The Hypnobirthing class helped me from the first session and weeks before my labour started. I have always had a huge fear of needles but I knew that it was all in my mind. The classes helped me to deal with that and my first blood test after starting the course was a whole new experience. I didn’t clench my husbands hand and I remained totally calm and breathed through the whole thing. It was the least ‘painful’ test I had ever had and while I felt it happening it was more of an annoyance than anything else.
My labour started only hours after my last pregnancy pilates class. I had done these since my second trimester and they helped me in so many ways. I wasn’t due for a couple of days and heard constantly how I would go over so when I had what I thought were just period pains/Braxton Hicks type feelings that I had been having for weeks I didn’t think anything of it. I went to the toilet as I felt like I had peed my pants, but also didn’t think anything of that. However after this happened several times over half an hour I knew that something was up, especially after seeing signs of the ‘plug’.
I phoned my husband, as it was a Saturday and he was working that day, to ask what time he would be home as the baby may be coming that night. He said it would be a few hours and I said that was fine and I would see him later. I phoned again in an hour to say come home soon as the entire plug had gone and the surges were quite frequent. I wasn’t concerned but as they had come and increased in such a short period of time I just wanted to make sure my baby didn’t arrive while I was home alone.
Upon arrival at the hospital at 3pm, I was 4cm dilated so in established labour. I handed over my menstrual pad for review and they advised that I had meconium, which meant that the baby had pooped inside me and we would need constant monitoring. I knew this wasn’t a good thing but never once did I get stressed out. I had my fitball and my relaxation CDs and my husband so I knew that we would be ok.
It was quite annoying being strapped to heart rate monitors and one on my belly to monitor the babys heart rate and my surges, however I think this gave the student midwife and my husband something to do while watching me breath. I can honestly say that I think the Affirmations CD was played a couple of times, I still do not recall ever having listened to it in its entirety. However at one point I came out of my trance and said “Lets put something else on, I have heard this bit already”. My husband and midwives laughed and said they had heard it a dozen times already.
At 9pm the Obstetrician was called in as I was told I was at 9cm and able to push if I felt I could. This was a great feeling and while leaning over the end of the bed my husband and midwives watched while waiting to see the head. When the Obs arrived she did another examination, this felt a lot different to the last 2 and more like what I had been expecting, rather intrusive and uncomfortable. She advised that I was only 5 cm and should certainly not be pushing. She said that I was swollen and she could feel his head and gave me a list of options such as C-section, epidural etc. I said that I wanted an hour to keep trying.
After an hour I was still only 5cm however my contractions had slowed (probably due to my less relaxed state). I chose to have an induction drip to get things moving again, however after over an hour of this I was still only 5cm and my baby’s head was trying to come out, resulting in a cone head formin. This was probably due to us both being ready and me trying to push earlier, however my husband got scared and we both agreed that the safest option for the baby was a C-section.
Making this decision, plus being chemically induced seemed to make the surges more noticeable than ever. I asked for some relief and they gave me gas but nothing else as the anaesthetist was on his way for the epidural. The gas was more of a distraction and the breathing worked much better so I continued with that to prepare for what was ahead. I told the doctors that I didn’t want details of what they were doing, just to proceed but they insisted on describing everything in detail. I didn’t really listen to them I just breathed my way through some very close intense surges that the drugs were already bringing on. I was more concerned about staying calm while they were doing everything that needed to be done and to give my boy the most relaxed environment possible.
I could tell that my husband was stressed and while I lay there totally numb from the chest down I made some jokes to him to try and calm the mood. It was 3am by this time so a huge day for him after having started work at 6am the previous morning. However I do believe that if we hadn’t done the Hypnobirth classes together he would have been insisting that I had a C-section many hours earlier and not been able to deal with any of the labour or events that followed as calmly as he did.
Despite not delivering my baby naturally I still to this day have my calm relaxed Hypnobirth baby. He only cried briefly when he was born and lay on my chest looking at me with his eyes open, very calm yet alert while holding onto his daddy’s finger. He had a HUGE cone head, however this was gone within several hours.
Two things I was told and didn’t know otherwise was that I could not do delayed cord clamping with C-section, I assumed it was as they needed to stitch me up straight away. Also that he had to be assessed first and cord cut etc. before laying on my chest.
I was just so relieved that he was here and safe and being looked after by his dad (and still a boy as I was sure that wouldn’t go according to plan either) that I was ok with everything else. It didn’t seem long until he was on my chest and pooped all over me again. We were all taken straight to our room together and no recovery rooms just our new family to feed and bond.
All of the nurses commented over the next few days on what a calm relaxed family we were, many of them thought this was my 2nd/3rd child and didn’t give us much interruption. It was like we already knew each other and me and my boy just learnt everything together very easily. He slept 5-6 hours every night from day one and fed easily. Six months later he is still a bright, alert, happy and calm little man.
The student midwife said the experience was amazing. Although she wasn’t there for the C-section as it was such a huge long day she was amazed to watch the monitor during a really strong surge and at one point I opened my eyes and said “Wow that was intense”, however to look at I showed no signs of anything, just breathing.
I don’t recall any “pain,” just a feeling that my baby was coming to me.
I loved every moment of it and can’t thank Vicki at Hypnobirthing Centre WA enough.
Amanda & Shane