"My labour and birth were better than I had hoped"
On Monday morning I woke up early to what felt like some light period pain and instantly got excited that this was the first sign that labour was near. When Ash got home from the gym, we decided to go for a 3km walk to our favourite café and enjoy one last acai bowl. Although I had read a lot of people rest before labour, we went into overdrive keeping ourselves busy. We spent the day cleaning the house, washing the cars, ducking down to Bunnings and organising a custom cot mattress for the caravan for bub's first camping trip.
As the day was coming to an end and I finally put my feet up at 6 pm, I started to get back pain and decided to run a warm bath. After half an hour in the bath, the pain started to increase and laying down was no longer comfortable so I decided to move to the shower and let gravity help bring bub down. The warm water running over my back helped heaps and I stayed there for a while swaying back and forth. By 8 pm, I was now having strong contractions and hopped out of the shower to be able to use the tens machine on my back, stretch my body more and have Ash squeeze my hips together which helped counter the pain. Ash could see the contractions were occurring more and after timing them he decided we should head to the hospital at 9 pm. There wasn’t a car on the road, but Ash has bad luck when it came to getting red lights and that night would be no different.
We arrived at the hospital at 10 pm and I was 5cm dilated when not contracting so moved straight to the birthing suite. I instantly got into the shower and Ash held the hose on my stomach while the other was on my back. I had a senior and student midwife, Cassia and Amber, who read my hypnobirthing notes straight away and instantly stopped talking to me, lowered their voices and only spoke to Ash when really necessary. I stayed in the shower for an hour before finally moving into the birthing pool. Ash never left my side and always had one hand on me at any given time. He instantly set up my speaker and started playing the Hypnobirthing Australia tracks. He talked me through my breathing every step of the way and said between contractions it looked like I was asleep. After half an hour, I felt the urge to bear down and rolled over onto my back. Ash held my body weight from under my shoulders and after 5 pushes bubs head was out. I waited for 2 more contractions and then bubs body came out. I was so in my own little bubble that the midwife had to tell me to quickly grab our little guy as I hadn’t really realised he was out. I opened my eyes, carefully grabbed him and lifted him straight up onto my chest. It was the most surreal moment of my life and I was honestly in shock that I did it. The first thing that Ash said was “look how perfect he is”. We instantly had skin to skin contact and I had never felt so relaxed than in those first few moments. We had requested delayed cord clamping so after the umbilical cord stopped pulsating, Ash cut it and an hour later I birthed my placenta naturally.
My labour and birth were better than I had hoped for and I truly believe it is because of all the techniques and information we learnt at our Belly2Birth Hypnobirthing course. Throughout my pregnancy, Ash and I practised the breathing techniques, locating pressure points and continually discussed our preferences so we were prepared when the time came. The midwives at our birth congratulated Ash and said he was the most supportive birth partner they had seen in a long time. We stayed at the hospital for an extra night for peace of mind and several other midwives came into see us just to say they had heard in the ward what a magical birth we had and congratulated us again.
Ever since I was young, I had a great fear of pregnancy and birth so when I fell pregnant, I knew I would need support to stay positive. The first thing I brought wasn’t a cute outfit but this course. After our first session, we both walked out so calm and excited for the big day, but also so much more educated on how we could support each other and our options to create the birth we wanted. We can’t thank Shari enough and will continue to recommend this course to everyone so they too can experience a positive birth no matter how it happens.
On Tuesday 17th March 2020 at 1:59 am after 4 hours of active labour, our beautiful baby boy Bodhi entered the world. He was 55.5cm long and 3.444kg of absolute perfection. Much love,
Jasmin & Ash