“Thank you Melissa for helping us gain the tools to give us such a memorable birth. People can’t believe how ‘lucky’ I am that it was a short labour but I honestly believe it wasn’t anything to do with luck!”
Jack’s Birthing Day
Jack was due early June, Thursday 9th I had an OB appointment and he did an internal and told me I was 2cm dilated, baby’s head was low and cervix was nice and thin. Blood pressure was a bit high so had to have some bloods, but all was good. He told me he thought we would have a baby by the end of the weekend and all signs were pointing towards an easy birth. I was so excited! All of the preparation looked like it had worked. Next day I had a “show” in the shower at lunch time. Over the next 36 hours I had minor period pains on and off. Saturday night we were on the couch watching a movie and I thought I should time the period pains. They were roughly every 10 minutes. I told Leon we better make sure we had our bags packed cause tonight looks like the night! We went to bed at about 10pm and I slept right through the night. I was lying in bed at 6.30am thinking that maybe I was imagining the signs, and then I felt my waters break. I managed to get to the bathroom just in time! It was pretty exciting! We called the hospital and they suggested to come in with my bag, as I was due to go in that day to have my blood pressure checked. We had breakfast and went to the hospital at about 8am. I got to hospital and they hooked me up to the monitor – all was looking good. My OB wasn’t working as it was his weekend off, so another doctor examined me and told me I was still 2cm dilated. He said that in 2 hours if things hadn’t moved along he was going to give me the Oxytocin injection. When he left the room I spoke to the midwife and told her that I didn’t want to have the injection as I was following Hypnobirthing for my birth. She said that we may have to, but let’s wait and see. She hadn’t heard of Hypnobirthing but was very happy to support us in what we wanted, as long as the baby didn’t go in to distress.
They then left Leon and I in the room alone, this was probably about 9am. I put on the Relaxation music, Leon lay down in a bean bag to try to get some rest and I knelt over the birthing ball. I asked the midwife if my ‘period pains’ were contractions and she said “You’ll know when you are having contractions you won’t be able to talk!”. So I still wasn’t sure if I was in labour. But I just focused on relaxing and practiced my breathing each time I had the period pain. At about 10am they started to intensify and were about 5mins about. The midwife came back and told me things were looking good, I wouldn’t need the injection after all. Obviously the relaxation helped move things along. Leon began to massage my lower back as I knelt on the floor with my elbows on the birthing ball. After about an hour, the midwife suggested that we get in the shower – the hot water on my back was fantastic. Leon held a shower head on my back and I held one on my abdomen. I lost all track of time and we stood in the shower for about 2 hours. I just focused on my breathing when each surge came. Every 30 mins or so, the midwife would check the baby’s heartbeat. I didn’t know it at the time, but while we were in the shower, the midwife sat on the bed and read my Hypnobirthing book and folder with all the handouts. She was absolutely brilliant – she basically left Leon and I to work through everything together.
After about 2 hours I experienced “transition” when I felt that maybe I couldn’t do this and would need some pain relief. Leon told me just to focus on one surge at a time and the doctor was coming back soon to do an examination. The midwife took me over to the bed and I lay down to be examined. She did an internal and said “Oh my I can feel a head!”. I think she was genuinely surprised to see how quickly things had progressed. 4 hours ago they wanted to give me an injection to speed things up and here Jack was ready to be breathed down.
So I changed my breathing and started to breath him down. I stayed lying on the bed on my side because this was the most comfortable. The doctor came back in to the room at this point and the midwife and doctor just let Leon talk me through each surge. After a period of time the doctor did another internal and told me “You can keep doing what you are doing, but it would be faster if you pushed!”. I told him my body WAS pushing, even though I wasn’t grunting and groaning! He then said “I’ll be back, you’ll be about another 30 mins”, and he left to go to another delivery suite. I kept breathing down and I could feel my body pushing Jack out. It was the strangest feeling! I wasn’t convinced that I wasn’t actually pushing (but I spoke to the midwife later and she told me I was definitely breathing him down and you could see my body almost convulsing as it pushed Jack out). About 10 minutes later Jack was born, and the doctor wasn’t there as he was delivering another baby next door. The midwife was so excited that she got to deliver a baby! Once Jack’s head and shoulders were out the midwife got me to reach down and catch Jack. I wasn’t expecting that and it was pretty special! Leon announced the sex of the baby, and he was bought to my chest and stayed there for about 30 minutes. We decided to keep the cord blood, so all of that was collected while I went through the 3rd stage and the placenta was birthed, and Leon cut the cord.. The doctor was dead against doing the 3rd stage naturally so I was given the injection. But I didn’t mind as it was the natural birth that I wanted the most.
So 4.5hrs of active labour and Jack Bowes entered the world. 6lb 14oz .He is a pretty good baby, he is sleeping well we just had a few problems getting him to latch on, but we are slowly getting there. As I said I wasn’t convinced that I actually did Hypnobirthing because I wasn’t silent like all of the birthing videos on Youtube! But the 2 midwives that were present assured me that I did very well and they said I should have 10 babies as my body is obviously made for it! I am positive all of the preparation we did – relaxation and breathing exercises – were the key. Leon and I didn’t get a huge amount of time to practice the deepening exercises, but I listened to the affirmations and Rainbow Relaxation at least every couple of days. Also going into the birth feeling relaxed and excited, I think made a huge difference. It was pretty special having Leon talk me through the birth of Jack with basically no direction from medical staff. He was an amazing support and I couldn’t have done it without him!
Thank you Melissa for helping us gain the tools to give us such a memorable birth. People can’t believe how ‘lucky’ I am that it was a short labour but I honestly believe it wasn’t anything to do with luck!
Emma and Leon, Paddington, Brisbane