Note from Naomi: Today's post is a guest post from the lovely Rebeka, who - although not a blogger - wanted the opportunity to share with the world her birthing story. It's all about how she used a hypnobirthing technique to have a drug free birth.
On the morning of the 2nd October, i had a ‘show’ and very mild surges.
As I'd been having quite strong Braxton Hicks throughout the previous week, I thought nothing of it and continued with my day; which included playing with my three and half year old and doing things around the house.
I decided to have a lavender bath and listen to my, 'Birth Affirmations' and, 'Relax with Nature' tracks. During the afternoon the surges started coming a bit more frequently - approximately 10 to 15 minutes apart. Due to this, we decided to call Archie’s granddad over to pick him up - just in case! We agreed that if things hadn’t progressed by the morning, we would collect Archie then.
After Archie left, we had some dinner, watched some TV and i sat on my birthing ball. By around midnight, my surges were becoming more intense. Despite this, some were happening every two minutes, and others every 20 minutes!
First, we called the Midwife led unit and explained what was happening. They offered for us to go in, where they could see if anything was happening. Next we called my Doula - Sally - and said that, although things were happening I wasn’t entirely convinced I was in labour. I said I’d call her back when things started properly.
We went to the hospital to find out that I was only 3cm dilated. They offered me a TENS machine to take home and they told to go home to try and rest.
Walking back to the car was very slow, as my surges became more frequent and more intense.
As i was told minutes before that it might be a while, we pressed on and went home. Our bedroom is on the second floor in our house, and as I climbed the stairs I was stopping every two steps to breathe through the surges. By the time I managed to get to our bedroom, I had decided that i was definitely in labour and to head back to the hospital.
By now it was about 1am. Rowan - my partner - called Sally, and we headed over to the hospital again. When we got there, they were already filling the pool. I immediately leant over a birthing ball, breathing deeply and counting in my head through contractions.
When I got in the pool, I was immediately relaxed.
The midwife was helping me concentrate on my breathing. I asked Rowan to get in the pool with me to do some massages; but he had to return to the car to get our hospital bags.
I remained calm and the midwife stayed with me, holding my hands and helping me to breathe deeply. I have no idea how long surges were lasting or how often they were coming as all i could think about was breathing deeply. When Rowan came back, he got straight into the pool and we started with the soothing strokes and massages. They helped me so much!
The surges were intense, but I concentrated on breathing and counting. Sally arrived at about 1.50am, and then the two midwives stepped away to allow Rowan, Sally and me to get on with what we were doing.
Sally, holding my hands, rubbing my head, and giving me water.
Rowan, massaging my back, and talking me through the surges.
About ten minutes later i felt the urge to push and with a few pushes her head came out. Still breathing deeply, I pushed a few more times but there wasn’t any movement. The midwife suggested i change position, after which the midwife noticed that our daughter was a bit stuck.
I noticed her pull a cord - which turned out to be an emergency cord - and she asked me to stand up. I felt a bit panicked, but concentrated on my breathing. The midwife turned the baby’s head around and asked me to carefully go back in the water. It turns out her shoulders were stuck by my pelvis. With a couple more pushes, Audrey was here!
Rowan caught her as my position meant I couldn’t.
She was born at 2.11am on the 3rd October, weighing 9lbs7oz. Originally we thought she was 9lbs5oz, but the midwife had converted it incorrectly!
I had absolutely no pain relief; I didn’t tear; and had a physiological third stage. The 'Wise Hippo Hypnobirthing' techniques I learnt during my course with Victoria were priceless. It helped me in so many ways including to help me to remain calm when I felt panicked and I certainly had the right birth on the day.