Thought we’d touch base and let you all know that we welcomed our beautiful hypno bub, Elijah James, 5 days early on the 16th of June. Our birth story was very different from our vision, but there is no way we would have made it through without the techniques we learned in the course.
The first time I realised we would need to alter our birthing plan was when I was told I was Group B positive. Unfortunately we had had the test before the discussion in class about it, and in future I doubt I will choose to have it. I was very panicky and teary when I discovered I would have a cannula attached to me for my birth and antibiotics administered every 4 hours. We had just over two weeks until our “due date” so we decided I would take probiotics and then do the garlic trick for the last couple of days. (I was 100% positive we would make it to at least 41 weeks) Elijah had other plans, though, and my waters released early, on the morning of the 14th. Renewed discussion ended with the decision that we would get the antibiotics as there had not been much time to rid my body of the bacteria. As it turns out, that was a very good decision ” Elijah did not decide to join us “out here” for another 67 hours.
We arrived at the hospital at 8am on Friday morning and our OB suggested we get things “moving along”. As it had only been 7 hours, we decided against that and requested to let nature take it’s course, a plan that made our OB pretty nervous, but in the end he agreed.
36 hours later, still in hospital and after a pretty aggressive natural induction regimen on our part, we had surges! They were still pretty far apart, but they were there so we amped up our triggers (clary sage, lotus visualisation, acupressure, walking, stimulation, birthing ball and breast pump) and our surges continued to get stronger, closer together and pretty intense. About 12 hours of surges later, I was exhausted and decided to try and rest for the birth which would surely be happening soon! Well, I fell asleep, and when I awoke…nothing. Just cramping. And tears. We had just experienced false labour. I felt very defeated.
At this point we had another decision to make. Do we try natural induction again, go with oxytocin induction, as was being suggested, or have a complete change and have a cesarean and have our baby in our arms in as little as an hour? The midwives were positive that during false labour I had not dilated, as I was “too calm”. I didn’t want to argue as the only way to prove them wrong was an internal exam, but I knew deep down my body had reacted to those surges.
Matt and I decided to go with oxytocin induction as it was the closest option to our original “plan”, and i was not sure i would be able to emotionally handle another false start. We had been told that even with the introduction of hormones we should expect a minimum of 12 hours before birth. At 2:30pm on Sunday I was hooked up to an IV and a heart rate monitor, on my back on a bed. Not ideal. I was lucky to have a midwife who assured me I could move as much as I wanted -she would move around and hold things on me if she had to, bless her. (Matt and I actually delayed starting the induction as we did not feel the midwife on duty earlier in the day would be at all sympathetic to our wishes)
The induction was tough in the beginning, as you do go from nothing to intense regular surges in about 10 minutes, but as I had had surges the night before, I was prepared. We had oils burning and Melissa’s voice (Thank you!) in the background and for 4 hours (it felt MUCH shorter) I breathed and visualised floating on the waves in the ocean. Each surge was three breaths ” up the wave, over the top and down the other side. At that point the midwife informed me she would need to check internally to see how we were progressing. i told her i did not want to know what she discovered, but after the exam she said “i really have to tell you ” you are 9cms! It’s time to have a baby!” apparently this is not the norm as Matt said he heard her excitedly talking about it to all of the other midwives. I know that the reason we got there so quick is because even though i was “so calm” during the false labour, my cervix had been dilating.
Once it came time to breathe down, I was on my back and I’ll be honest, i lost my groove for a bit and struggled to stay calm. A change of position to all fours made a tremendous difference and I could once again go within myself. I was aware of vocalising my energy and remember thinking afterwards that I would have been nothing like those ladies in the videos we watched, but according to Matt and the midwife, it was pretty amazing to watch.
At 8:08pm our little angel, Elijah was born. It had been such a long journey (nearly 4 days!) that when they passed him to me for skin to skin I couldn’t even take him right away. I was so amazed and overcome with awe that I couldn’t react. I remember Matt saying, “aren’t you going to pick him up?”. I did, very soon after, and since then have not wanted to put him down (thankfully ” this little man loves to feed!)
So there you have it. A big change from our idea of birth where we stay home as long as possible, get to hospital just in time to get relaxed and have a baby! Every choice we made, however, was the right one to set us up for our next decision, and that is because we asked questions and followed our instincts and hypno birthing techniques.
Thank you, Melissa, for sharing your passion and giving people the knowledge and the opportunity to experience a very happy birth!
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.