Hey Hannah! I gave birth to my beautiful baby boy at 40+4 weeks at home. I wanted to share our birth story as first time parents. Thanks for all your help leading up to the day. All the fears I had going in completely disappeared and I think that really gave me to confidence to birth naturally. We really enjoyed learning the physiology of birthing with you :) I had absolutely no warning signs before this happened!
On the 6/5/20 I took my usual hour walk, cooked dinner, had a clary sage bath while listening to my hypnobirthing tracks and went to bed at 10pm. I woke up to mild pressure and cramping at 11.15pm but thought it was gas pains so continued to rest. Stewart (my husband) decided to pull out the timer while I gently squeezed his hand when the pressure increased. They were 3-5 minutes apart and 40-60 seconds consistently. I was still ok at this point so went back to sleep. I woke up at 1.30am when the pressure intensified and I could no longer sleep through them. Hubby called the midwife to give her a heads up but I felt I didn’t need her yet.
I put on my hypnobirthing tracks, turned on the fairy lights and LED candles, then we started the light touch massage. I felt calm and relaxed and started deep breathing. Soon after, the sensations became stronger, this time longer and closer together. I decided to jump in the shower with some drops of lavender oil while hubby set up our birth space and pool. It was instant relief, I found being on all fours while the water hit my back especially soothing. I stepped out of the shower and felt the pressure increase. I decided to try the TENS machine but found it didn’t do much for me. I put that away and continued deep breathing while swaying on all fours - I found this position helped a lot.
3.30am came and again l was still managing, I tried different positions to get comfortable and found sitting on the toilet really helpful! The midwife arrived an hour later and we decided to do a cervical check. I could have gone without but I was too curious! I honestly thought it was false labor because of how I was managing so well but to our surprise I was already 6cm! I remember us laughing at our midwife's reaction because she couldn’t believe I didn’t need her earlier.
I laboured mainly on the toilet and in the pool from there. Stewart was by my side the entire time following his Birth Partner Cheat Sheet, keeping me cool with cold washers and making sure I was hydrated. We sat and read our affirmations wall during rest periods while midwives checked baby’s heart rate. I had the hypnobirthing tracks playing in the background.
In the last stretch, I felt like I needed to use the bathroom so I was walked over and as I sat down, another surge occurred. It felt different this time and Stewart, who sat down in front of me, said “Wow! there’s the head!” I was crowning and they could see the bag of waters! I couldn’t help but laugh, everything felt so quick but it had been hours! I waddled back to the pool and exciting said “Ok let’s have this baby!”
I felt so confident and happy knowing I was about to meet him, I started deep breathing again and focusing. My breathing changed with low, deep groans. I felt a gentle pop then reached down and could feel his head! I then alerted Stewart as I breathed the rest of him out and he caught the baby! I felt every part of his body as I birthed him, it was such an incredible and empowering experience. He was put straight on my chest and as soon as I spoke, he reached his hand up and touched my face. My midwife said she hadn’t cried at a birth for a long time, I think we all cried!!
After 20 minutes I stood up in the pool & felt a mild cramp. My placenta fell right out and the midwife caught it! I got 2 hours of skin to skin, no tears, 6 hour labour, delayed cord clamping, natural placenta delivery, a beautiful heathy baby who latched straight away and an unforgettable experience. I achieved everything I wanted on my birth plan.
Oh and of course we sat out the couch, watched TV and had pancakes after while we all bonded. It was magical and I wish I could relive it over & over, such a perfect first birth 💓
Photos and birth story shared with permission. Jess and Stewart attended my March 2020 Hypnobirthing Australia™ Course half in person/half via Zoom.