Dear Katherine and class friends; Tania and Peter,
Funny, Tania and Peter, that your baby Louis was born on our due date, earlier than expected. Luca was a bit lazy to come out and was born, almost on your due date. She arrived at 21.57 on the 9th of April (seems to be a recurring magical number in our life).
When she was not born on the 5th as expected, I thought I’d like her to be born on the 9th, because we got married on the 9th January in 1999… and she was!
Anyway, since there were no signs of labour on the due date and I was quite tired, heavy and full of water by that time, I started to worry that all my plans of natural birth were gonna be ruined if I had to be induced. I wanted to avoid that, by all means. So, on the 7th I went to see an acupuncturist as you suggested (just a corner away from wellbeing centre), who helped me to induce labour… After the first session the Branxton-Hicks contractions got more frequent and the mucus plug started to leak slowly.
I was not able to sleep that night and by dawn I felt quite strong period-like pain in my abdomen, coming and going about every 30-45 minutes. I was not quite sure that it was the real thing. I was kind of under the impression that the surges would be different and would start from the top of the womb going downwards but I did not feel any of that. Later that morning I called the hospital just to let them know that something was happening for sure but pain was still bearable.
As I had expected, the most important part of hypnobirthing is staying focused and using the breathing techniques and affirmations. It does require a lot of discipline but just lose control once, and feel the real thing, and you do not wanna be distracted again!
Thinking about it now the whole day felt like I was in a kind of delirium or trance. I was not really conscious at all.
By late afternoon (5’ish) I got suspicious that I really was in labour because the waves got more frequent and stronger. I also felt a second kind of pain from the very beginning which was similar to period pain but it was dull, never ending and constantly there. So I called the birth centre again trying to explain what I felt.
The waves were about 3-4 minutes apart and lasting for at least half a minute.
The midwife kept me talking on the phone, which I was still able to do, although sometimes I had to pause and breathe deeply. Anyway, she came to the conclusion that I must be in the very early stages; still hardly dilated, waters not broken. So there was no point going in because they would not be able to do more than give me a painkiller and send me back home again. So I hung up thinking that this whole thing might last another day or, maybe even two! So we just kept doing what we had been all day: walking, breathing and turning inwards more and more deeply, etc.
Within two hours, the waves were a minute long and 2-3 minutes apart. I thought I could not be that wrong… this had to be it… I began to time the surges. Simultaneously, we were trying to have dinner as we were advised, wisely… suddenly – as a flush – my waters broke… OH, the beautiful Persian rug.
So that was it! Got into the car and in we went… the birth centre was really quiet and we were by ourselves from 8pm ’til about 8.45. Then finally the midwife arrived (she had been busy delivering another baby) and by that time I was really ready to push. I asked her to check if I was fully dilated because I was so scared of tearing. Everything was perfectly ready to go, and the baby was out in 40 minutes.
However, the last minutes did not quite go according to plan. After the baby’s head came out Lauretta (the midwife) checked if everything was OK. Fortunately, because she noticed that the cord was quite tight around the baby’s neck… they made me stand up immediately… I was still pushing, the midwife was pulling to get the baby out very quickly. Lauretta handed her to me but unfortunately the cord had to be cut before the placenta was born and Luca needed some oxygen and a scrub because she was a bit ‘flat’. Lauretta had acted so promptly that Luca was fine after a minute. Just had to be warmed up a little… so it was Peter who held her for the first half an hour after the birth until the placenta business had been taken care of. In fact everything went so fast that we were not able to record anything as originally planned and we hardly took any photos.
We managed to spend our first night as a real family together in the hospital, which was really lovely.
All in all it was a fantastic experience for all of us (I hope Luca thinks the same). Indeed, we do think about it as the strangest and most cathartic day of our life.
Luca has been a really good girl, mostly rather calm and content and sleeping through whole nights already. Also, she seems to show signs of a very strong character, knowing exactly what she wants and is very willing to fight for it, by any means.
You see! I told you it would be a long one! HUH!
To Tania and Peter; Congratulations on your beautiful, gorgeous, baby boy. He is really lovely and he has very elegant Hungarian names too.
Finally Katherine, thanks again for the course. It was a great help in eliminating my fear of the unknown experience, learning to relax, and staying calm and detached.
Luca, Peter and Monika