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Are you 34 weeks pregnant or more? Then this is for you!

Are you 34 weeks or more? Do you feel like you are running out of time? Thinking, maybe I should have done more preparation…feeling overwhelmed, unsure, hoping and crossing your fingers that everything will be ok during your labour? Perhaps you don’t have the time or the childcare to dedicate yourself to the dates and times of a full on antenatal course? If this is you, I might have a solution!

I have 2 slots in my which I have blocked off to deliver a bespoke version of the Hypnobirthing course I teach- tailored just for you. This intensive course will be taught in 1 day. The course will ensure that:

  1. You will feel more in CONTROL of your birthing
  2. You will learn how fear effects your labour and how to ELIMINATE those effects
  3. You will learn how your body works during labour and how to work WITH it
  4. You will become comfortable and familiar with 3 MUST HAVE breathing techniques
  5. Most of all you will learn how to have CONFIDENCE and TRUST in yourself and the birth process!!

During the session we will ALSO cover;

– the stages of labour, what actually happens and what to do!
– birth preferences/plans (I will help you to prepare your own)
– the  Birth Companions Role- how you partner/mum/sister/friend can support you
– Induction, Special Circumstances & how to remain in control and positive     no matter what.
– relaxation and massage techniques
– and much more!!

I have taught this intensive version of the course many times before and the results are AMAZING!! My goal, when teaching, is to ensure that you are comfortable, relaxed, happy and that when the course is finished you feel positive, confident and in control.

The course comes includes;

6 hours teaching time (with a 45 minute lunch break)

An experienced HypnoBirthing Practitioner (me!)

The Practical Guide for Modern Mamas to Create a Calm, Positive Hypnobirth by Suzy Ashworth

5 MP3’s (including a Birth Rehearsal and a Fear Release)

All materials

Lunch & Refreshments

A comfortable environment & convenient location

Ongoing email and telephone support with me after the course is finished

Access to a Secret Facebook Group

Discounted (optional) Relaxation Classes 

All of this for £160 (group rate)!

I have limited spaces available! You can secure your place by paying a £50 deposit via PayPal. Here are some instructions to help;

Go to https://paypal.me/enhanceyourbirth, type in the amount and press send. Since it’s PayPal, you know it’s easier and more secure than cash. Don’t have a PayPal account? No problem. It’s free and easy to create a PayPal account.

If have any questions, please contact me for more information, I am happy to discuss everything over email or in the phone.

I look forward to hearing from you!

Best Wishes

Liz x

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Why do I feel so guilty all the time?!

Mothers guilt…I am sure that most of you will know what I am talking about. Well, I hope you do. I’m not alone in this am I?

I had an epic moment of Mothers Guilt on Saturday which really was a massive #mumfail as far as my 6 year old is concerned. I had been invited to celebrate a 50th birthday at an Afternoon Tea Party with all the women on my Mums side of the family. It was fabulous.

Half way through, I realised that I had packed my little man off to a Super Hero birthday party…without the Super hero costume.

Damn it!

Images of him feeling outcast and distressed as well as just not being able to enjoy the party flooded my brain. My poor child, not only had I NOT taken him to the party so I could ENJOY myself but I had forgotten one of the most important elements of preparation for the party!

The day was saved by my Mum friend and saviour in this particular incident.  She had offered to take my son to the party and upon discovering my #mumfail she had provided a spare costume and suddenly sad, lonely, lost 6 year old became…

BATMAN!

Thank god for Mum friends.

But when did I start feeling so guilty all the time?

I remember eating something I wasn’t supposed to eat whilst I was pregnant with my first (I can’t really remember what it was) and when I realised what I had done, I was distraught! I remember thinking, what an irresponsible person I was and I was consumed with worry and fear for my baby.

The reality is, my baby was healthy and is now a very healthy nearly 9 year old. But at the time, I didn’t know any better, it all felt very new and overwhelming.

During your pregnancy you might think that once baby is here, the overwhelming sense of responsibility might disappear. The only thing is, when your baby arrives, you start to feel guilty because your baby is crying and maybe he/she won’t feed properly.

So YOU start to cry and think ‘I’m failing already’…

More guilt.

One of my children was a constant cryer and a non-sleeper. At one point, I thought he mustn’t like me very much but of course that’s not true. I was and am his everything, his constant permanent reminder that he is loved. Some babies just cry a lot, or need more cuddles, time and displays of love and affection then others. Just because your baby cries a lot and your friends baby doesn’t, doesn’t mean she is a better mother than you… It’s just that damn guilt again.

Mothers Guilt is present when you get pregnant with your 2nd, 3rd child… You feel guilty that you are so tired you can’t play with your toddler as much anymore. Or when that baby arrives you feel so desperately sorry for your 2 year old because she just doesn’t understand what is going on and keeps asking “when is that baby going home to his Mummy?’….Hmmmmm ‘Well darling, let me explain….’

I seem to be constantly in a state of Mothers (goddam) guilt at the moment. Running my own business, seems to be a never ending stream of talking to my children whilst engaging in email, text or some other form of iPhone communication with someone else. Don’t get me wrong, running my own business means I get to do what I love and enjoy, it also means that I can do the school run and go to all the assembly’s but it does mean that I don’t clock off at 5pm.

Back to the Champagne Afternoon Tea (did I mention Champagne was involved? #moreguilt). It was great to catch up with people in my family who I hadn’t seen in ages or even who I hadn’t met before. It was nice to be away from the usual Saturday afternoon activities and do something that was more for me! I went back to my gorgeous family feeling more refreshed, happy and able to connect with my children. It’s so important for us all to get some time out and away to recharge ourselves. Then we can contend with the guilt, the pace of life and any challenges that arise in a much better way.

I have a Pregnancy Retreat planned on the 8th July for a small group of women to unwind, relax and bond with their babies whilst learning skills and tools for pregnancy, birth and beyond. If you would like to say ‘sod off’ to the guilt for a little while and find out more, get in touch on liz@enhanceyourbirth.co.uk for a full itinerary.

 

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10 myths which make birth sound scary!!

We hear negative things about birth all the time but are they true or are we worrying about nothing?

I’m going to dive right in and get going with some myths which scare the hebby jebbies out of pregnant women. Once you have read this blog…you are going to feel much better…so keep reading!!

 

  1. “How the heck am I going to get my baby out of something that size?!!”– I hear this all the time and I must admit, way back when I wasn’t a HypnoBirthing practitioner…I thought it too!! But now I know that during labour your cervix becomes soft, thins and opens to about the size of a dairy lea tub (ok that’s not an exact measurement but it gives you an idea). I also now realise that the platelets in a baby’s head aren’t fused together so your baby’s head ACTUALLY reduces in circumference which means it can fit through its ‘exit’. Along with that, during pregnancy your body secretes a hormone called Relaxin which allows your body to move and accommodate the growing baby and your new shape…because it is in your system it is also running through your baby’s making him or her more flexible too. This helps your baby have a smooth decent and entrance into the world.

 

  1. “You have to push really, really hard to get your baby out so your face goes purple and your eyes bulge out of your head”- not so… Women give birth in comas because of an amazing thing called the Natural Expulsive Reflex which basically pushes your baby out for you! Now, I’m not saying that you don’t have to do anything but the best thing you can do is what feels right and work with your body!!

 

  1. “My Vajayjay/Fairy/Foof/Vagina will NEVER be the same again!”– Pregnancy can put a strain on your pelvic floor BUT if your do your pelvic floor exercises during and after pregnancy this will help massively!! So work these into your daily routine and then you can jump on a trampoline to your hearts content. If you are worried about tearing, you can try to avoid it by doing perineal massage to help tone and strengthen your perineum; you can also avoid “purple pushing” and just work with your body instead.

 

  1. “I am going to poo myself!!”-If you do happen to do a number 2 (and not everybody does!), see it as a good thing. It means your baby is moving down, your body is clearing the path ahead and your little one will soon be born. The midwife will have seen it all before and she really doesn’t care!! Your partner loves you and once another human being has come out of you, the poo he may or may not have seen (before the midwife discreetly cleaned it up) will be a distant memory!

 

  1. “What if I don’t make it to hospital in time!!”- It is really hard to say how long your labour is going to last as it depends on many things but if you are a first time Mum, you can expect to be in active labour for around 8 hours.  A very general guide about when to make the move to the birth centre or hospital would be when you are experiencing 4 surges every 10 minutes lasting about a minute long. But above all trust your body and your instincts and make the move to hospital when it feels right to you. If this is a big source of worry, you could consider a Homebirth?! Problem solved!

 

  1. “Hospital is the safest place for me and my baby”– Actually recent studies show that there isn’t any difference in outcomes for baby’s who are born in Obstetric Units (Hospital) and those born in a Midwifery Led Unit. There is however a difference for mothers. Mums who birth in hospitals are more likely to have intervention compared with those who birth in MLU’s and startlingly a high proportion of those interventions are for non-clinical reasons (read that as potentially unnecessary).

 

  1. “It’s going to really bloody hurt!!”– Without getting too Hypnobirthing practionerey on y’all a lot of the pain we associate with birth is because we believe so deeply that it is going to hurt like hell. The reason why we associate birth with pain is because of all the stories we have heard, the things we have seen on TV, what we read in the media…negative birth is all around us. When we go into labour our body responds to what is in our minds. So if we hold a lot of negative information about birth, the body reacts negatively, you tense up, your body doesn’t work as efficiently, you feel pain. But! If you change the way you feel about birth (using Hypnobirthing for example) your body will respond to the new positive idea of birth, your will have less tension in your body and experience less discomfort.

 

  1. “I’m not allowed to…”- Ah man! I can’t tell you how much this statement annoys me. Why is it that pregnant women are made to feel like they have to obey and do what they are told whilst they are pregnant, even if they don’t understand, don’t want to do it or it just doesn’t feel right? One of the reasons might be the language or the tone that medical staff use when explaining something to us which makes us believe that we are being TOLD what to do. You and your partner should always be a part of the decision making process when it comes down to your health and the health of your baby. It is always your decision, your baby, your body, your choice. Work with your care providers to get a clearer understanding of a suggested course of action, once you understand it better you can make a more informed choice.

 

  1. “I will HAVE to be induced at 42 weeks, they won’t let me go over”– Aghhhhhhhhhh. Sorry, had to get that little scream out. Again, this is not the fault of pregnant women thinking that this is the case, it is the way that induction at 42 weeks is communicated to us that makes us think we MUST do it. Now, I’m not saying that you shouldn’t be induced once you hit 42 weeks, what I am saying is that you have a choice. It is your decision. Before you decide whether or not induction is for you make sure your research both options (induction v’s waiting for labour to begin spontaneously) and listen to your intuition.

 

  1. “A C-section is the easy option”- are you kidding me? A major abdominal surgery is not an easy option. I am sure that a high percentage of C-Section mamas out there would agree with me. A Caesarean comes with a whole range of risks of its own for you and baby and if you want to have one because you don’t want to open yourself up to the possibility of experiencing severe pain (refer back to point 7!) then I’m afraid the pain of Caesarean comes after the birth, making it more difficult to be mobile and enjoy your new baby. Hats off to C-section Mummies, I would have a vaginal birth any day.

 

I hope now you can see that birth isn’t as bad as you may have heard (or experienced). It can be wonderful, beautiful and really special. If you want to start preparing for a birth without fear and to embrace your pregnancy and birth book onto a FREE Hypnobirthing Taster session or contact me to arrange a FREE 30 minute consultation (you can get in touch via liz@enhanceyourbirth.co.uk).

Photography supplied by www.kidsnaturally.co.uk

 

 

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The Birth of Zakariya

HypnoBirthing with Liz Stanford

We are Amina and Peter, we were expecting our first child and had heard about HypnoBirthing from a friend. We started a HypnoBirthing course with Liz at home towards the end of my pregnancy. Liz took us through all aspects of child birth as well as the HypnoBirthing techniques and relaxation methods. These sessions in themselves were relaxing and calming taking away some of the fear about giving birth for the very first time.

Once we had completed the course we practiced the techniques in preparation for the day of the birth. A week after my due date I felt some surges at about 4 O’clock in the morning. I started using the breathing and relaxation techniques as shown by Liz. This kept me calm and feeling in control. I called the midwife around midday to say that I would be going into the Solihull birthing unit. She suggested that I should come in once the surges were regular and once they felt stronger.

At 7:30pm that evening we went to Solihull hospital feeling concerned that they may send me home as I may not be ready to give birth yet. It was to our surprise that when I was examined by the midwife I was already 4.5cm dilated. I spent the next hour listening to the HypnoBirthing CD, practicing breathing and relaxation techniques before entering the birthing pool. When I entered the birthing pool I felt relaxed and still in control. Once again in the pool I used the HypnoBirthing relaxation and visualization techniques to control my breathing and to maintain a calm state. At 9:30pm the midwife asked Pete if he would like to see the head and he thought yes when it comes out…and then he realised that she meant right then. A few seconds later our baby boy Zakariya was born weighing a healthy 9Lb 2Oz.

I had not felt any need to take any drugs or gas and air during the birth. We couldn’t believe how effective the HypnoBirthing had been. This is our opportunity to say thank you to Liz for taking the stress out of child birth and helping Zakariya to come into the world in a calm manner.

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Are you an awful, bad person?

2009-04-24 12.04.02

The ability to have a child is a remarkable one. It never ceases to amaze me that my body can create (with the help of the other half!), grow and birth another human being. It is wonderful.

But.

What if you don’t feel like that?

What if you find out you are pregnant and you don’t feel happy at all. You wanted to be pregnant, didn’t you? So, why don’t you feel elated? Why don’t you feel how you are supposed to feel?

Maybe you feel petrified about what is going to happen to your body over the next 9 months. How it will change and how can it honestly adapt to the extent that it is housing another human being?? It could be that you feel terrified of giving birth. How will you cope when you can’t even cope with a paper cut! It could be that you feel an intense fear about things that could potentially go wrong in your pregnancy or your labour. Or maybe it’s something else.

These feelings sometimes lead to guilt.

You tell yourself: ” I should be feeling happy! Excited! Over the moon! Some people can’t have children and here I am complaining about it. What an awful, bad person I am.”

I want to tell you that feeling any of those things is ok. You are not an awful, bad person. You are having a normal response…for you. If you feel the things above, it might be that you have other areas in your life where you feel like an awful, bad person. Perhaps you don’t think you are very good at anything. Maybe you feel that things always go wrong for you. You probably tell yourself regularly that you are an “awful, bad person”…maybe you don’t even know that you do that.

I was once that person.

Terrified. Scared. Guilty. Lost.

I have always had anxiety in my life for as long as I can remember. Sitting deep inside me, burning away. My anxiety has probably covered most areas of my life. From early childhood (“I can’t do that Mummy! I’m  scared”), school (“They hate me, I’m ugly, stupid and not funny- please don’t notice me”), early adulthood, (“I can’t do this job, something will go wrong and I will get the blame”), pregnancy (“it’s going to be painful, I’m going to lose control, what if I die?”), to early parenthood (I’m a really bad parent, what if something happens to my children, it will be my fault”).

These were the messages I was telling myself on a daily basis from such a young age. The result was that I didn’t have ANY confidence and I had really low self-esteem. ( It peeked when my second child was 2 but that is probably best saved for another blog.) I may have appeared to be functioning normally but most of the time I wasn’t.

It wasn’t until I discovered how to change the way I thought that I realised I could start to change the way that I felt. Hypnobirthing was the beginning of that journey for me. It helped me re-frame birth and think oh-so-positively about it. It helped me to control my body’s response to anxiety which is something I use now in any area of life I need to.

Today, I don’t think anxiety is a massive part of my life any more but its still there somewhere. Only now, I know that I’m in charge and that I really do have the ability to create an amazing, awesome, loving life with my family.

So, don’t be afraid any more.

Step into the light.

Begin your journey to a calmer, happier, better life.

Start with creating as calm and harmonious a pregnancy as you can and continue with a positive birth experience. You have everything you need to do this inside you- you just need to get rid of the stuff that doesn’t serve you.

If you want to change the way you feel about your pregnancy and birth, get in touch (via liz@enhanceyourbirth.co.uk) for a free consultation or book onto my next free Hypnobirthing taster session (12th May 2016 at 7pm), I would love to help you.

 

 

 

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Why being ‘selfish’ is good for your baby…

 

You have just found out you are pregnant and you are exhausted, you feel sick, your boobs hurt, everything seems like much more of a struggle than it did a few weeks ago (when you didn’t realise you were pregnant!). Sound familiar?  In fact there are many stages during pregnancy when some of us feel pretty rotten, either physically or mentally, yet we still find it hard to be ‘selfish’ and take care of ourselves. Pregnancy increases your blood volume, heart rate and weight as well as putting more stress and strain on your ligaments, muscles and joints- that coupled with the general stresses and strains of life, it’s no surprise that some of us may find pregnancy a challenge.

Being ‘selfish’ doesn’t come easy to women, I find. Most of us feel the need to just keep going and put our needs last.

I was mulling over this very idea just the other day when I was lounging around the side of a pool with my husband wearing a crisp, clean (no baby vom, poo, wee or sticky hands) white dressing gown at a local 4* hotel and spa…If I made that sound like it was part of everyday life, I can reassure you it is not. Like everyone I know, I have a busy life! I have 3 children, 1 of which is still a baby and is currently going though a ‘challenging sleeping phase’- I also run my own business, have the aforementioned husband, a house to make sure is relatively hygienic, close family and friendships to nurture and, well, endless responsibilities…you get the picture! So this break away was a rarity and was to celebrate my husband’s 40th birthday.

I sat around the pool in the warmth almost drooling from the sense of relaxation, calm and just sheer lack of not having to do anything when it dawned on me then how much we all need some time out. After just 24 hours away from the responsibilities of life, I came back rejuvenated and ready to roll! (Thanks to Mum and Dad for taking care of the kids!).

There is (almost) NEVER a more important time for you to take of yourself than when you are pregnant. Creating harmony and as much calm around you is a must for you  and your baby.

Ok- so you might not have access to a 4* spa or 24 hours to spare but setting aside just 20 minutes a day can have significant health benefits for both of you.

You don’t have 20 minutes?

Ok…10?

Everyone has 10! I am the Queen of ‘I don’t have enough time to do that’ and even I have 10 minutes.

So here are a few ideas for bringing some calm and relaxation into your life, no matter how long you have to spare.

* a home yoga session- if you need to you can download some great FREE apps with short workouts suitable for you during your pregnancy.

* a walk in nature- ALONE! Not a trip to the park with however many kids you already have or a walk around your housing estate breathing in car fumes and hearing your neighbours shouting at each other. An actual walk in nature where you can talk to the trees and flowers…if you want.

* a journal or diary- write to your baby, use the time to soulfully connect with your unborn child. That’s not a joke!!  Your baby has thoughts, feelings, emotions and can recognise your voice by 27 weeks so it’s fair to say your baby needs you to connect with him or her. Spending time doing that will benefit you both.

* a mediation session- again you can download apps to help you with this if you need to. No need for ommmming or bell ringing, just silence or lulling music is fine.

* listen to a relaxation track- teach your mind and body how to unwind…ah bliss.

* spend some time being mindful- be totally present in the moment. Don’t worry about what has just happened or what is going to happen just…be.

* learn EFT- a favourite of mine and a technique which you can use to release any anxieties or fears and become calmer. It involves tapping on different parts of your body to reconnect the flow of energy.

* a morning routine- breathe deeply, stretch, meditate, tap, whatever you like before you get out of bed- it helps you begin your day on a calm positive note.

You don’t need to do all of those- just pick one and be consistent with it.

By that I mean do it every day.

When you feel ready, increase the length of time you do it for and work up to that 20 minute or 30 minute mark.

So here is the WHY bit…

Spending time in relaxation improves  your sense of well- being, so you feel better!

It will help you sleep!

It can reduce aches and pains by relieving muscle tension.

It can help to reduce your blood pressure.

And many more wonderful things!!

When you relax, unwind and take care of yourself you release endorphins which make you feel calm, content and happy. Because there is no barrier to the placenta, the hormones you are releasing (endorphins) will be passed through to baby. This makes baby feel calm, content and happy. If baby is exposed to these hormones regularly it will go towards producing a calm, content, happy baby!

Mums who do HypnoBirthing during their pregnancy, spend time listening to, reciting or reading positive birth affirmations everyday. They listen to a relaxation track every single day as well. They spend time practicing their breathing- daily. Most mums will also practice other relaxation techniques like ‘deepeners’ or massage in preparation for labour.

All of this means that these mums are spending significant time relaxing and releasing endorphins and other lovely, happy hormones. So it’s possible that HypnoBirthers have more enjoyable pregnancies, easier more comfortable labours (we will go into this in another blog) and calmer babies who are better sleepers!

If that is he case…why wouldn’t you be ‘selfish’ during your pregnancy?!!

If you want to find out more about having a relaxed, enjoyable pregnancy, a calm comfortable birth and a content baby, book a FREE 30 minute consultation with me here via my website.
www.enhanceyourbirth.co.uk

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3 ways to stay calm during labour (instead of totally freaking out)

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So last night was probably the worst night in the history of all
nights sleeps. Hurricane Katie was raging outside my house and
Hurricane Jamie Joe (my 1 yr old) was raging inside my house. Jamie is
teething, has a really snotty grotty cold and according to The Wonder
Weeks App is either going through or about to have a developmental
leap- not a good combo!

Katie span, whirled, whistled and down poured whilst Jamie, who
I co-sleep with, wriggled, cried, scratched and just couldn’t
sleep for more then 40 mins at a time (and took about 40 minutes or
longer to settle each time).

After 3-4 hours of this I felt like screaming and running away! I was
tense and my teeth were gritted and I just wanted to not be touched
and to get some damn sleep!! I wanted to wake everyone else up (my
husband and 2 older children) and say please can you take over now
(the kids are only 6 and 8 so not really an option!).

I found myself doing exactly what I teach people NOT to do. I was
feeling so negative, tense and basically holding my breath or
breathing fast. So somehow, in between the pinches and the wriggles
and the crying, I drew upon what I know (which I will tell you about
below) and I got through it.

1. Affirm the positive, not the negative. In my head at one point I
was literally saying “aggghhhh”, “get me out of here” and “why won’t
you sleep”. This was getting me no where. It wasn’t helping Jamie and
it wasn’t helping me! So I switched it up and my mantra became “when I
relax, Jamie relaxes” and with this I allowed my body to lose its
tension. I felt myself become limp and I felt Jamie relax too ( maybe
only for a short while but it’s still a win!!). In labour, you can use
the same technique, repeat a positive affirmation again and again
until it becomes your focus and reality. Ideally you would have been
using positive affirmations throughout your pregnancy which would make
this tip even easier.

2. So I had managed to shut the crappy negative self talk down with
that affirmation, now I needed to make sure that I felt good. So
instead of feeling unhappy and woe is me and thinking all “cup half
empty things” like…”how the hell am I going to get through a rainy
bank,holiday Monday with 3 kids and no sleep!”, I began to think about
how much I love this crying, snotty, struggling to sleep little
munchkin. I allowed myself to really feel the love as strongly as I
could and I began to feel better. In labour the same applies, think
about how soon your baby will be in your arms, stay connected to your
baby and remember that is why you are in labour. Instead of focusing
just on what sensations you are feeling, focus on why you are feeling
them. Ideally, if you have done HypnoBirthing, you would have been
focusing on bonding with your unborn child making this tip once again,
even easier.

3. My breathing had become shallow and fast and at one point I was
holding my breath- this was making me feel worse and not helping
Jamie. It was encouraging my body to tense up. I focused on breathing
calmly, filling my abdomen and breathing out for twice as long as I
was breathing in. That felt soooooo much better and allowed me to
relax my body and work with my affirmation. In labour, breathing
properly is incredibly important, like vital sort of important. You
should use your breathe to work with your body, slowly and in control.
When you do this it helps to release the tension and reduce the
discomfort you may be experiencing. It also encourages a release of
happy hormones (endorphins) which makes you feel calm and relaxed and
also act as natures pain reliever.

My husband woke up at 4am (after vacating to the spare room earlier as
he knew it was going to be a stormy night) and told me to go in the
other room to get some sleep whilst he took over. Thank God! I am
writing this on 3 hours sleep but I feel happy about how I dealt with
the situation and in the morning, nothing is ever as bad as it seems in
the dead of night with hurricane Katie raging against your window.

If you want to transform your pregnancy, put your self in control of
your labour and prepare you for parenthood, send me an email liz@enhanceyourbirth.co.uk to book a
free 30 minute consultation to find out more.

Right, I’m off to find something to entertain 3 children on this
wonderful rainy bank holiday Monday!

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Beccy’s Birth Story

Finley Cooper Rosenblatt, (due 7th Feb) born 8th February at 2.15am weighing 7lb 5ozs

Both Stuart, my boyfriend, and I experienced the most amazing birth with our newborn baby son Finley Cooper Rosenblatt. I wish I could re-live the time over and over again as it was such a truly fantastic occasion that we will never forget. I know that the hypnobirthing and also yoga classes I took, which really complemented each other, had a big part to play in ensuring I was fully prepared for Finley’s birth. I had no fear, felt completely in control and I was really looking forward to the moment when I would be birthing Finley.

The breathing techniques and relaxing skills Liz taught us, as well as the different birthing positions, really enabled me to keep calm and focussed and find a comfortable position throughout my labour and birth, so much so that I was fully dilated by the time we turned up at the hospital!

I’m not really sure when my surges started! I went out to lunch with Amy on Friday lunchtime and then we came back to mine for tea and cake in the afternoon (I started baking during my maternity leave) and looking back, I now realise I was having surges during this time but I wasn’t really aware of them. I spent a lot of time on my birth ball during the afternoon or on all fours as these positions were the most comfortable whilst I was breathing through the sensations.

My boyfriend Stuart phoned me on his way home from work about 4pm and I said I thought I was in the early stages of labour and he said to call my midwife for reassurance so I did. She said it definitely sounded like early labour so when Stuart arrived home about 5pm, and I was on all fours when he walked through the door, we decided to start timing the surges. The first one we recorded was at 17.49 and lasted 52 seconds and those that followed were about 8 mins apart but I was comfortable. Stuart cooked us a chilli for dinner which I managed to eat and enjoy and then I even remember portioning off the leftovers for the freezer as I thought if we end up in hospital tonight, I don’t want to come home to an untidy kitchen with food left out!

I then had a hot bath which eased the sensations and afterwards got myself comfortable lying on the bed using my pregnancy pillow for a short while. We called the hospital at 9pm when my surges were timing between 4 – 6 mins apart lasting approx 40 seconds. They said to stay at home until they were 3 mins apart lasting 1 mins each. After I spoke to the hospital, I found using the birth ball, kneeling and leaning over the bed or even sat on the toilet were the most comfortable positions for me, all of which I did whilst listening to relaxing music and the affirmations to provide a soothing environment for me. We called the hospital again at 11pm when they were 3 mins apart but not quiet lasting a minute each, they said I could stay at home a bit longer or come in. I managed to last another half hour at home whilst Stuart loaded up the car. Luckily it’s only a short drive to the hospital. We arrived at 11.50pm and I was having very regular surges so the walk into the reception area took a while and when we were met by the midwife to take us into our room in the birth centre, I was mid surge again and doubled over trying to breathe through it.

Within half an hour of arriving at the hospital, my waters broke whilst I was sat on the loo, very convenient! I was then examined by the midwife and she said, ‘good news Beccy, you’re fully dilated, let’s get the birth pool filled up’. I was so pleased that I had managed to stay in the comfort of my own home for the duration of my labour as planned. I had a quick go on the gas and air whilst waiting for the pool to fill just to try it but I didn’t use it again. I literally used the water as my only pain reliever. The room lighting was dimmed, the pool temperature was perfect, nicely warm, which I found really soothing and we had relaxing music playing on our Ipad so I was really calm and in the zone. Stuart was beside me the whole time reassuring me and providing light touch massages. I was only in the birth pool for one hour when Finley arrived at 2.15am. His head appeared and literally seconds later, his body was out! The midwives said he had one of his arms straight out superman style! He seems to like this position even now! I lifted him out of the pool and on to me which was amazing, he was very slippery! He had a short cord so he didn’t reach my upper body so I kept his little body under the water to keep warm for some skin to skin. Finley was very content and alert from the moment he was born. It was a truely mesmerising experience. I would definitely recommend a water birth to everyone. Stuart then took over with the cuddle time whilst the midwives looked after me. I was very lucky as I didn’t tear and no stitches were required, I was just slightly grazed.

The midwives were very impressed with how calm my birth was.

My whole pregnancy, labour and birth have been an amazing experience from start to finish and I have loved every minute of all of it. I would re-live Finley’s birth over and over again as I found the whole experience so enjoyable! I really believe the techniques I learnt through Liz’s hypnobirthing classes, as well as the yoga classes, played a big part as I was able to remain calm, relaxed and in control throughout and this has been transferred to Finley who is a very happy, content and calm baby, apart from nappy changes!

I’d just like to pass on my sincere thanks to Liz for sharing her hypnobirthing knowledge with Stuart and I. I would thoroughly recommend the hypnobirthing experience to everyone and have been spreading the word already! Liz is a fantastic and informative teacher and she’s passionate about hypnobirthing which really enabled me to understand why it was the right approach to take. It makes complete sense to me that hypnobirthing is the only way to approach labour and birth. Liz provided a very comfortable and relaxed environment for the classes, and I often fell asleep as I was so relaxed!

Thanks again Liz, you’re a super star!!

 

 

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Valentines Day Baby (Birth Story)

I got up on Valentines day to a lovely bunch of flowers, a cup of tea in bed… and a small show! Feeling fine at that point we carried on with our day, having my brother and his family over for brunch. They arrived at midday, by which time I was having some mild twinges and by the time they left at 2.30 they were feeling much more defined and coming approx every 15 minutes. I went to lie down to start to put my hypnobirthing relaxation techniques into practice.  Once focussed on relaxation and breathing, things started to move along quickly and by 5pm surges were coming every 6 minutes. As we were hoping to use a birthing pool at the women’s we decided to call the birth suite then and they said we may as well as start to make our way in.  By the time we got to the Women’s at around 6.00pm the surges were at least every 4 mins.

After a short wait we were lucky enough to get a birthing pool room, all the time surges getting closer together and more intense. The pool was filled straight away and our midwife advised to get straight in as things were progressing so quickly. After a short but intense period of breathing baby out, Rudy James Joseph Howells arrived into the water, at 8.15pm, weighing 9lb 11oz, amazingly still in his own intact amniotic sac! The midwives actually thanked us for being able to share in such a rare experience!
After what was an ‘eventful’ birth of our first son 3 years ago, we are over the moon to have had a calm, natural and pain relief free experience, putting into practice the breathing, positioning and relaxation techniques learnt via Hypnobirthing and Yoga.  We’re now all just getting re-accustomed with the joys of caring for a newborn, amazing how quickly they grow and you move on with them!
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I loved it so much I decided to train as a hypnobirth practitioner myself

“I found HypnoBirthing very informative in so many ways and learning about the mind-body connection was very interesting, I also found it hugely relaxing. I had a wonderful, empowering birth, my son was born into my husbands arms in the peace of our own home very calmly, my husband even said I was smiling when breathing my son down and out, I loved it so much I decided to train as a hypnobirth practitioner myself!” Jessica, Staffordshire

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