Updated: Aug 29, 2020
I sit here with my new baby, Cooper Rain, reflecting on his birth, and feeling joy and gratitude. Gratitude to Amy, Hypnobirthing, my support crew, my partner, my baby and of course myself and my body for a safe and beautiful birth.
My pregnancy was mostly smooth. We had a low lying placenta that strangely moved at 36 weeks after some positive thoughts and chatting to baby, and I was luckily able to deliver the way I desired.
Amy from Full Circle is my long-term yoga teacher and it was a no brainer that we would choose to work with her for our birth. Amy is passionate, knowledgeable and has hypnobirthed her own beautiful children. Amy had also had a less than desirable first birth experience like myself and we understood the importance of giving yourself and your child the opportunity to feel empowered in birth.
In the course sessions we practiced several amazing techniques and discussed preferences and how to communicate these preferences to our support team. This information was so valuable as KNOWLEDGE IS POWER. Some key takeaways that helped me maintain a positive mental state were :
Pregnancy is not an illness that needs to be treated. It is natural and can be beautiful and empowering
With hypnosis and practicing the techniques I understood that I would calmly make decisions should anything arise that was not in my plan.
After the course with Amy I worked hard to read and re-read the course materials, hung up images and affirmations and listened to the self hypnosis tracks at least once a day during naps or before bed. I played the fear release and affirmations for birthing on repeat as these were my favourite tracks.
I had practice surges for around a week leading up to the day before Coopers' birth. I felt different, my baby had dropped and I felt pressure down below. I knew birth wasn't far away. I was excited, not fearful. At 10.30 pm my waters broke in bed. My partner was at work, my toddler was in bed. I calmly called my partner, followed by mum to take care of my sweet daughter. I called my primary midwife who had just finished delivering another baby. She advised that I needed to get checked and told me they might try to induce me as this is standard procedure for the hospital for women who have had membranes released.
My mum and partner arrived home at the same time. We ventured to the hospital where they checked my membranes had released, and offered me an oxytocin drip. I declined and we were sent home.
Labour stalled and we went to sleep for 4 hours. I woke up at 4am and decided to move to try and get things going. Surges started again. At 6am I had a slight bleed. The hospital had advised I should return if any bleeding occurred. I was reviewed quickly and advised that they'd like to monitor me to air on the side of caution. I also was told that if active labour hadn’t started by 8am they were looking to induce me. I ran the stairs and rested during surges. I replenished my body by eating a protein filled breakfast and had a lovely coffee.
8am came around and my beautiful experienced midwife reviewed my progress. I was dilating but my forewaters were still in tact. The midwife assisted me to progress. I soon started to have lovely powerful surges. I was excited as I knew we would see our little baby soon. I alternated between the shower and exercise ball. I swayed with my partner and breathed through my surges. We moved the bed up high as I was feeling best standing up using the power of gravity. When I had a surge I remembered my relaxation techniques.
My support team had been advised that Oxytocin and antibiotics were about to be administered. This was not my preference and my amazing midwife fought as she knew that I was not far away from delivering. We compromised with monitoring of baby.
My partner used massage and pressure point activation as pain relief. We were offered gas but I declined as the breathing techniques for gas are opposite of the ones I was using to birth and hence interfering with my focus. Other options for pain relief were offered but I declined as I didn’t feel I needed them.
I recalled Amy teaching us signs that delivery is very close. I began to feel pressure in my tailbone and decided on my own terms to bear down. I plugged in my ear buds and listened to the affirmations track on repeat. "What a beautiful day, the day I meet my baby."
Cooper was born at 1.38pm into the hands of his father and announced his arrival with a beautiful loud cry. My heart sang as he moved and wiggled across my chest and got onto my breast with a beautiful latch. I smiled and glowed.
I had only one "graze" a first degree tear. I was stitched up and advised from the OBGYN whilst stitching that he has NEVER seen such control and focus.
Looking back on this experience, I feel completely positive and empowered. I want to acknowledge Amy, my partner, my mother, my baby and my support team for the support and for stepping in where it was required.
There were several notable differences this time around. We were more informed, both more calm and Leisha was in control.
We were very lucky we were in a group midwife practice so we knew our midwives and had a rapport with them. We also informed them of birth preferences prior to delivery.
The calm and control demonstrated by Leisha can be attributed to us having a plan for birth, knowing our preferences and desired outcomes would be honoured and we were informed of birth options. The support team were amazing, they worked with us and fought for us when needed.
Our hypnobirthing experience was calm, I wasn't stressed at all and neither was Leisha. The outcome for both mother and baby was positive and calm, and I was so happy to see my partner relaxed and focused. Thanks to hypnobirthing and our support team my partner Leisha gave birth like a boss.