Harlan William born 30 January 2013

Hi Melissa
Hypnobirthing for Caesarean C-Section CesareanFirst of all though, thank you thank you thank you! Without your support, kind words and talks who knows how this birthing story would have turned out!
I believe that life’s lessons are not to teach us or for us to learn but rather for us to experience and it is up to us if we want to enjoy them or not.
Back in May when I found out that we are pregnant with our first baby, I made the conscious decision that I want to have a girl, as I had no clue what to do with a boy, and that I have no other birth than a calm, relaxed, amazing, easy birth. What followed after this decision was slightly different.
In my 25 week scan I found out I am carrying a boy. I cried, for 10 minutes and then I accepted that I have a boy and that I can put cute overalls on him.
Around 32 weeks we started our Hypnobirthing classes with Melissa who prepared us for that calm, relaxed and amazing birth. I was no stranger to meditation. In fact I practice meditation every day (or at the very least, most days) and the first time it dawned on me I could be pregnant was during a Meditation retreat. Anyway
By week 40, my son hasn’t arrived, which is no surprise really because I was so fearful of being induced and all I could think of “I don’t want to be late and possibly induced” that of course what the Universe delivered was that my baby was delayed. Now by then I started to throw the entire bible of “induce labour naturally” at it. Eggplant parmegiana, done! Walking up and down the paddocks, in the rain every day. Oils, baths, yoga, acupuncture, massage, acupressure, something something with hubby. To no avail. Of course we had to fight off the pressure of being induced and pushing out the date further and further. Every CTG showed a very happy heart rate of my baby and it seemed everything is just peachy fine.
On Sunday 27th January the big storm hit the Gold Coast, we got flooded in (unknown to me). Our bedroom got flooded, the power went out and I was in the middle trying not to freak out and have a relaxing bath. I had twinges but that was all. All along the past days I was continuously on the phone to Melissa, getting reassurance and supportive words as I was so high strung. (Or so I was told by a particularly charming midwife during one of the check ups)
By Tuesday 29th January I was so on edge about the whole thing I just felt I need another check up. And so we went to the Gold Coast hospital again. Oh how the Universe aligned everything! The midwife who was doing the CTG didn’t turn the monitor away from us like everyone else did, instead she constantly talked us through every single step and thought process she was having. And she wasn’t overly concerned but was just not fully happy on how bubba reacted to some of my  surges I was having. (Most I couldn’t even feel) In the end she called the doctor who wanted to be sure and have a ultrasound done before I leave for the night. When we did the Ultrasound it showed that there was hardly any amniotic fluid left and that the placenta has started to calcify quite a bit. Again the midwife talked us through everything and this time it didn’t feel that induction was pressured onto us, rather than recommended and we where explained why.
Of course I wasn’t all calm about being induced, the very first thing I did, before we moved to the Delivery suites, was finding a toilet where I could be a bit sick in it. Once that was done I was much calmer. The midwife with whom we spent most of the day stayed on and accompanied us to the delivery suites, and made sure that the midwife who was going to take over is either a Hypnobirthing or a Calmbirthing practitioner. And she was, Lorraine taught Calm birthing and after the initial hook me up to the monitor (I had to be monitored constantly) and setting the IV and starting the Drip of Synto she immediately went to source all the relaxing music she can find, setting the room up with candles and burning clary sage for me.
Every half hour or so the Synto was increased and even though I could have walked around freely and chosen any position I liked I preferred being in a foetal position on my side on the bed. Lorraine only whispered with Darren whenever she had a concern and the Doctor assigned to me (Dr. Helen) didn’t even have to ask for birthing preferences. Lorraine informed her about me doing Hypnobirthing and so Dr. Helen as well only spoke to Darren about everything.
Harlan and Daddy
Harlan and Daddy
Now when Melissa talks about how time passes and it doesn’t feel like it, its absolutely true. However instead of being aware of everything around me, I was able to completely zoned out. In between Surges I would drift off into a dreamlike state where time stood still, and I was running through forest and beaches having the time of my life.
6 hours passed (to me it felt like 1) and my little boy was getting increasingly annoyed with the Synto. Dr. Helen tried everything to help me have the Natural birth I so desired, and at some stage even tried to take me off Synto to see if my body would take over. Unfortunately my body went slowly out of established labor and the Synto had to be put on again. I started to notice that after some Surges I would feel nauseous but not after every one, I later realised that it was always the same surge after which bubbas heart rate would drop. After one particular surge I felt myself that something isn’t quite right and within seconds 5 people where inside the suite. Dr. Helen looked at me and informed me that my baby’s heart rate dropped dangerously low and that we are not left with much choice than doing a emergency C-Section. Again both Lorraine and Dr. Helen took the time to explain to us in detail what was happening, what our options were. 5 Minutes later I was being prepped for an emergency C-Section and about 20 seconds after the anaesthetic was working I could feel my baby pulled from me. He was quiet and I cried out his name and asked him to please cry for mummy. He did, 2 little squeals and again he went quiet. My baby boy, Harlan William was born on 30 January 2013 at 2:48.
 Hypnobirthing for Caesarean C-Section Cesarean
Harlan even though he was 2 weeks overdue was considered a low birth weight of 2,485 kgs and because he had swallowed a lot of meconium and had to be transferred instantly to the Special Care Nursery. I told Darren to go with him and touch him as much as he could, since I didn’t get to have the first skin to skin contact. Apparently all along Harlan had his eyes wide open, looking around but not making a sound. With all the medical treatment he was given, nothing seemed to bother him too much, except the little mask that delivered him oxygen and also helped bubble out his lungs, just in case he would have breathed in any Meconium, he tried to pull it off. Darren had to hold his little hand.
3 Hours later I was wheeled to the Special Care Nursery next to my little boys crib. I stretched out my hand and called his name, this was the first time my cute little boy started to cry. There we where, both of us finally relieved to be with each other, both crying.
5 Days later we both where discharged from the hospital and got to go home. He grows like weed, feeds constantly,  poops and cries but is an alert, happy baby.
Everything that I was afraid of, happened. I was so scared I would end up with a c-section that maybe I tensed somewhere inside a bit too much. But the birth of my boy, there was nothing traumatic about it. Did the Synto Surges hurt? Yup they did, but so does hiking up a big mountain. Did I cry when I knew I am having a c-section. Yes I also did, but then I cry now just because it feels good to release the tension. Looking back still for me it was the most amazing experience I could have had. I wouldn’t change anything on it. I can’t wait to have baby number 2 (Ok maybe wait for a year) And I don’t think I would care if it is a boy or a girl next time and if I can give birth at home or birth by c-section at the hospital. It will all be the way how it is best to be. All I will try to do is sit back relax and enjoy every turn the birthing takes, cause too soon its over and just a memory. And eventually it was my decision if I make this a nice memory or if talk myself into thinking that I had failed Hypnobirthing. (Although I have never achieved any trance state or out of body experience in my meditations, so that was quite a hypno experience, I think)
If my entire pregnancy, birth and my boy taught (and still teaches) me anything is that not having any control of how things turn out, is not the worst in the world. Somewhere in the Universe sometimes, somebody (or something) just makes the decision for me and all I can do is trust. Everything will be ok in the end, and if it is not ok, its not yet the end.
Oh and I couldn’t imagine my baby being anything else but a boy… Biggest love of my life. I can’t stop cuddling him.
Angela and Darren, Gold Coast
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