Giving birth to my son Oliver was the best moment of my life!
Giving birth to my son Oliver was the best moment of my life. I do not believe such a beautiful, organic experience would have been possible without my partner and I having practiced hypnobirthing during my pregnancy. It was through this practice that I went from feeling extremely anxious of labour and birth at the start of my pregnancy to feeling completely empowered and excited by the time my baby was due.
My hypnobirthing practice consisted of meditating both in and outside of the bath, creating and studying my birth vision board and rehearsing acupressure and soft touch massage with my partner. To supplement this I continued to walk, swim and stretch regularly, have frequent remedial massages, eat healthily, drink plenty of water and take vitamins. By doing all of this I felt like my mind and body was in the perfect state for the remainder of my pregnancy, birth and motherhood.
By the 38 week mark, I was starting to really slow down. I was experiencing quite a bit of pelvic pain and reflux so I sought some physiotherapy and acupuncture for some relief. The acupuncturist advised me that the acupuncture being applied to my lower back would naturally induce me within 48 hours if the baby was ready. On the same day, I saw Shari, my Hypnobirthing Practitioner who went through a fear release and meditation session with me in preparation for the birth.
It was only two days later when, at 7am in the morning my waters broke. At this point in time, I had a few period like cramps but no distinct surges. I contacted the midwives at Gladstone Hospital to notify them of my condition. They advised me to stay at home and see how I go and that if nothing had happened within 24hours that I would need to be induced to prevent infection. I did not want this to happen so my partner Jon and I began to focus on applying acupressure to naturally induce labour.
Within an hour, my surges began to increase in intensity. Jon started to apply acupressure to my lower back to help reduce any discomfort I was feeling during the surges. At 9am we rang the midwives again and it was decided that we should head up to the hospital for myself and the baby to be examined. The ECG confirmed the baby was as calm as I was and that my labour was indeed progressing. As such we felt that the vaginal examination was not required and returned home by 12.30 pm to continue labouring at home. To help me relax, I jumped in the shower followed by the bath but I found neither to be that comforting. Instead Jon set up the exercise ball and some towels in a darkened room with aromatherapy. I leant over the exercise ball whilst Jon continued to apply acupressure to my lower back. When my surges became more frequent and longer lasting, after only an hour at home, we decided it was time to head back to the hospital.
Luckily when we returned to the hospital the birthing suite with the birth pool was available. On entering the room, I felt a strong urge to go to the toilet. The midwife, Christine informed me it was probably too late for that and it was likely that my baby was on its way. Christine performed a vaginal examination and I was already 8cm dilated!! They got me in the birth pool straight away. I continued to be in active labour for about 5 hours. Jon was with me the whole time making sure the hypnobirthing tracks were being played, there was aromatherapy going and acupressure was applied to my back every time I had a surge. At the 3 hour mark, my mum was also there pouring water on my back and running her fingers through my hair. On hearing I was in labour that morning, my Mum had travelled from Cairns to Brisbane to Gladstone to be there for the birth. It was lucky she made it in time!
Whilst in the pool, I went into a deep meditative zone like I had practiced in the bath at home. I rested between surges and breathed deeply during them. There was a point where I felt like I had to bear down. I could swear the baby was almost there but I couldn’t feel his head yet. The midwife kept saying to me that my body will do what it has to do but by this point I was starting to get very agitated and exhausted. I was also getting cold in the birth pool so the midwife decided to get me out of the pool and on to the bed to perform an examination. I was rugged up in a warm blanket and was able to relax again. When the midwife checked me, she was somewhat shocked as the baby was right there. She told me that I needed to bear down during my next surge. Jon and Mum were both by my side holding my hand and encouraging me as I beared down. After 20 minutes, at 7.22pm on 27th October 2016, Oliver arrived. Seeing the pure joy and tears on my partner’s face when our baby came into this world will be one of the happiest and most treasured moments of my life.
I could not have been more proud of myself and my partner for the birth of our baby. My calmness and positivity during the birth had clearly rubbed off on Oliver as he was so content and relaxed and continues to be so to this day. I truly believe the knowledge we gained from hypnobirthing allowed us to have the positive and joy-filled experience that we were seeking to bring this tiny little human into our family.
Tegan & Jon