"I’ve been trying to think of the words today to tell you about my birth. The whole thing was incredible really and an entirely different story from my last birth. There was some luck in there in terms of timing but also a whole heap of planning, certainty and confidence to ask for what I wanted and needed which was most definitely down to KGHypnobirthing.

When the contractions started in the night I was reminded of my last birth experience. I wasn’t afraid though. I had been listening to the releasing fear script several times a day in the last weeks so I was able to focus on my up breathing and visualisations and this was very manageable. I also made a decision however in these wee small hours, as contractions strengthened, that I wanted to have an epidural if possible. I knew timing would be a factor in this and having had a previously very quick birth the chances were that this birth would also be quick.

When we got to the hospital at 7.30am I was a bit upset, overwhelmed at being there and feeling emotional about what was going to be happening today. Contractions did slow a smidge on arrival, but only for about five minutes as I re-grouped and settled into my new environment. I knew from KGHypnobirthing that being calm and focused was what was required and I was quickly able to get into the right headspace. I pretty much kept my eyes closed from that moment onwards until the end of the birth. I focused on my up breathing, I sat or lay very still, I focused on the up image in my head, I held a familiar towel from home, had my own pillow under my head, sniffed orange essential oil on a hankie and held my husband’s hand. This was a very safe and comfortable space to be in.

Had we got to the hospital half an hour later my story might have been different. We were lucky to get the last birthing suite, we were lucky to get the suite number that we wanted, we were lucky that we had timed phoning the midwife and getting to the hospital to perfection or an epidural may not have been possible. I am aware and astounded by all of this. But still, I got the birth that I wanted. I feel very lucky.

I completely see how choosing an epidural could interfere with your focus and the development of labour. As I was in such a calm and serene hypnobirthing state and as my body clearly births quickly I had no disruptions or need for interventions at all. My eyes were closed and I focused on my breathing, that was my job while the midwifes and anaesthetist did what they needed to do. I was aware but unaware at the same time.

Not that long after the epidural I was fully dilated. It was recommended at this stage that we wait an hour before starting to push however. The sensation that I felt with each contraction had now changed. I still had an intense feeling but much duller and more like a really intense pressure rather than contraction pain. The intensity of this pressure still required my hypno birthing tools. I needed to breath through these sensations and remained focused on my up breathing with my eyes closed, as I had done up until then.

The pushing part was fast. I was aware of my down breathing but I expect because of the epidural I didn’t really need it. I was aware the baby was coming out, I could feel it but there was no pain. The baby came out calmly and quietly just before 11.30am. My eyes remained closed. This will remain a staggering memory for me. Being aware but unaware of the baby coming out all at the same time. It gave me a calm opportunity to acknowledge the incredible thing that I was doing without the pain or the fear I had experienced the first time, that is a gift.

The midwife commented afterwards that it was unusual to have a hypno-epidural birth but she also commented on how quiet I had been, how there was not much difference in my manner before and after the epidural. I was inside my head the whole time, doing the work in my mind. This is entirely down to KGHypnobirthing and my ability to practise and use the skills I’d been taught. I am hugely grateful to you Anna for teaching me these skills. I used them to achieve a calm pregnancy, to release the fear that I had built up from my first birth experience, to achieve a calm delivery and to be bold and get the birthing experience that I wanted (in the last few weeks of pregnancy as well as in the delivery suite)".