Hannah Grummitt - Blue Sky Birthing
- Blue Sky Birthing
- Gateways House
- London RD
- SP3 4DL
- Contact Details:
Hello, My name is Hannah and I am privileged to be a Mum, horse riding instructor and keen gardener. I love teaching hypnobirthing because it is evidence based and relevant to everyone, whatever your individual birth circumstances, in pregnancy, birth and beyond. We had a lovely homebirth with Isabel, despite my significant anxiety about birth and being a Mum. The KG hypnobirthing we did made a huge difference to our experience of pregnancy and birth. I look forwards to meeting you and sharing this gift.
I am hugely blessed to live in rural Wiltshire with my Husband Owen, and our daughter Isabel. We have a dog, a pony, ducks and a front hall full of muddy wellies. My background is in the outdoors and therapy. Originally I trained as a horticultural therapist, before moving in to the field of equine assisted therapy. Currently I work part time as a riding instructor at Gul outdoor therapy centre.
Most of my time is spent being a Mum, which I love far more than I ever imagined possible. We had a lovely straight forward homebirth with Isabel. My full birth story is below incase it is of interest to you. Please be reassured KG hypnobirthing is relevant and useful in every birthing situation. We had a beautiful homebirth, if you are planning a beautiful C Section or a beautiful hospital birth KG Hypnobirthing is still totally relevant to you.
I wanted to write Isabel’s birth story because I don’t want to forget! So many people told me during my pregnancy that “childbirth is excruciatingly painful – but it’s ok because you forget all about it afterwards”. Isabel’s birth was painful, but it was also amazing, intense and empowering in ways I don’t want to forget!
From before we were even pregnant I had it on my heart to try for a homebirth – it just made sense. I like my space and the medical model of childbirth seemed really alien to me. My husband was supportive and the more we looked into it the more certain we were that it was right for us.
We were blessed with a very healthy pregnancy and I remained fit and active throughout, horse riding until 40 weeks +4 days. We did the KG hypnobirthing course when I was about 26 weeks – it was brilliant.
We had the standard blood test at 28 weeks and were advised to take iron pills as my haemoglobin had dropped to 10.5 (it started at 11.5). Something in me felt this was not a good idea, and further research confirmed this. We spoke to various contacts through KG hypnobirthing and I did lots of research online. I was advised by a specialist in pregnancy nutrition that there was nothing wrong with my haemoglobin, in fact for a pregnant lady is was at a very healthy level. So I went to my next appointment armed with medical journal articles, only to have a different midwife who wasn’t at all worried about my haemoglobin and was very happy that a good iron rich diet would do!
Later in the pregnancy the iron issue came up again, with muttering about not being able to have a home birth if it dropped below 10, or having to have ‘special care plan’ about immediate hospital transfer at any sign of bleeding. Once again I did my research, confirmed what I already knew about iron supplementation and haemodilution in pregnancy, became clear in my own head that there was no solid reason to not have a home birth due to haemoglobin levels, and went to my next appointment with a letter, laying it all out, and we had a different midwife again who wasn’t worried. I didn’t even feel the need to get the letter out of the bag.
At one of my final appointments I was asked if I had had the repeat blood test to check haemoglobin so decisions could be made about homebirth. I hadn’t (because I hadn’t reminded the midwife to do it……..). At this point I decline a final blood test and informed the midwife there wasn’t much point, because it wouldn’t make any difference – we would have a homebirth regardless of the results. I explained I had absolutely no symptoms of being anaemic, therefore was not worried. I did not go into all the details of medical journals – she accepted my decision without it being necessary.
Throughout the pregnancy I struggled with the concept of being a parent (was pretty convinced I was going to hate being a Mum!), I spent a lot of time feeling completely overwhelmed and bounced from ‘we can do this, its going to be ok’ to ‘oh my goodness what are we doing …… I can’t do this’.
We named the baby Isabel at approximately 30 weeks pregnant – really pleased we did this. She was a person long before she was born. We had a lovely spiritual baby shower at 36ish weeks which was a source of great encouragement.
I went on maternity leave at 37.5 weeks. Having really struggled to connect with Isabel these 3 ½ weeks of not being rushed off my feet and stressed started the process of falling in love with the little one, and I started to be more excited about her arrival.
We had been disciplined throughout the pregnancy in stating the Isabel would arrive in God’s perfect timing. In fact throughout the pregnancy we chose to be actively disciplined in speaking positive words only over the pregnancy, birth and postpartum period (much to the annoyance of some I am sure – I think people felt the need to ‘manage our expectations’, which just caused me to spiral into meltdown).
We saw our midwife at 40 weeks + 5 days and informed her we intended to refuse induction unless there were medical reasons other than being ‘post dates’ to induce. She was great about this but her supervisor said we had to meet with consultant at hospital to discuss it. So at 41 weeks we saw the consultant. By this point my mucus plug had gone and I was pretty certain things would start of their own accord before we got to the stage when the hospital wanted to induce. We saw an absolutely fabulous midwife who offered ‘natural induction’ (aromatherapy, massage, membrane sweep), which we said we would consider if we got to 40 week + 10 days without baby arriving. The meeting with the consultant left me feeling pretty rough, and I came away questioning whether we are bonkers and should just be giving up and having a hospital birth. Not because I thought we were ‘wrong’ to want a home birth or because we were taking risks, just because I felt like it was an uphill battle and I was pretty exhausted! I had some really positive time with my Mum that afternoon and decided to pray the birth in. It felt really good to fully accept it and invite the birth to happen.
Less than 24hrs later I went into labour. My waters broke at 3am and contractions started. I folded the washing, made fruit jelly and did some tidying. I woke my husband at about 6am, he was super excited. I felt incredibly vulnerable, so his excitement was really helpful. We walked the dog and I turned the ponies out. I called my Mum for emergency rations and maternity pads (a whole pack used on catch the waters!). She turned up and cleaned the whole house top to bottom – so we were ready and organised to set up the birth pool and host midwives.
By lunchtime I was feeling that I wanted space! The contractions were lasting about 40 seconds and would get closer together then further apart. We walked the dog (again) and politely asked my Mum to leave us to it.
On return from the dog walk we drew the curtains and locked the doors! I needed to feel secure and unobserved. We called the midwife (lou) who came and checked me and baby – all well. No vaginal exams as waters had broken, plus we had requested no vaginal exams anyway. Lou commented that she had ‘read my lovely birth plan’ – which I found very reassuring. After ½ hr she left as whilst things were clearly happening we were not in active labor and her arriving had slowed things down. We agreed we would call her if we had any concerns or when we wanted to get the pool out. I got the Tens machine out and had a play – it was nice distraction.
Things continued to get more intense and by mid-afternoon I was thinking birth pool might be a good idea. I was aware it would take a while to get Lou out again and birth pool set up – my gut said it was time so we called her again. By late afternoon I was in the pool. I remember getting in and thinking ‘thank God’ – it was such a relief to be in the water. Lou had said getting in the pool tended to either speed things up, or slow things down. I relaxed in the pool and things sped up. I completely lost track of time at this point – disappearing into myself. I think I had my eyes closed for most of the time. The wonderful thing about birth is you get a break between contractions! Well designed! I think I completely zoned out until transition. There are snippets of things that I remember, like noticing the sun was setting and thinking ‘how did that happen’, but not much else.
Transition for me wasn’t as bad as I has worried about, and I remained calm throughout. I had a little conversation with myself in my head about not wanting an epidural but totally understanding why people got one! I was really pleased to be at home at this point and reached for my husband’s hand telling him I loved him. That was the only time I sought physical touch during the whole labour. The conclusion of my chat with myself was that it was time to get baby out!
We used the KG hypnobirthing up breathing throughout early labor, and Ina May’s ‘horse lips’ for the rest. Both techniques were brilliant and really helped. I did try gas and air at one point in early labour and it was rubbish by comparison! So we scrapped that after two breaths and went back to breathing techniques.
Pushing was fine, it took a long time but I was much more present. It was really encouraging to feel the baby coming and know we were nearly there.
After 6 ½ hrs active labor, 2hrs 12minutes of which were pushing, Isabel was born. I remember her head finally coming out, and feeling her turn inside me. Her body was born and I caught her myself. She arrived on my chest with open eyes – looking at me and Owen. After a moment she had a good cry and cleared her lungs. Agpar score of 9 on arrival.
I remember looking at her and wondering how on earth we had made this tiny human!
I asked Owen to ring my Mum and ask her to come join us. We knew his parents wouldn’t sleep so also asked them to pop through and see her. So 3 grandparents were introduced to her within 10 minutes of her being born.
I was bleeding a little so we got out of the pool and it became apparent I was actually bleeding a lot. So we consented immediately to the synoxitocin injection as it was clearly necessary. This made me feel quite sick, but was totally worth it – bleeding stopped immediately and placenta delivered on the loo at home with very little fuss.
By 2am we were in our own bed, going to sleep (ha! – baby slept well, I was on high alert and had to go to the loo every 45mins because I had drunk so much in labor). Baby had fed and my Mum had helped me shower. Midwives were fantastic. I felt ‘shell shocked’. Not traumatised just a little stunned!
‘Postpartum’ has also been incredible. Not the horrible experience people talk about. We have had a lot of support from my Mum, which I am sure has helped enormously. The last week has been fantastic. We have loved every minute. I want another one! And I would happily do labor again just for this one week of having Isabel.
I run regular group courses in Salisbury and Shrewton, these run on Thursday evenings for 4 weeks from 7pm – 9.30/10pm.
I am happy to travel to you for 1:1 courses, or will set up group courses in different locations if there is sufficient demand.
Group course: £250 (max 4 couples)
Individual course: £350
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to be in touch. I am very happy to spend time with you on the phone so you can feel confident about what this course has to offer, before deciding whether or not to book.
Located in: Wiltshire