At my regular checkup appointment at the hospital on the 2nd May 2009, things began to happen. I then knew the Hypnobirthing birth of our second baby was not very far away at all.
I had an internal or also known as a “sweep” by the midwife who said I was 2cm dilated. This could have meant that I may have been coming back that evening to give birth or, it was only a matter of a few days away.
I began getting excited as we were waiting for this day to come for a few weeks now. I must admit, second times around things are a bit different. My body was feeling a whole lot more tired, as looking after another toddler; there was not much time for resting! So, I was well and truly ready to meet our baby.
In the early evening of the 3rd May 2009, things started to happen. We came back from my sister in laws place, where we were celebrating my mother in laws birthday (mine is on the 5th May, yes I know a busy time). I said to Phil that I needed to go home after we had cut the cake, as I was not feeling well.
I got Liam (my first born) organised and into bed by 7pm and then I decided to have something to eat. As I sat down to eat my dinner (spinach and cheese pie) I heard and felt a “pop”, then a warm gush of water trickling down my leg. I had just realised that my waters had broken. This had not happened in my first pregnancy so I was not sure what to expect. I went to that bathroom where it felt like I was doing a wee forever! I then realised our baby was coming to meet us very soon and started getting excited and letting the good hormones (endorphins) kick in.
8.30pm: I started to get what was like a mild period pain and this was bearable but decided to call the hospital and alert them. The midwife at the birth centre and Royal Prince Alfred Hospital, Camperdown said that it was early stages of labour and to stay home for a while and see how things go.
We decided to call my mum and tell her to come over and get ready to sleep here the night, as we knew we needed someone here to care for Liam if we needed to leave quickly if things eventuated, in the middle of the night. And, we were right…
9.30pm: By this time I was still having what I thought was period pain, apparently, they were mild contractions. This was slightly uncomfortable but the real pain or pressure I was experiencing, was in my lower back, towards my spine. I began to worry (only for a bit) that perhaps the baby was not in the right position and possibly breech.
So we called the midwife again. She again mentioned that until the contractions were at least 7 mins apart for at least half an hour not to come in and just stay home and see how things go. She recommended a shower, which may help relieve some of the lower back discomfort. I decided against having a shower at home as I had a funny recollection from my first birth, that this may speed things up. As we are now living approximately 20 minutes further than where we were living at the time Liam was born, we decided this was not the best option and that we would simply leave home that bit earlier.
This continued until 10.15pm when I decided not to call the midwife back and instead to leave for the hospital immediately. We called my sister, who was also to be present at the birth, and told her to leave soon and meet us there.
At this point I was concentrating very hard and was very focused on my breathing as the surges or contractions were getting closer together. They were not necessarily stronger, they were just constant and things felt like they were just starting to roll into one another very quickly.
At 10.40pm: We arrived at the hospital, met my sister Monica and went in to the birth centre where the midwife guided us to our room. She left us there for a short time while she was attending to another woman who was laboring at the same time, in the other room.
11pm (approximately): I had lost track of time but my sister told me this was the approximate time. The midwife asked me to get on the bed so she could check how far dilated I was and see how things were progressing. I did not want to get on the bed as this was very uncomfortable for me and would place pressure on my spine, even more. She asked me if I wanted painkillers for the pain in my back and I agreed as it was getting unbearable and sidetracking me from concentrating on my breathing and having a positive birth experience. She again asked me if I had a shower at home and I had said ‘no’ so she then advised me to have one here.
She said I was only 2-3 cm dilated! I was so disappointed as I was already 2 cm dilated on Saturday at my appointment. Not sure how this could have been accurate!
11.15pm: At this point I decided to have a shower and then immediately the relief of the hot water on my back was fantastic! It relieved some of the pain and discomfort and allowed me to re-focus and realise the birth of my baby was coming very soon. At this point I noticed my breathing techniques had changed to faster breaths and were a bit shallower. This helped me get through as each surge became rolled into the other. We did not time any surges, but I just knew it was not far away despite the midwife thinking I was going to be there all night labouring!
She actually mentioned to my sister, after she checked how far dilated I was, that I could have stayed home a bit longer. She thought that, as I was so calm and not screaming or hysterical, I was going to be there for some time. But I knew that my body was ready and this was the time.
My husband decided to fill up the bath so I could get in and have a water birth as we did with our first baby, but unfortunately there was no time as the bath takes quite some time to fill up.
11.30pm: At this stage I was still waiting for the painkiller for my back pain (Panadeine forte) and then things changed, I felt a drop and then felt a sudden urge to begin birthing my baby. I thought that this was too early and could not have been happening so fast, but told my husband to go and call the midwife, NOW!
The midwife arrived with the painkiller which I immediately swallowed and then she asked me to come over to the mat where she had a bean bag and asked me to crouch down and lean over so she could check to see how far things had progressed.
I said that I felt the baby was coming and could not stop the sensation to keep pushing. I did not quite make it to the bean bag, knelt down and immediately the midwife said to me the baby’s head was already out and that we were having this baby now! My sister and husband got so excited and it was almost like the next few minutes were like the blink of an eye.
12.02am, 4th May 2009: The midwife had explained that I should have a little rest, just relax and then take a deep breath and give one big push. Then voila… out came my beautiful baby boy, Hugo!
It was such an amazing experience all over again. Very similar to the first birthing experience, however just a whole lot faster and this time not a water birth, Hugo was born on land! The shower was very soothing and I must say that water in labour, is the best form of pain relief for me, very soothing and calming. The heat packs also are a good option.
I do truly believe the HypnoBirthing experience has assisted me to have these calm, natural drug free births and actually enjoy the amazing experience.
Believe it or not I would do the whole birth experience over and over and not change a thing. I would do anything to have that moment of birthing my baby again!
Staying focused and remaining calm is the key. From the minute my waters broke at home until the baby was born, I hardly said two words! I closed my eyes, used hand signals when I needed to express myself and just took myself to some other place, where I focused on my body and had positive thoughts the whole time.
Afterwards, the midwife even said to me “you were a quiet achiever, I had no idea you were so close to labouring”.
But, having experienced this before, I knew I just needed to listen to my body and I am glad I did!
Hugo – born 12.02am 4th May 2009
8 ½ lb – 3.765 KG
50cm long and a head full of black hair!
You can read here the birth of Hugo’s older brother Liam which was published in the Cosmopolitan Pregnancy Magazine.
Belinda, Phillip, Liam and Hugo