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I trained and qualified as a midwife in 2006. I was absolutely fascinated by pregnancy, labour and childbirth and a career in midwifery seemed the obvious choice for me. I was very proud to be a midwife. However, my experiences of working for NHS maternity services left me disappointed - I didn't have the time to talk, and - most importantly - listen to women. I therefore trained and practised as a health visitor and continue in this career.
When it came to my own child rearing, I put this off for many years; what I had seen on labour ward had made me extremely anxious and I envisaged my own birth to be extremely painful, distressing and traumatic. When I first found out that I was pregnant, my first thought - sadly - was not one of joy but anxiety, thinking "I'm going to have to give birth now". This anxiety really started to engulf me as my pregnancy advanced. Alas, I researched methods for having a calm and natural birth and to my delight I found hypnobirthing!
My husband and I used the KG hypnobirthing approach, and had sessions in our own home by a local midwife. Together, we worked hard on preparing for labour and birth.
My labour and birth were absolutely wonderful - I laboured through the night with my husband by my side, using a hot water bottle, a TENS machine and a birthing ball. I started pushing at home and then my waters broke, so we called the hospital and made the journey in. Though I was gently pushing in the car, and during the short walk to the hospital, the whole situation was very calm. The midwives did not feel I was in advanced labour when I arrived. However, when I had a surge (contraction) I started pushing involuntarily, and they realised I was almost ready to have my baby!
Baby Samuel was born 30 minutes later. It was a smooth and calm birth for both him and me; lasting about 12 hours in total. My body knew what to do and because I had prepared my mind for birth, I was so calm and relaxed, I trusted my body to do what nature had desi