Mona Vaghefian Joll

Hospital birth (forceps delivery)

Baby Sufyan Vaghefian Joll (Sufi for short) arrived on Wednesday 5th June, a couple of days after his due date, at a whopping 9lbs 12! We’re both doing really well, and Harry and I are absolutely loving being parents.

I can honestly say your workshop gave me the ability to birth more calmly, with more control and with less pain than I ever thought possible.

I started feeling contractions in the very early hours of the Tuesday morning, the day after my due date, and as the sensations were in my lower back and bum I wasn’t fully sure they were actually the start of labour! They were regular from the start, every 20 minutes to begin with, and by the time I got out of bed at 8am the sensations were coming every 10 minutes. I was totally able to breathe through the contractions, and found the hypnotherapy tracks and music incredibly helpful for keeping me in the right frame of mind. So long as I kept moving and breathing, everything was manageable. By 6.30pm I had 3 contractions every 10 minutes and were advised we could make our way to the birth centre.

When we arrived and I was examined by the midwife, I was amazed to discover I was 7-8cm dilated. I honestly couldn’t believe it, I was fully prepared for them to tell me to go home! I continued without any pain relief until I reached 9cm dilated at 2am, and then used gas and air. While the contractions were intense, and I needed to concentrate to get through them, I found them to be manageable and would not describe them as very painful or scary – they genuinely felt productive and positive.

Throughout this time, Harry was using all the tools you’d equipped him with (he was incredible – the midwife was very much playing second fiddle!) and kept me totally centred on what I was doing. He reminded me of my breathing techniques, cued up the serious phase track and the music when he could sense I needed it, repeated my affirmations, shook my apples and used 321 relax. All so helpful!

I pushed with gas and air until about 6.30am, and while the midwife could see the baby’s head, I couldn’t quite push him down the birth canal. At this point the baby’s heart rate was too high and I was advised medical intervention would be needed.  I ended up with a spinal, episiotomy, and forceps delivery. Unfortunately I also had a third degree tear as he was so big, and his shoulders came out at an awkward angle. But I’m healing well and still feel I had a very positive birth experience, so wanted to share those details to let people know it happens, and it needn’t be experienced as trauma. Your techniques helped me feel calm and able to handle the change in circumstances, and I kept breathing and using 321 relax during the time in theatre. Harry and I even managed to ask some BRAIN questions to the medical team before we agreed to the interventions!

I cannot begin to imagine how I would have coped with such a long labour, and such a big baby, without your help Gemma. Beforehand, I would have described myself as quite an anxious person, an overthinker who did not trust her body. I am bowled over by the impact of your course. Thank you for helping me have such a positive birth experience, which in turn has given us and our baby a relaxed and happy start in life.