Our first child Finley was born in January this year by caesarean. We completed the hypnobirthing caesarean course when I was about 30 weeks pregnant, which gave us time to prepare for birth and consider what wishes we had for the day. Jess our practitioner came to our home and took us through all the material and meditations. I truly believe the techniques we learnt helped me stay calm, present and positive during the last weeks of my pregnancy, during his birth and the first few weeks at home while I was recovering physically as well as learning to be a parent.The day before Finley’s birth I had a quiet day at home, I wanted to really connect with my baby and reflect on the 9 months that we had been together. I listened to our birth playlist and affirmations, and the butterfly garden meditation. That night my husband Kirby and I went out for dinner together and when we got home we practised our birth rehearsal and massage techniques to help me relax and fall asleep easily.The day of Finley’s birth we were up early so I could squeeze in some more fluids and a light breakfast as we were last on the list for the day at 11am. I had a nice long warm shower whilst listening to our birth playlist and afterwards, we spent some time in the nursery knowing that the next time we came home, we would be bringing our little baby with us.
We arrived at the hospital and were taken up to our room on the ward. We had about 2 hours together as there was an emergency delivery that had delayed the elective list. This gave us more time to set up our room, unpack our bags and become at ease in our new environment. Kirby gave me a gentle massage while we both listened to the butterfly garden meditation and before we knew it the orderly arrived to take us down to theatre.
I popped my earphones in on the way down and played the birth affirmations track and used the glove of endorphins meditation to keep me relaxed while we waited in the busy pre-operative area. The anaesthetics nurse who came to ask me a few questions remarked how relaxed I looked, which gave me more confidence and helped me to stay focused on the beautiful event that was about to take place. I softly massaged my belly and kept myself relaxed through breathing slowly and only focusing on the thought of meeting our child for the first time. If I felt a twinge of anxiety or doubt I returned to my affirmations and touching my belly, and they soon subsided.
I was quite anxious about the spinal and my beautiful obstetrician held my hand while it was administered. At this point I started feeling a little on edge as my catheter was being put in and my legs were becoming numb, so Kirby set up our playlist and started softly massaging my neck and shoulders. As the drape came up we were kept informed of how the delivery was progressing, which was one of our requests, and I felt completely present but also at ease. Our baby boy was in an awkward position so there was quite a bit of pulling and tugging, but this was not too dissimilar to his strong rolls and kicks so I returned to my deep breathing and let myself get lost in the music. Kirby asked if I would mind if he stood up to watch, and he was able to see the majority of the delivery while still staying close to me.
Finley started crying as soon as his head was delivered, our Obstetrician delivered him slowly and was able to delay clamping his cord, as we were both doing well. Finley was born to the instrumental track, sweet child of mine, and they lowered the drapes immediately so he could rest on my chest. I’ll never forget that first cuddle.
After a little while together Finley had a check with his Paediatrician and Kirby trimmed his umbilical cord. After that, he was brought straight back to me to continue skin to skin and we were wrapped up in blankets to keep us warm.
Afterwards, we were taken to recovery where a midwife helped us to breastfeed for the first time. My monitoring leads were able to be removed quite quickly so as not to get in the way of our cuddles. It was such a special moment, the midwife drew the curtains and we were able to spend some time together as a new family.
We left recovery together, but Finley made a quick stop in at the nursery with Kirby as he was a bit cold. My midwife and the orderly helped me into bed, and in no time Finley was back in the room with me. He spent his first-night cuddling skin to skin with us and breastfeeding. My IV was taken out a few hours after birth and by 12pm the next morning my catheter was out and I was having a nice warm shower.
I had always hoped to use hypnobirthing when I became pregnant but I never knew there was a caesarean course option. I found the course when I did some research online regarding childbirth classes for mothers who knew they were going to have a caesarean birth as I wanted to know what was available in addition to our hospital classes.
The course enabled us to approach birth in a more personal and involved way, as I was concerned a caesarean birth might mean a more passive role for us as parents.