| "When we give birth, we do so from our core - not just the core of our bodies, but the core of ourselves. We are open and vulnerable during and after birth, and the energy that is around us is the energy that we absorb. It becomes a part of the inner voice that guides us into motherhood."
Looking back we went into our first birth very naively and were uneducated on the birth process and the different implications that interventions can have. After being induced, a cascade of interventions followed and the birth ended up being very medicalised and quite traumatic. From this experience I carried some anxieties into the start of my second pregnancy that I knew I needed to work on if I was to have a different birth experience. This is where I fell in love with hypnobirthing.
At 28 weeks I had really worked hard on my fears surrounding birth and decided that we wanted to go ahead with a homebirth and were placed on the MGP program.
On the 12th May I just had a feeling that I would be going into labour. I had lost my mucus plug 5 days prior and had been getting a few niggles during the previous few nights. Around 4pm I got a dull ache in my back and at 7pm I started to get period cramp like tightenings. By 9pm they were coming regularly, I couldn’t sleep through them but they were very manageable. I woke my partner Mark at 10.30pm as I knew tonight was the night! He got the birth pool blown up and we set up my affirmations, got my essential oils out, my salt lamp and I put my TENS machine on. By about midnight I was in active labour but managing comfortably. I sat on my birth ball listening to affirmations and had my favourite tv series suits on in the background. It was now that Mark called the midwives to let them know that I was in labour. Mark got some rest and I continued to labour on the birth ball, I walked, swayed and had a shower which felt amazing on my back. During this time I have never felt so calm and ‘within’ myself. I knew my body was doing the work to bring baby down. At 4 am I asked my partner to call the midwives as I felt like things were progressing and my surges were getting more intense. I found the TENS machine so helpful in keeping me calm and focused as I had to press the button to change modes when I got a surge.
My back up midwife and a junior midwife arrived at 4.30am as my assigned midwife had a birth the previous night. Shortly after they arrived I had an overwhelming urge to vomit and I remembered this can be the beginning of transition. I was assessed and told I was 7-8cm however it was hard to tell as I had bulging membranes. My 3 year old son Leo woke up just as I was getting into the birth pool at 5.30am, he stood beside me stroking my arm and I will never forget that special time. My best friend arrived and starting taking photos and helping with Leo. We had run out of hot water so The midwives and mark were doing everything they could to bring the water up to temperature. I started to get a lot of cramping in my lower back during surges and this is where I started to struggle. I found the transition period really difficult and lost control. Looking back we definitely got a little lost at this point, we forgot to use all our hypnobirth tools and I was stuck in the fear-pan-tension cycle. At 6.30am I was given sterile water injections for the pain in my back, I didn’t feel much relief from these so I got back under the shower. This was the hardest time mentally for me, I had so much pressure in my pelvis and felt really uncomfortable. At 7.15am my assigned midwife arrived to assess me and I was fully dilated. She was able to break my waters and the relief was amazing. I got my head back in the game and got control back and instantly felt the urge to bear down. I was standing in front of our fireplace as this felt the most comfortable and I think gravity really helped baby come down. At 7.45am I felt baby moving down and starting to crown. I instinctively slowed my breathing while his head came out and after a few big ‘down’ breaths baby Orlando was born at 7.59am on the 13/5/20.
He was passed straight up onto my chest and we had an hour of uninterrupted skin to skin time. After 50mimutes the cord stop pulsating so it was cut and my partner had skin to skin while I had a physiological third stage and birthed the placenta. I had a shower and the midwives checked me over. I had a minor second degree tear and chose to have a few stitches to close it.
Orlando was then weighed and measured and we all got a bit of a shock.... 4.87kg, 38cm head and 54cm long. I couldn’t believe my body was able to birth such a big baby. I am in complete awe of the woman’s body and I feel so grateful that I wasn’t pressured into growth scans when he started to feel on the large side at 36weeks. I feel like this would have made me so anxious with the possible talk of induction or caesarean. Women can birth big babies and I wish there was more positive talk and encouragement around this.
This birth was so healing for us as a family and I feel like this experience has changed me. It was a calm, intense and beautiful birth and I am forever grateful for my beautiful midwives, my partner, my son Leo for being the best little birth helper and my best friend Sarah who took photos, played with Leo while things were intense and was basically like a doula with all the support you gave us.