I am so excited to share the beautiful birth story of Alfie Macdonald, born naturally on the 14th of December 2016, weighing 10.6lbs. Congratulations to his super proud parents Joanne and John Macdonald who completed The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme with me earlier this month. Joanne said that it was a “thoughtful birth” and that it “feels like a dream!”
After a traumatic birth experience with their first child, this couple wanted to have a positive birth experience with their second baby and signed up to my Wise Hippo class in November. Having become experts in relaxation, Joanne and John used the techniques that they had been practicing from The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme to remain calm and relaxed during Alfie’s birth.
“Since completing all 4 classes my husband and I have been practicing everything we have been taught and we now both feel really excited, confident and ready for the birth of our baby. If we had not done this course we would most likely be feeling quite anxious after having a bad experience last time.” Joanne
“I’d go as far as saying the course is a real life changer. It has left me feeling calmer, happier, more relaxed and confident.” Joanne
Joanne was so relaxed during labour that Alfie was actually born snoozing and remained asleep for 10 minutes after the birth. How incredible!
Joanne and John had really enjoyed Class 4, where I teach clients about the birth partners role and share techniques for the birth partner to use during labour. John played a key role as Joanne’s birth partner, as soon as he arrived at the hospital (where Joanne had been overnight) John immediately began with the Soothing Strokes massage techniques to release endorphins – the body’s natural pain relief – whilst Joanne was experiencing her surges (contractions).
“John was really good, when he came in, straight away he started using the massage techniques – the Soothing Strokes – and that felt better instantly!”
Joanne said that she was amazed at what her husband remembered to do (things that she probably wouldn’t have remembered herself, like dimming the lights) and the positive impact that he had on their birth experience. John said, “it gave me more sense of purpose than just holding her hand and saying everything was going to be ok.”
One of the techniques that Joanne found particularly supportive during her labour was from the ‘Bond and Breathe’ hypnosis script that I teach in Class 2, anchoring a deep state of relaxation to different muscle groups in the body. This allows the client to enter into a deep state of relaxation quickly. Joanne was using this technique before her husband arrived at the hospital and noticed that every time she used the technique, she felt completely relaxed.
“What a difference doing the 5,4,3,2,1 had. I didn’t feel the contractions when I was doing that. But I felt them really badly when I didn’t. It was amazing, really amazing!”
Joanne and John were also delighted with their midwife, Lyn who played an important role in their birth story. Joanne said that when Lyn arrived she felt instantly more at ease in her presence. Lyn’s guidance enabled Joanne to feel confident in what her body was doing naturally and she birthed Alfie feeling calm, confident and in control.
Joanne said, “While the midwife was talking me through how to bear down, my body was doing it naturally anyway and that was an incredible realisation, that your body is so capable, that if you just let it, it will do what it’s meant to! I only noticed this because I was calm and relaxed and not tensing my body – I was completely focused on being in control.”
“Joanne was fantastic! I went in at the very end, as the nightshift had been looking after her, so to be honest she was delivering but she was so in control. She asked, and I guided her on how to bear down, but she was fab! It was a lovely way to start the morning!” Lyn (the midwife)
“It was really good. I could feel everything and I could feel him coming down. It felt like I was more in control and was able to listen to my body whereas I didn’t have a clue what my body was doing last time but my body.” Joanne
It was such a delight to hear Joanne and John speak about their positive birth experience and how they used The Wise Hippo techniques, from the 5,4,3,2,1 breath during the surges to birthing baby Alfie into the world, still snoozing. One of their hopes within their birth planning was to share that precious skin-to-skin bonding after birth and Joanne was delighted about being given as much time as she wanted from the wonderful team of midwives at the Western Isles Hospital to enjoy these precious moments.
Joanne said, “all in all it was pretty flippin’ amazing – and not one stitch!” Having commented on how incredible she was looking just hours after birth, Joanne responded saying, “I feel as good now as I did 6 weeks after birth the first time”.
I want to express my heartfelt gratitude to Joanne, John and of course, baby Alfie for sharing this journey from bump, to birth, to baby with me – it has been an absolute privilege and an absolute pleasure!
This is such an empowering birth story, that shows how this mother felt after birthing her baby: calm, confident, relaxed and happy, knowing that she had the right birth on the day!
For more information about The Wise Hippo Birthing Programme and my upcoming classes, please visit: https://beingheather.co.uk/the-wise-hippo