At 38 weeks I thought I had made it; with GD, a previous cesarean, mild hypertension & GBS positive status under my belt I was so proud to make it this far! We had planned for a HBAC with my wonderful midwife Leanne, but in 24 hours my birth plan dramatically changed. Although I already knew; being told your baby is in transverse lie and not likely to turn was so heartbreaking, but tomorrow I was to meet our baby boy.
Walking myself into surgery was the oddest feeling, Quite euphoric really.
Calm and patiently I waited, but when it came time for the spinal block I panicked. Breathing shallow and rapidly, I closed my eyes while awkwardly hunched over. In and out, I could feel my whole body relax once I thought of my special place. Wow. It works!?
As soon as I was calm they were able to insert the block. Magic! It was baby time. We patiently waited. When it was time, we requested the privacy sheet to be dropped so we could see our baby enter our world. Welcome baby Reuben Will! I was able to hold his hand while the surgeons waited for the umbilical cord to become white. What a way to meet; still a part of me but earthside. Once Reuben was checked over had immediate skin to skin and breastfeeding. Something I missed out on with our daughter. He never left me from that moment; exactly what I wished for.
I made the decision to encapsulate my placenta also, which made my recovery much easier and was amazed at how quickly my milk came in (day 2).
Even though I didn't get to experience a vaginal birth and most likely never will, HypnoBirthing class still dramatically changed and helped my second birth and life. I was well informed and knew my rights to a gentle cesarean thanks to Cyndi and her HypnoBirthing classes. It was healing and beautiful; a much better experience compared to my first emergency cesarean birth.
I was able to return home before Reuben was 36 hours old, to start out our lives as a family of four.
Unplanned can be calm, disappointment can turn to happiness and the birth of our son was definitely a healing experience.
Thankyou to Cyndi at HypnoBirthing Mildura
By 38 weeks gestation with my first child I was 2-3cm dilated and having clusters of regular contractions, so labour looked like it would begin at any minute (so I kept being told!). My obstetrician performed 3 stretch and sweeps over the following fortnight to try and help initiate labour, however to everyone's surprise labour never followed.
My obstetrician then suggested artificial rupture of membranes which certainly wasn't in my original birth plan, but 2 weeks of contractions was starting to take its toll! I messaged Cyndi straight away and asked how hypnobirthing could fit into an induction of labour, and Cyndi was quick to provide a plan that immediately had me feeling at ease and back in control of my situation.
A couple of days later I was admitted to hospital for an induction at 40+2 weeks gestation. As soon as I entered birth suite my midwife assisted me to set up my environment exactly as I wanted - my salt lamp was turned on, my essential oil diffuser was started and my speaker was set up for my hypnobirthing playlist to start. My midwife was very educated about hypnobirthing and was excited to read my birth preferences in order to advocate for the labour my partner Sam and I wanted.
My obstetrician then broke my waters at 8.30am, and I started walking around the room calm breathing to try and get labour started. My midwife was trained in acupressure points for labour induction, so I was keen for Sam to learn and apply acupressure with every contraction to help establish labour in the hope of avoiding any form of chemical intervention. Not long after Sam started using acupressure on my hands I felt labour begin, so I moved into the shower to try and stay as comfortable as possible. The birth ball came into the shower with me, and I was set up to keep moving around however I felt comfortable. The speaker came into the bathroom so my music could keep me relaxed as I focused on my hypnobirthing breathing; I kept imagining slowly blowing up a big balloon in my belly with every surge. I alternated between sitting on the ball with the shower head on my back and kneeling on the floor leaning over the ball, and labour continued to progress quickly.
After a couple of hours in the shower my midwife suggested getting into a beautiful warm bath with dim lights and lavender oil, so I moved to the bath and Sam and I were left to chill out with our music. Not long later I started to feel increasingly uncomfortable, and kept moving positions but couldn't find comfort easily. In hindsight I was transitioning to being fully dilated! I asked to try some gas and a few contractions later I felt the need to start bearing down!
My midwife called my obstetrician and she was on her way, but by that time I felt like Harry was trying to be born. I was taken back to my room and by the time my obstetrician arrived to assess my progress at 2pm I was fully dilated and bearing down to birth my baby. Sam had overheard the midwives saying they couldn't believe I had fully dilated so quickly because I was so calm and quiet! I continued to labour kneeling over the head of the bed and it was expected that my baby would be born fairly quickly, however as time went on Harry's heart rate slowed and the monitor showed foetal distress because he was stuck in a difficult position and couldn't come any further.
I was completely in the zone with my deep, even breathing whilst using the gas through constant contractions, which allowed me to continue calmly despite the situation. It also helped that my obstetrician was sitting right next to my bed nursing a cup of tea cool as a cucumber! My obstetrician asked if she could help deliver my baby's head with a ventouse, however the ventouse slipped off. She then did a quick episiotomy and delivered the head and shoulders with forceps. My obstetrician then reminded me that I'd expressed a wish to catch my own baby, so she guided my hands so I could deliver his body myself.
Harry was born at 4.56pm, 8lb 3oz and completely healthy despite his earlier distress - an absolute testament to the power of hypnobirthing for both the mother and baby. Although my birth did not go to plan at all, I cherish the amazing experience I had and feel 100% positive about my experience. Without the techniques Sam and I learnt in class I am certain I would have not been able to surrender and just let myself breathe through the experience, and I definitely wouldn't have been in the state of mind to be able to remain calm when things took an unexpected turn! Hypnobirthing gave me the best birthing experience I could have hoped for and I could not recommend Cyndi's class highly enough to any woman in preparation for childbirth.