I couldn’t be happier with the outcome of our hypnobirth!
My goal was to have a fearless, calm and natural home birth and I got just that.
This was our first baby and our due date was Nov 3rd. During the wee hours of the morning on 27th Oct, I started getting my early labour surges. I used my relaxed breathing and Wade applied light touch massage. After a couple of hours of being awake with this, we decided to reserve our energy and go back to bed as we knew we should ignore these mild surges as much as possible. They woke me during the rest of the morning but I continued to breathe through them & I could easily get back to sleep each time. They were not painful, just feelings of tightness and pressure.
During the daytime the surges calmed down and I continued with the baby shower plans that friends were throwing me. I was 39 weeks pregnant and although I did feel like baby wasn’t far away, I was aware that these early labour surges could subside or rest over the following days or week. I was feeling great and still very comfortable with my pregnancy, in fact these last few weeks were the best I’d felt in 9 months.
At the end of the day once all my guests left, my mild surges picked up again. I wasn’t timing them as I knew it wasn’t important at this stage. Once Wade got home from work however, he realised my surges were approximately 1 min long and 3 mins apart. We asked our midwife if we could get her birthing pool in (that was in the plans, we just didn’t have it yet) and I mentioned that I was getting regular surges. So yes we got the pool in and spent the evening pumping it up, trying to get the hose connection to work – which it finally did after copious amounts of electrical tape strapping the connection together, (trialling the pool was on the to do list too…. oops) part filling it & getting the things ready to prepare for our home birth. I put my ‘opening flower’ picture on the wall in the birthing room (I had found my own beautiful image that I loved) and a few notes to help me stay focused:
~ASSIST DON’T RESIST
~RIDE THE WAVES
Our midwife (Fiona Kerton) came to check me at 9pm and although my cervix had softened, I was only 2cm dilated so I was still just in the early labour phase.
At 2am I woke Wade as my surges had become much more intense and I felt like I needed his support. He did light touch massage again and the deep anchor which helped immensely. My mucus plug had come out and at 2.06am my waters broke, I was happy to be sitting on the toilet at the time! I spent a lot of time on my knees leaning over my yoga ball or over the table, swaying & rocking, visualising the opening flower, reciting affirmations in my head and doing the 54321 technique. (My all time favourite – worked every time without fail) We played calming music, turned off lights & only had candles and a crystal lamp glowing and stayed as relaxed and calm as possible, all of which paid off. My labour progressed rapidly and when our midwife arrived at 3am my cervix had completely opened and I was fully dilated.
The baby was on its way! Wade was running between assisting me with hypnobirthing techniques, feeding & hydrating myself and Fiona, heating pots and boiling kettles to keep the pool at temperature, among all the other jobs & loose ends – his support was just incredible.
At 4.00am I was in the pool and baby was descending. Here I recited the “trust my body & my baby” affirmation in my head, my midwife encouraged me to work with my body and use my energy to breathe down and told me to not be afraid of what I was physically feeling as baby’s head started emerging. I carried on with the 54321 technique, more swaying/rocking and spiralling, (a belly dancing tip from Embody Birth Workshop) visualising the J shape as I breathed baby down and gently “mooed like a cow”…(as Wade puts it!)
Wade continued with the deep anchor which worked every time, as soon as his hand was on my shoulder, my shoulders relaxed and I regained control in my breathing. I was fully in the zone and oblivious to any other activity going on around me.
With one final breath down, at 5.57am, we gave birth to Luka; a healthy & calm baby boy in the birthing pool, at my dream home birth. I scooped him up out of the water and there he was, in my arms. I was ecstatic, we had done it!
My established labour was around 3 hours – my visualisation of labour time during an exercise on the hypnobirthing course was 3 hours!
I had no drugs or pain relief and I didn’t tear. (Thank you perineal massage!)
All the practising and repetition of the techniques we learnt at our course had taught me how to calmly birth my baby. I couldn’t have had this birth without that knowledge & practice. I learnt how to release my fears and believe that birthing a baby does not necessarily need to involve medical intervention. I also have to point out the importance of team work with your partner, I couldn’t have done it without Wade and his hypnobirthing techniques. The course also taught him a lot and mostly, above all things, to stay calm.
Many of our friends, family & colleagues were shocked to find out we were planning a home birth. One friend laughed in my face saying it’s not possible to have a painless birth. I was in disbelief about the comments, doubt and lack of confidence that people had in regards to natural or home birthing. I’m so happy I can turn around to everyone and say “I told you so!”
Massive thanks to you Helen. Petra, Wade & Baby Luka. XxX