth Company’s hypnobirthing book while on holiday at just 14 weeks and the minute I started reading I was hooked. The first time round was cut short as our little girl arrived 6 weeks early, we hadn't finished antenatal & certainly weren't prepared for our early arrival. My first birth story wasn't how I imagined, I had a haemorrhage from a placenta abruption due to a low lying placenta which we thought had moved out the way, this ended in an emergency c section under general anestheic & our little baby in NICU. Although we had amazing care this wasn't a positive experience & I really wanted the 2nd time to be different. Fast forward 2 years & after reading my hypnobirthing book we also booked onto a local hypnobirthing class when I was just 20 weeks pregnant - we wanted to give ourselves lots of time to understand and practice. I listened to the scripts every night, my husband read them to me, I did my up breathing daily and surrounded myself with positive birth stories, podcasts and photos. Our due month was February, I had regular Braxton Hicks from Christmas time & had so many signs as Feb began that our baby would arrive sooner rather than later. At 4.30am on Monday 17th Feb my surges started, at first very sporadic & manageable so I sent my little one to nursery & husband to work & spent the day snacking, watching funny films, listening to podcasts & trying to release lots of oxytocin! From midday things became more intense with surges every ten minutes. As we were going to a hospital 40mins away as the afternoon went on I was worrying about the car journey so my husband came home & we called the hospital around 5pm, although my surges were sometimes 3 in 10mins, they weren't regular and hospital said I could still have a while to go so we decided to stay home. The pattern continued, sometimes 3 surges in 10 but then I could go 10 mins without one! I decided by 10pm that me and Martin should go to bed and try and rest, he managed this, but I didn't, my surges were intense, I was either on the ball or on all fours & couldn't do much in between, I was listening to my scripts, up breathing & using an app to time them, I flitted in and out of what was classed as established labour, this was the hardest part & lasted all night!! By 6am (now Tuesday) I knew something needed to change, so I got in the bath for some kind of relief, it was then my waters broke & I knew the game changed. We called my mum and she rushed over to look after my little one & by 7am we were on our way, I had my headphones on with the scripts constantly playing just saying over and over 'you can do anything for 60 seconds'. We arrived just before 8am and went straight into our room, Martin shut the blinds, put the coloured lights on, candles out and sprayed my favourite smells around. He gave the midwives my birth preferences & from then on he was my voice & I stayed in the zone with my headphones and scripts for the whole birth. Martin read & showed me affirmations, gave me water, encouraged me, put a cold flannel on my head & supported me in all my birth positions. I used my up breathing constantly, as I had been for the last 20+ hours, but now it felt like it was building & I asked for gas and air, however this just made things worse, it messed with my breathing & meant I suddenly felt pain, so I trusted myself, and went back to breathing where it was intense but not painful. I used the birth ball to lean on whilst on all fours on the bed for this whole stage. Just before 10am things changed and I knew it was time to down breath & baby was coming, even though for a while the midwife didn't seem to respond to me saying it was changing, I knew! My body took over & I decided to stand up holding the bed and squat through every surge using my down breathing, Martin saw the head starting to crown & told me baby had hair!! At this point I remember thinking, I've got this, I can do this now - I honestly felt so in control and not in any pain at all. I did the squatting for a while but it was exhausting and my legs were struggling so I moved onto the bed on all fours again and was now in the best place to get our baby out, just breathing and rocking he slowly edged his way out, no ring of fire, no noise or pain, at 12.07pm Woody Alexander Thompson entered into the world for his daddy to see him, announce he was a boy and come straight to mummy for instant skin to skin, no loud cries, just wide open eyes and a very calm content baby. 

I delivered my placenta naturally, had no tears or stitches and was home by 6pm that day, one of my midwives even said how amazing my hypnobirthing was and asked all about where I learnt it and how I practiced for it, which felt like a huge compliment. 

I felt like I put everything into hypnobirthing practice and knew that whatever my story it would be a positive one this time, but I never imagined it would be as amazing as what it was, I am a huge advocate for understanding & listening to our bodies because when the time came mine knew exactly what to do :)