I hate hospitals. The smell of mushed food escaping behind the alcohol gel, the busy corridors filled with people in robes and with various limbs wrapped up in blood-stained bandages, but worst of all it’s the fact that I usually get jabbed, or have some bodily fluid taken from me and then moved along like a piece of meat at a butchers.
I am married to a Doctor. I completely respect what he and his colleagues do to care for sick people.
When we began our pregnancy journey, we were all the usual things that I presume first time expectant parents would be….apprehensive, excited, surprised, emotional….I could list a page of adjectives! We were fortunate enough to fall pregnant instantly, which set the tone for the remaining 39 weeks, “boring and textbook” (from a medical perspective).
Although Dr husband would feel most comfortable with me giving birth in a controlled and sterile operating theatre, we actually agreed that ‘alive wife, alive baby’ was our shared goal and with the art of compromise as is accustomed in marriage, I convinced him to join me in hypnobirthing!
Although there were moments of skepticism and critically evaluating research, overall he decided the techniques and areas of discussion were valuable. As an eager student, I immediately downloaded the mp3 tracks and got involved with discussing points from the ‘birth preferences’ list.
I used these tracks at every opportunity- car journeys, at my desk, cooking, going to sleep and got to put them into practice during the hideous glucose tolerance test. My anxiety around blood tests was truly challenged but with this bein
Fast track to week 38 of pregnancy! I had convinced myself that we were going to be holding our little baby in our arms during week 39. I was so confident in this that I’d told the world!!! Not only because our beautiful midwife would be on leave the following week, or because frankly 39 weeks is long enough to be pregnant, or to get an extra week of husband at home before his official leave began, but I wanted to be in the ‘safe zone’ away from induction talk and go ahead with my plan to ‘do as much as possible at home and scoot into the birth centre just to pop him out and be in hospital as little time as possible!’ Dr husband was happy with this plan being on the hospital grounds, despite me trying to opt for a Homebirth! At least it saved us washing some towels!!
Week 38- week 39 +4 looked like this:
Do yoga, sit on ball, massage clary sage, drink raspberry leaf tea, induction massage, acupuncture x2, walk, waxing, pedicure, listen to affirmations, enjoy lengthy naps, clean house…again, go to trivia night with friends and tell them “this might be the last night we’re out as not-parents!”…
3am (39 + 5): waters break. Decide not to tell husband, do some calculations….according to hospital policy this is PROM and therefore we’ll be meeting our baby by….9pm tonight!!! Remember to relax, this is going to be a long day, go back to sleep….but our baby is coming…battle with internal monologue….my body is perfectly designed for the birth of my baby. Trust body, relax mind. Rest.
4am…Was that a surge? Maybe! Better go to toilet, more membranes and some show. So this is real. Go back to bed!
6.45am: Husbands alarm goes off, yay I can finally tell him!!! ‘Morning Babe, my waters have broken….but it’s gunna be a long day, you go to work, go to the shops on the way home, then maybe you can mow the lawn that you’ve been meaning to do all week! Come home about lunchtime and we’ll see where we’re at!”
7.30: Call midwife, tell her waters have broken but nothing really happening, was having some surges every 10 mins but nothing for the last 1.5 hours!
8am- Midwife pops around, checks bub’s heart rate and cancels the rest of her day…”see you later this afternoon”
8-12pm- Rest, listen to hypnobirthing tracks, breathe through each surge (back to every 10 mins)
12pm- 1pm- husband finishes jobs, goes for a nap! Surges increase to every 5 mins. Change position, lean on birth ball, keep listening to tracks, relax. Wake husband from nap, “I think I need you”….
“Just! Can you call the midwife? They’re every 5 mins now….”
“I don’t think we need to yet”
“I’d just rather she knows!”
1.30pm: Call midwife, “all is progressing well, I’m doing fine, I’m in a relaxed place but getting more intense! Oh yes, thanks for reminding me, I’ll put the Tens on!”
I remembered that I should have a shower to relax…and I wanted to wash my hair ready for birth! It wasn’t at all relaxing though….!
2pm- Stopped timing now, contractions are regular. My bum hurts. I need to poo…(when one has IBS, one doesn’t ignore that urge!!)…move to bedroom/ ensuite, oh ok no poo, flop back on ball, hit tens boost button, try to lie down, can’t seem to get comfortable! Flitting between toilet, leaning over ball/ towel rail/sink/bed…hitting boost button. Feel sick, get me bucket.
My buuuum! I just need to poo….sit on toilet, clutch bucket, vomit. Feel better!
Husband says,“Stop sitting on the toilet, it’ll make you want to push!! You’re not gunna poo!” Involuntary push noise escapes me…
Some time (husband says 3pm)…he calls midwife, she comes at 3.30pm, saying “I sound great and we should move to birth centre”….she asked if I’d like an examination, I requested to wait until we get there (it didn’t ever happen)…husband gathers things at lightening speed and drives to the hospital like an F1 superstar!
4pm: 2 surges complete with involuntary push in the car (3 minute journey, husband concerned voice “don’t push”….”I caaaaaaant!” followed by one on the steps of the birth centre, while midwife struggles to get swipe pass to let us in the doors….”Laura, you are not having a baby on these steps, try not to push”….”i caaaaaant!!”
Get in birth centre, “just hot, need to take everything off”….I strip naked and lean against counter in waiting room. Midwife instructs: Laura, the pool is 5 steps away, please don’t have your baby here!!” “I caaaaaaaaant!”
Walk to birth room, “this is the most insane thing I’ve ever done”, bath is running, tear off TENS machine and dive in bath. Ahhhhh! Feel the warmth of the water on my skin, sinking into the relaxing deep pool….a surge….I lift my body out of the water, trying to escape the surge! “Laura, you need to keep your hips under the water, it hasn’t finished filling up yet!” ‘Oh ok but I can’t!!! I can’t do that’
Flop forward onto one edge of bath, get leg cramp, move to other corner, get too hot (apparently husband was pouring water on me, which initially I liked but then I moved away from), sit backwards leaning against edge of bath, nope, that’s not comfortable either! Go back to flopping forward! Someone suggested I open my legs wider, that seemed to stop the cramp! Surges come, intense feeling increases, this is bigger than a poo feeling now…it feels so primal, my little baby is getting closer to me….feel head move down…each surge brings my baby closer to me, internal thoughts: don’t push too hard or you’ll tear, try to bear down breathe….”I cannnn’t” (coordinate my breathing) I’m losing it….! Maybe some gas and air would be ok? (This is a passing thought that doesn’t make it out of my head)….Laura, I need you to push….oh NOW they want me to push! I feel a big wiggle in my belly, the last in utero movement of my little boy getting into his final position (his head is already out and apparently they see his hair swaying in the water, then his face blowing bubbles)…one more gentle bear down and at 4.45pm, my little baby is in my arms!!!!!!!
Apparently my husband caught him and brought him to my arms….I remember leaning back, cradling him in my arms and kissing my crying husband! This little precious vernix coated full head of hair baby, in my arms!! The love I have for my baby knows no bounds! I stop. I stare. I relax. I try to bring him closer to me but feel a tug- the cord is short. Out of the bath, with the help of 3 adults! time to birth the placenta. Uncontrollable shaking- “it’s just hormones”. Sit on birth stool, focussing on pushing again….I don’t want to do this, it’s cold and uncomfortable and it’s not coming….can I have that injection thing please?! My husband, my midwife pause, stare at each other, stare at me…are you sure? “Yeh just get it out now!”
Out flops the placenta, daddy cuts the cord, now we can all get on the bed and cuddle….and cuddle and cuddle and stare at our amazingly perfect little baby boy!!
Midwife mentions routine check for tears and stitches…oh I haven’t even prepared for that!!! All clear! Amazing.
I can’t believe I have this perfect bundle of tiny human after such an intense, primal, natural and quick birthing experience. It was exactly what I had prepared for, like a dream unraveling before my eyes. The healing process has been as wonderful as I trust my body to do what it is designed to do! A week later, I’m enjoying bending down and my body return slowly to its pre-pregnant state. The love we have for our baby knows no bounds, we cannot stop staring at him, holding him, kissing him and soaking up his being! His hair is soft like silk, his skin so perfect and layered with the lightest fluffy hair. His face melts our hearts!
Parenting is the most crazy adventure we have experienced in our lives and birth was the most insane! Wouldn’t change a single thing.
Laura and her husband attended Hypnobirthing Australia™ Classes with Darwin practitioner Nicole Jackson
You can find your closest Hypnobirthing Australia Classes HERE.
Find out more about our Hypnobirthing Online Course HERE.