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I wanted to know what to expect when I gave birth. I wanted to be prepared!

Pregnancy was beautiful for me. I was told that giving birth could also be a beautiful experience. Of all the stories I'd heard, birth did not seem beautiful at all... Women go into pregnancy pretty clueless & many women go into labour just as clueless. I wanted to know what to expect when I gave birth. I wanted to be prepared. I wanted to make my birthing experience the best that it could be for myself & for our baby boy.

I booked into the Hypnobirthing course with Shari at 28 weeks with husband in tow. The most difficult part of the course was keeping my husband awake ;-) he didn't believe that Hypnobirthing would work. The birth of our little man Easton definitely changed his mind...

At 37 weeks pregnant I had planned to spend my last few weeks at the beach, organising the house, having afternoon naps EVERY day & of course Christmas shopping. My first week of maternity leave went by in a blaze of sleep ins, lunch dates, beach days & starting to prepare for the arrival of our baby (still 3 weeks away... right?).

Friday night on the 5th December I noticed a slow leak of fluid which I thought might have meant my membranes had ruptured... I felt fine so I waited until the Saturday to call the Midwifery Group. I went to the hospital at 11am that day & it was confirmed that my membranes had ruptured, however I had not gone into labour on my own. I was scheduled in to be induced as there is a timeframe of 48 hrs once your membranes have ruptured to give birth. I gave the doctor and midwife my birth plan & we discussed my options. I could either come back in that night & be given the Prostaglandin gel (which was my preference IF I could not give birth naturally) or I could see if things progressed on my own overnight & come in first thing the following morning to be given Syntocinon. It was such an overwhelming decision to make, knowing that in the next 2 days I would definitely be giving birth to our baby!!! This was the moment we had been waiting for... & for it not to go perfectly as I had imagined was a little bit heartbreaking.

This is where the Hypnobirthing techniques came into play. I reassured myself that at least I was able to have my preference of the gel & with the thought of having our baby so soon I began to feel unbelievably excited!!!! I was told to go home & have dinner then come back in at 7pm. I decided to go to Big W and grab a couple of maternity bras I'd been meaning to buy. Plus I needed to buy dog biscuits and some snacks for the hospital. You know, all of the important things you need prior to having a baby... I was driving home about 330pm & my membranes ruptured with a pop!!!! Thankfully I wasn't in Woolworths when this happened (oh the shame) & thankfully I had a towel on my seat after my walk the day before (brand new car)... I couldn't believe it. I called my husband & told him what was happening. Maybe I was going to have a natural birth after all?!?!

Once I got home my friend came over to catch up. We were casually chatting as I ate some fruit and yoghurt, unstacked the dishwasher and put some washing on the line. All the while my husband had a nap (he was feeling tired after work & needed all of his energy for that night haha). By 5pm I felt tightenings every 4 to 5 minutes, they weren't painful so I wasn't sure if I should be worried or not. I told my husband we should probably head into the hospital seen as though I was scheduled to be induced at 7pm anyway. So we packed the bags in the car, my vision board, diffuser and speaker for the relaxation tracks (I knew these off by heart after listening to them almost every night). On the way to the hospital my husband was hungry so he asked if we could go to KFC to get him something for dinner. I said, as long as I don't give birth in the KFC drive thru then that is totally fine ;-). Considering I was having tightenings every 4 minutes, we were relaxed and joking like it was another normal day.

I was taken to the birthing suite & my husband set up the diffuser and the music to create the ideal environment for me while I was having a trace done on the baby. The doctor was called away to an emergency C Section at 8pm & we were told she would be back in an hour or so to give me the Prostaglandin gel. I was happy to be given that extra time to see if I would progress naturally without being induced. & progress I did... Through every surge I used the breathing techniques we were taught during the classes. I walked around the room and leant on the bed as each surge passed. As they began to feel stronger my husband started the light touch which was a nice distraction. By 930pm I was in the shower having very strong surges. I asked my husband if the doctor or midwives were going to come back any time soon because I felt like I was close to giving birth. He didn't think we needed to call anyone seen as though I was so calm & once the doctor came back into the room she also didn't think I was that far along. I was asked to hop onto the bed for an internal examination to see how much I had dilated. The doctor didn't need to perform the internal because she could already see that his head was right there. My husband said her face dropped with shock. The doctor then told us that I would be giving birth in the next 10 minutes. This whole time I had my eyes closed, breathing through each surge, focusing on keeping relaxed and calm. My husband and the midwife helped me turn around and lean over the end of the bed (lying on my back was very uncomfortable). I started to feel a lot more pressure & began to bear down using my breath. My husband was telling me how great I was doing the whole time & reassuring me, keeping me relaxed. I was then told to shorten my breaths just before the head was about to crown so that I would hold the baby in while my perineum stretched. At that moment if it wasn't for the midwife touching my hand, telling me to keep relaxed and breath, I felt like I would have tried to 'push'. I let my body take control as we had been taught. By working with my body, I was able to let it do what it was designed to do. I gave birth to our 6 pound baby boy at 10:08pm that night. At 37 weeks and 4 days he was healthy, happy and content.

My birthing experience was surreal. It was so great... As great as giving birth could be :). My husband was amazed by how well the Hypnobirthing techniques worked & he could not believe how calm and relaxed our birth was from start to finish. The following days he would not stop telling everyone to do the Hypnobirthing course. He has been officially converted into a believer in Hypnobirthing! & I am a proud Hypnobirthing Mum with a beautiful Hypnobirthing baby.

I'd like to thank my husband Shannon, for not sleeping through ALL of the classes and being the best support I could have asked for!

Shari & Shannon

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