Oh my goodness, firstly I have to apologise for not sending you a huge thank you for your support over a year ago (and also nearly 3 years ago after the birth of our first daughter)!!!! I thought I would finally send you an email and let you know how big an impact your knowledge and support had on the births of our two daughters!!
Carl and I attended your hypnobirthing course
at Robina in April 2017 and absolutely loved every minute of it. I was petrified of the idea of giving birth and Carl being the supportive partner he is, agreed to attend your course. He told me later that as we were driving there he was thinking to himself “what have I got myself into, this is going to be some hippy dippy course”. Now, obviously he thinks it was the best thing we ever did!!! I could write a full on essay about our 2 births but here is a shortened version (sorry it’s still quite long).
My first pregnancy was very straight forward, and I was lucky enough to get into the birth centre at the GCUH. I had been assigned a very young midwife but she was very very supportive of my preferences. Her buddy midwife was very experienced but very pessimistic about Hypnobirthing (she told me this later). 2 days before my due date my mucus plug came out, and light surges started early in the morning. By 9am they really ramped up for a couple of hours and were 5-6 mins apart. Then by 11am they completely backed off and I was having very mild surges every 40 or so minutes. At that point my midwife said it sounds very much like stages of early labour and I should come in for monitoring now rather than later when she knew I wanted to be focusing on hypnobirthing. So we went into the hospital at 1pm for monitoring and they scanned me to check how bub was positioned (perfectly apparently). My midwife said things will probably ramp up and bub will arrive in the next few days. Bad news was that it was a Friday and she was going off duty at 5pm that day for the weekend. I was a little nervous knowing that I might have to go through the birth with her buddy but knowing that she was extremely experienced made me feel better.
By 8pm that night things were definitely getting going again. We had my parents staying and had a late dinner, I kept having to move away from the dinner table every 5 minutes. By 8.30pm I said “sorry guys I need to focus”, and went into our bedroom and knelt and flopped over a swiss ball whilst listening to your affirmations. Carl came in and lit some candles and did some light touches etc (I can’t believe how vividly I can recall this experience). By 10.30pm I remember thinking, I know why people get epidurals, it felt so intense. The surges were still 5 mins apart but to me they felt super intense so Carl called the midwife. I think he must have been very casual as she said “mate, she still has a long way to go”. I was thinking, are you serious, how much more intense can this get. The midwife suggested that I get in the shower to speed things up, which it did and being in the water was bliss! Carl called the midwife about midnight and told her the surges were now 2 mins apart and she said to try and stay at home for 30mins and then make our way in. We arrived at the hospital at around 1.30am and I was very curious as to why she didn’t have the pool filled up (as this was one of our preferences). Carl asked and she said she wanted to wait to see how far along I was. I agreed for her to do a VE and as soon as she looked she said to Carl “better fill the pool up”. Carl said that she couldn’t believe how calm I was and seriously didn’t think I would be fully dilated. Carl called the student midwife (who was wonderful), who arrived very quickly and I was in the pool. While I was in the pool I had the urge to bear down so changed my breathing. I felt like nothing was happening while I was kneeling and holding onto the side of the pool, so I then changed my position to squat with one leg. I felt a little difference and the midwife said that bub has a really consistent heart rate and I was doing really well. An hour passed and my midwife was talking to Carl about getting me out of the bath shortly to change things up. Then she suggested I do a full squat and see if that would help. 2 surges later bub was crowning and she asked Carl if he would like to see bubs head in the mirror. He declined the offer but then quickly changed his mind. I felt bubs head which felt so surreal and after a few more intense surges, my waters broke, and we have a baby lying on the bottom of the bath (3.09am). I will never forget the midwife saying to me, “now reach down to the bottom of the bath and pick up your baby”. Wow!!! Bub came out of the water, did a little cry and was happy as could be. My gosh, what a feeling, I can’t even explain the emotions!! Meanwhile Carl was blubbering, hehe, I thought I would be the one blubbering. We had our last bets on the sex and then discovered we had a baby girl who we named Freya!! 6 hours later we are driving home with little Freya.
My midwife came to visit me the next week and said that her buddy called her over the weekend and raved on for an hour about how it was the best birth she had ever been involved in in a long time. She was now a hypnobirth fan!!
Fast forward 19 months….This is when we emailed you. Pregnancy with number 2 was fairly straight forward but the size of bubs head was a concern. I had additional scans at 32 and 38 weeks. After my 38 week scan my midwife (same midwife as with Freya) called and said that bubs tummy size (intrauterine growth restriction) had decreased from the 45th percentile at the 32 week scan to the 9th percentile at the 38 week scan. She said because it was under the 10th percentile, the Drs were recommending induction. I went into the hospital that day for monitoring which was fine and she told me the Drs would come in and give me all the risks and worst case scenarios. She was supportive of my decision to decline induction and went to the head of Obstetrics to grant me permission to go full term and then reassess at 40 weeks. He had no issues, and said that I should come in for monitoring every 3 days. On bub’s due date we went into the hospital, had the usual monitoring and then had another chat with the Drs who were really pushing induction. We took your advice and said we would like another scan to see if things had changed. Our midwife then went to the Senior Obstetrician on duty and got him to check the scan which he was happy with (still at the 9th percentile but said the placenta still looked healthy enough). He gave us until 41 weeks and then said I would need to be induced at that time. We were over the moon and so happy our midwife had been so supportive and pushed for a 2nd opinion. I remember the drive home and feeling so relieved!! 3 hours later at 3pm……I started having what I thought were more braxton hicks. They started to get a little more intense so I called my friend to come and pick up Freya just in case I was in labour. I was super relaxed and started imagining my cervix stretching and ripping apart (sounds brutal I know but did the trick), as I was listening to your affirmations. I remembered that the shower helped a lot last time so in I hopped. At this point my surges were still 5 mins apart so I thought there was still a long way to go. While I was in the shower I felt a really big surge and said to Carl that maybe we should head in to the hospital (the midwife had warned me to come in a lot sooner due to this being number 2). As soon as we got in the car the surges were coming every 2 mins (if that). Secretly Carl was messaging the midwife telling her to get the pool filled up, meanwhile tracking my surges and driving (I always thought males couldn’t multitask haha).
We arrive at the hospital and have to stop 5 times for surges as we were walking to the birth suites. We meet our midwife at the door and she shows us to the suite. I lean over the bed while Carl helps me take off my clothes ready to get in the pool. Once my clothes are off I say to Carl “I think I have to bear down”. I feel an enormous surge come over me, my midwife is trying to get the doppler in place and my waters break. She says to Carl “watch your shoes” haha. Next surge comes and all of a sudden bubs head pops out. 1 minute later my midwife is telling me to bend down and grab my baby (6.07pm). I stand up with a screaming baby in my arms thinking “what the hell just happened”. Carl helps me onto the bed with bub positioned on my chest covered in warm blankets. He looks at me with a shocked expression and says “well done babe”. We were in such shock it happened so fast and my body just took over. Another baby girl called Harlow, perfectly healthy and her weight was an average 3.37kgs. My midwife said that she was so happy I declined induction. She said people get induced very regularly for things picked up in scans which turn out to be inaccurate. Looking back, I really do believe that the relief of knowing I didn’t have to be induced until 41 weeks got the oxytocin flowing and kick started labour.
It made me really sad hearing birth stories from all of my mum friends. Nearly all the stories I hear are traumatic and it sounds like they may have been able to be avoided if they had the knowledge I had going into my birth. I always think how lucky we were to have 2 amazingly beautiful birth experiences but on the other hand we put a lot of hard work into making sure we got the births we wanted.
I haven’t been back to work since my girls were born. I was about to go back to work when I found out I was pregnant with Harlow so I extended my maternity leave and then was made redundant. Now I am enjoying my time with the girls while they are young and I feel very fortunate that we can manage on Carl’s wage. I really miss having a job where I can help people and have lost a bit of purpose. I have definitely thought about doing the Hypnobirthing Practitioner Course but I think it’s not the right time for me just now. I want to enjoy the girls as much as I can until they are at school. I always make sure our friends that are expecting know why Hypnobirthing will change their lives and Carl always jokes that I am on commission haha.
Anyway enough rambling from me, I just thought that I have been slack enough and it was about time that I let you know what an impact you have had on our family. We will be forever in your debt!
Here is a pic with our Hypnobubs, we had a little photo shoot on the weekend.
Thanks so much Melissa
Katie and Carl xoxo