Thank you again for our refresher course - I feel like it was preparation I really needed for the birth of Landon!
2nd pregnancy: On July 21st I woke at 3:30am with some pressure/tightening.. I went to the toilet, got back in bed and felt a trickle.. I was a bit in denial but thought I’d put on a pad just in case and it slowly kept coming - my waters had released. Knowing how quick my first labour kicked off, I felt that this one would be even faster. So naturally I went in the spare bathroom, showered, shaved, washed my hair . I eventually woke Pete to see if he wanted to meet his son today!
Surges became much stronger, a minute long with the intervals shortening at about 5:20am - I went in the shower leaning on a fit ball moving my body. Pete massaged my arms and back and we stayed in the dark breathing through the surges.
We called family to ensure we didn’t miss our window and they arrived by 6:00am. Time to pack the car and go! We left for hospital at 6:15am - fortunately only a 4 min drive to the hospital. I couldn’t be buckled in a seat if you tried! I had 2 surges in the car and squeezed my birth comb - the relief it gave me I was unexpected and amazing! So I didn’t let go of it during the entire labour. Had more surges at the hospital entry, in the elevator and waiting room - things were really ramping up! I worried a few people as I leaned on a bollard to breathe through the surges but I wanted to stay in my dark safe space so just closed my eyes and ignored the surroundings.
Once in birth suite, my beautiful midwife Sarah had dimmed the room with fairy lights. I hopped in the shower again leaning on the fit ball. I continued to breath through surges, was massaged by Pete, used horse breaths and made sure to keep my jaw and face relaxed and open. Feeling that I was getting close I had Pete turn on the tub and I continued labouring in the tub while he ran the shower head on my back. The hospital had reopened water immersion!
At 6:50am and as surges were getting stronger, I decided to request a vaginal exam. I knew this was not needed medically, but in the moment I wanted to know what my body was doing for my own strength. I hopped on the bed, had a quick check, and my midwife said I can bear down whenever I feel the urge. This was empowering to me as I knew the harder parts of my surges were making so much progress and that I could trust in my instinct and what my body was doing.
Back in the tub I went! I let my body guide me and the surges slowed. I had a break (the Rest and Be Thankful Phase!) which was wonderful and I asked “is this ok?” - and my midwife said yes, you’re in transition . The powerful high intensity surges turned into low deep surges and after each set of those I’d have a few minutes break which was amazing. It let me reset and restart to gain strength for the next set. It was surreal to feel my body open and push the baby out. Once his head came out, I had a rest - and then I randomly asked for some orange juice (which was received with a laugh and a no), then with the last surge I pushed the body out. The midwife handed him to me from underneath the water and we stayed in the tub in awe of what we had just accomplished. Landon Rocky was born 4 hours after our first surge at 7:26am.
I did a lot of the same techniques in my first labour but that time I panicked when I hit transition. I had requested an epidural which slowed things down and ended up being rushed to theatre and having an assisted delivery with forceps and episiotomy. The recovery from this took a much longer and was uncomfortable for many weeks to come. Although my first birth was a wonderful experience, I knew I did not want to experience interventions again if they were not absolutely necessary for me. I’m such a planner that not knowing the process of something like childbirth can be a little overwhelming! But Jess' explanations helped guide me through those blind spots and trust in myself and the process.
The recovery this time has been so surreal. I am so much more active and able than I was with my first. I felt so amazing getting to skip the cannula, catheter and so many things I thought were “normal” after childbirth. I’m SO proud of myself and extremely grateful the support I had from my partner, my Ipswich midwife and Jess. Thank you Jess, again, for being such a wealth of knowledge and support!
Mama Emily, Dad Pete
Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner Jess from Mother Moon Hypnobirthing
Ipswich Hospital Midwifery Group Practice Midwife