Hi Amy, here is my story:
I fell pregnant when I was 37, getting on a little for a first baby but I was determined to birth at home. Luckily at the time there was a fabulous home birthing team in Northamptonshire. After registering my hopes with our GP, I started to look into hypnobirthing. I thought it sounded so sensible and natural and decided to find someone local ASAP.
My husband was very supportive, and we went for lessons together and had loads of homework which was fun.
When Will was ready to enter the world, I started to go into labour 5 days after he was due. I'd carried on walking every day and had been doing daily perineal massage, and all of my visualisation etc so I felt prepared.
When I began to feel the tightening sensations my husband and I were watching a comedy show on TV, I'm still certain this is what started Will's journey from my cozy belly into the world, I honestly laughed myself silly - forget pineapple and curry etc!
When the sensations intensified I paced and used my birthing ball and naturally started to go quiet and inward looking, just focusing my attention on breathing, visualising and keeping active. Once I was about 9cm dilated we called my midwife. By the time she arrived, I was comfortably resting in our gently lit bedroom. My husband, continued using light touch massage throughout, I honestly don't know how his arm didn't fall off, he was incredible.
The midwives kept checking my progress and when I was ready she and the other half helped me onto all fours. I was completely silent, I couldn't think about breaking my concentration, I nodded or shook my head according to what was being asked.
When it was time to push I visualised my cervix opening like a rose as I'd been taught. It all happened without a hitch and was honestly the most incredible, natural empowering experience of my life, and that's is largely due to the fact that I'd been shown fantastic tools to enable me to bring my first baby into the world as naturally as possible.
To ensure I give a balanced story, Will had pooed inside me and the midwife wanted to whip us into hospital to ensure we were both okay, I'd also torn a tiny amount and she wanted to stitch me. I calmly asked if we could stay at home and she agreed to check up on us both in few hours. I also managed to argue that mending a tear is far better than being stitched, so she agreed to leave my bits alone as long as I bathed in lavender or salt water.
I can't recommend hypnobirthing highly enough, I wish all women would consider doing it. It feels like after years of watching these ridiculous dramatisations on TV and films of screaming women giving birth on their backs, that we are actually taking charge of our own births again. It feels like a gentle, important revolution with everyone's best interests at heart.