Hypnobirthing Teacher Diploma
Katherine Graves Hypnobirthing 2018
I'm often asked how I found out about Hypnobirthing. The truth is I stumbled across it in an article in Hello Magazine. I wasn't even pregnant when I read it but I knew that if I ever had a baby that was how I wanted to do it.
Fast forward a couple of years and I'm waking my Husband at 6am, holding a pregnancy test and jumping for joy at the positive result. I was so excited but that excitement soon turned to anxiety. I was gripped by a terror that something would go wrong in the pregnancy or in labour. I wouldn’t allow myself to be happy, I even went as far as refusing to buy anything for the Baby and asking my best friend to cancel the surprise baby shower she’d organised.
This was when I remembered Hypnobirthing. I attended classes with my Husband and found that being informed about birth helped us a great deal. All of our queries were answered so the fear started to leave me, and I began to feel confident about the birth.
6 days after my "due date" and it was the day of my Dad's wedding. I woke at 3am feeling light cramps. I tried to get back to sleep but gave up and went downstairs thinking maybe something was happening. I knew feelings like this could happen for a few days before labour so I decided to relax. I watched dvds while I sat on my birthing ball, did the washing up, played with our cats & did my breathing and visualisation exercises.
At 9am I thought this could be the real thing so I finally woke my husband. I still felt calm and even thought I'd make it to the wedding, so I showered and did my hair and makeup. I called my Dad at 10am to say we wouldn't make it to the ceremony but I really did think we'd get to the reception. I was so calm and just breathing through each surge.
By 11am the surges were every 5 minutes so my husband called the hospital. We were told I wasn't far along enough to come in but I trusted my instincts and we headed in anyway. The surges were more powerful now and I felt the urge to change my breathing. We were asked to wait but I said I felt they needed to see me now.
As soon as we got into a room my waters broke, I was examined, told I was 10cm dilated and taken straight to delivery. This was at midday. I had no pain relief, just gas and air. My husband helped me focus on my down breathing and was a fantastic birth partner throughout, but especially at this stage.
At 4pm, after an assisted delivery, we were holding our gorgeous 8lb 12oz baby in our arms. I called my Dad, who asked why I wasn't at the reception, and I had the joy of telling him that he'd become a Grandad.
A year later and I'm standing in front of my stunned Husband, holding another positive pregnancy test. To say we weren't prepared is an understatement. However, our surprise soon turned to excitement.
During my second pregnancy I was teaching Hypnobirthing. It was so special to experience everything alongside my clients and it reminded me just how important Hypnobirthing is to me and my Husband. It was a completely different pregnancy as I chased our daughter around. I didn't even struggle as much with anxiety.
Just as the pregnancy had taken us by surprise, the birth did too.
I was 8 days over my "due date". My Husband and I decided to make the most of the relative freedom of having only 1 child by going on a date night.
My Dad and Step-Mum turned up to babysit at 6pm. I'd started to feel a few strange Braxton Hicks but thought it was due to the inevitable constipation that comes with the end of pregnancy. We were out the door and on our way to Pizza Express half an hour later. But on that car ride the Braxton Hicks started to have a pattern. They were 1 every 6 minutes.
We turned around and headed home. Our babysitters were a little startled to see us back so soon. There was a noticeable look of panic on my Dad's face when he realised why we were back. I thought there would be ages to go and we were both starving so my Husband put a pizza in the oven. We never got that pizza.
My surges suddenly started coming 1 every 4 minutes. I needed the loo urgently. My Husband asked if I was ok and I said it might be an idea if he called the hospital to see if we should go in. Their response was that they "wouldn't stop us".
It was now 7:15pm and I was clinging to my Up Breathing in the car on the way to the hospital. When we got there we realised it was a busy night as the Women & Children Unit Drop Off Point was full. We squeezed the car in and I waddled up to Triage. As soon as we got to the reception I had a huge surge. It was all in my lower back and I explained that the Baby was suspected back to back. My Husband talked to the Midwife about our Hypnobirthing birth plan and I was guided to a room. The Midwife left for a moment and suddenly my waters broke. Oh the momentary relief. Soon after I was grabbing my Husband's arms and saying "I'm not sure I can do this again". Of course this was transition. My "drama queen" moment. The Midwife quickly returned and tried to get me out of the bathroom and back to the bed. I wasn't budging. The surges were making it uncomfortable to move and I still wanted the toilet. The Midwife explained that I didn't need the toilet. What I was feeling was my Baby's head.
Gamechanger. I got myself back towards the bed but leaned against it instead of getting onto it. I was holding my Husbands hands and the Midwife was trying to get my maternity leggings off from around my ankles. She then tried to put my flip flop back on my foot but I growled at her to leave it off. My Down Breathing kicked in and I suddenly felt a wave of calm. My body was doing the pushing and all I had to do was breathe. His head arrived and was quickly followed by his body.
With that, our beautiful boy was nestled in my arms, I was tucked up on the bed and my Husband and I were asking for the time. He'd been born at 8:04pm. We couldn't believe how quick he'd been. Apparently we don't make small babies. He was 9lb 2oz.
Giving birth to my children has been the most empowering experiences of my life. Such positive experiences, completely different to how we’re all told labour should be. I know my mission is to spread the word about Hypnobirthing and how it can help Mums and Babies have the births they deserve. That's why it's not just my children that I've birthed, I'm nurturing TrueWay Hypnobirthing for other parents to benefit from too.