My name’s Anna and I’m a first time mum. I had my beautiful baby boy Isaac a month ago today. I’ve been a midwife for 7 years and currently work in the birth suite where I had Isaac which was a very interesting full circle experience for me!
I have been the midwife for a number of births where women have used hypnobirthing and to be honest I was a bit skeptical of the use of birth affirmation tracks and some of the techniques used during labour and birth. They sounded all a bit strange to me! But after witnessing some powerful and beautiful births I became convinced that there was something to this hypnobirthing. When I became pregnant with Isaac I enrolled in the Hypnobubs online course and soon began listening to the tracks regularly and began rehearsing and visualising the kind of birth I wanted. The birth rehearsal online module (that allows you and your partner to practice some of the hypnobirthing techniques) was so helpful in allowing us to jump in comfortably use the techniques on the big day.
I was four days past my due date and went into early labour around 11pm the night before. Contractions were irregular spaced apart and I was able to remain calm, breath through them and rest through the night. From 7am the next morning contractions had become stronger and I needed to get up and move around, but they were still quite spaced apart. In my midwifery brain I convinced myself that this pattern could last for many many hours, sometimes days, so I just pottered around the house doing what I would usually do. I even did some vacuuming and worked on a puzzle! The Hypnobirthing course also allowed me to remain calm and go with the flow. When I’d get a contraction I’d just stop, flop and breath through! Using a TENS machine and going in and out of the shower was very helpful.
Around midday I had broken my waters but also realised that I hadn’t felt Isaac move very much that day. I contacted my midwife who advised me to come into hospital to be checked. I agreed with this but was also frustrated as I knew I would just be sent straight back home as I felt like I was still in early labour. I arrived at the hospital at 2.30pm (it was just a 7 minute drive for us but I don’t remember even contracting once on the whole drive there). I was taken through to the Pregnancy Assessment Centre, had his heart rate checked and was assessed to see how far along I was. I nearly fell off the bed when my midwife told me we weren’t going anywhere because I was 9cm dilated!!! WHAT?! It didn’t make sense! We were talking and laughing like I was never in labour. It was such a joyful experience!
I was taken around to a birth suite with water birth pool (smiling and chatting with some colleagues along the way!) and jumped straight into the bath when it was filled. The water felt amazing it was just what I needed at the time. My husband jumped into action setting up my music, aromatherapy, gave my midwife my list of preferences for birth, started using light touch massage and speaking birth affirmations. I was so proud of him! I and Soon after I got in the bath the contractions and pressure really intensified and it was ON! I was SO thankful for the birth affirmations, music and breathing techniques that I drew on at that time. It was a game changer and helped me to surrender to the process of birth trusting that my body knew what it needed to do. Finally I understood the power of hypnobirthing that those women had experienced as I supported them in their labour over the years.
Pushing took some time as my contractions still remained quite spaced apart but it was INTENSE. This just made the relief and exhilaration so much sweeter when my beautiful baby made his way through the water and into my arms 6pm that evening. There were many tears from myself and my husband. It was the most beautiful birth I could have ever asked for. I am so thankful to God (I prayed a lot about my birth and really believe my prayers were answered), my husband, my amazing midwives and definitely the Hypnobubs Online Course for an experience I will remember and treasure forever.
Thank you Melissa!