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Nancy and Freja

I decided to try hypnobirthing as I was petrified of giving birth naturally, having been under the impression from a young age that I would have to have a C section as my mother had done.

Having trained over a weekend and practised for a few weeks my waters broke spontaneously at 36 weeks at around 10pm. I called the hospital as to whether I should come in and they said yes as I they would need to check me over, but it was probably a false alarm as it was so early.

My husband came home from Aikido and I told him not to rush but we had to go to the hospital. In the time it took him to have a shower, and me to pack a quick 'just in case' hospital bag my surges started in earnest.

By the time we got into the car to go to the hospital my surges were very close together and very regular, so my husband started with our practiced scripts and I have no recollection of the journey (which was about 20 minutes/half an hour).

When we got to the hospital we were led to a room and left to our own devices. I concentrated on my up breathing and Stuart kept repeating our scripts and we were happily progressing through our labour. At some point someone came into the room and stated that we could not be in labour as I was far too calm. We explained that we were using hypnobirthing and that it was our wish to have a natural calm birth. They tried to tell us that as we were only at 36 weeks and we were first time parents we didn't know what to expect and we should go home and wait for 'proper' labour. Stuart was fantastic at this time and managed to field all the questions allowing me to concentrate on the breathing and labour without being disturbed. They gave us an ultimatum at this time, we could either go home and wait, or I could ask for some pain relief and they would see how I was progressing.

As first time parents we were unaware that this was a choice that we could bypass, but we thought they were there to help us. I agreed to try some gas and air if it meant that they would check me over and see that I was in labour. At this time things were taken out of our hands to a certain extent. When they took my trousers off to see whether I was in labour they discovered that I was 8cms dilated! Then, because I was 36 weeks they insisted that I lie on my back and be strapped up to be monitored. I tried to argue this as I hoped for an active birth, but they told me all sorts of horrible things could happen to me or the baby if I wasn't monitored constantly. I subsequently learned that this was done to make their lives easier.

Freja was born shortly after this, at a healthy 5lbs 8oz and needed no assistance. We had skin to skin immediately and she was as calm as a baby can be. She managed to find my breast herself and fed straight away. Although the birth wasn't completely as we hoped it would be we knew the hypnobirthing worked and it helped to keep us calm, even when control was taken from us.

Freja was a fantastically 'chilled out' baby and we are sure that a huge part of that was due to the calm way in which she entered the world. The whole experience was fantastically positive and it made us very determined to practise more for the next birthing.