When I got pregnant, everyone said “you must find an Obstetrician immediately! All the good ones book up quickly.”
I was in a panic. I had no idea what I was doing so I went out and dutifully found an Obstetrician ASAP.
At my first appointment, something didn’t feel right. I don’t think our Obstetrician made eye contact with us once and we were in and out in 15 minutes and we spent longer talking about the schedule of fees for thousands of dollars (with no guarantee that she would be at the birth!!)
I was talking to a friend about being scared of childbirth, but really wanting to try for a natural birth with no drugs and she recommended I look into Hypnobirthing. I found Vicki Hobbs’ website and made contact via email and after finding out that her birthday was the same day as my babies estimated due date, I knew it was meant to be – we had been guided to this person.
My husband Antony and I started attending the Hypnobirthing Australia classes with Vicki and they were amazing. The fear I had around childbirth was quickly replaced with excitement and a strong belief that my baby was telling me: “You were born to do this! You’ve got this!!”
It was so eye opening in that I had the POWER to make a decision about how I wanted to birth my baby.
ME – not a Doctor or Midwife – it is my body, therefore my decision.
I reflected back on my appointments and what my Obstetrician had said to me about their policies on induction, continuous foetal monitoring and pain relief and I started getting anxious.
I spoke to Vicki who encouraged me to make sure that my Obstetrician and I were on the same page and directed me to a Birth Savvy email titled: 12 Questions to ask your Obstetrician.
The questions did not go down well with my Obstetrician.
She said, “you should want to have a healthy baby, rather than make the birth all about you.”
I was gobsmacked, but it also told me everything I needed to know.
I terminated the care arrangement with the Obstetrician the next day via email and advised that if they wanted to discuss my reasons, I was happy to speak to them, but I never heard back from them.
I applied to the Family Birthing Centre, but they were full. It was then, that I started to panic a little. I was 22 weeks pregnant with my first baby, with no place to birth and no one to help me monitor my pregnancy or my baby.
Vicki was amazing and kept me calm and talked through all my options and kept reassuring me that everything would fall into place.
I ended up securing a place with the Community Midwife Program and met with my Midwife, a very special soul Malita, and with the support of my husband Antony, we opted to do a home birth.
Due to the relationship I had built with Vicki, we also asked for her to be my Doula. Having a Doula was one of the best choices I made. The difference in how I felt after making all of these decisions about who and where and how I wanted to birth, compared to when I met my Obstetrician was night and day.
I was excited and I felt empowered and in control.
The rest of my pregnancy went well, with no health concerns or complications. I listened to my Hypnobirthing Australia tracks every night, practised my breathing, put up my wish board with my birthing affirmations in my kitchen over the sink so I could see it every day as I washed dishes or filled up my bottle of water.
My husband practised the acupressure and massage techniques on me from around the 38-week mark and I just tried to enjoy my pregnancy as much as possible.
I was just so excited for my home birth supported by these positive, supportive and experienced people who had come into my life. I knew without a doubt that I was born to do this!
As I approached the 41-week mark, I started to get worried because if I didn’t go into spontaneous labour by 42 weeks, the CMP wouldn’t allow me to birth at home and King Edward Memorial Hospital (KEMH) would want to induce me.
I desperately didn’t want to be induced. I went for massages, floats, took homeopathic remedies, tried acupuncture, Raspberry Leaf Tea, sex, long walks and did my acupressure induction points every few hours… and tried to relax as much as possible in between all of that – easier said than done!
However, at 40 weeks and 6 days, my surges started.
By 41 + 1 they were still going intermittently, but I was tired as they were stronger and more regular at night meaning a few interrupted nights of sleep. My midwife did a stretch and sweep on the Sunday to get things moving and it worked!
On the Monday, to try and stay busy I went for walks with Antony, we went food shopping, which was interesting as I was surging on and off throughout the trip. That night, I put a tens machine on as the surges were the strongest they had been, and at midnight we called Malita and Vicki to the house, convinced that this was it and so excited that we were going to meet our baby boy!
After examining me, Malita told me that she was going to go home and come back in the morning and that I should try to get some sleep as I was still a fair way off and only 3cm dilated. I was crushed! I was also tired, so to have her say I wasn’t even close, was a bit scary.
Vicki stayed with us through the night, and thank god she did, because it would have been quite intimidating and frightening for me and my husband to be alone at home dealing with these surges and not knowing how long it was going to go on for. Vicki helped me by reminding me of my Surge Breathing, she rubbed my back and did the blessed double hip squeeze for pain relief (I’m sure there were other things she did, but my memory is a bit fuzzy at this point!)
At about 2am I am guessing, we all tried to get some sleep. My amazing husband lay in bed with me talking me through every surge and rubbing my back. Again, my surges were strong, so I was up every 5 to 10 mins. I must have fallen asleep, because the next thing I knew, it was light outside and Vicki was telling me she needed me to get up and moving. She told me later that she did that because my surges were slowing down and getting further apart, which was obviously the opposite of what we wanted.
So we embarked on what I now lovingly call Vicki’s Bootcamp.
With the assistance of Antony, she had me walking up and down the stairs side ways to get my pelvis open and jiggle baby to move down. As hard as it was, it worked! My blood-stained mucous plug released, and we took a photo to send to Malita, and I remember sitting on the toilet and feeling this huge surge and the strongest pressure and urge to push.
I remember shouting to Vicki and my husband: OH MY GOD I NEED TO PUSH!!!!
I will never understand, like you see in the movies, when the doctor tells the pregnant woman: “ok it’s time to push” but you don’t have the urge to push.
But you certainly know when your body tells you that it’s time to push – absolutely no doubt about it. It is an uncontrollable urge that you just can’t stop even if you tried.
I don’t remember a lot of detail after that, but I remember Malita arriving as I was sitting backwards on a chair and Vicki was helping me through my now very intense and much longer surges with pressure against my sacrum and double hip squeezes.
It was time to get in the pool. I remember melting into the warm water, as it felt so good for relieving the pressure on my belly and back. I was on all fours but didn’t feel like baby was moving down so I manoeuvred into a squat position, which triggered the surges to start coming thick and fast and my baby boy finally crowned.
The surges were getting really strong and lasting much longer by this point. I don’t remember a lot very clearly, but I remember Vicki’s voice encouraging me, telling me how well I was doing as well as reminding me of my breathing and to try to keep my sounds low and deep and not high pitched and to also relax my jaw… I remember her at one point telling me to “roar that baby out Kiara!”
It was late morning by this point, with the outside world oblivious to what was happening in our living room, when all of a sudden there was a knock at the front door. It was the Postman wanting to drop off a parcel. He could obviously hear that someone was home, as the birthing pool was right next to the front door, so he just kept knocking!
To get rid of him, my highly emotional husband finally answered the door with tears streaming down his face and his hands shaking as he signed for this parcel (I still can’t believe he opened the door!) My husband told me later that when the Postman heard my animal like surge noises that he looked at my husband in terror, threw the parcel at him and took off running down the drive way!
I was oblivious to all of this as my legs were like jelly in the squatting position after a few of those long surges, so I went back onto all fours. Malita my Midwife kept checking my baby’s heart rate and said to me something along the lines of: “the heart rate is slowing down, so we think baby is tired, so we really need to get baby out”…
That scared me. I felt a jolt of adrenaline and remember clearly saying out loud to my baby: “Come on baby, let’s do this!” When that next surge hit me, I pushed with everything I had… my baby boy was finally earthside!!!
I was still on all fours and Malita handed him to me under the water and I lifted my baby boy out of the water. I was in total shock. Like I couldn’t believe he was there. I had a baby. What do I do now?! Little did I know but Vicki filmed me, on her phone, meeting my baby for the first time and I cry every time I watch it. It was the most magical, surreal moment of my life.
I wanted to get out of the water as the cord was short and I didn’t want my baby’s head to go under the water. The midwives checked me while I lay on my couch and held my beautiful baby boy on my chest – skin to skin. I remember the intense eye contact we had immediately, and bub was so calm, which I’m convinced was down to the Hypnobirthing techniques. I couldn’t stop staring at my beautiful baby boy.
It was midday when he was born, and the sun was streaming through the windows and the atmosphere in my living room was emotional, celebratory and cheerful. The midwives, my husband, Vicki and my mum, who arrived shortly after, all had cups of coffee and soup that Vicki had made to share, and it was like a little birthday party… it was just amazing. I couldn’t believe what I had just done – I gave birth to my son in my living room! I was elated. I felt like a total Rockstar and was so incredibly proud of myself. It was truly the most incredible and extraordinary experience of my life.
Even after my experience, I want to make it clear that I’m not opposed to Obstetricians, or inductions, or hospital births, or even caesareans. As long as those birth choices are indeed a woman’s true CHOICE, and not the result of being scared or bullied into making those decisions by people in “power” when a woman is at her most vulnerable.
I had the most amazing birth, and felt empowered, respected and supported with all of my birth preferences. It wouldn’t have been the same without the support of my wonderful husband Antony, incredible Midwife Malita and exceptional Doula, Hypnobirthing Coach and all-round amazing human being Vicki.
My son Noah and I were so blessed to have the most amazing team of people to welcome him into the world and I felt safe, loved and supported every step of the way.
That is how birth is meant to be – safe, calm and undisturbed.
Kiara & Antony
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 and information.