Mum Alex and Dad Steve were already parents to their little boy Luke when they did the Hypnobirthing Australia course with me. They were looking for a different experience the second time round and had been recommended the course by various friends who had also completed the course with me.
This is the story of how their baby girl was born…
Birth of Lucy – Thursday 16 September 2021
Following the Hypnobirthing course, we decided to hire a doula. Through a recommendation from Kerry, we engaged the lovely Georgie, and although she wasn’t able to attend the hospital, we could do the sessions leading up to the birth in person and she could also attend our home before we went to hospital. Working with a doula added even further to the journey and was really worthwhile for us – we even got the placenta encapsulated following the birth and have placenta pills now!!
Leading up to the due date, I was getting a little anxious about having to start conversations about induction. I’d had two acupuncture sessions, been eating dates non-stop and had an ‘induction massage’ booked for the Friday morning to try to move things along naturally. The mucus plug came out on the Wednesday evening, the day before my EDD, and I started getting excited that it was going to happen spontaneously after all. We knew it could still be a few days though so went to bed to get some decent rest.
Thursday morning came and it felt like not much was happening. There were some small tightenings but nothing significant, so I decided to have a relaxing day – I cancelled my planned swim that afternoon, did some things around the house, watched my fave TV series, listened to the affirmations and did Surge of the Sea relaxation a couple of times. The tightening did increase through the morning, but I was reluctant at this point to label them as surges. Steve and I went out for a walk at lunchtime and sat watching the ocean which was lovely. We were timing the ‘tightenings’ and at this point they were about 5 minutes apart and definitely stronger, but nothing intense. Probably a clue that this was indeed early labour was the fact I was stopping what I was doing and breathing through them. I’d been in touch with Georgie all morning, telling her the sensations were weak and things weren’t likely to happen today.
Steve had a meeting at 3pm that he needed to attend, and once he’d completed that (and been told by his colleague to go and help his wife!) we started on some light touch massage as I said the surges, which I was now happy to call them, were getting stronger. It was only at 4pm we thought it was best to arrange for Steve’s mum to collect Luke from daycare! We then concentrated on being relaxed and keeping the environment nice – candles, essential oils, tranquil chambers music – and decided around 4:30/5pm it was probably time to call our doula. I think Georgie was pretty surprised to receive a call from Steve saying its time to come round after my earlier messages!
When Georgie arrived, we got Clary Sage going and things ramped up pretty quickly. We used acupressure techniques, rebozo and surge breathing during surges, with light touch massage and relaxation breathing between them. Very quickly I was having to vocalise through surges and it got to a point where I wanted to be at the hospital. Georgie helped us into the car and we were on our way. Steve called the hospital en-route and requested a room with a bath and midwives familiar with Hypnobirthing if possible. We arrived at the hospital about 7:30pm, with a few car surges and hospital lift / reception surges. An attempt to do the Covid check in was met with “Oh my god, you’re in labour, just go straight through!” and then totally lucked out by being put into the birthing centre.
We had two lovely midwives, one of which was a third year student. The student midwife ran the big bath while Steve set up the essential oils, music and got the birth preferences out. Both midwives then left us to it whilst they took the birth plan out of the room and read thoroughly (they must have done so as the room was set up perfectly for how I wanted to birth when the time came, and everything else on the plan was honoured). I jumped into the bath and floated in the relaxing water. Surges were coming on really strong again now and I was very noisy! Some of the surges were really tough and I was finding it quite hard to find a relaxing position in the water during a surge. Steve was amazing and each time he sensed I was going through a tough patch, he would put the affirmations on and say some great, positive words to keep me going.
Things reached a point where it got too much and I asked for pain relief (a sure sign of transitional labour in hindsight!), immediately followed by “I need to be out of the bath and I need to push” – everyone was a bit confused as my waters still hadn’t broken, but I was convinced the baby was coming. I moved to the mat and beanbag the midwives had prepared so I could birth on my knees, but upright and active. Each surge was really intense now but I could feel the baby was coming – I focused on bearing down breathing during surges and relaxation breathing between each surge. I also used Kerry’s visualisation of breathing out red during each surge (thanks for that Kerry!). I could really feel the head crowning which, whilst intense, was a pretty incredible experience.
Steve said the first thing he saw was a weird bubble – the baby was still in the membrane sac! Her head came out in the membrane sac and then it popped when the rest of her came out, all over Steve who caught her as she was born! Again, Steve was amazing through this stage, saying and doing all the right things – the midwives were very impressed and even suggested a potential career change! We also have some VERY graphic footage of the birth (which I won’t share here!!). Lucy was born at 9:43pm so a couple of hours after arriving at hospital.
Once Lucy was born, we were able to relax in the birthing room doing skin to skin and enjoying our new baby. I needed a few stitches, which they did in that same room whilst they brought us cheese toasties!!
That night I couldn’t sleep as I was so pumped from the birth experience and new baby. I was messaging with my sister back in the UK at 4am (who delivered her baby 3 days later on 19th September!) – hence why you heard from me so soon Kerry!
Not the most dramatic birth story, but it was such a positive experience and so different from Luke’s birth. I have a feeling recovery will be a lot better as well. I’ve attached a few photos here of labour at home and of our little family.