Today our precious little girl Elliot is just over 3 weeks old and I have finally been able to pull myself away from staring at her to write to you with our birth story 🙂
The day we found out we were expecting our first baby I remember so many emotions running through my mind and heart, joy, excitement, anticipation….and then anxiety! Not of childbirth but of the situations that come with it! Over the years I have had so many terrible experiences in hospitals that the thought of having to face another somewhat overshadowed the joy that I was feeling. That was until my wonderful hubby Al, who certainly knows me better than I know myself, suggested we looked into hypnobirthing as an option. Truthfully, we expected to walk into your class surrounded by a bunch of caftan wearing hippies and were so pleasantly surprised that this wasn’t the case
We knew early on in our pregnancy that we wanted to do everything in our power to NOT have another traumatic hospital experience and as each minute of your course passed we became more confident that it really was possible.
We elected to have our baby at the Sunshine Coast Private Hospital as we really wanted to have a waterbirth and did not have that option in Brisbane. We decided that we would book a vacation at the Sunshine Coast one week either side of our bub’s guest date to relax and get into the right emotional and physical space for our perfect birth and it was one of the best decisions we could have made. I got up every morning and did yoga as I watched the sunrise over the ocean 🙂
On the evening of our bub’s due date we decided to play a game of cranium and after some hysterical laughter I started to experience some pretty strong surges! They were coming every 2 minutes…5 in a row and then about a 10 minute break so we were on….or so we thought! We decided to try and get some sleep as it was late and we figured we would need it. The next morning I awoke totally surprised I had slept through the night and totally deflated that I couldn’t feel any more surges. Two days like this passed so on the Sunday afternoon we decided to go for a big walk up a nearby mountain to see if that would move things along…still nothing!
BUT THEN…. I awoke Tuesday morning still feeling rather deflated and got up to go to the toilet. As I sat down, my membranes released and I remember thinking….I can’t stop that ” is that what I think it is!? I called Al, told him and he started to get our things together. Almost immediately I got a really strong surge and they continued to come every 3 minutes with barely a break between them. Our parents were staying with us at the holiday house at this stage and I remember them saying to Al… “Are you ok? You seem very relaxed and Calm”..Hahahah…..certainly not what they were used to where birth is concerned.
At one point we didn’t think we were going to make it to the hospital as the surges were so continuous! …but eventually we got into the car and started the 15minute trip to the hospital from home. We had the car nice and quiet and I had the clary sage with me as well as a warm heat pack to help with the surges.
When we arrived at the hospital our lovely midwife showed us to our room but after seeing how continuous the surges were they took us straight through to birth suite. The bath was ready, the lights were low and al put on some relaxation music and plugged in our LED colour changing light to set the mood. It was around 11:30am when I got into the bath and it was so lovely and warm. It’s funny, I really thought I would spend most of the time on my back but that was totally uncomfortable so I pretty much spent all my time in there on all fours! At one point I got out of the bath and into the shower for the extra heat and with the help of gravity to could feel our baby moving down the birth path…my breathing got deeper and noisier…another thing I did not expect…but there was certainly some birth song going on!! I decided to get back in the bath and I remember looking at the clock at this point and it was 12:15
The next time I looked at the clock with was 4:30 pm and I remember thinking….what?? Where did the time go? It honestly felt like 20 minutes!
Then things started to get pretty intense. Al had been leaning into the bath with me the whole time supporting my head so I was able to rest between surges and at this point he started to use one of his own adaptations for the surges….a roller coaster climbing steadily towards the peak, up ” up – up toward the top of the track…then reaching the peak we slowly arc over the top and as each cart makes it over the peak we make or way down the other side until all the carts are over the top…..WOOSH….now we let go and enjoy the freefall down the other side! This visualisation was incredible and Al was so amazing through the entire journey. I started to feel the burn that you spoke about in class and thought to myself…oh there it is….that’s what she was talking about!
At this point I started to lose my resolve a little bit and felt like I had no more in me. Al told me to reach down and feel for bubby’s head and when I did I could feel that he/ she had a lot of hair! It made me laugh of course because of the mop of hair that Al has and it was just what I needed. Another 2 surges and bub’s head was out ” WHAT A RELIEF! Bub’s body came quickly after that and Al reached down into the water to catch him/her. The chord was wrapped around bub’s next TWICE….which didn’t surprise me as he/she was a little wriggler!! Al climbed into the bath and lifted our LITTLE GIRL onto my chest and I remember thinking……OH MY GOD….we did it, she’s finally here and every part of it was amazing……THANK YOU!
We waited for the cord to stop pulsing entirely before I cut it and then it took another 20 minutes or so for the placenta to birth. The midwife commented on how beautifully full of colour it was and that it was by far the biggest she had ever seen…..no joke it was the size of a football….so there you go ” all those comments from all those people about how big our baby was going to be and it was all just water!
Our beautiful princess Elliot Tsudon was born at 5:12pm on 18th June, a healthy and colourful 8.5pound. She is by far our greatest achievement to date and we are totally besotted
p.s. We had a wonderful friend of ours who is an amazing photographer there every step of the way. Her are a few images from the day…more to come 🙂
xx Maria + Al
(Maria and Al are are official Mum & Dad team Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioners, teaching courses in Brisbane)