I ask all my clients for feedback on the sessions they have with me, as well as giving them space to debrief their birth experience. The courses and packages I offer are ever evolving, and I relish the chance to be informed by the wisdom of my clients to move forward. It’s a poignant opportunity for everyone involved to take stock, and make paths to closure and beyond . . .
The clients you are about to hear from came to me for remote Hypnobirthing sessions during coronavirus. They chose to have their sessions delivered over the phone, without video, with the materials emailed to them after every session. I’d never delivered support in such a remote way before, but was delighted at the intimacy we achieved despite the physical distance, and never seeing each other’s faces. 3 months post-birth they sent me a voicenote that overwhelmed me, so with their permission I’m posting it in full below…
“Our birth went very far away from the birth that I had been planning for, wishing for, and trying manifest. It quickly went from what I’d hoped for, a natural pool birth on the midwifery unit, to one that was heavily medicalised, and very much a cascade of intervention.
Our baby was stuck due to quite a rare condition called Shoulder Dystocia, so as I understand, having a natural birth, would have been near impossible. We had to very quickly accept, and almost grieve the loss of our natural birth plan, and embrace what was happening, and despite it being very different from what we had planned.
When everything was going out of control, some of the skills that we’d learned and practised with Daisy were invaluable. Firstly the breathing techniques, being able to really hone in and have a structured breathing technique that both my birthing partner and myself could do together, really helped us both feel in control.
Secondly, the relaxation meditation. After I was induced I had a very long early labour, and I was able to use the relaxation meditation at times when it was all getting a bit much. My birthing partner would say “shall I just put the meditation on” and I’d say ‘yes’ and I could feel myself going to that relaxing place. I know that I wouldn’t have been so disciplined about listening to that and having that mediation as part of my birth preparation, if I hadn’t been having sessions with Daisy.
Lastly the session where you taught me about compassionate breathing, where you have to just let things go. There was definitely one midwife who was quite a challenging personality, and didn’t really get the hypnobirthing approach I was trying, and I found it quite abrasive during birth to have her presence in the room. I used the compassionate breathing, and I found myself remembering to accept that presence, drink it in, then blow it out, and disregard it …not put any energy on it, and that was really really useful because I could really imagine that without having that kind of tool, I might’ve really been impacted by things that were very much out of my control. So I think those three things were really really invaluable for a birth that was quickly becoming not the birth that we planned.
Just to say a bit about the sessions with Daisy, one of the really key strengths of the sessions was Daisy’s ability to hold space for us. This meant that the sessions were not only informative, but that we were able to strike a real rapport, even though we were doing it over the phone. Daisy really struck a good balance between professional, friendly, approachable and open, so that both of us felt able to ask any question, or raise any point, or share any detail about ourselves. And we also knew that we were getting credible legitimate information, which was actually going to be useful to us.
One area where this was really invaluable was in terms of helping my birth partner prepare for birth, and go into this long and complicated 24hr birth, ready to advocate for me. My birthing partner had put a lot of thought into how to prepare, she was more prepared for our birth than lots of things in life (laughs), making sure that she was in a good frame of mind, that she’d put a lot of thought into how she was going to interact with me, how she might challenge things if they came up. And for pretty much 10 hours straight, my birthing partner was there, doing the breathing with me, locking eyes with me, breathing together, and I really feel that we were so strongly united because we had done the sessions together with Daisy.
I should also say we also did a very popular online course, the kind that advertises itself as a modern antenatal and hypnobirthing education, and we didn’t really get much out of that at all. I mean there were a few things that were useful pieces of information, but I wouldn’t recommend it to other people, and I wouldn’t do it again as a first time parent, because actually the four sessions we did with Daisy were more useful and valuable to us. One of the things that we both really valued was the space that you held, and the way that you conducted your sessions was non-hetronormative, in the language used, and in your approach. You didn’t know much about us at all as a couple, but it really was really refreshing, we felt very safe and secure, knowing that you took that approach compared to a lot of parent support groups and classes, which are by default extremely hetronormative.
Finally, we also very simply just enjoyed the sessions, we often came away smiling or laughing, they were uplifting and even though we’ve never met you physically I feel like I know you well and I feel safe in your presence.”
Information on Shoulder Dystocia:
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