It was the most amazing moment and I’ve never felt so proud of myself!
My Birth Story
Even though I knew that it was normal for labour to start later than my due date, in the 40th week I was very impatient and a bit disappointed that it hadn’t started yet. My parents had arrived to visit and we were all so excited to meet our little girl. I had to keep reminding myself that she would come when she is ready, and listening to the birthing affirmations helped with this!
It got to day 40+6, and I was trying to nap in the middle of the day when all of a sudden my waters broke with no warning! I felt so excited and relieved that things were starting. We headed to the hospital at about 2pm. I had started getting little niggling surges every now and then that felt like Braxton Hicks. As expected, the hospital monitored me for a little while and then told me to go home until I was having four surges every ten minutes. They also told me that because my waters broke prematurely, I would potentially have to be induced if labour didn’t start by itself due to the risk of infection.
When we got home, Mike’s parents had arrived from NSW and both our families were busy preparing dinner. My surges were getting stronger but there wasn’t a pattern to them yet and I was able to have a nice dinner with everyone. After dinner I put on my favourite comedy- the Office, and Mike did soft touch massage to keep me calm and relaxed. The surges were becoming stronger, longer and closer together at this point but I was still in such a relaxed state that I was still able to laugh at the show. After about two episodes (at about 7pm) I felt the need to focus on the surges so I went into our bedroom and started listening to the hypnobirthing tracks- ‘Birthing Affirmations’ and ‘Surge of the Sea’. Mike started to time my surges at this point- I was having about two every ten minutes and the time between them was getting shorter. For relief I hopped in and out of the shower and Mike continued doing soft touch massage in between surges which I found very relaxing. During surges, my hips would instinctively sway and I found this was a great pain relief as well. After about four hours of this I was having four surges every ten minutes so I asked Mike to call up the hospital to see if we should come in. They asked to speak to me on the phone, and I think because I was so calm they told me to stay at home for a bit longer. I waited another hour, and at 12am I could tell that things were about to intensify so we made the decision to go in to the hospital!
The surges slowed down a bit when we got there but I was still having about three every ten minutes. I mentioned to them that I wanted to have a water birth if possible, and the midwife explained that if she gave me an internal examination it increased the risk of infection as my waters had already broken, which would put me on a time frame to be induced- and then I wouldn’t be able to go in the water. The alternative was being examined with a speculum which wasn’t as accurate but would mean I could still have a water birth if I wanted. I agreed to the speculum. She examined me and said she wasn’t quite sure but she didn’t think my cervix had dilated at all! She told me to go home, have some panadol and try and sleep. I was so disappointed, and so sure that I was further along but didn’t trust my instincts…
On the car ride home (at 2am) the surges ramped up to a new level of intensity. I thought to myself ‘ok…this is labour’. At home I did what the midwife said and had some panadol and lay down to sleep but there was no way I was sleeping through these surges. They were so intense that I couldn’t do my long slow hypnobirthing breaths, even though Mike was trying to count to make my breathing slower. They were also going for about two minutes, and sometimes without a break in between them. Both Mike and I thought- no we need to go back to the hospital. I wanted to go to the bathroom before leaving, and when I was in there had surge on top of surge for about 10 minutes before I could find a break to get to the car. I had another really strong surge when getting in the car and felt a pushing urge- but because of what the midwife had said at the hospital I still thought I was in the early stages of labour!
When we got there at 3.30am I struggled through surges to walk to the birthing unit. I agreed to an internal examination, and to my amazement the nurse said that I was about to have the baby… I was fully dilated!! I couldn’t believe it…and felt so proud of myself and relieved that the hardest part of labour was over. Just like that my body went into the ‘rest and be thankful’ phase of labour that we had learnt about in hypnobirthing and I had some relief from surges while they filled up the bath and my body got ready to push!
Hopping in the bath was amazing, and my body started to bear down. This part of labour actually took a lot longer than expected (later we found out that her hand was next to her face and this was making it very hard for her to come out). I had about one and a half hours in the bath, and by this point we could just see a bit of her head. Even though it was so long I felt calm floating in the bath with hypnobirthing affirmations, and then Xavier Rudd playing. Mike was massaging my arms and getting me Powerade and water. The midwives had a change of shift at 7am and the next midwives told me to get on the bed as her heart rate was dropping and she wasn’t coming out fast enough in the water. I got on the bed and kept pushing with the surges, she was so close! Eventually one of the midwives recommended an episiotomy as she could see that I was losing energy, and was scared I might get a big tear. I agreed to it, and with two pushes our baby’s head was out! What an incredible feeling. She turned her body, I had another surge, and with one more push her whole body was out and little Olive was lifted onto my chest! It was the most amazing moment and I’ve never felt so proud of myself.
Later the midwife asked me if I thought hypnobirthing had helped me. I had stayed very calm throughout the whole labour and never felt fearful or stressed. The surges became intense towards the end but were still manageable, and I believe that was due to the confidence and knowledge that hypnobirthing gave me. It was also invaluable to Mike who was an incredible, confident birth partner and kept me calm using the techniques we learnt in the course- so I think hypnobirthing definitely did help me during labour!!
Thanks so much Shari for all the skills you taught us so that I was able to have such a calm birth!
Jemima, Mike and Olive
Gold Coast, QLD
To book into a Hypnobirthing Australia Course on the Gold Coast CLICK HERE
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