I had wanted children all my life, and 15 years of waiting, the time finally came where I became pregnant. I’ve never had the dream wedding fantasy, but I did however at an early age, have the fantasy of birthing my child in water, in a harmonious loving environment, and all natural – no drugs or intervention.

At 30 weeks gestation it was confirmed that I had gestational diabetes, which meant I had to birth at a hospital, and there were no bath facilities at the hospital I was to give birth at.
I was devastated.

Throughout my pregnancy I was reading books about hypnobirthing, as my sister in law practiced this with her second baby, and it came highly recommended by others whom I knew had done this type of birth preparation also. The more I read and researched the more it resonated with me.

My partner Daniel and I moved towns at 28 weeks gestation, and were new to the area. We came into contact with Debra at ‘Empowered to Birth’ and with just weeks prior to our son being born we completed the course.

This enabled me to put all the puzzle pieces together, it also pulled Daniel and I together too! We were both able to talk and feel the same language. We had the confidence, support and love knowing we were prepared for whatever our birthing may encounter. I want to emphasise the WE here too, as for me, one of the most valuable outcomes of this course brought us together to work as a team, giving Daniel direction and purpose, and me the confidence within myself, in Daniel and in the professional staff at the hospital.

Debra’s unbiased teachings, practice and knowledge, provided me confidence to trust my instincts, and gave me a wholesome knowledge to be ok with however my labour was to pan out, and on the day provided us the tools to have a harmonious environment to birth our baby. I was very fortunate that from my first signs of labour to giving birth was only 12 hours, but these 12 hours I would happily to go through again and again.

The hospital where we were to birth was an hour’s drive from my home, half of which is along bumpy country roads, not the most comfortable when you’re pregnant, let alone in labour! I was a little apprehensive about the drive to hospital as I didn’t want to be turned around when we got there, so I left it as long as possible till I knew we had to go. The 9 hrs of labour at home was absolute bliss, even the last minute packing (our son was 2 weeks earlier than the estimated arrival date, and I had made a list of everything I wanted but hadn’t packed anything)

The tools we had from the course, made the drive to the hospital bearable, and to be honest I was able to go so deep into my guided meditation that the hour drive only felt like 15-20mins. Once we arrived at the hospital, appointed a room and midwife, I was examined and was 10cm dilated and ready to go. I didn’t get to prepare the room how I wanted, even though we had packed everything but the kitchen sink, AND I had made Daniel carry it all in like a Sherpa while entering the hospital, but because of the preparation we had done as outlined in the course, all the staff (even though my first time meeting them) knew our birth preferences, and Daniel was on the ball with everything we had prepared together, how to translate my voice, and ensured I was comfortable so I could be 100% focused on my body and baby, while he did the rest. This allowed me to relax as quickly as possible to release the adrenaline that had been raised from arriving at the hospital and getting into a room asap.

One hour later our son Harvah was born and received by Daniel, into a harmonious, loving environment, birthed all natural with no drugs or intervention, just as we had ideally wanted.
Harvah was content, alert and feeding within minutes while clenching onto his father’s thumb.

I feel like I have only scratched the surface sharing the values of what Debra and ‘Empowered to Birth’ gave me that day, but I hope that my story might give someone the inspiration to at least give it a go because it is extremely priceless what you can learn and how it can change your whole perception of the possibilities available, that you will not get from just reading a book or going to the hospital antenatal classes. You only get to have this birth experience once, so make it count knowing you did everything you could.

My sincerest wishes to you all and thanks for reading my story

Vicky Porteners

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