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Category: Birth Stories

  1. Mike and Katie - The Birth of Hugo (July 2021)

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    When we got pregnant I was so excited. We were very fortunate to fall pregnant quickly. However, I began to have a reoccurrence of my anxiety due to previous negative experience as a student midwife. I felt anxious at antenatal appointments and my heart rate would go through the roof. 

    This is where Shelley came in. We wanted to explore hypnobirthing to help ease my anxiety, due to experiences on placement and to give my husband the tools to help support me during our pregnancy journey and ensure he didn’t feel like a “spare part.”

    From the beginning Shelley made us feel confident and supported us to make informed decisions, whilst the scrips allowed me to relax. 

    As an epileptic, the current NICE guidelines and hospital protocols recommend that a pool birth, may not be appropriate, due to the associated risks that come with epilepsy. In my case seizures are brought on by lack of sleep, lack of food and stress. Due to hypnobirthing with Shelley I felt prepared by the knowledge of the pain fear cycle and power of breathing to avoid adrenaline taking over. 

    Shelley also went away and got information from current midwives on up to date practices in regards to pool births in a obstetric unit. 

    I was getting regular scans and reviews, due to my anti epileptic drugs. During one if my reviews, I took the information Shelley had supported me with to the consultant and felt empowered to discuss my birth preferences because of my informed knowledge and approach to addressing my preferences, I got my wishes confirmed - It was written in my maternity notes, my preference to have a water birth was confirmed in writing. I was thrilled. 

    This is where my pregnancy takes a turn. On my growth scans my baby was measuring large for gestational age. They looked at his placental function and blood to his brain to check all was okay. Luckily all seemed fine, my placenta was just doing a good job of growing him. My growth scans went from 3 weekly to biweekly. He continued to grow and was estimated to be 9lbs 4oz at 39 weeks.

  2. Corinne & Mike - The Birth of Edith (September 2021)

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    Settle in…it’s a long one! I was fortunate to have a pretty straightforward pregnancy and had always considered completing a hypnobirthing course. As a midwife, I have supported several women using hypnobirthing techniques for their own labours and had seen how effective it could be. I’d been told from a couple of extra scans that I was cooking a pretty good sized baby so naively thought I’d end up spontaneously labouring before my ‘due date’, so when that came and went I felt a little frustrated.

    During our classes with Shelley, we talked about my mindset regarding an induction and how I could avoid getting fixated on a booked date to help me labour spontaneously. I felt well informed about what an induction of labour involved, it was something I was keen to avoid however when I was still pregnant at 12 days ‘overdue’ we used the BRAIN tool to weigh up our options and decided to accept an induction. I was fed up and despite nearly 3 weeks of cramping on and off and signs that things might be happening, I was still very much pregnant. I chose to birth in the hospital where I work, surrounded by colleagues that are like a second family and who I trusted wholeheartedly. Combining this with everything Shelley taught us during our hypnobirthing course I went into my induction feeling relaxed and prepared for any eventuality but also so excited to finally meet our little girl.

    Although birthing on labour ward was our ‘plan B’ we settled into our room and instantly made it our own, setting up a portable diffuser with aromatherapy scents, listening to some relaxing music and creating our snack/hydration station. I had chosen to accept membrane sweeps from my due date (I had 3 in total) so was already aware my cervix was 2cm dilated and so was hopeful I could skip a couple of the induction steps and go straight to having my waters broken. After a few checks and some observations I had my waters broken at 3pm when I was 2cm. As it was my first baby, the recommendation from the medical team was to start an Oxytocin hormone drip straight away, however I was keen to try and see if I could get things moving on my own so we opted to delay this by a couple of hours.

    I put in my noise cancelling headphones to block out any background noise from the ward outside and focused on my music and birth scripts. I used the pebble Shelley gave us during our class as an anchor to help focus my mind and take me to my happy place to try and get the oxytocin flowing. I also got bouncing on the birthing ball and went off for a long walk around the hospital, trying to encourage contractions to start. After a couple of hours and having only had 3 very mild contractions, we decided it was time to get things moving with the help of the oxytocin drip. I was connected to a heart rate monitor so my baby’s heart rate could be monitored throughout labour but my colleagues had gone above and beyond to read our birth plan beforehand and sourced a wireless monitor so I could stay upright and active.