My pregnancy with Humphrey was extraordinarily stressful, having my grandfather pass away when I was 17 weeks pregnant, moving house while renovating, my father being diagnosed with stage 4 lymphoma at Christmas time and the family disputes around how he should approach treatment. We spent most of the pregnancy devoted to caring for my dad, which took its toll, especially on little Willow. While my partner worried about our house move and renovations.
In the back of my mind I was worried about the medical system and having my baby with a new medical team, especially as I felt my obstetrician did not trust me or my decisions on wanting as natural birth as possible (despite my birth with Willow having gone really well with no complications)
During the day before I went into labour, my dads health had made a turn for the worst, we had spent the day saying our goodbyes to him (it was the most traumatic experience of my life) I was 41 weeks on the dot.
We returned home from the hospital(John Flynn) as I had a really painful migraine and thought I was going to be ill at 10:30pm. After an hour spent on the couch with a blanket over my head, my waters broke. I let Steve know, and he asked if it would be ok if he got a few hours sleep as we were expecting a 7-10 hr labour (my labour with Willow was 22hrs) I told him that was fine, and I would yell out when I needed him. I jumped into bed (it was 11:30) and tried to get some shut eye as the period pain like surges began. Each surge seemed to be more intense and closer then the last, so I decided to get out of bed and prep the bathroom for my labour.
Between surges I ran a bath and set up the exercise ball and yoga mat, had my Hypnobirthing tracks playing, lavender and clary sage oils everywhere. (I constantly needed to go to the toilet… something that didn’t happen with my first birth)
By the time I felt it was time to get Steve (around 2 am) I found my surges were so close together that I couldn’t make it down the stairs to get him… I hadn’t even realised I’d progressed so far as I was in such a relaxed “zone”. Allowing my body to completely relax into each surge, using imagry of bub moving down with each surge a breath. I called quite loudly for Steve to come as I thought we would need to leave soon to the hospital. When he came into the bathroom he was quiet and calm, he didn’t speak and waited for my instruction. After 3 surges using the exercise ball, I got back into the bath as things were quickly intensifying.
Once I was in the bath, I had another surge, at the end of the surge my whole body moved and contracted… I was pushing!
I thought that it was too soon for my body to be ready to push, and sent Steve out thinking I needed to go to the toilet again. I only just made it to the toilet when the next surge began, and I was pushing again! I told Steve to call the ambulance, and he came in with them on the phone as I finished the next surge, Humphrey was crowning at this point.
The ambulance advised Steve to get me off the toilet and support Humphreys head (so he didn’t fall to the ground) and after one more surge his head was out. There was a 4 minute wait till the next surge came (the ambulance was counting) and at 3:13am the last “push” and his shoulders were free and he was out! Steve passed him back between my legs and I held him tightly to my chest and laid down on the ground.
The ambulance turned up 10 mins later, they were very calm and relaxed. They checked that Humphrey was alert, he was already feeding (I knew his sugars could drop quite quickly… as I am a type 1 diabetic) they checked his sugars 20 mins later. And let me physiologically birth the placenta which took 45 mins and a little help from Steve.
We kept the placenta attached to Humphrey until it had completely drained (15 mins I think) and Steve got to cut the umbilical cord. It was a truley incredible experience. Willow was able to meet her new brother before we left for the hospital.
Once we were checked over at the hospital and we were both fine, we were able to take Humphrey to meet his grandad. My father passed away at 7:15pm on the same day.
It’s been a pretty emotional time for us. A lot of things to process, it was a very eventful day.
I honestly can’t thank you enough, Melissa, it has been the greatest gift to be able to give my son a relaxed and wildly beautiful entry into the world, with only the light of a salt lamp and the sweet sound of meditation tracks, in a time where everything was so turbulent and traumatic.
It’s only been recently that we have started to come to terms the the events of that day. Humphrey has grieved with us, and at the same time we have been so extatic to have such a beautiful and healthy addition to our family.
He is so happy (though it hasn’t been that way the whole 7 weeks, we are currently looking at Aware Parenting and learning all about the need for stress relief in both adults and infants) but we are all healing and Humphrey is just magic. I’ve attached another image of him that you are free to share.
The Hypnobirthing Australia™ program is a unique and comprehensive antenatal education program catering to Australian needs, that builds knowledge and uses techniques such as relaxation, self-hypnosis, breathing & movement for a safer, easier and gentle birth.