I had a very good pregnancy and stayed very healthy and fit throughout it. I listened to my affirmations on a daily basis and focused on having a positive birth. When people asked me if I was nervous or dreading it, I could say with honesty that I wasn’t. Instead, I felt positive that I was going to be able to have a good birth and was looking forward to meeting our baby and finding out if it was a boy or girl.
All or our doctor’s visits went well, but as we approached our estimated due date our doctor discussed induction with us. He wanted to induce on our due date, however we asked him for more time. Due to an overseas trip, the last day that he was going to be around was 5 days after our due date. We considered against having an induction at all, but normally they do not let you go past 7 days at the hospital we were going to and I did want my obstetrician there for the delivery as he was familiar with our preferences and we had discussed our birth plan with him.
So after many questions and persuading him to wait as long as possible we penciled the induction date. I did do my best to get things rolling naturally – acupuncture, massage, pressure points, eating pineapple and sex, bouncing on a fit ball, raspberry leaf tea and walking, walking and more walking. I asked for an internal about a week before during our last appointment and there was no sign that baby was coming. A couple of days before the induction date I did have some pretty intense contractions, but I had been having Braxton Hicks on and off so I attributed them to that. Jon said that we would just skip the induction if I didn’t feel ready. However we had a very nice relaxing weekend and I felt very mentally prepared and ready to meet our baby so we decided to embrace it.
On the night of the 14th, we went into the hospital to get checked. I was already 2 cm dilated, so we decided to forego the gels and went home and rested. The next morning we had a good healthy breakfast and drove to the hospital for 7 am. I was surprised at how calm and quiet we were on the way to the hospital. Jon was reciting some of our favorite affirmations on the way to the hospital. Once we arrived we set up our room and made it ours. We made all of the midwives aware that we were a hypnobirthing family and wanted to do everything as natural as possible. We were lucky to have a student midwife (Kylee) with us that day in the delivery room. She had accompanied me on most of my later prenatal doctor visits in the delivery room that day. I believe she was very integral in making our birth our success.
Our doctor came in first thing and released the membranes. They then started me on the drip about an hour later. As there was meconium in the water fluid, they wanted to put me on monitors the whole time. I told them that I wanted to be mobile and be able to move around so they found a mobile unit for me. The surges started pretty fast, although they were not very intense and it was easy to focus and complete my breathing for the first few hours. For the initial stage, I just went into my own world. Jon had put up my picture of “into these hands” on the wall in front of me and I just stared at that and breathed. He also had the Loosey Limp teddy on had that Vicki had given us and he would show me that whenever I tensed up.
After the first couple hours, the surges got more intense and I decided I wanted to move around more. I alternated between standing and sitting on the fit ball leaning my head and arms against the bed. The midwives kept bringing me heat pads for my stomach and back. I did not feel like eating (Jon did enough of that for both of us) but instead had some lollies and lemonade and lots and lots of water. As the surges got more intense I was finding it very difficult to breathe through them, but Jon and Kylee were at my side talking me through. We also had our Surge of the Sea playing and affirmations and some other relaxation music I had listened to during pregnancy playing in the background for awhile.
Towards the last hour I was finding it very difficult and panicked a little bit and told Jon that I think I wanted an epidural. We had agreed before that he would tell me to try and wait half and hour and then we would see. In that time the doctor came in and we asked to get checked. When he checked I was already 9 cm dilated and there was no time for any pain relief! About 10 minutes later I was 10 cm dilated and ready to have Avery.
Once I could feel her moving down I actually found it easier to focus and breathe. I tried to picture the birth breathing as I was doing it, although I must admit I did find that hard. One of the most helpful things was one of the midwives was wiping my face with a cold cloth in between surges and just talking me through them. I tried a few positions, but in the end found it most comfortable to deliver while lying on my side on the bed.
It took about 45 minutes to birth Avery, she was born at 15:05 on the 15 October 2013 and was 3.13kgs and 50 cm long. Once she came they put her straight on my chest and it was the most wonderful moment in the whole world. That night I was on a huge adrenaline high and was just so so happy that the birth went so well. I felt so empowered that I was able to get through it without pain relief. It was amazing that I was able to feel her moving down and I could direct my energy to her.
Thank you so much Vicki for guiding us through the hypnobirthing course. You provided us with so much information which helped us make decisions before and during the birth that enabled us to have the birth that we wanted. I think that the tools that Jon learnt in the course helped him to play such an important role in the birth.
I was also very happy with our Obstetrician and the care received by all of the staff at our hospital and must say that I am happy that we went through the private system. When he started to talk about induction, initially I wasn’t very happy, however I think once we decided to embrace it and we made it clear to him that we still wanted to do it without pain relief or further intervention it set us up for success.
Both Kylee and the main midwife who was with me during the delivery said that they were so happy that I did it without the epidural, they said that at one point when they could see me wavering they knew they just had to get me through it. There were two hypnobirth babies born at our hospital that day and all of the midwives thought that was great.
I hope that we have a similar story with our next baby. I am looking forward to having more, it was such a good experience.
Sheri-lynn, Jon and Avery
Currambine, Western Australia