I had the pleasure of teaching Katarina & Trav during their first pregnancy. They were due to give birth with midwives at Campbelltown Hospital. What follows is a wonderful story of mum, dad, and midwives all working together for an amazing positive birthing experience….
Thank you so much for reaching out, for all of your support, your friendly reminder emails and for the incredible course you taught us. We really can’t thank you enough. It’s because of you that we had the freaking BEST BIRTH EVER!!!
I will admit, I was not the most studious student, I didn’t diligently meditate and I certainly did not practice my perineum stretches. But I did take away all of your good energy, your calm knowledge and empowered decision making, your courage and your support when I left your course and I carried it with me everywhere I went. Trav and I couldn’t tell anyone and everyone who we encountered enough about Hypnobirthing and what we’d learnt. We downloaded the soundtracks and played them in the car, on our phones and around the house. We left your booklet in our living room and dining room and entry hallway to subconsciously remind us all we’d learnt. I will say I used the breathing techniques each night to send myself to sleep and to calm myself whenever I felt the nerves creeping in!
After convincing myself the whole pregnancy I would be early, I then unconvinced myself when people kept telling me “the first baby is always late”. I started settling in to practicing relaxation, enjoying the bath in the home we just moved in to and busying myself with work. I even ordered clary sage which arrived just two days before I gave birth (I definitely think it works!)
Cut to April 24th – I’d gone to the gym, cleaned the house and had my mum, sister, mother in law and grandmother in law over to help finalise the nursery and put the finishing touches into place. About 3:30pm I started to feel a little uncomfortable, thinking my tights were just a little too tight I got changed into something looser and kept entertaining my mother in law. After they left I got into the tub and decided, just for fun, I would download the contractions app to start monitoring the very gentle cramps I was feeling. They came every 20 minutes for 40 seconds for the first hour and then quickly progressed to every 6 minutes for 40 seconds … I actually convinced myself I was in practice labour until about 9:30pm when I realised the cramps were not letting up.
We laboured at home from 3:30pm – 12:30am, using the bath, the ball, walking, swaying, humming, hot water packs and plenty of breathing. Trav walked around the kitchen with me, rubbed my back and timed the surges as they came. At 12:30am, when I calculated the hospital was 4 surges away I decided it was time to head in. Is now a good time to say we’d left our very cute laminated birthing preference sheet at home?!
When we arrived, the midwives gave us a nice, dark, quiet room and asked us to relax as best we could. I agreed to one initial cervical exam and asked the midwife to keep the numbers to herself, which she respectfully did. She let us be to enjoy a hot shower and even convinced us to sleep in between surges. I did ask for pain relief in the form of gas or sterile water injections, but the midwives were a step ahead of me and convinced me to try the gas at first only. When I told her it really wasn’t doing any thing for me, she told me I didn’t need to use it. She was the midwife of my dreams, not only did she advise the sterile water drops wouldn’t do much for my surges, but she actively avoided mentioning any other kind of pain relief. The only thing I was ever offered was the gas.
I asked for a bath to help with the surges and was given the lucky last room. Trav and the midwife prepared the bath for me and Trav diligently scooped about a million jugs of water onto my back from 1:30am – 6:30am, when there was a change of midwives. The next midwife was just as wonderful as the last and continued to support us in her most beautiful, hypnobirthing soothing tone for another hour. At this point she recommended trying some different positions to get the baby moving down. We stood, we stood with the left leg propped up, then the right, we sat on a birthing stool (efficient but absolutely too efficient for my mental space at that time!) we hugged the back of the bed and eventually .. she recommended sitting on the bed and holding onto my knees, breathing all the way in to the surge. Little Louis Bee joined us earth side at 11:22am on Anzac Day and it couldn’t have been a more beautiful morning if we’d dreamt it.
I will say, I maintained my breathing from beginning to end and Trav’s support never faltered. He played my favourite soothing songs, he held on to me tight, he scooped water on to my back and whispered encouragement into my ears for almost 12 hours. I myself however began to falter a couple of hours before Louis arrived. I was leaning into my fear of the pressure and didn’t believe in my own ability to birth him. I was convinced in my tired state that I wouldn’t labour him naturally. However, with the persistent help, love and kindness of the midwives and Trav, I found my strength and got it together with Louis in a joint effort to see it through. We did it, we never even thought to ask for pain relief after asking for gas and we never asked to tap out. Louis heart rate never dipped and he joined us absolutely silent and calm, not a cry or tear in the room but ours. The incredible team at Campbelltown Hospital never lost patience with me and never doubted my ability to birth him on my own. We were medication and complication free and walked out of hospital at 6:30pm that evening and I owe it all to the knowledge you empowered us with.
I’m sorry for my long and rambley story, there are so many good things that I loved about it, so many details that helped along the way and I’m eager to share our story to anyone who cares to ask. Birth is not something to be feared but something to look forward to with excitement and confidence and you gave that to us. So from the bottom of our hearts, thank you.
All of our love, Kat, Trav and Little Louis Bee x
PS For anyone who is unsure, Campbelltown Birthing Unit provided ALL of these incredible things without us even having asked.
– a dark, quiet, calm room
– recommendations to enjoy a warm shower
– recommendations to sleep between surges
– offering the least intrusive pain relief first (gas only)
– advising against additional pain relief (advised sterile water drops best for back pain, not really very useful for surges)
– left us alone to Labour with only periodic check ups
– hand held heart rate monitoring + water proof options for bath
– respectfully withheld cervical exam findings + respectfully asked without being “pushy”
– knowledgable information on alternative positions
– calm and relaxed offers of support and alternatives
– delayed cord clamping (Waited for it to stop pulsing)
– immediate and undisturbed skin to skin contact (Louis was placed on me and not picked up until about 4:30pm when the nurse came in for measurements etc)
– did not wash the baby and did not recommend washing the baby
– offered a 6 hour release as we had no complications