Helen and Craig were a gorgeous couple to work with! Helen knew she wanted something different to last time and embraced the hypnobirthing philosophy with total tenacity! What a week this was...2 ladies very nearly not making it to the hospital!
I was 10 days over my estimated due date and had decided to consent to a stretch and sweep from my midwife, which I had declined at 4 days over - hoping that things might happen spontaneously. The sweep seemed to do the trick and later that afternoon I started feeling 'uncomfortable' but carried on happily going about my day and running around after my toddler.
At about 9:30pm that night, I had my first major surge. I was happily watching television with my husband whilst bouncing on my birthing ball and began my breathing which I had been practicing and remained well distracted.
An hour passed by and the surges were getting increasingly more intense and frequent and I now started using the visualisations with the breathing to helm me remain ca...
It has been a bit of a rough few weeks! All the festive hype and the house being swallowed up by a horrible, horrible viral beast, but we made it and it's a NEW YEAR!
It doesn’t matter how organised I think I am or how much pre-prep I do, it always seems to just zoom on by and is somehow driven by these crazy expectations I place on myself.
So yesterday (still feeling pretty ill) it wasn’t that surprising to me that I had my annual New Year melt down.
I like to think of it like a bit of an emotional purge!
I kind of wish it would come prior to the 1st day of the year, but it doesn't work that way - it's a force beyond me, like some kind of force of nature – a sort of clearing the way for what is to come.
When it’s happening, I know just what it is. I know that it’s overwhelm and the inability to just take a breath, but nevertheless it feels fucking awful in that moment.
It’s that scary feeling of totally losing my shit. How can I (the counsellor, the Calm Birth School teacher, the Mother) b...
So this year has felt all about connections! The connections I have, the ones I want and even the ones I no longer want.
After a catch up with one of my bestest friends this week – I came home feeling totally filled up!
I realised my cup was perhaps running a little empty which I think it the norm for many people at this time of year, but also it reminded me of how important it is to have that time – just a couple of hours of sharing, laughing and of course drinking wine left me feeling fired up and ready to face the week!
I know how lucky I am; not only do I have some pretty amazing women around me, I have some total rock star colleagues and I get to work with women in hypnobirthing who constantly inspire me and teach me something every time – astounding me with their strength and conviction and their stories.
Community is so, so important. When there is still so much shaming of Mothers and Women going on – having that sense of unity and strength is an absolute gift.
This morning I caught a live feed that the lovely Suzy Ashworth was doing in the baby business group.
It was all about perfection and it got me thinking not just about my own, often over active perfection driver, but about the lovely women I support in preparing for birth and the feeling that we must strive to achieve - as if growing a small human for 40+ weeks isn't achievement enough!
Yes we live in a perfection driven society...always being encouraged to strive for the best of EVERYTHING, but it’s just not realistic and particularly when it comes to birth.
I am definitely guilty of wanting to do things perfectly - be a perfect Mum, be a perfect wife, be the perfect therapist...the list is endless, but the reality is there is no such thing as perfect except as Suzy says,
‘in the dictionary’
Listen ladies – you CAN’T fail at giving birth!
But I completely get it when I hear you say you think you failed. I know those feelings all too well.
I fought, planned and prepared endlessly for my...
I woke up this morning and gazed up at the beautiful belly cast that is fixed to my bedroom wall. It’s my son’s 7th Birthday in four days and has been a time of reflection about our story and as I've written about here - the feelings I was left with after my second birth.
When it comes to pregnancy and birth, my experience is that every woman has a story to tell; sometimes it’s about the journey to conception, others have a strong story about their own entry in to the world or it might be about the lived experience of giving birth; whatever it is, it’s unique and it’s yours.
Weaved within our own stories, we carry other peoples too; these tales might be right at the very surface of our conscious mind, but more often than not, stories about birth and motherhood are buried much deeper.
And like anything, the obvious stories and memories are much easier to make sense of, however, there are subtleties that we pick up from all sorts of sources which influence our feelings and are far less obv...
So yesterday I had what I would call a FUCK YOU kind of a day.
It was horrendous.
I woke up at the crack of dawn and felt ready to conquer the day after catching up with some work before the little sound of baby steps and incessant screaming for cereal!
Within an hour, everything had gone totally tits up.
I’m not going to go in to the ins and outs of the minuscule to mountainous issues, but it was pretty obvious that the beautifully calm last day of the holidays that I had envisioned wasn’t happening.
When I picked up my diary to reflect at the end of the day (which was a struggle at best) – I couldn’t think of one thing that I had done well.
In fact my biggest achievement was saving my children from killing each other like an unpaid referee (which of course is a whopping achievement).
Waking up this morning with big puffy eyes and after a night of clutching the edge of the bed for dear life because my child channels his inner acrobat all night, I made a conscious decision to forgive myself...
This is one of my all time favourite birth stories.
It's a perfect example of how hypnobirthing can help you maintain your calm when labour throws you a curve ball.
The presence of meconium in her waters could have led them down a cascade of intervention, but Raluca made choices that felt best for her and with a little bit of time, things unfolded naturally.
Raluca had put in all the practice prior to her birth and on the day absolutely rocked it! Here is her story...
I started to look into hypnobirthing due to a traumatic first birth because I felt I needed to take control of my birthing experience and avoid the same outcomes as the first time.
The sessions held by Ashley were great, they were at home, so no need to arrange childcare for my eldest.
I was able to put to rest a lot of issues I had around my first birth, the wealth of information delivered by Ashley has been extremely useful and the techniques I learnt are now something I am using in a lot in other situations when I ne...
Never had I ever been so acutely tuned in to time as when it came to growing and birthing a baby.
Right from the beginning of our maternal journey – so much rides on time.
The timing of conception, the timing of gestation, when will labour start? How long since your waters went? The timing of surges; the time it takes for your cervix to dilate. How long have you been in that second stage? How long will it take for your placenta to be birthed?
And it doesn’t stop at birth.
You are then swiftly moved on to how long your baby has slept? What time did you last feed the baby...and so on.
So what are the best ways of keeping time on your side with hypnobirthing?
Well if you are pregnant and reading this, you are probably aware that the moment there is any evidence of something growing – people seem to feel you are fair game for comments.
This may be predictions of your baby being ‘early’ or ‘late’, the size of your bump, to the woman on the bus vehemently telling you about her 3 hellish days in lab...