These photographs were taken just after my second HypnoBirth.
Welcome to the world Philippa.
"We got hold of Meg at about 01:45 and she was here by 02:15. Things started to increase in speed from then as my body relaxed as soon as Meg's calming presence entered the room. After calling the birth centre to ask them to send someone out Meg tried some rebozo sifting. It instantly improved baby's position and boom! My waters went with a gush. I was then eager to get in the pool and sure enough after jumping in things progressed VERY quickly. Meg helped immensely by applying deep pressure on my back through the surges. And she and my husband worked beautifully together reassuring me that I was safe and helping me to maintain surge breathing and peace. The midwife calmly watched from a distance and gently completed the odd observation as and when.
Having Meg in the room was wonderful. She had done a hypno refresher course with us and it was like being in a hard exam at school but being able to talk to your tutor for "cheat tips" throughout! A very short time later my baby arrived in the pool at 04:41 after 2 pushes.
After birthing the placenta, drying off and getting into my own bed my Mum, hubby and Meg took it in turns to be with me while they cracked on with the clean up operation. Meg and Mum were an efficient team to behold and the room was soon spotless!!!
Home birthing with a doula was probably the most empowering thing I have ever done. The high I felt afterwards was indescribable."
"I was 41 weeks but everything was natural, I managed to get pretty much what I wanted and what I wrote on the paper in our first taster session - calm, content, informed! Thanks to you I managed to stay at home until 7cm, the midwives were amazed. Unfortunately I lost my way a little bit when I got to the final bit and after shooting him out ended up in theatre but it was well worth it for this little man. We’re both doing well and all recovered. I can’t thank you enough for your help and the hypnobirthing sessions. I was an anxious mess about pregnancy and labour when I first came to you and I hated speaking to people, about especially other women, on the fear of being judged. Now I can’t believe what a miracle the whole process is and I do feel bad that men aren’t as fabulous as we are and will never be able to experience carrying and birthing a child. Iain found the course just as helpful and I think it helped him relax on the day. He knew what terminology to expect, what should happen, what to do when, he got the contraction app you mentioned and kept track of everything. Although we went to the ante natal classes your course was a lot more useful, informative and relatable than those, particularly in relation to pregnancy and labour. I’m sure I’ll be booking back in for a refresher for baby number 2!"
"Our whole birthing experience was really positive and I have to thank you personally for teaching us about hypnobirthing. I had no worries about the birth beforehand and went into it so knowledgeable that I felt confident in myself. When my labour started I was unsure I was even in labour. I put the call into the hospital and they said pop over we will check you and rebook you back in for tomorrow morning. So off I went and when I got there, they carried out my examination and the nurse shouted “You’re 6cm! Blimey we best get you ready.” The nurse was so surprised she said to her colleagues “there’s a lady in who doesn’t even look like she’s in labour.
"To be honest I felt with all the techniques and breathing exercises I had learnt during our classes this really helped me managed the birth in a positive, relaxed and calming environment. The midwives were very supportive of my birthing plan and that made me feel a little in control even though I was realistic that some things might not go to plan. Having the knowledge and understanding things may take a different route does help you prepare better. You helped us prepare for that.
"Thank you so much and we would like to wish you all the best in teaching the world about hypnobirthing."
"After completing the group course with Meg in the lead up to my daughter’s birth I was excited, never really fearful or anxious. I knew it wasn’t going to be pain free but I was looking forward to the experience, putting into practice all the techniques I’d learned and finally getting to meet my little one.
"As I hit my due date I had lots of little signs that suggested it wouldn’t be long and I used this time to relax and sleep as much as possible in preparation for the birth. I had a long latent stage, with 2 nights of surges between 4-7 minutes apart. My rainbow relaxation helped me to stay calm and even nap in between, and on the first night of gentle surges (as excited as I was) I didn’t even wake my husband, I just quietly relaxed and micro napped when possible.
"I spent 4 hours in the pool at one stage and even though this was when my surges were at their most intense and only a minute or two apart, I absolutely loved it. I was so happy and peaceful just floating around with my earphones in listening to affirmations, lavender drops on my bikini top and gentle encouragement from my birth partners.
"During the 3rd day/night I refused intervention for as long as possible, I was happy to stay patient in order to achieve the natural delivery I’d dreamt of. However it eventually became clear that I would need some help and just kept reminding myself to stay calm and positive no matter what path my birth took. We know now that the baby was in an awkward position and I was never destined for a natural delivery, but at every turn I called upon the same techniques to keep me calm, focused and positive.
"We eventually ended up in theatre prepped for a Caesarean. I could see that my husband looked worried and yet I was still so calm. I reassured him all was fine and reminded him that this was a time to be excited as our journey was about to be complete and we were seconds away from becoming parents. It all happened quite quickly and before I knew it I was looking up at her, she was perfect! She settled very quickly on my chest and has been very calm and content ever since.
"The moment I saw her was the greatest moment of my life. It really didn’t matter which way she arrived. I was just so grateful that I was alert, calm and focused enough to take it all in. I even managed to capture some photographs of my own from the theatre table. I can treasure those images of daddy’s first glances and him cutting the cord.
"As challenging as it was I look back on it all fondly, without any negativity. It is my birth story and I’m proud of it and what we achieved."
"Meg, from the minute I met you hypnobirthing and your advice has helped me everyday to grow stronger, combat anxiety, birth my baby and even manage the examinations after.
"I admit I was doubtful that I would be able to switch off my over active brain but when it came to it, I naturally zoned out, ignored everyone and Chris spoke for us. He was amazing at holding my space and guiding me through it. The midwives were in shock too!
"During your course, I went from being anxious and scared to informed and empowered. Our birth was such a magical and special event. I can’t thank you enough for helping us through the journey and appreciate all the extra, personalised support that you have given me."
"I am so glad that I met Meg at the Bumps, Birth and Beyond event. I had never heard of hypnobirthing but as my close friend (who was 16 weeks ahead of me in her pregnancy) talked about being in control during her labour and birth, about making informed choices, I knew this was what I wanted.
"As a person, I like routine, I like to know what is going to happen, when it's going to happen and how it's going to happen; I don't like surprises and I like to be in control. I am a control 'freak' and hate it when things are out of my control. I like to know my options and have to plan things meticulously and be prepared. From our early pregnancy days I knew exactly what kind of birth I wanted - calm and peaceful and beautiful, just the same as when my sister birthed my beautiful nephew and niece. However, I am also the worlds worst worrier and negativity always tries to wheedle its way into my thought processes - the what ifs...
"Labour isn't something that you can control, it isn't predictable, it is a force of nature and not something that can't be relied upon - these were the messages you get from other people's birth stories and it's enough to worry even the calmest of people.
"We attended the hypnobirthing course with Meg for 5 weeks and learnt the techniques for relaxation, pain relief, we learnt about being in control, what to expect, choices and decisions that were ours to make before, during and after the birth. The information we learnt gave us a voice. We learnt about how the female body is designed to birth babies naturally and that intervention was not necessary. It was possible to be in control and have the birth we wanted.
"As first time parents we found Meg to be an invaluable source of positive information, she also became a friend. We learnt more from her about pregnancy, labour and birth than we did at the antenatal classes and felt prepared for the birth of our son.
"When labour started, we used the relaxation techniques, the surge breathing, the positive affirmations - we had a long early labour, we spent time together, breathing calmly, we walked along the canal, enjoyed relaxation techniques together and managed the surges together. We were in control. Hypnobirthing had also prepared my husband and he knew what to expect and how to help me. After 25 hours of calm early labour, active labour began and we were able to enjoy the water birth we had planned. I was able to make choices that led to the natural water birth that I had dreamed of and our son was born 7 hours later. Labour was not the easiest experience I have ever had, but I was in control, made the decisions that worked for me and had the most beautiful natural birth.
I" know that without the tools that Meg equipped us with, I would have panicked, worried and I'm pretty sure the midwives would have intervened to 'help' me birth our baby. I received our baby boy, Seth, in the water on 14th January at 06:35 and we'd gotten everything we wanted from our birth experience. Thank you Meg."
"Before my pregnancy I had heard wonderful things about Hypnobirthing and therefore I knew this method of birthing was for me. My husband, Mum and I attended these sessions with Meg and throughout all 5 classes we developed an extensive education in birthing calmly and naturally, and I felt empowered in my ability to make my own choices about the way I wanted my birth to go. I’ve met very few people who describe their labour and birth as ‘wonderful’ or ‘amazing’ but these are words I now use to describe my own experience! Using the relaxing methods, which I had been practicing since our classes, I breathed my way through each of my surges and quickly and calmly welcomed my gorgeous baby into the world. Meg gave me such confidence in knowing my body’s ability to naturally birth my baby, and also taught my mum and husband perfectly how to support me in this goal too. I had envisioned the perfect birth for my son, and through Hypnobirthing I got what I wished for. I will forever look back at my son’s birthing day with joy, pride and amazement, and I thank Meg for that, and Hypnobirthing!"
"Both myself and my partner decided to undertake a Hypno-birthing course in order to prepare for the arrival of our first baby and after meeting Megan thought she would be great to help us to understand the techniques. She provided us both with some solid techniques to assist with relaxation, and helped us as a couple and first time parents, understand our roles through the labour and in the first few days afterwards. Personally I am quite an anxious person and like to feel in control or know what is coming, alongside this my partner was becoming a first time father. Therefore HypnoBirthing provided both of us with common ground and understanding of what to expect, how to manage the stages of birth and stay calm, as well as welcoming our little baby into the world in the most positive and stress free way as possible. After completing the training with Megan we both felt prepared and ready for the labour and totally grounded as to how to manage the birthing process and stay focused as well as relaxed. I can’t recommend both HypnoBirthing and Megan enough, I would do it again no question and it was a lovely experience to share as a couple and prepare us to become a family."
"Prior to the birth I did lots of relaxation and breathing practice. I was determined that our baby would have a gentle birth and I did my best to make sure I was relaxed for her coming into the world. The Doctors and midwives were fantastic – they had our HypnoBirthing Preferences sheet and although, in the end, we had to deviate from some of what we would have ideally liked, the midwife made sure we would be able to achieve as much as possible - so she kept the room really calm and relaxing, with some soft music on; she talked us through all the things we could STILL do for our baby, even if I had to have a C-section - Chris could be there; we could see our baby come into the world; it would be calm; Chris could be with us and with the baby as soon as she was born; the baby would have delayed cord clamping and skin to skin contact straight away with me, or Chris if for some reason I was unable to do this. We knew that if the baby had to be born in this way we were still doing everything we could to make sure she had a gentle birth.
"Despite PJ's birth going in a different direction than we'd hoped for, I still really enjoyed it. It was good to be able to approach decisions together calmly and rationally... But I have Meg to thank for that. It was the philosophy of HypnoBirthing that helped us both stay calm and focused; to ask the questions and make the decisions. Chris was more than amazing. I think I would have gone to pieces without him. He was a rock and a guide and so many other things that day. There actually aren't enough words to explain how knowing he was looking after us all brought me such peace of mind, calm and focus.
"I love HypnoBirthing and it has merged now with all the other things that I do and is more of a ‘way of life’ now, rather than something to do with ‘just’ birthing."
"Thank you so much for guiding and supporting me through my third trimester with Calvin and giving me the tools and techniques to keep my mind and body relaxed and calm during labour and beyond. I will always draw on what I have learned."
"A huge thank you to you for all you did to help us through our HypnoBirthing course. Not only did we have a lovely time getting to know you, but we had such a fantastic experience and learnt so much along the way. I can honestly say without your help we would have dreaded the whole process but instead w felt calm and very excited.
"Although we ended up with a birth slightly different to what we planned we still gained greatly from the course and we appreciate all the help you’ve given us, we couldn’t have done it without you!"
"Thank you for making Marek and I feel so at ease during the HypnoBirthing course. We have found it so valuable and will definitely be recommending you to others. It’s also appreciated that you are continuing to offer support and advice with the extra session."
"My husband and I decided to complete a private hypnobirthing course in my third trimester and we were so pleased we decided to do this. Meg came to our home and sessions felt really relaxed - we felt comfortable with Meg instantly. I was quite anxious about how the birth may go and whilst I had wanted a home birth I felt unsure if I could do this - the course helped me feel more relaxed and confident and we decided we would like a home birth. My husband had been unsure about it but after the first session he was sold on hypnobirthing and said he found the course so helpful and interesting and it made him feel so much more confident in approaching the birth of our baby. It was nice to hear him explain to people and be such an advocate of home births and hypnobirthing, as he had previously felt the need for us to be in hospital. We did hope for a home birth but due to needing to be induced early at just after 37 weeks we ended up in hospital. Meg was so helpful and supportive in helping us think through the process and how to make it work for us. Her support was invaluable and I don't think I would have been able to approach the birth with the calm that I did without the course and the support and reassurance we received from Meg.
"I think with being in hospital for the birth hypnobirthing became even more of a help as it enabled me to stay calm and feel more in control of the situation and the decision making process. I think for me our birth may have felt a stressful experience had it not been for us doing hypnobirthing - it helped me in the whole approach to birth - not just with the birth itself but for the appointments/scans and interactions with medical professionals. It helped me to reframe and stay positive and helped us to have a positive birth that we felt part of rather than feeling it was being done to us. I feel that everyone would benefit from doing a hypnobirthing course in preparation for the birth of a baby - it just makes so much sense! Thanks Meg! "