Prior to my hypnobirthing classes I was seriously worried about labour due to the issues my sister, mum and grandmother had all experienced in birthing their children. I had to make a huge decision in my head to focus on the positive aspects of birthing that you taught us and not on what my family were constantly telling me. They were worried for me. Matt and I made the decision not to tell them about the hypnobirthing or the idea of water birthing or our birthing plan that asked not to offer medication unless I requested it. This was a good decision although up until the day I gave birth my well meaning mother and sister continued to tell me to take whatever I was offered and do what the medical professionals told me. They couldn’t understand why I was trying to avoid being induced after being a few days past my due date. I opted for some beautiful accupuncture therapy instead and it did the trick ( I am happy to share the accupuncturists details for Gold Coasters if they are looking for someone great. She also helped me through my breastfeeding issue of not producing enough milk for Alfie post birth).
Long story short I had the best labour that my body would allow and it was drug free, stitches free and relaxed! I had been feeling weird for most of the day prior to Alfies delivery. I did as recommended and kept doing everyday things. I went to bed and slept but woke at about 10pm feeling a bit different! I realised I was in early labour but wanted to be at home for as long as possible. I let Matt sleep and did things around the house for another our and a half but then realised that I wouldn’t be comfortable at home for much longer. I woke Matt and he called the hospital and asked them to start filling the birthing pool for us. By the time we reached the hospital I was not very comfortable walking and ending up on my hands and knees in the coridoor while Matt sorted out where we needed to be.
Once I had been monitored and bub had been assessed I was able to relax in the birthing pool. I was so grateful to have the warm water, the pool noodle contraption to relax on in between surges and my hypnorbirhting tracks playing in the dock next to the pool. We found that having the tracks playing on the dock meant that matt was more able to be part of the physical birthing experience. He did not end up using the scripts thoughout our labour but played a huge role in keeping Alfie and I relaxed.
My active labour was 9 hours but the difficult second stage was two and half hours. During this stage (especially towards the end where i was really tired) I found it difficult to continue my birth breathing but the mid wife couldn’t believe how relaxed I was in between surges. Alfie’s head was stuck for a long time and I was aware that the midwife was starting to worry in that she was in the room more often and also phoning the obstetrician more regularly. I remember thinking that I must be in transition because i told the midwife I needed help because I was so tired. She was amazing and gently said that she just needed to check that bub was ok and then she may be able to help me. By the time his heart rate had been monitored (in the birthing pool) his head had finally appeared. She put a mirror into the pool so that I could see him. The obstetrician was called at this point as Alfie was still stuck, this time his shoulders. I was aware that there was a new urgency to getting Alfie out because we were in the water. Such a strange thing to know that something is urgent but being able to stay calm and relaxed and trust that all will be ok. My affirmations kept playing and I stayed relaxed while everyone around me ” 2 midwives, obstetrician and Matt- manouvered my body to get Alfie out with the next surge. What a bizarre and amazing experience. I was able to stay calm and the most important thing for me was that Alfie’s heart rate had not increased through the entire birthing experience despite the issues that he had coming into the world. I’ll never forget those initial skin to skin contact times i had with Alfie and matt in the birthing pool. It was so special. I had to get out for the third stage of labour but Alfie stayed with me once I was transferred to the bed. I ended up needing syntocinon but i wasn’t that concerned as I had a happy, healthy, relaxed and alert baby in my arms.
Thank you so much for all you taught Matt and i leading up to Alfies birth. I have a feeling that things may have been very different had I not been to your classes. I remember all of the midwives that met me commenting on how relaxed and healthy I looked so soon after birth. I had one ask three days later if I had had a natural birth because she could tell by my appearance. I have to say that I was really proud of our little family unit for the experience we had. I was also a bit proud to tell my family the details of our birthing. My mother and sister were hugely surprised that I had done everything drug free and were very proud of me as well. I have always been considered the “weaker” one in our family but in this sense i think they see me as a kind of wonder woman now!!! I still don’t think they can believe that my birthing experience was possible for someone with my genetics. Now that bub number two is on the way I am getting similar comments as I had with Alfie. This time though I know that i can do what I need to do and I can tell them so!
As for Alfie. I guess you could say that he is the typical hypnobub ” happy, healthy and alert. i can’t count the number of comments we had on this. He loves music and as you mentioned in our classes, the songs that i used to play him in calm moments (or happy dancy moments) prior to his birth are the ones that he loves now. I couldn’t settle him on his second night in hospital and ended up getting out the ipod and playing one of our prebirth calm songs. He was asleep within seconds! At 17 months he remains happy, confiedent and very alert. He’s such a beautiful little man!
The Hypnobirthing Australia™ program is a unique and comprehensive antenatal education program catering to Australian needs, that builds knowledge and uses techniques such as relaxation, self-hypnosis, breathing & movement for a safer, easier and gentle birth.