Hi Katherine,

Here is my hypnobirthing story (and two pics, 1 hour after Poe was born and, Poe now at 5 1/2 months). I apologise about how long this has taken me to get to you, but I guess it is better late than never. Thank you again for teaching me and my husband all about the hypnobirthing technique.

Please feel free to pass on my number or email address if anyone wants to chat about my experience.
Best wishes,
Jay

The birth story

Poe was born on the 25th September at 4.45am, very thoughtfully, three days after his mother’s 30th Birthday. Poe’s birth was without a doubt the most wonderful experience of my life and I can definitely say that hypnobirthing played a large part in making this so.

On Saturday 23rd September 11.30pm I started to notice that I was getting slight waves of pressure around my lower back, nothing to complain about but I was aware that something was happening. I decided to listen to my hypnobirthing cd and then went to bed. Throughout the night I was aware of these waves yet kept relaxing, not quite sleeping but resting (I think the excitement that this could be IT kept me slightly aware). The next day they continued. Outside the day was getting hot and the wind was causing chaos but inside we felt protected we were in a safe haven. I slept, walked around a bit, drank lots of water, nibbled on food, and breathed through these little waves of pressure. These waves eventually turned into surges with pressure both through my lower back and front. I totally lost track of time so I can only say that at some point Scott (my husband) started timing them (I still wasn’t really convinced that this could actually be it) and the surges were coming about every ten minutes (there was no established pattern). A few hours later they were still coming every ten minutes and lasting from 3o seconds to 2 minutes.

My day felt like a couple of hours, we had the hypnobirthing Christina O’Leary’s rainbow relaxation on repeat the whole day and night, and I can honestly say that all up I probably only heard it through one full time, I would take snippets of what she was saying; yellow mist surrounding you and would stay in that mist for a long time (essentially getting lost in the mist), the next time I would tune in the cd would be finishing.

Scott called the Birth Centre, the midwife suggested that we keep going as we were, as it didn’t sound like I was progressing very much. The day continued, Scott was amazing, rubbing my back, timing the surges and having little naps in between. This continued for most of the day, at some point the midwife suggested that we stop timing the surges and just let it happen. Later in the afternoon Scott alerted the family (my parents, brother and sister) that things were happening but it will probably take a while. At about 6ish I had a chat to the midwife who suggested that it might be useful to take a dimazapan and panadeine forte, as this would either a) let me have a rest or b) bring the labour on (not in an extreme way, more of an encouragement). We agreed to this and thought that we could send my sister to get them when she arrives. In the meantime Scott and I enjoyed a more natural method of encouragement. As pleasant as this was (albeit with pauses during surges) I don’t know whether it worked in bringing the labour on.

At 7.30pm my sister brought over some soup and went to get the pills, my parents also arrived around the same time (it was planned that they would be at the birth), which gave Scott a welcomed break from rubbing my back and keeping me hydrated. Our home had a lovely warm glow about it, I could feel it totally surrounding me and it felt wonderful. At 8 pm I had the dimazapan and panadeine forte along with a bath. I don’t think I lasted that long in the bath as it soon became too hot and the surges had started to increase. Between 8pm and 1.30am I was wrapped in a towel on our bed breathing through the surges that stayed at about 5-6mins apart but lasted for up to two minutes. I remember at a certain point going back and forth to the toilet between surges convinced that after I did a poo all would be better (meanwhile the midwife was still suggesting we stay at home). For the last hour or so at home I remember grabbing my left leg/buttock during each surge, nearly working against it, but felt that the breathing through it wasn’t working in the same way it was earlier. Looking back this was the same feeling I had when pushing at the Birth Centre, we probably should have left then…

At 1.30am Scott told the midwife that we were coming in (I think he spoke to her about 5-6 times throughout the whole period and I spoke to her 2-3 times), again she thought we were too relaxed and we wouldn’t be ready, but come in and check.

Leaving my bed was one of the hardest parts of the whole labour, everyone (Scott, parents and sister) had packed the cars full of the “necessary” equipment and now it was time for me to peel myself off the bed and make it to the car between surges. I would get up, get ready and quickly have to lie down, breathing through and then I was ready, the mad dash to the waiting lift, lying back on Scott and then fleeing the lift and jumping straight in the backseat of my parents car (our car had the capsule installed – no lying down there). Luckily (!) we managed to get nearly every red light in our 15 minute drive to the Birth Centre along with some night road works, but still it felt pretty amazing and special, us on our way to meet our child, our little convoy with no other cars on the road.

On arrival I wasn’t prepared to wait for the wheelchair (nor did I feel it was necessary), I walked straight in and was directed by our midwife Kelly (a new midwife, not the midwife whom we had been talking to on the phone). Kelly was fantastic, she let us settle and then asked whether I wanted an examination… “yes please”. And guess what, I was fully dilated and ready to go! We had the rainbow relaxation going and I had managed to pretty much stay in that headspace, although I was feeling a bit of lower back pain (in waves), but nothing much in between. We asked whether we could try the bath, so when it was ready in I went, it felt great but unfortunately I couldn’t quite harness the energy or force to correctly push, I wasn’t quite getting control of the force (this is the only way I could describe how to effectively push, the hyponobirthing “push” wasn’t very effective for me). Not that far into my time in the bath my waters broke and they were very lightly stained (there was also no mucus plug, which explains why I earlier didn’t quite believe I was in labour; no waters, mucus plug, nor had I “dropped”), Kelly monitored Poe’s heartbeat and all was well so she wasn’t too concerned. After observing us for a while and seeing that I wasn’t really harnessing the power of the surges adequately Kelly carefully suggested that we try the birth stool, me I was happy for some guidance. We hopped out of the bath (yes Scott had joined me at one point) and onto the stool. The stool was great, I leant back onto Scott and was able to pull up using the handles, we were there for about ½ hour before we went to the bed, on the bed it became a lot more vocal as I became aware of the feeling that was necessary to help my baby arrive, it felt very guttural, amazing and really tiring. My poor brother was listening outside the door, shaking his head saying “the poor thing” but luckily for me it wasn’t no where near as painful as it sounded. I equated this to fully releasing all of my energy, like those tennis players who make those grunting noises to use all of their brute force in a shot.

On the bed the midwife could see my blonde baby’s head (as you can see by the picture I have dark hair and dark skin and my husband also has dark hair, so this was both a shock and wonderfully amusing, who would have thought), and it won’t be long. So back on the birth stool, I was getting pretty tired but also knew it wouldn’t be long. My family came into the room and Kelly talked me through the crowning, I was absolutely focused on her, breathing, stopping and pushing whenever she said, she was amazing and I absolutely trusted her (which resulted in no tears at all, in fact a few hours later I could hardly believe that I had just given birth, this could also be thanks to yoga and the perineal massage) and then his head was out and then the rest of his body, she gave him a very quick wipe before placing him on my belly. Poe just stared at the light next to me, he looked around as peaceful and as aware as anything. After what felt like a few minutes he let out a wonderful cry. I loved that we were all transfixed by this beautiful boy that it took a while for my mother to look down and say “It’s a boy”. As we were holding him against my skin the placenta literally plopped out, I hardly noticed it happening. As Kelly quickly checked me over Poe was held by his sobbing father. He then hopped into bed with me, skin to skin and started feeding, it was amazing. All I felt was pure bliss and extreme but wonderful tiredness. My family went back to our place for some much needed sleep. Poe and Scott had a sleep next to me as I watched and loved my beautiful boys, my family.

Poe was born at about 4.45am and by 10.00am he was home sleeping on our bed as we all crowded around and stared. It was definitely the best day of my life, the birth was amazing and Poe is just the most wonderful little person ever, he is so happy, always smiling and laughing and has been really alert since day one.

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