If you do one thing to prepare for your birth make it this one.

Words by Sophie

When I discovered I was pregnant with my first baby I felt very scared. The idea of pushing a small human out of my body TERRIFIED me. So many negative thoughts flashed constantly through my mind. 

How can it be possible?

Why does childbirth have to be so painful?

Why do I have to go through this ordeal?

Why do woman have to be the ones to do this?

As my pregnancy progressed we attended antenatal classes and I was confronted with a bag of instruments. ‘Pick one out of the bag’ the midwife said. So I did. What I picked out from this scary, medical tombola was a strange plastic contraption. It looked very disturbing. My fears were backed up when the Midwife stated that this was a speculum and was for use in my vagina. Oh god what the hell was I in for, I thought!

If you were admitted to hospital for an operation there is no way that the surgeon would lay out every instrument and scalpel that might be used to show you. I am not sure why this is OK in the context of birth.

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The only positive in my mind at this time was that I really did want this tiny human growing in my womb and this was my first lesson in the power of positivity (although I did not know it yet!) as strangely this single positive thought overrode my huge quantity of fears. 

Until I was alone at night trying to sleep that is. When I closed my eyes in the dark my mind went wild with potential horrors that were going to happen to me. I kept thinking that the awful things were destined to happen to someone and therefore, of course, they WOULD happen to me.

I gave birth to Felix in February 2011 and many of my fears sadly turned into realities. His birth WAS traumatic and painful. I was not treated with respect or kindness. I lost control. I had all the interventions I had been so desperate to avoid. I had a forceps delivery. I had an episiotomy. Felix was taken to the Neo Natal ward with breathing problems and I was not allowed to go with him due to an infection they thought I had contracted. 

After a week of stress and battles in hospital (the infection we were both being treated for just didn’t exist) we were both discharged and we went home traumatised and with a LOT of unanswered questions. 

After experiencing birth I was now MORE afraid of it.

I went from imagining the huge family I would have too thinking I could only have Felix as I did not want to go through birth like that again. I lost confidence in myself, I had panic attacks and my relationship with my partner suffered in this time.

Time itself however is a great healer. After four years me and my partner decided to try for another child BUT I knew I had to approach birth in a different way. I kept saying to myself that women all over the world give birth all the time, if birth was so awful for everyone why do women keep making babies! 

Although I wanted, and planned, for my second birth to be different I still had a wave of fear and worry when I saw the positive pregnancy test. I had never so desperately wanted and not wanted something to happen in equal measure before.

My fears were more real this time as I had actual things that had happened to worry about. I knew I had to do all the things I had not done the first time. My first step was to educate myself. I read countless articles searching for answers. I kept seeing this word Hypnobirthing crop up. I researched it, I read birth stories of Hypnobirthing births and I was desperate to do it.

We had no money and the price of the course stopped me thinking of it as an option for a little while but I just could not stay away. My mind kept wandering back to this path that I wished I could take. I kept telling myself ‘you have done this before, you can do it again no matter how painful’ but I could not just grin and bear it. I could not go through the time and emotions after an experience like that again. I just needed to do something to make the experience different for myself. 

So I sold a load of unneeded stuff on ebay, called in some Christmas presents early from our family and booked on a course.  It was one of the best things I have ever done for myself, for my baby and for my family.

It was amazing. Totally life-changing, mind-changing and so so positive. I felt reassured after the first session. I felt like someone actually had my back and that I was not alone. Hypnobirthing made so much sense. I knew exactly what had caused birth to go so wrong for me the first time- MY UNRESOLVED FEAR! 

I had the birth that I wanted, and needed. Esther was born at home calmly and so positively. I felt like a super woman! I was so proud of myself and finally understood how magic our bodies are.

Birth is amazing and our bodies are designed, made and given tools by nature to ensure that this happens calmly and gently. It is the way you approach birth, a lack of understanding of how to navigate your birth and the preconceptions and fears you bring to the table that will affect what happens on the day and Kent Hypnobirthing can help you with this!

I know that my story is not a rare story. I know that this is the story of countless women and this is what is so awful. How can we be creating these negative stories, these broken and traumatised women, these Mothers (and Fathers) so mistrustful of their own power and ability time and time again when the answer is simple. Take the fear out of birth.

This is exactly why I will sing, shout and preach from the rooftops about Hypnobirthing and why I then trained to teach it. By signing up you will be investing in yourself and your family and it will change your life and not just your birth experience. This is far more important that having the best designer buggy, this I guarentee!

When you attend one of our Kent Hypnobirthing courses we will guide you through everything you need to know (and everything you never even knew you needed to know) about birthing your baby, your way. We have experienced first-hand the difference Hypnobirthing makes to birth.  We have both birthed with and without Hypnobirthing and can attest to the huge, HUGE difference hypnobirthing makes to all births - no matter what your circumstances. Whether you are planning a home birth, a caesarean or all that comes in between, our classes will ensure that you feel confident, calm and relaxed in making your own decisions. You will not regret it!