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Birth Story of Eli John Joseph - 14th October 2013

Eli John Joseph - 14th October 2013

The first time I heard of hypnobirthing was several years ago. I was working in my first full-timejob since leaving high school, in a groovy little book store in WA. At the time I wasn't ready to have a baby but I flicked through the hypnobirthing books we stocked and decided that when the time comes I want to hypnobirth.Several years later, now married and living in QLD, I fell pregnant. Travis and I were so excited to be finally starting our family. I had all but forgotten about hypnobirthing until I saw Shari's Belly to Birth page on Facebook.

At this stage I would have been around 30 weeks and my pregnancy had so far been a breeze. I looked into it a little more and suggested to my husband that we do the course. I wasn't sure if we'd be able to afford it and wondered if it would be worth spending the money on. Travis didn't take much convincing. He was of the opinion that if it would help me mentally get through the labour and delivery, and give him some tools to be able to help me, then it would be worth it. So with that, we signed up and off we went.After the first session with Shari we left on such a high, with tears in our eyes because we knew this was the best decision we could have made for our baby and our family.

The course was fantastic! I personally struggled with having the confidence in myself to know that I can have the birth that I want, there was always some doubt, but Shari's course really helped me work through that.

On Sunday 13th October 2013 I was feeling terrible. My baby wasn't due for another week so I was feeling fat, tired, generally exhausted and just wanted this baby out! I didn't think too much of it, I just went about my day doing light housework and resting in bed. I didn't feel very well so I didn't really eat all day and was struggling to even drink anything. At around 9pm I said to my husband that I think things might be happening, I was still ok, but was noticing my surges coming relatively frequently and had been getting gradually stronger throughout the day. With that, my husband went to try and get some sleep, he knew we'd be in for a long night.

At midnight I woke him up. I'd been pacing the house and front deck for a little while, I was so tired I just wanted to sleep but could not lay down. I was getting worked up because I wasn't sure if this was the real thing or not, and if it wasn't I just wanted to sleep! So my husband called the hospital for me to see if I could come in to be checked. I really just wanted someone to tell me that either yes, things are happening, or no, nothing's going on, so that I could try and put it out of my mind and get some rest.At 1am we arrived at the hospital and I was put on the monitor and examined. Although we were hypnobirthing, at this stage I did want to know what was going on.

The midwife confirmed that the baby's heart rate was good and I was around 1cm. She gave us the option of either staying in the hospital or going home and resting to return when the surges were more intense. We only live 5 minutes from the hospital anyway so we went home. I jumped in the bath while hubby tried to get some more sleep (I was quite happy to be left alone at this stage). Within 5 minutes of being in the bath I had to get out, the surges were coming hard and fast. I climbed out, put on my robe and went into the front yard, walking up and down for as long as I could. It was starting to get too much, so I moved to the bedroom, leaning on the bed, sobbing with each surge. I was already doubting myself!My husband jumped out of bed and we made our way to the car for the most uncomfortable car trip I've ever had! It was 2:30am when we arrived back at the hospital for the second time, less than an hour after we left the first time. Now that things were definitely moving it was hubby's time to be the go-to man. The midwife let him know that she'd like to examine me again at 5am, she obviously expected we'd be there for quite some time yet.

At around 4am I was crying and sobbing and begging my husband for

some pain relief, so the midwife gently asked Travis if she could examine

me then. I was happy to oblige as I still wasn't convinced this baby was actually coming yet. At the time I wasn't told, but apparently I was already 8-10cm. The midwife couldn't believe how quickly that happened.In some ways I think Travis had the harder job. My body was doing what it was meant to be doing but for Travis, seeing me in discomfort and hearing me beg for some relief, he really had to be calm and remember what we'd learnt. He worked out pretty quickly that during the surges was when I was totally irrational and was wanting relief, so he'd wait for the surge to end and remind me of the birth I want to have, encourage me and go through some affirmations with me. I'm so glad I had him there, with these tools, because I really feel that if it wasn't for the hypnobirthing course Travis just wouldn't have know how he could help me, and my birth wouldn't have been all that I had hoped for.

Even when all my mind was saying was that “I can't do this, I'm not strong enough forthis” Travis just kept repeating the affirmations we'd been going through, telling me how he knew that I can do it. Even though I didn't think so at the time, I trust my husband and believed that if he thought I could do it, then I can do it. It didn't stop my sobbing though.At around 6am I felt SICK, I didn't know where to put myself to get comfortable, then the vomiting started. As I hadn't eaten anything I was going through the motions but was just getting that horrible tearing feeling through my body that you get when there's nothing to bring up. That, combined with the surges was excruciating. I remember at one point saying to Travis “is Flippy actually coming today?” He smiled at me and said “yes honey, Flippy's definitely coming today”.

When I thought I couldn't do this any longer, the glint I saw in my husbands eyes told me that we were nearly there and I knew I could do it.At around 6:30am my waters broke. There was some meconium so the midwife had the monitor put on me straight away. I was still standing, leaning on the bed, with one midwife holding the monitor and the other standing by waiting until she was needed. The midwives were great. We'd been very clear with what we wanted and they only spoke when it was necessary, and never to me. I was left to be wherever I was comfortable and they worked around me. The pushing was by far the easiest part. I could actually feel my baby moving down. It would have been around 7am when my obstetrician arrived, and again, she allowed me to stay where I was and didn't say a word to me. The baby's heart rate stayed steady the whole time and even though there was meconium, Flippy wasdoing well.At 7:25 am, with one last breath down, our son was born. He was passed straight up to me, I climbed onto the bed and held him close. He was perfect and totally worth every second of uncomfortable-ness.I felt my heart double in size that day.

Even though my birth didn't look like the beautiful, pain-free, happy, smiley births that you watch online, we did it! I had the birth that I wanted, totally drug free and I proved to myself that I am a lot stronger than I thought I was.

Rosie & Travis


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