This is Connie’s birth story. Connie did Hypnobirthing with a different provider (she won a free place) and I was her Doula. Connie talks us honestly through her birth journey - the ups, the downs, and everything in between! But what this story shows is courage, strength and an open mind to change. It was an honour to support Connie through the twists and turns that unfolded. All the way through she asked so many questions, took time to think and process, and made decisions that were right for her and her baby.

“From the beginning of my pregnancy, I knew that birthing alone was going to be one of my biggest challenges in life. I started obsessively watching One Born Every Minute, reading horror stories online and filling my brain with the idea that birth is a painful and stressful thing. As time went on, I started to follow different ideas and opened my eyes up to the world of positive birth and hypnobirthing. The word initially scared me and I wasn’t sure if I would be the right candidate for it as a young single Mum to be.

Hackney Hypnobirthing was one of the first accounts I followed - and through some force of nature I won her competition for a free course over 4 zoom calls with other parents. I quickly learnt how the world of birth has been so stigmatised and that actually, it’s a beautiful, natural experience and one that should have the Mother’s best interests at heart. From these sessions. I learnt to speak up of myself every time I was told I couldn’t ‘do’ something due to my BMI. It was definitely empowering!

I then started looking into hiring a doula to be with me at birth, as I felt I could potentially be coerced during labour if I didn’t have someone with me to advocate for me. Terri from Cornwall Hypnobirthing was one of my teachers at school and it just seemed so perfectly coincidental - we already had some rapport so there was no doubt in my mind that I would like her to be at my birth. The world works in funny ways sometimes! My birth plan was a natural water birth in the birth centre. I was adamant I didn’t want any interventions or to go to hospital unless me or my baby were sick. I was fully prepared to go over 42 weeks!

At 39+5 I was diagnosed with pre-eclampsia. I had a gut feeling something wasn’t right that day, I had been feeling very unwell, vomiting, headaches and seeing light spots for about a week. I went to hospital for blood tests and the doctor came and told me he would want to induce me ASAP, preferably that day. It was all so unexpected and I was tired after waiting for blood results for over 5 hours. I decided to decline and go home to think things over. The next morning I woke up feeling worse than ever.

I called triage and they told me to go to hospital straight away.

When we got there, baby was absolutely fine and healthy but my health was deteriorating and I don’t think I could have carried on for much longer so I accepted an induction. I had the pessary inserted, 24 hours went by and by the morning I was having regular contractions. I went up to delivery to see about having my waters broken. I told them I was calling my doula and I didn’t want any intervention until she was here to advocate for me and calm me down as I was very anxious at this point. Once Terri arrived, I agreed to have my waters broken but only with use of an epidural due to personal reasons. The epidural was not a pleasant experience for me and had it not been for Terri I would have definitely not been able to stay as calm as I did. She was on hand to hold my hand and give me water when I needed - it took them about 40 minutes to fit the epidural correctly.

Hours went by and I stayed at 2/3 cm dilated, my contractions were still regular - around 3 in 10 minutes but my body wasn’t progressing how we had hoped. After 49 hours of having the pesssry inserted, to being in delivery and my waters broken, I was still only 3cm dilated. I was mentally exhausted, physically drained and Terri was starting to get tired too!

A c-section was definitely not what I had ever planned or hoped for, and Terri reassured me it was absolutely my choice and if I wanted to decline I could, but I had to be prepared to be in labour for potentially 24 or more hours. Through careful thinking and weighing out the pros and cons with Terri, I decided to accept a c-section. Instantly I felt so much calmer - I was making my own choice and I was going to meet my baby soon.

When we got to the operating theatre my anxiety started to come into play again, and Terri was so helpful in reassuring me and reminding me that baby Ezra would be in the world very soon.

The c-section was pretty traumatic for me - I can’t lie and say it was an enjoyable experience. I felt like I could feel everything and I wanted more pain relief which they couldn’t give me. They told me that my only option would be general anaesthetic if I couldn’t handle the pain. I decided then to just breathe through it as much as I can. Terri helped me and before I knew it Ezra was out and crying the most beautiful cry. My first words were ‘is he really mine?’ I couldn’t believe it. We did skin to skin and Terri took so many photos and I’m eternally grateful for her presence in making a potentially very traumatic experience into a positive one I will remember for the rest of my life.

Hypnobirthing really helped me prepare for birth and I truly think it empowered me beyond belief, I’m so glad I invested in a doula and did my research wherever I could.”

NB - I am currently taking booking for my March and May Hypnobirthing courses, and I have one space remaining for a private course in March and 2 in April. My Doula services are available from the end of April 2021. I do get booked up quite a lot in advance for my Doula services as my availability is limited, so if you are interested in finding out more or booking me as your Doula then don't hesitate to get in touch early.

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Welcome to the world Sonny Koa Evans! Born on the 19th January 2021 in water at Truro Birth Centre, 7 days before his EDD and weighing 7lbs 3oz.

This incredible birth journey is written by Sonny's mum, Charlie. As you read it you will see it is packed full of strength, faith, amazing support and the importance of having a well educated and prepared birth partner. Huge congratulations to Charlie and Nate, and thank you so much for sharing your story to inspire others and to break the society cycle of beliefs that birth is a traumatic experience!

"The plan for my birth was to be as natural as possible. I didn’t want any drugs or interventions to disrupt the natural birthing process and prevent me from experiencing EVERYTHING! I asked for pain not to be mentioned and for no one to offer me any pain relief.

We did the most incredible Hypnobirthing course with Cornwall Hypnobirthing, so I had been practicing all the breathing techniques. Both myself and Nate were feeling super confident about everything.

I wanted to stay home as long as possible so I was in my safe space to let the hormones do their thing for optimal birthing.

My first surge came at 11:30pm on Monday the 18th and it lasted about 2 minutes and my first thought was, if this is how bad it’s going to be I’m going to take all the drugs! After that small blip I settled into the surge and was just moving around the room and breathing through the waves. Starkey (our dog) came and sat on the bed next to me and I feel like he knew what was happening. Nate was SO excited!

At 12:30 I was a bit sick.

1pm I called the midwife as my surges were every 4 mins lasting 1 min. They suggested to try rest.

I tried lying down but my surges slowly got further apart and I was like nah I’m not letting this slow down. So I got the exercise ball and started bouncing, continued to breath through surges. I think I bounced on that ball for about 4 hours while Nate was drifting in and out of sleep!

5am I puked so bad. Having surges while being sick is... wild!

6am called the midwife again as surges were about 3 mins apart and lasting 1 min and they said to come to hospital soon. The car journey was hell and I was thinking, I swear to god if I get sent back home I don’t think I can actually get in the car again.

Got to Truro birthing Centre at 7:30am, had an assessment and I was 6cm dilated, waters were bulging but not broken. His head was right down and they thought my waters would go any minute. I was actually over the moon at this point that I had made it that far

8am we were given a room and at 9am I got in the birthing pool. Surges were strong and intense for the next 4 hours but I didn’t feel like much progress was being made. Nate was just hugging me and basically being my number 1 fan the entire time. He was awesome!

After continuing to be so sick for the first few hours while in the birth pool I then managed to drink a litre of coconut water which gave me a little bit more energy. Nate then made me eat a squishy, just one. And I actually projectile vomited all over him!

1pm was my I can’t do this point. My waters STILL hadn’t gone. So the I asked the midwife to manually break my waters to try and help things along. Shortly after that sh!t got real. Having my waters broken did the trick and it was go time. That hour was the hardest hour of my life but I knew I was going to get the best reward at the end.

2pm Sonny arrived after 14 and a half hours of labour.

After a few mins of cuddles and tears Nate cut the cord and then my placenta came out straight after. I had no tearing as well!

The one thing that made this possible for me was having Nate as my birthing partner being so damn solid for me. He was honestly amazing. With him knowing about everything from our Hypnobirthing course it helped so much. He studied all the information Terri gave us so much; he was so on it! He never doubted me for a second and understood the entire process so well that he has the ability to stay calm [even when I was screaming] He showed me so much love, cuddles and support which allows the hormones to do their thing.

I will be forever grateful for him supporting me to birth exactly as I wished."

Charlie and Nate did a private Hypnobirthing course with me in October 2020. They spent time leading up to Sonny's birth practicing the skills they had learnt and getting in the zone, so that they both felt calm, ready and fully prepared for when the day came. I am so grateful to be able to share their story with you.

If you would like to work towards a positive birth experience then sign up to my free taster on the 24th February at 7.30pm, or book on to my next group course which is in March. All the details can be found on my website.

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Welcome to the world Marley Kenneth Cole, breathed in to the world, born in to water at Truro Birth Centre on 14th December, weighing 6lbs 10oz.

Huge congratulations to Chloe and Olly, who were on my August group Hypnobirthing course - they are first time parents. Chloe outlines her birth journey here for us.

"6am-I began to loose the plug which I was so excited about as until now I hadn’t had any signs!

7pm- Irregular mild surges began, at this stage, bouncing on the fitness ball and using breathing techniques we had learnt really helped. The surges became more regular and intense as the evening went on.

12pm-After speaking with midwives on the phone we decided they were regular enough to head down to Truro Birthing Centre. Upon arrival, the midwives were very welcoming and I was happy to have a vaginal examination to check on progress but unfortunately I was only 1cm so we were told to head back home to try and get some rest. The surges carried on and even got stronger into the night...

7am-Surges completely tailed off to around 1 every 30 minutes and throughout the day slowed even more and they were very irregular.

6pm-More regular surges again, Yay! Ollie made a really lovely space in our snug for me to sit on the ball and lean forward onto a pile of cushions, had the curtains closed and fairy lights and diffuser on while I breathed through the surges. As they were getting more and more intense I used the tens machine to help manage the surges.

10pm- Back down to the birth centre again, and again I agreed to a vaginal examination and was absolutely delighted when the midwife said I was 6cm! She showed us to one of the rooms and checked baby’s heartbeat, absolutely fine which really put me at ease after such a long time at home not knowing how baby was doing. The room was amazing, really made the whole experience for me, as well as the midwives who brought us both drinks and snacks. I used the gas and air and tens machine to manage the surges as they became more intense and Ollie put on some of my favourite music.

1am- At this point I felt ready to get into the birth pool as was feeling a lot of pressure down below now, the midwives sorted this out straight away and put pretty fairy lights around it too. Getting in the pool felt absolutely incredible and really relaxed me. After some time, my body felt an urge to push, so I went with this. My waters broke which relieved a bit of the pressure as well. For me this part was the most wonderful feeling, I could actually feel baby move downwards from my tummy into the birthing canal, I knew I would get to meet him/her soon! Ollie and the midwives were so supportive through this whole stage, I did have moments where I doubted myself but they kept on reassuring me that I was doing brilliantly and that I could do it !

3.15am- Little Marley Kenneth Cole was born in the water, received by Ollie! Exactly as I had wanted ! He passed baby between my legs and told me it was a little boy, an absolutely overwhelming amount of emotion as I saw his little face in the water, we lifted him out and put him straight onto my chest, once the cord had stopped pulsating, Ollie cut it and took him for skin to skin while the midwives helped me birth the placenta and then out of the pool. He latched on almost instantly for his first little feed and we were left to bond as a family of 3. The whole experience was absolutely incredible thanks to the midwives who followed our birth plan exactly as we wanted and couldn’t have been more friendly and helpful, and Terri for the Hypnobirthing knowledge and birth preparation, knowledge is power !"

My Hypnobirthing course will help you to better understand your body and what is happening during the labour and birth process. This knowledge will help you do release your fears and surrender to trusting your birthing instincts. As Chloe says - knowledge is power. Take control of your birth experience, don't just leave it to chance. Book on to my next group Hypnobirthing course in March 2021, or contact me to book a private hypnobirthing course face to face or via Zoom. You are worth it! You deserve the birth of your dreams!

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