We did the hypnobirthing course in January with Tina when I was 23 weeks pregnant so I had a good three and a half months to prepare and at the same time I was seeing a private OB at Westmead Private that most of my friends had used.
I started putting what I learnt in the course into practice at my 38-week appointment when my OB tried to book in my induction date for 40 + 5 weeks. I felt confident telling her I didn’t want to be induced unless medically necessary, declined putting in a date and said I was happy to go to 42 weeks. She wasn’t too happy, responding with the risks to the baby and said I would have to come in every day for monitoring which I said I didn’t mind. Thankfully, after that conversation she never brought up the topic again with me. I also brought along my birth plan and asked if we should go through it, she told me to just go through it with my midwife when I get to the hospital.
At my 39 week appointment, my OB told she was going to do an internal – I told her I didn’t want a stretch and sweep although was happy to know if I was dilating at all (I was curious) she did try to tell me they were the same thing, although after I was very adamant no stretch and sweep she just went ahead to check if I was dilating at all, I used the opportunity to practice my surge breathing. At that stage she told me I was 2cm and everything seemed to be moving along.
My EDD was Wednesday 13th May and on the Friday night at about 9pm, I started feeling surges (very irregular and short) and I got so excited – I straight away started using my TENS machine, listening to the tracks, bouncing on my birth ball and had a bath – they were not intense at all I, I think I was just so excited to put everything into practice. I told Ante to go to sleep, thinking it would be happening soon. At about 1am I went to lie on the couch and fell asleep to music so then just went to bed and slept till 10 the next morning!
I then started googling and was reading all about pre-labour and how it could go for a week so was a bit impatient after that. That Saturday, I was spending a lot of time pressing my pressure points and from about 11am I started to feel surges again still very irregular– so I did the important things, washed and curled my hair (ha!), packed some more things in my bag. They went all day, still not that intense and irregular! My sister came over and I was just with her and Ante all day watching movies and I would just need to stop and breathe when I felt a surge.
I was getting impatient again and had a bit of a cry at about 9.30pm that the baby didn’t ever want to come out and then went to bed to try and get some sleep. As soon as I went to lie down, the surges got a bit more intense and were about 5 minutes apart lasting at least a minute and I couldn’t get comfortable. After a few minutes I felt sick and started vomiting. I jumped back in the shower (careful not to ruin my curled hair) and found the warm water helped, Ante then said lets go to the hospital – so he packed all the last minute things. We live 30 minutes from the hospital so I had my TENS machine on my back my wheat pack on my stomach, an eye mask on and airpods in listening to my tracks. I was having surges quite regularly and was just breathing through them, the car trop felt pretty quick.
We got to the hospital at about 11.30pm, they took us to our room and my OB was there because she had just delivered a baby, they did all the checks when we got there - I was curious to know how far I was, she told me I was 4cm (1cm more than the Friday after all that). She left and Ante took our midwife through our preferences and then they left us to it. The lights were dim when we got there so we kept them off and Ante put my fairy lights in the bathroom and I jumped in the bath and felt very calm listening to my tracks with my airpods. The midwife gave me a pillow and I was leaning over the edge listening to the tracks falling in and out of sleep while Ante poured water on me and did light touch, when I had a surge I would breathe through and then drift back off. So similar to all of the videos we watched in the course!
My midwife would just come in and check me using the doppler, I didn’t even realise half the time, after about 2-3 hours, she did ask if I would mind if she checked how I was going. Ante told me I should get out of the bath anyway because the water was freezing so he could refill it. I got out and she checked me, she wouldn’t tell me how far along I was because it was in my preferences, I really did want to know but just asked her if what I was doing was working or if I should do something different and she told me to just keep doing what I was doing (I didn’t know but I was 8cm at that stage). I went back into the bath although the surges were getting more intense and I couldn’t get comfortable the same way I was before as I was feeling the pressure in my back and stomach. The surges were intense although spaced apart so I had a lot of time to breathe in between, in my head as labour went on it would be these surges one after the other with no break and at that point I looked at Ante and said I don’t think I’m going to be able to do this – my moment of weakness! He kept me on track, told me I was already doing it and I just focused on my breathing. I then had another surge and felt like I pushed (I had watched a lot of one born every minute and always remember them saying if you push too early your cervix will swell) so I freaked out and got out of the bath super fast. As I went to get up one of my airpods fell in the bath haha Ante scooped it up so quickly (I finally tried it 2 months later and it worked!)
When I got out of the bath I put the TENS back on and was leaning forward onto the bed, as I got a surge Ante was applying pressure on my back at the same time which helped, I was just breathing and keeping my tongue to the roof of my mouth! My midwife came in shortly after I left the bath and asked if I wanted to be checked again, I said yes and she quickly checked me and told me I was going through transition and that the best position was to sit on the toilet.
This was the most intense part for me by far as I could feel the pressure going down – completely different feeling to the surges. I was holding the metal handrail with one arm and Ante with the other and lost track of what was happening with the TENS, I was just focusing on breathing and kept focusing on I can do anything for a minute. It was intense although to me felt like it was only a few minutes and then I felt the urge to push.
I got on the bed and my midwife said to just do what my body told me to. I was on my knees leaning forward on the headrest of the bed and just focusing on the J breath. My midwife told me she wouldn’t call my OB yet as it takes time with the first, after my first two pushes she told me she was just going to run out and call her. After the next push my water broke, which felt like such a release, the head then started crowning soon after, and I think it was another two or three pushes and the midwife was trying to tell me to slow my breath and to stop pushing – My body was just pushing instinctively though and I said I can’t stop so she said just go with it and then to me it felt like my baby just slid out! 5.13am on the 17th May my (surprise) daughter, Leona was born :)
The Midwife passed her through my legs to me; we did delayed chord clamping and had skin to skin for well over an hour before we did any checks. The pushing went for less than 30 minutes all up so my OB didn’t make it, which I think was a blessing – she walked in just as she had come out :)
I honestly had such a great birth experience and am so excited to do it all over again!