A Lovely Birth Story – My Calm Birth, Ilkley

It’s difficult to find the words to explain what Amanda Wardle has meant to us – not only during our birthing experience but throughout the whole pregnancy!

I came across Amanda’s My Calm Birth website after a recommendation from a friend. I was to be a first-time mum, and at 37 had heard a lot of horror stories from friends who had had children! Their births had all been in hospital, which is fine, but they all said the same thing – they didn’t feel in control and it wasn’t a positive experience, which didn’t sit right with me.

Following a quick chat with Amanda we clicked – her knowledge was vast but more importantly she was a genuine, caring lady who was passionate about providing the best care she could for the couples she worked with. We signed up straight away to her hypnobirthing programme “the wise hippo”. The programme provided us with the tools we needed to decide on what was going to be the right birth for us along with instilling confidence and trust in me and my husband. We attended the programme for 4 evenings in the comfort of Amanda’s home – to say we were clueless at the start was an understatement but by the end, we really started to question more deeply the connection between how the mind and body were working together to assist not only in labour but life in general. The sessions gave us the information we needed to prepare for the birth of our baby – my physical needs, the birth planning and my husband’s role so we could ensure we were all calm, relaxed and in control.

As my pregnancy progressed and We became more empowered we started to question where was the best place for us to have the baby – the hospital was the only place I initially considered but over time we realised that actually, our “best birth” would be at home! Amanda had given us the techniques that enabled us to make this informed decision and she spent hours with us answering our questions and concerns!!

Further, into my pregnancy, we asked Amanda to be our “independent midwife” and she took over my prenatal care from 30 weeks. Our little boy was showing to be “back to back” in the womb so Amanda taught us “spinning babies” techniques which we practised at home to try and encourage him to move into the correct position – which he did the day before I went into labour! If we had not had these techniques I doubt I would have had the natural birth that followed! This was just another strand to Amanda’s knowledge as she is the only certified parent educator in Yorkshire. I also attended her weekly Pregnancy Relaxation Evenings which enabled me to have some “me time” whilst I was still working!!

ruth, husband and baby Casper - born at home

My actual birth story seems really boring – I’ve no horror stories to tell my friends! I was 8 days overdue when my contractions started, at home on Boxing Day night! Looking back on the 28 hours Amanda was such a calming presence – she routinely monitored me and my baby and we all felt at ease. She also made sure my husband was involved at every stage – filling the pool, ensuring I was hydrated and fed, etc. I had a few wobbles when I asked my husband to take to me Airedale for “pain relief” but Amanda quickly re-focused my mind to my hypnobirthing techniques and we managed each contraction one at a time. Our baby boy, Casper, was born perfectly and calmly at 6.10am on the 28th December, in our front room in the water pool. It was an exhilarating ( but exhausting) experience and one I am proud to share – one we would not have achieved without Amanda by our side.

Amanda continued to provide care for 8 weeks after Casper was born – I looked forward her coming over so we could chat and she could ensure that I was recovering so I could provide the best care I could for my baby.

I have absolutely no hesitation to recommend Amanda to any of my friends or family. Couples spend thousands and thousands on their weddings and holidays yet question investing in the most important event in their lives – it’s worth every penny to have Amana by your side!

Thank you!!

Ruth Jarvis x