Fastforward to 2020. Olaf announced “Mummy you have a baby in your tummy and it’s a boy” (psychic kid). And he was right, I was expecting my second child. I was instantly SO EXCITED about the labour. I wanted that euphoric, empowering experience again. And I was the smug mum remember…labour felt easy the first time, and I loved it. I’d trained, I knew the ropes so guess what? I didn’t bother practicing. AT ALL. I assumed it would all come flooding back to me. WRONG!

I bargained with the hospital – I agreed to a sweep in return for them allowing me into the midwife led unit instead of the medicalized labour ward because I damn well wanted that birthing pool with fairy lights. When my contractions finally kicked in, boy did they kick.

I went into a very fast and intense (90 minute) labour and I was the stereotypical woman screaming. I felt totally out of control this time, shouting “I can’t do this…what are my drug options?” When hubby tried to remember some of the hypnobirthing and prompted me to be “calm and relaxed” I screamed at him “you effing try it”. Totally different to when we practiced the hypnobirthing with our first son and laughed through the labour together. The key is in that word you know; hypnobirthing PRACTICE - we hadn’t practised, and so the MP3s didn’t work. I had gas and air and to be honest that didn’t feel like it worked either but I had my second son in the birthing pool and felt utterly exhausted, spent and like I never wanted a labour like that again. But hey, I had my fairy lights (which I didn’t even notice!)

This was me after the intense, quick, non-hypnobirthing labour!

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A few months after Aragorn was born, I saw that Wise Hippo were offering online training (thank you Covid!) and I moved mountains to make it happen. I had now had both experiences. I understood why I annoyed so many mothers with my stories of my amazing birth that I ACTUALLY ENJOYED since I’d experienced the painful “I can’t do this” nature with my second son. I know that having had both experiences (in the opposite way round to how you’d expect) makes me a better teacher.

This was the moment Olaf met Aragorn!

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