It's a year on and I'm writing this on the eve of baby Oscar's 1st Birthday and in celebration of Sarah's Birthing Day!
It seems quite fitting as I also happen to be 'on call' for a lovely couple who have sailed past their guess date and are having many of the same feelings of urgency to meet their baby!
This was the gorgeous testimonial Sarah shared...
Myself and my husband Tom started with Ashley in January this year I was 26 weeks (or so) pregnant. She had been highly recommended by another friend who'd had her first baby Hypnobirthing and homebirthing, she couldn't applaud all her hard work and
amazing teachings enough. Learning about Hypnobirthing doesn't have to mean you must have a home birth, it gives you the tools and skill set to be able to do the most amazingly hard and fulfilling job in the world, pregnancy, labour and birth!! Ashley taught me and Tom how to overcome fears and concerns instilled from our last experience with our son, Sebastian and gave us education about labour and birth we didn't know the first time. We did our research and homework (something you must do) and over time we both became much more confident about getting through the dreaded fear of the "pain" word, by the self hypnosis exercises which are amazing! I feel I'm a changed woman and am really looking forward to birthing my baby with the full love and support of my husband Tom to get me through the inevitable tough bits and welcoming our baby into the world calmly confidently and easily! Ashley was a great teacher but not only that she was kind and compassionate and very understanding as a mummy herself, to all the worries and emotions we go through on this emotional journey called pregnancy! X lovely lady to know.
A year on, Sarah is still shouting from the rooftops about hypnobirthing and her magical birth and she makes my heart sing whenever I think about how life changing it has been for her and we may just get that birth story too!
So when I started writing this on Monday night it was prompted by the preparation I was making for a session on Tuesday with Sarah, one of my lovely Mama’s.
It turns out that the preparation wasn't needed after all because nature kicked in and instead I got the most amazing morning news!
For this Mama, I know the threat of a potential induction was looming and this couldn't have been further from what they wanted after their first experience.
Despite whatever pressure she may have been feeling she continued to use the time to practice her hypnobirthing with the hope that a little hypno-coaxing from me may encourage things to unfold naturally.
Just to be clear – I don’t believe there is any such thing as a ‘natural’ induction.
The concept in itself is an oxymoron, but I do really believe that fear can begin to seep in for a number of reasons and this is definitely not the optimal conditions for getting things started.
I also believe that baby and Mum know best (of course there are medical exceptions) so I never offer the session until the Mama is at least 10 days post-guess date and this isn’t because I have a strong view that this is the ‘right’ time, but I know that by that stage the pressure is mounting and if nothing else, it’s an opportunity to talk through some of those feelings!
The gentle ‘come on out’ session is always positive, it boosts confidence and releases fear and tension and yes - it has been known to bring on labour!
The real reason I started writing this on Monday night was because it struck me how often over the last 5 years I have gone to bed with my phone tucked under my pillow, just in case there is baby news. Since writing this blog and having read all about the dangers of sleeping with my phone under my pillow, I will rethink my alert system going forward, but tonight will be more of the same – except on my bed-side table perhaps!
By no means does hypnobirthing require me to be on call, but from the moment that I make that contact with a couple, I absolutely feel like I am.
So even when my logical, sensible self reminds me that any birth announcements will most likely come at a civilized hour, perhaps days or possibly weeks afterwards, I can't help but check...of course that is made easier by a regular waking child!!
Crazy or not, how and when the message is delivered is irrelevant, but for lack of a better word, I’m un-fucking-believably elated when I get these messages, just as I was on Tuesday when the flurry of pictures and text came through.
I cried with happiness and my boys’ rushed though to look at the pictures because this is as much a part of their world as it is mine.
Being able to share this part of my work with them is wonderful and so important in the continuation of normalising positive birth.
It’s easy for me to reflect on this particular Mama’s experience over the last few months and the relationship that has been forged through the twists and turns of her maternal journey, but as with anyone my aim is to offer something beyond antenatal education.
And that offering is made so easy when my passion is met with the type of enthusiasm Sarah and Tom brought to the sessions.
They were open, honest and at times vulnerable and always so committed to the possibilities.
This job is unfailingly amazing and enlightening, but the real rewards come when I can see the practice coming to life. This Mama’s determination and their team spirit made it so easy to love them and I am so grateful that they chose me to walk alongside them at such an important time in their lives.
And the ultimate celebration of all of that work is hearing a positive and healing birth experience which is just what Sarah and Tom got.
Oscar needed no coaxing by me or anyone because he decided all by himself on the 17th May at 12:25am that it was time to meet his amazing parents and his big brother.
He entered the world peacefully and in love in a birthing pool at their home!
This was the birth she talked about in our very first session and together with Tom's amazing support throughout they made it happen.
When my classes come to an end, I can't emphasis enough how important each and every couple are to me.
I feel honoured to be a small part of anyone’s journey and I really mean it when I tell you,
‘this isn’t the end’!
If it isn’t my own children keeping me up in the night, it’s the possible arrival of yours that might be, but from now on, my phone won't be under my pillow!
Writing your birth story is so important to process the immense occasion and sharing it can help inspire other women too!
If you want to get involved join on the next course ...details can be found here.You can read more about Sarah and Tom’s experience of hypnobirthing with me hereand hopefully her full birth story soon!!