First of all I would like to thank Vicki Hobbs from the Hypnobirthing Centre WA for helping me release my fear of birthing and to also help me think positive all the way about everything – my pregnancy, my labour, the surges I would experience and moving my baby down. I was one person who was so scared of just thinking about the due day, every time I thought of it I’d get goose bumps and all sorts of questions would arise in my mind such as “will I be able to do it”, if I can’t tolerate my eye brows being threaded how will I tolerate pain of birth?
Vicki helped me release this fear through the classes and gave me one on one attention when I really needed it, which I am so grateful to her for. After the hypnobirthing classes, which I completed when I was 38 weeks everything was still fresh and I prepared my own birthing plan. Jag and I compiled songs that we both loved and reminded us of the special memories we shared and holidays that we went to. I printed my maternity photo shoot which had my birthing colours to help me calm down and focus. Along with these songs I also had my positive affirmations, Surge of the Sea and Rainbow Mist CD’s, which were very helpful.
On Tuesday midnight I woke up with slight surges that lasted for a few seconds and then went away – they were about 15 minutes apart and not very regular. I fell asleep and woke up around 8am as my friends were coming over to catch up before the bub arrives. I went to the loo and saw my mucous plug had released, I thought to myself “this is it, oh my god its happening, what shall I do.” I was panicking and told my mum, but then I gathered myself and thought I might still be days away and even if it happens it’s going to be okay and I will use my tools, stay calm and birth my baby.
I text my friends that I wasn’t well and if we could postpone the catch up, but then I thought to myself that if I was to be alone I’d be thinking all sorts of things so I’d rather catch up with them, which will be relaxing and divert my mind. I text Jag and informed him, he was so excited that he couldn’t work and decided to come home and sleep for the big night as he was so sure that it was going to happen that evening.
I decided not to tell my friends about my surges and just go with the flow. Mum and I made lunch, my friends came over and the day was going as normal, but I did have surges in between that sometimes lasted a minute or so, I would just stay calm and breathe through the surges. At one point my friend did ask me “are you ok? Why are you so quiet?”
The day passed by quickly and in the evening my surges increased and Jag started timing them, and I was just breathing through them while listening to the affirmations. I kept watching the YouTube video of the lotus opening as the music in the video helped to calm me down. It was around 11pm that the surges started getting closer and more intense. Jag would stroke me with the light touch massage and help me stay calm.
After a few hours we decided to call the hospital and inform them about the situation. Jag and I decided that we’d go to the hospital when the surges were 5-7 minutes apart. By 1am the surges were more intense and we decided it was time.
We reached the hospital and informed the midwife we were a hypnobirthing couple and that all the communications to be kept to a minimum and with Jag. First we were in the assessment room so that midwife could check my progress, monitor bubs heart beat and do a few tests. I noticed that the surges were now 10-15 minutes apart, which I was aware that would probably happen because of the environment change and the transition between home and hospital. I calmed down, Jag was so supportive and gave me the light touch massage again, talked to me softly and I also kept listening to the affirmations.
I must say hypnobirthing helped Jag understand me so much more. He always had the fear of coming to the hospital and having to see me in so much pain, but he was so different and positive and very supportive. After about an hour my obstetrician came and they decided to check how many centimetres dilated I was. This was very uncomfortable for some reason. I just had my eyes covered and kept listening to my music. I didn’t want to know how many centimetres I was so they informed Jag. Earlier in the week I went for my check up with my obstetrician and she had informed me that the baby’s head was down but he was in a lateral position. The midwife checked and informed me that the position was now head down and no longer lateral, which gave me confidence that everything was going well.
After a while we were taken to the birth suite and the moment I walked in I felt some comfort. I knew this was now “my space.” Jag set up the room with candle lights, dimmed the room lights, set the music up and got me a birthing ball. This was around 4am on Wednesday morning and the surges were constant and about 7-9 minutes apart. We listened to our songs that we had compiled, I had my arms across his shoulders and we just enjoying the music and I continued to breathe through the surges. Time was distorted to me, just like I was taught in hypnobirthing classes, as then the next thing I realised it was around 9pm and I was getting tired as I hadn’t slept. I had another check up with the obstetrician and she said that I was still quite far off and asked if I wanted to be induced as the baby was head down but quite high and in a lateral position again. We weren’t sure and decided to wait for a while, but after about two hours I agreed to be induced.
Being vocal was the best thing that helped me as I could release the intensity I was feeling through my voice. Jag stroked my head with the head massager and light touch massage while the music in the background was on as well. All these tools were so very helpful. My obstetrician came for another check-up and asked if I wanted an epidural. I said no, but I was so exhausted as I hadn’t slept for 2 days. Jag and I then talked about it and he said it would relax me and I could get some sleep as the baby’s position was still lateral and he was still very high.
I decided to take the epidural and slept for a while. I could still feel the surges but not as intense as before. After an hour our midwife checked how far I had dilated. I was so happy and excited as I was 10cms dilated and it was time to bear down. I started to bear down and was told to push whenever I had a surge. I could slightly feel them and with the help of my midwife and obstetrician I started to push.
I kept talking to my baby loudly (I didn’t care about anyone listening to me), I kept telling him “come on we can do this, please come to mummy it’s now time for mummy to see you.” I kept touching my belly and talking out loudly and I felt it helped me connect with my baby. My obstetrician and Jag then decided to use the vacuum, which I was fine with as the baby was getting uncomfortable inside as well.
We started again, using the vacuum but it still did not work, the baby was now more uncomfortable and my obstetrician suggested we use forceps. I have no idea why I said no but something in me just didn’t want this type of intervention to be used. So I was taken to theatre for a caesarean.
While transferring me to the theatre room I was very positive and kept singing to myself. I talked to the nurses and doctors who came to explain all the procedures that were going to happen. After about 35 hours it was finally time to see our baby. Our baby boy Aryan was born at 5.15pm – the most beautiful and amazing moment of our lives.
My obstetrician later thanked me and told me that she was glad I said no to using the forceps as it would have been very hard for both bub and me had we used them as he was still so high up because of the position of my pelvis so he would not have been able to move down into the birth canal and the caesarean had been the best decision in this instance.
Though I had a few complications after the birth, after a month when I do recall my birthing story I have a smile on my face and always tell myself it was the most wonderful experience I have ever had. It is so true that people make labour and birthing of babies these days very complicated, painful and scary but there is also another way to look at it and enjoy it, the hypnobirthing way.
I have no regret with what I went through, even though it was a long labour, but it was still full of fun and beautiful memories that I will cherish forever. I got to experience labour, the sensations of my uterus surging and the feel of my baby during this time while producing the birthing hormones that helped to establish good breastfeeding and bonding, and I had no fear at all. This whole experience has brought my husband and I so much closer, and he was able to support me in a way that he wouldn’t have felt confident doing before the classes. I am so proud to share my hypnobirthing story with all pregnant women and once again would like to thank Vicki for sharing her knowledge with us. Without hypnobirthing my birthing story and experience would definitely have been very different.
Dhruti & Jag