My husband and I felt informed throughout the labour and birth process

Hannah’s Birth Story 

water immersion during birthAustralia
Josie, 3.72kg

My labour started in the early hours of Wednesday morning (I was 40+6 weeks) and felt like mild period cramps. They were coming every 5-10 minutes and lasting 30-45 seconds. I was so excited things were finally starting, and I went back to sleep because I knew that resting in early labour was important.

By midday the surges were becoming more and more intense, and I was using my surge breathing technique and tens machine to calmly work through them. My amazing husband was nurturing me with nutritious food, positive words and helping me with my spinning babies stretches. We set up our bedroom with positive birth affirmation cards and fairy lights. I had my calm labour playlist playing, and listened to my Hypnobirthing relaxation and affirmation tracks.

When it got to night time, the surges were coming every 3-7 minutes, so still too early to head to hospital, but were too intense to be able to lie down comfortably. So I stayed out of bed and laboured standing up using the wall for support, sitting backwards on the toilet and walking around the house.

After no sleep and increasingly intense surges, I was sure Thursday would be the day we would meet our long awaited baby. However the surges weren’t quite at 4 in 10 minutes (which our midwife had recommended was the indicator to make our way into hospital) so I continued labouring at home.

By Friday morning with no sleep for a second night, I was exhausted and overwhelmed. I was still using the surge breathing, as well as low humming and horses breath to work through the surges, as well as squeezing a comb in my hands. My husband was helping me to relax with light touch massage and acupressure. My waters broke while I was vomiting at the toilet, and we were both excited that this might be a sign of things progressing. We called our midwife (we were in the caseload midwifery program) who suggested we come into hospital for a check.positive caesarean birth

We got to the hospital around midday Friday and I was 5cm dilated. My midwife was happy for me to stay in hospital, and although I’d planned to labour at home for as long as possible, I decided to stay in hospital because everything had been going on for so long at this stage. I did lots of walking around the ward, up and down the flight of steps multiple times and went into the bath to try to progress things (I LOVED the bath and found it to be a great relief from the intensity of the surges, I was able to completely relax and let my body go limp through the surges). However by Friday night, I was still at 5cm dilated and the doctors were concerned by my lack of progress. We accepted their recommendation to break the rest of my waters, and to have a short period of CTG monitoring. After having my waters broken, I became quite nauseous and vomited multiple times which was very unpleasant during contractions. The CTG monitoring showed that baby’s heart rate was slowing down during contractions and taking longer than normal to recover. Because my heart rate and baby’s heart rate were the same, they recommended a fetal clip monitor on baby’s head to get an accurate reading. I also had IV fluids put in as I was quite dehydrated from vomiting and not eating much for 2 days, and I had a high heart rate and blood pressure.

By 5am on Saturday morning (after 72 hours of labour) the doctors did another check and I was still at 5cm dilated, and baby’s head was in a posterior position. This was very disappointing news after everything I’d been doing to progress and make sure baby was in an optimal position for birth. The doctors recommend an epidural to try to relax everything and see if this helped my progress in order to avoid a c-section. Although an epidural wasn’t something I had planned on even considering to use in labour, I accepted it because I was so exhausted and our baby was becoming distressed. The epidural was daunting to be inserted because I needed to sit very still on the side of the bed for 20 minutes, but I got through this with my surge breathing and squeezing my husband’s hands very tight!

Once the epidural had kicked in, I got 2 hours of sleep. I felt like like a new person after this and had a second wind! The hospital staff tried synthetic hormones and side lying with a peanut ball between my legs to progress things and hopefully turn baby into a better position for birth. However unfortunately baby didn’t tolerate this, and was becoming more distressed during contractions. On the medical ward round in the morning at 11am they did another exam and found that I was still only 5cm dilated and baby’s head was facing the birth canal rather than being tucked chin to chest. They called this an ‘obstructed labour’ that was unlikely to progress, and we decided that a c-section was the best option to get our baby out safely.

newbornOur baby girl Josie was born via c-section at 1:30pm on the Saturday afternoon, completely healthy and happy. I felt an overwhelming sense of relief and a huge amount of love as soon as I heard my baby cry. I also started crying! As she emerged from the other side of the theatre tarp my husband and I both instantly fell in love with her. I got skin to skin time while they stitched me up, and she even attempted her first breastfeed in that time! The whole c-section experience was very positive, and the theatre staff were amazing and made my husband and I feel very comfortable and informed about what was happening.

Josie and I stayed in hospital for 2 nights while I recovered from surgery, and we quickly got into a routine of feeding, nappy changes, sleeping and adoring our little girl.

Although my birth didn’t go to plan, I look back on it as a positive experience because I know that I did everything I could to bring my baby into the world safely, and I felt completely supported by my husband and the hospital staff. My husband and I felt informed throughout the labour and birth process, especially when deciding to accept interventions and the likely consequences of them, which we put down to the information we received at the Hypnobirthing course run by the amazing Felicity (Avocado Baby) in Safety Beach, Victoria.

Search Blog Categories
Positive Birth Affirmations Sign-up


Want some FREE HYPNOBIRTHING VIDEOS teaching you tools and techniques (such as breathing for birth)? Enter your details below and let’s get started…

Sneak Peek (Hypnobubs™ Hypnobirthing Online Course Free Course Preview)


Take a sneak peek 'inside' the course

7-day access plus receive a BONUS Pregnancy Relaxation MP3 and video tuition.  Get started with your hypnobirthing practice today!