Mandi Larner's home birth story

Mandi's second baby was born at home, caught by his father before the midwife arrived. Mandi used self-hypnosis techniques to great effect in her labour.

My first child was born in hospital and I had not enjoyed the experience at all. When I became pregnant with my second child I decided something different had to happen.

I discovered Hypno-birthing, which basically teaches relaxation therapies, positive thinking and self-hypnosis. After the course I was actually looking forward to the labour and welcoming my baby into the world, which certainly wasn't how I had felt beforehand. I took this one step further and decided to have my baby at home using the techniques I had learnt on the course.

I received a lot of shocked noises from people when I announced the baby would be born at home, which finally put me off antenatal classes as the negative discussions that went on were not in my best interest.

I was actually thirteen days late and had refused to be induced, much to the doctor's shock, but I was that determined to have the baby at home. I started having very mild contractions at around 9pm but ignored them as nearly every night for the past week I had had practise contractions regularly. At 12.30pm I had a show and knew things were beginning to happen. Then things progressed quite quickly (luckily for me) and I practised my visualisations with every contraction and kept very calm.

I had a bath at around 1.30pm and had told my partner to let me know when contractions were a minute apart. Apparently they were a minute apart for 2 hours but I was so calm and in control that I kept saying that we didn't need to contact the midwife.

Finally at 3am I asked my partner to call the midwife. Then at 3.30am my waters burst and I asked Tony where the midwife was. Apparently they said she would take 40 - 45 minutes to get here and he knew they weren't going to make it in time so he lied to me and said they would be there any minute. I started pushing on all fours in my spare bedroom and after about five pushes the baby was born at 3.40am with no midwife present and no drugs being taken.

I was very proud of my partner and myself, who had caught the baby and wrapped him up warm and taken instructions over the phone. The whole experience was magical and my son was extremely calm and at ease.
Tony is now a very proud father of our son Harvey Thomas and we are famous in our area for delivering the baby ourselves.

The midwife arrived ten minutes later and my placenta naturally just fell out. She cleaned up, had a cup of tea and left. We spent two hours on our own bed just staring at each other in complete happiness. My daughter got up at 7-30am and was totally amazed to find the baby had arrived; she joined us on the bed for a family cuddle.

The whole experience was brilliant. It was wonderful for us as a family to just relax in our own bed and stare at each other, which we did for two hours before my son finally fell asleep.

I must say without the Hypno-birthing course I would never have considered a home birth. The course made a very important difference to me, which was looking forward to the birth rather than dreading it. And it was this that led me to be strong and even hanging on as long as I did before ringing for any help (which of course was unnecessary anyway).

I found that the recovery time after the birth was considerably reduced. Within a few days it hardly felt like I'd just been through labour at all. Last time I felt ripped apart and walked like a duck for a couple of weeks. But this was from them constantly lying me down on a hospital bed and several people feeling around inside me. Last time my back and bottom felt extremely damaged and painful for a good month after but this time nothing. People can't believe how good I look; my stomach is almost back to normal and I feel great.

My baby is also so calm and contented and again I feel because the birth was so relaxed and easy and because we then spent two hours all staring at each other on my bed, with my covers and my comforts around me, it all began a very relaxed atmosphere which he fitted straight into. I have had no problems breastfeeding and he gained weight in his first week instead of losing it. Basically the birth has been the catalyst for a relaxed and loving start to my baby's life.

We prove that medical intervention is not always necessary. I found the body a natural functioning organ that knew what to do without anybody there telling me when to push etc.

The whole experience was so much better than hospital, not only for me but for my baby as well. There were not lots of people rushing about, he was not whipped away from me as soon as he was born, and there were no bright lights and loud noises to disrupt his first minutes of life. Just peace, tranquility and extremely calm parents.

I couldn't have done it without doing the Hypno-birthing course, which empowered me to say no to doctors, and midwives who had tried to convince me to go to hospital for induction of labour. The course worked for me on a confidence level and we had the best experience of any birth that I know of from our friends. My partner had a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to deliver his own son, instantly bonding with him. I can't rave on about it enough.

Home was definitely best for us, and should there be any more babies in the future then home will be the only option for me. However I would have the gas and air delivered in advance next time. Just to help with those slightly uncomfortable moments.

Mandi Larner

See also:

Pain relief at home births - DIY methods, such as self-hypnosis, as well as drugs.

HypnoBirthing - London hypnotherapist Deborah Henley teaches HypnoBirthing - "a method of natural childbirth enhanced by hypnosis, allowing women to call upon their natural instincts to bring about safer, more comfortable childbirth.".

Other birth stories where hypnotherapy or self-hypnosis was used:

Richard and Rachelle Strauss

Maggie Howell

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