Let me first start by saying how absolutely grateful I am to the lovely couple that first mentioned hypnobirthing to me. I had never heard of it until I met this couple when I was 12weeks pregnant, they said to me- If we can give you one piece of advice, please look into hypnobirthing. I went home that night and googled ‘hypnobirthing’ and how glad I am I did! My husband and I enrolled into one of Melissa’s classes and it was wonderful! I listened to hypnobirthing tracks and affirmations every second night from 18weeks right throughout my pregnancy, my husband read to me every other night from 36 weeks onwards, I had a picture of the ‘perfect position for my baby’ on my wardrobe, affirmations on my bathroom mirror and practiced my ‘J’ breathing each time I went to the loo (as per Melissa)! I couldn’t have been more ready and excited to meet our baby!!..
…Our baby had other ideas and wanted us to wait just that little bit longer! We thought it was a little unfair that we had to wait but we just kept reminding ourselves that only he knew when the right and safest time was to come. Six days past our due date on the 19.01.14 I had my first surge!! Nick had just come home from playing tennis, we were watching some TV while he ate dinner ( I didn’t feel like dinner but didn’t realise that this was our first little tell-tale sign that things were going to start happening). I was sitting on my birth ball as I did most nights when I had my first surge… I remember thinking wow this is quite intense, I will breathe through it, I looked at Nick and he said your face is going red are you ok… I didn’t answer until it was over and then said ‘I don’t want to get too excited but that was the most intense surge I have ever had’… we both had a little giggle and then thought hmmm probably just another ‘braxton hicks’. But then maybe 15mins later another, then 15mins later another and so on. We decided to go to bed to get some rest just in case it was the real thing.. I couldn’t sleep.. they were becoming closer together and more intense and I couldn’t get comfortable lying down… so I got in the shower and must have been in there quite some time while Nick was in bed. He still wasn’t convinced and still hadn’t called work to say he wouldn’t be in the next day.. then I had my ‘show’ and then he was convinced hehehe! I moved into the bath and had my hypnobirthing tracks playing…. I must have been in there for a few hours but was very comfortable and we hadn’t even bothered to time any of the surges.. then at 0300 I said to Nick maybe we should time these…. And so he did and then I hear him say ‘ OMG they are 3mins apart and regular, you just had 4 in ten minutes… we need to call the midwife’. We spoke to the midwife and she agreed they were regular, however she couldn’t believe how quiet I was on the phone and thought I was managing really well, she was happy for us to come to hospital but was also happy if we wanted to stay at home longer, I was very comfortable at home so we decided to stay and we would call again when we thought we needed to come in. We met the midwife at the hospital at 0600 and I went straight into the shower… she sat with me and timed my contractions and suggested they were very regular and lasting atleast 40seconds, I asked her how she thought I was doing and she said ‘ you are very hard to figure out, she said by the contractions you could already be 7cm dilated but you are so calm and quiet that I’m not so sure’. As per our birth preferences our midwives already knew that we didn’t want a VE and they were respectful of this however legally they have to ask within the first 4 hrs of us being there, they didn’t ask until just before that time was up at 1000. When they did ask and spoke to us about doing it we had a long chat and Nick and I decided that since we had been in labour for 14hrs now ( 7hrs of active labour) we would have a VE however I requested that they didn’t tell me how far dilated I was. Our midwife was amazing, she waited until I was ready and as soon as I lay down she quickly did it and as soon as I said I needed to sit up again she stopped and helped me up ( it wasn’t at all painful like so many people had told me). She also respected my wishes and didn’t even hint as to how far dilated I was, unknown to me however she did tell my husband 7-8cm and they were both so excited and thought I was going to have this baby very soon! I got into the birthing pool where I continued listening to hypnobirthing tracks ( tranquil chambers was on repeat, I love it) and my wonderful husband kept reading to me, giving me cold facewashers, putting a straw into mouth to keep me hydrated, held my hand when I wanted it and was just right there with me for the entire labour! He was amazing and we certainly did it together! He was the most amazing birth partner anyone could ever wish for (He said the partners cheat sheet, provided by Melissa was a blessing)! The midwives had asked me at some point if I felt like pushing, but I remember Melissa telling me that I would –just know- and so I said no.. I don’t feel like pushing. So then….. 5 hours had passed, in this time I had been back in the shower, back in the bath, standing and rocking with Nick, even had an hour in bed together with our eyes closed, all the while surges were becoming more intense, approx every 2 mins and lasting 45secs, and I was still silently breathing through them! I guess then that Nick and the midwives were quite surprised when I felt mentally that I had had enough (although Nick was also so emotionally exhausted)! At this point our midwife admitted she thought we would have had our baby by now and would like to do another VE, we again discussed our options and were happy for this to happen. This time though I wanted to know where baby was at ( I was emotionally breaking down)… not the news we wanted… in the past 5 hrs baby had only progressed maybe half a centimetre and had turned posterior! Well now my mind was made up and I couldn’t keep doing this and I wanted an epidural. Our midwife and Nick tried to help me through it… the midwife broke my waters….we got back in the bath…we used clary sage… we tried gas and air…… none the less I just couldn’t get back into the zone that I had been in for 17hrs! So epidural it was…. We had to walk from the birth centre to the birth suite and a few things had to be organised like putting in a cannula, setting up for the epidural etc…. so it was about two hours later by the time they were ready to put in the epidural.. it had just gone in… not even long enough for the pain relief to start working and I said hmmm…. I think I have that feeling in my bottom… I think it’s time to start breathing this baby out! The anaesthetist said hold on… you have been going for a long time now.. you are exhausted… lets have this epidural for an hour so you and your husband can rest and then we will turn it down and you can start pushing, and so that’s what happened! And I am so pleased we got this hour, Nick finally got to have something to eat, I had a sleep and baby got to have a little rest too. Then as planned an hour later the epidural was turned down (I’m convinced it was off completely) and we started to push ( I had practiced my J breathing for so long…. But I just really had to push)…. And push and push and push and after an hour and a half of pushing Nick delivered our beautiful baby boy Orlando, and it was the single best moment of our lives! Melissa had mentioned in one of our classes to think about who you wanted to be the first person to touch your baby when they entered this world and we are so glad his daddy was the person to do this! Orlando entered this world so peacefully, despite him going through such a long labour he never became distressed and when he came out he let out a tiny cry and then just silently took it all in… looking at mummy and daddy and then happily breast fed very soon after. He is 11 weeks old now and such a calm, happy, adaptable baby. He eats and sleeps very well, gives lots of smiles and people are always saying wow your baby is so relaxed…. And I always say so proudly “We hypnobirthed”! I am so excited to hypnobirth again when we have our next baby, and even more determined to do it pain-relief free!
Prue and Nick, Grange, Brisbane
Orlando Andrew; born 20.01.2014, 7lb 14oz, 54cm long