I come from a family who labours very quickly, my Nanna, Mum, auntie and sister all had extremely quick births, some of them not even making it into the delivery suite! So naturally, after my son was born in around 4 hours, I was preparing for my second birth to be quick!
A few months into my pregnancy I started to think to myself, what if it’s not quick? Statistics say second births are much faster, particularly the second stage of labour, but what if it wasn’t? I didn’t have the tools to get me through anything longer than 4 hours so that’s when I registered for Hypnobirthing Australia’s ‘Positive Birth Program’ Course.
My husband and I attended the first day of the Hypnobirth Class in Torquay with Rosie from ‘Geelong Born’
and found it to be extremely educational, we got to build upon our knowledge of birth from first time around and learn about pain relief techniques that we could do ourselves while in labour, soft touch – the touch of your partner be it a massage, back rub, arm rub, hair rub during a surge I found to be the most beneficial – something to counteract the power of a surge.
We learnt about acupressure points to induce labour and for pain relief, we did guided meditation which I practised at home in the lead up to the birth and maintaining a positive mindset to whatever path the birth would take – something I think is super important as we all know birth is something you simply cannot control.
I started experiencing tightenings the day before my ‘guess date’ and some signs of pre-labour. The pressure from my waters was intense and I felt it was inhibiting any proper surges so we made the (in hindsight very silly) decision to try and release my waters at home – I tried everything from squats, to the trampoline, to the fitball but nothing worked.
I called the hospital to ask if I could pop in and just check that bub was OK, I was asked respectfully if I wanted to be checked which I agreed to and was told I was already over 3cm dilated but not yet in active labour and I could return home if I wished.
We decided to stay put and see what happened – the pressure from my waters continued to create these false surges and my obstetrician asked if I would like them to be broken. My birth plan said no, but I said a big ‘hell yes’.
That’s all it took, she was born 38 minutes later. I went from 3cm-10cm in a very intense 33 minutes. My calm and serene pre-labour turned instinctively into me standing, breathing and roaring her out. It was extremely intense, instinctive and empowering.
We gave birth to a healthy girl named Vinnie Sage who weighed 7lb10.
Hypnobirthing taught me to go with my instincts, to breathe, to not be locked into a ‘plan’ and be open-minded to a change of course during my birth experience.