‘Epidural free, minor use of gas towards the end of things. 7.5 hours of labour (induced). 7 hours of bliss (Robyn’s words).’

My heart sang when I read this message from Josh not long after Mackenzie’s birth. When I first met Robyn and Josh, Robyn acknowledged that being induced was one of her biggest fears. Read on to find out how Robyn was able to overcome this and have the most beautiful birth using her Hypnobirthing techniques.


Induction was my biggest fear.

I didn’t know this until my husband and I had Kate over one evening for our first hypnobirthing session and the subject of induction was brought up. I got an uneasy feeling in my stomach, I started getting fidgety and actual got a little teary as I thought about it more and more! It came from a horror story from my sister – she, and many others, said it makes contractions come on hard and fast with no prep time to get used to the sensations. She then went on to have a very traumatic birth. I didn’t know I had been harbouring these fears since hearing her story at the age of 19.


Apart from the segment on inductions, which was very helpful really so I could identify areas that I needed to ‘clear’ for myself, the first session of hypnobirthing changed everything for me. After 30 weeks of having a miserable pregnancy, it all changed. I had tears of joy when Kate asked how I was feeling at the end of the session. I had simply accepted birth was horrible, messy, unknown, out of my control, the worst pain I’d ever feel and I would not enjoy it. But I’d get through it because I had to.

By the end of just one session I felt full of joy, excitement, the best kind of butterflies and empowered. And there were 3 more sessions to go!!


By week 34 of the pregnancy I was having weekly scans due to the baby looking quite big and our Dr, who was very supportive of most of the hypnobirthing techniques (the ones she was less keen on were also the parts we were not planning on using), has started saying we may want to think about being induced. She knew my fears and was not pushy at all, but said to start thinking about it. At 37 weeks the placenta had some serious calcification issues, and at 38 weeks baby hadn’t grown at all in 6 days since the last scan. Our Dr very calmly said ‘would you like to be induced tomorrow or the next day?’. This was now medically necessary, and the irony of it was that bub was actually a very average size – a lovely 3.5kg we found out the following day, after 7.5 hours of labour!

The night before…


After choosing to go in the next day at 7am, we went home buzzing with nerves – I felt very ready! The course had helped me to let go of those strong fears, I was nervous, but not fearful. I was two cm dilated already and lost my mucus plug that evening – the induction felt like perfect timing! I had a strong feeling I would have gone into labour within days anyway, but we couldn’t risk baby’s health and wait. I had had acupuncture to gently begin labour, or rather get the body ready (it wasn’t a full blown induction session, which do exist!) 2 days before and this helped me to feel so very ready as well.


After listening to affirmations during a nice long bath that night, my husband and I slept amazingly! The best sleep we had had in a long time! Owing much to the course I’m sure, Josh was wonderful in the morning, very calm and doing all the bits of getting ready that would have distracted me from my one job that day. He ensured the bag was packed, kept giving me hugs and light massage, talking softly and getting me anything I needed. We put on a hypnobirthing meditation in the car on the way and I simply closed my eyes and we drove in silence.

We were so connected we didn’t need to speak about how we wanted the day to look, we just knew.


The big day

The method the Dr preferred for this situation was the break my waters and then begin the syntocin drip (artificial oxytocin). Given our daughter needed to be birthed quickly, this was not a decision that was discussed at length, but I was very much ok with it. Hypnobirthing taught me ‘let go’ – this was a medical necessity and I was absolutely sure it was best for me and baby and trusted my Dr implicitly. Having my waters broken was uncomfortable but not terrible and after 20 minutes of having the drip in the contractions began.


‘Hard and fast’ was all I’d heard in the lead up, but really I had nothing to compare them to and they were very manageable! They were fast – I had 3 every 10 minutes straight away – but felt like period cramps for several hours. I had a play list ready – several in fact, all different genres as I didn’t know what I’d feel like on the day – and we had the fun, calm play list going from the start. I’m a people person and close to my family so I had my mum and sister arrive soon after we began, and in fact kind of by accident my dad was there too for the last 3.5 hours!


Breathing was the best thing the course taught me. I let go and breathed deeply with each contraction, imagining my strong uterus muscles pushing gently and powerfully downwards. I didn’t plan what I was going to picture in my head, or what noises to make or whether or not to close my eyes. My preparation was more affirmations about a calm and beautiful birth, whatever shape that took.

Contractions truly felt wonderful for the first 4 hours! I felt amazing and strong and beautiful! I hadn’t felt that the whole pregnancy!

Things start to progress

Josh was spectacular. He set the lighting in the room, plugged in our speaker and my phone, got my snacks ready and got everyone comfortable without me even realising. He was present, calm, took charge discussing anything medical with the nurses, who knew from our birth preferences that I didn’t want to be involved in any of that part of the process where possible. Though I think he would have been great without the course and done his best, having participated in Hypnobirthing I think gave him structure and confidence in how to help in the birth experience of his daughter. Mackenzie was so calm during the entire labour. I have a wonderful video of me breathing through a contraction and Josh embracing me at my side and the monitor with Mackenzie’s heart beat on it in the foreground, steady and strong. That heart beat barely moved the entire time.


I did need one vaginal exam at midday after 4 hours of labouring (a wonderful 4 hours that flashed by and I remember only joy!) – I was never told the cm’s but my Dr said she would come back in 4 hours, but I would probably call for her before that. The vaginal exam was painful and it shocked me out of my zen place. I see why they recommend avoiding them if you can! But I also understand why doctors may need to know how things are progressing in this way. My advice to others would be to be ready for the discomfort and just try have as few as possible, but know you can get back to your happy place!

I began getting a bit teary after the exam and I sort of realised it was going to get a bit worse! I had forgotten amidst the singing to my playlist, banter with the family, meditating through contractions and generally feeling on a cloud all morning. We asked my family to leave and Josh put on a meditation for him and I to listen to together. He just knew it was what we both needed. He just embraced me and we rocked little back and fourth and went quiet for the full 30 minutes of the track.

Starting to get more intense

Things did get more intense after this point – little did I know we were only 3 hours from meeting Mackenzie. The staff were incredible and letting me position myself however I felt comfortable and even keeping me a little modest with my dad in the room (something I wasn’t even aware of but they did just to be kind, without getting in my way or making me aware of anything happening). I used a tens machine from about 1pm and it was very helpful in managing contractions. By 2.30pm I had tried gas but didn’t like the sensation and without thinking asked for an epidural – Josh was supportive, the nurses just asked if I was sure as I very close and the anaesthetist was called. It felt like an age that I was waiting – it was now sore, very sore! I couldn’t deny that – it was only at this point, an hour from her birth that I began loosing my calm. It was scary!

But breathing was still helpful, Josh was amazing and my family were so calm and had the perfect words to keep me going.

Mackenzie wants to make her appearance


But Mackenzie was too eager to join the world and I could feel it change and got the urge to bear down. It was a scary sensation as I had my mind set on an epidural. The midwife could see the change in me – I had half stood up from the fit ball, was looking downwards in a bit of shock and had started getting very vocal! She calmly and decisively asked me ‘in what position would you like to birth to your baby?’ Somehow I ended up on my hands and knees on the bed – again, no preparation just instinct. I’m not sure I would have ‘just listened to my instinct’ without having done the course. I can just as easily imagine myself freaking out and looking at the midwife saying I don’t know I don’t know!?

But I was empowered to do as I needed to do. It was animalistic and beautiful.

And then, all at once thanks to four degrees of tearing, Mackenzie Lee Ruth was born at 3.40pm. I can’t say pushing was my favourite part… but I knew I could do it, and now after it all, I consider myself a beastress! After having skin on skin contact with Mackenzie I had to go to have 2 hours of surgery to fix the incredible tearing, but I was so tired to be honest and quite appreciative of the break and finally got my epidural :p Josh got some amazing skin on skin with her, which he wouldn’t have got otherwise and I’m sure it was why she settled so wonderfully with him in the early days at home, so I will be forever grateful for that. The surgery and tearing is such a minor part of it all – people hear that that happened and are shocked! But I always explain I had no idea I had torn that badly, it was just part of it and the surgery and then recovery was also just part of the whole experience and nothing when holding our beautiful daughter. I was able to maintain that ‘let it be’ mindset following the birth and also at home dealing with the stitches and all that came with healing.


Several weeks later I found out, when discussing how wonderful the labour was with my sister, that in fact the induction wasn’t the bad part of her labour at all! She considered the contractions quite manageable for quite some time, and yes they came on hard and fast, but not zero to screaming in a few contractions. And in fact it had been the terrible communication from the midwives that had made her birth a traumatic one. It just shows how stories can get altered in your own head over time, or just from how you have understood it. Another reason why the positive affirmations are so powerful, as is not comparing yourself to any other mother out there. I would go as far to say that for some it may be worth not discussing traumatic birth stories at all, simply to avoid the risk of misunderstanding their experience or having it subconsciously embed itself into your mind.


Josh and I can’t thank Kate enough for her expertise, calm chats, and understanding during the course. It truly played the biggest part in turning around pregnancy and preparing us both for birth. It was the greatest experience of my life!


Robyn xx


PS if you’ve got someone available, I’d recommend getting them to subtly take a few photos and videos (in black and white looks great!) during the process. Out of the way so you don’t notice the camera and just every now and then to capture the day. My sister offered when she arrived, and reassured me I could simply delete them or never look at them if I didn’t want to, but they are amazing! I’m so glad she did!


If you want to start creating your own positive birth story, join my upcoming Hypnobirthing Australia Positive Birth classes.

If you just want to have a chat – contact me now.