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Nancy and Erin

Our second experience with hypnobirthing could have come straight out of a manual. We started practicing our scripts early in the pregnancy and practiced most evenings, most of the time with Stuart, my husband, but with CDs when he was away.

My waters broke spontaneously at 38 weeks, which was a huge relief as we had planned a homebirth, and knew we had to get past the 37 weeks mark. We had been preparing a Sunday roast when my surges started. We started preparing the living room and I started my up breathing while sitting on my birthing ball.

We called the midwife to let her know that we had started labour and she said she would pop in when she could. Between surges I carried on with everyday things, such as caring for my 18 month old daughter and pottering around the house.

During the early surges I sat on my ball and concentrated on my up breathing. As the surges became more intense Stuart started using the scripts that we had practiced and I was totally and utterly relaxed and oblivious to most of what was going on around me.

At some point the midwife arrived, and we were so lucky to find one who completely respected our wishes. Stuart and the midwife communicated and any monitoring that was necessary was conducted between surges when I was completely lucid. After two and a half hours I suddenly got the feeling that my up breathing was no longer working. I was a little worried that the hypnobirthing was no longer working and that we'd failed. The midwife asked that while I was 'having a break' if she could see how I was progressing. So I took my trousers off and the midwife explained that the reason that it was no longer working was that the baby was crowning! I had come to transition without realising it, as it had happened far faster than I expected. I immediately switched to down breathing and felt a huge wave of relief as the intensity dropped away.

I gave birth to my second beautiful daughter 4 minutes later. The midwife was amazed that second stage labour happened so fast and smoothly. The second midwife literally made it through the front door as Erin was born. Again we had skin to skin contact immediately and Erin found her way to my breast on her own. Erin was a calm and happy baby, and I'm sure that some of that was due to the relaxed, calm way she came into the world.