the niggling pains were now surges
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During my pregnancy, myself and my husband took the Calm Birth School hypnobirthing course with Wave Hypnobirthing which ended up being a really important tool in the last part of my pregnancy and labour. I listened to the affirmation MP3’s most nights before I went to sleep, and actually on the night of my labour I put the Relax for Birth mp3 on to relax as I was in early labour. I also used the Calm breathing during some stressful hospital appointments which were key in me having the birth I so desperately wanted!
The day that I was 41 weeks and 2 days pregnant, I had a membrane sweep booked with a midwife from the homebirth team but having had one a couple of days before and it not having much of an effect, I was feeling a bit skeptical about it. This one however, proved very different! At 1pm, the midwife could feel baby’s head and said I was 2cm dilated already, she performed the sweep and then confidently asked if “when she came back later” she should park in the space next door! Almost immediately I had pretty strong backache, but I didn’t want to get my hopes up, so I ignored it. I kept moving and ended up walking to the park with my five year old in an attempt to get things moving. By the time my husband got home from work at 3:20, I was having niggling aches which again, I didn’t want to get excited about. It wasn’t until 5:30pm I started timing them and they were coming every 5-7 minutes. After a long latent phase with my first son, I was well aware this could go on for a while so chose to carry on ignoring them mostly. At 9:20pm, I made the choice to go to bed and get a little bit of sleep, just in case things were to kick off. I put my affirmations on my phone, dabbed a bit of lavender essential oil on my wrists and settled in, still in denial that anything was happening. I managed to sleep for an hour before I woke at 10:30pm and realised that the niggling pains were now surges that were waking me up and I couldn’t sleep through them anymore. I went to the toilet and my waters released as I was sat there, I was quite grateful they hadn’t gone when I was in bed 5 minutes earlier! Pretty much straight away the surges got more intense, and I was having to use the breathing techniques to breathe through them. My husband Jake started setting up our living room, and I had texted my sister Sarah, who was my second birth partner, so she was on her way. When she arrived she carried on helping Jake set up the space downstairs, including inflating the birth pool which we had left until the last minute! By this time I was really having to breathe through the surges which were coming every couple of minutes. The midwife was on her way and I did consider whether or not she would make it as it seemed that things were going very quickly this time round! She arrived just after midnight, at which point I was having to concentrate on using my hypnobirthing breathing with every surge. Jake and Sarah were filling the pool now and had stuck some affirmation cards up which I read in between surges. I remember reading the “Every surge brings me closer to my baby” card multiple times and repeating it in my head when I really felt like I couldn’t do it. After the midwife arrived, I relaxed a little bit, the surges were still very intense and after an examination, the midwife told me I was 4cm dilated. Now I just really wanted to get into the pool for the relief I knew it would probably bring me! After some bailing out and refilling, the pool was still on the cold side but I knew I needed to get in, flinging my leg over the high side of the pool and into the water. The weightlessness of the water made such a difference, but I didn’t have long to enjoy it as another surge came and I found myself baring down without even intending to and making the most primal noise I’d made so far! Something in me changed then, and I suddenly got a rush of fear and sat back saying “I can’t do it guys!” to Jake, Sarah and Julie the midwife. In my head, although I was saying I couldn’t, I knew I could and I knew from talking about it during our hypnobirthing course, that this was transition. I couldn’t believe it when only half an hour earlier I’d been examined as 4cm, but sure enough with the next surge and the amazingness of the fetal ejection reflex, baby Maddox’s head was born, and a minute later, the rest of him followed.
Just seven minutes after getting into the birth pool, he was born! He needed some help to breathe at first, so Julie cut the cord and instructed Sarah to call an ambulance but within a few minutes he had pinked up and was doing okay.
Despite the drama after he was born, Maddox’s birth was an absolutely amazing experience, world’s away from my first birth and the exact healing birth that I had wanted. Using hypnobirthing definitely kept me calm throughout pregnancy and in my labour, and the things we learnt on the course were totally invaluable for myself and for my husband.
If you want to create your own positive birth you can start today!