"Holding my baby in my arms for the first time was the most precious moment of my life!"
My husband Rowen and I welcomed our first born, a beautiful baby boy, Arjay Francis into the world on Friday November 18th, 2016 at 10:25am. Arjay weighed 3.148kg (6 pound, 15 ounces) and measured 50cm. My birth experience was nothing short of incredible. Going through a 36 hour labour was extremely exhausting, however I couldn’t be more thankful for what Shari at Belly2Birth Hypnobirthing taught Rowen and myself. After learning a range of techniques from Shari, I felt very positive about the birth and confident in myself. Any fears I had about the birth itself were completely erased. Rowen also benefitted from the course, easing his mind about what to expect and how to be an incredible birth partner – which he was, absolutely perfect. Along with Rowen, I had my mother Natascha, and my sister Jazmin in the birthing suite.
I had a slow leak of fluid on Wednesday 16th, 2016 at 10:00pm. We called the hospital at this point where we were asked to come in. The midwife confirmed that my waters had broken. Arjay’s heartbeat was monitored for an hour or so and we were then asked if I wanted to be induced or to head home and wait for surges to start. As Rowen and I wanted the most natural birth possible for our little man, we headed home. Soon after this I had very mild surges and slept through until the morning. Throughout my surges during the day I used the exercise ball to relax and b
through my surges. The Hypnobirthing tracks that Shari provided me with were playing in the background, which relaxed my body even more. We didn’t head to the hospital until around 11:45pm that night where surges were around 3-4 minutes apart. At this point, we were told that my membranes had ruptured; however the sac was still in tact. Therefore Arjay hadn’t moved down at all during the surges I was having throughout the day. This unfortunately was not what we wanted to hear, however I remained positive, calm and focused. As my membranes had been ruptured for 24 hours, I then had to be induced to reduce the risk of infection. After being induced, the surges became a lot stronger and closer together. Throughout the surges I used the breathing techniques that Shari had taught me. My affirmations track was playing in the background in the birthing suite, which eased my mind and helped me to remain calm, relaxed and focused.
A technique I particularly found useful aside from the breathing techniques were the acupressure points. Before Shari’s course I had no idea what these were or how they worked. As Arjay was posterior for most of my labour, I had a lot of pain in my back throughout the surges. Rowen, my mum and Jazmin all knew about the acupressure points and used this technique to ease the pressure I was feeling in my back – it was incredible how much it assisted with the pain. I used the shower in the birthing suite to also ease my back pain. Relaxing in the shower with the water running on my back allowed Arjay to position himself anterior again. Whilst being in the shower I felt the urge to start pushing as each surge passed through. I thought to myself that I wouldn’t move from the shower until he is here, however Arjay’s heart rate dropped to 80 bpm and wasn’t coming back up. Therefore, I needed to make my way out of the shower and to the hospital bed. This was the hardest 15 minutes to move about 5 metres! My husband Rowen was SO incredible during this time. After getting up from the shower floor I faced Rowen hugging him with my arms over his shoulders as he helped me to the bed. Rowen remained calm and relaxed my mind again; he even started singing our first dance song (so cute I know). Arjay’s heart rate returned to normal again, and after around 4 big pushes, he was here. Arjay and I had immediate skin-to-skin, a very emotional time that I will never forget. After this, Rowen had skin-to-skin time with Arjay.
The support I had throughout my birthing experience was amazing. Rowen, my mum and Jazmin were all absolutely wonderful, together we worked through the techniques that Shari had taught us and Arjay was delivered naturally and safely. Arjay is a beautiful, content, happy and healthy little man who we love endlessly. Thanks so much again to Shari, you are amazing!
Monique & Rowen
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