Laura’s Birth Story
My first daughter was born two years ago. She was tracking small for gestational age and the hospital wanted to induce me, to bring her earthside a little early (39+4). I thought I was doing the right thing by being easy going with my birth plan. Maybe a waterbirth, if I wanted to get in the bath. Maybe unmedicated, if I was capable. But I was willing to go with the flow, do whatever needed to be done to keep us safe and bring our daughter into this world. I didn’t realise at the time that this wasn’t really a plan at all.
My labour came on thick and fast. At midnight my water broke, gushing out of me and riding my first, very serious contraction. There were no waves, no calm between the surges. It started at midnight and it ended at 3:09am with no rest in between. My daughter was rocketing out of me. I took an epidural, I was on my back on a bed. Nothing was going the way I had hoped. I couldn’t follow instructions, I couldn’t breathe slowly. All I could do was hold on and let this situation happen to me. I left my first birth with a beautiful baby girl, a second degree tear and some post traumatic shock.
When my husband and I began discussing our second, I knew it had to be different!
I downloaded the Hypnobirthing course at around 25 weeks pregnant and asked my husband to watch the videos with me. My husband heartily agreed, he felt powerless during our first birth and wanted the second time to be different as well. He wanted to be involved and be able to help however he could. We watched our videos, practised our meditations, printed our affirmations and made a plan.
When I began to labour naturally at 40weeks with our second daughter, everything was completely different and I knew I was in control this time. My surges started quietly and slowly on Saturday night while my husband and I watched a film. They were very sporadic, sometimes 45 minutes apart. My husband asked if we should stay up and see what happens, but I said no. We should sleep now while we can in case things start for real in the middle of the night. We slept through until 6am when I woke, surges were closer together now and getting stronger. I woke my husband at 6:30am. By 7:30am we had dropped our eldest with our neighbour and we were on our way to the hospital.
When we arrived my husband took control, he explained to the midwife that we were Hypnobirthing parents and they discussed what language to use and other things we would like. My husband pinned our affirmations on the wall, laid out my crystals and the midwife asked if I would like to get in the tub. I was excited to be able to try the water this time. I knew if I didn’t like it, I could get back out. Once I was in the water, I felt at home. This was where my daughter was going to be born and I didn’t want to leave until she was here.
Surges came upon me in waves, I flopped in between and slowed my breathing down so much the midwife needed to check my pulse continuously to make sure I wasn’t passing out. I wasn’t. My husband talked me through our bubble of comfort while using his soft and firm anchor touching. I was lucid this time. I could listen to my husband’s instructions to breathe and the midwifes directions when she needed me to change position or when I needed to start baring down.
There were moments I doubted myself, I thought about the epidural, or a C section, but realistically I could feel that my baby girl had made her way down and she was getting ready to crown. I was doing this, she was making her way to us. There was no point in giving up now. We were having the birth we wanted and even though it was still painful it was also empowering and exciting and, in some ways, enjoyable. I never asked for the epidural.
When the time came, I bared down and helped her make her way out. I reached down and touched her head on the way through which was an awesome experience. Knowing she was right there helped motivate me to keep going. When the midwife asked me to stop baring down and let my daughter rotate, I could. It wasn’t a pleasant feeling, but I did it for her. We laboured for a total of 3 hours at the hospital, all in the bath. My husband by my side. My baby girl and I working together, riding the surges, resting when we needed to and working hard when it was necessary.
At 10:36am Sunday morning, my second daughter was born. She entered the world in the water and was handed up to me. She lifted her head immediately and she was perfect. Our birth was perfect.
The midwife said that she hardly had a job to do. Normally she would be the person giving support and encouragement, but my husband had that covered this time. She commented that it was so nice to witness a birth without medical intervention, as they are quite rare these days.
I am so proud of myself, my husband and my new baby girl for our birth together. It was the birth I had hoped for, and the one we had planned for. The word I use to describe it the most is empowering. It was an amazing experience!
Thank you, Hypnobirthing.