Me and Richard are just checking in to introduce you to Woody, who was born last Sunday, a week early! He’s a funny little thing and we are completely smitten with him!! We wanted to say a massive thank you to you and let you know that attending your classes was the best decision we could have made. We know for sure that our hypnobirthing tool kit made a HUGE impact on my pregnancy and labour. Here is our labour story!
My waters broke at 3am on Sunday morning and very shortly after it was game on! There was no panic, Richard was calm, I felt calm and Richard Immediately knew to put on the MP3 tracks and set up the lounge room with the exercise ball, Yoga mat, keep the lights low and get the tens machine up and going.
We called the hospital who agreed to let us stay at home and I listened to the hypnobirthing tracks and followed the breathing exercises we learnt from you. I used visualisations to imagine my cervix opening and my uterus as a big balloon being squeezed down. The surges were getting more and more intense and I was completely dependent on Richard being there and holding me through each one. He was so prepared and knew exactly what to do, his ability to keep me calm and remind me to focus on my breath was amazing. After 4 hours of breathing through surges it was time to go to the hospital.
At 7:30am we arrived at the hospital with surges being around 3 min apart. We were taken straight to a labour room.
We had asked for no CTG monitoring if possible and would prefer to have checks with a doppler. We had also asked for minimal vaginal examinations and did not particularly want to know the dilation in cm’s until full dilation. I really feel that being assertive and informed on presentation to the labour ward helped. At one point the obstetricians had been whispering to one another whilst I was in the room and I asked them to please involve me in any discussions or at least not whisper. Following this they asked me If i wanted them to leave me alone until I waited for my CMP midwife to arrive, which was helpful.
I continued to focus on my breathing and listened to the tracks, having water sprayed on my face was a life saver! The lavender aroma diffuser was quickly turned off as it made me want to vomit and the headphones didn’t last long in my ears and soon got flung off, we played the tracks on the phone instead.
Our CMP midwife arrived shortly after and she was familiar with our birth preferences. We also had a 1st year midwifery/nursing student who came along too. At this point, surges were coming on thick and fast, there was no time to think about filling a bath, getting in the shower or asking for water injections or gas. I just breathed through them getting Richard to hold me tightly from behind or leaning over the ball. There were times were I lost control and panic set in but with my team around me, being held by Richard, water being sprayed on my face, cranking the tens machine and being constantly encouraged was getting me through it. At one point I did accidentally electrocute myself with the tens by turning it up full instead of off! Richard says that your course helped him be part of the birthing team.
At 11am, 3 and a half hours after arriving at hospital, I had my first vaginal examination and I was fully dilated. I couldn’t believe it!
The next 2 and half hours of transition were a bit more... ‘intense’ ha! I initially had tried to use bearing down techniques but after little progress and the clock ticking (turns out the hospital don’t like you to push for more than 2 hours before intervening) I had to do some serious pushing. I think at this stage panic had taken over and I had lost control. The surges were intense, and I was worried about obstetricians hovering and clock watching. Had I been able to relax the bearing down breathing may have worked but it wasn’t an option for me. It took me about 30 mins or so to get the pushing technique right, getting the breathing right and knowing exactly where in my bottom to push to. My midwife really helped me with this and after 45 mins or so I was getting the hang of squatting and pushing and progress was being made although still quite slow. My babies head was only mm’s away from crowing and I had gone over the 2 hour mark. The obstetrician was in the room and forceps/ventouse was looming. My midwife was able to advocate for me, I was on the CMP program and had been meeting with the same midwives throughout my whole pregnancy. They knew we had taken Hypnobirthing classes, they knew our birth preferences and gotten to know us as a couple. My midwife believed in us and was able to advocate on my behalf and negotiate more time. I was given extra time to push, on the condition that I lay on the bed with the CTG monitor in place and a heart monitor be place on the baby’s head. Our students help and having an extra set of hands at this point was unbelievably helpful. I continued to push from the bed and progress continued.
The obstetrician asked me to put by legs in the stirrups which would help me push which I, hesitantly, agreed to. I felt that this was one step closer to intervention and I didn’t trust this request at all. However, this worked and by pushing my feet against the stirrups my babies head crowned. The obstetrician was right, this did help me with the final push.
I pushed my baby out and they placed him in my arms. Nothing prepared me for what happened next. Richard described it as someone had given me a huge bag of drugs. I had this overwhelming surge of pure euphoria, kissing and cuddling him, cracking jokes with the hospital staff, feeling no pain or even slight discomfort and being so wide awake and alert!
Woody was born at 2pm and weighed 7 pounds 6. The placenta followed naturally after around 15 mins with minimal bleeding.
The hypnobirthing classes were 100% to thank for the speedy first stage of labour. I can’t imagine what we would have done without this knowledge. Due to the classes I also went in to labour feeling strong, empowered and not afraid. I remember telling friends that I was looking forward to labour and to bring it on! This meant that I stayed relaxed and calm when my waters broke and the surges started.
I had no drugs, I had no tearing, I was alert, Woody was alert and was handed to me with his eyes wide open and cried almost instantly. I was in the best possible state to welcome my child in to the world. I’m not going to lie, the last 3-4 hours were tough, the transition stage was really bloody tough, but I got through it and I did it.
I was very close to having intervention due to the 2-hour pushing policy and, had I not been with the CMP or had there been a different obstetrician on it may very well have been forceps and episiotomy. Perhaps being assertive towards the obstetricians and being informed about my birth preferences helped too. The midwife advocating for me and getting me that extra 30mins to push made a significant difference on how my son was born into the world and my first moments as a mother.
My recovery was so minimal, no pain relief needed, no stitches, no come down from drugs, not even panadol.
My name is Rosie Fitzclarence and I am a Registered Midwife, Registered Nurse, Childbirth Educator (Geelong Born) and Hypnobirthing Australia Certified Practitioner.
I am based in Geelong and can be contacted by email by firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0419170783.
To find out more about my Hypnobirthing Australia classes CLICK HERE