I was focused on a calm, easy birth and that’s what I experienced.
Oct 14, 2020
Positive Birth Story Ahead:
Before I start, I can say, without a doubt, Hypnobirthing works! How do I know? I did it! I was focused on a calm, easy birth and that’s what I experienced.
A bit of background: Going into this pregnancy I was a traumatised woman. I had a very complicated and dangerous labour and delivery experience with my first son that resulted in both physical and mental trauma that lasted for over a year. I received help for both but could never truly move past the experience when birth or new babies were mentioned. I often would experience active resentment towards other women who hadn’t hated their birth or new-Mum experience.
A few years later I desperately wanted another child, conceived and managed to block out the entire concept of birthing him until 26 weeks when I ended up in hospital with food poisoning. Just the mere experience of walking through the hospital doors gave me enormous PTSD, I started shaking and crying uncontrollably. It was at that moment I realised, birth was inevitable and I had to get control of my fears now or risk having the same trauma all over again.
That night, whilst attached to IV fluids and anti-nausea medication in a ward full of crying newborns I found Hypnobirthing Australia. I stayed up for hours reading positive birth stories from women just like me who had experienced the difference Hypnobirthing can make when you carry previous birth trauma.
I signed on to Hypnobubs
then and there. From that moment on, I practiced religiously. Often referring back to what a positive birth meant to me excersize from the start and shaping my preferences around that. I was under the care of a specialist OB and a preeclampsia specialist who I was in a constant respectful negotiation with about my birth preferences and safety procedures. They were both very respectful of my wishes but also keen to negotiate an approved list of interventions ahead of time should my condition deteriorate quickly.
We agreed in the interest of my safety It would not be appropriate to go past 40 weeks pregnant but until then a natural onset labour was to be encouraged.
However, at 39+6 there was no signs of imminent labour (even though I was trying every natural induction method I felt safe to do so) and I agreed to present at the hospital on the eve of 40w exactly to be induced the morning of 40+1.
Whilst this induction wasn’t my first preference, I understood the implications of my previous condition and the risks of going past 40 weeks and accepted this.
On the eve of 40w exactly I presented to the maternity unit at 5:00pm. I was greeted by my OB at the door and we made our way to the examination room. I was happy for her to check my cervix as a baseline and I learned that it was completely closed and not effaced at all. Whilst this made me nervous I remembered my affirmations all the positive induction stories I had read over the course of my pregnancy.
My OB and I discussed my situation and decided to use Cervadil tape as the start of my induction. I had the tape placed in at 5:40pm. I then returned to settle in on the ward and hopefully sleep through the night and give the Cervadil a chance to work ahead of starting the drip/membrane release in the morning. My husband set up my room with my positive affirmation cards, my diffuser and a few things from home to make myself calm and comfortable. The nurses commented it was so beautifully decorated (and smelling). Within 20 minutes of returning to the ward I began to feel pressure but brushed it off as paranoia. As the evening progressed I found I couldn’t settle and went walking, bounced on the excersize ball and paced whilst watching some of my favourite shows.
Within a few hours a friend of mine who’d only birthed her baby on the same ward a few days previous popped her head in to visit. Whilst we were chatting away I kept having to pause to breathe through surges, although I continued to dismiss these surges as a false start. At 9:30pm a nurse came in to do a routine set of OB’s, she noticed my breathing and asked me to have a quick CTG. I consented and she confirmed I had started labouring! She then encouraged me to rest as much as possible from here on in and got me comfortable in the bed. I managed to listen to my SOTS track and drifted off to sleep at around 11:30pm. At 2:00am I woke suddenly with strong surges, too strong to sleep through. My partner who was sound asleep in the bed next to me woke and called the nurse to update them. At ten to 6:00am I then walked slowly and calmly to the birthing unit as I felt my body was getting geared up for the actual birth. My partner set up my room as he did the previous one and I began listening to my affirmations over and over whilst focusing on my breathing. Time for me went very quickly at the stage, I had wireless monitoring so was able to change positions to where was comfortable in or around the bed. Flopping and breathing during my surges, encouraged by my partner and midwife. Before I knew it the surges became extremely intense and all I could to was focus on my breath. My OB then came in at 9:00am and assessed me. She removed the tape and asked me if I was pushing already.
I replied no, but it was bizzare, like an out of body experience. My whole body began to push my baby out to meet me with no control from me. I remained calm and continued to breathe whilst my baby emerged. My water broke during this.
At 9:28am by baby boy came earthside as I reached down and lifted him to chest. It was just unreal and unlike anything I ever thought birth could be like.
I did sustain a 2nd degree tear and used the gas during the repair and delivering the placenta.
My recovery has been so quick and joyous this time around and my little boy a calm delight. I credit Hypnobirthing Australia for helping heal my previous birth trauma and providing me the tools to have the birth experience all women deserve but so few actually get. I no longer look at birth the same way and look forward to sharing this story in the hope that other traumatic birth survivors can be encouraged that it CAN be different.
Callum Andrew Manouk
Born: Monday 28th September at 9:28am.
Weighing in at 3.260kg and 49cm long.