The Birth of Signy
October 29, 2007, 8:08 am.
Our due date was November 11, 2007.
Sunday, October 29th I went to bed around 10 PM and awoke around 3:45 AM thinking I was hungry. I went downstairs and had a bowl of cereal. I then started to think maybe what I was feeling was not hunger. I calmly went upstairs and drew a hot bath and got in to soak. (I don’t know where this instinct came from as I never, ever take baths). In the bath I realized that whatever was happening was coming in regular intervals and finally considered (duh!) that this might be labour.
I woke my husband up to tell him that I may be in labour but not to worry and that I’d keep him posted. I went back downstairs and started to walk back and forth through what I now know was the start of regular surges. I still didn’t consciously think ‘I’m in labour’ but more just was going through everything in a calm way…kind of felt like I was on auto-pilot. Around 5am my waters released on the kitchen floor and I called up to my husband telling him he’d better come downstairs. We inspected the water and decided it looked ok so decided to go up and get back in the bath.
Within minutes I went from 0 to 100 mph!! My surges were coming very, very quickly. My husband was timing them and they were coming back-to-back lasting 1 minute long and were approx 2 mins apart. I was in the bath and was actively breathing through each surge. We had the CD on and that helped to keep me focused. I don’t remember it being very painful or at least ‘pain’ is not what I remember. I do recall constantly saying to my husband to not call the midwife yet so we could let her get a good night’s sleep. (I don’t think my conscious mind knew just how fast labour was progressing.) Luckily my husband ignored my request and paged the midwife.
I spent the entire time in the bath focusing on the CD. Although we had rehearsed what my husband would say and do in labour, it turned out that I didn’t want him to talk to me or touch me. I was deep within myself. He sat beside the bath and held my hand. He did keep quietly repeating to breathe the baby down and repeated the words, ‘go deeper and deeper.’ His closeness gave me strength and comfort.
The visualizations that I used during the surges centred on ‘opening’. I imagined the yellow balloon inflating (on the in breath) and breathing down and opening on the out breath. I was very aware of ‘imagining’ my cervix to be opening throughout the whole time in the bath. I constantly visualized my cervix as blue satin ribbons. My breaths were not the 20-count breaths I had practiced. They ended up being short but deep breaths.
I must have been in that mode in the bath for about 2 hours (from 5 am – 7 am). The midwife arrived at around 7:15. Shortly before she arrived I started to feel like I had to go poo and had an intense bearing down feeling. I remember seeing that there was a little bit of blood in the water. Once the ‘bearing down’ sensation came it became much more difficult to stay motionless. I did start to move around to different positions and had a very vocal, deep, guttural sound that was coming out of me beyond my control. The urge to push that people talk about was so real and uncontrollable. I felt at that point that I lost control of my conscious ‘imagining’ and had a more base instinct take over my mind and body.
Shortly after the midwife arrived she examined me in the bath and I had opened fully. She told me to slow down as she had to get her equipment ready!! Soon after, my midwife and my husband walked me to the bed. I lay on my back with my feet on her shoulders and my husband was on the bed supporting my head. She encouraged me to push as she found my
‘breathing through the pushing’ to be ineffective.
When the bearing down initially started my instinct had been to breathe through the pushing (more like birth breathing). What I was now doing was more traditional pushing where I was holding my breath and pushing like hell.
I continued to use my visualizations as I pushed. I imagined pushing the baby down and out. I was trying to ‘feel’ the baby move down. My legs shook quite dramatically when I’d stop pushing and I was more aware of the pain at that point. My midwife would help me get calm and control back by coaching me back into relaxed breathing.
Signy came out after 24 minutes of HARD pushing. My mind helped my body work her out. Although it was an intensely physical experience – the pushing is a major workout – I believe the speed and power with which I pushed her out came more from my mind and the power of visualization, and less from my body.
Signy was placed immediately on my chest and we just held her and gazed at her almost in disbelief. 2 weeks early and in 4 short hours and all of a sudden we were holding our new baby daughter. The feeling was simply out-of-body and indescribable.
People talk about the first few days with baby as being crazy. Our experience following her birth was far from crazy. Having a home birth was simply blissful and very calm. We had the most beautiful, loving and almost dream-like first few days with our new daughter.
I strongly believe the entire hypnobirthing experience contributed immensely to creating this wonderful birth and postnatal experience for my husband and me, and our baby.
Thank you Jennifer…