We are delighted & very relieved to finally welcome a Baby Boy – Lachlan Kline into our family. It’s been a long 48hrs, but we’re all well. He was born at 3:45pm y’day & weighed in at 9lbs 2oz (4.1kg), 54cm long. We’re both still quite delirious & it’s all very surreal, but oh so wonderful!! Smiling face with open mouth Here’s a couple of pics. Lots of love from the 3 of us Family XOX
(Thanks for all your help & advice Melissa – incredibly invaluable).?
Reflections on our Birthing journey…….
At 40+10days & the medical model breathing down my neck pressuring us to ‘do something to move things along’, we kindly acknowledged our options & agreed to continue to play the waiting game at home, resorting to Hypnobirthing strategies to keep us calm & encourage our little one to come. Over the course of this week we exhaustively worked our way through the ‘natural induction method’ list, including 3 sessions of acupuncture, lots of raspberry leaf tea, candle-lit Clary sage baths with ‘Fear Release’ tracks playing & plenty of patient support & reassurance from family & the wonderful Melissa Spilsted at Hypnobirthing Australia.
Despite all our natural efforts, some careful regular monitoring from the hospital & 2 stretch & sweeps, our little one still appeared too comfortable to budge, so at 40+13 we were admitted for an induction. Two hours after the 11pm induction it was all systems go & at 3am I was moved to the birthing suite. I progressed quickly, however due to the induction I was having to be monitored a little more than what I would have liked, which restricted my options for a shower & bath….however with much persistence I did manage to make it in the shower for a brief 20 minutes which was absolutely delightful! For most of the labour I chose to sway my hips supported by the bed or my husband or kneel & lean over the back of the bed, reluctantly laying down for some monitoring as required.
Interestingly, I had my eyes closed from the maternity ward until the moment our little bub arrived & was placed on my chest…nearly 14hrs later (including the walk up to birthing!!) This wasn’t a conscious decision as such, it just seemed to be one of my coping strategies & I think helped to reserve a lot of energy, both emotionally & physically – in addition to allowing me to fully focus on all things hypnobirthing & go to my ‘happy place’ to do all the visualizing I needed to. I had you (Melissa) playing in my ear or on speaker in addition to the music playlist I had chosen, including a lot of Enya, John Farnham, Lionel Ritchie & chill-out tracks for the duration. In fact when I play these tracks now it takes me right back to that moment – I was even singing along at one stage to the delight (& surprise) of the midwives (or so Donny tells me!) ?
At 11am (12 hours after induction) I was assessed to see how I was progressing, as I’d been quite ill, throwing up constantly & had now become quite exhausted. I was given a drip with fluids & respectfully given the options for pain relief & chose to try some gas & air, followed by a morphine injection. Thankfully the throwing up subsided & I relaxed as my body worked & I breathed my way through the next 3 hours of surges, visualising my little one gently turning & moving down the birth path….their arrival getting closer with each & every surge.
At 3pm on Sunday afternoon, the midwives started to monitor myself & the baby a little more closely as the baby’s heart rate was dropping considerably after each surge. It appears the baby had got themselves in an awkward position & despite my best efforts to breathe them down, we both required a little more assistance. The Dr. arrived at 3:30pm to assist & hoping to avoid any further serious medical intervention we worked together & with a little cut & vacuum assisted (ventouse) delivery, we welcomed our beautiful calm, alert and very healthy 4.1kg baby boy, Lachlan Armstrong at 3:45pm on Sunday, 22nd March – I opened my eyes to meet my little man & to my surprise saw 6 other people in the room (midwives & Drs.) & my amazing midwives faces for the first time.
Seemingly within minutes the room was emptied & we were left alone to bond with our little one. On reflection, I immediately questioned whether I had been able to have the hypnobirth I was desperately hoping and working towards. My husband Donny was quick to reassure me and point out that over the past 16 hours he had witnessed me in a ‘zone’, a very peaceful, private, serene & calm zone. Barely a word was spoken in the birthing room – except the very basic communication, which Donny mostly filtered for me. I was reassured & felt very proud of our team effort to achieve the calm & positive birth we both wished for. I couldn’t have achieved this without my husband/birth partner by my side & I most certainly don’t believe we would have managed to find & ‘access’ this zone had it not been for the hypnobirthing teachings & strategies we had been able to employ.
I can definitely say, that I didn’t find labour/birthing painful or scary or an event that bought about any hysterical feelings in any way at all. The words I used to describe our experience were empowering, natural, instinctive, private & calm although at times it was still intense, relentless & exhausting – it felt very purposeful (obviously!) With positive affirmations (my favourites being… ‘this too shall pass’ & ‘soft & opening’ & ‘every surge will bring my baby closer to me’ & my visualisations of the beautiful rolling waves in the ocean) in my every thought & feeling & also with my very supportive & encouraging Donny by my side – (I don’t know how many times he said ‘just breath it down’ whilst gently caressing my back & re-positioning the wet flannel on my face or heat pack on my back!), it most certainly created a very special time for us & for this I/we can’t thank you enough Melissa!!!!
I found the midwives to be exceptionally respectful & considerate of all our needs & written preferences (highly recommended), which was very much appreciated! Our Doctor was also very respectful & asked questions & explained every step as he went along, which although I probably wasn’t very engaging at the time, I was certainly taking it all in & very much appreciated the communication. I even recall during the procedure asking Donny to count back from 40 – which I’m sure they all thought I’d gone loopy, but Donny knew what I meant & it did the trick in keeping me calm (as I mentally descended the stairs) & focused on the task at hand. They even asked if they could turn the lights on when it came time to deliver our baby, to which I commented later to Donny that I didn’t even know the lights were off – apparently they had been the whole time! ?
Our birthing journey was perhaps at times not what we had imagined or anticipated or even planned (mostly due to the induction process), however through all of our experiences planned or not it was the hypnobirthing techniques & strategies that I found us using (in particular throughout the procedures that we perhaps had not planned for & that I was feeling most anxious about), from the acupuncture to the induction, during birthing & beyond. And now little Lachie even sometimes falls asleep to ‘Tranquil Chambers’.?
I think on this whole journey what I have learnt the most is that the mind is a very powerful tool & bringing a child into this world (from conception, throughout pregnancy to birth) is a very natural & instinctive process. No matter what you think your birth will be like & what actually ends up happening in reality, it’s your own journey & for you & your birth partner a very special & unique experience that will bond you in ways you never imagined – with the end result (however you get there) of welcoming your beautiful baby into the world.
THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU Melissa for all your advice, support & education – you’re truly brilliant & gifted. As I (we both) sing your praises & spread the word, I can only hope that more expectant parents are able to access your teachings of hypnobirthing & birth their baby with the education, reassurance & knowledge of not only the physical processes, but also the medical options, your rights & the mental tools for a calm, positive & truly AWESOME birth!!!!! ?
Cathryn (& Donny & baby Lachlan) xx
Paradise Point, Gold Coast, Australia