You're in for a real treat reading this birth story. I met Katie and Tom about half way through their pregnancy, and we worked together doing a private Hypnobirthing course. Katie had a very clear vision of what she wanted from her birth experience - and she has been kind enough to share how it all played out. Enjoy!

" I knew from the moment I found out I was pregnant that I wanted to give birth at home in the water. Hypnobirthing was recommend to us by family members and I followed Terri’s account for a while and felt that Terri’s personality/style was suited to both me and Tom.

I woke up at 4:30am with a heat like sensation in my pubic bone area, I was lying on my right side which I normally never sleep that side so I just turned over and thought nothing of it. 10 minutes later I felt another warming sensation again I just thought my body was adjusting to me moving and the sensation returned another 10 minutes later and from then I knew I was in labour. I woke up Tom and told him that I thought I was in labour, to which we both agreed it was far too early and I needed to go back to sleep. But me being way too excited at the thought that our baby girl could be on the way I went downstairs, had some toast and the surges were coming very regularly between 8-12 minutes lasting 30 seconds. I went back to bed around 7am and I was able to get some sleep until about 8:30am. When I woke up I was still having regular surges I decided to text Terri and let her know. I remember this part of labour can be quite long for first time mums so went about our day as normal. Collected a Tesco’s click and collect and by midday I said to Tom it could be braxton hicks as nothing really seemed to be happening and I also felt no pressure, had no waters breaking and my plug was still intact. We even did a belly casting kit about 1pm in the afternoon. Tom was great and was keeping me fed with snacks and hydrated.

At 4:30pm 12 hours since the start of labour I was getting impatient I felt I was making no progress, I decided to walk around, play some music, we both enjoyed this having a dance. As soon as I stopped moving my surges would go back to every 10 minutes so I remained lightly active and this is when my surges came two in 10 minutes. We called the midwives to let them know I was in labour about 5:30pm and we would require them later on. After this phone call my surges increased in intensity and were lasting longer, I was still having two in 10 minutes. I found leaning over my chest of draws or on my knees leaning on the bed helpful and Tom was using a light touch technique on my back. We tried to use a tens machine however I did not experience any back pain and I just found it didn’t really help.

At 7pm we thought it was best I get in the pool as my surges were now much more intense, getting in the pool was so amazing. Me and Tom worked through the surges together, I was quite vocal now using noise to focus throughout my surges. Me and Tom cuddled through each surge. We called the midwife when I was getting 3 surges in 10 minutes which was around 8:30pm and she arrived at 9pm, she read through my birth plan and then asked me if I wanted a vaginal check which I declined and said I would ask if I wanted one, she then sat quietly at the table. By 10pm another midwife arrived, I was very much in the zone by this point and was focused mainly on Tom so I really had no idea what was going on around me.

My surges were now very intense I felt as thought they were now overpowering me and I started to struggle I lost focus and felt I could no longer go on. Tom was incredible at this point giving me love physically holding me and reassuring me Terri said this would happen. On reflection I was well and truly in the transition stage. By 11pm I asked for some gas and air, which really had taken the edge off for me, I think by 11:30pm my surged changed right at the end my body started to bear down, it was so strong! I stopped using the gas and air then and focused on this part of labour.

From then I transitioned into the bearing down phase of labour, my body was literally just bearing down and pushing I had no control and my body was doing what it needed to do. After I had been bearing down for an hour the midwife became intrusive of my zone and wanted to check that I was fully dilated (even though they had already told me there was signs I was 10cm) and she could do this in the pool, she got herself ready to perform this task and Tom had to step in and say no wait she hasn’t answered you yet. Tom gave me some encouragement/positive affirmations that again I didn’t need this and I knew my body and I declined the vaginal check again. I was told they would need to start to see baby’s head in the next two surges…I was so determined that by the 3rd surge my waters broke, from then I could feel her head descending down!

I felt incredibly powerful and knew that I was going to meet my baby very soon. I beared down with my body following it’s lead and my baby moved down smoothly stretching my perineum beautifully so I had no tears, once her head was born Tom jumped in the pool and with my next surge she was born into the water. Tom caught her and put her on my chest, the midwife also helped at this point as she thought baby was trying to take a breathe, so they lifted her together. We spent some time in the pool together and I then wanted to get out after about 30 minutes. We then rested on the sofa taking in our little girl and after 45 minutes Tom cut the cord, the cord was white and had stopped pulsating. Tom then had skin to skin with Hallie upstairs, whilst I tried to get my placenta out, which I struggled with so the midwife helped me.

Me and Tom have been in amazement since she’s been born, she is so incredibly beautiful, just perfect in every way! Me and Tom really had the best experience. Tom was absolutely amazing throughout labour, he gave me so much strength and energy, we really worked as a team! You really have given us the best experience of our lives through hypnobirthing, thank you so much Terri, xxxx"

Hypnobirthing can support and build on a positive birth mindset. Often people come to me with a lot of fear to release and unlearning to do, and my course can really help overcome barriers, however Katie is a great example of how Hypnobirthing can beautifully support an already positive belief of birth. No matter where you are in your pregnancy and your mindset, my Hypnobirthing course can be a real gamechanger. If you'd like to find out more, grab a place on my next free Hypnobirthing taster session on the 5th December at 10am on Zoom. Click Here to grab your place.

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Before you read on there is a Trigger Warning on this blog post – child loss, infant death, grief.

October is Baby and Infant Loss awareness month, so as we move in to November, I would like to share these words by A Bed For My Heart and send my love and thoughts to all who have had to suffer the absolute devastation of losing a child – whether that be through miscarriage, still birth, or any other reason.

“This is what it feels like to live without your child: “I am a mother. I am a bereaved mother. My child died, and this is my reluctant path.

It is not a path of my choice, but it is a path I must walk mindfully and with intention. It is a journey through the darkest night of my soul and it will take time to wind through the places that scare me.

Every cell in my body aches and longs to be with my beloved child. On days when grief is loud, I may be impatient, distracted, frustrated, and unfocused. I may get angry more easily and I may seem hopeless. I will shed many, many, many tears. I won’t smile as often as my old self. Smiling hurts now. Most everything hurts some days, even breathing.

But please, just sit beside me.

Say nothing.

Do not offer a cure.

Or a pill, or a word, or a potion.

Witness my suffering and don't turn away from me.

Please be gentle with me.

And I will try to be gentle with me too.

I will not ever "get over" my child's death so please don’t urge me down that path.

Even on days when grief is quiescent, when it isn't standing loudly in the foreground, even on days when I am even able to smile again, the pain is just beneath the surface.

There are day when I still feel paralyzed. My chest feels the sinking weight of my child's absence and, sometimes, I feel as if I will explode from the grief.

Losing my child affects me in so many ways: as a woman, a mother, a human being. It affects every aspect of me: spiritually, physically, mentally, and emotionally. There are days when I barely recognize myself in the mirror anymore.

Grief is as personal to me as my fingerprint. Don't tell me how I should or shouldn’t be grieving or that I should or shouldn’t “feel better by now.” Don't tell me what's right or wrong. I'm doing it my way, in my time. If I am to survive this, I must do what is best for me.

My understanding of life will change and a different meaning of life will slowly evolve. What I knew to be true or absolute or real or fair about the world has been challenged so I'm finding my way, moment-to-moment in this new place. Things that once seemed important to me are barely thoughts any longer. I notice life's suffering more— hungry children, the homeless and the destitute, a mother’s harsh voice toward her young child- or an elderly person struggling with the door- abused animals crying out in pain.

There are so many things about the world which I now struggle to understand: Why do children die? There are some questions, I've learned, which are simply unanswerable.

So please don’t tell me that “God has a plan” for me. This, my friend, is between me and my God. Those platitudes slip far too easily from the mouths of those who tuck their own child into a safe, warm bed at night: Can you begin to imagine your own child, flesh of your flesh, lying lifeless in a casket, when “goodbye” means you’ll never see them on this Earth again? Grieving mothers— and fathers— and grandparents— and siblings and partners won’t wake up one day with everything ’okay’ and life back to normal. I have a new normal now.

As time passes, I may discover gifts, and treasures, and insights but anything gained was too high a cost when compared to what was lost.

Perhaps, one day, when I am very, very old, I will say that time has truly helped to heal my broken heart. But always remember that not a second of any minute of any hour of any day passes when I am not aware of the presence of my child's absence, no matter how many years lurk over my shoulder.

So don’t forget that I have a child whose absence, like the sky, is spread over everything as C.S. Lewis said.

Don’t forget to say, “How are you really feeling...?” Don’t forget that even if I do have living children, my heart still aches for the one who is not here— for I am never quite complete without my child.

My child may have died but my love — and my motherhood— never will."

Beautifully written by Dr. Joanne Cacciatore

My support for loss and grief comes in many forms - as a therapist, practitioner, friend and Doula. If you feel you would like me to support you on your path, whatever it may look like, please do not hesitate to get in touch.

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  • Terri B-R

This post was inspired by someone who had booked on to my free taster session next week. Yesterday I received an email saying that they would no longer be attending because their birth plan had changed, as they had been advised to give birth in a hospital "for safety" (don't get me started!) due to high blood pressure. She finished the email with "Sorry for the inconvenience perhaps another time I may get the chance to experience Hypnobirthing." This sentence made me super sad :(

This is not an uncommon thought - the misconception that Hypnobirthing is only for home births/low risk/water births/straightforward pregnancies etc - It couldn't be further from the truth! Hypnobirthing is for all births! The abdominal births, the IVF conception pregnancies, the gestational diabetes birthers, the over 40s, the planned hospital births with epidurals, the inductions, and the birth centre, water birth, home birth too - EVERYTHING!

Don't be fooled by the name. Don't write it off because you believe it no longer applies to you. The tools and skills that you will learn on a Hypnobirthing course will be with you on your journey, no matter where that may be, and no matter what turn your birthing takes. If anything I would say you need Hypnobirthing EVEN MORE, if you are birthing in a hospital setting and having medical interventions suggested to you that you hadn't planned for!

There is still time to sign up for my free Hypnobirthing taster session on Wednesday 15th September at 7.30pm on Zoom. Grab a cuppa, get comfy and learn about what Hypnobirthing IS! Hint, it's just what you need!

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