Amity Taylor born 5 Oct 2012

Hi Melissa,

We are pleased to announce the birth of Amity Layla born at 11:05pm on 5 October 2012, weighing 3700g (8lb 2.5oz) and 54.5cm long. She is absolutely the most beautiful girl we’ve ever seen and we have attached a couple of photos of her first day for you below. Megan and Amity are doing very well and Amity is a calm and relaxed baby.

Megan and Amity (1 hour old!)
Megan and Amity (1 hour old!)
Amity 1 day old
Amity 1 day old

We were really happy with the whole birth experience and really pleased that we did the Hypnobirthing training course. The birth didn’t go entirely the way that we’d hoped in that we did require interventions. However, throughout the birthing we felt that we were well prepared and came out of it feeling really empowered about the decisions we’d made through the whole thing.

We wanted to debrief between us so we have written down a timeline of what happened and it’s written from the Dad’s perspective.

Ben & Megan Phillips (September 2012 Paddington course)


Time Approx


Wed 3/10

Our official “due date”. Mum and baby were doing really well. Mum had been active still out racing our greyhounds until 39 weeks and had been to a friends party the week before.


Time Approx


Thu 5/10


We had an Obstetrician appointment. There had been a few “practice” surges throughout the day and whilst we were in the appointment. Megan joked with the Obs and promised not to be calling him in at midnight that night.


Megan experienced the first sign of labour as we were enjoying a nice meal at a restaurant in Sunnybank. We went home and tried to get some sleep although it didn’t really happen as Megan was up and down going to the toilet what seemed like every 15 minutes.


Megan’s membranes released fairly slowly it wasn’t a big rush. Surges quite regular although we hadn’t started timing. Megan was relaxed and calm and handling them well using the slow breathing. Thinking back it was kind of surreal, and inwardly we were so excited that our baby was finally coming but outwardly kind of pretending everything was normal and it was like any other day.

Fri 6/10


Surges 2min30 apart and lasting for 1 minute. Megan was relaxed and calm. Due to the timing of the surges we thought that things may be progressing quickly however we were unsure because Megan was so relaxed and ok. I had a few other birth stories in my mind about mums that went through labour and that turn up at the hospital and are already crowning so hoped that things were going really quickly like we wanted and I thought we should call. Our Obs had previously told us to come in at 5mins apart lasting for 1 minute so we called the hospital and the midwife suggested we come in when we could but not to hurry.



We arrived at the hospital and were taken into the birth suite. The midwife did some monitoring of the baby’s heartbeat and of Mum’s blood pressure and Dad went through the birthing preferences with the midwife. The Obs was already there for another lady and had a laugh that we came in so soon after seeing him.


Throughout the morning we relaxed, had a few showers, read through some scripts, played Comfort Zone and put on the affirmations CD. Mum and baby were doing well and practicing the slow breathing throughout. The surges seemed to be not quite regular, sometimes seeming to be almost constant, and other times it felt like 10 minutes between them. I went through the birth preferences with each new mid-wife shift. All of the midwives were so fantastic and really respectful of our birth preferences which we appreciated.


The intensity of the surges seemed to be increasing. Megan was beginning to become quite uncomfortable and not as relaxed. The scripts and things helped, although, as time went on it was more difficult to maintain focus and at times felt like it was never going to end.

We tried the TENS machine for about 5 surges and found it to be more of a distraction than anything. We took it off when Megan wanted a shower and never put it back on.

Megan had many showers throughout the morning which were great. She tried one bath although hopped straight out as she wasn’t comfortable.

We asked the midwife about some low level pain relief and settled on trying the nitrous oxide gas. This seemed to help for a while although a few times Megan became nauseous, I think when she took it in a bit too quickly. After a few surges, Megan decided she didn’t want the gas any more as it was more of a hinderance.

Megan was finding the surges strong and becoming quite unsettled. She was now starting to moan through the surges. It seemed like she had sort of hit her threshold, too much for too long. We spoke to the midwife and requested a VE to see how far along we were, really hoping and expecting Megan was close to fully opened. The midwife said we were only 3cm and that with the rule of thumb it could be another 7 hours until


Time Approx


Megan was fully dilated. We knew from the course that this is not always true, however, due to the surges slowing down and becoming less regular throughout the morning we were not counting on this.

At this point we requested an epidural. We were concerned about the increasing discomfort and about keeping Megan and baby ok for the final stage and were conscious not to end up as an emergency cesarean. It took about another 1.5 hours for the Anesthetist to arrive and Megan was very uncomfortable by this st
age. The Anesthetist rocked in like some kind of super-hero to the save the day, it is quite funny to think back on it. The sense of calm that came over the whole room was incredible to see. We both were comfortable that we’d made the right decision in the circumstances. We were also really happy that the medical staff allowed us to ask for it rather than them suggesting that we needed it. The midwives and Obs were all fantastic, really respectful of the birth preferences.

Once Megan got the epidural, this allowed her to relax and re-focus and get back to a state of calmness. Megan was able to then revert back to Hypnobirthing breathing techniques and I continued to read the affirmations and some scripts to her.

The Obs did another VE and suggested Megan was 6cm opened. He told us he would come back at 6pm.

The Anesthetist came back at some stage through the afternoon and adjusted the epidural as Megan could still feel on her left side.



Obs came back and advised Megan was 7cm opened. She had only dilated 1cm in about 4 hours. He requested to give Megan some Syntocinin and we agreed.


Obs came back and after a VE advised that Megan was fully dilated. They got Megan to start pushing/focusing her breath down. Megan was able to sit upright with her legs up on a bar over the top of the bed. She couldn’t feel her right leg so the Obs held it up on the bar for the next 2 hours. Megan couldn’t fully feel the surges so they had to tell Megan when to push/breath down. Despite Megan being on the maximum dose of Syntocinin the surges were exactly 5 minutes apart which everyone was surprised about, although the intensity was higher.

Megan started trying the birth breathing as it was shown in the book however deferred to holding her breath and focusing down. Megan did use the j-visualisation to direct the energy down rather than into the face. The midwife was really great and was coaching Megan to direct the energy down and said if her face started going red that she was doing it incorrectly.

Megan was amazing and what was remarkable was that Megan seemed to get a “second wind” once she saw that things were happening and we were finally about to meet our baby, she was very calm and relaxed and re-energised through this last stage and I think that was due in part to the Hypnobirthing conditioning that we had done.


About 15 minutes before Amity was born, the same midwife who took our first phone call and checked us in to the hospital started her next shift and came and delivered the baby so we thought that was great, we’d come full circle.

After about 2 hours of ‘pushing’ we agreed to the Obs “giving a bit of a hand” (his words!) with forceps and also an episiotomy. Megan was reluctant for the forceps, she was wanting to keep pushing because the Obs had been encouraging her the whole time saying that she was making progress. I could see the baby’s head but didn’t think it had moved for about 1.5 hours and suspected it was because Megan couldn’t move around and change positions due to the epidural. I was also mindful of not ending up with a cesarean. I discussed with Megan and we agreed to let the Obs use the forceps.


Time Approx



Amity Layla was born. She was beautiful and seemed alert almost straight away and to our amazement seemed to stay awake and alert for a couple of hours. She cried just a little bit but was easily settled. We delayed the cord clamping. Megan ended up with a 3rd degree tear so it took the Obs a while to sew things up. This was ok as we were focused on our beautiful daughter.

Megan and I spoke about it and next time we would do three things differently:

Stay at home longer ” and focus on what Megan’s body is saying rather than surge timing
Birth breathing ” we spoke about the birth breathing afterwards and feel like we could do it correctly next time by doing everything the same but just slowly allowing some of the breath to escape.
We are hopeful that now that we’ve had a practice go for the next ones we will be able to avoid the interventions. We both thought that if the labour was under say 12 hours even with the same intensity that we could have gotten through without it. However, under the circumstances we felt we made the right choices.

Melissa, thank you so much for providing us with the Hypnobirthing training and sharing so much of your own personal experience during the course. It made a real difference in the final weeks of pregnancy and during the birthing because we knew we were well prepared and had a strategy that we could both focus on together and keep positive about the whole experience. The birth preferences were brilliant and there were so many little bits of information that we learned in your course that we used throughout the birth. We are really pleased with the empowered decisions we made and are very happy with the way our birthing went even though it didn’t go completely to our original plan. We plan to be doing a refresher course before our next baby.

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Ben, Megan and Amity

Amity 1 week old
Amity 1 week old
Amity's first bath
Amity’s first bath
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