Updated: Jul 31
A long early labour requiring all of the Hypnobirthing tools for a beautiful, calm birth.
We first got an inkling that labour was close when I had some lower back pain at 11am on my estimated due date. My partner did some acupressure and then I decided to take a nap. When I woke up a couple of hours later I was experiencing some mild cramping.
I wasn't sure if it was the beginnings of surges or not so we decided to go to the shops to get a few things. We joked as we were walking around, stopping every 10 mins or so with cramping that 'wouldn't it be funny if I was in labour!'
By 6pm we were sure it was labour, so my partner decided to get some sleep. At 3am we began timing surges. We continued this throughout the day with the surges coming consistently but not regularly. I had a few warm baths, listened to the hynobirthing tracks and used light touch massage. At 5.30pm we decided to head to the hospital with the affirmation tracks playing in the car.
At the hospital I was told I was 3cm dilated and given the option of being moved to the ward to rest and stay at the hospital, or returning home. As we wanted to avoid any interventions where possible, including time pressure, we chose to return home.
We continued to labour for another day at home. The surges never let up but were still irregular. Some were coming 10 mins apart, at other times 3-4 mins apart. This was a hard day. I had not anticipated a long labour and I began to lose faith in my body and it's ability to birth without pain relief. Baby was posterior which meant I was experiencing a lot of back pain and could not sit down comfortably.
This is when we contacted Jess (Mother Moon) and got some advice on how to move baby into a better position to assist progress. We tried the rebozo method to try to spin bub but had no luck. At 4.30pm we made the decision to return to the hospital for more support. I felt I could no longer cope at home and needed some pain relief. When we arrived at the hospital I was told I was 4cm dilated. The past 24 hours of labour had seen me dilate 1cm! This was not what I wanted to hear. Our OB came to see us and offered us two options - to artificially break my waters and start syntocinon to get things moving or to wait 4hrs and reassess. I was told I would most likely need a C-section in the early hours of the morning as I had already been in labour for over 2 days and I was tired. I requested to be given the 4 hours before reassessing.
I asked for sterile water injections to be administered to relieve the back pain and we were moved to the birth suite and met our midwife. She told us her shift was ending at 11pm (it was now 6pm) and said "let's have a baby by then!".
Her faith that we could do this naturally was all I needed to get my mindset back on track.
We laid out our candles, had the aromatherapy diffusing and played our music. We were able to create the relaxing atmosphere I had envisioned. Things started to move very fast now. My surges increased and came very fast. I was able to relax in a warm bath while my partner read scripts to me and used light touch massage.
I knew I wanted gravity to assist in the birth of our baby and chose to birth over a birthing ball. I had visualised breathing our baby out however the urge to push was very overwhelming and I went with it. After about twenty minutes of bearing down our baby's head was born with one big surge. My membranes still had not released yet so our midwife broke them and with the next surge our son was born. He came so quickly our OB did not make it back in time.
He was lifted to my chest immediately and I was helped onto my back to birth the placenta. Our son gave one small cry before settling contentedly on my chest and staring up at me. After 56 hours of labour we welcomed our son, weighing 2.98kg, into the world!
He latched soon birth and had no trouble feeding. After an hour and a half of skin on skin, he had some skin on skin cuddles with his daddy. I was so proud of myself and our baby.
Together we achieved what I had hoped for - a calm, positive, unmedicated, vaginal birth and a happy, healthy baby. We feel that the hypnobirthing classes helped us achieve this.
Not only did they teach us techniques we used during birth to stay calm but the knowledge we learnt about the process of birth meant we were a lot more informed about our options. Listening to the Hypnobirthing Australia tracks daily while pregnant and during labour kept me calm and I believe it helped create our calm, content bub. Everyone comments on how relaxed and chilled out he is. He is such a happy baby!