This experience was a complete 180 to my first birth!

I started practising Hypnobirthing late in my second trimester. I craved a better birth than my last. I had done a lot of personal work to aim for a calm birth, with the research of my options to be able to advocate for myself, however, when the time came, I didn’t really have the tools to keep my body and mind calm. Hypnobirthing accommodated this desire for a more positive birth and I am so glad that I did the work to achieve just that.Umbilical cord still attached to baby after birth

It was a Sunday and we knew baby was close to arriving being 40 +1. We headed out for a family day in Daylesford with our son Isaac. While we were out I had this strange feeling come over me, and I knew that I just needed to be back home. I realised once home that I had lost my mucus plug and felt the need to use my bowels. I knew labour was approaching. That evening I sat on the fit ball doing hip circles. I got up to make a cup of tea before bed and felt something drop, I knew my babies head was already engaged from having had an ultrasound only days before. I then knew I wouldn’t be going to bed anytime soon. I soon felt this need to get all my hospital bag sorted and had a shower. When I got out of the shower, I noticed my Braxton hicks were accompanied by period type aches. They become more frequent and so I knew they weren’t actually Braxton hicks anymore but the beginning of labour.

I called the hospital and told them what was happening. I decided to stay at home as my sister needed to arrive to mind my son as it was 1030pm. She arrived shortly before midnight and I went to bed with my Hypnobirthing tracks playing in my ears and my TENS machine on my back. I could only doze as my surges were 5mins apart. We left for the hospital at 1.30 pm and arrived 5mins later. The room was set up with a beautiful salt lamp and fit ball. I was greeted by my COCO midwife and we were left for a short while. I gave my midwife my birth wishes. She acknowledged my wishes and made one suggestion in regards to the pushing. She advised she would assist in ensuring I didn’t push too much to avoid tearing which I was happy with her suggestion.

I listened to the surge of the sea and amped up my TENS. My husband was amazing and repeated affirmations and rubbed my back. My midwife timed my surges and suggested getting in the water. It felt like we had only just arrived and before I knew it, I had the overwhelming feeling that I wanted to push. Change of plans, I was no longer getting in the water. As my hospital didn’t do water births so they weren’t going to risk it, knowing my track record for fast births. My midwife got me to hop on the bed leaning over the raised bed head instead of leaning over the fit ball. This was the most comfortable change of position. I breathed through each surge and by this stage they were on top of each other, lasting 1 minute, 1 minute apart. I turned off my Hypnobirthing tracks as I had them playing in my ears most of the labour to zone out. But when it came to the time of pushing, I felt I needed to be present and aware of my surroundings to hear for my midwife guiding me with pushing. My husband stood by my side rubbing my back and encouraging me to breathe. There was an unbelievable urge to push that took over my whole body. I felt my body doing the pushing all on its own. Within 5mins I welcomed our beautiful daughter Zoë. She was born in the caul and I got to lift her up to my chest. I remember feeling an intense love for her. Something I didn’t get till later on with my son. I believe the birth had a lot to do with it.
As I had a marginal cord insertion, I wanted to try a normal physiological 3rd stage and with my midwife` help and my baby breastfeeding, I passed my placenta naturally. We got to do delayed cord clamping and my baby breast crawled.

This experience was a complete 180 to my first birth. I’m so grateful for my support network of midwives in the COCO team as well as having done the work to advocate for myself for a positive birth which was both natural and healing.

Ebony – Ballarat

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