MillyThis is the exciting adventure of Moira and Harry with baby Milly. A roller coaster ride but hypnobirthing kept them chilling! Next time don’t go home!

“The afternoon before my birth, I went to the Whittington for a sweep (being as I was 6 days overdue) &, needless to say, very fed up! As you had advised, I told the obstetrician that I needed a moment to calm my nerves & while I didn’t have my music scripts to hand I closed my eyes & did my breathing and fully relaxed. It worked!! I can honestly say, no word of a lie that I barely felt it at all. The nurse said I was 1-2cm dilated and it was likely that I would have progress in the next 24-48hrs.

Sure enough, the next morning my contractions started at about 6am, though very mild, more like period cramps. I got up (& left Harry sleeping) & went downstairs to make some tea. I sat on the sofa very excited with a hot water bottle & watched the news until 7ish when I went and woke up Harry. It was a beautifully fresh morning and the skies were really blue so once dressed we went for a walk up and around the village. Admittedly I was walking very slowly & kept stopping to rest on walls & take deep breaths but it was great walking the quiet streets with just Harry & the birds. We called the hospital at abt 8:30 & they spoke to me (keeping me on the phone for well over 3 minutes) & told me to stay at home until my contractions were three every ten minutes. They escalated quickly & we called a cab for 9:30, worried that rush hour might mean it would take longer. Sure enough, it took just over an hour to get there by which point my contractions had slowed down and on examination by the midwife in the birth centre, she said I was only 3-4cm. Keen to move things along, she suggested we went for a walk in the adjacent park. Her exact words were “long strides, uphill & climb steps two at a time!” We walked around Waterlow Park for about an hour. I felt really queasy so despite Harry trying to point out the emerging yellow & purple crocuses, I was doing my utmost to just focus.

We went back to the birth centre about 12pm & the midwife asked how I was feeling after the walk. I still appeared pretty calm and despite some pretty heavy contractions & nausea, by 1:30pm she suggested that perhaps we should go home as I probably wouldn’t go into labour for a good 10 hours yet & that familiar surroundings might help bring on the baby. We didn’t want to go all the way back to Walthamstow so my mum came to collect us at 2pm and we went to my parents house 20mins away. With hindsight we both agree we should have asked for another examination as by this point I believe I was further along/more dilated than perhaps I appeared. We went back to my mums where the contractions started coming on thick & fast & I couldn’t have done without my tens machine. Harry was amazing at keeping me focused with my breathing and as I regularly changed positions he followed me round rubbing my back and doing soft tickle massage. After 1hr or so I was desperate to have a bath so Harry ran me one, got me into it (without the tens machine!!) and continued to keep me focused on my breathing. At this point my waters broke and after a few failed attempts to get me out the bath mid contraction, I was out & dressed.

My mum drove us back to the hospital about 5:30pm (which was really hard this time as I was on all fours behind the front seat & felt even more nauseous!). We went back to triage with multiple stops along the way(!) and on arrival there, Harry went off with all our bags to find someone to check us in. In the meantime, I lost all my focus and was found shortly after on all fours by a midwife who lifted me into a wheel chair.

They got me into a cubicle & up onto a bed to examine when suddenly the midwife called, quick get this lady to the delivery suite, I can see the baby’s head! Unfortunately, the birthing suite was now full and I was so far along that they told Harry the baby would be out within the hour. As a team of people wheeled me to the delivery suite, Harry explained to the lovely midwife Lucia that I was Hypnobirthing but would happily have gas and air. On arrival, she dimmed the lights told everyone to leave, bar one assistant and allowed me to move freely around the room, trying different positions but I was so far along already, she persuaded me not to take gas & air for fear this might slow my progress. Every now and again she hooked me up to a machine to measure the baby’s heartbeat but it was by no means intrusive. I confess I do recall pushing & hollering in amongst “breathing the baby down” but Milly was born 1hr 45mins later, and placed straight onto me at 7:45!!

I couldn’t have done it without Harry who kept me focused, encouraged me at every turn and thought me a complete hero for bringing Milly into the world with no gas & air or pain relief. We both agreed that without our Hypno skills, especially the breathing techniques & massage rubs (plus tips for the boys!!) and our amazing midwife, Lucia, things would undoubtedly have been very different! Thanks again so much Jo, you truly are the fairy-godmother of Walthamstow!”