by Carol We had a beautiful baby girl on Tuesday 27th April. She was 6 days early, born at home and I didn’t have any pain relief. My labour start in the early hours of Monday 26th April. It was all fine and I used the hypnobirthing breathing techniques to manage the surges. I went to get my legs waxed when I was having surges every 5/6 minutes. Sue who did the leg wax couldn’t quite believe it but I had this real thing about not giving birth with hairy legs. Anyway she was amazed how calm I was at the time. To be fair though the leg wax was worse than the surges at that stage!
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birth story
Birthing Stories
Hi Reshma! Our little girl was born just yesterday  as planned in the birthing centre, naturally in only 4 hours!! We are ecstatic and amazed how effective the techniques were and we can’t wait to do it all over again. We will send you a full birthing story really soon and want to say many thanks for helping us have a fantastic experience. Love John and Harriett
birth story
Beverley Turner & James Cracknell: Our Experience. Beverley: Hypnobirthing gave me a birth experience that I could only have dreamt about. Like all women I was anxious and uncertain about what to expect. We were aiming for a natural birth at London's Birth Centre but everyone kept telling me it was a ridiculous idea and I should go for the drugs. I was determined to prove them wrong and I did! I was in the middle of writing a book about Formula One and knew that being laid up with a caesarean scar would be very debilitating. As it turned out, I gave birth at 9.30 am and was back home, watching the Grand Prix and taking notes by 10pm. The next day I went for a walk to the river. When my waters broke I was calm and confident that my body would do exactly what I needed it to. I stayed at home and began cleaning like a mad woman. As the evening drew on my tummy felt tighter but not at all painful because I was so relaxed. James and I watched TV in front of the fire with lots of pillows. The midwives had been round and checked on me once but I wanted to watch the end of Sex in th City and said I would call them if I wanted to go to the Birth Centre. It was all very instinctive and I firmly believe that is because of the Hypnobirthing training. The midwives knew that Hypnobirthing mums give birth much more quickly but accepted my decision totally. Finally at 3am I called them and we went into the Birth Centre where I got in the birthing pool. We played the hypnobirthing tape over and over and in my notes I apparently said "This is bliss." James wasn't as well-rehearsed as I would have liked (I have made him suffer with that ever since) but he counted my breaths and turned the tape over. I did get very tired towards the end but when I got of the bath in order to get gravity on side our little boy appeared pretty quickly. Because I was relaxed and because I had spent a few hours in the water, I didn't need any stitches and had no tearing whatsoever. Croyde fed well and was a lovely calm baby (he is less so now...maybe Helianthe can do some hypnosis on a boisterous 14 month old!!) I will never give birth any other way. It was a revelation and I'm afraid I have become a bit evangelical about it. I recommended Helianthe to a friend who had had a terribly traumatic time with her first - lots of intervening doctors and an emergency c-section. She has since had a beautiful big baby girl completely naturally at home and is elated by her experience - all the doctors had told her it wasn't possible. My ante-natal pals also suffered a myriad of complications as a direct result of meddling doctors and their own - understandable - anxieties. Over half were given c-sections. I cannot recommend Hypnobirthing enough. I even find myself doing some of the breathing techniques when I am about to broadcast on TV or Radio! The relaxation skills are very useful in everyday life. James: When Bev said she wanted to do Hypnobirthing I was very sceptical. You might think that as an athlete I would believe in the power of the mind but I needed some convincing. The main problem with our lessons with Helianthe were Bev's giggles. She couldn't stop laughing and on a few occasions she had to go into the garden to get it out of her system. I had hoped to be able to put her in a trance every time I needed a shirt ironing but no luck. The lessons themselves were great for me too as I got to have a lie down and do some deep relaxation. As I had normally come straight from a training session on the river I quickly fell asleep. But it didn't matter - although Bev was embarrassed by my snoring. I was away a lot during our pregnancy but Bev listened to the tapes and seemed very relaxed about the whole thing. I realized during the birth that I wasn't as well prepared as I should have been and felt bad about it. At one point I asked bev if she was ok and she growled back "Don't ASK me if I'm ok, TELL me I am!" She was more annoyed with me than with giving birth...tip for the dads...do your homework. it will make your lives a lot easier and your partners birth much calmer. I was so proud of Bev and the way she kept in control throughout. I held her head in the water for about 4 hours and all the callouses on my hands peeled off. It hurt like hell when I got back in the rowing boat. Bev said it served me right for not being better prepared. Next time I will try harder and we will certainly do the training again. I think it is understandable to be nervous and I expect that Bev will need to have any negativity erased again. People are always telling us their horror stories. Helianthe's service actually went beyond the hypnobirthing and she ended up giving us an afternoon of marriage guidance when the stress of the pregnancy, me being away and the looming Olympics all came crashing in on us. Bev was struggling to explain how she was feeling and I wasn't doing a good job of listening. Helianthe gave us a safe, objective space to discuss our concerns in and it worked brilliantly. We owe her and hypnobirthing an awful lot. Hi Reshma! A little summary of our experience! Our 1st child was 5days late and Maria arrived 10days overdue...well rather when she was ready. Maria was born Tuesday morning 22 June while I was booked for a sweep that Tuesday lunch time :) I woke up at 2am because of my Braxton Hicks who were strong and were unabling me to fall asleep as they kept coming… by 3am I was not sure this was it so woke the husband and within 30mn called the maternity wing to check.. They said to come in so they could check. We called the nanny to look after our 1st girl and by the time she arrives 4.15am I had started a slow breathing thru each surge, there was no doubt the baby was on his way. We made it to hospital at 4.45am , was 4cm dilated and I was quickly unable to talk to anyone , just wanted to shut my eyes and focus on my breathing…which I did no matter how rude I looked to the anaesthetist who was talking to me and I totally blanked her out. Jo quickly put on the Relaxation CD, and started stroking my arm (glove script) , these 2 combined with my breathing were really relaxing.   I could hear the deep voice of the CD and some words every now and then but it was a very nice feeling hearing that very familiar voice around me.I was lying on my side all thru that stage, there was one second where i just wanted to stand up and run and lose control but that really lasted 1 second as I knew that would not be an option and that I could do it all by myself and needed to keep focus on the baby and what was happening inside me. Then I felt the moment I needed to breathe the baby down, I could not believe it was already time to. It only took a few breathe for the baby to come out and Maria was born at 5:56 am, just over 1h after our arrival at the hospital in her bag of water! The breathing techniques I learn were so valuable, and definitely helped me put my energy inwards. I was not at all tired like with my 1st birth. Breathing and keeping relaxing all these muscles who wanted to tighten really helped me have a quick birth. BTW my baby was back to back only 3weeks before the birth when I contacted you and I spent time in the polar bear position you mentioned and she turned half way which helped. The midwife was so impressed she said she would look into this Hypnobirth  So A BIG THANK YOU from Maria from making her arrival to this world a calm, controlled and wonderful experience for both Jo and me.  xxx Katherine, Jo Carl & Stine's Birth Story Daniel was born six days after his due date on 6th of December at 19.25. His birth was a wonderful experience thanks to the hypnobirthing techniques. I started having surges in the morning approximately 10 minutes apart. Carl and I got up and started doing the 20/20 breathing. The surges were slightly painful before I got up, because I could not concentrate, but when I focused on what we had learned at the course and what we had been practicing at home the pain disappeared. Carl made a big packed lunch and we checked the bag to bring to the hospital. At lunchtime the surges were 5 minutes apart and we rang the hospital. They advised to come in if I could not manage the surges, but it was not a problem. We went for a walk instead. Carl got a bit nervous about the whole thing and he told me in the middle of the street to breathe the baby out. I told him it probably was not the best place for that! We arrived at the hospital at 15.00 and went to the birth suite. The midwife had not heard about hypnobirthing, but she could see we knew what we were doing and left us alone most of the time. We had a midwife student present throughout - she was amazed about how relaxed the atmosphere was. She got the job of getting ice water and keep the CD going. An hour after arrival my water broke and soon afterwards I went into a trance like state pretty much up to Daniel's birth. Carl was invaluable. Without his prompts and shoulder press I could not have done it so easily. Unfortunately I relied on him so much, that I nearly panicked when he was not by my side and the poor guy never had a chance of getting anything to eat. So much for his packed lunch! I started having the urge to push at 18.45 and 40 minutes later Daniel was born. Seeing him for the first time was unbelievable and the whole experience was amazing for both Carl and I. I did not really experience any pain during labor except stinging in the last few minutes before Daniel was born. I was in control during the surges and able to focus on relaxation, and as soon as Daniel was born I was ready to do the whole thing once again. Daniel is a content baby, feeding well and sleeps well between feeds at night, so much so that we are already looking forward to give him a brother or sister sometime in the future! Thanks Hilly for helping us have such a relaxing and joyous birth! Love Carl, Stine and Daniel ______________________________________________________________ We are extremely happy to inform you about the miraculous arrival of our baby boy Alexander. That was unbelievably easy and comfortable birthing. Waters broken at 5 a.m., that I went back to sleep and woke up at 7:15 because of surges (very mild surges). I remained in bed and we chatted over different things. At 8:15 the interval between surges became 7 minutes and each surge lasted for 1 minute, so we phoned our midwife Maddie. When she arrived one hour later the surges were already with the interval of 2-3 minutes each lasting 1 minute. Surprisingly I felt no discomfort at all, just mild tension. I was easily coming back after each surge and we discussed whether we are going to the Birth Centre or staying at home. Having considered all risk factors we decided to stay at HOME (and that was the right decision). At about 10 am went to the toilet and felt really strong and very painful surge. At this moment I started panicking, thinking that this is it, this is the real birthing starts, and now this pain will be there for at least several hours (Mikhail felt absolutely the same, he came to me wishing to help me back to bed). While I was in the toilet Maddie and Rachel (midwives) quickly unpacked birthing matte and covered everything with disposable sheets. On my way back to bed I had to stop and get on my knees, as I had a strongest wish to push. I was expecting the midwives would tell me not to push and breathe, but they kept saying that everything is OK. So one push - and Alexanders head was born together with one of his hands (he was holding his ear). Another push - and Alexander arrived to this world. 16 minutes later placenta was born. I had no bruises no nothing. I was absolutely shocked by the ease and comfort of the process (it seems to me now that till the very end I was not 100% sure that this is possible at all). Mikhail was absolutely delighted. He also was not expecting everything to be so perfect and great. Alexander is one week old now. He is a very calm and smiley boy, sleeping and eating a lot. He almost never cries (only when I change his nappy). Anna was at home and came to see her little brother just 20 minutes after he was born. She adores Alexander and really likes to spend time with him, showing him toys, talking to him or singing to him. We would really like to thank you for everything you have done to make our experience unforgettable and just perfect. Sincerely, Elena, Mikhail, Anna and Alexander Hi, Thought I’d send you my story – thank you from the bottom of my heart for making my birthing experience a very happy one. I believe that the hypnobirthing techniques helped on 2 levels – The first to help me cope with the pain and the second, to allow me to communicate with my baby and help him on his passage. The picture was taken as he had just been placed on my chest and taken his first breath – amazing! And to top it all – I have an angel baby – he is so relaxed and happy being a mother is a breeze – I’m so lucky. Thank you ! Ali xx ______________________________________________________________ ---------------------------------------------- Hi everyone   I am really delighted to let you all know that Geoff and I had a beautiful little girl on Monday 12 July and we are of course completely over the moon. I think this is the last of the group! We're calling her Sophie Mathilda, and she weighed 7lb 4 at birth.   My surges started quite suddenly at 2am on Sunday evening, and started to come quite strongly - though erratically - over the course of the next few hours. We had planned to have a home waterbirth in a pool. By 4am we were timing the surges, and felt fairly sure that it had all started, although we were a bit unsure because my waters hadn't broken or anything. I was fairly active and coping fine listening to some of the downloads we had on the ipod. I did find the surges quite painful, but I was managing to focus totally on staying relaxed - Geoff said he thought I was asleep! All the time I was thinking of my cervix opening with every surge, and being closer to having the baby.   At about 7am we called the midwife who came over at 9.30am and told us that I was 7cm dilated, which was fantastic news. Geoff filled the pool, and I carried on breathing and relaxing. The pool was great, and allowed me to find somewhere comfy and helped with moving around. Anyway, everything progressed nice and quickly, and at around 1.30pm I gave birth. I did have to push a little harder than I had anticipated, I must admit, and that bit was quite intense! The midwives were fantastic, I didn't tear at all - largely due to the pool I think but also using the epi-no which had given me a vague idea of how it might feel. We are so pleased that we had pretty much had the birth that we had planned, I feel very lucky. Thanks so much Helianthe for your help and guidance - the course was great and was the reason I was able to feel in control. It also meant that I could feel really relaxed, and keep the baby relaxed throughout.   Anyway, thanks again Hilly, and I hope you are all having wonderful first few weeks and months with your new babies. On to new challenges now!   Best   Geoff, Fiona and Sophie (pictured at one week old!)   Hi Reshma, I've been meaning to email you ever since giving birth two weeks ago, but things have been quite busy as I'm sure you can imagine! Little Xanthe was born on 6th June weighing 7lb 5oz. She's doing really well and is now 8lb 9oz! I will send you a longer email with our birthing story when I get a bit of time (will be at some point in next few days) but wanted to just let you know the hypnobirthing was amazing! My surges started three days before she was born, but the birth itself was very calm and I felt very in control the whole time. It was really nice that Will was so involved during the birth and we used all the anchoring techniques and breathing exercises you'd taught us. I just had gas and air and found the birth completely manageable. The only bit which was hard work was the pushing at the end, but by that stage I at least knew I was very nearly there. The delivery took 10 hrs in total which I was told was pretty good for a first baby. Anyway I will email you with a more detailed birth story soon. Thanks so much for helping us to make the birth such a calm and happy experience! Jo   -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Hi Reshma!  A little summary of our experience! Our 1st child was 5days late and Sofia arrived 10days overdue...well rather when she was ready. Sofia was born Tuesday morning 22 June while I was booked for a sweep that Tuesday lunch time :)   I woke up at 2am because of my Braxton Hicks who were strong and were unabling me to fall asleep as they kept coming… by 3am I was not sure this was it so woke the husband and within 30mn called the maternity wing to check.. They said to come in so they could check. We called the nanny to look after our 1st girl and by the time she arrives 4.15am I had started a slow breathing thru each surge, there was no doubt the baby was on his way. We made it to hospital at 4.45am , was 4cm dilated and I was quickly unable to talk to anyone , just wanted to shut my eyes and focus on my breathing…which I did no matter how rude I looked to the anesthetist who was talking to me and I totally blanked her out. Ale quickly put on the Relaxation CD, and started stroking my arm (glove script) , these 2 combined with my breathing were really relaxing.   I could hear the deep voice of the CD and some words every now and then but it was a very nice feeling hearing that very familiar voice around me. I was lying on my side all thru that stage, there was one second where i just wanted to stand up and run and lose control but that really lasted 1 second as I knew that would not be an option and that I could do it all by myself and needed to keep focus on the baby and what was happening inside me.   Then I felt the moment I needed to breathe the baby down, I could not believe it was already time to. It only took a few breathe for the baby to come out and Sofia was born at 5:56 am, just over 1h after our arrival at the hospital in her bag of water! The breathing techniques I learn were so valuable, and definitely helped me put my energy inwards. I was not at all tired like with my 1st birth. Breathing and keeping relaxing all these muscles who wanted to tighten really helped me have a quick birth.   BTW my baby was back to back only 3weeks before the birth when I contacted you and I spent time in the polar bear position you mentioned and she turned half way which helped.   The midwife was so impressed she said she would look into this Hypnobirth   So A BIG THANK YOU from Sofia from making her arrival to this world a calm, controlled and wonderful experience for both Alessandro and me.   xxx Karima, Alessandro                                                                                 Hi Reshma! Here is the Bennett birthing story: We heard about Hypo birthing through our wonderful friends Kate and Phil who had a little girl 4 years ago. The experience and concept always interested me and when we found out that I was pregnant I instantly knew that it was something that I wanted to pursue. I have always hated hospitals, needles, people prodding around with me. The thought of natural childbirth and the discomfort it might bring was easier for me to imagine than an epidural with needles or a c-section. People had a mixed reaction when we told them of the concept and the course that we had booked; a mixture of people who had heard of someone who had experience it and when I did, I heard of nothing but positive stories. And others who looked so puzzled 'how can it not be painful, it is childbirth for goodness sake.' The entire concept for me seemed to be logical - the more tense you are the more difficult it is going to be to push something out of your body. We signed up for the course and we did it early so that we had plenty of time to practice. Phil and Kate came to visit us the weekend before I gave birth and showed us their birthing video - it spurred me on even more...it was calm relaxed and in control.  It was just what I wanted. The course was excellent - I had never felt so relaxed!! When we did the group sessions I easily fell asleep and came out of the days feeling so refreshed. I knew it was something that we could make work, especially with such a supportive husband in Russell who threw himself into it without question and I was so proud of his contribution. We had all the tools that we needed to make it work and I knew that if we worked hard at it that we could make it happen. We didn't do enough practice immediately but as my pregnancy progressed we did more and more and I loved it. It brought us so much closer together as a couple and was as much about us bonding together as it was about the birth. My favourite memories will always be our holiday in Majorca....I wanted a water birth so spent hours in the pool practicing my breathing and relaxation techniques-  it really helped with my visualisations. Heaven, I don't think I had ever felt so relaxed. We did the readings every day and I got more and more into it. So we were all ready - when I started my mat. leave I took time out most days to listen to affirmations, the CD's, and Russ had recorded a hypno. I became more relaxed. My due date came and went but I was calm and ready. On the Saturday (was due on the Thurs) we went for a long walk shopping in Clapham Junction. That morning I had my 'show' but didn't panic or on reflection think that much about it! After 4/5 hrs of walking about I was going up the steps at Clapham train station and I felt a trickle. No gush, no embarrassment but like for a moment I had slightly lost control. I was a bit worried but it was all over so quick, we got on the train and went home. No contractions started and I woke up the next morning and said to Russ that perhaps we should just go to the hospital to get it checked and see whether my waters had actually broken. Skyped Kirsty our friend in Australia that morning at 10am and then off to the hospital - we had to wait 2hrs to be seen, Russ was thinking 'what are we doing here, I wanted to go out for Sunday Lunch!' We were not expecting to hear that my waters had actually broken....she looked at me strangely when I asked her to check again. I remember instantly feeling anxious when firstly they told me that I would have to be induced, that I was not able to go into the mid-wife led unit due to the drugs that are administered and that a water birth was not possible as I would be on a drip and they would constantly have to monitor the baby's heartbeat. All our plans were going wrong. We collected ourselves a bit, nervous and excited that it was all about to happen and we would soon meet our little boy. Russ went home to collect my bags as they showed me to a bed and the waiting game began. We waited both for a consultant to come and see us and for them to start the induction process. Finally after a few hours of waiting the consultant came to see us - she was lovely, I told her about our birth plan and she had heard about hypnobirthing and was really supportive. She said that the pesserie might start the contractions without the need for full induction. I was excited and reassured but she was leaving her shift in the next half hour. It made me realise that so much of this process was going to depend on the people involved. A few more hours ticked by and the nurse came to administer the pesserie. To my horror whilst checking me she attempted a sweep which I asked her to stop immediately, I was determined to stay in control. The contractions began but were slow and weak. I couldn't sleep and I knew not enough was happening to avoid being fully induced. The nurse had set up a bed for Russell and he was able to get some sleep. The ward was hot and noisy (a new baby next to us where the couple spoke at the top of their voices and snored like you wouldn't believe). I couldn't wait for the morning to come. When it did we moved fairly quickly down to the main ward, all the staff had changed overnight. We went into our room to find a midwife setting up the room. I was laying on the bed and she told me that I would probably be prepared for an epidural as in her own words 'most people can't take the pain' when induced. I immediately span into another panic. I didn't want her anywhere near me, or be a part of our birth and I began to worry that since it was not going to be a natural birth the pain would overwhelm me. Russell was brilliant at calming me down and it soon became apparent that the lady who spoke such words was about to leave her shift. We were completely blessed with the midwives who then came into speak to us - it was a male midwife called Angel who was accompanied by a trainee called Crystal. My plan said that I did not want any students in the room and I had never imagined a male midwife but they both had calm aura and they had read our birthplan, we immediately felt comfortable in their presence. The induction drip was administered and the process officially started at 9.30. The contractions began almost immediately, it was a good sign that my body was responding. We had been clear about what we wanted from the birth and although I had a drip and they had to monitor the heartbeat via a strap around my tummy the entire time I insisted that I stand up and was able to use the birthing ball as we had practiced. It was not what I had imagined. I could not walk around and I was constantly on a monitor. But we made sure we controlled the rest of our surroundings. We had created a playlist of music but actually the only thing that I wanted on in the background was and the track that repeated birthing affirmations. As the day went on, I was listening and repeating the affirmations that I wanted, everyone else must have been so bored of hearing them but that, as well as Russell repeating the visualisations kept me calm. I used the 20/20 breathing from the first contraction and I quickly got into a pattern where I was confident that I could cope. The first 20/20 breath was the most uncomfortable and I knew that once that set was over the other intervals were going to get easier....and it did every time. I counted in my head more than I thought I would but it gave me the confidence that I was in control and that it would be over before I knew it and that once that first breath was over it would get easier. I felt in control and still had lots of energy by midday. The contractions were coming quickly, not much of a break in-between and steadily increased in strength and intensity. I remained standing up and buried my head in cushions piled up on the bed, constantly swinging my hips from side to side, occasionally sitting on the birthing ball. I remember Russ suggesting to me that I laid on the bed for a rest and I was adamant that I was not moving, I had found my 'zone'. The only time I was really more aware of what was going on around me was when they asked if another student could come into the room, I said no immediately. The rest of the time I was completely focused, quiet, eyes shut. The encouragement of the midwives telling me how well I was doing and the fact that his heartbeat remained steady throughout increased my motivation to keep going - he was in exactly the right place and was happy to be born. It got to about 3pm and the contractions were really at their maximum strength and intensity. Up until that point I was coping fine but I began to get tired and mentally was struggling a bit - the discomfort nearly overwhelmed me but I focused on my breathing and I got through it. They said at 3.30pm they would examine me and see how far dilated I was - I began to worry whether I was going to be able to continue if I was not ready to push. Just before they examined me I began to squat, I didn't realise it but the transition phase had begun. Thank goodness when they did examine me I was 9cms dilated and ready to go - I felt a new surge of energy. The transition phase felt strange rather than uncomfortable,  I continued to react to my instincts which were to squat down and said I was worried I was going to give birth on the floor! I was immediately told that wasn't an issue with blankets and paper towels being set up beside me. I was now on all fours and began to breath downwards, all the time the affirmations repeating in the background and Russell reminding to stay relaxed. In fact, I can't remember anything other than being excited at this point, no discomfort, just excitement that I was about to meet my little man. I remember asked continuously whether they could see his head, hugely impatient for him to be born! Angel at one point said 'go for it' and at that point I began to push harder - Crystal was excellent telling me that I did not need to push hard and that I was progressing well with breathing down as I had been doing but the excitement overwhelmed me and I pushed harder than I had practiced. Jules was born an hour later at 5.01pm. The final phase had only taken an hour and his heartbeat remained constant throughout - he emerged into the world a perfect and happy little boy. I glanced round to see Russ in tears and he was quickly passed up through my legs for my first cuddle. My first thought was how beautiful his lips were, I was so thrilled to be finally meeting him. I was quickly back up on the bed where I placed Jules onto the breast and the bonding began. After a few final contractions I delivered the placenta naturally - we had done it, we had the birth that we wanted despite the induction! After a few stitches we took a shower and decided on the name Jules - it could only be Jules after calling him during our hypno practice! Russell was amazing throughout - I could not have done it without him and I am so glad that my husband had such a large part to play in my birth. He constantly told me to relax my face, muscles, shoulders and repeated the visualisations that we had practiced. He used light touch massage throughout and understood completely what I needed and when.   He left to go to the toilet about half way through I was so reliant on him I screamed for him not to! But without realising he had gone Angel was behind me, pushing down my shoulders and telling me to relax. I was so pleased that our midwifes were so supportive and seemed to be really getting into it. They never mentioned pain or pain relief as requested and although at times they could see I was in discomfort I now understand why the different use of terminology is so important. If anyone had made those suggestions my focus would have been lost and I would have concentrated on the discomfort. As they didn't I was able to focus on my breathing and positivity that I was able to get to the end of each contraction. The room was calm throughout; Crystal seemed fascinated by the process. She said at one point it was so relaxed in the room that she being lulled into sleep! Her comments at the end were amazing; she said that they had never seen such a calm birth or a couple so connected. I felt so proud. Angel and Crystal were a huge support in making it happen the way that we wanted and we were so lucky to get them from beginning to end. I found our birth to be a truly magical and empowering experience. I am now in awe how you can use your mental strength and focus to achieve the goal you set yourself. It has given me confidence in so many other areas of my life. The experience undoubtedly brought Russell and I closer together and Jules is a calm, happy child, exactly how he entered the world. I love that I have a positive birth story to share with others and I can't wait to do it again!!!                                                     Dear Reshma and all, We are delighted to announce the arrival at 01.06pm on 01.06.10 of Elijah Lancelot Forestdale Jin Hu Chmelik, weighing in at 8lb12oz. Delivered naturally at home by his mother, everybody is deliriously well and happy. The birth was a magical, joyful and very safe time and when Bonny thinks back on it, she has a sort of nostalgia - she loved it!! Thank you for giving us some powerful and deep techniques to help little Elijah enter the world peacefully. The attached picture was taken when Elijah was about 20 minutes old. We have some videos you can look at if you like Resh, and if anyone wants their placenta prepared I am doing this now ;) Look forward to hearing all your results. Stephan & Bonny x   Hi Resh & fellow hypno-ites!    Baby Gleave is here, and he's brilliant! So is Mummy, who got fully  dilated in the birth pool using the hypno techniques and hardly any  gas & air. She was 5cm dilated when we got to the birth centre. I did  light touch massage for around 12hrs straight. The birthing ball was v  helpful. She was even joking with us between surges at one point and  the midwife was amazed how calm and controlled she was throughout.  Unfortunately he didn't seem to want to come out after that point and  we had to have a little bit of medical help, so we are pleased we  chose a hospital with both a birth centre and medical ward as back up.    7lb 10oz, name TBC    First night at home was ok and he's half got the hang of feeding. And  done some NUCLEAR poos!    We are so chuffed, it is an amazing feeling.    Hope you are all doing well,    Rach, Tris & ?(Nimrod)    Hi Reshma Our little Emma was born finally in time for Father's Day:  20 June, 2 weeks after her due date. On our 41week antenatal check her heart beat sounded irregular, so we decided to go ahead with the advice given and booked a date for induction, something I was hoping to avoid. I was induced on Friday 18th June 2010 in the evening. The 2nd prostaglandin tablet took effect in the early hours of Saturday morning.  Unfortunately my body didn't take over completely, and Saturday afternoon I was transferred to the labour ward to have my waters broken, and later the Oxytocin drip.  It was pretty intense and awful, especially the hours between getting the drip and finally getting an epidural. Richard was outstanding. He loved and encouraged me the whole way, helping me relax and use the hypnobirthing techniques despite the medical interventions.  Thanks to hypnobirthing I was able to stay (relatively) relaxed throughout it all. I managed to breathe away panic and extreme distress, staying focussed and present.  I couldn't have done it without Richard. The midwives were pretty impressed that I seemed so calm, and that my first stage of labour lasted just less than 6 hours, and my second stage only 1hour 9 minutes, despite it being my first baby and the epidural. We put it down to hypnobirthing.  Emma's heartbeat was monitored throughout  and stayed constant indicating her peace with the whole process. She is a lovely calm little girl.  We're having a few issues with breastfeeding in that I've got breast thrush, but between us we're being patient and perseverant and trust all will come right. Once again, hypnobirthing breathing comes into play!  And we have fantastic support from the community midwives. I'll send a picture at a later point.  This email's taken me a few days to complete already!  And the technicality of finding and attaching a picture is a bit confounding to my booby-brain!! Much love Roberta  Hi Reshma! Our little girl was born just yesterday ( 10.07) as planned in the birthing centre, naturally in only 4 hours!! We are ecstatic and amazed how effective the techniques were and we can't wait to do it all over again. We will send you a full birthing story really soon and want to say many thanks for helping us have a fantastic experience. Love Rebecca and Kenith Hi Reshma & everyone! Just to let you know that Carter Stuart Olivier was born on Wednesday 28th July at 06:45 at home in water. It was the most amazing experience and I know you all wonder the same thing and YES Hypnobirthing works!! I mean...not that I ever doubted it won't work but it was amazing how my body just took over and even when I went through a little 'difficult' period my mind just gave me the energy to carry on. I was also very lucky to have two supporting mid-wives who both supported Hypnobirthing and they did affirmations with me and reminded me to relax my shoulders etc when Justin was not able to. He was amazing and I would definitely not have been able to do it without him. I just want to mention one thing and that is that I had gas & air with two contractions in the beginning but - and I'm actually happy about this - I couldn't carry on with it because I was so trained to breathe through my nose both with sleep and 20/20 breathing and gas and air you take through your mouth so it didn't do anything for me but give me a bit of a headache. So if you do breathe through your nose just take that in mind. Here is the birth story: Carter was due on Thursday 5th August but because we were moving house on Saturday 31st July I basically 'willed' him to come early! I know this sounds weird but I spoke to him every day telling him that he can come out if he's ready LOL! I started doing my last week affirmations the week before he was born but kept on telling myself (and him) that he will/can only come out when he was ready. On Sunday 25th July I got this overwhelming feeling to stimulate my nipples...you must think I'm being very weird but the feeling was so strong I sat and played with my nipples for what seems like ages. The next morning (Monday 26th July) I woke up with what I can only describe as mild period pains. I only had 3 of these and they all started as soon as I was lying down. I went to the toilet and had a bit of a 'show' but it was more pinkish discharge and I knew it was the start of things. I was calm the rest of the day and the pains went away. I kept busy and went for long walks. Did all my affirmations, listened to stress release mp3. (The stress release mp3 On a Lake is my favourite and I still listen to it now when I feel very stressed!)  Nothing else happened on the Monday and then on Tuesday morning at around 2am I woke up with more period type pains. It was really uncomfortable when I lied down so I went downstairs to sit on the couch in the living room. I eventually fell asleep again. The next morning I tried to take a nap but I couldn't as every time I lay down the discomfort would return. At around 4pm they just started coming every 10min or so apart and I timed them on my Blackberry (with Contraction Calculator VERY handy little app!). When Justin got home an hour later I asked him to do a few relaxation exercises with me. We did glove relaxation and some 20/20 breathing and once we were finished the surges came every 5min!! I went for a walk in the garden and we had dinner and by 6:30 I decided to call the hospital more for something to do than anything else. They told me to call them when the surges were 1-3min apart but the midwife said she'll come out if I want her to but I was in no means in any discomfort so told her not to. By 10:30 the contractions were 1-3min apart lasting anything from 30s - 1m. I called the MW and asked her to come out. By that time Justin decided to put up and fill the pool. By this stage it was still in its box as we never had a chance to test it! We opted for the La Bassine pool as it has a padded bottom. While he filled the pool the MW arrived. She asked me if I wanted to be examined and I said yes as I firmly believed I was dilated far enough to get into the pool. I was 4cm dilated so at 12am I got into the pool. What a relief. And through all this we talked, ate, and drank tea, listed to chilled music and the surges were nothing more than strong 'period' type 'pains'. Oh I forgot to mention that I had gas & air with two contractions...now remember in my previous email I said that gas & air didn't do anything for me as it interfered with the breathing techniques I learned in Hypnobirthing. So I really 'forgot' to use the gas and air again as it also gave me a slight headache and made me feel a little bit nauseous. At around 4am Lisa the MW called Maddie the second MW to come out as Carter was about to be born. I could feel him in the birth passage and just imagine that little baby to be a slippery eel...Maddie arrived and then...NOTHING. At around 6am I was exhausted and that's when I had my 'wobble'. I just couldn't anymore. I begged them to call an ambulance to take me to hospital so I can have an epidural so I can get some sleep. I tried to imagine all sorts of positive things but all I wanted to do was sleep. Now this is where I was lucky to have two MW who both supported and knew Hypnobirthing! Lisa have read Marie Mongan's book and with every surge she and Maddie and Justin will tell me to breathe, relax my shoulders and 'you can do it'. After I begged them for a second time to go to hospital Maddie said: 'Marileze, you cannot go to hospital now but what you can do is get out the pool and walk up and down the stairs a few times and I bet you that baby will come'. Ha ha she was like a mother figure just what I needed! Now I just want to add this too...I was lying down on the couch when they drained my bladder and I had a surge straight after and that was the most uncomfortable one by far. I really don't know how women can give birth lying down because it is 10 times worse than when you move around or sit up. I then got back into the pool and got a second wind. I was wide awake, we did some affirmations, Justin made me relax all over again and Carter was born not long after in two pushes. He came out with the membranes intact! Lisa had to pull the sack off him as he emerged from the water. It was the most amazing feeling/experience and I'm still on a high from it. It felt like the whole process took 20 min and the only reason I can remember some sort of time line is because we talked about it after wards. Justin was just amazing and I could never have done it without him. This is from a husband who was very reluctant to have his child born in anything other than a hospital but he now preaches home birth and Hypnobirthing to anyone who will listen. I got the exact birth I visualised since starting Hypnobirthing and I can sit here and carry on and on about how good it is and I do hope that everyone who does Hypnobirthing will experience the positive amazing experience I did!     Best wishes, Marileze, Justin and Carter Hi Reshma, Ok here goes with the birth story: I started having very mild surges at 8am Sunday morn- it took us until midday to actually believe that things were starting! At this stage, I was happy just wondering around the house, sleep breathing was enough to keep me calm at this point. I had a big lunch and Kurt and I watched a movie. Things started to become more intense around 9pm- still totally in control though, and I had a bath, slow breathing through each surge. They were 1 in 5 at this point. I found sitting on the loo very comfortable as well! When the surges were 1 in 3 we called the birth centre. She didn't believe I was ready to come in as I sounded so comfortable- despite having 2 surges while on the phone! I told her we were Hypnobirthing and she understood that I was probably further along than I seemed so we booked a cab and arrived at midnight at the centre. I was 4cm dilated and once I'd reached 5 I was allowed in the pool. My midwife was so amazing and kept telling me how great I was doing which helped a lot! The pool felt incredible- relieved any pressure on my back and allowed me to relax even more. I was very conscious of the need to relax my jaw- this really really helped- same with hands and shoulders. I started to feel the urge to push down-u could feel that I had something to breathe with on my out breaths, and at this point I did use some gas and air to give me a bit more oomph! It just made it easier to recover between surges. I made noise in the last stage which I hadn't done until then- not in pain, I just felt the need and Kurt told me I sounded like a wilder beast! Scarlett was born at 6.23am Monday 6th September weighing 7.9 lbs. She didn't cry and was totally alert straight away. The placenta followed through with one more surge shortly afterwards and I was taken to my room. I felt great- tired, but in good spirits and really proud that we'd had the birth we'd planned and prepared for!     Love Lizzie, Kurt & Scarlett  xx                                                                                         Hi Reshma,   Wanted to let you know that Sheldon and I had our baby!   We had a little girl, born on 23rd September  (3 days early) weighing 8.65llbs and with a full head of black hair!   On the Tuesday afternoon I threw down the book that I was reading and ran into the kitchen where I proceeded to scrub the oven and fridge! This was followed by about 2 hours of intense spring cleaning. By the time I finished Shel was home and that was when I started to notice some very feint surges. It turned out that these were actually 'false contractions': though the sensations were intense and started out regular they eventually tailed off and this pattern continued for about 24 hours.   On Wednesday evening at 10pm I started having the real surges. I spent most of the time in the bath as I found this the most soothing, and also used the 4 and 8 breathing (I tried 20,20 but found it too slow and felt the need to get more oxygen in!). I also did a lot of pacing around the living room! When the surges started getting more intense I continued with the 4 and 8 but started to use sounds on the out breath which was really helpful. Shel was also there keeping count and making sure that my 4 and 8 didn't turn into rapid panting, which is very nearly did on a couple of occasions!   We arrived at the hospital at about 6.30am and I was 4cm dilated. After a couple of hours the sensations changed and I felt the need to get down onto hands and knees sitting back on my heels. I found myself making very loud and weird gutteral/cavewoman type sounds! I then felt that I absolutely had to get into the bath and baby Sade was born at 9.50am in the water!   She came sliding right out, exactly as I had visualised!   Unfortunately when they took the placenta out I ended up losing a lot of blood and so had to stay in the hospital overnight. However I can say that apart from that my postnatal recovery was wonderful. I didn't tear and though I had some grazing which they decided to stitch I didn't have any pain whatsoever after the birth. My muscles didn't ache as I managed to stay so relaxed throughout the whole birthing process, I had no pain whatsoever 'down there' as I was able to pause during the pushing phase and take a moment for my body to expand, so even though I didn't actually use the 'j breath' and did in fact push, because I did so in a controlled manner I didn't tear.   The Hypnobirthing course was extremely helpful and powerful. I think for me the most amazing elements were the visualisation and the positive affirmations that we made: the baby slid right out which I visualised, and I asked for a 'gentle' and 'natural' birth as part of my positive affirmations which is exactly what I had (I didn't have any pain relief at all).  I also listened to the CD's pretty much every day and think that they helped to keep me relaxed and focused during the birth. I focussed on keeping my shoulders relaxed and my jaw unclenched which are two things that you mentioned often during the course.   All in all I can say that although the birth was intense and the sensations were definitely there for me to feel (!) the whole thing was perfectly manageable, and I am happy and proud of my experience especially considering it was my first child! I'm looking forward to the next baby and believe that I can use the skills and techniques to even better effect next time.   I feel completely confident that in the future I can have whatever birthing experience I want, as long as I put in the time and effort beforehand.   Thank you so much for your dedication!   Warmest of wishes, Tarah, Sheldon and baby Sade Hi Reshma, This is my birth story... My due date came but nothing happened so the day after, I woke up in the morning and listened to the download 'how to induce my labour'. Surges started immediately but faintly. I told my husband before he went to work but he still went into the office as I could barely feel them. A couple of hours later, I'd written a long shopping list and was about to do a big shop when I thought I might just time the surges out of interest. They were three minutes apart lasting over a minute. I called my husband to come home and I rang the hospital, who told me to come in immediately. When I arrived at the Birthing Centre at 12:30pm, I refused an examination as I wanted to relax and get settled in. I was concerned that my surges might stop as they had with my first baby. I just relaxed listening to my birth downloads and music and doing the breathing exercises. Two hours later, the midwife came back and I still refused an examination.  Because I was so calm, the midwife declared me to be in "early labour" and said if the hospital was any busier, she would send me back home. I knew I was further on than early labour at that stage. I then really needed to be in the dark so I shut myself in the loo with the lights off listening to my music. An hour later, a different midwife came to see me and, using the heart monitor, realised that the baby was really low. She said, "Quick, quick, get out of the loo, I don't want you to give birth in the loo!". The midwives then ran the birthing pool but were worried it wouldn't fill up quick enough. I concentrated on my breathing and visualisation. When the pool was ready, the midwife said, "Close your legs going up the steps, we don't want the baby to fall out!"  In the pool, I did about five pushes and really relied on my husband's support at this stage (he'd been playing Angry Birds on the iPad up to this point as I'd just wanted to be left alone). Gorgeous little Annie arrived at 3:50pm weighing 8lb2 and alert as anything. The whole birth was amazing. The two midwives kept thanking me that they had witnessed a Hypnobirth; they couldn't believe how relaxed I was throughout. They said they hadn't seen anything like it. The midwives had been brilliant as they really respected that I wanted to be left alone to concentrate on my breathing. They dealt mainly with my husband and followed my birth plan to the letter, for which I am very grateful. Reshma, thank you so much for all your advice and encouragement. I am sure that the smooth and relaxed birth is entirely due to you and the Hypnobirthing techniques. I was in two minds about it initially as I am very cynical but it definitely works and now I'm recommending it to everyone!!  Physically, I felt great two days after the birth and reckon I was fully recovered after only two weeks.  Also, Annie has been sleeping like a LEGEND, should I put this down to Hypnobirthing too? Many thanks indeed, Reshma.                                                                                                                                                          Love Laura & Michael xx    
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Hi Reshma! Right now I need to MASSIVELY THANK YOU!! my Hypnobirthing Master, Reshma Sidhpura Tiwari, for all the beautiful tools you taught me. In particular the wonderful breathing techniques that kept my calm during the whole long journey that I faced. Thank you so very much, Resh, you are the best. Me and Edd do recommend your Hypnobirthing course to all our friends, our dear ones! Mind conditioning is the BEST! :-) Lots of love Lazia and Edd xx   
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