“My wish is that more women get to experience the birth of their children in this way- it does not need to be traumatic and clinical and scary. I am so grateful to Melissa for all her training and support- all I can say is ” Hypnobirthing works!!!”
HUGO’S BIRTH STORY
Well finally I sit down to write the story of Hugo’s birth-seven months later but still such a fresh and wonderful memory. To tell the story of this birth I think I need to outline my two previous birth’s in order for people to understand what a miracle Hypnobirthing was for me.
When talking about my the birth of my first son I like to tell people I went in for the ‘full service’- induction (baby going to be too big..), leading to hyperstimulated contraction, leading to epidural, leading to vacuum extraction, episiotomy and ‘a decent’ tear, post partum hemorrhage and post birth blood transfusion- mmmm. But I have to honestly say I was still over the moon. A much longed for baby had entered our family, he was healthy and well and I guess I just thought the birth was part of the package. With beautiful boy number two, I decided I was going to have him early, to avoid him being so big (#1 was 9 pound 8) and so avoid the above. I ended up in hospital the night before said induction due to some bleeding and so the Dr decided to rupture my membranes and one hour later my son was born!! I was over the moon, it was fast and furious but I had achieved a drug free birth and felt that was fantastic in terms of how much better I felt afterwards. I rationalised that the speed of the labour was why I tore again and why I felt so ‘out of control’ during the labour. We thought our family was complete and I felt secretly relieved that I wouldn’t have go through birth again….
Famous last words huh? So five years later we decided we wanted to try for another miracle (all our children were one and a million chances due to fertility issues) and to our delight we were expecting again. I was thrilled but there was a little niggle in the back of my mind…the birth. So as is always the case with great things I started being sent messages about Hypnobirthing. A pregnant friend mentioned she was doing it, I overheard a conversation at the hairdresser and then a good friend from school told me she was studying with Melissa (another school mate) and was really excited and calm about the birth of her first child- excited huh, I thought with not a small bit of cynicism if I am honest. Well after her 24 hour labour which she ‘enjoyed’ my curiosity got the better of me and when she lent me her book I sat down and read. Even after the first chapter I was hooked, I felt if my birth could even be a little bit as calm as Marie Mongan suggested than this was something I should try. I contacted Melissa and we signed up to give this a try.
I really enjoyed our private sessions with Melissa, I felt at ease with her not just because we knew each other but as the mother of three boys (all big weights like my babies) I knew that she came from the same place as me, if she did it then maybe I could as well. My husband was very committed as well -which kind of surprised me ” he thought that this was possible and that I could do it. We practised our rainbow relaxation (not every day but as often as we could) and I listened in the car to affirmations. My children thought it was great and would say ‘put the relax cd on’ after a hectic day at school!! I knew that a calm birth was possible, but could I do it?? Then at week 32 disaster- Hugo was breech!!! My Doctor said not to panic that he could still turn but I was devastated at the prospect of a caesarian after all this work. Off to my wonderful acupuncturist I went and the next few weeks were spent walking on all fours, burning moxa and basically willing him to move. After another check and no turn, Melissa suggested she come over and we do a Hypnobirthing script for breech babies- its worth a shot I thought. The session was fantastic and afterwards I felt that I had worked out the key to what was happening. Sure enough the next week I went for my scan and JOY he had turned- we were back on!!!
As with all end of pregnancy time- the last month was an exercise in patience. My due date came and despite all the signs of an early labour-show, dilation, contractions- there was no movement. My Dr was on edge, stressing constantly to Trent and I that he would prefer to induce due to the speed of my labours- he was worried about a ‘roadside delivery’ and made me promise to get straight in at the first sign of real labour. Two days after my due date I decided that I was ‘over it’. So after a long walk, lots of squats, some spicy soup and a little bit of love ” all before lunch- the first surges began! They were steady right from the start and so after an hour we rang the hospital as our Dr had asked us to do. Trent told them I was all good and would like to stay at home but given my history they were convinced we would deliver at home and so asked us to please come in.
When we arrived the birthing pool was already being filled (they were pretty confident I was going to be quick…) and we had a wonderful midwife who was a big Hypnobirthing fan- how perfect. Right from the beginning the breathing and relaxing worked so well. The midwife and my husband were laughing and I was giggling as well-mid surge! I knew straight away this was going to be different and was so relaxed and in control. The midwife commented that I looked ‘endorphic’ I was so calm and happy about our boy finally coming. So the only thing not going to plan was the speed of the labour. I had been convinced (and told by so many professionals) that I would have this superfast labour that after a couple of hours and not much more dilation I was feeling a little anxious and wondering if this was a false start. My wonderful midwife gave me a shoulder rub and told me to relax and let Hugo arrive how he wanted- that his birth would be his own and I should just let things happen as they were meant to. Exactly the right words for me to hear at this time. I started listening to my body and my intuition and knew that I needed to be upright and moving. Off Trent and I went for some laps around the hospital, stopping to relax and breathe as the surges came and went. As they progressed and got closer I knew this was no false start so we headed back up to our birthing room. I sensed that we would be there all night and knew that I would be fine. We had a change of midwife and I felt a little unsure if the new lady would be as good as our first (had a few tears then) but I need not have worried as she was just as convinced about how wonderful this technique was. We settled in for the night and I stayed upright as much as possible. I quietly chatted in between surges and felt so calm that I told Trent to catch some sleep as I was fine- we got a great photo of one very ‘relaxed’ Hypnobirthing Dad snoring! A few different midwife’s came in to chat and all commented how relaxed and calm I was despite the regularity and strength (according to the monitor) of my surges.
When my midwife went for a break I decided I needed a little rest and so lay down and breathed through the surges which were coming three in ten minutes- even managing light snooze, unbelievable. When she came back I knew I had to stand again and as soon as I did I felt the baby move down and knew things would be happening soon. The surges became more intense and I needed to rock with T
rent at this stage but still felt very much in control and helped by breathing and relaxing. I was saving the birth pool for the end as I really wanted to give birth there and did not want to tire of the water too soon. I headed off to the toilet (a sure sign with all my births that we are not far away) and started to be annoyed at Trent chatting my the midwife, I gave him ‘the look’ and he knew straight away I was ready and suggested it might be time to hit the water! As soon as I got in the water (which had been filled and refilled all night!) it was bliss, I relaxed like a rag doll and felt much better again. My Dr called in to see how I was doing, and said he thought it looked like he had time to go home as I was pretty calm. I knew I was very close and so did my midwife so she suggested he stay a little longer, he said he would stay for a couple more surges. I thought I had better keep him around so when the surges came I made a bit more noise to convince him-amazing that I was so relaxed and yet so aware of everything around me! After a quick check he told me I was nine cm dilated and he asked to break my waters. I was resistant to this idea but something told me it was ok and that the baby was ready, Trent told me he thought we should and so I agreed. As soon as the waters broke I felt Hugo move straight into position, unbelievable how I felt so in tune with my body, I had never experienced that previously. The next surge came with an urge to push and Trent was telling me to breathe him down, my mind went blank I and I could not remember how to do this!! In between I told myself to go with my body and that is what I did- two surges later Hugo was born!! The moment when you hold your baby is always unbelievable but it was so wonderful to have Trent in the birthing pool with me and to have him experience it also. He was very emotional and we were both over the moon with how things had gone.
After spending time in the water, the Dr asked me to hop back on the bed to see if I needed stitches. When he told me I need none- not even a graze, Trent and I high fived- I wonder what he thought!!! I held Hugo for a long time and he fed by himself very instinctively, babies are amazing. When they finally weighed him he came in at a healthy 9 pounds. I never, ever would have believed that I would experience birth in this way. This was my longest labour by far-16hrs- but by far the most relaxed. All the planning, practising and positivity paid off and Hugo’s birth was just everything we hoped for. My wish is that more women get to experience the birth of their children in this way- it does not need to be traumatic and clinical and scary. I am so grateful to Melissa for all her training and support- all I can say is ” Hypnobirthing works!!!
Nicole and Trent, Palm Beach