Marcela de Leon & Dimitrios Sferopoulos

1st baby, labour ward (preterm delivery at 27 weeks gestation/physiological birth)
“I am still in awe of how things happened, of how calm and relaxed I kept “

“Oh, you must have been so stressed!!!” is the first thing we often hear (accompanied by a look of anguish and almost horror in their eyes) when we tell people that our son was born unexpectedly, at 27 weeks of pregnancy, while we were visiting family in Germany. I usually just politely reply that we were fine and that it wasn’t that bad, because I don’t want to sound snob or arrogant by saying “actually we weren’t stressed at all and we were thrilled to meet our baby!”.

I cannot describe with words how much her support helped me. Gemma LOVES what she does, she loves her job as a midwife and she truly believes in natal hypnotherapy and during those weeks, she helped us a lot”

My husband and I were certain that we’d rather spend our money in courses that would help us prepare, rather than in expensive nursery and clothes nonsense. We had initially booked to attend Gemma;s Natal Hypnotherapy workshop in March, as our baby was due in late April-early May. However, since I had a few doubts and after speaking to Gemma on the phone she suggested that we could attend the mid-January course instead so we could have more time to reflect and prepare for our baby’s birth. Little did we know that our baby would be born only two weeks after that course. All things happen for a reason!

Our son was born, on Monday 1st February, 1.1 kg (2.44 pounds) and 36cm of baby boy. I couldn’t hold him straight away and this was difficult, but I understood that his wellbeing was first and the neonatal paediatricians quickly took care of him and put him in his incubator and then showed him to me. He was tiny and absolutely perfect, a tiny human being, my baby, my son. Leonidas. We called him after the strong Spartan warrior and king, because after all, our baby is a warrior.

After the birth, came the most challenging part of the whole experience and probably of our life so far, which was to wait 9 weeks for our son to be released from hospital. I will never forget what I felt when the doctors told me “9 weeks”, it felt as if they had told me 100 years. I wasn’t able to comprehend how was I going to get through it, with my baby being 9 weeks in an incubator, and me, sleeping every night without him by my side. I kept listening to my natal hypnotherapy tracks, I got in touch with Gemma and told her what happened, she was so supportive and encouraging and sent me some of the post birth tracks to listen to. So I listened to them every day and I cannot describe with words how much her support helped me. Gemma LOVES what she does, she loves her job as a midwife and she truly believes in natal hypnotherapy and during those weeks, she helped us a lot, sending us lovely messages and emails.

“Seeing it in perspective I am proud of the way we did things… It was in fact perfect.”

We honestly couldn’t have done things the way we did them without practising natal hypnotherapy and without doing the workshop with Gemma. We still get her lovely support and she came to do a breastfeeding coaching session with me and to meet Leo as soon when we returned to Scotland. Her experience as a midwife and her passion for natal hypnotherapy and the wonders that it does to a labouring woman (and her partner) are indescribable and if we are lucky enough to become parents for the second time, natal hypnotherapy along with yoga will be top of my list during my pregnancy.

“Her experience as a midwife & passion for natal hypnotherapy & the wonders that it does to a labouring woman (& partner) are indescribable”

Natal hypnotherapy is something that needs practise if you want it to really work, pretty much like everything in life. But it does work! I am still in awe of how things happened, of how calm and relaxed I kept and even our doctors and nurses in Germany could not believe how focused and calm I kept. They told me that most women in my situation don’t react like this and that they usually demand for a c-section when it isn’t necessary.

Seeing it in perspective I am proud of the way we did things; his birth couldn’t have been more different from what we wrote on our ‘birth plan’ and sometimes when I read it, it makes me laugh because you cannot ‘plan’ the birth that we want as if it is something we order for lunch. The “I don’t want this, I don’t want that” attitude that I had at the beginning of my pregnancy all changed when my son was about to be born. I had an epidural, I had an episiotomy, I had an IV where antibiotics and many other drugs were injected to me. It was in fact perfect, Dimitris and I were absolutely fine with all of this, because we knew that THIS was our birth story and THIS was the way it was meant to be, and THIS was the time that our baby chose to meet us, and we will always thank him for that.