Hey world, say hello to the gorgeous Penelope! This little hypnobub was born Easter weekend and here her amazing mum Kristen tells us all about their fantastic birth getting to meet their baby girl, the role her “rock-star” husband played and how their baby girl arrived after 2 pushes…
Just dropping you a note to share Miss Penelope’s welcome into our world. We completed our Hypnobirthing class in late January, I was due around the end of April – so completing the course at this time was great for my husband and I as it gave us plenty of time to practice all the techniques we would use during birthing.
All my appointments with my OB had been great, everything was looking well to have baby just as I had hoped naturally, from 28 weeks baby had been confirmed in the correct position which put me at ease and motivated me more to practice my Hypnobirthing techniques and get in the zone for what was to come!
Most mornings and evenings on the train to and from work I would listen to the Hypnobirthing tracks, practicing my relaxed jaw (this is KEY) and I was daily on the gym ball exercising. My husband and I also practiced the acupressure points and relaxing massages with lavender oil (my fave). I finished work 2 weeks before baby was roughly due and remember having countless conversations with everyone saying ‘I don’t know what I am going to do with myself until baby comes’.. anticipating I had time up my sleeve..
I finished work on Thursday 9th April just before Easter long weekend and was blissfully bouncing away on my gym ball my first day of Maternity leave (Good Friday morning around 9.30am) when I got up and noticed a constant trickle of liquid down my legs, my first thoughts were ‘Am I peeing myself’ – ‘this has never happened before’.. I walked to the toilet and my husband and I looked at each other and knew our baby was coming.
We called the hospital to let them know and they asked us to go in and be monitored for a few hours and then I would be able to go home until it was the right time to go back. We went to hospital, me and baby were checked and all was looking well, my membranes had broken and they could see on the monitor I was having contractions. With my OB we discussed that hopefully my labour would progress naturally however given my waters had broken we may need to consider some form of induction if things didn’t progress by the next day. I felt comfortable with this approach and very much took comfort in knowing I was prepared for whatever journey was ahead. I was though super surprised what I was feeling was contractions because what I was feeling didn’t exactly fit the ‘brief’ everyone speaks about when describing contractions.. For me at this point, each contraction really did feel more like a surge of discomfort in my lower abdomen and I likened it to period like cramping, slightly uncomfortable but very tolerable. And this feeling had started the day before but I was none the wiser what my body was preparing for. Whilst in the hospital I was listening to the Hypnobirthing tracks and holding one of my favourite crystals, Rose Quartz (a bit of a crystal lover)..
When we returned home around 2pm, we both felt so happy and excited knowing that our baby was going to come – literally! For me what was most comfortable was walking around and during each surge being upright, leaning over slightly and holding onto something whether that be the wall or a table and having a relaxed jaw. We were at home for quite some time and the surges really did start to intensify, being our first time at this my husband and I checked in with the hospital on a few occasions, just to sense check we weren’t leaving it to late in the process to be home. We ended up returning to hospital at 9pm that night.
We were greeted by our midwife and taken to our birthing room, I couldn’t have asked for a better space (very fortunate the hospital I was birthing at had just been renovated) the room was super spacious, less clinical, lots of natural timber features, had a spa and a beautiful print on the wall of an ocean wave crashing – my perfect visual!!!
Our midwife checked me and baby, all was on track, I didn’t need to be constantly monitored so was free to continue walking around breathing through each surge. My midwife was content to leave us be and check us every 20 mins and we were going to check how far I was in the coming hours. My husband was a rock-star and instantly set up my diffuser (lavender and clary sage), music was playing (I had made a playlist of all my favourite Greek music) set up all my crystals and religious icons. He set this up all in one section near a ledge I could use to breathe and hold on to through surges which was the perfect motivational space for me to be in whenever I worked through a surge. I did have my affirmations book ready however never got to need that. We had a tens machine with us also but at this point I wasn’t using it just yet.
Around 11pm we checked to see how I was progressing and pleasingly I was at 4cm so we continued doing what we were doing, walking around, breathing through each surge being motivated and encouraged by the fact this was all leading us closer to meeting our baby. We then checked in on progress at 2am hoping I may have been around 6-8cm however I wasn’t. I was around 5cm. At this time the midwife discussed some options, whether we continue as we are and check in again at 4am, whether we commence the induction or I express some colostrum as this works in unison with my uterus to build up surges. As we really wanted a natural approach here we opted with the expressing, in between surges I began expressing. And boy did this change things rapidly!
I really started to feel my surges increasing in intensity and pace and at this time I started using the TENS machine (god send) this really helped eased the discomfort during a surge. I also really started to feel myself changing – I was there but I was also really within myself breathing through it all. My midwife noticed things we’re moving along and called my OB, he was going to be there in 15 mins. I remember hearing all of this but not really hearing it. I just remember the immense urge I had to push and the pressure I was feeling. My midwife worked around us getting everything in order, I was standing leaning over the bed my husband on the other side, we held hands and he was my lifesaver, I couldn’t have imagined getting through the experience without him. He was my breathing coach, my cheerleader and most importantly my partner in this and together and I mean together (I very passionately kept asking him to breathe with me and loudly haha) we birthed our beautiful baby – SURPRISE it’s a girl. Miss Penelope was out in 2 swift pushes, born at 5.18am Saturday 11th April.
Once Penelope was out I got onto the bed and my husband and I were in absolute awe at our beautiful baby, we did delayed cord clamping (waited for white). The midwife then arranged my husband to have skin to skin as my OB arrived, with him I birthed my placenta which was an easy and quick process and then he gave me a few stitches. Once all of this was out of the way – my husband, baby and I were left to have time to ourselves and those first few hours with Miss P and every hour since has and continues to be pure bliss.
I found Hypnobirthing invaluable for my birthing experience, particularly my mindset – I feel this course really aided me to be at ultimate ease and have an innate sense of calm and relaxed approach to the whole birth and even now after being a Mumma. Six days later we are home, loving life with our beautiful new little human!
Thank you Kerry for all that you did in equipping is with excellent tools for this experience and life. Xx