We have another AWESOME birth story to share with you from 2nd time hypnobirthing parents Kryssy and Michael!
From a medical perspective, everything in my second pregnancy was running along smoothly, but emotionally, I was uneasy and a little bit anxious (and a lot more exhausted with my sassy 2 year old to keep entertained everyday). Even though I was so incredibly happy to be blessed with another baby, I had so many apprehensions about the new family member about to meet us… well not about him, but more about myself, as a mother – would I be able to cope with two kids? And most of all, how on earth could I love another human with as much love and intensity as I already loved Indiana – my heart is already SO full it could burst.
So, with these anxieties playing on my mind, I delved deep into my hypnobirthing tracks and centered myself as best I could, preparing to meet my new little babe. As well as this, I did my best to prepare my body for birth, doing lots of walking, sitting on the fitball to open my pelvis, crawling around on all fours and even some gentle massage to really ‘let go’. My biggest hope was to avoid being induced like I was in my last birth, and surely my body knew what to do this time, right?
Days came and went, and all hopes of an ‘early’ arrival (as my obstetrician expected) were soon diminished. I had discussed with my Dr that I had wanted to avoid being induced as I had been last time – and as she had seen me and was astonished that I birthed a 9lb 4oz baby naturally with no intervention last time, she was happy to let me go past my ‘due date’, providing it was medically safe.
My due date came and went, and I still tried to keep my ‘zen’ and tell myself that this baby would come when he was ready… but also talking to him, and telling him mummy was ready to meet him. I may have even stood in front of the Flower Moon and rubbed my tummy in a clockwise direction trying to coax him out. (it didn’t work).
By 41 weeks, I was absolutely wrecked, I was not sleeping, I couldn’t walk much due to severe pelvic discomfort and I was very emotional. I was also worried about going to hospital and leaving Indi – it was going to be the first time I’d spent a night away from her. So, at my 41-week appointment, the doctor did a scan and told me that the fluid around the baby was getting quite low and that she advised it was best to induce to make sure everything was ok. Even though I wasn’t thrilled about it, because I was so hoping to go into spontaneous labour and experience a ‘normal’ labour, but it was just a hurdle and I’d done it before. I’ve got this!!!
So, we spent the rest of the day getting ourselves ready to go to the hospital that night and I prepared myself to leave my little babe at home without me! I was actually more worried about leaving her than giving birth haha!
When we got to the hospital about 9pm, I was told that they were going to keep me in birth suite and insert the gels at 1am in the morning as they expected the labour to be very quick and didn’t want me to labour through the night but try and get some rest. Sounded good to me!
Lets just say, the walls are very thin in the labour ward. There was a few other mummy’s who were in labour during the night and were not familiar with hypnobirthing breathing, in fact, they were quite vocal. Michael, who’d obviously only seen me birthing before, said to me “why is she screaming like that? She needs to breathe” – proud hypnobirthing moment!! But it was safe to say; I did not have a restful night! The gels were inserted during the night and the next day at around 8:30am my waters were broken and I had my drip attached.
There were lots of positive things this time around, as I knew what to expect and what to ask for. I was so excited when I told them to put the cannula for the drip on my hand and not my elbow so that I could actually MOVE my arm this time. (The things you learn!!)
So, the drip started and so did my surges. The initial phase was pretty slow, like Braxton hicks. I had my playlist going, the lights down and I was on the fitball, gently using it during my surges. Outside of my surges, I was happily talking to Michael, eating & drinking. I was coping really well.
The midwife I had was so lovely, she was so respectful of our calm environment and never interrupted me during a surge, she just came in and did her checks, made sure I was ok and left. She never once asked me if I wanted pain relief or drugs, just made sure I was ok.
By about 12:30, things were starting to get more intense, the surges were a lot stronger and I was fatiguing. My doctor came in and checked my progress and a small monitor had to be put onto the babies head as the one on my belly was constantly falling off and they weren’t getting an accurate reading of his heart. But she told me I was about 5cm dialated. Yes!! Halfway! She said to me she would see me really soon and then left! I was tired after no sleep the night before but I could do this! I kept going with my breathing through my surges, using the fitball to help open my pelvis and walking around to encourage gravity to do its thing.
At about 2:30pm, I was really starting to get worn out. My surges were really close together and I had incredible back pain, finding a comfortable position was almost impossible. My midwife suggested I try resting against the head of the bed backwards. It was excellent – I wished I’d done a bit earlier. I could use the bed to lean against during surges and I could rest against the pillow in between them.
Around 3pm, I was really exhausted. I was getting emotional, I was missing Indi so much, I was tired and I felt frustrated because I wished my body could have gone into labour on its own so I didn’t have to this – it was a real mental battle for me. My midwife was so lovely, she came to tell me her shift had ended but she told me I was doing so well, she couldn’t believe how well I was handling it with no pain relief and to keep up the good work. By this stage, I was crying, because I didn’t want her to leave and because I had just about had enough and wanted to call it quits. She was so lovely; she wiped my tears and told me to keep going, that it wasn’t going to be much longer. During my surges, I just used lots of visualisations to help me get through. I was talking to the baby and imagining him moving down the birth path. I said to Michael, I imagined him to have lots of really dark black hair. I used to that to help me focus and get through each surge.
Shortly after, the next midwife came in and I told her I was starting to feel really sick, like I was going to throw up. She told Michael that it was ‘the end’ and that is often how people feel right before they have the baby! This gave me hope; if I was close to the end then surely I could keep going! But I was SO tired. I told Michael that I couldn’t do it anymore, I wanted to stop. To this, he responded, “you’re in transition, you know you can do this, you’ll be fine”. No sugar coating there!
When I came out of a surge (there wasn’t more than a few seconds between each one), he told me that they had started to get everything ready for the baby to arrive, and I looked around and they were prepping the room for the birth! HOORAY! So I asked him how much longer it would be and he said “20 more surges” I nearly killed the poor guy! So, he retracted and said “5 more surges, maybe 15”. I decided he actually had no idea!
By this time, I was really starting to feel pressure in my bottom, so I knew it wasn’t too far from the end. I told the midwife I was feeling pressure and she did a check to see my progress, only to tell me I was STILL only 5cm. If I was in any state, I probably would have chucked a tantrum. How was that even possible? I couldn’t believe it; I was so dishearted and emotional. How could it have been almost 4 hours and NOTHING had happened? I couldn’t go on anymore, my body was too tired, and I couldn’t deal with this intense pressure much longer. The midwife tried to cheer me up saying that it didn’t mean anything, it could still happen really quickly, not to lose hope.
I was just so upset but I was feeling so much pressure, similar to my last birth. (You can read the birth story of Indiana Rose here)
So she helped me go to the toilet, while I was there I had a surge and just rested there for a moment. I was so sad, and it felt good to just sit there in that position. So I asked her if I could stay there, and she said “no, not really” but I managed to convince her to let me stay for a little while longer. She said to Michael “you wait with her for a minute, I’ve got to grab something and I’ll be back”. While she was gone, I was still feeling this intense pressure in my bottom, I was just concentrating and focusing on my breathing and bearing down thinking “if I just need to go to the toilet, at least I’ll do it in the toilet and get it out of the way” haha
While I was there, Michael was saying to me “that heart monitor cord thing keeps going in and out, do you think its coming out?” and I just ignored him, because I was breathing through my surges. When the midwife came back in a few minutes later, Michael told her about the cord and she asked me if she could just quickly check it. The next thing I know, she’s telling me that the baby’s head is RIGHT there and that I need to move back to the bed straight away. She had her hand between my legs holding his head in while I waddled slowly back to the bed saying “I KNEW it!, I knew I was close!”. She called out to the other midwife saying “get the doctor, this babies head is right there, its coming now”. Within seconds, my obstetrician was in the room followed by several other midwives.
All of a sudden, I felt a little rush of adrenaline even though my body was SO exhausted. I grabbed both my legs up at my knees and pulled them towards me. My doctor was saying “just one little push” but actually I was just doing long deep breaths. The doctor said, “and another little push”, and all of a sudden I was so calm and relaxed… I just knew what to do – I knew my body could do this and what it was capable of. She said “one more little push”, and with that, less than 30 minutes after I was told I hadn’t progressed from 5cm, my little man was born and put straight onto my chest.
They gave him a little oxygen for a few seconds as he was in a little bit of shock from coming out so hard and fast but almost instantly, we locked eyes and it was the most incredible connection, it was like we knew each other for a million years, he just looked right into my eyes (and he came out looking EXACTLY how I visualized him, it was crazy!) I just lay there with him on my chest, talking to him and crying, listening to my birthing music, we were in our own little world. I was just so overwhelmed and my heart was just INSTANTLY a million times fuller than I ever thought it could be. All my anxieties disappeared, and I had my beautiful little man in my arms and it was like I’d known him my whole life.
Little Noah Michael, weighing a healthy 3.6kg – surprisingly less than his older sister.
But just like his sister, he is the most calm and relaxed little baby, so happy and chilled out. He made my heart so much fuller and is SO incredibly loved by us all. Now, at 6 months old, he is probably the happiest baby I’ve ever met – and also the hungriest. He weighs 10kgs and is completely delicious, he stole my heart and filled it with so much joy.
Even though the birthing experience was an emotionally and mentally challenging one for me, he was absolutely worth every second of it and more, I would do it for him all again in a second. I waited so long to meet him and now I couldn’t imagine my life without him. I’m so proud of myself and my body, I’ve grown and birthed and fed two beautiful babies, I am truly, truly blessed.