This birth story is the perfect example of how hypnobirthing classes encourage mums to trust their body and their innate wisdom. I am so proud of Sharna and Scott and how they used all their hypnobirthing knowledge and techniques to create that perfect birthing environment and drew on the experience and midwifery skills of their home birth midwife. Sharna shares her birth story with so much pride and this is a great way to help other women feel strong and confident about their choices.
I always knew I wanted to have a home birth. I trusted so much in the process and the woman’s body to not only grow a baby but to then birth as nature had designed. I also understand how important the mind is, being mentally prepared and how being equipped with strategies is necessary to manage labour and birth. Attending hypnobirthing classes was therefore high on our priority list to do whilst pregnant.
This was our first pregnancy and I was keen to start practising hypnobirthing as soon as possible. We booked in for the two day course with Vicki Hobbs from Back to Basics Birthing and we loved the classes!
I walked out feeling excited for our labour and birth experience. I found a lot of value in learning breathing techniques, visualisation, positive affirmations, positive language, light touch massage, using the rebozo and acupressure points.
So basically, Hypnobirthing Australia taught us everything.
During my pregnancy, I listened to the hypnobirthing tracks and in particular I liked to listen to the positive affirmations frequently. After our first class, I went home and made my birth vision board, with my calm colour being green which reminded me of nature. I set up our birth space in our bathroom quite early in the pregnancy and I enjoyed looking at our space and visualising labouring and birthing there often. I had my vision board positioned, candles spread everywhere and more greenery to make me feel calm. I had positive birth affirmations not only that I had chosen but also my close friends and family had all sent me, which I pinned up around my birth space. It really was a beautiful and positive space that made me excited.
As we arrived at our ‘guess date’, we really ramped up doing all the natural things to get my body and baby in the optimal state for labour. I took raspberry leaf tea and evening primrose. I walked, attended chiro, acupuncture, rebozo, visualisation, relaxation, nipple stimulation, bouncing on a ball, using clary sage, pressure points, eating dates, honestly, we did it all.
We chose a private midwife Peta Bissett from Hand in Hand Midwives as our care provider who shared our natural philosophy to birth and therefore, we were well supported when we went days and then weeks ‘overdue’. However, the external pressures and comments of ‘when will you be induced?’ and ‘is this safe for you baby to go so overdue’ became very mentally challenging.
I had experienced such a low risk and uncomplicated pregnancy that it didn’t make sense in my mind that my body would now just not know what to do or how to go into labour. I truly, truly trusted that my baby was safe. I was in tune with my body and my baby’s movements, I trusted my body and the process, and my intuition told me that all was well, and my body would go into labour at the perfect time when our baby was ready. So, we just kept taking each day as it came.
At 42+2 my membranes released spontaneously! We went for a walk; I bounced on the birth ball and I did some expressing to get the oxytocin flowing. We went to bed at 9pm to try and get some sleep. At 1am the next morning I couldn’t lie down anymore and instead kneeled, leaning over the bed as I experienced the start of surges. In the morning we got up and I became more active. I used the TENS machine and stood leaning over benches through surges. We used lots of positive language, if I had an intense surge, rather than asking if it was a painful one, my husband would say ‘was that a good one?’ because we knew the stronger and more intense, the better and the closer we would be to our baby. Intense was a good thing.
Our midwife came over around midday to see how we were going. By this stage we were labouring in our bedroom, with blinds closed. It was nice and dark despite being the middle of the day. We had a mixture of hypnobirthing tracks and music I had chosen playing. I also had my mum there who would every so often spray the beautiful essential oil spray we received from Vicki during the hypnobirthing classes. I loved the smell and it made me feel calm.
At about 2pm we decided to have a vaginal examination to see whether it was a good time to get in the bath. It was one of my wishes that I did not want to know the findings of an examination as I didn’t want my headspace to be affected or be disappointed with the dilation numbers. So, I was never told what my cervix was doing but was just told that I was doing well. It wasn’t time to get in the bath yet so there was a part of me that knew I still had some more dilating to do. This is when I really started using visualisation. I visualised my thin stretchy cervix opening and my baby’s head coming down with every surge.
As surges intensified, I really depended on my support team, my husband and mum. With every surge someone would do the double hip squeeze, which I really relied on and needed! I really didn’t enjoy lying down or sitting, including on the toilet, therefore I spent majority of my labour standing, leaning or kneeling.
As the day continued, I was so tired, so I rested by closing my eyes and even fell asleep between some surges. After a rest we decided it was really time to get things going, I wanted to meet this baby so desperately! I became a woman on a mission and started doing the stairs up and down, up and down. My surges started to come closer and closer until I then started to feel my body involuntarily bearing down. By 7pm it was time to get in the bath. This was bliss! I loved being in the warm water. I continued to bear down with every surge and believe I became quite primal.
Surges spaced out during second stage and I was able to really rest and relax in between. Although it was intense, I really enjoyed this stage. I was so excited that I would meet my baby so soon. The natural and overwhelming urge to bear down was an incredible feeling. After bearing down for what felt like a long time, I even said to my midwife “I feel like I’m not moving this baby anymore”.
Obviously, something within me knew I needed to change positions and I moved from being on all fours to sitting. As baby was crowning it was amazing touching baby’s head and being able to see how much I had moved her down. My surges then slowed right down so my midwife pressed on my ankle pressure point and with the next surge at 9:07pm on the 2nd October 2019 at 42+3, our baby was born! Head followed by body all at once! Oh my! The oxytocin high was absolutely incredible! I could not believe my baby was here.
My husband received our baby and placed her on my chest. I was absolutely buzzing and have never felt more amazing. We discovered the gender of our baby which had previously been a surprise – it’s a girl! Such a special moment. She went to my breast, attached and sucked not long after being born. I knew this would help the birth of my placenta, and of course it did, a few more surges and I birthed our placenta physiologically.
In the oxytocin love bubble, still sitting in the bath, I enjoyed more skin to skin with our beautiful Mataya. This time was so special, just slowing down and taking it all in whilst holding my baby. My husband then had his time doing skin to skin with our girl. He had such an immediate and special bond with her, and we truly believe this was due to how involved he was during the whole labour and birth and of course the skin to skin.
I often reflect back at our birth experience and am filled with so many warm and positive feelings. I feel so proud that I did it and I feel so empowered by the whole experience. Trusting in my body and the process from pregnancy through to birth, being in tune with my body and my instincts, I believe has had a huge impact on how I now feel as a mother.
I continue to trust my instincts; trust I know my baby and trust I know what she needs. We have transitioned into parenthood so smoothly and we are so enjoying the journey!
Sharna & Scott, Perth 2019
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, information and positive birth stories.