"Shari and her incredible knowledge has made me feel like an empowered women in charge of her b
Everyone says don't expect baby on due date, however as the due date came and went I found anxiety creeping in around being induced. I felt so ready to meet our little lady! At 38 weeks I had started drinking raspberry leaf tea, having acupuncture twice a week and doing all of the things recommended to help bring labour on so as the due date came and went I was feeling a little disappointed and impatient. As I approached 41 weeks the midwife started speaking to me about being induced and asking me to think about which techniques I would prefer and when. She informed me they prefer not to let babies to go over 42 weeks. I asked to be induced as late as possible and we agreed on 41 + 5. I then found I became very fixated on being induced and was becoming very nervous and anxious I was really hoping to labour in the birth pool and knew the chances were unlikely of this happening if I was induced. Shari was checking in on me and I expressed these concerns. She was amazing and spoke me through some extra things I could be doing to ease the fear and anxiety. We started with another fear release and listening to the track baby come out. She also mentioned to use the best pump to stimulate the nipples. I found all the of these things to really help relax the mind and body again and just to reaffirm everything for me. On week 41 shari came over and tried some spinning baby techniques with me. Little miss had been engaged and sitting very low for a long time so Shari thought it may help to relieve the tension on my pelvis and align bub a little better. I found this really amazing I could feel a little release in my body and further to my mind.
On 41+ 1 I went for a nice walk on the beach had some more acupuncture while listening to my Baby come out track and had a second stretch n sweep. I was sure she was not far off now but was also feeling more relaxed and accepting of an induction. I knew I had done everything to prepare mind and body to welcome bub into the world. I woke up on 41+2 And thought i had felt some tightening over the night I had been getting these off and on for a week or so now so did not get my hopes up. As the day progressed I realised they had not gone away but were still a little irregular. I also lost my mucus plug. Then around 5ish we were relaxing on the couch and out of nowhere quite a strong surge came over and I actually felt something pop inside. When I stood up my waters broke dramatically everywhere. (thankfully on the tiles and not my new rug). I rang the midwife Judy and she said could still be a waiting game and not necessarily anything was going to change immediately and just to rest up and come in tomorrow afternoon to check on bub if nothing had happened. But by 6.30 I think I was in active labour and it was strong. I could not bring myself to leave the shower and had my positive affirmations playing the surges really took me surprise they were hard work and shockingly painful taking all of my concentration. Jansen rang Judy again at 7.30-8 and she timed my contractions and I was having 5 over 10 mins and they were lasting a good minute. I could barely tell when they were stopping and starting just felt like they were continuous and this made me really confused as I had not had a chance to centre myself as I was expecting the first stage of labour to increase gradually.
We got to the birth centre/GCUH by 9 and I hoped straight into the birth pool I remember feeling so desperate to make it into the pool I stripped off naked with no worries of modesty as soon as I saw it. I laboured in the birth pool for 2 hours during this time I remember feeling so internalised with little idea of my surroundings - I was only really aware of my positive affirmations track coming to an end and when Jansen moved away from me both of these things made me feel frantic. One thought that kept coming back to me was "I cant do this" the pain was just too unbearable and I was repeating it out loud again and again much to my dismay and disappointment in reflection . However as time eases the memory and I am able to reflect I think this is quite ironic as I was listening to positive affirmations and I was doing it! And doing it as I had planned and hoped! Over the 2 hours in the birth pool the Judy thinks I transitioned and became fully dilated - she had not completed a vaginal exam. However she could tell I was almost too relaxed and not exactly connecting to my body or sensing the urge to push or bear down. I think I was mentally blocking this out as I had asked if I was crowning a few times as I thought the surges could not get any more powerful or painful. Because I was not bearing down or connecting with my surges Judy had me get out of the birth pool and become active and try a few different positions- I really did not want to but could grasp the importance of this, she also checked to see I was fully dilated and had transitioned into the final stage of labour - as she expected I had. At one stage she pushed her fingers to my forehead and told me I was getting too caught up in my head and I most certainly was over the fear of the pain- I had started to ask for it to be over and for someone else to do it for me, in my head I was asking for some pain relief/drugs just anything to hurry it up and give me a break but i'm not sure how much i vocalised this out loud. later Judy told me she ignored these requests as she knew I was not there yet and it was mostly self doubt. When she touched her fingers to my forehead and told me to get out of my head she also touched the top of my belly and asked me to feel the surge and my body and baby and to help her meet the world. This was a very important moment for me as it was as if a light had turned on I had not noticed that sensation of my uterus tightening at the top to draw the baby down. Once I registered this the surges started to feel satisfying in a weird way - they were still incredibly painful but I could feel the baby moving and progression and felt like yes I can do this. During the whole of my labour all I had wanted was to be on all fours instinctively and everytime Judy put me into a new position to help bub come around my tailbone I would end up back on all fours. We never made it back to the birth pool the time moved so fast once I had hoped out and I birthed our beautiful Isla Joy on all fours holding onto her daddy's lap for help. Jansen had not left my side and been a pillar of strength for me to hold onto with a continuous flow of encouraging words and love. Once Isla was born I remember feeling like I just looked at her in shock for so long before registering to pick her up but have been told it was 3 seconds max. With Isla on my chest we then made our way to the bed to lay down. Judy confirmed we would like to delay the cord clamping and birth the placenta naturally which we did. Isla Joy Pastro was born at 12.45am on Saturday 27th October 2018 weighing 3.990kg and measuring 56cm long. The total time of my labour was somewhere between 7 - 8 hours from when my waters broke. Over the next two hours after i had given birth i received numerous stitches for little tears all through my labia which was caused mostly from birthing on all fours and having all the weight heavy. But my perineal remained in tact - what a win! This part was just as scary as the birth nearly, my legs were up in stirrups and I was wheeled under a big light and given gas which really played with my mind and upset me. Now in reflection it makes me appreciate how lucky I was to have a natural birth and persevere through the pain and ultimately believe my body could do it! We arrived at the birth centre at 9pm and left with a beautiful new addition at 6am - 9 hours later! The beautiful midwives at the birth centre are bloody amazing, my midwife Vanessa who I had been seeing prior to labour was actually on her scheduled days off and I had only met Judy briefly at a meet and greet yet she knew exactly how I wanted to birth and understood the importance of a natural labour for us! I believe this model of care for pregnant mumma's is the best available care out there. I never for one moment prior during or after giving birth have felt anything but so much love and support and am very grateful I was given this opportunity. I really think preparing and learning about labour for my labour and surrounding myself with such amazing people really helped to have such an incredible experience. Brad from studio qi acupuncture made me realise I was feeling vulnerable and was holding onto expectations. Even though the acupuncture was not a quick start for labour as I had hoped I think the oxytocin must have been flowing strong to have progressed so fast!
Shari and her incredible knowledge has made me feel like an empowered women in charge of her birth story and I will always be incredibly thankful for that. When reflecting on the labour and birth I had initially felt really upset with myself that I had not been able to visualise the surges and work with my body and had gotten overwhelmed with the pain and had asked for pain relief and had only vocalised negativity and fear. But as the week has gone on and after speaking with Shari I have realised this is bloody ridiculous. I achieved an all natural birth with no pain relief I was able to use the birth pool to dilate. We delayed cord clamping and birthed the placenta naturally and that's an amazing achievement which I am super proud and grateful to have made.
Sharlee & Janson
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