Baby Rose Nada – a drug-free birth

Hi Katherine,

We have had a little girl and her name is Rose Nada – her weight is 4.040kilos or 8lb 13oz, 51cm (so basically big!). She was born on 16th April 4.45pm! It was a brilliant experience – we had a completely drug free birth (not even gas!). We were only in labour for 4.5 hours.

She has gorgeous strawberry blonde hair and looks like her dad. See picture attached – this was when she was a couple of hours old! We are both completely besotted with her. So far, she sleeps, sleeps and feeds – very smooth sailing – crossing fingers it stays that way!!!!!

So! I am a happy mummy.

The detailed hypnobirthing experience – here we go!

I have been working on this over a few weeks so I hope it hasn’t gotten too detailed!

At home – Stage 1:
I woke at 6.30am on Wed 16th and went to the toilet and had the “show”.
First surge came at 7.15am which lasted for 30 secs.
The surges were then 10mins apart for about an hour, lasting for 30 to 40 secs.
During these early stages I ate breakfast, hung out the washing, and unpacked the dishwasher!
From about 8am they very quickly progressed to 6mins apart and lasting longer.
At about 9.30am, Sean and I jumped in the bath together for about 1.5 hours listening to the hypnobirthing CDs and getting into our relaxed breathing we also had a CD that had calming music that worked really well for us.
At around 11am the surges were 3 to 4 mins apart and lasting for 50 to 60secs – I was still fine and breathing through the surges.
We left for the hospital at midday. We weren’t really ready to leave home but we had 20 mins or so to get there and I needed Sean during my surges and was anxious that, if we waited too long and they got too intense, we would be restricted by the help Sean could give me; while he was driving.

What worked at home:
The bath.
Relaxing music.
Physical touch from partner (this for me was critical Sean was involved in every surge – I found that if we were touching in some way it made the deep relaxation more effective).
Being at home in our own space – we were incredibly calm and the surges weren’t at all difficult.

At the hospital Stage 1 to Stage 2:
We got to the hospital about 12.30.
The car journey was really tough – I had 6 surges in rapid speed and intensity and found that it was tricky to focus on my breathing.
When we got there they checked on the baby for about half an hour (she was asleep through most of the labour) – I was up on the bed and they had the monitors hooked up to us. (This was the only time I was on the bed throughout the experience – they ended up using the remote foetal monitors which meant that they could check on the bubba without interrupting me at all).
By 1.30pm I was 6cms dilated.
We hopped in the bath – which I found to be incredibly uncomfortable and not very relaxing (our triangle bath at home was much better!) We did stay in the bath though for about 40mins and I went into transition in the bath. My waters also broke while I was in the bath with a big pop! When I started going through transition I did feel nauseous, also said to Sean “I don’t think I can do this”! Which he responded “yes you can – you know we are very, very close now”.
Around 2.30pm I was 10cms dilated and now out of the bath (I didn’t get back in).
During these first few hours at the hospital I was completely in control, calm and most definitely in deep relaxation (almost sleepy looking!). We had 2 midwives from the “Group Practice Team at Nth Shore” – they wear plain clothes and are with you for the birth. The midwife left us to manage through in this first 2 hours popping in every 15mins to check on the bubba – they were quiet, relaxed, and non-intrusive. In fact EXCELLENT! They were incredibly impressed with how things went in this early stage of our birthing experience.

Bearing down – OUCH!
From the moment and sensation of “pushing” (and I use that word as it is the only word that describes accurately for me what the feeling was like!) it took just short of an hour and a half before our precious Rose joined the world!
I found that at this point I lost control somewhat and found it very difficult to refocus and to BREATHE! I found the pressure was just so, so, so, so intense.
Sean was using the affirmations, light touch massage and reassuring me.
Also, what didn’t work in my favour was that my surges completely slowed and went to 10 mins apart and only lasting 20secs! Which meant there wasn’t a lot in the surge to work with to help me breathe or push her out!
Her head crowned relatively quickly and we could see her moving her head around for about 40mins. Her head would edge out and then go back in!
I was on all fours on a mat on the ground leaning over a couch or over Sean.
I did go on a birthing stool towards the end to see if that change in position would help my back and also help her to come further down – I think from memory I only had 2 surges on the stool before I resumed the position of all fours.
I was getting incredibly tired and also loosing my positive attitude (as I had no idea that once I got to this stage it could take this long!) The back pain was really starting to also take its toll.
Eventually with a few hard and concerted pushes she came out in 3 surges first her head, then shoulders and then the rest of her body. I touched her first and brought her straight onto my chest. It was me that announced “It’s a girl!” – which was very special.

What was hard for me?
I had incredible sharp back pains, when I got to Stage 2 (we now know that her left shoulder was pushing against my spine which was causing me a lot of pain! This meant that these pains really changed my focus and made it harder for me to use the breathing techniques. I found that as we had learnt about what would happen at this stage the back pain threw out my concentration as I was unsure how I could overcome the feelings and sensation.
I found that I never really mastered the J-Breath effectively to assist with this stage of the birthing experience (I still question how I could have prepared better for this – but I do think it is incredibly hard until you are in the moment and the sensation!).
I found this actual hour and a half to be very, very hard work! It was intense, it hurt and the burning sensation was nothing like I imagined!
In saying all of this I still did have a very positive experience but this stage I wish I could have managed to get the breathing right.

Stage 3:
This is where things did get interesting – I felt fabulous – we had this precious little package, Sean and I were skin to skin with Rose and then the placenta and cord broke! So we ended up having to have the placenta manually removed which was not that nice! Anyhow we had a beautiful little baby girl by this stage so at least that could keep us focused!

Overall I would have to say that the classes were a fabulous help in assisting us have a natural relatively pain free birth, I felt calm, in control and relaxed. It made a tremendous difference knowing how both my partner and I could assist me through the birthing experience. For us our birth of beautiful Rose Nada was very much teamwork.

Rose is a really calm and relaxed baby – she sleeps, feeds and enjoys playtime. She is now 8 weeks old and we are all doing really well.

Thank you again Katherine for you assistance with our journey.