Madeleine’s Birth Story
I did the hypnobirthing Australia course in July 2020 before the birth of my first baby. I also researched a lot about hypnobirthing and birthing options. In my family my mum and sister both had traumatic births and I was determined to have the calmest birth possible. I tried to block out as much negativity as possible surrounding birthing as I wanted to go in with the strong, calm mindset. I wanted minimal intervention if possible but informed my caregivers that I was happy to do whatever was best for the baby at the time during my birth if they thought it was absolutely necessary. I was 41w3d when I birthed my daughter on August 22nd.
Three days before I gave birth to her, I started getting period like pains that came and went every 20 minutes or so. The doctor said that if I hadn’t given birth by 10 days overdue, they would recommend induction so I was really hoping things would keep progressing. I live in a remote part of Australia so the hospital doesn’t like women going too far overdue for fear of complications. I lost my mucous plug two days before and then had a partial water break 18hours before I gave birth. I went at 10 days overdue and they started the induction process at 8am. I was still having mild period pains every 20 minutes. I was put on a syntocin drip and then they broke my waters around an hour after the drip started. As soon as the drip was started, I put my headphones on and listened to the affirmations for birth and surge of the sea tracks as they were my favorites. It really put me in a good headspace for the rest of the day.
By 12pm my contractions had really started to ramp up and I was finding that I couldn’t get comfortable just sitting on the birthing ball so I decided to get in the shower. I wasn’t allowed to get in the bath as my waters had been broken for longer than 12 hours so that was disappointing but I loved sitting on the birthing ball in the shower while my husband put the shower on different parts of my back. I felt the surges mostly in my back and the water really helped. I kept my eyes closed the entire time I was in labor as I felt I could focus more on my breath with no distractions. I also started softly moaning (like a cow) during these hours and this came very naturally to me, I just let my body do what it needed to. At around 3pm I felt I could no longer cope with my contractions as I wasn’t getting any break in between and it was at this point that I asked for an epidural. I also felt like as my body slipped my mind was starting to lose focus on my breathing. It was at this point they turned off the syntocin drip as it was pushing my body too hard to contract and I was 10cm dilated and in transition. My husband told me later that the doctor wasn’t happy with how high the dose of syntocin was at the time and that is why my contractions were so fast and furious.
Once the midwives told me I was in transition (and it was too late for an epidural), I actually felt really relieved as I knew that it was time to start pushing soon and that I would be meeting my baby soon. I managed to re-set my mind at that point and focus back on my breathing. I had to make my way from the shower back to the bed. I started pushing while up on the bed and trying to go with the surges and what my body needed to do. I didn’t like that I was told to get up on the bed as it didn’t feel natural to me but as I hadn’t given birth before I just did what I was told to do. I really focusedsed hard on my breath during this time and just going from surge to surge. It took 2 hours of pushing and then I needed an episiotomy right at the end to get my beautiful baby girl out. I couldn’t believe that I had managed to birth my baby with no pain relief and just using my breath. I kept saying to my husband ‘I can’t believe I did it!’
My second birth was for my beautiful baby boy in March 2022. As I had given birth before I had 18 months to reflect on my first birth and think about what I did and didn’t want for my second. I really didn’t want to be induced again as I felt this pushed my body faster than it wanted to so I was determined not to be induced if I didn’t have to. I also hated trying to push a baby out up on a bed so I was determined to try and remain on my hands and knees or in a squatting position. From 35 weeks I started doing the hypnobirthing tracks again and getting in a strong mindset for the birth. My due date came and went and I started to feel anxious about getting induced again. Three days after my due date and two days before he was born, I lost my mucous plug and had a bloody show. For the next 24 hours I started to get waxing and waning contractions every 20-30 minutes that would ramp up overnight and then peter out during the day.
At 9pm the night before he was born my contractions really started to ramp up and intensify and by 1am I decided to head up to the hospital (we only live 5 minutes away). I rang my friend to come over and look after my 18month old toddler. The midwives checked me and I was only 2cm dilated so they kept me in and put me in a bed to get some rest. By 9am the contractions were still intense but only 15 minutes apart so the midwives sent me home to rest and come back when things ramped up again. I got home at 10am and felt very defeated as I felt like my body was really in labor and ready to go. I had a shower and got into bed and put my headphones in with the affirmations for birth and surge of the sea tracks playing and tried to breathe and relax through the contractions. At 11am was waters broke in bed at home and as I stood up I felt very intense contractions that suddenly ramped up and went to every 5 minutes.
I yelled out to my husband to ring the mat ward and tell them what had happened and we made our way back to the hospital. We went straight back into the birthing room and the midwives started filling the bath for me. I focused on closing my eyes and breathing through the surges. I started softly moaning again as I exhaled as I felt like my body needed to do this. I got into the bath at around 1230pm and sat in the bath on my knees. Things happened really quickly and I felt like I needed to bear down almost as soon as I got into the bath. I didn’t feel like I needed to push during this second birth, rather just bear down and let the surges push my baby out. With one big surge his head came out and then the midwives told me to look down in the bath (I had my eyes closed) and I could see his head. Another big surge and his body came out and I was lucky enough to pull my baby boy out of the water and up onto my chest. It was the most beautiful moment. I felt so empowered and so proud of my body for birthing my baby without pain relief. I am so grateful to Hypnobirthing Australia for their course and empowering women to have the calmest births. During both of my births I told my caregivers that whatever happened I was happy to have any intervention if that was the best thing for my baby and I felt that hypnobirthing gave me the best tools to relax and remain calm for whatever turns my births took.