Worth the read with a cup of tea!
From a very young age I can remember being interested in babies, where they came from and more importantly, how they were born! I vividly recall, at around 10 years of age, asking my aunt (whom was pregnant with my cousin) what position the baby was, as if he wasn’t head down he’d have to turn around because feet first wasn’t the best position! I was, perhaps, a little precocious! I had always wanted to be a midwife so it wasn’t unusual for midwifery text books borrowed from the library to litter the house, much to my mum’s friends’ surprise!
I qualified as a midwife in 2002 at Leeds Metropolitan University with a BSc (Hons) Degree and worked at a large teaching hospital in Leeds for a few years before I came back to Ormskirk. Having experienced a very busy hospital, coming to a smaller maternity unit where the opportunity to work on a rotational basis, including the community setting, was a lovely change and I really felt the difference in the team dynamics for the better.
I studied for additional qualifications in Contraceptive and Sexual Health Nursing in 2007 and as well as working as a midwife I took on another role as a family planning nurse at local clinics for a number of evenings a week, feeling that empowering women through their sexual health is equally as important.
I returned to midwifery in 2014 for a year and due to family commitments stopped working in 2015 so am no longer a registered midwife. For the last few years I have been a full-time mum and enjoyed caring for my own babies. I was lucky to be able to take a career break and be with my children before they started school full time.
In 2017, I decided I’d like to become an antenatal and hypnobirthing teacher and chose KG Hypnobirthing as it is RCM (Royal College of Midwifery) accredited and in 2017 I was thrilled to become a registered KG Hypnobirthing Practitioner.
I always knew I would want to birth my own babies at home. Not only had I been honoured to attend homebirths during my community rotations and encouraged women to go with their instincts so many times during their births, but because it felt right to me.
My husband was incredibly supportive and in 2010, after sadly two miscarriages in 2009, we welcomed Seth into the world using a birthing pool, in our home. All 8lb8oz of him! I was immensely proud of myself and it was a big “in your face” to all the neigh sayers who had repetitively told me I couldn’t do it. And yes, there had been moments I had told myself I couldn’t do it. For whatever reason listening to a few CDs had not been enough…. and I learnt my lesson. He might have only been a 4 hour labour, but there had been a point when I had really fought against nature.
So, what had gone wrong so to speak? I had planned on hypnobirthing…. Can’t be that hard I had told myself. I had witnessed a few women hypnobirthing their babies beautifully, some silently, some vocally. I had anticipated I would be the latter so I had known I wouldn’t relax and completely let myself go with the flow properly in hospital, in what was actually my work environment, so had wanted to be at home, where I could truly relax. I had bought some CDs. Again. How hard could it be? The answer was, very…I didn’t practise. I listened once, possibly twice and then I watched an awful lot of Grey’s Anatomy.
On Seth’s first birthday, when my instincts told me something was a bit odd. He was still breast feeding, and not since those first few days of us both getting used to it had we had anymore difficulties. Suddenly, there were a few comfort issues. I took a pregnancy test. There was a baby on board! Having had a few miscarriages before Seth, we didn’t get our hopes up and carried on as normal. I had returned to the maternity unit, but been offered more clinics for my family planning role so had handed in my notice as a midwife. It made more sense as a mother to be working evening clinics than the variety of shifts.
Freya arrived in the birthing pool, at home, in 2 hours after a bit of a false start. At over a pound smaller than her big brother (7lb 3 oz) she wasn’t hanging around and this time she was a more successful hypnobirthing experience. I had found a wonderful lady, recommended to me via a friend whom my husband and I had gone to see together. She had taught me the tools and techniques that suited us to use together to assist me in a more positive, calmer birth experience. According to my husband, I sounded like I was birthing a calf, with every out-breath, which was slow and steady, I made a deep mooing sound. But blimey it worked. I went with it. I was calm, I didn’t lose control and I was euphoric when she was born. Not the silent birth some believe is a true hypnobirth, but a hypnobirth nevertheless.
I compare the two births and I remember Seth’s moments when I lost control and didn’t feel like I was coping, I remember panicking and my husband remembers asking my friend to make it stop because he was upset at seeing me so out of control and distressed. I also remember the positives, when the midwives arrived, and my friend came, the right support was present, and I felt safe. The lights were dimmed, and I was in my pool in my nest. I also remember the euphoria and how wonderful it felt when my son had arrived, and I had done it!
During my daughter’s birth, I was laughing in between the surges then I’d go back into my breathing and in my zone. It was a much more pleasant experience for us all. I was in control and knew how to stay that way.
I have since recommended hypnobirthing to all pregnant friends and their partners. I truly believe it works. It helps women and their partners to birth without fear, have an understanding of the natural processes that occur during childbirth, to feel proactive in their baby’s births, regardless of where and how they birth their baby.
I obtained my BSc (Hons) Midwifery degree July 2002 and qualified as a Midwife
I have an Advanced Certificate in Sexual Heath and Contraceptive Nursing July 2007
I Gained my Diploma in KG Hypnobirthing November 2017.
Certificate of Excellence in Birth Trauma Recovery – Birth professionals October 2018I have full Professional Indemnity Insurance.
I have a Full DBS check as of January 2018
Full First Aid (Paediatric and Adult Resuscitation inclusive) 2 day course March 2018