Veronique and Brad came to do a course with me for the birth of their third child. Their first two births had been "long and very, very painful" and they had followed their midwives advice to come and do a course with me. They were birthing at St George Hospital in Sydney under the midwifery team and with Veronique's sister Courtney (also a midwife) as a support person. Veronique was really hoping to have a drug-free water-birth but also needed to get past some doubts about if she could achieve this....which she very much did (her amazing birth video is at the end of this post!!!)
Hi Kerry, it’s Veronique. We did your course a few months ago, and I just had to tell you about our birth. We had our baby girl yesterday morning and it was really, REALLY good. I feel so lucky. It was exactly how I pictured it in my head.
A week last Tuesday, I started getting some contractions. And I thought, “this is it!”. I sat on my birth ball during the night, but at 5am the contractions stopped. This stop-start labouring carried on for three nights, then nothing. I had a stretch and sweep to see if that would help but it didn’t.
As the week went by, I became heavier and more uncomfortable, then the same thing happened this Tuesday at around midnight. I started getting some contractions but I decided to try and ignore them thinking “yeah, whatever, here we go again!”.
But I couldn’t ignore them so I got up and went into the shower. I called my sister who is a midwife and was also going to support me during the birth. However, I wasn’t in the shower for very long and I’d already had three contractions. So we decided to move to the hospital at around 3:45am.
We had to stop a few times as I was being sick. But I had a TENS machine on my back – which was an absolute godsend! – and I put a heat pack on my front. I had my headphones playing the hypnobirthing tracks, which absolutely saved me. They really kept me in my zone and whenever they stopped I had to have them turned back on.
We got to the hospital, and my midwife was amazing. Christina was our midwife, and she says she sends all her clients to you for hypnobirthing. She ran me a bath, but I didn’t know if I wanted to go in yet or not, as I didn’t want to get in too soon. But after just one more contraction I decided it was time to get in. This was about 4:45am. I felt like I was in heaven when I was in the bath. It was soooo good. I’d move around in circles and when I wasn’t having a contraction Brad and my sister would hold my hand or rub my back.
Towards the end of birth my body took over with the pushing and my midwife had a hands off approach. As the pressure intensified my midwife and sister told me to keep breathing through it. And then I got an urge which I couldn’t control, which was my waters breaking.
At 5:25am, our baby girl was born in the water, exactly how I wanted it! I’m still on a high. We’ve named her Pia Courtney.
I had no tearing – Pia was 3.94 kilograms yet I’m only a small person, only 48 kilograms when I’m not pregnant.
We waited for the placenta to be birthed physiologically, which was around 30 minutes later, and during that time we just cuddled our baby and had skin to skin. We had delayed cord clamping and Brad cut the cord.
This was nothing like my two other births which were much longer and very painful. It was a completely different experience. I’m so proud of myself.
We videoed the birth and you can see on it just how much I kept it together, even though in my head, I was working hard using my hypnobirthing techniques. It was so important having the right people there. Christina the midwife and you work together so well as a team, even though you’re not in the same room together. The support you both gave me helped me have such a great birth.
This time giving birth I realised that I can do this but I just needed to know that and have the right people around me to do it.
After our baby was born we were able to return home around midday that day. I couldn’t wait to get home and show Pia off to her big brother and sister. They’ve been so fantastic with her, so gentle and enjoying their new baby sister.
My husband keeps telling me how proud he is of me and said how this time he didn’t feel scared.
I think maybe I want more babies but perhaps it’s too soon to decide when it’s only 24 hours after having our baby and I’m on such a high!
I just want to thank you. I feel great and I want other women to know how good birth can be.
Thanks for all your help.
From Veronique, Brad, big brother Lincoln and big sister Georgie.