I started getting my first twinges Friday night – just regular, un-painful tightenings like a mild pulling from my back then around my belly.
Saturday morning we actually considered for a while going to HypnoBirthing class, but decided instead to go for a walk to the park with our dog. The tightenings were happening every half hour or so, and I would just face away from people, breathe through it, and then we would carry on.
After lunch things moved up a notch and they were feeling a bit more serious so I lay down and did my rainbow relaxation. That really really relaxes me to the point that I fall asleep, but it made the surges come on a lot more painful for me because I wasn’t awake at the beginning of it coming on so wasn’t able to do my breathing until I woke and it had already taken grip of my body. In hindsight, I probably should have done the rainbow relaxation in the morning when the surges were mild.
Around 6sh we decided to try get some sleep as we knew we were in for a big night. I tried for an hour or 2, but I would wake up every 6 minutes or so in the grips of a surge. It was getting pretty intense and Mx was starting to feel a bit helpless so he did a quick cram study of our notes which helped him feel more in control. I would throw back the duvet and sit on the side of the bed, while Mx would touch my shoulder and remind me to relax my shoulders, breathe, and let my body do the work for me. Each time he reminded me I concentrated on relaxing my shoulders and envisioned my uterus moving the baby down, and my cervix opening up. I started to feel a bit nauseous around now, so I called our midwife to let her know what was happening. She said I was still in the early stages of labour. It really didn’t feel like it, but between surges I was fine so she just said to ride it out a bit longer as I wanted to stay at home for as long as possible.
The best position for me was kneeling up on the couch with my forehead up against the back (the same position I eventually gave birth in). I must’ve stayed in that position for a few hours. Mx found some acupressure points in my hand and pressed them at each surge which helped more than the back rub.
At about 10.30 I got a bit teary and said I can’t do it anymore. Although I could deal with the pain, the surges were still 5 or 6 minutes apart, not getting any closer, and I didn’t like not knowing how long it would go on for and was worried about getting too tired. Mx called our midwife and she agreed to come. I vomited then, and was also switching between shivering cold and too hot.
Our midwife arrived and reminded me to not focus on how long it may take but instead to just focus on getting through each surge. Her gentle reminder was enough to relax and calm me. I was about 5cms and I had just lost my plug. She said she’ll meet us at Birthcare, but said to take our time. I was anxious to go because the surges were very intense, but Mx, calm as a cucumber, went and had a shower!
We got to Birthcare at about 1am. Our midwife was waiting in the room with the lights dimmed and the spa on. Mx put on our playlist and I jumped in the spa which was relaxing but made my surges slow down so I jumped out and went back to my kneeling position on the upright bed. I felt pressure like I needed the toilet and our midwife suggested I sit on the toilet as it’s a good position to be in. As soon as I sat down I got hugely intense surges, my waters broke, and I had an overwhelming uncontrollable urge to push. I got 2 of those in a row. Our midwife examined me again and I was fully dilated and ready to go. This part was the good part!! It felt good knowing he was ready to come now, and it wasn’t painful – just tiring. Mx and our midwife talked me through pushing and reminded me to do my correct breathing, and I was able to let my body take over because it knew what to do. Only a short time later our midwife and Mx could see the head, but unfortunately at the end of that surge the baby decided to shoot right back up again! That was the worst feeling, knowing I needed to go do that tiring work to get him back down again when he had been so close!! But our midwife said he would have been getting into a better position – clever baby!!! The baby got back down again, and with one big push his head was out. He started crying straight away, before his body was even out. Next push, at 3.45am, he was finally out! (With no tearing thanks to my perennial massaging).
I had gas available, but I didn’t consider it as it would have been another thing to try deal with and I felt like I had enough going on as it was. The pain was totally manageable with my breathing and with mx helping me through each surge.
The classes helped Mx and me so much as it helped us understand that my body is made to do this, we shouldn’t need any intervention, and I was confident that I would be able to give birth naturally. It was such a positive experience, and my first words when I was handed Asher was that it was all worth it.
My view on childbirth has changed completely – it no longer is a scary, gory ordeal, but a very positive, empowering achievement. I am absolutely looking forward to my future births 🙂
Our midwife said it was a very typical birth for someone who had done the hypnobirthing classes, and it resulted in a very content happy baby (and mum) 🙂
Brooke, Mx and Asher 🙂