Christie’s Birth Story
When we first found out we were expecting our third child, the thought never crossed my mind to have a homebirth. But I did know I wanted something different from my previous two births. Neither of my previous births were what I would consider traumatic, however I did feel out of control, like things were being done to me, helpless and scared. After attending Tina’s Hypnobirthing (@the.birth.collective) course towards the end of our second trimester, it made perfect sense to us that home was where we would plan to birth our third child.
I started having surges in the early hours of the morning of my baby’s estimated due date. They were irregular and rather manageable so I sent my husband off to work (he only works five minutes from home so I felt comfortable that he could come home quickly if I needed him to). I decided to keep my eldest child at home thinking the baby would be born that day and I really wanted both my children (6yrs & 4yrs) to be present at the birth of their younger sibling. The day progressed quite uneventfully. I pottered around the house, showered, fixed up my hair and took some photos of my 40 week bump. I called my husband at around 3pm when surges started to become more regular (but still very manageable). Once he got home we pulled the birthing pool into the lounge-room and started to add candles to various spaces in the home. I insisted he move our television out of the lounge room as I didnt want it in my birthing space (crazy pregnant request – but I am glad he did!) and we filled the empty space from where the television was with various house plants and our oil diffuser.
Later on in the afternoon before the sun went down we all went out for a family walk around the block. I really felt the need to keep moving and it was nice to get out for some fresh air. It was a short walk, maybe about 15-20mins long. I had 3 surges while on our walk.
At home, the kids started to help my husband inflate and fill up the birthing pool with water before they ate a quick dinner and we kissed them goodnight and sent them to bed. By around 7pm that evening I needed to focus on my breathing to get through each surge. I used a birthing ball for the majority of my labour, sitting comfortably between surges and rotating in a figure 8 through the waves.
I had the Hypnobirthing affirmations playing in the background from around 7pm. They were a great source of focus. Surges came and went and I breathed through them, focusing on resting my tongue behind my upper teeth and relaxing my body. “Every surge brings me closer to my baby”. My wonderful midwife arrived at our home around midnight, and soon after a second midwife arrived. They were an amazing source of support. They knew that my body knew how to birth my baby and I felt that everyone around me really had my back. It was a really beautiful feeling to feel supported in such a vulnerable time. It helped me really hoan in and focus on my body and my breathing.
I decided to get into the birthing pool shortly after my midwife arrived to our home but my surges slowed down once I was in there. It may have been too hot and perhaps relaxed me a little too much. So out I got and back onto the birthing ball.
A close friend arrived around 2am to be a support person for our children (who were still sleeping at the time). I am beyond thankful to her for taking beautiful photos and videos of the birth of our third child.
At some point I noticed that the 9hr tea light candles that we had lit had gone out. It was at this point I started thinking that the process was taking longer than I had anticipated. My midwife offered to check how far along dilated I was and I agreed. I was 6cm. Honestly I was hoping to have been further along after over 24hours. She suggested I walk around and labour standing for a change. I decided to get into the shower and laboured there for a while walking on the spot and always moving. It was at this point that I noticed a change in my breathing. Up until this point I was able to breathe in and out through my nose with every surge however now I had to breathe out through my mouth. I could not control it. I did not try to control it and I followed my body’s lead. This was the beginning of me bearing down to birth our baby.
A few surges later I decided to get back into the birthing pool, where I continued to bear down. When my body started to roar I knew it was time to wake the kids. Luckily for them it was almost 6.30am – a perfectly acceptable time to be woken up. Those final surges were intense. I felt everything, and I knew what to do because I felt everything. I felt my baby’s head enter the water of the birthing pool and further when baby’s little body left mine. Our children were standing on the side of the birthing pool when their little brother entered the world. They watched on in awe at the miracle of birth.
Our beautiful little boy (second son) Jude was born on the 29th May 2021. Weighing just over 3kgs. Surrounded by immense love and support in the comfort of our home.
Having a planned homebirth for our third child was absolute magic. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever done, but magic nonetheless. The Hypnobirthing course gave me the knowledge, strength and determination to birth without fear (which I knew I was holding onto from my previous births). The information I learnt in the course helped me understand the process that my body was going to be going through and in turn surrender to what it needed to do. I didn’t know it until I was actually in labour but the hypnobirthing affirmations were incredibly useful in keeping myself calm and focused. At no point through my almost 28hr labour did I experience fear or a sense that I couldn’t do this anymore. I felt in control, empowered, prepared and excited to be meeting my baby. I feel incredibly thankful to Tina, our hypnobirthing practitioner for supporting and empowering my partner and I with the information we needed to make the right choices towards a positive birth experience.