Melissa & Adam’s Birth Story
We attended the positive birth program at Bunbury hospital a couple of months back. We did the entire program over one weekend. I got so much out of it, and I wanted to thank you. I went in maybe even a bit skeptical, but I’m very happy to say that any preconceptions or reservations I had were quickly proved very wrong. I left feeling very enthusiastic and prepared to meet this challenge head-on.
The program also helped Melissa stay calm and have a positive experience, both in the lead up to, and during, her induction.
I also found it extremely helpful, personally. I tend to get anxious and can panic in unfamiliar and new situations, but I am immensely proud to say that I helped support Melissa through the birth of our son, and that I did so while being calm, prepared, and ready.
Thank you for facilitating this program. I’ve written our birth story as follows from here.
Melissa had to have her induction at 38 weeks due to gestational diabetes. She was originally hopeful for a water birth, but this was ruled out due to the monitoring requirements of an induction.
Unfortunately due to scheduling requirements, the induction was delayed by a day, which felt like forever and we were very eager to meet our baby. On the 21st of April, Melissa had the balloon catheterisation and the artificial release of membrane on the following day. The catheter was not comfortable, and after about an hour Melissa started experiencing intense cramping sensations. We were advised that these would happen, and that they would reduce shortly after, and they did.
The following morning, I arrived to the hospital. We met one of our midwives from the MGP, and ran through our birth preferences with her. I set up the room, with our LED candles, the diffuser, Mel’s affirmation poster, our playlist, and I also prepared all the snacks and refreshments that we had already packed for the big event.
We requested to wait for half an hour after the AROM for onset of labour, but this did not occur, so Mel proceeded to have the syntocinon drip at 8:00AM, which definitely got things moving. Very soon she was experiencing regular surges, and she started happily labouring away on the fitball.
Unfortunately, a small spanner in the works presented – our baby’s heart rate was falling substantially for short periods, fairly regularly, which was quite distressing. To keep Mel calm, the midwives kindly turned down the volume on the sound that the monitor played. We then established that the drops in heat rate only occurred when Mel was in comfortable positions on the fitball, so she had to labour in positions for several hours that made the surges feel more intense. Melissa was also distressed as at the second examination, the doctor reported to us that she was still at 3.5cm, just like she had been hours before when they did the AROM. We tried to go through the scripts but this was not easy when Mel was lying in the uncomfortable positions. Instead, we had more success keeping calm by repeating mantras like ‘Each surge brings my baby closer to my loving arms’, and reminding Melissa that she could take each surge one at a time. She later said that visualising the baby moving down with each surge, and gently helping her dilate with each surge, was extremely helpful.
At about midday, Melissa was finding the surges very intense and decided that the best thing to use to cope with the surges was the shower. She could labour away in much more comfort, holding on to the rails in there to support herself, while being soothed by the hot water. I forgot to bring a raincoat or a change of clothes so I had to shower her while shielding myself with the shower curtain. Mel’s surges got more and more intense, and she started making more noise, bravely and loudly moaning through many surges over a couple of hours in the shower. I am very glad that I didn’t have to pay for the water bill.
After a couple of hours, Melissa returned to the bed, and we kept going through mantras and calming techniques. Our midwife noted she was 8.5cm dilated, which strongly encouraged Mel to keep going. The feelings became even more intense, and Melissa nearly panicked, crying out due to the intensity – but our midwife helped her to remember to breathe that surge down towards our baby. Shortly after, Mel started feeling the occasional urge to push – Our doctor did say that we could start pushing in about an hour’s time, but as the urge became more intense and frequent, our midwife realised that this was happening much sooner than that. She managed to stand with me holding her, to help things along with gravity – and a very short time later, Mel started to feel the need to bear down, and she just kept breathing, and vocalising, until the baby was nearly there. She had a huge smile on her face when we could see the top of our baby’s head. A few short minutes later, Oscar was born at 8lb, 4oz. Melissa had delivered him in 8 hours.
She had this to add;
‘Having Adam calmly help me through labour was instrumental in my positive birth experience. He was a brilliant between the doctors and myself. Adam held me and rocked with me a lot, and having my face resting against his shoulders meant that one of my strongest memories of labour is the smell of Adam’s perfume. I’m so glad that’s a memory I get to take with me. Being able to watch his face as our baby was born and seeing him cry with the rush of emotion is one of the most special moments of my life. I’m so grateful that hypnobirthing helped Adam feel confident and comfortable during the birth of our son.’