I didn’t realise I needed a doula until I didn’t have one at the birth of my first child. Although my first birth was ‘successful’ I deeply missed having an advocate and was left feeling bullied, disempowered and like I had been robbed of the beautiful experience I had heard about. Going into my second pregnancy I was determined to have a different experience and booked with the Community Midwifery Program.
From our first meeting, where Vicki wrapped me in a warm hug and made me feel like I had known her my whole life, I felt like I had the backing to totally rock this birth.
I had read many active / natural birthing books previously, but I was really impressed with the content of the Back to Basics Birthing Online Course. It managed to expand on in more detail what I’d learned previously, as well as tying in the Hypnobirthing Australia theory, and left me feeling very prepared, positive and excited.
I also saw Vicki for her magical massages several times (and was secretly disappointed to miss out on having another once my baby was born). We joked that her special massages helped babies “just fly out” and I remain convinced that they do!
Through the pregnancy I was somewhat preoccupied with baby’s position, as my first had been OP and I felt as though this had made my labour slower and more difficult the first time. Although Vicki explained that this is not always the case, she helped me do all that I could to help facilitate optimal positioning – massage, stretching, lots of forward leaning, sitting on the CUB (Comfortable Upright Birth stool) and Spinning Babies techniques.
My labour started gently overnight just after 39 weeks. I had been awake since about 3am, feeling the odd surge, and a restless energy telling me that something was happening. I’d needed to call Vicki in the night couple of weeks earlier when I’d had some very strong, surprising Braxton Hicks – but this felt different and wasn’t subsiding. I felt restless and uncomfortable being in bed and just wanted to potter about the house by myself in the calm quiet, listening to my affirmations, stretching, forward leaning and relaxing.
By about 7am things were starting to warm up, so I woke my husband Mark and we called my sister to come and get our 2-year-old. He went at 7.30am, so I called Vicki and my midwife to let them know that we were in early labour and thought today was going to be ‘the day’.
We then set up the tarp and inflated the pool, got comfortable, relaxed, earphones in, surges still coming but didn’t feel like we were in any great rush.
At about 8.30am I texted Vicki to say we were pretty much set up and were going to chill out and watch a movie. She suggested a comedy to get the oxytocin flowing. I got comfy over the CUB and we got 15 minutes into the movie before I felt like I needed to change my undies, which ended up being my mucous plug and a bit of fluid. No big deal, clean up, back to the movie then 5 minutes in “oh, pause it again, I think my membranes just released…”
The last hour went really, really quickly. We put on the birthing prompts and I paced around the kitchen between surges, trying to keep my breathing slow and deep.
I told Mark that I needed him to call the ladies right now – it felt too soon, but things seemed to be progressing really fast. I went between yelling at my poor husband to “fill the pool! fill the pool! No! Wait – come back and heeeeeelp meeeeee!”.
At this stage, I needed to get down on my hands and knees on the kitchen floor on a towel. I didn’t feel calm any more. I felt like I was starting to panic. Mark got Vicki on speaker phone and she spoke to me while she drove to us. I remember her voice cutting through the haze of fear and agitation, firm and no nonsense – “Melissa, you’ve got this, remember your breathing.” She instructed Mark to put the TENS machine onto my lower back (neither of us had even thought of it!) It was amazing in easing my discomfort.
The urge to push was strong – it was so different to my first birth where I was ‘told’ to push once I reached 10cms, but I never really felt like I needed to. My body and baby really led the way this time. I gave a couple of pretty loud, shouty pushes (sorry neighbours, sorry Vicki’s ears) and then midwives Malita and Jane arrived from the CMP (Community Midwifery Program).
I have never been more happy and relieved to hear footsteps in my whole life. Vicki was there minutes later, and she did some sort of magical pressure, squeezing on my hips and lower back. Her presence gave me strength and I felt safe.
Byron arrived earthside maybe 15 minutes later at 9.50am.
The pool was about 10cms full.
Despite my birth not going exactly to “plan” it was perfect. The whole experience was incredibly healing and empowering, and I could not have done it without Vicki’s kindness, warmth, wisdom, strength and patience.
I recommend doing the Back to Basics Birthing Online Course even if you have already done the Hypnobirthing Australia classes. This online course will reinforce what you learn in hypnobirthing and provide you with so many more tools, techniques, resources and wisdom that you can continue to watch right up until you go into labour to ensure that you are fully prepared, confident and excited about your birth.
Thank you, Vicki, for encouraging me to trust my body and my baby and for helping me to feel safe and calm.
Melissa & Mark
My name is Vicki Hobbs and I am a Childbirth Educator (Back to Basics Birthing), Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner, Certified VBAC Educator, Remedial Massage Therapist specialising in Pregnancy & Postpartum Massage, Birth & Postpartum Doula, Certified Placenta Encapsulator, Hypnotherapist, Aromatherapist, Reiki Practitioner and Life Coach. I am a serial workshopper and learner, so that I keep up to date with new research and information so that I can provide you with up to date resources. My focus has always been on the mind, the body and the emotions and how they all need to be in balance for harmony. You can subscribe to my newsletter by adding your details in the box on the right-hand side and when you do I will send you a free relaxation meditation to help you feel calm and relaxed. I am based in the northern suburbs of Perth and can be contacted by email at [email protected] or phone (08) 9303 9111 or click here to go back to my Blog Page for more great articles and information.