Florence's Hypnobirth Day

Hi Gina,

Just wanted to let you know of the safe arrival of Florence Gwyneth Jane on Friday morning, weighing 9 lbs 7 oz.

And also to thank you - the hypnobirthing was a HUGE help and it was by far the happiest, most comfortable birthing experience I've had. 

Baby Florence with her two big sistersI was late (as usual) and due to be induced (as usual), despite having had a couple of nights of mild surges which I knew were my body preparing to do it naturally. We are naturally nervous after our experiences & just wanted the baby to be well, so we did submit to go to the hospital at 9pm on Thursday evening as planned for the induction. However, there was an emergency with some twins elsewhere & so there was a delay in the doctors being available to administer the drugs. We were still waiting at 1am when my body seemed to say "aha", the surges came back strongly and this time they stayed. At 6am we were transferred to the birth centre and I had the 'mermaid birth' we had dreamed of, with music playing, low lights, warm water, laughter and a real sense of calm. 

It was one of the most empowering experiences I've had and she was born without any tearing or pain relief, despite her size. I didn't even want gas and air or TENS. And it wasn't an effort to do so; I wasn't being superhuman strong, you just gave us a really powerful toolbox of techniques.

The ideas from you I found most useful were:
- working with your body, not against - when my surges started, rather than breathing 'through' them and trying to resist them, I did the 'up' breathing and mentally encouraged them on - willing them to continue, not stop, and trying to praise my body for what it was doing;
- relaxing and being calm, not tensing - I thought in advance about an image I knew I would find calming, which was swimming underwater with some fish a bit like in your visualisation, and I mentally let me body do the work and freed up my mind to float above it in this picture;
- being in warm water - this was truly a revelation having given birth twice on dry land and been made to be on my back. It made 'transition' & the pushing bit so much easier; it is a really powerful painkiller in a way I hadn't imagined possible; thank you for your encouragement to try this.
- back massage from my husband - I'd previously used a TENS machine for pain relief with my first two children, but found the buzzing and electricity a bit disturbing and unnatural. This time, inspired by your videos, I relief on James to apply counter-pressure and the more gentle massage in between contractions. This was amazingly effective - way better than TENS in my view!

My only tip to others is to make sure you bring some oil with you, as this can be so effective you come to rely on it and your skin can get quite sore from the repeated pressure! Neals Yard make up a labour massage oil for you which we used and was good. 

The only bit where I was a bit less 'hypno' than your video 'mermaids' was in the pushing where I basically turned into an animal and made lots of animal sounds, but it was what I needed to do and seemed to work!

So really I would like to say thank you - I think we were both naturally a little sceptical about hypnobirthing although wanting very much for it to work. It was a revelation how effective it was, and I will now be a very strong advocate for it for anyone I know who is about to give birth.

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