In 2006 the film maker Bernadette Bos made 15 short films tracking the pregnancies and birth of women choosing to have their babies at home. This series, HOME GROWN BABIES, was a sequel to her previous acclaimed HOME BIRTH DIARIES series and was shown on UK Living 2 in 2007.
Bernadette contacted members of DOULA UK, in her search for mums willing to take part in the series. At the time I was teaching the Mongan Method of hypnobirthing to Nancy Evans, a second-time London mum whose first baby, Rudy, had been born after a traumatic and distressing labour in hospital.
I asked Nancy if she was interested in taking part in the series …and to my delight she said “Yes”.
Here are the results. (Nancy’s story is just one that is featured on a DVD of home birth stories now available directly from Berny’s website )
Nancy’s Birth Diary:
Thanks to Berny’s sensitive and honest film-making skills, you will witness Nancy’s journey from fearfulness and tears to confidence and bliss. You will see how Hypnobirthing gave her confidence and taught her to relax until the wonderful moment baby Sid arrives – in the most peaceful, natural way possible, at home in a birth pool.
You will see a Hypnobirthing session in progress and you will see how Nancy used the relaxation techniques learned in the course. You will have to rethink your ideas about childbirth being necessarily traumatic and painful, when you hear Nancy talking about what a “lovely feeling” it is and see her birth her baby Sid calmly in water.
Just before Sid is born, the midwife tells Nancy to push hard, adding “sorry”. Nancy had planned to use birth breathing only, but the baby’s heart rate was causing concern. The midwife judged that time was of the essence, so urged Nancy to use more effort. Because she’d been so relaxed, she had plenty of stamina left for a few strong pushes. When Sid was born, the reason for the heart-rate issue became clear: his umbilical cord was in a true knot, which was tightening with each surge. This is a rare occurence and can be dangerous. So you can see that a home birth does not have to be text-book perfect to be safe – and also you can see how useful Hypnobirthing is as a tool when things do not go exactly to plan. Note also the respect for Nancy’s choices shown by the wonderful, resourceful, calm NHS midwives.
Afterwards, Nancy had this to say about the film:
“Its a such a positive view of homebirth and Hypnobirthing, I really hope it inspires other women to make those choices. It demonstrates exactly how beneficial and crucial the Hypnobirthing was to my experience. Everyone was really positive about the Hypnobirthing and saw first hand the benefits of it. They commented on how beautifully I was coping and how relaxed and calm I was. Apparently I didn’t shout, moan or groan once!!
“If I had the energy for another baby, I’d definitely do it all again!”
My Hypnobirthing course has evolved a lot since I taught Nancy. I am continually updating the course content to take into account new knowledge and research and in response to feedback from you, the clients. But the principles and main ingredients which helped Nancy towards her empowered birth still remain in my syllabus.
I no longer sell copies of Nancy’s Story to hypnobirthing practitioners. Instead I direct them to Berny’s website www.mybirth.tv and recommend that they buy her Home Birth DVD, which includes Nancy’s episode.