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It was incredible

I’ve been meaning to write something like this for ages. This is the story of me and my wife Anna and our experience of Hypnobirthing. Not only was it incredible for my wife but also life changing for me…

In 2008 my wife gave birth to Max in a “traditional” hospital birth. It was everything you’d expect- a very traumatising experience for the 3 of us. A long drawn out, painful birth, on her back with a monitor on her bump being told she couldn’t move. It ended with an epidural and forceps delivery. It was very difficult for me because I’m a doer- I like to get involved and help with things.

I hated just standing by and watching while my wife was in so much pain and I was doing nothing. My son, Max was a very scared and nervous baby with a strange shaped head cut and bruised from the delivery. He then started to refuse milk aged 4 months and was fed by a tube until he was 4.

When my wife got pregnant again in 2012 she was not surprisingly very scared about the birth. She started to have panic attacks almost every night so we had to do something. We had looked into hypnobirth and even though my wife was sceptical she was ready to try anything. When my wife was about 5 months pregnant we went to Katherine’s weekend course and started doing the breathing and visualisation practice together every night at home. Anna was still sceptical but the practice seemed to stop the panic attacks at least so we carried on. Despite the doctors telling Anna she couldn’t have a home birth we decided to go against their advice and have one anyway. We got a douler on Katherine’s recommendation and organised for an NHS midwife to come to our house. Anna went into labour and we did the breathing/ visualisation as we had practiced. It was amazing! After 2 hours the douler came round- Anna had been quiet and in the “zone” pretty much the whole time. We called the midwife to let her know a couple of times. The second time the midwife asked if she was in the final stages. I asked her how can I tell- the midwife told me that she would be screaming in pain. As she had been on her hands and knees, completely quiet the whole time I told her probably not then. After the call a few minutes later Anna made a strange kind of groaning sound. She still had her pyjamas on so I took them off and the baby’s head was there! I quickly called the midwife back and asked her to come. There were two more contractions then Anna’s waters broke and my daughter came flying out in one easy motion! I technically delivered my own daughter with the douler’s help! My daughter never cried and was very calm- she looked me right in the eyes and looked around the room, calm and alert! She didnt cry until a few hours later when she got hungry. My wife was so shocked that she had given birth so easily she couldn’t speak for almost an hour. She had given birth in under 3 hours with no painkillers and most importantly no fear or stress. It was incredible and nobody was more surprised than my originally sceptical wife! I felt amazing too because I actually had an active role in the birth. Our hypno-baby Ruby has kept her calm, chilled personality. She was amazing at sleeping through the night and she’s never had a single jab and hardly ever gets ill.

This was amazing in of itself but there was another story after that was also amazing. The strange thing was that I went through a transformative period with my work. 2011/ 2012 I was just going into film-making having worked as a photographer for some time. I wrote some ideas/ scripts in 2012 that really changed my career (they resulted in this film  and this one). Also in the same year I wrote the seeds of several other ideas which I developed into films/ scripts over the following year. It was when this creative streak dried up I began to reflect. I came to realise that all the ideas were written over a two month period. I was racking my brains trying to work out what was so special about that time. It was then that I realised. The 2 months were exactly the time when my wife was pregnant- every night I was practicing with her the breathing and the visualisations. This had a profound effect on my creative output and this realisation also triggered a spiritual change that has continued to this day. I have since taken up tai chi and meditation which I now practice on a daily basis, I’ve given up drinking and workaholic tendencies that I had and I now spend more time with my family and working on projects that matter to others with my work. This second story is not particularly birth related but I think shows how powerful this stuff is. I just want to thank Katherine from the bottom of my heart and from my wife Anna too who is eternally grateful

Love Josh xxxx

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