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Education is so important. From knowing your own body to know your rights in a hospital!

Hi Shari, I have loved writing my birth story and just wanted to personally thank you for making information about hypnobirthing and positive births so accessible. At the time I was unable to pay for a course and I gathered all the info I could from your page and it helped me immensely, I'm sorry if it is too long, I could have written a book about it hahaha. I have recommended hypnobirthing to so many women since my daughters birth and have become very passionate about it. I just want every woman to have to beautiful and empowering experience that I got to have. Thank you again!! ------------------------------------------------- My Birth Story

I should start this off by touching on my first birth experience which was traumatic. I lived in a small country town. It didn’t have the option of epidural (which was fine because the thought terrified me and I didn’t want it)…

I went into early labour at 4 am on a Tuesday (26 April 2016) , and on Wednesday morning I was checked and was at 4cm. I then I asked to be checked again hours later and was told it wasn’t necessary. On the Thursday morning (about 23 hrs later) after begging to be checked again, I was told I was still 4cm and the baby was posterior and stuck. I was already so exhausted and I remember telling my mum I didn’t like it there, and I wanted an epidural.

They decided to break my waters, put a fetal scalp monitor on my baby and send me to a bigger hospital via ambulance. By the time I got to the next hospital, I was put straight on Pitocin, given an epidural and the Dr rotated my baby internally. I was told I had a few hours to dilate or I would have to get an emergency c section due to the baby being in distress.

Thankfully I dilated. I pushed for 2 hours, had an episiotomy and on the Thursday night at 9 pm my daughter Amelia was finally born. The cord was cut straight away so they could check her over and then she was put on my chest.

In my first birth, there was a lot of ‘This is what we are doing to you' and I had no control over any of it. I didn’t even know what a fetal scalp monitor was until a post-Shari made on Instagram. I knew that if I had another baby, I needed to be educated and know more about the female body, what it was capable of. So when I fell pregnant with my second baby, I started researching and came across Belly2Birth- At the time I couldn’t afford the hypnobirthing course so I gathered all the info I could from her Instagram page, her stories, Q&As etc. This brings me to my POSITIVE birth experience. On July 3rd 2020, I was 39+2. I woke up and spent the morning at the local shopping centre getting last minute things before bub arrived. That whole morning at the shops I could feel my stomach tighten every 10-15 mins but there was absolutely no pain so I just went about my business thinking it was Braxton hicks. Around 1 pm, my husband and I decided to go out to lunch and as I was sitting there, I could feel my stomach now tightening every 5ish minutes – once again absolutely no pain and I just assumed it was because I had been walking all morning.

We went home and I put my feet up to relax thinking they would stop once I was laying down resting. The ‘tightenings’ became closer together and by 4 pm they were every 3-4 minutes.

I was a bit unsure so I called the maternity ward at around 5 pm and spoke to a midwife, I explained everything and she asked if it was my first or second baby and when I said second she said okay and was about to say something and then I had another tightening and went silent and started breathing, when it was over I said ‘I just don’t understand why they are not hurting, is it because I’ve been practising hypnobirthing?’ and she immediately said ‘Start making your way in now. I can hear it in your breathing that you are really the zone and focused and that’s probably why you’re not experiencing ‘Pain’.

At 6 pm My husband and I got to the hospital, we were taken into a birthing suite to get put on monitors etc and I asked to be checked and explained my previous birth and said I would feel more comfortable being checked and knowing what was going on.

I wasn’t dilated but she said she didn’t want me leaving as we lived about twenty minutes away and if things started happening quickly after being checked then she wanted us close by. She didn’t admit us so we were able to go get some dinner, go for a walk etc. At this time I called my dad, said I wasn’t dilated so it was probably going to be a long night and for him not to rush up (he lives 5 and a half hours away) and we called my mother in law telling her that nothing was happening yet but we were staying at the hospital.

After a walk around the car park, I felt I needed to go back inside, my ‘tightenings’ were starting to become uncomfortable. By the time I got back inside it was about 7:30 pm and when I got to the room I had my first ‘proper’ contraction. My husband and midwife both looked at me and they knew just by my face that it was different to the previous ones.

I had also tested positive for group b strep earlier that week and was getting the IV put in for my antibiotics when I asked the midwife how often do I get it and she said ‘every 4 hours but I don’t think you will make it to your second dose’. I had a bit of a chuckle thinking ‘yeah yeah as if’

She asked what my birth preferences were and all I said was ‘I want calm and water’. She filled the bath up while I was getting the antibiotics (which took about 30 minutes) and in that time I went from ‘hmm this is uncomfortable’ to feeling pressure and wetting myself with every contraction.

At 8pm I got into the bath and instantly felt relief from the pressure and felt I could finally get into the zone. Everything was calm, dark and silent. Nobody told me what to do. Nobody actually spoke unless I spoke to them or asked a question.

Letting my body just relax and surrender to everything was a completely different experience. There was no fear. There was definitely pain but my mindset was so different that it was a different kind of pain. I was educated, I knew what was happening, why it was happening and how to cope with what was happening. An hour later at 9pm, I asked to be checked again. I said if I wasn’t progressing I wanted to get an epidural. This was a big indicator to my midwife that I had definitely progressed and that I needed to know how much. I was 7-8cm at 9 pm. Thinking It was still going to be a while away I asked for some gas.

Not long after that, I said ‘how will I know if I need to push. I feel like im pushing, am I pushing? I need to’. My midwife said ‘Trust me, you will know. Your body will know what to do’. – At this time, my new midwife came in for her shift. The first midwife stayed with me as she knew it wouldn’t be too much longer and the new midwife stood back out of the way.

At 9:20 pm I felt this huge pop with one of my contractions and my waters broke. My midwife said ‘Okay this is going to happen very quickly – do you want a mirror?’ Forgetting to ask earlier I said yes and I saw the top of my baby’s head and suddenly the urge to push was overwhelming, and out came her head.

My next contraction was approaching and my Midwife asked if I wanted to pull my baby up onto my chest myself, Once again forgetting to ask earlier I said yes and with the next push, Baby Zoe was up on my chest, Born at 9:27 pm.

My midwife waited until the umbilical cord had stopped pulsating before clamping it (Another thing I forgot to ask for) and after the placenta was out, she brought it over to me as I wanted to have a close up look at it. It was so fascinating and I was so lucky to have a midwife who was on the same page as me with everything! Everything about my Labour and Birth was incredible and my positive birth experience would not have gone so perfectly without the information I learnt through Shari. Education is so important. From knowing your own body to know your rights in a hospital, and what you can ask for and what you can say no to. It is all equally important and I highly recommend for anyone and everyone who is pregnant to look into hypnobirthing. Thank you Shari for putting the information out there. You helped me have the most empowering moment of my life.

To book into a Hypnobirthing Australia or Childbirth Education course with Shari on the Gold Coast CLICK HERE

To book into a Live Online Course CLICK HERE


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