A wonderful email today from Libby in Japan, sharing the birth of her son Kai :)
"I had been listening to Alice's MP3s almost every night since I was about 24 weeks pregnant. I especially benefited from 'letting go of fears and doubts'. I live in Japan and although pre and post natal care is amazing here, I had a lot of worries since I am so far from my family.
I was also so scared at first to give birth without an epidural or gas because most Japanese hospitals don’t offer either. But in the end, I didn’t think I needed either anyway thanks to hynobirthing techniques.
I enjoyed practising my breathing as I imagined a calming place for me and my baby. For me, this place was on a beach with waves rolling in.
Three days before my due date, I thought that my water might have broken - but I had just been at the hospital for a check up and my doctor said that I would not be going into labour any time soon! I went back to the hospital and sure enough - my body was starting the amazing process of giving birth.
My labour started very slowly but once I felt my surges getting a bit more intense, I turned off the lights, used my oil diffuser and put on my hypnobirthing MP3s. I Imagined the calming ocean waves and they eventually corresponded with my surges as they got stronger and stronger. I started to think of each surge, as intense as they were, as a step closer to meeting our son.
After being checked again by a midwife in the hospital, I was told that I still had some more waiting. But shortly after that, I felt a powerful surge and I knew our son was coming! We called the midwife in again and I barely made it to see the doctor before my son was born. I think my breathing practice, "embracing" the surges, and all the squats and walking I did certainly helped!
One thing I learned from Alice was that it's okay not to be serene and calm all the time. The end of my labour was so primal and instinctive. I was screaming and yelling from the intensity but it was not frightening or even overly painful. I just embraced it all.
My husband was also fantastic as a birthing partner. I am so happy to have shared my labour start to finish with him. We still laugh about me almost having our son in the hospital hallway.
I cannot stop recommending hypnobirthing to everyone that asks about my birth story. Thank you Alice for all your support!"