Sunday, October 20th, 2013
‘Gentle Caesarean’ – Imogen’s birth

Imogen Frances was born in August 2013, two weeks early, weighing 6lbs 8oz. Due to having a low-lying placenta, ‘placenta praevia’, her birth was by planned caesarean.

The birth was the most amazing experience of our lives. We met the lady that performed the caesarean a few days beforehand and she was totally bought in on the ‘natural caesarean’ idea! I ran my birth plan past her and she was really positive about everything I requested.

We played the Natal Hypnotherapy Relaxing Birth Music CD in the operating theatre and I concentrated hard on my breathing which worked wonders as I was totally calm and happy and not at all apprehensive. I also had all the monitoring equipment on my legs, toes and shoulders, rather than on my arms, hands or chest – leaving them free to hold my baby as soon as she was born.

When Imogen was born they lowered the screen and lifted her for us to discover for ourselves that she was a baby girl. They cut the cord and put her straight onto my bare chest, without cleaning her, wrapping her or weighing etc. She snuggled in and started feeding straight away – it was love at first sight for us and totally magical!

Unfortunately there were some complications as I had a major haemorrhage and I lost a lot more blood than anticipated. However, I clung onto her for dear life and they let her stay on me whilst they sorted out the issues and then for hours afterwards whilst I was on the high dependency unit. We didn’t end up weighing her and putting a nappy on etc until about 1500 and she was born at 0949!

All in all it was the best experience I could have wished for under the circumstances and I am so grateful to you for recommending the natural caesarean and for your guidance and advice on Natal Hypnotherapy which, without a doubt, helped me to embrace the positives and stay calm and relaxed so I could focus on Imogen.

It is worth noting that all the staff at the hospital that were involved in our procedure mentioned to us separately how calm and inspiring it was and how they hadn’t done anything like that before. Our midwife said she would be pushing for it to be done in this way as standard! Other midwives during my stay said to me that they had heard about our caesarean on the grapevine and it sounded amazing!

Thanks for everything. I will continue to spread the word about Natal Hypnotherapy and will no doubt be in touch if we are blessed with a second pregnancy and maybe next time I can do it the way nature intended!


Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
A Positive Planned Caesarean Birth

Elsie’s birth

Hi Cathy, I am really pleased to tell you that our beautiful baby girl, Elsie Ophelia, was born at 8:58am on Friday 28th June…her due date!

At my 36 week scan my consultant said the baby was approaching 8lbs and due to the fact my first baby was born via emergency caesarean they were not keen on letting me go past my due date. So as I am usually one to play things safe I agreed to be booked in for an elective caesarean on my due date with conditions:
1) If I arrived for my pre-med appointments the day before my planned caesarean they would allow me a further 3 days to see if I would go in to labour naturally, and…
2) if I was to go in to labour naturally I wanted to try for a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After Caesarean) as per my very detailed birth plan!

I spent the next 4 weeks eating hot curries and walking up and down Guildford High Street in the hope that I could get something moving. Having spent 7 months soul searching around whether or not to try for a VBAC, I then made a very positive firm decision that I definitely wanted to try for a one – then all of a sudden the decision was taken out of my hands – I was pretty disappointed at first, but worked hard to get myself into a positive head space and focus on what was important…getting baby here safely and being able to recover from surgery effectively.

I arrived at the hospital at 6;20am on28th June and after a slight concern that there were no beds for elective caesarean patients I was called through. At 8:00am Luke and I walked into theatre and the process of anaesthetising me began. At 8:40am the surgeons began the operation and less than 20 minutes later I hear the first cries of my lovely daughter. She was 8lbs 9oz and perfect.

I quickly found myself in recovery where both mine and Elsie’s temperatures dropped significantly – after a while and a lot of blankets I was OK. Luke had skin to skin time with Elsie which quickly corrected her temperature. Once on the ward I realised how good I felt. Having an elective was so much less stressful and tiring than my first labour. 9 hours post surgery I was out of bed and sat in a chair. 22 hours post surgery I was told if I could shower alone and do a really good wee I could go home. 35 hours post surgery I was sat at home with my family and best friends having a lovely cup of earl grey! Within 10 days I was given the OK to drive which filled me with such a positive feeling.

Physically I have recovered from surgery really well which has meant that I have risen nicely to the challenge of having 2 kids to run around after. The biggest challenge has been the adjustment for my husband and I who were so used to Logan going to bed at 7 and having time together almost every day and now we are never alone. Logan has been brilliant with his little sister – his kindness and gentle nature has been amazing to watch.

Ali Gray (July 2013)

Wednesday, August 14th, 2013
A Refresher course baby – Avaleen’s birth

I would like to thank Cathy for all the tips that she gave us during the NCT Refresher classes with regards to posture during birth. I felt the course really got me in the zone for birth and the positions were a godsend! I could not believe what a difference it made and when I compare the labours I had with both girls Avalaeen’s was a lot quicker, calmer and I have had a better recovery. I had a very active labour in the new Birthing Centre in Guildford (the rooms are really plush and have en-suite too) and the midwives were amazing. Avaleen was born in a lovely calm environment with just Entonox (perfect!!). I found that if I sat the contractions reduced whereas moving around increased them and their intensity making the labour faster. We got to hospital for about 4.30pm, I was examined at 5pm and Avaleen arrived at7.11pm. Hardev was also great – his words of encouragement got me through especially when I almost hit a wall where I thought I could not continue!! He kept me focussed and reassured me that I was in control which empowered me when I felt ‘discomfort’. Here is my story…

So it all happened on Friday…we welcomed a beautiful girl at about 7.11pm and she also weighed 7Ib11oz too – little chubster. The labour really was fine. My show had been on Weds/Thurs but it was today that contractions started at about 5am. It was weird as they were coming on every 4/5mins but very bearable just like a period pain. They then went up to every 7 mins from 9am to 12 noon then again went back down to every 4 mins after that. I stuck the TENS on after a bath at midday which really helped a lot. I had midwife appointment at 2.45pm and when I told her the timings she phoned through to Royal Surrey and basically told us to make our way to the hospital. I wanted to pick Jasmeen up with Hardev from school and to have her fed before we left her with ‘nanny Maive’ (our lovely neighbour) but by the time we picked her up the intensity of the contractions had increased so I got her out of her uniform and sent her round with a tin of spaghetti hoops (lame I know but they are her favourite!!)

We then made our way to the Royal Surrey and, with a few stops along the way to deal with contractions, we got to the labour ward. There we were greeted by the staff who had expected us there much sooner. I had a trainee midwife who did my initial obs such as BP, temp. and pulse. She assessed how frequent the contractions were and how I was coping with the TENS. I was then examined by a qualified midwife at about 5 pm and she told me I was 6cm dilated!

I have to admit every time I either got on the bed or sat the contractions seemed to increase in time so I chose to just keep walking and moving and using the ball on all fours. By about 5.30pm the TENS action was limited and they bought out the good old gas and air which was a godsend – it provided a real relief. After that I remember just breathing through each contraction which seemed to come quite quickly, especially when I was on my knees in an upright position. Hardev quickly went to get the bits out of the car. One of my greatest fears was to have a number 2 (don’t ask I was the same with Jas!) so when I had a sudden urge I really panicked and could not stop within a couple of seconds of pushing there was a tremendous pop! Seriously it was like a water bomb popping and it was my waters going even the midwives were a bit taken aback loll!!

After that I continued to breathe through each contraction until at about 7.11pm when she appeared apparently with both arms up triumphant!! She also did a massive poo all over mummy!! Hardev cut the cord and I delivered the placenta all on a lovely soft mat on the delivery suite floor.

I feel it could not have gone any better apart from the slight soreness I had from a little suture.

Jasmeen was so pleased to see Avaleen the next day and she has been pretty amazing. Also the book I borrowed from Cathy ’Runa’s Birth’ was really useful when chatting to Jasmeen beforehand.

Sham Seehra (July 2013)

Thursday, July 4th, 2013

Dear baby William arrived on Wednesday 12th June at 9.02pm weighing in at 8lb 5oz.

My waters broke at 1.00am on Wednesday morning and I managed to sleep through to 7.00am. I popped to Frimley Park at 11.30am and they confirmed my waters had broken and I was sent home, which was great as I had only just booked in for a home birth a few days before!

My contractions began as I left, just outside the labour ward and I had no respite in between. They were fast and furious from the beginning. Ricky settled me back at home and I used the Tens machine for a while. The midwives arrived at 4.30pm and I was 5cm dilated.

The birthing pool had only arrived that morning so for most of the afternoon Ricky was running around building it and then filling it…trying to get it to the correct temperature! After a huge effort from Ricky the pool was ready at 7.00pm when I was 8cm dilated. Getting in the pool was bliss and it was a huge relief to have the water carry some weight. I stayed in the pool until William was born.

Throughout the labour I remained very calm and relaxed, using the deep breathing techniques that I learnt with you Cathy. Thank you for showing me how to believe in my body and how to have a very positive birth. I did not expect to have such a wonderful, positive experience. For so many years I believed labour to be a frightening and harrowing experience and thanks to you and Natal Hypnotherapy it was nothing like that.

William is a very happy and relaxed baby. I’m sure that is because I was able to remain calm and positive throughout my pregnancy and labour.

I hope your yoga classes and Natal Hypnotherapy Workshops continue to grow from strength to strength. Having William is my greatest achievement so far in life and thanks to you it was a very positive and deeply happy experience for me. Ricky also feels the same he said it was a very calm and happy time and he’s so glad we attended the workshops.

Clair (July 2013)

Monday, November 19th, 2012
Benjamin’s smooth arrival

I felt the first warm wave of a contraction on a Wednesday morning at 5am. It was incredibly mild and they continued periodically all day so I wasn’t sure if it could be my IBS! I slept really well that night after taking a couple of paracetamol. I think I knew they were the start and it put me in an automatically relaxed state. On Thursday morning I went for a power walk around the park with the sensations becoming more regular but they were still very mild. I bounced on my gym ball in the sunshine, listened to my dance music and tried to get lots of rest.

The sensations came every 7 mins and lasted 1 minute from about 8pm Thursday night and I was unable to sleep. I used the deep breathing methods and tried visualising a flower opening. I took a warm bath about 6ish and had the show, which panicked me a bit because I wasn’t expecting it to be so big.

We went to the hospital at 7am as I felt that I needed to get settled in my place of birth. I was measured at 4cm and the examination started to intensify everything. The birthing pool was not available however the midwives read my birth plan and set up a room with subdued lighting, a CD player, a bean bag and gym ball. They took away the pamphlet which came with the Natal Hypnotherapy CDs to read and share the info with the rest of the team. Both midwives were incredibly supportive of my wishes. They monitored baby every 30 mins and did this with no sound or talking. I was able to move freely however, as I had the pressure of Benjamin and my waters, I did not feel confident leaving the room other than to wee.

I started to use entonox at 11am as the sensations were a little more powerful than I was able to breathe through comfortably. The midwives had been very impressed by my ability to breathe through the sensations. I spent the whole day time on my feet so at 2pm I felt very tired. I was given the option of the pool however, as I had not progressed enough the staff were a little concerned that the water may slow things down. I decided that the best thing I needed was some rest and as baby would arrive after the drug was out of my system I had a shot of pethidine. At 5pm I was fully alert and had lots of energy. I got up on my feet again. The best technique I used was to breath around a rectangle – focussing on any rectangular shape around the room. I learnt this from the yoga.

The sensation to bear down came at about 7:30pm. I did panic during the transition phase because the staff were worried they had not examined me and asked me to go to the loo, which was in the corridor. The staff faffed with a canister of entonox to bring to the loo so didn’t support me. I took in too much entonox before going so I felt a bit disorientated and a little lost. Nick was also in the room so not with me. I think my waters started to break at this time and they were not clear. The midwives also noticed that Benjamin’s heart rate was dropping with each contraction so they asked me to lie on my left hand side and strapped a permanent monitor. This was actually very comfortable and after the entonox wore off I was back in control.

The last stage lasted only 15 mins and I was in established labour for only 6 1/2hrs. I had an episiotomy because they wanted to get Benjamin out quickly (he had his arm around his neck) but the community midwife said I probably didn’t need it!

I ditto all the comments about recommending Natal Hypnotherapy to others and have passed on the information to my friend who is expecting in October.

Many thanks.