Project Description

Hi Rebecca, Seeing your highlight of 10 families on Facebook reminded me that I wanted to write a birth story for you (and me!). I have also included a bunch of photos that I have taken - I hope you don't mind my business watermark - talk to me if you do. Lee thinks I might have overdone the number of photos.. he's probably right - but Tom is gorgeous... Early on in my pregnancy I was very much in the moment, but as I passed 30 weeks, everything became a lot more real. I started thinking about the actual delivery part! Given this was my first child I was ultra-curious about what the sensation would be like. From the few stories I had heard it seemed to vary massively from person to person. Talking to friends of mine who had used Hypnobirthing I decided that was exactly what I wanted to learn and asap! The training with Rebecca from Birth Sense Australia was fantastic. In particular I was looking for a practical guide of what to expect, some tools to handle it and a role for my husband, which is exactly what Rebecca gave us. She was approachable, knowledgeable, and down to earth and after just the first session I felt prepared for what was to come - whatever and whenever that may be. Tom was due and arrived on Wednesday 19th June (what a good boy). The Saturday before I had noticed a slow leak, but it was so slow I couldn't be sure what it was. By Sunday night I had guessed it was amniotic fluid. By Monday I was sure, but it was clear and there was no smell, and everything I read said that was fine. We had a Doctor's appointment scheduled for Wednesday so thought we would wait for that. I had been experiencing some singular surges once or twice a day, but nothing consistent - I viewed them as my body in 'training'. Two weeks prior I had had a bunch of surges, but they went away when I went for a swim in a heated pool. My Mum was flying over from Western Australia on Wednesday evening and when I called her Tuesday night, she said, "Should I postpone my flight?" I realised my heartfelt response was, "Please don't, I don't want to hang on any longer." I had been calling nearly every day with an update of how I was feeling and thinking about whether it was the right flight for her to be on. When she said, "You don't have to wait for me," I felt so relieved. I didn't even know that I'd been hanging on for her arrival. My body must have received the message, as I was woken up at 5:30am the next morning with my first full on surge. I dozed until the next surge at 6:30am, and from then on, it was game on. At around 7:30am I woke my husband, Lee, to let him know. I spent the morning at home while Lee tracked my surges. I tried watching some TV, but found I wasn't really paying attention. I lay on my side breathing through the surges while Lee had a shower and a shave, and called my Doctor to say we weren't coming in for our appointment. Lee helped me to attach the TENS machine, which helped me to focus through the surges. The surges increased in intensity and quickly reached 3-5 minutes apart. We decided to head in to the hospital. My fantasy of calmly walking to the hospital or catching the tram, turned out to be just that. I waited just inside the doors, while Lee parked the car, then took me into the emergency department. A toilet stop and then I was sent to be examined. At 11am I met a midwife and the obstetrician who scolded me for not coming in within 24h of the first leak. The fluid sac was intact and in a big cushion in front of the baby's head. I was 3-4cm dilated and the obstetrician did a 'stretch and sweep' to help me along and said he'd be up to see me at 4pm. I was moved up to a birthing suite and we settled in. Lee set up the piano music we had selected and shared our birthing preferences with first one, and then a second midwife. Time was immaterial as I focussed on my breathing. I found the most comfortable position was on all fours, doing hip circles. I was in this position for the majority of the time - and only really switched for the birthing phase. I had thought that I would move to warm water once I reached 5cm, but there was no way I was taking the TENS machine off! When my TENS machine was faulty, I was able to explain and calmly switch to a backup stored at the hospital. Lee was the perfect birth support partner for me. He was our primary communicator - I was able to use single words, and he was able to translate into a polite sentence for the midwife and obstetrician. He helped me focus and relax with deepening techniques (that we had practised) as I requested them - touch techniques, light touch massage, and saying the affirmations I liked. The best thing that he did for me was remind me to take a slow breath in during the most intense (transition) phase. When I took a short, sharp breath in - it hurt - but as soon as he reminded me - I was able to take a slow breath in, the pain was gone, and I was back 'in the zone'. My heart rate at this point was an easy 56 beats per min. At 4:30pm, the obstetrician came to visit. I was 8cm and the amniotic sac had still not burst, so with my permission, he burst it and I felt a big gush of warm water and a bit of relief of pressure. After a time, the obstetrician visited again and said it was time to push, and he demonstrated by taking a big breath in and then holding it. I said, that I was going to breathe it out. He said, that would take longer. But I was feeling good, trusting my body and training and said, "I don't mind". He left. I got up onto the bed on my knees, with my arms resting on the top of the bed. One push later the midwife asked Lee to ring the call bell. I heard the midwife say, "Where's the obstetrician? We're having a baby!" A couple of pushes later and the obstetrician asked me to stop pushing. That was easy enough. The midwife suggested panting - which probably would have worked brilliantly for someone who was straining the baby out - but wasn't necessary for me. Next the obstetrician asked me to put my hands between my legs - I looked down and saw my baby's face! (I'm feeling emotional just writing about it now, 4 months later.) With the next push, I caught my own baby! Luckily the midwife was there to help, as it was pretty slippery. We didn't know the sex, so I held it out to have a look and announced, "It's a boy!" I then remembered that we had planned for Lee to announce the sex. He had been carefully removing the TENS pads (a fact I was completely unaware of). Luckily he hadn't heard and a moment later came around and was able to announce "It's a boy!" too. After the cord had stopped pulsing, it was clamped off. I maneuvered around with my beautiful baby in my arms so that I was facing forward on the bed. The obstetrician asked me to cough a couple of times and I felt the wet weight of the placenta begin to be birthed. I breathed it out while my gorgeous boy bobbed around to suckle. I had a small tear and I breathed through the sensation while an anaesthetic was injected and a couple of stitches were sewn. We had a couple of names in mind, and Tom was the one that seemed to fit. Tom was born at 5:24pm, 7 pounds 14 oz, 53cm long. I truly believe that Tom's calm entry to the world set him up to be a calm newborn, and that calm newborn has helped us be calm parents of a newborn, which in turn has fed into him being a chilled out baby, and hopefully on it goes. Hypnobirthing was the perfect preparation for me, not just for delivery, but motherhood too. Very best wishes, with our thanks, Karen