Just some follow up on my birthing experience.
Despite my hesitation, it was medically necessary to induce me as I was just past 40 weeks with GDM. I went in with Barnaby for my induction in the late afternoon, and was attached to the monitoring machine. After 20 minutes the midwife needed to examine me, she knew I had done hypnobirthing so said this would be a good time to use it. I wasn’t really bothered by the exam, and it turned out I was already having contractions and had started dilating. She completed a stretch and sweep. She suggested a dinner out together, a 30 minute walk, and to come back in the morning; there was no need for the Cook’s Catheter.
We went out for a meal and a walk, and I sat on the fitball while reading a book for an hour or so. I layed down to try and get some sleep and had a contraction that was far more noticeable than those I had previously experienced. I walked around the house, woke Barnaby at about 1. He ran the shower, setting up the bathroom with dim lighting, as we had planned I would shower at home before we headed in. Once the shower was ready I said I didn’t think we had time for that, and instead B rang the hospital and we drove in.
The assessment service was uncomfortable-just because it was a small room and sitting wasn’t comfortable. Barnaby helped me find better positions as much as possible. The midwife performed an exam-as the breathing/safe place/hand on my arm from B worked so well it didn’t bother me. She offered a stretch and sweep which I accepted.
I walked to the delivery suite and met the midwife. At this point I asked for gas-I was aware that my stress levels were rising with the pain from stronger contractions and wanted to head that off. I tried it while on the fitball/leaning on the raised bed. I liked it but couldn’t take it into the shower that was run for me. While I got into the shower the midwife had time to read my birth preferences, I was in the shower for about an hour, I got out because the water splashing on my face was annoying me even though I liked the warmth. Barnaby convinced me to try the bath, which I agreed to when I was told that I could have the gas there.
When I came out of the shower into the room the lights were dim and the space was calm. I didn’t realise how much Barnaby had been consulted about setting up the space while I was in the shower.
For the next while I used the gas to help me both with managing my discomfort and as a cue to help me to breathe deeply. Barnaby ensured the gas was ready when I asked (at first this was holding up a hand and saying gas, which became a gesture and then him recognising my physical cues), and provided me with water when requested. I was meditating/almost dozing between contractions, but usually didn’t want to be touched during them.
After what felt like no time at all I wondered if I was crowning but such was my focus I didn’t say anything. I then birthed the head and body and said to Barnaby “there’s a baby”, he didn’t realise I wasn’t meaning we would be having one, so I said “look behind me” he immediately saw the baby in the bath and called the midwife over from where she was doing observation notes. This was 5:43am, maybe 4 hours after arriving in the delivery suite. The midwife was really shocked as I hadn’t made any noise, hadn’t seemed to be struggling/pushing.
I always visualised the first two videos when thinking about my birth, expecting to use the fit ball. Instead it had a fair bit more in common with the waterbirth video!
I did has some small tears, some blood loss, a ragged placenta membrane, but they were managed while I had skin on skin with my baby. I was really well treated by everyone medical throughout my birth and overnight stay in hospital. Physically I am recovering really well.
Thanks so much for running this course, it certainly helped me have a positive experience!
Amy and Barnaby completed my Zoom Group Hypnobirthing Australia Course. Birth story and photos shared with permission.