Welcoming the beautiful Sienna into the world!

Parents-to-be Nicki & Bart attended the course with me in preparation for the birth of their baby girl. They were birthing at Royal North Shore in the Midwifery Group Practice. Here is their story of welcoming their gorgeous girl Sienna into the world…
“Hey Kerry! I’m going great thanks and Sienna is too! She’s been such a little angel since she was born ♥️
We had a fairly good labour, but had a little bit of a hiccup towards the end!
At 39w 6d I got a stretch and sweep at my midwife appointment and she said I was already 2-3cm dilated. At about 7pm that night I started to get mild contractions and was on the exercise ball breathing through each one until about 10:30ish. I spoke to my midwife, and she said to try get some sleep and call her when I couldn’t handle it anymore, so I got in bed and put on my hypnobirthing playlist. At around 3am I could no longer handle the contractions on my own so I woke Bart up and he helped put the tens machine on (which was amazing). At around 5:30am we made our way to the hospital and I had my waters broken and was sitting around 6cm. I changed up my positions that we learnt, breathing through the contractions – my midwife offered me the bath but I didn’t want to take the tens machine off.
 
It was around 7am when I got the walking epidural and I was able to close my eyes and have a little rest (I hadn’t slept since 8am the morning before by this point) we did another check and I was at 9cm and not long after I had made it to 10cm – around 10:30am she told me we would be ready to start pushing soon. In between this I was able to change my positions to try open up my pelvis, leaning on Bart/swaying, on the ball, leaning over the bed etc. I think I was pushing for about 2.5hours and she just kept getting stuck around the bend of the birth canal, she’d come down with each contraction but then go back up and by the end of it I was completely exhausted.
The midwifes called the doctors to come check everything and they said it was probably a good idea to take me into theatre and intervene. The options I had were forceps or c section, and I knew I didn’t want forceps so I had agreed to a c section (I was always open to this if it meant the safe delivery of our girl). The took us into theatre and prepped me for c section, but luckily the doctor I had was quite senior, he had a feel and said she was just so close, and he wanted to try just once with the vacuum to see if he’d get any movement and he did. With three pushes her head was out, and a minute or two later the rest of her body followed. Vacuum wasn’t ideal but ultimately looking back now was better for me than forceps or a c section. I was cut about 2-3cm they said and the recovery of the stitches is a little tender so I could only imagine what the incision of a c-section would have been!
We had our hypnobirthing playlist playing, dim lights, lavender in the diffuser, massages/acupressure, words of reassurance, calm breathing. All the things we learnt and had in our toolbox were really handy. I would say I was fairly calm throughout the whole process, although in that last 20 or 30 minutes I did have moments of “I can’t do this anymore” but persevered and kept pushing until I had no other option. Every birth is different, but had I been able to push her out naturally for a shorter timeframe I would say it was as close to our “birth plan” as possible!”

The birth story of River and his incredibly strong parents.

Trigger warning – baby loss.

 

Jacqui and Mitch attended a hypnobirthing course with me in preparation for the birth of their first baby. During the pregnancy they found out that their baby boy had a heart disease. Following birth their son had unforeseen complications and passed away a few hours after birth.

 

Below, these incredibly strong and inspiring parents tell us about the birth of their beautiful boy River…

“I have wanted to tell you about my birth, Mitch and I have separated our birth from what happened after as we truly loved that experience and want it to remain a happy memory.”

 

I practiced my breathing and my calm bubble space constantly in the lead up to birth. My waters broke at 3am on Friday morning and I was completely calm I showered, washed my hair, we packed up the house and headed to the hospital.

The entire time I felt very relaxed and didn’t have any contractions. Because of our boy having a heart disease they wanted us to stay at the hospital overnight and if I didn’t go into natural labour then they’d induce me the next morning, no contractions started so I had a good night’s sleep at the hospital.  At 5am, the next day I was taken back to the birthing unit and they started induction at 7am with syntocinon in a drip. They asked for my birth plan however I really didn’t have one as I really just wanted to “go with the flow” and do whatever was right for the health of myself and my baby, so I just asked for dim lights, played my music which was chilled songs that I like and mentioned I wanted to try not to have an epidural and if I was to have one I at least wanted it after I was 4cm. Words like contractions etc didn’t bother me at all as I don’t associate these words with anything negative, so I didn’t ask anyone to change how they worded things. The midwife we had on the day was amazing as she was very calming.

 

Once the early contractions started, I liked being on the birthing ball. The midwife realised he was posterior as I was feeling everything in my lower back and there he stayed until it was time to push. They started getting more intense from 10am, I would go from sitting on the toilet to back on the ball to leaning over a chair with a pillow. I was offered gas however I didn’t want it and just focused on my breathing instead so from 10am-12pm I went from 2-4cm, Mitch said my breathing was amazing. I did say to the midwife I was considering an epidural but she and Mitch both said I was doing so well and to keep going and so I did.

It started getting quite intense so the midwife suggested getting on the bed.  I went on the bed lied on my side and she gave me peanut ball and I held on to the railing, this position really opened up my pelvis. From 12.30pm-2.00pm I went from 4cm-7cm here the midwife taught be how to use the gas which I then used for this entire time which certainly took the edge off, although I didn’t use it well for every contraction. During the intense contractions there were moments I had thoughts of “I can’t do this anymore” which I didn’t let myself say out loud, moments of wanting to just go to bed and wake up and deal with it later,  moments where I literally forgot how to breath but my best moments were when I actually managed to only think of my breathing and think of my bubble place.

After some time, I started naturally pushing and the midwife was telling me to try not push but I was ignoring her as it felt so natural to push. She could tell I was still pushing so they checked me and I was good to go! They asked what position I wanted to be in but I actually felt comfortable being on my back, they moved the bed up so I was in a more sitting position.

 

I was pushing from 2.30pm. This was my favourite part of labour, the pain had lessened and I was so excited to be so close to the end. They guided me on how to push and I loved that I felt like I was completely in control since I could feel my contractions and the team would say you let us know rather than telling me. I was so close to getting him out on my own however just couldn’t quite get there so they got a doctor in to do an episiotomy which didn’t bother me. I didn’t feel the local anaesthetic go in and didn’t feel the cut which was 3cm, after this I was able to push him out. He was born at 3.11pm. The feeling was just so surreal and relieving they put him straight on my chest and Mitch got to cut the cord after delayed cord clamping.

For me it felt like I held him for the longest time however I was told it was only very brief. I will be forever grateful for that cuddle and kiss before they had to take him from me and start operating on him in the room with us.

During the entire birth Mitch was an amazing support for me. I loved having him close by and during active labour loved having him just holding my leg and just constantly told me to breath and that I was doing really well. During my pushing he was so emotional crying from how proud he was of me and how happy he was. He has been saying how in awe of me he is and that it was his proudest moment.

It truly was the best moment of our lives.

Thanks again for your class, I am so glad I did it before giving birth as lots of those tools helped me get through it and helped me reach one big goal of mine which was to not have an epidural.

 

My biggest note to people would be that from when we first found out about River’s heart disease at 19 weeks, we were extremely upset for our boy, however we never let this effect our pregnancy. We stayed so positive, never doubting that he wasn’t going to be ok and just wanted to continue giving him the safest home to grow inside my belly. Our biggest focus was to surround him with love and positivity. Even though we lost our boy which is far from what we or anyone at the hospital expected, we still appreciate all the positive emotions we had during pregnancy and how connected to him we were. We love thinking and talking about our pregnancy, our birth and our boy.

 

We’ve been surrounded by incredible support from family and friends during this time which is helping get us by.

 

Jacqui and Mitch would like to say a particular thanks to Westmead hospital – the pearl midwife program was amazing and the heart centre at Westmead as well as our cardiologist have been so good to us pre and post birth.

 

Zoe’s birth – I felt empowered enough to challenge the hospital and, ultimately, had the most incredible birth experience.

Make yourself comfortable and sit back to read the birth story of Zoe – the beautiful baby girl born to first time parents Amy & Dave. This is such an empowering birth story that highlights the importance of being educated, knowing your rights and making decisions that feel right for you and your circumstances….

 

“My birth story is a long one which begins way before I gave birth thanks to our little one being far too comfortable in my belly (she must have been enjoying all the ice cream I was devouring). So I apologise for the length but I really wanted to share my story in the hope that it might benefit someone else who ends up in a similar situation to me!

I knew early on in my pregnancy that I wanted to do some sort of birth and parenting class as neither me nor my husband have been around many babies. Due to covid, everything the hospital offered was online so I started researching private classes as I was sick of zoom! I came across hypnobirthing along with some other similar courses but the hypnobirthing syllabus resonated with both of us as we’re big believers of the power of the mind and the stellar reviews for Kerry’s course confirmed it for us.

We took Kerry’s course at 26 weeks which I was worried was a bit early but that was the only one with space on and, in the end, I was so glad to have that extra time afterwards to process and practise everything! The course left both Dave and I feeling so much more prepared for what was to come and also really excited for birth rather than fearful! Up until then, I’d just thought contractions were these painful side effects of labour rather than the body physically assisting the baby down the birth canal. In the weeks leading up to my EDD, I would play the affirmations every time we did the perineal massage or during my acupuncture sessions and I would try and practise the meditation whenever I could, although I definitely didn’t do it as much as recommended (sorry, Kerry)!

From 36 weeks, I began acupuncture weekly. At first, I was so nervous about inducing labour early because I wanted a decent amount of maternity leave before the baby arrived to get ready and relax (turns out, I needn’t have worried about this!). From 38 weeks, I started to expect labour could happen at any moment as they talk about term being 38-40wks which meant that, by the time I reached 40 weeks, I was a bit disheartened that nothing had happened yet. Especially as at my 38 week midwife appointment, they said they’d need to book my induction in at the 40 week appointment, which panicked me because I’d never considered induction a part of my birth journey.

Sure enough, at 40 weeks, they talked me through the induction process and said they needed to book a date now. The way they spoke about my birth suddenly changed from talking about when to call the hospital if I go into labour and how long to stay at home for, to the induction process almost being inevitable for me now that I was almost 40 weeks pregnant, and that I’d require all of the hormones and drugs because I’m a first time mum. I left the appointment feeling so disheartened and almost defeated. Up until that point I’d just been so excited to experience birth! I’d heard that labour induced by synthetic hormones can be a lot harder to manage as it isn’t guided by your baby and body.

After this, determined to not be induced, I kicked my natural labour induction activities up a gear! Acupuncture, massage, eating pineapple, diffusing clary sage, acupressure (after a quick email to Kerry to check that was okay!), walking up stairs sideways, bouncing on the fit ball…you name it, I was doing it daily! I decided to go in for a stretch and sweep at 40+3 and found out I was already 2cm dilated. How exciting, labour must be imminent! But nothing happened. Nor did it after a S+S at 40+6, 41+2 or even 41+4…except my mucus plug came away. Again, this got me excited but still nothing!

Eventually, having declined to talk induction thus far, at 41+2, the midwife said it was hospital policy for me to be induced prior to 42 weeks and she wasn’t in a position to sign off if I did decline it so she asked me to go in and see the doctor the following day. I agreed and, the following day, I went to the day stay for additional monitoring and scans and to speak to the doctor. Again, I explained that I knew that my baby was fine, I wanted to give them a chance to come when they’re ready and I didn’t want to have hormones which could place my baby under undue stress and lead to a cascade of interventions. I was also due to give birth in the birth centre and was sure I’d want to be in the water, both of which would not be possible if I went the synthetic hormone route. The scan showed my baby measuring 4.2kgs so the doctor was saying I probably wouldn’t be able to give birth vaginally anyway.

They were quite persistent about having an induction date booked in. I was currently booked to come in the following day at 9am for cervidil but really didn’t want to. I said I’d compromise and go to 41+6 so that it was prior to 42 weeks (their cutoff). But, because it was Easter, they were completely booked out. So, after much back and forth, we went home to think about it but knowing I wouldn’t take the induction the following day.

The next day we went in for monitoring again (something I agreed to while fighting induction). There was a brilliant midwife on duty who understood my fears and what I was hoping for and she suggested that she check my cervix to see whether or not I’d need the cervidil. Amazingly, she said she could stretch me to 3cm and didn’t think the cervidil would help. Therefore, I could just have my membranes ruptured and this I could do in the birth centre. This was at least one step in the right direction! Due to Easter, the only day I could get into the birth centre was the following day so, after many discussions with Dave and a few tears (picking my baby’s birthday felt so weird!), we booked in for the following day. Finally, we would meet our baby!

After spending the evening hoping to go into spontaneous labour, I woke up the next morning, still pregnant! We made a packed lunch (luxury of induction!) and headed to the hospital. At 9am, they released my membranes. Miraculously, there was no meconium so I could stay at the birth centre. The midwife had advocated on my behalf that I wouldn’t need to have a cannula in straightaway (something the doctor said I had to have) and I could have six hours to try for labour to start before being transferred to the labour ward and the drip being started (the doctor had said maximum two hours). As we both agreed that I didn’t want to spend six hours in the birth centre with nothing happening only to then be transferred to the delivery ward, the midwife and I agreed that we’d reassess after lunch and make a decision then.

After the initial gushing stopped (weirdest feeling ever – I couldn’t stop laughing!), we went for a walk to a cafe. But had to leave swiftly once the gushing started again! Back in the birth suite, I felt really awkward because I thought it was inevitable that I’d be transferred to the delivery suite for the drip so I didn’t unpack any of the things I’d brought with me such as fairy lights and hypnobirthing material. I was feeling some cramping but it was similar to that that I’d experienced after the S+S so I didn’t think anything of it. I didn’t want to get my hopes up.

Around 11.30am, I had my baguette and we decided to watch some RuPaul to pass the time. I was bouncing on the ball and sniffing clary sage and we were doing nipple stimulation to try and bring on the labour. About 30 minutes into the episode, I felt the cramps intensify, so much so that we had to keep pausing the show so I could breathe through the. Within a few minutes, I was having to stand up and lean against the wall to get through them. Dave decided to download an app for timing contractions and I would tell him when to press start and stop.

It’s from here that I lose track of time but, very quickly, I could no longer talk and was using hand signals to tell Dave when I was feeling these cramps (I’m hesitant to call them surges here as I truly didn’t believe I was in labour!). We remembered we’d hired a TENS machine so Dave suggested we try that. Note to other expectant parents: practise with the machine before you’re in labour! A midwife came in and had to help us figure it out! As soon as we got it working, it was absolute heaven. Such relief! It felt like someone was massaging my back. Why hadn’t I put it on sooner?!

I continued to breathe through the surges (I still didn’t believe I was in labour though). I had my eyes closed and was using the visualisations I’d practised to get through them. I also found pushing against the wall helpful and Dave held a mini fan up to my face; the white noise was really helpful. Best $15 I spent! I quickly became exhausted from standing so was trying out different positions such as leaning on the ball or the bed but nothing was working. It all felt like an out of body experience and I really had no idea what was going on except that I was just in my zone working through these sensations. Dave did try and play the affirmation tracks at one point but I think I was too far gone as I remember to telling him to “turn that f’ing woman’s voice off!” – whoops! I will add here that I think Melissa has a beautiful soothing voice but it just wasn’t working for me at that moment!

Again, I’m not sure what time it was, perhaps 2pm, Dave went to get our midwife because he felt that something was starting to happen. They said they’d be in after they’d finished their lunch to which he had to really stress that something was happening! Nobody thought it would! And I think because I was so silent, the midwife just assumed nothing was happening. From that point, our midwife was in the room with us but she left me to it and would simply come and listen to the baby’s heartbeat intermittently. She never said anything so I assumed all was fine and just stayed in my zone.

After what seemed like forever, I think I finally realised that this probably was labour and these were real surges! I remember asking the midwife whether I could get into the bath but she said it could slow down labour so I should hold off as long as possible. And she’d also spoken to the doctor and agreed that labour had started at 2pm so they wouldn’t check my dilation until 6pm (at which point we could make a decision as to whether I needed the drip or not). I remember feeling so disheartened and also defeated because this indicated to me that they thought I probably wasn’t even 5cm dilated at that stage yet I felt like I was at the end of what I could physically cope with. I kept thinking that I’d need some more serious pain relief pretty soon as I couldn’t go on as I was for much longer.

It was at this point that I said to Dave and the midwife that I couldn’t go on and they’d need to get the baby out of me some other way (I believe I said they’d need to cut her out!). And then I let out this animalistic roar from nowhere and had this urge to push. I could clearly feel a complete change in my body and what it was doing. Incredible! The midwife asked me if I was pushing, which I confirmed, so she said she’d better go and run the bath! Errr, yes please! I think this was about 5pm.

As soon as I got into the water, I felt a huge sense of relief as the weight was taken off my legs. The bathroom was dark and it was just me, Dave on one side and the midwife on the other. I knelt down and leant on the bar across the bath for support and used this to counteract each surge as it came. To feel my body naturally bringing the baby down was awesome! In my head, I didn’t believe I’d be able to push them out so, with each surge, I pushed as hard as I could. In hindsight, probably too hard…At this stage, I was beyond thinking rationally and trying to breathe the baby down! Once her head was out, Dave said that he actually saw her turn, as we’d seen in some of the birth videos on the course. He was totally blown away seeing this in person!

After 55 minutes of pushing, our baby finally joined us! Zoe Magdalena was born at 5.55pm on April 1st weighing 3.67kg (nowhere near 4.2kg!). The midwife guided her out and straight into my arms. Dave checked out her gender (she was a surprise) and then the midwife helped us back into the bed. She explained I’d passed a large clot so would prefer to give me the injection to birth the placenta. I was more than happy for this in case I was bleeding. Luckily, there wasn’t any. I had a second degree tear but, otherwise, we were both healthy.

Our midwife was incredible: she did delayed cord clamping without me needing to ask and Zoe was left with me for four hours of skin-to-skin before they stitched me up or took any measurements. During labour, she just left me to it, only speaking up at one point to ask Dave to make sure I was keeping hydrated. It was only afterwards that I realised I also hadn’t had any cervical examinations as Zoe was born five minutes before I was due for my first one!

After a shaky start to my birth story, in hindsight, I couldn’t have asked for a better experience. Even the midwives couldn’t believe how perfectly it had turned out! It took me about a week to recover from the shock of how fast it all happened, and many debriefs with the midwives and Dave and anyone else who would listen to me recount it! This was definitely an important part of my healing process.

I owe a huge part of this to Kerry and the information she had given us on the course plus the support leading up to the birth. It meant that I felt empowered enough to challenge the hospital and, ultimately, had the most incredible birth experience. Had I not spoken up, things might have gone very differently. Thank you, Kerry! From Amy, Dave and Zoe xxx”

Whilst is wasn’t the birth I’d desired, it was a wonderful experience! Vivienne and Olympia’s birth!

Mum Nicole and Dad Johnny attended the course with me during their second trimester. From early on in the pregnancy their ‘plans’ for birth changed when they discovered they were having twins. With support from their Doula Amanda (Essential Me Doula) and following their hypnobirthing course, they made informed decisions to have the best birth possible with their circumstances…

 

Hi Kerry!

Yes we had our twins! Vivienne and Olympia. They are 4 weeks old now. I’ve been in the ‘bubble’ and meaning to share our birth story with you!

🤗


We’re going well. The girls arrived at 36 weeks exactly. We were very happy to get them that far after a few scares during the pregnancy. There was an artery to artery anastomosis (AAA) in the placenta which was cause for concern so the Doctors were cautious and discussing the option to take them out around 32 weeks.

Anyway we got them further along then booked in for an induction on 19th April. I had a balloon catheter overnight then when they were close to breaking my waters the next morning a team of Drs walked in and said they were uncomfortable delivering identical twins with AAA naturally. It had never been done before at the Royal nor by the Professor (consultant in charge that day). So after hearing the risks that one twin may not make it we were very comfortable to book in a CS that afternoon. We knew there was a possibility of that outcome through discussions in the weeks leading up to the birth though the ultrasounds had been looking positive and we’d got the all clear to try for a natural birth.

Whilst is wasn’t the birth I’d desired, it was a wonderful experience and our two baby girls came out lungs blaring and APGARs of 9. They did delayed cord clamping and skin to skin straight away. Once I got stitched up and out of recovery they wheeled me into the NICU for more skin to skin and my babies went on the boob straight away.

It wasn’t until 22 hours later that I got to see them from being up in the ward and unable to make it down to the NICU but my husband didn’t leave their side. They needed some glucose and humidicrib time for a few days to regulate their temperatures but other than that they were fine and after 4-5 days of tube feeds with colostrum and expressed milk, they came up with me on the ward for 2 nights then we all got discharged together.

They’re doing well and putting on weight and keeping us busy and entertained. They are just divine.

Thanks for your wonderful support. The learnings we took away from the course were so helpful in giving us a positive birth experience.

“She won’t blow her own trumpet but she was amazing!” – Renee & Sam’s birth of Skyla Anne.

First-time parents Renee & Sam attended the hypnobirthing course with me in their second trimester. Renee had recently been advised she had gestational diabetes and the topic of induction was already been discussed with her.

Fast forward a couple of months and their beautiful baby girl Skyla decided she was keen to be welcomed into the world before her estimated due date and the discussion about induction was no longer even needed!!!

 

Here are some snippets of what the proud new parents had to say about the birth…

  • “Our little hypno bub arrived yesterday at 9.22am 💕 no name yet 🙈!
  • But we managed to do it ‘au natural’ (tens machine + gas) and no induction
  • Contractions started Monday evening. Finally went into hospital at 5.45am.
  • 9.5cm dilated when we got to hospital.
  • Only used gas and TENS machine. Managed to push out the ‘little’ one at 9.22am.
  • Weight was 3.78kg, 54.5cm which is apparently quick tall.
  • She won’t blow her own trumpet but she was amazing!
  • Such an amazing effort by Renee – thanks for the great guidance Kerry!
  • Happy hormones are running for sure!!”

“We had the freaking BEST BIRTH EVER!!!” – The birth story of Louis!

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….
“Hello Kerry!!!
 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

Mila’s birth – “it helped so much not to be scared and stay positive throughout the pregnancy”

First time parents Egle & Mathew welcomed their beautiful baby girl Mila Dream into the world a day after their estimated due date…..
I had noticeable slow strong surges from about 11pm at night on the 30th (due date) and stayed home until about 5am and had her in the hospital about 5 hours later just before 11am on the 31st of March. 
We listened to some calm music at home and in the hospital and I tried to focus on my breathing, I also used the tens machine until to the end!
I didn’t use any drugs, didn’t get to the water either as we needed to monitor her heartbeat all that time.
I managed to stay calm almost throughout until to the end where it just got too hectic and I’d say very painful and it was extremely hard to keep breathing normally. So I was quite loud and sounded like a lion my husband said through out the hospital 🤣🤣🤣
We had delayed cord clamping and few hours skin to skin without any disruption. I ended up having a couple of stitches but I have already healed well I think.
Midwifes said I did very well and my husband who has seen everything in his life being an ex army guy said that this was by far the craziest experience he had being there at the birth!
So I would say I definitely had more positive experience and went to it without fear which really helped!
Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!
Also I would have to say RPA midwifes are amazing! The one we had with us the most was extra incredible and supportive, it really felt like it was just us in the big room but she was there when I needed!
Overall definitely a good and lifetime experience and it helped so much not to be scared and stay positive throughout the pregnancy and your course gave us more confidence that it’s going to be okay and we can do it in a calm, positive & natural way.”

Birth story of Malakai – my body and baby knew what they were doing, all I had to do was show up!

I had the pleasure of teaching Jamila & Craig in the lead up to their planned homebirth. Here Jamila re-tells her experience of giving birth to their first child, the gorgeous Malakai….


“Birthing at home means not having access to the drugs at hospitals. My midwife came with a warning “Remember, I can’t give you any painkiller drugs you might want.” Good. I won’t want any! With this said, Cara recommended that Craig and I attend a birth course, so that we may learn some techniques to help us with the birth.

I dived into research of various courses and found that Hypnobirthing was one I resonated with most. After searching through a few instructors, I came across Kerry at the Hypnobirthing Mum.

It was a long two days filled with information. I remember sitting in the course thinking “Every couple needs to hear this stuff!” I loved how the course empowered couples to make their own decisions in an environment where we might feel subservient. Although it was mostly hospital based, there was still plenty of useful content for our home birth.

Over the next few weeks I tried to give the hypnobirthing ‘stuff’ a go. I would listen to the hypno tracks, but would always fall asleep. (Which is apparently fine as it still seeps in to your consciousness). I’ll admit, I could’ve listened to them a lot more over the course of my pregnancy. It wasn’t until my final few weeks that I listened to them mostly everyday. I can see how useful they would be if listened to regularly, as it brings you into a state of meditation. My mind kept wandering during the tracks, but practise made it wander a little less each time.

As well as the meditation tracks, each morning I would listen to the affirmation track. This was a peaceful time spent leaning over my exercise ball (allowing baby to get into a good position) and letting positive energy flow through my body.

When it actually came time for labour, mine was far too quick to even pull out any of the affirmation/hypnobirthing tracks. The most useful tool I had was the breathing techniques. In particular, the “poo breath”. A breathing technique where you breathe your baby down and out. It’s called the poo breath because it’s best practised whilst doing a poop! It was this technique that would guide me through pushing. In fact, I didn’t even actively push (until the final five minutes). My body pushed through each contraction all on it’s very own. I believe practising the poo breath helped me and my body know how to breathe properly, resulting in an effortless birth.

My baby was born perfectly on time or what the medical world would call ‘post term’ or ‘late’. At 42 weeks and 1 day, he made our midwife nervous.

This part in the pregnancy was where my belief started to falter. Not because of my own fears or doubts, but because of all the external fear. People kept asking “is the baby here yet?”. When I responded with “No!” they would ask “Is everything okay with the baby?”.
I knew everything would be okay with the baby. No one has ever been pregnant forever, so my baby would come! He was just taking his time. Nonetheless, the constant pressure took its toll. (Definitely had a few “breakdowns” thinking I might have to go to hospital for an induction, but Craig was always there to calm me down.)

My midwife started sending me information about “late” babies, and highly recommended me to get scans to make sure everything was okay. Although I didn’t want the scans, I decided to get them just to ease everyone’s mind as well as my own.
At the beginning of the week, I knew my baby was arriving on the Friday. Even so, I decided to at least make some small effort to naturally induce labour. On the Wednesday, I tried acupuncture. An uncomfortable but not painful experience. Probably won’t do it ever again. On Thursday, I went and bought castor oil. Thursday night, I asked Craig to blow the pool up because “tomorrow is the day and I don’t want to wake the neighbours up with the air pump at 3am”. I took the castor oil at 9pm and went to bed. At around 1am I woke up to what can be described as mild period pain. I jumped out of bed and sat on the toilet. Thanks to the castor oil, I pooped everything out. I then went to lay back in bed and the mild period pain was still there. “This must be it”, I thought.

My whole pregnancy I kept wondering what labour would feel like. I had always heard about “contractions” or “surges” or “waves” but I couldn’t actually imagine what that meant. I lay in bed thinking “Wow, this is so awesome. I understand now why they are called waves!” The sensation was quite literally a wave. I could feel the rise of the surge slowly building, reaching a peak, and then descending again into nothingness. It was the coolest sensation. I couldn’t lay in bed any longer. I knew labour was commencing and I had to get up and write!

I jumped out of bed and went into my living room. I took out a notepad and commenced writing. The time I noted down was 1.44am. I could only write two paragraphs before I couldn’t continue anymore. The waves had slightly increased but were still not painful, per se. I woke Craig up to tell him things had started and to come out in the living room with me. He helped me time the contractions and they were a few minutes apart. We called our midwife around 3am to let her know what was going on. 
 She groggily answered the phone and said “That’s great. Let me know when things ramp up!”
Having not experienced labour before and not knowing how long things would take, I thought I better try and rest because it could be a long day ahead. Craig laid down on one sofa and I laid on the other. I tried desperately to rest but had to get up every few minutes to lean forward and sway through the surges. They still weren’t painful but it just wasn’t comfortable lying down during them. This went on for perhaps an hour.

Suddenly, I couldn’t lay or sit down at all. This next part is the only time I felt any pain throughout the whole birth experience. My surges were no longer concentrated in my abdomen, but I was having a tight sensation in my lower back and pelvis. I felt like I needed to poo, but kept saying to Craig “It can’t be poo! I’ve already pooped everything out!”

I was trying to sway through the surges but it wasn’t helping. I kept thinking “Jesus, if this is how surges feel for the rest of labour I don’t think I can handle it.” Whilst standing and swaying during the next painful surge, I decided to try and push just a little bit. Oh my lord! Suddenly the pain was replaced by the most wonderful feeling. My body is ready for pushing?!

The moment I listened to my body and worked with it, the feeling of pain was gone. I realised that yes, my body was telling me to PUSH! Not a poo, but my baby.
We called our midwife to let her know things have ramped up and are progressing and she said she’ll jump in the shower and head over.


After calling the midwife, I called my mum to tell her to head on over. I had tasked her with bringing over snacks for us all. (She, too, didn’t realise how quick my labour would be and went on her merry way to the shops before heading over, taking her sweet time. Luckily she arrived in time).

It was now 6.15am and I went and sat on the toilet. Sitting in my undies was my mucus plug. Yum. Whilst Craig went ahead and started filling up the pool, all my practicing of the ‘poo breath’ came naturally while sitting on the toilet. My body automatically kicked into gear and was breathing down through each surge, all on it’s own! I didn’t even have to consciously “push”, my body was doing it for me. So cool.

I’m not sure how long the pool took to fill up but maybe around 7am I jumped into the deliciously warm water. I can’t tell you just how amazing it felt in there. The warmth was so comforting and my body floated effortlessly. I was worried pre-birth with how my dodgy knee would hold up, but in the pool it caused no problems at all! I was able to move around freely into whatever position I felt like.

I leaned over the sides for most the time, breathing down through each wave. Cara arrived around 8am and I said to her “Cara, I’ve been pushing but I don’t even know if I can be?! Can you check me please.” Cara checked and confirmed “Yep, I can’t feel any cervix.” Awesome. It was all go ahead from here. Cara melted into the background and let Craig and I do our thing. My mum arrived not long after Cara and later told me she didn’t even know Cara was there at first, because Cara disappeared into the background lol! Having a home birth really means having control over your space. The wonderful midwives let you do your thing and only jump in when necessary.

Pushing a baby out was interesting. Every time I would push a little, baby would move down a bit. After I stopped pushing, baby would move back up. It felt somewhat frustrating, as if all that progress was doing nothing. Midwife Jo (my backup midwife) assured me that during each push, baby’s head was expanding the canal even more.
When Cara thought it was getting closer, Craig jumped into the pool with me. The plan was for Craig to catch the baby, but it turned out better for Craig to be sitting directly behind me, supporting my body. It felt like we both kinda gave birth because of the position we were in.

My body pushed on in this peaceful way for perhaps an hour and a half. Every now and again, Cara would check baby’s heartbeat and we could hear the healthy beating sound. But then, on one of the checks, something was different. Unmistakably, baby’s heartbeat was slower. We all heard it.

Cara said “He’s getting tired. We have to get him out now.” Although the panic raised a little in the room, Craig and I were able to still remain super calm. The words were what I needed to hear to muster up all the strength within me to actively push baby out. I now took control of my pushes and really had to puuuussshhh with all my might. After perhaps 5-10minutes of intense pushing, out popped my baby’s head.

Time stood still in this moment. I remember staring down at his little head between my legs. His body then started rotating and moments later the rest of his body slid out. I think Cara held him under the water for me to reach down and pick him up. As I pulled him out of the water and onto my lap, I had a moment of de ja vu, thinking “I’ve seen this before.” My brain was freaking out, not sure why it would think it had seen my baby before. Cara had to tell me to hold the baby against my chest, because I was frozen, my mind tripping.
My mum started letting out some tribal cry only a grandmother can do, and I could see Craig’s fat tear drops flowing into the pool. I had no tears as I was just in pure shock seeing my baby’s little squishy face and body. Craig and I held our baby in the water, soaking up the moment.

17 minutes later I felt a minor contraction build up inside me again and with one small push, out came the placenta. Craig cut the cord and then we eventually got out the pool. I went straight over to my sofa and was able to lay there with my baby on my chest. He started doing the ‘boob crawl’, which my mum was absolutely amazed about as she had never seen that before.

I gave him his first suckle (or at least I thought so. Turns out he wasn’t attached properly. Took a while getting the hang of latching on properly but we both got there in the end.) Cara was patient and calm, allowing me to get used to it and get it right.

After our first initial bonding time, I then handed baby over to Craig for some skin-to-skin time. I didn’t have any external tears but apparently had an internal graze that needed a few stitches. I laid there on my sofa, next to my partner and baby, whilst the midwives put a couple of stitches in. After this, while Craig, my mum and I all admired and awed at our little one, Cara and Jo went ahead and started cleaning up the birthing space. They emptied the pool, deflated it, threw the towels in the wash and had the place clean within no time at all.

Cara also showed us the placenta, allowing us to really admire and check out the beauty of this organ that my body grew and which kept our baby alive! So cool.

I never realised just how much birth takes a toll on you. Even with a quick labor, I had no energy and got out of breath just going to the toilet! However, it felt good being in the comfort of my own home. Laying on the sofa for days with my baby was bliss 😀
On top of that, midwife Cara came to our home for all checkups for the first 6 weeks. I really never had to leave that sofa and could fully recover, lol!

Homebirthing really is a wonderful experience that I will always recommend to people. The dedicated care and attention you receive is next to none. Not disrupting the labour process by making your way to a hospital, creating your desired birthing space, being surrounded by people you know and chose to be there, tucking up into your own bed with your new baby – all these things and more.

I keep saying to people that if I had to re-live giving birth for the rest of my life, I would. It truly was a magical, peaceful, intuitive, calm, divine and loving experience. My body and baby knew what they were doing, all I had to do was show up!

xx

“I’m still on cloud nine after the birth” – the VBAC birth of Eleanor Rose!

It was such a pleasure to work with Emily & Chris again for their second child. Their first-born Alfie was about to become a big brother and Emily was seeking a VBAC (vaginal birth after caesarean)…

“Thought I’d send you some more details on the birth of our daughter, Eleanor (Elle), born 31.12.2020 at 5pm, just in time for an NYE party somewhere!
I thought that as per my first labour, this birth would happen around 38 weeks, be fast and furious and that I wouldn’t have any pre-labour beforehand. I was wrong, it was pretty much the opposite experience.
For context, my first was frank breech with a failed ECV at 36 weeks and a natural breech birth attempt (supported by Dr Bisits at the RHW public hospital).
Having taken a Hypnobirthing group course with Kerry prior to learning my son was breech I was feeling empowered and educated about birth and variations of normal so was very keen to have a trial of labour. Still full of energy and with no hints of pre labour I thought I’d probably go past my due date as most first time mum’s do so I was rather surprised when it all kicked off with a bang (literally my waters went like a bang!) spontaneously at my own house warming party at 38 weeks.
Due to my son being breech I went into the hospital for monitoring and all was very relaxed while I stayed in overnight. I woke up to feel some tightenings in the early hours and listened to the Hypnobirthing tracks and dozed between them. At about 7am the midwise said I could go up to the delivery suite and as my husband arrived the surges ramped up in intensity. Within 3hrs I was ready to push. The labour was textbook, just two vaginal examinations and no drugs or interventions. Dr Bisits had the delivery kit ready and asked my husband if he was keen to cut the cord. As bub was breech they asked me to go onto the birthing stool to push and there was (what seemed like) a small crowd of people around me. It was intense.
Unfortunately that is where the textbook slammed shut. After pushing for an hour I could feel that nothing was moving down, babies head was still high underneath my ribs. His heart rate was failing to recover after each surge and all eyes in the room were glued to the monitors. Dr Bisits apologised and said we needed to go for a caesarean. I was prepared for this outcome and had a plan in case this happened, I asked for the screen to be lowered so I could see baby be lifted out. I don’t know what happened next but the room became a blur with people rushing in, shouting and instructions. I was told there was no time for an epidural and that I had to go under general anaesthetic. I was still calm until they shut the theatre door on my husband and asked someone for a pair of scissors to cut off my bra. The last thing I remember is shouting, ‘that bra was expensive I can take it off myself’ then a mask was on my face and I was out.
Four hours later I woke up, alone in recovery, no bump, no baby, no husband. I was quickly taken up to postnatal ward and met my son which was a beautiful union. The second I heard him screaming in the lift I knew he was mine. I can honestly say that the labour was fantastic and I would to it again in a second. My situation was rare and I suffered trauma from the theatre experience as well as postnatal depression, I knew if I had another I’d get baby across the finish line under my own steam.
Two years later and I fell pregnant with our daughter. I knew I wanted a VBAC and was supported from the start with the midwifery group practice care I was under at the Royal Hospital for Women. My pregnancy was once again very straight forward and I just needed to convince the assigned OB that I wanted to have a VBAC. I’d been warned he wasn’t the most pro-VBAC, however, he was thrilled to support me and was very confident it would happen.
My husband and I took a Hypnobirthing refresher course with Kerry and discussed the fears and trauma from my first birth and how I could be supported in this labour to work through it with tools and strategies to feel safe. This was a great opportunity to remember the toolkit and consider it in the context of having laboured previously. It also gave my husband and I an opportunity to talk about our wishes and things that had and hadn’t worked in the previous labour.
At my 33 week appointment it seemed my daughter had other plans as after being head down the whole time she’d flipped to the dreaded “breech”. So once again, I was back on the spinning babies, doing everything I could to turn her. Although I’d always said that if my second was breech I’d book in a caesarean, the reality of not going into labour made my heart sink. I started researching ECVs on previous caesarean and was ready to even go back to Dr Bisits to ask if he’d support a breech VBAC if it came to it. At my 36 week appointment, an ultrasound confirmed she had indeed turned head down and I did a little dance of joy. The last few weeks of my pregnancy I felt rotten. With lots of pre-labour I felt like every night I’d wake up with my waters breaking but every morning I’d wake up with no labour. At my 39 week appointment we discussed induction and I felt the pressure set in to get this baby out before 40 weeks. However, again feeling educated and empowered I knew that 42 weeks was the real due date if there was no medically strong reason to get her out any sooner.
Luckily, I didn’t have to have any induction conversation as on the day before New Year’s Eve having brunch with a friend I knew I was having contractions. That day the surges came and went and I grew excited knowing that soon I’d be meeting my baby.
Unlike with my first birth the surges were very light and quick and occasionally fizzled out if I changed what I was doing. So New Years Eve morning rolls around and I called the midwife and told her the length of the contractions. Given how quickly my first labour progressed she recommended coming in and I was keen to not birth in the car so we strapped on the tens machine and headed into the Royal at about 8am. I knew that the tightenings although frequent weren’t strong and indeed the midwife confirmed I was just 2cms upon arrival. So, she helped us make the room our own fitted the mobile monitors. She was supportive of our decision to decline antibiotics (GBS positive) and to not have a cannula inserted into my hand which are policy for VBAC at this hospital and left us to it. Me with my tens machine, glam gown and noise cancelling headphones (toggling between Hypnobirthing affirmations and a house and techno playlist) and my husband ready to do light touch when I indicated.
Four hours later, I’d been working hard and feeling good. I was 4cms. Not quite as far along as I’d hoped but not bad. Another 2 hours later, 5cms. At this point I felt like I was working VERY hard to be only half way to the magic 10. The mobile monitors didn’t like it every time I moved my body into a surge and kept losing signal. I’d originally requested the scalp clip monitor but this can only be attached once the waters have broken and they can reach the babies head. I felt like my progress was slow because my waters hadn’t gone so when my midwife offered to break them and attach the scalp clip I was happy to consent.
Unfortunately, every time I was examined or there was an intervention I was bleeding and this became more and more. It was pretty scary seeing so much blood and not getting a good read on my daughter’s heart rate. When the OB came in she commented that if this continued I’d have to go for caesarean. Of course I was prepared for this and said to her I was comfortable with a caesarean if it came to it but I needed to be awake when my daughter was born. She said if I wanted to be awake I needed to get an epidural now else we might end up going under general anaesthetic again. In that comment all of my confidence was gone, totally gone. I shouted to get me the epidural right away. My midwife kindly tried to soften what the OB had said and continued to encourage me but I was freaked. I could not be asleep again when my baby was born. I demanded the epidural. I knew it was still possible to have a VBAC with one but it would slow things down and there’s a much higher chance of having an assisted birth (forceps/vacuum). The midwife went away and came back to say that the anaesthetist had 3 women in front of me and he’d be about 1.5hrs to get to me. During this time, the scalp clip was on and they could see that baby was looking good. My midwife continued to encourage me to ‘just have my baby’. I remember she made it sound so simple and this really helped get my head back in the game.
The surges were growing in intensity and I headed onto a mat and a ball on the floor to try and refocus. My husband said that I was only feeling unnerved because I was in transition but I didn’t believe him, I’d only been 5cms about 20minutes ago. No sooner had I gotten down on the mat but I felt the contractions changing and I wanted to start baring down. I couldn’t believe it but as I struggled back over to the bed the midwife calmly said, ‘oh yes, you’re 10cms now, do you still want that epidural?’
My midwife adjusted the bed so that I could lean over the back of it on an all fours position. She helped guide me to harness the energy into the pushing and get behind the baby. When I did this I started to feel her move down. It was THE most satisfying feeling ever. It was everything I’d wanted to feel with my son. With each surge I quietly (this is probably the only time I was quiet in my labour) got behind the baby and moved her along. This really felt like I was able to work with my body. The pushing was slow but stable and about 45 minutes after I felt that first urge to bear down I knew I was at the finish line.
How did I know? Well. I had a huge hunger pang and really REALLY fancied a white chocolate Toblerone. Seeing as I was considering dessert choices I knew we were almost there and with the next push out came her head and quickly after…her body.
I heard her cry and the OB passed her between my legs right up to me. There she stayed for about 3 glorious hours. No one tried to weigh her or clean her. She was just mine and it was perfect. Due to my bleeding the midwife had recommended having the injection for a managed third stage which I had consented too in my birth plan if the labour had bleeding so out it came shortly after the baby. I had a second degree tear which I couldn’t feel at all and the OB took about 10mins to administer stitches, all while my daughter was on my chest. The recovery felt incredible compared to my first and the bonding and my milk supply far better.
I’m still on cloud nine after the birth and so pleased that Hypnobirthing taught us both how to understand and embrace birth but research and question hospital policy where we feel we should and seek other options”.
Emily
x

The birth of Koa – a journey of connection, trust and birthing at home!

When Clio and Ricky attended the course with me they were on a different journey towards birth, but one week before their baby made their appearance they got into the hospital homebirth program! Here is their pregnancy, birth and postpartum journey…

“Wow what a beautiful journey we are on. Thank you for your support in checking in, and as well helping set us up for the most beautiful birth we could have imagined.
Your well wishes must have worked because we got into the Homebirth program a week before bubba came. Still… we were open to whatever pathway our birth was to take yet we could not have imagined anything better than the flow it had.
My waters released on Friday the 15th, around 2am, 39weeks and 5days. Thank you for offering a real space of communication for partners in your course, because we chose this early stage to voice our fears and disappointments of what this meant. A letting go and our first surrender to the unknown path of birth.
We then put on some hypnobirthing tracks to read and get me back to sleep but they weren’t working. I had listened to one every day leading up to birth and they seemed to have done their magic. They had relaxed me for daily upkeep and their messages of focus were inbuilt in me now. We switched it off and Ricky lead me through a spontaneous meditation before we drifted into sleep. The surges started gently and slowly, but I was able to rest and sleep in between.
Thank you for empowering both of us with options in birthing skills. We danced through trying all our different techniques… movement, birth ball, massage, music, breath, counting, positions…. Thank you for sharing these even though they didn’t all work but it was the freedom and relief of knowing we had options to try.

Thank you for the introduction of touch from the partner. Ricky intuitively and skilfully worked with my body. He massaged, held pressure points to ground me and hold me, he supported my body weight when I would collapse into his body.
Thank you for the introduction of different positions, I found my strength in all fours. Most surges would come, and straight into all fours. It didn’t take the sensation away but I felt grounded, literally with the ground in a strong way.
Thank you for the introduction of the tens machine. We stuck this on around 6-7am. I am not sure if I felt instant pain relief but I found it helpful. It was another sensation to focus on during the surges. It also helped my mind relax knowing something else was working with my body. It was essential in linking my partner and I. It was a communication tool for when I was going into surges. I would either press it or yell surge to him, so he knew when I was going on. He loved the fact it timed it for us. And that helped remind me…something my midwife said to me…birth is just 60 seconds. That’s all you need to manage to be with. 60 seconds.
That’s where my vocalisation practice came in. I’ve been doing a vocal meditation practice for over 5yrs now. And it came into play naturally, not like a technique but it was just my way. 60 seconds of giving my voice and then rest in the silence in between, opening my hearing. 60 seconds to drink and pour love, sip and give. My voice changed from gentle hums on each exhale to soaring my voice as far as I could when I was bearing down. All techniques I had learnt but didn’t consciously choose. It just was.
And I think that’s where the hypnobirthing ties in with what my vocal practice has taught me over the years. Soften to signal trust. It’s not softening to have no pain. But soften your mind you awareness towards the sensation and instantly more space is there. As you and the tracks reminded me, it is natural and my body knows what to do. As a generally nervous and anxious person, I thought I wouldn’t be able to trust. But it wasn’t a choice. I could only trust. I could only trust in nature. She guided me through and at no point did I really feel scared. Because I wasn’t looking ahead. Just fully in the moment at one with nature. At one with the sensation arising.
 There was one point which I thought an epidural and hospital was needed and I expressed to Ricky in his arms… I can’t. But the thought was another sensation arising and then just like that it was gone from both of us. In the matrona holistic stages of birth I had read at the top of the mountain where the woman has gone further than before, she will reach out for help but this is not a genuine ask for intervention. And so it was gone and I transitioned to pushing… but I didn’t tell anyone for a while because I was just in it. This was just after Ricky gave me a few sniffs of clary sage which I soooo enjoyed.
Beautiful Ricky trusted me too. We danced together and then he left me alone in moments to tend to it fully. I always felt him there. And then after I had been pushing I told him to tell the midwives that I had the urge to push, just because I wasn’t really sure if what I was doing was actually bearing down. So they made their way over and Ricky began setting up the pool, moving me over onto the one towel not on a drop sheet as he set that up. As the first midwife was arriving I reached down and told Ricky I felt the head. I had been focusing on holding her head down in a surge as it was slipping up and down. Ricky ran down to get the midwife and alert of the urgency we hadn’t realised. They returned calm and trusting, set up what was needed around me. I was still on that one towel not on the drop sheet and on the white carpet. The midwife guided me to hold at I believe what was the ring of fire, and my breath changed. Just breath no sound. It was stingy but a needed moment to pause. Then in one surge, I moved back from all fours moving my hands onto my thighs and staying on my knees, one voice exhale released the head, one breath held, next voice exhale released the rest of her body into Ricky’s hands. Not once did I think of the other end of the exhale, I trusted Ricky had it. I trusted bubba had it. The home birth situation really helped with this. Knowing I didn’t have to move or leave, that I was home and this was natural. The process, the sensations, were all leading me to meet our power, our bub and true nature. We particularly loved that we were designed for this, our uterus and our bodies and our hearts. These thoughts engrained in us from hypnobirthing.
And there she was in our arms. I reclined comfortably on my back (for the first time in ages because I had been so focused on correct posture so I was not posterior) on this pillow fort Ricky built. In peace and awe, the three of us lay together. Eventually we lifted her up to see she was female.
We birthed the placenta not too long after and the other midwives showed up and hung around comfortably for a few hours. We lay back to settle in to this whole new world. Boobs kicked into gear and breast feeding went on it’s way with Bub finding it like a natural. The midwives were amazing in supporting our needs and informing us with all the after birth stuff that didn’t seem like our job to know, we just had to love her now.
Koa Dou-Sing Klein
Strength, guided by the stars
Life now seems like extended birth. Meeting every moment alive giving love. Trusting her, trusting ourselves, trusting each other, trusting nature as the path is.
There’s more to our story like hilarious poos and sandy beach towels. But I won’t bother you with those details. Maybe one day when we meet in person again.
We just wanted to share the true bits which your guidance truly assisted and helped us. For these bits we are truly grateful.
Thank you for all your support
You do amazing stuff for people
With love,
Clio and Ricky”
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