Prior to having a baby, I was PETRIFIED of birth and while pregnant with Lorelai it made me sick to my stomach to think about how I was going to give birth. I went along to the hospital run birth preparation classes and went home crying after almost every session. However, during the pain relief session, the midwife mentioned Hypnobirthing and I was immediately intrigued. Having a pit in my stomach about the hospital options for pain relief I knew I had to find another way, so I went home and researched this hypnobirthing thing and found Hypnobirthing Australia.
Within the first 5 minutes of the Positive Birth class, I knew I had found my saving grace. By the lunch break of the first day, I was excited and looking forward to my birth and by the end of the two day I felt empowered, excited and calm about my birth. I felt as though I had a greater understanding of my body, tools to help me through my labour and a real partnership with my husband about delivering our baby girl. This was a complete transformation from my previous state of fear, anxiety and honestly, terror.
I had hoped for a water birth with no intervention but unfortunately by blood pressure started rising the week of my estimated due date. This of course resulted in the hospital staff getting a little worried and meant I was going into the maternity assessment unit almost daily. I had used all the knowledge and decision-making techniques that the course taught me and, in the end, I was required to be induced due to hypertension and low fluid around bubs. So as Hypnobirthing teaches, I surrendered to whatever turn my birthing took and I prepared myself for the induction.
I was admitted to hospital two days before my induction was scheduled and the first night in hospital I passionately and rather desperately scrolled through Hypnobirthing Australia’s website looking for any positive birth stories of women who had experienced induced labours. I knew (due to completing the Positive Birth Program) that flooding my mind with these women’s triumphs even when their births took a different turn would absolutely help me keep focused on creating a positive birth for my baby. I also spent the night listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and doing another fear release. This kept me so calm and I felt prepared to absolutely smash my induction out of the park.
The second night in hospital I had the balloon catheter put in (use of hormone’s for cervical ripening were not recommended due to the low fluid around baby) and my doctor had filled the balloons so full that he actually told me if I needed to get some liquid drained out to let my midwife know. As I waddled back to my bed, the pain from the catheters increased exponentially, to the point that I could no longer hold a conversation with my husband or mum (who were both visiting me in hospital). I caught myself just as I was going into panic mode, knowing if I couldn’t handle this, how the heck was I going to handle labour, and I was able to use some of the hypnobirthing tools to calm myself down. My mum went to get my midwife, knowing that some liquid had to be let out of the balloons in order for me to get any rest for the next day, and so my midwife came in and released 10ml from each balloon and I felt instantaneous relief. I spent the night again listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and focusing all I could on a positive mindset.
The next morning came and both my husband and mum had arrived at 6am to be there to begin the syntocinon drip, but as luck would have it, another woman had come into hospital in labour, so my start time got pushed back. The balloon catheters had fallen out earlier that morning when I went to the toilet so mum, my husband and I got some breakfast and spent time chatting and playing games. At around 9am, my midwife brought us down to the maternity ward and broke my waters. With no spontaneous labour yet, at 10am he began the drip. For the first few hours nothing happened but I stayed calm and enjoyed time with my husband and mum. By 1pm, just after we had had some lunch, my surges began. For the first 2 hours I was happily sitting in my chair while my husband and mum tag teamed doing light touch and anchor touch as I calmly experienced each surge. Just after 3pm I had the urge to change positions and get into the shower. On all fours, that’s where I remained for the duration of my labour. I distinctly remember transition and using vocalisation to help with the intensity of the surges and according to my husband, mum and the hospital staff I remained to have a sense of humour, cracking jokes in between each surge. After a little less than 2 hours (just before 5pm) I felt the urge to bear down and it felt as if I had no control over my body. My baby’s head moved down the birth canal and as she crowned, I paused and let my body stretch slowly. Within a few minutes, her head was out and then within what felt like seconds the rest of her slid out. Lorelai was born at 4.53pm that day, just under 7 hours after my syntocinon drip began and only 4 short hours after my surges beginning. To this day, I still remember all of the hospital staff commenting on what an amazing experience it was for them to be witness to my very quick induced labour.