William’s birth
June 2014

Sue’s story:
Surges started during the night on Sunday very mild ones. Even said to Rob Monday morning he should go to work! He didn't obviously. We started scripts, massage and I was on the birthing ball circulating just like in the DVD's we saw. Rob read the fish script and lift one over and over again to me was absolutely lovely. We had done so much practice anyway that I was word perfect in my head :)

By 1pm the next day so Monday the surges are getting so strong that we drove to Maldon (rang ahead of time). By this stage I was only 3cm dilated so they sent us home again. Funny enough I had a very bad feeling suddenly and think I just closed up. Anyway by 2.30 back at home the surges were getting almost unbearable, Rob did so much massaging and I was up breathing trying to breath my baby down. I had a bath and Rob put the shower hose on my bottom was lovely! By this stage surges were so strong, so Rob rang Broomfield. They told us to come straight away and I spoke to a lovely calming lady on the phone so immediately had a better more positive feeling!! When I wasn't having a surge she could hear how loud they were as I did really breath my baby down (love the surge breathing) Anyway arrived at Broomfield, time now was 3.30ish after 5 surges in the car park and in the ward this lovely midwife saw to us. After feeling disappointed with myself at Maldon, I was over the moon at Broomfield because I was 9cm!!!!

The staff could not believe it because I was so calm and relaxed. I had the most amazing water birth anyone could ever imagine. At 18.41 that evening our beautiful little boy William was born! Weighing 8ib 2 oz. The experience was truly amazing! I was in total control we had the lights off it was just like on the DVD! I still feel so proud of myself and Rob for achieving this! Rob was amazing!!

But also a huge thank you and loads of hugs to you Linda for delivering such a super course. We loved ever minute of it. Can’t wait to meet up with u all soon! As you can imagine am a little sleep deprived now so the Hypnobirthing cd is still having its use!! I did use gas and air in the pool though but was all controlled usage!!

Rob’s story:
Surges occurred irregularly throughout the night while Sue was sleeping and by 5.30-5.45 am on Monday surges were more frequent, lasting longer and were more powerful.

By 9am surges were 3 every 10 to 12 minutes and lasting between 45-60 seconds. Between 9am and 12.30pm surges were every 10 minutes and were lasting 60 seconds. Towards the end some surges were longer and increasing in strength. 

All this time the hypnobirthing music was played and I massaged Sue through almost every surge and spoke to Sue using ideas from scripts and positive birthing statements from the book and Linda's classes. The birthing ball was used. Sometimes Sue lay on the bed, sometimes on all fours on the floor, sometimes leaning on the wall or over the sink in the bathroom. Moving around and changing position often seemed to help.

By 1pm we had left the house and headed for St Peter's hospital in Maldon. Sue had surges in the car and I spoke to her whilst driving to try to keep her calm and relaxed. Sue was sick in the hospital car park. We eventually got inside. The nurses and midwife examined Sue to find she was 3cm dilated. The advice was return home and run a hot bath. Sue was asked if she wanted any drugs and after some hesitation opted for some mild oramorph and a paracetamol. To this day Sue believes this did nothing.

We left the hospital and Sue was still having frequent surges. We rested on the grass near the hospital for 15 minutes and then got back into the car. The journey was similar on the way back home as it was to the hospital. I ran Sue a bath, surges got stronger and stronger. Sue eventually got into the bath and after being at home around an hour or so, I rang Broomfield hospital. We were told the birthing pool was available. So we got into the car and after eventually finding a car parking space, we headed for the labour ward. We arrived around 3ish I think. Sue had many surges in the car park, was down on all fours quite often. The nurses and midwives were very good once we got inside. They told Sue that she had done so well, 9cms dilated, amazing.

Sue's water broke at 4.00pm whilst laying on the bed area in the hynobirthing pool room and shortly after she got into the birthing pool once the staff had found the steps to help her climb in.

I got into the birthing pool an hour or so before William was born. I stood behind and over Sue and put my arms under hers to try and take some of the weight and pressure on her. The staff were brilliant. We even had a medical student who eventually took over holding the gas and air for Sue will I held her for each surge, this became more and more frequent and got stronger, Sue was focused and calm and made the most of each one, by pushing when it felt right. The midwife said whatever you are doing is working, keep it up because the baby is moving a little each time. Sue eventually felt down and could feel Williams head. Then his head slipped out and not too long after, maybe 15 mins or so the rest of his body slipped out. Sue pulled him up, I got a hand in and the midwife supported. We saw him take his first breath and his eyes open. It was amazing. Sue eventually sat back in the pool, since her knees has been through a great deal and cradled him in her arms. I insisted to wait to cut the cord. We waited at least 15 minutes, once it stopped pulsating, the midwife clamped the cord and I cut through it.

The only complication was that Sue's placenta would not come out. Injections were done after and hour and half and by 2 hours it was deemed necessary for Sue to go into theatre and have it removed. She opted for a general anaesthetic. Apparently it eventually fell and was easily pulled out with some minor internal scarring. I stayed with William for 2 hours for baby checks and cuddles while Sue was operated upon. William and Daddy were re-united with Mummy later and eventually went to the post natal ward. Sue was left with William Monday night and arrived back Tuesday morning with Sue's Mum and Dad. Rob's Mum and Dad came later in the afternoon. We were lucky she we missed timed visiting hours, but were allowed some time with mum and baby. Late Tuesday night we went home. Sue was very shivery and cold. We both were elated but also very tired. Grandparents stayed Tuesday, but mum, dad and baby were left to have Wednesday night alone and Thursday. We are now glad of the weekend. It was a brilliant hypnobirthing experience.

Emilia’s birth

Having witnessed my sister give birth to her third child at home 4 years prior to my first child being born, I knew that one day I would want to have a home birth.

I made brief mention of this to my husband the first time round and I literally saw him quiver with fear. Frankly the idea terrified him. Unlike me birth was an alien experience from a birth partners point of view and he was worried that if something went wrong we wouldn't get to hospital in time.


When I found out I was pregnant the second time, I hit him with it straight away, the dreaded 'H' word. I wanted him to have time to get used to the idea and for him to see that there was no doubt in my mind it was the best way to labour and birth our child, for me as well as the baby and even him and our daughter as I knew from last time it would set me up for the following challenge.


I had hoped that my confidence alone would be enough to convince my husband it would be safe but prior to completing the hypnobirthing course I was aware that he was far from convinced or confident in his ability to  support me outside of an environment where he felt both myself and the baby were safest.


Hypnobirthing provided Ian with the insight needed to give him this confidence and each week we would leave and spend the 30 minute journey going over what we had learnt in amazement.


Like me he was surprised at what neither of us knew about the human body and it's reactions to fear and any associated pain.


By the end of the last session, I knew that I not only had his support but actually he had began raving about the benefits of home birth to friends and family if we were ever faced with concerns or questions over our choices. I was 100% supported and finally we were on the same page.


For me hypnobirthing gave me the facts about labour, my body and my baby and complete confidence in my body’s ability to bring my baby into the world safely.


I learnt fantastic relaxation techniques which helped me immensely in the later stages of pregnancy and through association I found the music I had listened to through the course and practice a huge comfort whilst in labour.


I truly wish I had discovered hypnobirthing for my first child, however will be eternally grateful that Linda helped me achieve the birth I had always hoped for and will always look upon with total happiness.


I entered into my second pregnancy with only one fear, being that for one reason or another I would 'have to' be induced. To a lot of people this may sound irrational and raise the question as to why this is a problem.


My first pregnancy 3 years ago was excellent. I had been lucky enough to avoid most of the less delightful side effects experienced by some and thoroughly enjoyed my pregnancy. I was looking forward with excitement not only to the arrival of my first child but oddly the birth. It was simply never something that caused me any anxiety. I was fully aware it was likely to be more painful than anything I had experienced, however I was confident in my ability to get through it.


The first sign of labour was my waters breaking at 40+7. This was far from the gush I had always expected and I later learnt that this was due to the fact that it was my hind waters that had broken ( top of the amniotic sack) as opposed to my fore waters (bottom of the sack). As a result the waters trickled for the next 24hrs however, aside from this and some mild contractions I had no other signs of going into labour naturally. As a result I was informed that I would have to be induced as I would 'not be allowed' to go longer than 48hrs post rupture due to a risk of infection. Interestingly I later learnt that the increase in risk is extremely minimal.


I was devastated as had always hoped for a water birth, which would no longer be possible but went along with the advice received, frankly being completely ignorant to the fact that I had choices.


My labour was forced, frightening, excruciating and exhausting. As a result I spent very little time bonding with my daughter immediately after the birth and this took me many months to recover from emotionally as I always felt that I had rejected her.


My fears entering into my second pregnancy were not of pain but rather that I wouldn't bond properly with my next child and would miss out on the instant feeling of love so many by others had talked about and subsequently go through the same roller coaster of emotions and guilt I experienced the first time.


I was equally if not more confident in my ability to labour well in the right conditions, however knew that I needed some help with staying relaxed in the event of things taking an unexpected turn.


I had heard about hypnobirthing from friends and was intrigued to know more.


After a four week course with Linda I was amazed at how little I knew about my own body. I felt empowered in a way that I'd never previously experienced and was even more excited about the arrival of my baby so I would get to use all the amazing techniques I had learnt and spent the subsequent 3 months practicing.


I was convinced my 2nd baby would be early. When my due date passed I wasn't too concerned but when I reached 7 days late and the words 'book you in for induction' were uttered I started to feel anxious.


This anxiety peaked when my waters broke at 40+8. It was exactly the same as last time and when no further progress had been made 24 hrs later I was worried to say the least and felt almost defeated.


I had planned a water birth at home and had worked so hard to prepare both mentally and physically. The birth pool was ready and waiting (less the water) in my lounge!


My midwife came and did a swab to confirm it was my waters that had gone but much to my disbelief it came back negative. I knew it was my waters but I was more than happy that the medical professionals had satisfied themselves that I wasn't at risk of infection and would have those precious few more days before the scheduled induction date to allow my baby to arrive in it's own time. Having done my research I was happy that I wasn't putting either myself or my baby at significant risk.


The next few days were emotional to say the least but I tried to keep a level head using the relaxation techniques and used the time to practice my breathing.


After a few false starts, I began to experience mild contractions on the evening of my 11th day overdue.


I arranged for my mum to come and sit with my older daughter whilst my husband and I went for a very long walk. It was in my mind my last chance to get things moving before the dreaded 'Induction day' 2 days later.


We walked around a mile and a half in heavy rain chatting excitedly at the thought that this may be it.


It was at this point the contractions changed from being mild and possibly just another false start to moderate and quite clearly the start of something so we turned back to head for home.


We arrived home at 9.30pm, my mum left and we sat watching TV whilst I bounced merrily on my ball practicing my breathing.


I had always imagined that if things were to happen at this time of day we would leave my daughter asleep upstairs so she could wake one morning to a new brother or sister, however my instincts told me this wasn't right so my husband drove her to my mums around midnight.


On his return he began to fill the pool and we made the call to the hospital. I was unsure if it was too early as with the aid of my up breathing and relation music I was coping with the contractions well.


The midwife arrived around 1am at which point I had been in the pool around half an hour and I was feeling extremely calm, relaxed and focused on the task in hand.


I was examined and the Midwife confirmed I was 5cm dilated and that my waters did appear to have gone. I knew I hadn't been wetting myself!!


I continued to labour, practicing the up breathing techniques with the aid of my husband who was an amazing support.


The midwife had read my birth plan in great detail and was respecting my every wish with minimal intervention. Aside from the initial examination and the odd monitoring of the baby, I truly felt that only my husband and I were in the room.


At sometime just before 3am I reached the 'transition' stage. I was completely aware I had got there and simply allowed myself those few moments of self doubt and denial of my ability to go on, knowing that it would soon pass.


Shortly after this I felt the great urge to push so began trying to practice my down breathing, however I did struggle to regulate my breathing through the contractions at this stage as they had grown in intensity considerably so I requested some gas and air. I'm not sure that this offered any pain relief, however it certainly helped me to control my breathing and remain focused.


After approximately 4 or 5 contractions my babies head was out. I didn't need to be told this I could feel it and between the last of these and the final one I could feel the baby wriggling eager to make an entrance into the world. It was such an amazing feeling to be so alert at this stage and a complete contrast from my previous labour.


One final contraction saw the arrival of a second beautiful baby girl, Emilia Ivy at 3.21am. I was flooded with love and pride instantly!


I placed Emilia on my chest skin to skin and remained in the pool until the cord had stopped pulsating which was around 15 minutes after she arrived.


Sometime in this 15 minute window, Emilia latched onto me to feed independently. It was such an amazing feeling and I couldn't believe we had done it just as I had hoped.


I had no need for stitches and my placenta was delivered naturally within another 30 minutes with no complication.


The midwives left at. 4.30 and by. 5am my husband Ian, Emilia and I were snuggled up in our own bed.


Just perfect!

Tom’s birth
September 2014

Well it has been just over a week since Tom arrived and we are besotted as you can imagine. I wanted to contact you and let me know how it went and how helpful hypnobirthing was.

I had a long latent labour which started on the Friday night before Tom was born on the Thursday morning. I experienced hours of strong and regular contractions which would then stop! They were particularly strong at night and Oli and I started to go to bed early with the hb CD on, we would do massages and burn lavender oil - all of which really helped to keep me relaxed and calm. On Wednesday morning I realised that the contractions were starting to have an effect - I called the ward but because they weren't regular they advised I stay at home. By lunch time I called my midwife as I thought things were underway - she examined me and I was 5cm - also lots of markers came up in my urine. They suspected my waters broke on the Friday when my labour started so I went straight in to hospital. When I arrived at the birthing suit they monitored me and 3 hours later I was 7cm. The midwife really couldn't believe it - she had just watched my wolf down a hospital dinner and closely watched me be able to talk through every contraction - she said that she had only ever seen one lady before who had such few outward signs of being in labour! The consultant explained because my contractions were very irregular between every 3 minutes and 25 that a natural labour would be very difficult - so after much discussion I opted to have a epidural and drip of drugs to regulate the contractions.

Once I was given the epidural I realised that my body had certainly been experiencing the contractions but that I had been able to deal with them. Through the whole labour we had peaceful music playing and one midwife even commented that with the low light and music it was like a spa!

My labour was nothing like I imagined it was very clam and peaceful and even though I had to push for 3 hours a really positive experience - I firmly believe this is down to hypo birthing mindset and techniques.

Tom forgot to breath when he arrived and because of the increased chance of infection this caused a real panic and he was whisked off to intensive care before I had the chance to meet him - a very stressful time - but because I was quite relaxed we were able to take it in our stride - after 2 days he was given the all clear and we are home. He is a very relaxed, easy going and contented baby and I am sure this is because of the attitude that Oli and I approached his birth and first few days of his life and the sense of calm we both held came directly from hypnobirthing.

So thank you Linda for your help and I couldn't agree more that hypnobirthing helps you have the best labour for you - I had a very long, relaxed, happy labour which was virtually pain free and totally helped to prepare me for motherhood.

Much love,

Jan, Oli and Tom x

Dottie’s Birth
I started experiencing surges at 3:30am but really wanted to stay at home for as long as possible. I began using my up breathing straight away and did some pregnancy yoga to keep myself busy. Going back to sleep didn't really feel like an option and so I ran a bath, lit candles and listened to the Colour and Calm cd. Aron was really supportive, quietly reminding me to eat and drink and packing our bags into the car ready to go. The surges progressed much quicker than I expected and Aron was great at timing each surge and telling me when I was getting to the peak and when it should be easing off. We counted down together on some of them too.

I reached a point where I knew we had to go to the hospital. Aron gave them a call to let them know that we were on our way and that we would like a birthing pool if one was available. We finally left for the hospital at about 12:45pm. The journey was longer than it should have been due to roadworks but I worked hard to stay in a calm state, listening to relaxing music and continuing with the up breathing. I also kept my eyes half closed so that I wasn't put off by everything around me. From this point on I didn't fully open my eyes throughout the whole birth. We joke that I could not pick either of the midwives we had out of a line up because I didn't ever look at them!

I was examined when I first arrived at Broomfield and was 7cm dilated, so really pleased that we'd stayed at home for as long as we did. Aron quickly made the room more Hypnobirthing friendly by closing the blinds, dimming the lights and putting relaxing music on. I got straight into the birthing pool once it had been filled and was then in the pool for 5 hours and progressed to active labour and my down breathing. During this time, the midwife was really supportive of our birth plan and didn't try to engage us in conversation. All questions were directed to Aron initially and so although I could hear everything being said, I didn't feel that I had to respond. The surges were getting stronger but the midwife wasn't happy that the baby hadn't made an appearance. Also meconium kept appearing in the water which she was concerned about. So, I agreed to be examined again, at first in the water but then I had to get out to be examined. I continued with the down breathing on all fours on the bed. The midwife was concerned about the baby at this point and we agreed to be monitored electronically. We were then moved to a high risk room because of the amount of meconium.

I continued to have very strong surges by the side of the bed in a standing/squatting position. At about 7:30pm a consultant was called and it took him no time at all to diagnose that the baby was breech! The baby had been in the same position throughout the majority of my pregnancy and so it had been missed by about 8 midwives in total!  He wanted to get me straight in for an emergency C-section because of the amount of meconium I was pushing out and the amount of time I'd been in labour without pain relief. We agreed that it was time to bring our little one into the world in whichever way was quickest and safest for her.

An emergency C-section followed and Dottie was delivered at 8:36pm the same night, weighing 5lbs 13oz. Happy and healthy and to very relieved parents! I went back to using up breathing and kept my eyes closed during the entire operation which really ensured that I remained calm. Unfortunately the surgeon would not allow us to delay the cord clamping or do immediate skin to skin with the baby but I was happy that at least we asked.

I used Hypnobirthing from the very beginning of labour, in active labour, during the C-section, on the Post Natal ward and even now that I'm home again. I'm struggling to find the words to say how much it enabled me and Aron to not just 'get through' the birth but actually stay in control of what was happening and always be present in the moment.  At no point have we felt negative about our experience, even though it was a difficult one. We are already excited about baby no. 2 and having another Hypnobirth, hopefully which will end in a natural delivery next time.

Thank you does not begin to say enough Linda. By teaching us the techniques, you have changed our lives forever in a way that we won't ever forget. To say that we are now advocates of Hypnobirthing is a huge understatement! We are now going to be the couple who won't shut up about it and try to persuade all of our friends to do the course!!

Thank you from all three of us!
Jen, Aron and a very chilled out Dottie! xxx