We heard all the horror experiences of childbirth from our friends, which gave us a shiver in the spine. I am a person who is scared of needles, and I felt childbirth was way beyond my capacity.
In February 2016, we had the positive results of our pregnancy but along with the happiness; there was a darkness of anxiety and fear of childbirth.
As the weeks passed, the fear was increasing and affecting me psychologically. I was browsing on Facebook and came across an article that a couple, who are our friends, wrote about their childbirth experience. That gave some light to look into it more.
My husband and I met our friends and talked about their experience and they recommended we try a hypnobirthing course, which they had participated in, taught by Vicki Hobbs from Hypnobirthing Centre WA.
We met Vicki on the first day of the course and I cried my eyes out when we were talking about the baby. Vicki is a very calm and understanding person; she went through the course in detail and demonstrated all the techniques.
In addition, she also gave us background information on the hospital policies as a heads up. My husband and I practiced the techniques almost every day for at least 30-45 minutes. The positive affirmations were placed all over the house, be it in the kitchen, bedroom, bathroom and even the toilet!
More weeks went by and I started getting Braxton Hicks. I followed the breathing techniques taught by Vicki, which helped me to calm down.
Pregnancy massages offered by Vicki are amazing. She has magic in her hands. I would definitely recommend the massages to ease off the tension in muscles and to relax your mind and body.
At 39 weeks, Friday 30th September, we had an appointment with the obstetrician. As the due date was a week later, he suggested for us to book ourselves in for induction and perform stretch and sweep procedure for our convenience. As my husband I had learnt about what this was during the hypnobirthing course and prior to this suggestion, we both did not consent to go ahead with the options put forward to us regarding this procedure. We requested to review it again in the next appointment, which was a week later.
On Saturday, 1st October morning, the surges started and were quite intense but they were far apart from one to the next. I did not see the need to time the surges for now. In the afternoon, I had lunch followed by a nap for a rest. By evening, the surges continued at least one per hour lasting about 30 seconds.
To divert my mind, I put on comedy movies for a giggle. At 8.30pm, I had my dinner and continued with movies at 9.00pm. Around 9.30pm, I felt a gush of membrane release (waters breaking). Whilst walking to the toilet, I had an intense surge that felt never ending. Whilst I sat on the toilet I rang my husband, who was not home at the time to come home immediately. As I was waiting for him, I felt a need to go poo, which gave me an indication the time is getting closer. Every time I pushed for a poo, the pressure on my tail bone was increasing. To ease off the pain, shortly after my husband came home, I had a hot shower which helped me to relax from the surges, for a few minutes.
My husband kept on reminding me to focus on my breathing and at one point, the pain was so intense that I lost control and I couldn’t get my mind off the pain from the surges. I told him, “I cannot do this; I am in so much pain.” He reassured me and talked to me to get me to focus on my breathing and remember what Vicki had taught us and what we had practiced.
We rang the midwife at the hospital and narrated what was happening as quickly as we could. She suggested we come into the hospital with all our bags. Whilst driving to the hospital, I kept my eyes closed and focused on the breathing as surges were coming frequently. At this time, they were pretty close. To avoid a long walk from the car park, my husband dropped me by the hospital entrance and went to park the car.
Being 11.15pm, there was no one around. Another surge and intense pressure on the tail bone, I leaned on a steady wall and pushed my bottom against the wall (which Vicki had demonstrated in class), which slightly eased off the pressure. I remained in this position till my husband had made his way to the hospital entrance.
Midwife Dianne performed a vaginal examination to see how far I was and to my surprise, I was already 7cm dilated. Immediately we were admitted to a birth suite. Midwife Lorraine was also checking on me with all the necessary monitors. My husband and Dianne had a quick read and discussed our birth preferences.
He played the Affirmations track and reminded me to focus on breathing. At this point, I was totally in the zone and the surges got stronger. I asked Dianne if I can lay on my side to be more comfortable. As soon as I turned, the foetal heart rate was dropping, immediately she asked me to lay on my back so they can monitor the baby.
Around 1am, I had the urge to bear down and poo at the same time. Both Lorraine and Dianne performed another vaginal examination to see if it’s ok for me to bear down. Once the monitors were off my body, I knelt on the bed and rested my head. Feeling the baby coming down, I kept on saying “My body and baby know how to birth”.
Being in the zone, I could hear Vicki’s voice saying we want a calm and easy birth, breathe down to your baby.
Around 1.45am, I changed position and was lying on my back. Dianne checked and could see I was crowning. Due to the deep breathes; the baby was going back in as I breathed in. Dianne asked me to pause when breathing out then breathe in to avoid the head going back in. After couple of breathes out and down, the head was out and cord was around the neck, which she loosened.
She asked whether I would like to touch the head but my husband requested that we finish the birth whilst I was in the zone.
Another 2-3 breathes and our baby was born at 2.13am on 2nd October.
I felt relief and was saying out loud god’s name and at same time was in shock as it was all over without any interventions. At this point, neither of us had looked at the baby’s gender as my husband had to calm me down. I asked him, what is it?
He said…”it’s a boy!”
Dianne asked me to have skin to skin, the first time I held our baby. He was so alert and calm looking at us. My husband cut the cord after all the blood had pulsated through to the baby. I then delivered the placenta and the necessary procedure was performed whilst the baby was examined.
We named him Piyan, meaning beloved. He is our hypno-baby.
The whole process was so quick that we did not use any other techniques apart from breathing. I am amazed how I managed to birth without any interventions.
Hypnobirthing classes were very useful and valuable information, which is often not raised in the antenatal classes. Vicki shared her knowledge and positive birth stories. The journey of Piyan’s arrival had brought my husband I closer and more supportive of each other.
Looking back, if we hadn’t met Vicki for hypnobirthing, our birth story would be totally different.
Varsha & Suraj, Hocking WA