I was 40 weeks and 10 days so it’s fair to say that the induction conversation was looming, but I had faith our little man was going to make his entrance before then.
The day before Ellis’ birth, I had some subtle labour signs so I spent the day preparing with some acupuncture and rest.
The following day, the surges started at around midday and then subsided, returning again at around 7.30 that evening – they were 10 minutes apart and I spent the next few hours dozing in between them, breathing through them and listening to the Prompts for Birthing track.
Our plan was to head to the hospital when they were 5 minutes apart but after 5 hours at 10 minutes apart, they suddenly changed to 3 minutes. It was at that point that I noticed a change in my experience, suddenly it was no longer comfortable to lie down through my surges and I started getting the shakes (just briefly) – it occurred to me that I was transitioning (holy moly!) so I woke my Mum, husband and sister because it was obviously time to get the hospital!
I started going floppy through my surges and man, did that work! The midwife greeted us at the birth suite and I could hear the birth pool filling – they had dimmed the lights and my Mum set about setting up my (electric) candles. Bliss. By now the surges were coming quite quickly but because they weren’t lasting a minute, I don’t think the midwives realised I was as progressed as I was.
They put a trace on baby so I had to lay on the bed and to be honest, I nearly lost my mojo during this time because I was lying down. The midwives knew that I didn’t want a vaginal examination but when I suddenly told them I felt the urge to push (after being there for 20 minutes), they whipped my undies off, checked and said I was fully dilated, just as my waters broke!
I know our hypnobirthing literature talks about knowing when you’ll need to push because your surge breathing won’t feel right anymore but I hadn’t experienced that with my first hypnobirth – but it was so true! Suddenly, my surge breathing wasn’t doing the trick and it took me a few minutes to readjust my breathing, it was during that time that I asked for some gas. I’m really glad I did that because I think it gave me the time to re-focus on my breathing. I started breathing baby down on my hands and knees on the bed but that gorgeous birth pool was calling so I waddled into it. And bliss.
Once I was in the pool, I could really focus on breathing baby down. I had such a gorgeous support team (my Mum was my birth partner, my husband was chief forehead wiper/hand holder and my sister was photographer/chief face washer wetter!). The lovely midwives just sat quietly, patiently waiting
My obstetrician, Dr. Maneesh Singh arrived not long after and he too, sat quietly and patiently as I went about breathing baby down. Maneesh did give me some gentle encouragement that really helped!
After about half an hour in the pool, baby Ellis appeared, head first and then the rest of him during the next set of surge
s. Such a gorgeous experience!
During my labour, there were a couple of times where I lost focus but was able to get back on track through breath and having an understanding of what was happening and trusting that my baby and body knew what to do – all things that Hypnobirthing taught me!
My husband and I said we’d stop at two babies but I’m already day dreaming about my next birth – this stuff is dangerously addictive! Ha!
Thanks for all your advice during my pregnancy Melissa! Also, your friend Kellie (note: who hypnobirthed her twins beautifully that same week), was my neighbour on the ward!
Lots of love,
Kelly – Gold Coast
Kelly and her mum attended hypnobirthing classes with Melissa on the Gold Coast for her first birth and then attended a refresher with Melissa for the birth of little Ellis. Preparation sure does pay off!!!