It was Friday, December 22, 2006….my “due date”. However, I had come to accept that I should not expect to actually have my baby on this date…the chances were slim. So, just before 1:00 p.m. that day, I was downstairs on the computer e-mailing co-workers. No sooner had I sent the e-mail, when I experienced my first surge. I continued on my e-mail, and then felt another one at 1:30 and again at 2:00, which was the time that Shane (my husband) came home from work. He had gotten off early that day due to the Christmas holidays. I asked him to take a picture of me on my “Due Date” and casually told him of the surges I was experiencing.
By 5:30, I decided that I should call my midwife and let her know that I assumed I was going into labour. My midwife returned my call and informed me that she was already at the hospital, with another woman who was going to have her baby imminently. Around 7:00 p.m., a second midwife from the clinic contacted me and I told her my surges were from 1 – 3 minutes apart, so she advised me to meet her at the hospital.
The drive to the hospital was extremely uncomfortable, due to the intensity of the surges and the fact that the baby seat was already set up in the back seat, so my seat was pushed up to the front. Upon arriving at the hospital, I was examined by the midwife who I had spoken to earlier, but whom I had never met before. She assessed me at three centimetres dilated, which meant that I could stay at the hospital from thereon in….I however, had no intentions on leaving anyway. She immediately asked me if we had a Birth Plan. I was glad that we had reviewed this in our HypnoBirthing class, and that my husband and I had taken the time to complete one. She read over our plan and stuck to it, and soon my primary midwife came in to assist, as she had just delivered a baby in the room that was joined to mine.
The next four hours of labour were very intense. I dilated very quickly…I went from three centimetres to ten centimetres in four hours. Shane was able to repeat many of the visualizations and affirmations from the CDs and the classes, as we had spent the past two months listening to the CDs and doing the exercises from the book. About four weeks before the birth, we were sure to complete these exercises nightly. During this phase of my labour, all I needed was Shane to repeat these visualizations and relaxation techniques during each surge. It helped to keep me focussed and as relaxed as possible. During each surge, I would just grab his hand and he would talk me through a relaxation or a visualization exercise, and of course remind me of the breathing techniques.
By 12:30 p.m., I was completely dilated and now into the second stage of labour. This was the part where I expected to breathe the baby down. Soon into this second stage, my baby’s head started to appear, however it was stuck under my pelvic bone. I could reach down and feel the top of his/her head for almost three hours. Throughout this time, my midwives constantly monitored the baby’s heartbeat to ensure that the baby was not under duress. Due to the position of the baby, breathing it down did not appear to be an option. Therefore, I was required to push. So, I laboured for three more hours in several different positions. Finally, at 3:29 a.m. my midwife announced that the shoulders were coming through. I gave one last push and the baby came out in mere seconds
“It’s a girl!” Shane announced. “It’s a girl? It’s a girl?” I kept repeating. I couldn’t believe it, as everyone was convinced I was having a boy.
Julia (our newly named baby) spent the next hour and a half on top of my chest breastfeeding and bonding with me…she was alert and looking up at me the whole time, it was beautiful….by far the happiest hour and half of my life. I was so glad that we had requested that Julia be put on my chest right away, and not be taken to be weighed, etc. She was staring into my eyes the entire time… these were moments that you can’t buy, these were moments that I will never forget.
After about an hour, I called my parents in for a quick peek and introduction. She then spent the next hour and a half with Shane, skin to skin, while I was repaired and cleaned up. This time was also very good bonding with Daddy and Julia.
The Hypnobirthing course gave us the confidence to enter the birth without fear or doubt. The course also taught us the importance of a Birth Plan, which proved to be quite useful for us. I was never once offered pain medication and due to the focus that Shane and I had, I did not think about it. Throughout each surge of my labour, Shane repeated the Hypnobirthing affirmations and visualizations, and I can honestly say I don’t know how I would have managed without this. The course empowered Shane to give me the help I needed, and when I needed it the most. He was the only person I needed in the room. He was my focus and my strength. Julia’s birth went exactly as I hoped it would, and we only spent a total of 12 hours in the hospital. I feel the Hypnobirthing experience brought out the best in both of us….I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Hypnobirthing to friends (in fact I have); I’m lucky to have taken the course.