Angus’ Birth Story
I guess Angus’ birth story actually begins with Jesper’s, his older brother’s. Jesper’s birth was a ‘picture perfect’ birth and went exactly to plan like a hypnobirthing text book! Jesper was born very peacefully in water at the birth centre under dim lights, with beautiful music and essential oils burning and the experience was truly amazing for both myself and my husband, Kristian. (You can click here to read Jesper’s beautiful birth story).
Naturally, our birth plan for Angus was to repeat the above perfect scenario so we followed the same formula; booking into the RBWH Birth Centre once again, taking a hypnobirthing refresher course and practicing our scripts and visualisation, packing essential oils and music, regular acupuncture sessions, a thorough birth plan and active birth yoga sessions…but Angus wanted to arrive in his own special way J
Three weeks prior to Angus’ birth day stop-start labour began. ‘Practice surges’ I guess you could call them however they were significant enough for me to stop work prematurely and simplify my schedule. We were very focused on a Birth Centre birth so we were determined to make it to 37 weeks (a prerequisite for entry to the Birth Centre). It turned out well as I was able to spend three weeks prior to Angus’ birth really bonding and enjoying time with Jesper as well as preparing for Angus to arrive. It was certainly confusing experiencing the stop-start labour as we found ourselves, several times, getting ready thinking ‘this is it, we are meeting our baby tonight!’ and then things would slow down again!
On Sunday 1st June, I woke with noticeable tightenings and felt pretty uncomfortable, this was definitely ‘it’ this time! That being said, I knew that staying home as long as possible would be best so I decided to have a warm bath to soothe the discomfort in my back. Everything stopped! It was as if nothing was happening, so I decided to just get on with the day. Off we went to Northey Street Markets and sure enough, things started again with surges three minutes apart. I found myself bending over behind a market stall breathing through surges. We went home and labour continued so I listened to some music and breathed, everything was beautiful and felt very manageable – I felt like a real hypnobirthing mum! I organised Mum to come and pick up Jesper and my step-daughter, Luka, so she left work and oh no, yet again everything stopped. Feeling a bit disheartened and unsure whether I was in labour or not I let Mum give me a pep talk on relaxing and not worrying about it and then off she went with the kids for the night.
Kristian and I had the house to ourselves so we decided to just enjoy it, labour or not, and so we watched a movie (which I blubbered the whole way through), had some couple time and went to bed. After a good night’s sleep, I woke a little disappointed that nothing had happened throughout the night, I felt so ready! What was going on? I texted Mum, ‘nothing is happening, bring the kid’s back whenever you are ready’ and decided to do some laundry.
Before I could even walk back upstairs from the laundry or eat breakfast, I began to experience to most intense surges that would drop me to the floor! So I knelt over and breathed through them as I had been practicing but it didn’t work! I started doubting myself and decided there was no way I could do this (recognise transition!)! Kristian called the Birth Centre to let them know we were on our way however struggled to even get me down the stairs, the surges were coming very close together and I was refusing to go anywhere! ‘I have to get in the bath’ is all I could say, but Kristian knew it was peak hour and we had to make it to the Birth Centre as planned!
By the time we got into the car, transition was over and I had renewed energy. I knelt over the back seat of the car as Kristian weaved through traffic while verbally supporting me through the birth. ‘I am a hypnobirthing mum, I can breathe through this’ I kept saying to myself and found I felt surprisingly calm.
Traffic was thick and by the time we entered the Clem7 Tunnel, I was bearing down. By the end of the tunnel a huge GUSH and my waters had broken all over the back seat of the car! Everything was quiet in the car, ‘did Kristian hear that?’ I said to myself. Luckily we were almost there, Kristian pulled into an Ambulance loading bay looking around to see if anyone could help; nobody was there! By this point Angus was crowning and I asked Kristian to pull down my tights, as he did he met Angus. Angus’ little head took its first breath while both Kristian and I held his head in our hands.
It felt like time stood still; it was just Kristian and I in the back of the car holding our baby’s head and waiting for the next surge so his body could come. It was truly magical and such an intimate, special moment between the three of us. The next surge and Angus landed in Kristian’s hands, he passed him around to me and I popped him straight on my chest. Truly amazing.
Not long after, hospital staff arrived and found us in the back of the car gazing at our baby. After some negotiation we were able to keep to cord attached and Angus and I were wheeled into Emergency. Fortunately our midwife from the Birth Centre, Corinne, arrived and whisked us straight upstairs to naturally birth the placenta and enjoy some bonding time together.
Angus’ birth was every bit as special as Jesper’s despite the fact it was so different. Some people have asked me if the birth was stressful, being in the car, and to be honest I found it incredible and enjoyed every moment! I realised that the scenery, the dim lighting, the bath, the oils and music, although they certainly help to keep you relaxed and ‘in the zone’, they are actually not what makes a perfect birth. I would like to pass on to all expecting mothers that hypnobirthing is not about the scenery but all about your head space and emotions which means that you can practice hypnobirthing anywhere!
Thank you again Melissa for all of your support and wonderful words which have been an amazing anchor through both Jesper and Angus’ birth!
Sophia and Kristian, Brisbane
p.s. Sophia is a naturopath and runs a popular clinic in Brisbane http://www.herbsonthehill.com.au/
p.p.s. You can find out more about classes with Melissa in Paddington, Brisbane (and also Robina Gold Coast) here.