Mandi is a client of Deborah Henley, a Hypnobirthing teacher. This is Deborah's introduction:
The following letter was from Mandi, who had already had a terrible time with her first birth so needed a lot of convincing to trust herself and her body during the HypnoBirthing course. She had planned a hospital birth but after the course was so confident in her own abilities that she decided to have a home birth. Even though she was overdue she put off two inductions at the hospital as there were no medical risks to the baby or to herself. She ended up having the "best experience of her life" and reported a much quicker recovery than she had had with her previous birth. Mandi, like many HypnoBirthing mothers, also reported that her baby was really calm and that the bonding they had after the birth has been important in creating a happy family environment.
Our baby was 13 days late, and we were due to go into hospital on the 14th for induction of labour, which I was absolutely dreading and I had already put off once. But then on Monday 13th at night around midnight, contractions built up and by 12-30pm I had had a show and knew the baby was arriving.
Unfortunately or fortunately (whichever way you look at it) it all happened a bit fast. I managed some visualisations of the balloon but then things escalated to contractions every 2-3 minutes. I had a bath and then at 3am asked Tony to call the midwife as baby was being born at home. At 3-30am my waters broke and I asked Tony where the midwife was. Apparently they said they would take 40 - 45 minutes to get here and he knew they weren't going make it in time so he lied to me and said they would be there any minute. Ten minutes later, after about five pushes the baby was born at 3-40am with no midwife present. Tony had to catch the baby when it came out. It was brilliant!
The midwife arrived ten minutes later and my placenta naturally just fell out, they cleaned it up had a cup of tea and left. We then spent two hours on our own bed just staring at each other in complete happiness. My daughter then go up at 7-30am and was totally amazed to find the baby had arrived and joined us on the bed for a family cuddle.
I felt my recovery time was very short as I was on all fours when I gave birth. Last time I had been in hospital and constantly made to lie down so people could see what was going on feel around inside me. I had terrible backache and felt like I had been ripped apart - I walked like a duck for a couple of weeks and felt extremely damaged and painful for a good month after. But this time I feel great. Within a few days it hardly felt like I'd just been through labour at all. The whole experience was brilliant.
I must say without the HypnoBirthing course I would never have considered a home birth. I really enjoyed listening to my tape in the bath and enjoyed the relaxation it gave me. The course made a very important difference to me which was that I was looking forward to the birth rather than dreading it. And it was this that led me to be strong and to hang on as long as I did before ringing for any help (which of course was unnecessary anyway). I actually cancelled my first induction, determined to have the baby at home.
It was the best thing I ever did.
My baby is also so calm and contented. Again I feel this is because the birth was so relaxed and easy and because we were able to spend two hours all staring at each other on my bed, with my covers and my comforts around me. I have had no problems breast feeding and he put on 10oz last week which is incredible for a breast fed baby. Basically the birth has been the catalyst for a relaxed and loving start to my baby's life, which I can't thank Deborah enough for. As without Deborah and her course we would never of had such a wonderful experience.
I hope our story will inspire people to have home births and know that labour is such a natural process and that it is possible to have a wonderful experience. I had no tears or wounds that needed stitching as my body naturally took over at the pushing stage and stopped several pushes to make it a gentle passage for my baby to enter the world.
Thank you again Deborah for your inspiration and encouragement that has ended up with us having the best experience of our lives.
DEBORAH HENLEY is a Clinical Hypnotherapist and HypnoBirthing Childbirth Educator. Deborah's website gives more details of her practice and HypnoBirthing in general.
Hypnotherapy for childbirth
Fathers and home birth - fathers' feelings about the birth, and how they can help.
Overdue - but still want a homebirth? When is 'postdates' risky?
Fast Labours - is quicker always better? What do you do if your baby is arriving faster than your midwife?
The Third Stage of Labour - what are your options, and the pros and cons of each?
Homebirth UK email group
Home Birth Stories
Home Birth Reference Page