My hypnobirthing story begins when I found out I was pregnant with my son. I was very excited, but absolutely terrified of giving birth. I was convinced that I would be in excruciating pain, that my baby would be too big for my small frame, that I would be screaming and shouting my way down the labour ward before giving birth in a corridor.

I was so scared, that I put the thought of the birth out of my mind and tried to forget about it. A few months later, my partner was telling me about some friends who had just had a baby. I asked how the birth was, and he told me they’d described it as “romantic, peaceful and calm”. How could anyone describe giving birth as any of those things? The answer, apparently, was hypnobirthing. Needless to say, I did my research and booked us onto a course pretty quickly.

The course was amazing. It opened my eyes to the true beauty of childbirth, and empowered me to trust in my body and my baby. I could do this. Over the weeks, we were taught simple self-hypnosis along with some wonderful relaxation and breathing techniques. Before I knew it, I could take myself into a state of deep relaxation (which made for a wonderful pregnancy!), and gasp…I was actually looking forward to giving birth.

I had a fairly long and challenging labour, but with the skills we had learned in hypnobirthing, we were able meet each turn with an amazing sense of calm. At no point did I feel worried, panicked, or in any kind of pain or distress. At no point in that time did I want it to be over, ordoubt my ability to carry on. I had total faith in myself, my partner and in our unborn child.

And then he was born. My beautiful boy, Oscar, weighing a long and healthy 7lb 14oz.

I cannot speak highly enough of hypnobirthing and quite frankly I don’t know how I would have given birth without it, let alone got through a long labour feeling wonderful. And wonderful I did feel. The serene and peaceful environment that my partner and I had created allowed us to be completely together in our own world – totally united in birthing our baby. I have never felt so profoundly close to another human being, so safe and held and so able to trust in myself. I felt absolutely no fear, anxiety or pain. I felt totally safe, calm and relaxed.

How could I not want to share that with other women?

In Sydney, the norm was to do a ‘calm birthing’ course in preparation for birth. Settling back into London life I soon realised that the ‘norm’ was doing an NCT course. With a bit of googling, to my relief, I found that calm birthing did exist in this hemisphere and London Hypnobirthing came highly recommended. We didn’t have the funds to do both. It was one or the other. I will be forever grateful that I opted for Hollie’s course. The birth of your child stays with you for life and in my case, that’s a blessing. The icing on the cake was that Kevin and I anticipated the birth with excitement, not fear - Nikki & Kevin, parents to Isis