Rachel and Fi were so welcoming when I met them and teaching them was an absolute joy! Their enthusiasm and commitment was so evident each week and I was so delighted to get their message when Mabel made her appearance. Read their story below...
I knew from the beginning of my pregnancy that I wanted to do hypnobirthing in preparation for birth. We worked with Ashley during my pregnancy and she came to our home to do the sessions.
We spent a lot of time as a couple talking about what was covered in her sessions and working on the relaxation techniques she taught us.
As my pregnancy progressed and my hypnobirthing practice increased I began to feel really positive, as opposed to scared, about the birth – this was such a wonderful gift during my pregnancy and made me look forward to going into labour!
Myself and my partner had initially had a clear intention to have the birth occur in hospital, as we felt this with was the safest place. After working through the hypnobirthing sessions with Ashley though, we both quite independently of each other, decided that we would like to try a home birth.
The more we learnt about natural birth and the more confident we felt in ourselves to manage this process, the more we wanted to be in our own home when the time came. Ashley was supportive of our decision and, again, helped us to feel that we were really looking forward to the birth.
I reached my estimated due date and the days beyond this began to pass by with no inkling of labour beginning.
The midwife felt we needed to be booked in for an induction on day 12…..this would mean having to go into hospital rather than having a home birth.
I was hormonal and devastated! I had imagined the birth I wanted at home for so long and I felt I was being cheated out of this.
I ended up going to see a local acupuncturist on the evening of day 10 to see if this would bring on my labour. I awoke around 3am on day 11 to the rhythmical surges of early labour. I felt so happy it had begun naturally and was not worried about what was to come.
Myself and my partner had tea and biscuits in bed around 5am and were excited that we would get to meet our baby that day. I had a bath and washed my hair whilst my partner spoke to the hospital and fielded all of their questions, so that I could concentrate on my hypnobirthing breathing and visualisations.
I began to go into my own little world, laid on our bed just breathing, breathing, breathing through the ever growing surges. My partner laid next to me and told me I was doing great – it was all I needed to hear.
My midwife arrived around lunch time and sat with me for the afternoon. She was brilliant and totally respected our birth plan wishes and my need to focus on my hypnobirthing. She was quiet and comforting which was so good at that time.
My partner began to set up the birthing pool in the kitchen, dim the lights and set out the candles. I sat in the lounge for the afternoon as the surges grew and became more intense.
Around teatime the midwives changed over on shift and I got to meet the midwife who would deliver my baby. She again, was lovely. In the midst of intense surges she simply came and sat next to me and placed a comforting hand on my arm. No words. Just touch. I knew she was there.
My partner rarely left my side offering encouragement at every stage.
I decided to venture out of the armchair in the lounge and head for the birthing pool in the kitchen. Something in me knew that once I was in the pool things would progress….and they did.
The surges were so intense and I had to focus so hard on my breathing to get me through them. I felt the surges at one point were becoming bigger than me.
It was at this point I realised I was in the transitional phase and so began to change my ‘up’ breathing to ‘down’ breathing.
I had practised these breathing techniques every day for months and knew exactly what to do. I felt very in tune with my body and although the surges were intense, I knew what I was doing. I could feel my baby come down inside me during ‘down’ breaths and go back up as the surge eased, gradually getting lower and lower.
I repeated my birth affirmations in my mind – ‘Each surge brings you closer to meeting your baby’. I felt like I was agreeing with what my body was doing rather than fighting against it.
Before long my baby’s head was out and the rest of her quickly followed. I quickly rose to the surface of consciousness to greet my baby with my partner after hours of being ‘elsewhere’, eyes closed, in another land. I had done it. I had birthed my beautiful girl at home completely naturally and with no pain relief.
The midwives delivered my placenta in the lounge and were able to do my stitches at home too (I did have gas and air for these as I felt I deserved it by this point!).
The midwife helped me to have a bath and settled me into bed upstairs with our daughter. They made tea and toast for myself and my partner and so began our first night at home with our baby girl.
I cannot recommend hypnobirthing under Ashley’s tuition highly enough. I gave birth at home to an 8lb 7.5 oz baby with no pain relief and felt really good about the whole process. I don’t think you can ask for more than that when you consider your ‘ideal’ birth.