Sorry it’s taken so long to get back to you – amazing how quickly time passes and how busy life is! Our gorgeous little son’s name is Jeremy Nicholas and he is 4 months old on Saturday.
He was born on 18th November, 11 days early. Funnily enough, only two days earlier I had sent a subliminal message to him in-utero telling him that I was ready for him to be born! My waters broke at around 9am on Saturday morning, we got to the hospital for a checkup at about 11.30, I had my first contraction around 12.45 and by 1.00 they were coming fast and furious – every 4 minutes. We didn’t even have time to go home and collect our bags.
I started off in the birthing centre, in the shower, where I was perfectly happy and managing well – the water was very soothing, but I had one high reading of blood pressure, so they wanted to transfer me to the labour ward so they could monitor the baby for a 20 min stretch.
I was then very happy to get back in the shower. Little did I know that the Swiss ball I was happily swinging my pelvis on, had blocked the drain and we managed to flood the shower room, our birthing room, the corridor and the next birthing room also!! Mild chaos followed with Kev and two nurses mopping up the floor with stacks of towels and sheets while I moaned away in the shower ha ha ha…
After some time, not sure how long, I was definitely in some kind of “zone” of my own; I had to get on the bed to be examined again. I didn’t like being on my back and unfortunately, the pain escalated markedly and I sort of got “stuck” there, finding it very difficult to move. After a while and with my screaming increasing, Kev went to get the midwife, who suggested I get into the bath and she and Kev helped me move there.
The bath was fantastic – the feeling of weightlessness and being able to move around more freely. So after 7.5 hours from start to finish, Jeremy emerged in the bathwater and was quickly put up onto my chest (as you can see from the photos). It was such a moving moment.
So we were happy to have achieved the kind of birthing that we wished for – completely natural with minimal interventions and no tearing or stitches required.
In relation to the hypnobirthing techniques – we did try putting on the CD’s and using some of the techniques, but what I found was that once the contractions started, they came with such regularity that I never really had the chance to get into a deeply relaxed state before the next one was upon me. Also, I had a lot of back pain, which did not subside between contractions, so I didn’t really get a break from the pain.
However, I did definitely go into some internal space whereupon I wasn’t fully aware of everything going on around me. I was in a semi-aware sort of way. I found that I had a very vocal labour, with lots of moaning and even screaming towards the end of dilation.
But where I felt that hynobirthing was especially helpful to me was in the mental preparation for labour. I was completely ready for the experience and open minded to whatever would unfold. I think that this mental attitude bred confidence during the labour, and I was also very mentally determined to do my best to have a drug free experience. I feel that if I had gone into labour feeling uncertain about whether or not to use drugs, then I may very well have succumbed and opted for them at the height of intensity of contractions. I think it was particularly the set of affirmations, which were most helpful to me.
Jeremy was also very relaxed when he came out and they had to rub him up and down vigorously to get him crying. But he quietened as soon as they put him on my chest and he lay there contentedly soaking up all the new sensations and looking up and his mum and dad – it was so wonderful. So, I wonder to myself whether or not the relaxation practice that I had done pre-labour was a contributing factor to how he felt on arrival.
So 4 months on and we are totally rapt and in love with our gorgeous little baby. He is very vocal now and loves to have rambling conversations with lots of oohing and cooing. We recently had a little holiday up at Hamilton Island and he went in the big pool for the first time. After some initial reserve he was happy to be swished and swooshed around on his tummy with his little chubby legs kicking away behind.
So – water baby at birth – water baby for life?
Sonja, Kev and Jeremy (Nov 2009)