ADDY'S BIRTH ...with thanks to Kathryn & Lee

I just wanted to write and say a big THANK YOU for your help and support. Our beautiful son, Addy, was born on Sunday 31st May at 39 weeks and the experience was better than I ever imagined. Our older son, Daniel, is a very proud and loving big brother.

Daniel had a difficult birth. I was induced at 41+5 weeks. As it turned out, he was low on amniotic fluid so it was the right thing to do, but we didn't know that when we turned up at the hospital for induction. My son was born by forceps, with me lying on my back unable to understand the instruction to 'push' and I ended up losing a LOT of blood.

The hypnobirthing course really helped me to deal with my fear of having a repeat of this experience. With a job and a toddler keeping me on my toes, I didn't get around to listening to the fear release MP3 until I had finished work, but afterwards I felt ready to give birth. I went into labour the next day.

Addy's birth was a totally different experience. My husband and I birthed our baby in the Woodland room on the midwife-led unit at Kings' as we wished. I had to pinch myself about this during labour because I had often told myself it might not be possible. I relaxed to the sound of your voice in the lovely water of the pool while the surges (and the Entenox) did their thing.

Unfortunately, labour didn't progress well and having been told I was 5 cm dilated on admission, I was still 5cms eight hours later and my waters still hadn't broken. At this point, the supervising midwife was advising breaking my waters and I was about ready to agree and ask for an epidural. Our brilliant midwife, Nicole, and my husband Lee (who was still reading the Hypnobirthing book in the labour ward waiting room!) both advocated for me to have some more time. At first I thought they were both nuts, but Lee asked all the right questions. I thought about how one intervention can lead to another, and decided to brave it out a little longer to see what would happen. We agreed to check again after 2 hours. We grabbed the Clary Sage and I stayed out of the pool and started pacing. We never needed that second check – my son was born in the pool about 1.5 hrs later, just a few minutes after my waters broke. After worrying I wouldn't know how to push, my body took over and I was left surprised at how easy the second stage of labour was. Easy! Not a word I thought I would use.

So we were home within 5 hours of Addy's birth. No epidural, no interventions, no blood loss and no stitches required. What a revelation! The course gave us the confidence and skills we both needed to embrace the experience rather than endure it. My husband only attended the course because I asked him to, but we are both proud of the important role he played. He is now busy recommending hypnobirthing to anyone who will listen.

Thank you once again. Looking forward to introducing you to Addy in July.