Originally from London, I studied Psychology at Trinity College Dublin, graduating in 2001. I lived in Dublin until 2012, working as a digital copywriter. In January 2012, my husband got a job with Digicel in Jamaica, and we moved to Kingston, pregnant with our first child. We’ve been here 3 years now, and I’ve just had my third baby!
I had been practicing HypnoBirthing techniques for the birth of my first child, and felt calm and confident throughout the pregnancy, even when we moved here at a very late stage. My labour was quick; 7 hours in total, only an hour of which was in the hospital. I’m convinced HypnoBirthing contributed enormously to me approaching my son’s birth without fear, and allowing myself to let go completely during labour and follow the increasingly intense surges from deep within my birthing body.
My only regret was delivering lying on my back and being told when to push. This is the prevailing method of delivery in Jamaica, and I am dedicated to help mums feel empowered enough to deliver in whatever position suits their body best and help their birthing partners make sure the birthing mother isn’t rail-roaded onto their backs!
For the birth of my daughter, I wanted to do a refresher course in HypnoBirthing but realised nobody was teaching it in Jamaica. I decided to get qualified, and took the HypnoBirthing Practitioner’s course in Florida in May 2103.
Second time round, labour was even quicker. At 6.15am, I was giving my 18 month old a bottle of milk, singing to him in the dark while having surges, and my daughter was born at 8am! I was in hosptial for less than an hour when she was born, assisted only by a midwife, and gave birth on my knees, kneeling on the bed – a position I found much more comfortable, with none of the stress of coached pushing. This time I did not experience any tearing at all. The actual delivery wasn’t exactly ‘pain-free’, but it was a tremendous euphoric rush, and over within about 5 minutes. At no point did I feel frightened or out of control, and I felt ready to bound out of bed with my new baby directly after the birth.
My third birth was a fantastic home birth. Julia was born in less than 2 hours, at home in water. I was supported by two terrific doulas and a midwife and you can find out all about how I organised it here.
My amazing home birth team! From left to right: Auntie Tenisha (super nanny), Tioama Alison (midwife), me, Sabriya Simon (photographer), Proud Daddy with Daisy on his lap, behind him, Stephannie Brennan and Natalie Reid (Doulas) and Auntie Carmel at the far right.
Call me, Lizzie Sherwood-Smith, to find out more about HypnoBirthing and whether it could help you have a better, natural birth.