When I discovered I was pregnant my first concern was not over the labour – but how I’d get my squeamish hubby to attend the birth!
By Nerine Broomfield-Strawn, 39, from Havant, Hampshire
When Nerine Broomfield-Strawn, 39, discovered she was pregnant her first thought was not of the extreme changes her body would face or worries over the labour – she was more concerned about how she would get her squeamish husband to attend the birth.
Hubby Adam Broomfield-Strawn, 42, suffered from a phobia of medical procedures so extreme, even the thought of blood was enough to make him pass out.
Desperate to have Adam, a stand-up comedian, by her side, Nerine enlisted the help of a hypnotist to banish his fear.
Amazingly it worked and the proud dad was able to attend the birth of both of their two children.
Nerine, of Havant, Hampshire, said: “I should have been worried about the birth, but I was more worried about whether Adam would be OK.
“I don’t know what the hypnotist did but my squeamish husband held my hand throughout the birth and he was even able to cut the cord. It was amazing.”
When Nerine and Adam first got together she suggested they attend first aid classes together.
But as soon as the instructor started describing how blood cells work Nerine noticed her new fella was looking queasy. The next thing she knew, a green-faced Adam had collapsed in a heap on the floor.
So in February 2009 when Nerine, a hairdresser, found out she was pregnant she knew there was no way he would be at the antenatal classes – let alone the birth.
Desperate not to go through labour alone, Nerine begged her best friend, Georgia Watts, to be by her side.
She said: “In an ideal world it would be my husband holding my hand through labour, but I made Georgia promise to be there just in case.”
Keen to try anything to rid Adam of his irrational fear, the couple visited the maternity ward at the St Richard’s Hospital, Chichester, where Nerine would give birth.
But ashen-faced Adam had to leave the tour early when he felt faint.
Nerine said: “He couldn’t even make it around the hospital – something about the clinical environment set him off.
“I knew we had to do something drastic. I was desperate to have him by my side and I knew he really wanted to be there as well.”
That night she went online to research ways Adam could beat his phobia.
She came across the website of a hypnotist in Bournemouth called Adam Eason who claimed he could help people deal with phobias – at a cost of £500.
Nerine said: “When I heard about hypnosis I reasoned that it had to be worth a shot.
“Adam was sceptical, but knowing how much it meant to me, he agreed to give it a go.
“My mum knew how important it was for me to have Adam holding my hand through the birth, so footed the bill for the therapy.”
Adam had his first session with the hypnotist on the day of the couple’s first antenatal class.
Nerine was stunned when her easily-nauseated husband made it through all the medical drawings and graphic descriptions of childbirth.
She said: “I kept looking over at Adam expecting the colour to drain out of his face – but he seemed absolutely fine.
“We were both gobsmacked. On the car journey home all we talked about was how the hypnotism had worked.”
Throughout Nerine’s pregnancy Adam attended weekly hypnotherapy classes. He even started repeating special mantras every morning to help him overcome his fear.
On November 6th 2009, Nerine gave birth to the pair’s first son Heath, now five, and Adam was by her side holding her hand throughout the birth.
Nerine said: “I was pleased he could be there and I know it was one of the most special moments of Adam’s life.
“He even managed to crack a joke while cutting the cord, he said: ‘I now declare this baby open.’”
The couple have since had another child, a daughter called Satine, now three, and Adam was able to attend her birth as well.
Nerine said: “Adam can even patch the kids up if they fall over and get a bloody knee now.
“He’s a changed man. I’m so glad he was able to see our children come into the world.”
Adam said: “After Nerine told me about the hypnotherapy I decided it was the only option.
“The sessions got me into a very calm state and taught me to push any negative thoughts away.
“I had my first session the day of the antenatal class. If I hadn’t had treatment I wouldn’t have been able to listen to anything at the class or last through any of the pictures or videos they show there without passing out.
“The birth was incredible, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.”