Sammi, Dan & Baby Maxwell

I have always wanted children & couldn’t wait to be a mum but have always been petrified of pregnancy & birth. Every story I heard from my friends who had children was always negative. I hated hospitals after having a really negative experience losing my mum a few years ago at my local hospital.

I had a really great pregnancy & it was nowhere near as bad I thought but I was still nervous of what was to come & had heard of Hypnobirthing but did my research & decided it was definitely for me & really enjoyed my course with Claudia, we learnt so much & met some lovely friends through it! I was open-minded on birth but my plan was a water birth at my local midwifery led unit.

I had a low risk pregnancy the whole way through until my 36-week midwife appointment. My bump was measuring lower than previous so I got sent for a growth scan at the hospital. My bump was absolutely huge so I was very surprised at this & then at the scan they said my baby’s tummy measurement had dropped & that they would review it in 2 weeks & if it hasn’t gone up then there will be no possible way of me giving birth at the MLU & that it would have to be at the hospital. This was a shock but I accepted that things don’t go to plan.

I went back two weeks later prepped with questions that Claudia helped me to ask so I could get some clarity. I then found out his weight had increased which was great but his tummy measurement had dropped again. I was sat down by the consultant to say they highly advised I get induced & booked me in for a sweep the next day & further induction two days later. I asked for a second opinion from a another consultant & they also agreed & told me he could be stillborn if I wished to wait for him to come naturally.

This made me cry & feel so confused. Deep down I knew my baby was fine his movement & heartbeat had been perfect but I decided to go for it as I couldn’t live with myself if anything would have gone wrong.

I had my sweep on the Thursday which wasn’t successful, so on Friday 12th February, (the day before my estimated due date) we were on the way to the hospital to get induced we were so nervous, excited & I really didn’t know what to expect even though I had done a lot of research. 

There was a long wait, which made me so anxious but luckily I was given my own room & my husband was allowed to stay!

Whatever type of induction you can imagine, I had it & experienced back to back surges the whole duration & only had about 4 hours sleep the whole time.  

I can’t recommend the TENS machine enough for early labour, it really helped ease the pain & I had it strapped to me for 3 days.

The induction process lasted 3 days, starting with 3 pessaries (hormone gel), they were about to take me down after the third to insert Dilapan, which is a new method of induction, not a hormone but two rods are inserted. This would have been another 24 hours but luckily just as they were about to insert I had finally reached 4cm so they could release my waters!

They wanted to put me straight on the hormone drip which makes your surges a lot more intense & painful, I learnt this on my Hypnobirthing course but I dem&ed they wait & I at least have a few hours to see if I could get things moving on my own after they released my waters. 

I asked for a new birthing room as it was so dark & clinical, so I moved to a lovely relaxing room where I made the environment really relaxing with my LED candles & music trying to make sure I felt calm & relaxed so that baby would make an appearance. I had two lovely midwives who really understood me, which really helped too.

I would never have had the confidence to ask this & it was only from what I learnt with Claudia that I knew I had options, it was my body & my decisions & they can’t force you into anything. 

Two hours later & still no appearance of baby but my bishops score was a lot more favourable. The consultants came in & insisted that I have the hormone drip.  Things really started to ramp up at this stage & become more real; the surges became very intense & painful. 

I was able to manage 5 hours of these sensations, just purely using the Hypnobirthing breathing techniques, which Claudia had taught us on the course. This kept me really calm & I was able to breath through the pain.  The midwives kept coming into the room & couldn’t believe I was on the hormone drip or how calm & serene the room was.  I was trying to stay relaxed & in ‘the zone’ & all of the methods I learnt really helped me mentally & physically.


I then had an epidural due to the intensity of the drip as they ramped it up & because I preferred using my deep breathing techniques the gas & air didn’t really help me as that was for more quick breaths.

I genuinely think that if I had gone into labour naturally that I could’ve coped purely using my Hypnobirthing breathing techniques, I found them amazing & especially if I was allowed to birth in water next time. 

I was very close to a possible C-section but ended up birthing naturally, assisted with forceps.

Finally, after a 17 hour labour on just 4 hours sleep in 4 days, our beautiful baby boy was born at 3:20am on Pancake Day!

The pure joy & relief I felt at this moment is like nothing I can ever describe!  So much love I could have burst & he was worth all of the pain!

Maxwell Flynn Lee-Bates born 8lb 3oz, our perfect beautiful, healthy baby boy!.. The baby they insisted I induce because he was measuring small on my growth scans.  However, I’m so glad that he’s here safe & sound & I understand that it’s always better to be cautious but I always knew deep down that I never had to be induced.  So ‘Mamas to be’ make sure you stay strong & ask all of the questions to establish your options, as these doctors can be quite forceful & pushy.

I had to stay in hospital for two nights without my husband & after he was born which was horrible.  I was drugged up, in pain due to my stitches & found it difficult to move & hard to look after my baby boy whilst establishing breastfeeding & recovering. The midwives were also so busy but did their best trying to help. 

Then Daddy came to visit & we were told that we could finally go home, which was the best feeling in the world!

I felt slightly traumatised after the birth & kept having flashbacks & was disappointed it didn’t go the way I hoped, however on reflection I learnt so much about myself, my body & my mental strength over the pregnancy & the birth & feel so proud.

Although birth requires physical strength it’s your mental strength & positive thoughts that gets you through & I learnt so much about this from Claudia & will forever be grateful!