I really cant praise the Hypnobirthing course more. I know that it allowed us to have the birth that we hoped for to bring our little boy into the world. Even though it wasnt always easy, it went very smoothly and we were very calm and happy throughout the whole thing. Victor was so aware when he was born and was breastfeeding well within minutes. He has been a calm and content baby and im sure that the pregnancy and birth contributed to this.
The labour at 38 weeks and 5 days went like this…
I woke about 430 am with some mild pain that I thought was constipation. About 30 mins later I had some bleeding which made me realise that labour had started! Was great timing as I had only packed my hospital bag the day before! I think now that I actually laboured through my sleep as in the afternoon I felt very mild backache for a few mins and then a feeling that something was going to happen. I told myself I was being silly and that its a first baby, it will definitely not happen til 40 weeks. But that feeling ended up being right!
Straight away after the bleeding my surges were coming every 5 mins. I tried to relax on the bed to listen to the cd but found lying down very uncomfortable so just sat and did my breathing and relaxation on the couch. By 7am the surges were getting quite strong and closer together. I wouldnt say that the surges were pain free but were very easy to handle, they reminded me of strong period pains. At this stage I was worried as even though I knew hypnobirths could be very quick I had expected it to be at least a few hours til my surges were at the 5 min stage. I called the midwife and we decided to go in to the hospital, arriving there around 8-830. By the time I was there the surges were coming every few mins apart.
The next few hours really seems like such a blur now. I remember finding the position that worked for me best, which was sitting on a chair between the surges just resting with my eyes closed and breathing, to going down on all fours on a mat during the surges. My partner knelt with me and I held onto him while concentrating on my breathing. He had planned on reading the affirmations from a piece of paper, but that was difficult as he was holding onto me. But I knew during the pregnancy that he had not done a lot of preparation and so I had always prepared myself mentally to cope without his verbal cues, and I think this allowed me to do this on the day successfully. I found that all I needed was his touch and just holding onto him helped me a great deal, the rest was all up to me! Even with a woman in the next room who screamed every surge for hours, I never lost my focus and never felt any fear.
The rest of the labour was very much spent inside my head with little communication with others. The midwives barely even spoke to me, at the time I wondered why but my husband said it was because I was so calm that they just hung back and let me do it all by myself. The surges were very intense the last hour or so and I found myself automatically thinking about the baby moving down the birth path. As I had not had any internal examinations I had no idea how dilated I was or if this was the right thing to do at this time, but I found I couldnt help it! Each surge I breathed and focused on him moving into place. I vomited quite a lot of times between the surges as the birth got closer, but always remained calm and focused. I never once thought about having any pain medication, I think the worst that I thought at any time was Oh god I dont know if I can do this all day long. And the main reason I thought that was because I really had no idea how long until the baby was going to come, I didnt realise that I was already in the very advanced stages of labour!
I had always had the option of a water birth and about 11am I asked the midwife to fill the bath to see if I would like it or not. Lucky that I did ask then as 15 mins after I got in the bath Victor arrived! It was only a few surges where I felt an intense burning feeling and the urge to push. I wasnt sure what I should be doing and asked the midwife who told me to just do what felt right. I knew my waters hadnt broken yet and with one very strong surge I couldnt help but push and felt the waters breaking. I realised as soon as it had happened that not only had the waters broken but Victor had also arrived! A very small 6 lb 2! It was a shock to the midwives and my husband who quickly scooped him out of the water. He looked straight up at my face, completely aware. The second he was on my chest he started to feed and with a very strong suck already!
Unfortunately I did tear a little and need stitches, but I think if I had of held off on pushing and just tried to breathe him down that may not have happened. This is where more preparation from my husband would have helped a lot! After the birth I remember saying to my husband that I felt I had failed a little with my hypnobirth, that I didnt think I looked like the other mums on the videos I had seen. But I realised that the hard work was all in my mind after he told me that even though I was more active during the labour, I was just as calm, focused and in control as the others and that I should be very proud of myself.
Looking back I know for sure that Hypnobirthing was the reason that our birth was so smooth without any complications or distress and with no need for any pain medication. All the midwives came to congratulate me on such a great birth, so I know that we were successfull! And with such a great birth I was not too tired which helped me cope very well in those first few days. I also never had any baby blues at all! I have only good memories of birth and feel very lucky to have found Melissa and Hypnobirthing. And Victor has had the best start in life that he possibly could which is the most important part!
Sharon and Brett, Bray Park, (near Byron Bay / Murwillumbah) Northern NSW