Make yourself a cuppa and have a read through these birth stories from my previous clients. All the stories are different, but all these couples learnt how to take control of their birth to have a positive experience.
Hi Jenny, What a few days!!! On Monday morning my waters broke suddenly in the kitchen. I had quite a shock not being due for another 18 days. I had no other signs of being in labour except nesting like a mad woman the weekend before and lower back pain, which I've suffered from for a few months. After a few more leaks, I rang the midwife who came to confirm it was my waters and to say I had 24 hours before I'd need to go to hospital. The next 24 hours involved walking, bouncing on the ball, listening to our tracks and keeping energy levels up. I hadn't had any regular contractions except occasional cramping so we went to hospital on Tuesday morning. They discussed needing to induce me as there was now an increased risk of infection but as I was experiencing some more severe cramping we asked for more time to consider our options. I had some time to rest in the room, bounced away and we chilled out together. Rich did an excellent job at keeping me calm and comfortable. At 2pm, I had an internal examination where the lady said my cervix was extremely high and I hadn't dilated at all. We then had the prostaglandin and repeated the bouncing, walking, resting and eating cycle. By around 5 things were starting to change and I was experiencing regular contractions.
Another midwife came to see me (at this point we'd moved to a room with a pool to prepare) who said yet again I had not dilated and my cervix was still too high. My sister and husband Richard listened to all of our options whilst I tried to breathe and not panic. Talk was of epidural, forceps, ventouse, and how my pain might just be back pain and how it was all going to get worse. At around 8pm we had to move rooms to prepare for a second lot of prostaglandin and I was in a lot of pain. My back had given up and I was needing to be fanned, rubbed and reassured constantly. I was telling everyone I needed ALL of the pain relief and i needed a c section and if this wasn't labour then I couldn't have the baby. My lovely midwife and birth partners kept saying I could, I'd got this far, helped with my breathing, and so on. Sadly a doctor told me my pain was nothing compared to what it will be soon and how I should have an epidural. I was agreeing but my birth partners reminded me firmly this wasn't what I wanted, wasn't what I needed and doubted my ability to stay still for twenty minutes.
Suddenly everything changed and my body felt like I was trying to expel something. The midwife asked the doctor to allow her to do an examination and I was now 8cm dilated. The doctor left the room and never reappeared!!! 80 minutes later, Alfie was born. I only remember the last 15 minutes. Rich said he saw a determination in me he didn't know I had, apparently I was completely in the zone, breathing through every contraction and listening to the midwifes advice. I had Rich on one side fanning me and my sister on the other with a drink and Vaseline for my lips. The midwife was hardly involved, which was brilliant. The last 15 minutes was the most enjoyable experience of my life. The midwife didn't touch the baby once as he entered the world, there was no noise, no shouting, no medical intervention and then at 23:59 we heard our baby boy arriving into the world. We had no tears or stitches and it was one of the most peaceful and serene moments of our lives. We used everything you taught us - preparing the baby for a comfortable exit, relaxing and preparing in advance of the labour and Rich and I felt totally in control and knowledgeable about the experience. Without you, I doubt we would've asked for more time, we would've probably nodded and agreed with any suggestions the doctors had. Rich was happy to make decisions on my behalf knowing what we wanted and what was available to us. I looked forward to the day following your course and I would do it all again tomorrow. The self doubt stage was very very frightening for me but Rich knew this meant our baby was soon going to arrive and helped me get into the zone and focus my energy into breathing the baby out.
"Thanks to the techniques you taught us on the hypnobirthing course I was managing my contractions so well we all thought nothing much was happening, so much so that I had to be quite assertive in my request for an examination and the midwife insisted on feeling my uterus externally during a contraction to make sure I was actually having them!
The midwife advised me that I was 1cm dilated and offered me a stretch and sweep to speed the process up (which I declined). She told me to go home and see how things went overnight but that she fully expected to see me back before the end of her shift at 7am. When I asked when I should come back she told me to come in when I couldn't cope anymore. This phrase was key for me and somehow lodged itself in the stubborn part of my mind.
I think psychosomatically as soon as she told me to leave I began to feel the contractions more intensely and more regularly than I had just a few minutes earlier.
Anyway, we left the hospital and were just about to turn into our road when I realised that the heated seats in Justin's car were actually making me feel a bit better and I couldn't imagine wandering aimlessly around our house for hours, so I asked if we could go for a drive. We drove around Cardiff for about an hour, it was the night of the big boxing match so the streets were unusually quiet. We ended up outside my mum's house and I said we should stop and let her know what was happening so she wouldn't wait up for a call to the hospital. By now the contractions were every 3 minutes and were lasting about a minute. When my mum saw me she suggested we go back in for another assessment. I was adamant they would send me away again because I was still coping. The strategies I was using to help me manage what I was feeling were so effective I still didn't think I was in labour.
Justin and my mum eventually convinced me to go back to the MLU, Justin drove me to the doors of the concourse and as I stepped out of the car there was an almighty gush... my waters had definitely gone this time! When we finally made it back to the unit, still in relatively good spirits, despite having to stop every 100 yards or so to wait for a contraction to pass, I was greeted by a different midwife.
Looking through my notes she said "oh, you were only here an hour and a half ago! I don't expect very much has changed". I insisted on an examination, which she reluctantly performed, muttering about how labour can take a while to become established and that I shouldn't get my hopes up. The all of a sudden she went very quiet and said, in a very surprised voice, "oh! You're 5cm! Was it a pool birth you wanted? We'd better get that run for you!"
A little while later, when the pool had been run and cooled to a safe temperature, I was finally allowed to get in. Heaven!!!
The lights were turned off, the radio station was tuned to classic fm, the fairy lights were on. I positioned myself on my knees, arms hanging over the edge of the pool. Justin sat in front of me at eye level and started to coach me through the contractions, repeating the relaxation mantras we'd learned in your class in a low, soothing tone. I breathed my way through each one and found myself humming, that low, deep, primal hum that connects you with every woman who has given birth. It was comforting, soothing and helped me regulate my breathing through each contraction.
The midwife kept coming in and out to monitor baby's heartbeat and had told me she would assess me again in 4 hours!!! 4 hours??? I thought, this baby will be here before then! But it was really not the time for that discussion.
I'd been in the pool for 90 minutes when something changed. Something was happening that, again thanks to you, I knew I had no control over, all I could do was stay focussed and relax into it. I told the midwife this was happening, she said no, I said check me again, again with the muttering about the length of labour blah blah blah... "Oh! You're fully dilated! I'll stay here with you now".
Still on my knees my body did what it was designed to do; every contraction becoming longer and more intense, the time between them getting shorter. Justin is still coaching me through each contraction, holding my hands in the inbetween, but I found myself letting go and gripping the side of the pool at the peaks.
I knew I could do it. I felt strong and in control. I wasn't afraid. But for some reason, maybe years of media gaslighting, I said very certainly that I couldn't do it
The midwife told me I needed to change positions. I said no. She said yes, I said no, everyone in the room said yes... the midwife looked me straight in the eye and said "if you stay where you are I won't be able to catch your baby.. . My arms are too short!", so I changed position.
Picture heavily pregnant me, FLOATING on my back, right arm holding on to the edge of the pool, right leg braced against the side of the pool, left arm and leg flailing around with nothing to hold on to! Awkward
The time came for the final surge, a sharp, burning sensation and then she was here... as if she had always been there in a sort of trance I hear Justin introducing me to our daughter (we didn't know the gender of the baby beforehand), the midwife telling me she'd come into the world with her arm up by the side of her face. I'm convinced she came out sleeping because this is exactly how she sleeps!
Next, skin to skin for daddy, a physiological third stage, a couple of stitches and some gas and air for mummy. Then sleep!
To summarise; super quick labour (about 4.5 hours), no pain relief required, a beautiful, healthy, baby girl born at 1:32am (corrected time), weighing 7lb 14oz, no complications despite me being "high risk"!
Thank you Jenny and thank you hypnobirthing. Justin is thrilled, a self-proclaimed mega sceptic has been converted and shouts it from the rooftops!
We couldn't have asked for a better, more positive experience. There were several contributing factors but hypnobirthing was definitely one of the biggest ones!!!
J & A, Cardiff
"I had a beautiful baby boy yesterday, baby Barnaby weighing 8lb 12 1/2 oz! I had my IV (antibiotics) then went to MLU where things rapidly progressed and I had 3 hours in the water until I delivered him. I played my hypnobirthing all the way through and used it with the gas and air to keep me focused on my breathing and on the positive side of viewing the pain! Honestly there were moments the fear and pain could have consumed me but the tracks helped me stay with it and work with my body. I can say I have achieved my perfect birth! Something I have always wanted. It was so hands off- I only had one examination on admission and then I just got on with it. The only time anyone intervened was to get my baby out of the water and onto my chest, where I breastfed immediately whilst still using the gas and air to deliver my placenta. I had a totally natural 3rd stage which is also what I wanted. It was beautiful. My body did it all. I am so thankful for everything you have helped me with Jenny- the yoga and hypnobirthing have helped change my mindset and to trust and believe, and along with the support of Catrin (my doula) and a lovely midwife, in an environment which made me feel safe, I have rewritten my birthing stories." D & S, Cardiff
"Hi Jenny. I just wanted to say thank you again for your help with my preparation for the birth of my second daughter on the 6th July. I had an amazing birth experience thanks to the various techniques you taught me.
My husband and I did a private hypnobirthing course with Jenny whilst I was pregnant. I wanted to do the course following a very quick a slightly scary labour with my first daughter. I wanted to feel more prepared and in control this time. My husband was a bit reluctant at first but he agreed to try it and we both found it so helpful. For me I learnt how to focus, relax and stay positive, whilst my husband learnt how he could help me through the labour in a more active role.
When I went into labour on my due date at 9pm I could hardly believe it. Straight away I could focus my energy through the contractions. I knew that I wanted a water birth this time so I was able to calmly prepare for this. I did relaxation and breathing techniques at home and then later in hospital. When we arrived at hospital my husband was brilliant - he dimmed the lights, put on relaxation music, found me a ball and continued to help me through each contraction. I kept telling myself that my body knew what to do and that my baby would be born at just the right time.
Eventually I went into the pool and my daughter, Alexa came swimming into the world (in her own waters) at 7.16am.
Thanks to the hypnobirthing I felt confident and empowered throughout my birth experience. The midwife even commented on how calm and in control I was during my labour.
Alexa is now 2 weeks old. She is so calm and doing really well. I honestly believe it's because I was able to relax during pregnancy and the fact that she had such a great birth.
I would encourage anyone and everyone to do this course. " C & J, Cardiff
"I can't thank you enough! My husband and I completed the private hypnobirth course with you last month as I was told to do it by my consultant. I was a bit of a skeptic and you've completely changed my mind! I had a lot of worries and anxiety about the birth of my baby and using your techniques and CD made me go from wanting to opt for a cesarean delivery to managing to deliver my baby without any pain relief! I had delayed cord clamping and had a labour that went from 1cm to delivered within 3 hours and I'm sure its because of the relaxation techniques and knowledge you taught me. I can't thank you enough for the massive help that lead to the safe and controlled delivery of my perfect baby girl. Without a doubt worth the money. Thank you so much! ❤" J & R, Hengoed
"hypnobirthing is amazing :) We did Jenny's course, gave birth on Monday and had an amazing birth experience. It was calm the whole way through the 12 hour labour which included epidurals and a forcep delivery. I felt in control of the whole situation and of my body and understood my limits of pain while managing to reduce it massively. Everyone who met me was saying how calm I was and how lovely and relaxed our consultant led room was. The actual birth was amazing, they took us into theatre for forceps in case they needed csec (they didn't, just a tiny wee tug) and my husband got the camera out which the staff promptly took off him so he could watch the birth while they snapped away. I have the most amazing little thing and an amazing healing birth resulting in both my boys being born in the same theatre under absolutely and completely different circumstances." K & S, Penarth
"The birth went really well.. was practising the sessions with my headphones every day leading up to it, I went in for my sweep at 3 days over and I was already 5cm dilated! I didn't even know I was in labour. I had been getting period type cramps for weeks before but nothing that bad at all. My midwife thought I had been in a slow labour for a few days. I went home and was contracting every 4 minutes. Then went to 2 minutes and we went to the hospital. I didn't believe I was in labour as I was expecting it to be so much worse. I was even walking around the ward at 8-9cm eating sandwiches! They didn't believe I was in labour and took ages to start the paperwork lol! They said I could come back again haha. I eventually went into the pool when the pains started to get worse. Then I had gas and air, practised my breathing and "relaxed" through remembering the sessions and pushed her out in 45 minutes, so from my sweep to delivery it was only 7 and a half hours! All went very well." O & M, Mountain Ash
"I woke in the early hours on Thursday 10th December with mild pains which were spaced pretty far apart, My partner woke and asked if I was ok, I was having mild contractions but nothing to get excited about yet. We decided to go back to sleep and see what things were looking like later in the morning. When we woke my contractions were still mild but regular, we decided that it was probably the start of labour and arranged for someone to collect our daughter and take her to playschool. I carried on with our morning routine, made breakfast, did the dishes and just counted and breathed through each contraction. Once my daughter had left I decided to work on increasing my oxytocin levels and chose a nice happy dvd to watch whilst bouncing and rocking on my birthing ball. My partner made preparations for what we thought would be a long day ahead of us, he made a healthy pasta meal to take with us to the hospital and put my overnight bags and baby seat in the car. Once the dvd had ended I was feeling very relaxed and optimistic about giving birth, I was managing my contractions well which even though had become more frequent I felt still were not that painful so I believed I was still in early labour. We decided to try and help my body relax even more by encouraging more oxytocin & I had a very strong contraction. At this point I decided it was time to have a bath and create my 'safe space'. My partner ran my bath whilst I created a nest in our bedroom and listened to my hypnobirthing cd, counting and breathing through the contractions. I got into the bath 10 minutes later and listened to the relaxing birth music we had prepared whilst my partner massaged my back and poured warm water over the areas of my body that weren't covered by water. I found lying with my bump facing downwards in the bath most comfortable and remember often putting my mouth under water during a contraction and blowing bubbles whilst counting. After a while I asked my partner to time the contractions, he said they were 3/4 mins apart and I was sure he was wrong as the gaps seemed much longer. My partner contacted the hospital who advised for us to make our way in, speaking to the hospital immediately started to take me out of my relaxed state, I didn't want to go in if it was too early, especially after my first birth experience. As I got out of the bath I had a big contraction followed by a show, at this point self doubt started to kick in and my partner immediately sensed I was starting to panic. He told me I had just had a show and used the 123 relax, he also did shaking the apples to get the tension out of my body and then helped me dress. I asked him to put the tens machine on me before we left for the hospital, I walked into our bedroom and immediately had another very strong contraction followed by a pushing sensation. I thought I must have been mistaken and didn't say anything to my partner and asked him to apply the tens machine pads to my back. As he started doing this I had another very strong contraction followed by more pushing and my waters breaking, I remember saying to him something like 'oh god it's happening' and he very calmly reassured me saying 'yes we are going to the hospital now' , I then shouted ' no we need help now!'. My partner then caught on and had a look between my legs, 'yep I can see a head!’. He dialled 999 and a very nice lady stayed on the line until the paramedics arrived. I very quickly had another contraction and remembered what we had learnt about allowing our bodies to take control and birth the baby, the head and one arm was out and I just calmly waited for the final push. I had one last big contraction and baby was out and caught by her daddy like a pro. My partner passed her through my legs and prompted me to put her straight on my breast to feed, 5 minutes later the paramedics arrived and gave my partner the scissors to cut the cord. There was no need for me to go to the hospital. We were so happy, we couldn't have asked for a more special and intimate birth experience." L & G, Barry
"We completed Jenny's private hypnobirthing class as preparation for the birth of our 2nd baby. Following the traumatic induction,labour and birth of my first baby I was very anxious about giving birth again and the possibility of being induced again.
In the run up to the birth, I felt far more relaxed this time and in control. I went into labour naturally at 40+6 and had a lovely short labour 4 hours in total. I'm sure that hypnotherapy was responsible both for length of labour and ensuring I went into labour naturally.
I would have been happy to use pain relief but I didn't need to use it this time thanks to the hypnobirthing. The hypnotherapy tracks helped me remain really focused.
Throughout pregnancy, Jenny was very supportive and she and the hypnobirthing gave me the confidence to push to have the birth I wanted.
I would highly recommend." S & M, Llantrisant
"I had used hypnobirthing techniques with my first so I knew how useful they could be but I ended up with huge anxiety issues after my planned home birth ended in an emergency section and a week long stay in hospital.
I was really concerned that it would all go 'wrong' again. Jenny and the techniques she taught us really helped me let go of those fears and concentrate on this birth experience. I'm happy to say that I got my VBAC and I felt calm and in control thoughout labour and birth. Jenny really helped us to feel empowered to make the decisions we wanted to make and stick to them.
I feel like it's important to add... I used gas & air as well. Hypnobirthing is not only 'successful' if you remain pain relief free... it frees you to make the choices you want to make and allows you to trust your body to do what is natural, understand your body and why it reacts the way it does and most importantly stay calm.
I was such a sceptic. I'm not a 'hippy chick'... but I KNOW these techniques work. You can trust Jenny to adapt the course to what you need." D & J, Cardiff
"Since finding out I was pregnant, my one major fear was giving birth and how I would cope with this with Sam being my first baby. I instantly thought I would panic as soon as labour started and this is something I wanted to avoid so decided to give hypnobirthing a go. Although we only attended one day of the course, I felt this along with reading the pregnancy book that was provided gave me the confidence and belief that I could make my birth a positive experience. I attended the relaxation classes weekly and tried to listen to the birth preparation relaxation sessions whenever possible. This added to my sense of confidence leading up to the birth as well as feeling empowered to take control of my birth, write my birth plan and for both me and my partner to be firm with medical staff on issues relating to my delivery. I even felt quite excited about giving birth towards the end of the pregnancy and ready for labour.
I went into labour naturally 8 days late. My waters broke around 4am and contractions started around an hour later. They gradually got closer together and on advise of the MLU we attended hospital around 1pm to find out I was only 2 cm dilated and was sent home (a little disheartened). We remained at home using my tens machine as pain relief. Due to the baby being back to back I was not able to sit or lie down for the majority of the labour making it difficult to practice the relaxation techniques I had learnt but did manage to do a bit of relaxing when in the bath and felt myself thinking about being on a beach in Thailand rather than giving birth in Pentwyn! Throughout the labour at home my husband was very supportive and encouraged me to stay at home for as long as possible where I would be more comfortable.
At 7pm we went back to the hospital and I was 7 cms dilated. I was given gas and air and the water pool was filled up straight away. We informed the midwife that I did not want any other pain relief as per my birth plan and they respected this and did not try to push any other pain relief onto me. My husband was able to advocate my wishes throughout the labour as we pre-discussed this prior to the birth as encouraged on the course. I got into the water around half hour after arriving at the hospital and Samuel was born at 10:36pm in the water. Although the baby didn’t turn as he should have during the birth, the birth itself was stress free and although painful due to his positioning I believe my ability to remain calm throughout definitely contributed to the positive birth experience. I breast fed Sam straight away before having some stitches.
Overall I feel the birth was a positive experience thanks to the course, book and relaxation sessions (and of course Jenny’s positive attitude to pregnancy, labour and birth)." S & S, Cardiff