We would like to share our birth story with you after attending classes with Pip from Birth Savvy
Our son Dion was Born on Wednesday, April 17th at 3:38 am. He took his time coming out, the early phase of the birthing process started already Sunday night with regular (every 20 minutes or so) waves which I first thought were just practice waves because I just felt my belly going hard, but no other accompanying sensations. Andy took Monday off from work, just in case, because I thought the birth might start soon.
Monday went by same as Sunday night, regular waves but no strong sensations. In the late afternoon though I started feeling what resembled light cramps with every wave, like when I’m about to have my period. We watched a movie with my mother in law (a really funny one, I had to laugh so hard!) but didn’t say anything about the waves yet. I really thought the birth could start soon though because my mother and sister both had all of their babies within a couple of hours. So we called the midwife just in case and let her know what was happening and agreed to call her over that night if things should progress. We also called our friend Ashlee, our birth photographer, who is also training as a midwife. She came over late that evening and stayed overnight, as she really didn’t want to miss the birth.
That night the feeling of period like cramps got a little bit more intense as time went by, but not much else happened. I still wouldn’t have called this sensation painful, but it was intense enough and the waves regular and close enough together to keep me awake most of that night.
Probably I was also just really excited and waiting for the birth to really start.
Tuesday morning came and I took our dog for our usual morning walk. I could still cope really really well with the waves, although they got more and more intense and stronger over time. We started to set up the pool in our living room so it would be ready for me to jump in, just in case. My midwife had told me to go in only at the very end when I couldn’t cope with the waves any more in any other way. She said that the pool was our version of an epidural 🙂
In the afternoon around 4 pm, the waves got so intense that I had to work harder to get through them, always practising my breathing with each wave.
We called the midwife over and she checked me and said that I wasn’t dilated yet, but it felt very thin already. I was really disappointed at that stage because I had had waves for two days already and I had hoped that the cervix would have opened at least a little bit already.
My midwife gave me some advice as how to use the waves and how to work with them to help me open up. Things such as squatting with a wave, breathing deep into the belly with each wave, moving, and so on. She said to try that for a couple of hours, went back home and said she would be back when we’d call her again when we felt like things were progressing.
So we went for a walk, slow danced, I squatted with the waves and we tried everything to help the birth progress. I think I had to overcome a mental blockade, the fear of going into the pain and allowing it to be there. That was what had held me back a bit until that moment. After really going into it and allowing it got really intense and by 8 pm Andy and Ashlee had to call the midwife again.
I was in the pool by 9 pm when our midwife arrived and oh, what a relief! Having the waves in the pool was so much less intense, everything felt softer and easier. Unfortunately, after a while, the waves spaced out again and my midwife suggested that I get out for a bit and lie down in bed to get a little rest. I hadn’t really slept for almost two days and hadn’t been eating much on Tuesday either, so I was quite exhausted by that time.
I was back out of the pool, lying in bed, by 11 pm when I asked my midwife to check me again to see if there had been any progress. Because if not, I told her, I wanted to transfer into the hospital and have an epidural. It was more the exhaustion and the fear that this would continue for another day or two that led me to that decision than the intense sensations of the waves, although they were frankly quite painful by that time. But thankfully I was already 6 cm dilated at that point and an epidural wouldn’t have been possible any more anyway.
Shortly after the check, my membranes released and I started to have bearing down sensations with the waves. I went back into the pool, which still took the edge off a bit, but not as much as the first time.
It took us another 3 or 4 hours of working through the waves, at which time my support team, my husband Andy, our friend Ashlee and our midwife Vanessa, did an amazing job of helping me through this tough time and encouraging me to keep going and focus on my breathing.
Sometime after midnight, the backup midwife arrived and my mother in law came over from next door and got to witness the birth of her grandson first hand, which was really nice.
Finally, our son Dion arrived at 3:38 am on Wednesday, the 17th of April.
He was 51 cm long, head size 35 cm and weighed 3380 grams.
I didn’t tear at all and my baby and I were healthy and well throughout the whole birth and after. I recovered very quickly in the days following and was just amazed by the whole experience and that little being that I brought into this world.
Although it wasn’t entirely pain-free it was still an overall positive experience and already two hours after the birth I thought to myself, I would definitely do this again – maybe in two years or so 😀
I listened to Hypnobirthing Australia™ tracks throughout the whole time and in the beginning, it helped me very much to stay focused and relaxed. But in the end, my body took over completely and I couldn’t do anything else but focus on getting through the wave, one at a time, everything else around me kind of disappeared into the background. I was completely in the now, time didn’t matter, not even the pain mattered any more in the end, it was just my body working through the waves.
I am very grateful for hypnobirthing and the positive mindset and all the information that came with it. Especially in the end when Dion was crowning this helped me a lot. It took quite a long time for him to finally come out, but because I knew that this was normal and that the head could come down a bit with a wave and then go back up again and back and forth like that for a while, I was able to stay completely calm and just go with it and didn’t try to rush anything or push him out forcefully.
To summon it up: it was an amazing experience and I would totally do it again. Although it was quite painful for me at times, it wasn’t the worst pain I could imagine or have ever felt (breaking my arm was more painful I remember) and it only ever lasted the length of the wave, in between my body got to rest and recover. I had a great support team and was well prepared and informed, which helped me especially being a first-time mum. All of that together made it totally bearable and positive experience.
What I have learned for next time is not to get too caught up and too excited about it all too early. Next time I will use the time leading up to the real birthing stages to rest and eat well, to make sure that I have enough energy left for the hard work in the end 🙂
All the best from Kristin, Andy and Dion xoxo – Perth, Western Australia
You can find your closest Hypnobirthing Australia Classes HERE.
Find out more about our Hypnobirthing Online Course HERE.