Ollie's Birth Story
Ollie’s Birth Story
Today my baby boy turns 2! On this day two years ago I gave birth to him in water at home as planned…
This little guy is what started my whole Hypnobirthing Journey, it was in my pregnancy with him that I discovered the amazing Hypnobirthing Australia™ course. So I want to share my birth story and some of my birth photos with you.
The big things for me personally that I took away from the Hypnobirthing Australia™ course was reconnecting with that trust in my body and that knowing my body knows how to give birth to my baby and learn that I had the ability to let go of my fears.
I loved the home practices and preparation in the lead up to his birth. Being my second pregnancy, my husband and I didn’t really have the same amount of time to spend together preparing for labour and birth like we did first time, so it was so nice to have the birth rehearsal video to do at home regularly to connect with each other and focus our energy and love on this baby in the lead up to his arrival. I also loved being able to visual what my birthing day was going to look like and I have to say it almost turned out just like I had imagined with only a few twists along the way.
So Ollie’s birth story begins with me having had been in prodromal labour for about 2 days thinking, hoping and wishes for things to happen, intensify, pick up, get stronger and more regular, at one point in the early hours on Friday morning I was having 2-3minute mild surges enough to need my attention, so I couldn’t sleep so I sat up bouncing on my birthing ball while listen to my hypnobirthing tracks to keep my focus. I even messaged my midwife and birth photographer to give them a heads up that day was going to be the day, well the house all woke as the day began and things begin to slow down and then by the time hubby had gone to work and my mum had taken my daughter to playgroup and I was home by myself it all stopped. So, I spent my day disheartened, napping on the couch, watching sad movies, having a cry every now and then, talking to my baby asking to stop teasing and you just come out now even though I was only 39+4weeks! That evening still nothing much was happening, I was feeling very emotional and just over it, worrying about everything too much – about things that were out of my control and then I remember I had this like super power… the ability to control my mindset so after everyone had gone to bed, I got up wrote all my fears, worries, concerns down on paper, ever thought I had on my mind just came out, I wrote 4 back to front pages (it was no wonder I hadn’t gone into established labour really!) I then listened to the Hypnobirthing Australia™ Fear Release track and after a big cry, soothing cup of tea I went to bed and actually slept.
I woke up the next morning with this new-found positivity, the sun was shining, it was the weekend and I was feeling good and focused. I said right we are going for a long walk, out for breakfast and then home again in time for the football because that’s all my husband could focus on. We walked to semaphore along the beach front, had a lovely breakfast at Swedish Tarts, stopped on the playground so my daughter could have a play before we made our way back home.
It was on the walk home I started to feel some tightening’s, but this felt different, lower, more intense, I had to slow my walking. By the time we got home, sat down to watch the football they were still happening but irregular. As the afternoon went on, I enjoyed my daughter playing and dancing, hubby was watching the footy and it was an exciting and nerve-racking match, so he was enjoying a few cold beers…well after his 3rd and I actually had to tell him to stop drinking just in case, it was then he knew I was serious and something might be happening. By the last quarter of footy I could no longer sit down so I bounced away on my birthing ball, listening to my music and breathe through these irregular 5-7min apart surges, feeling them in different places than the day before but more intensely. When the footy finished about 5:30pm and thankfully hubby’s team won, Ben started to get things set up and I now no longer could focus on anything else during a surge and found my daughter who was wanting to play dentist with me and shine a touch on my mouth very distracting. So, I called my mum to come over and play and care for her. While Ben made them dinner, I put up my birthing affirmation cards. Reading each one out loud while sticking it up as I squat along our kitchen bench during my surges.
After this I took some time to centre myself and I listening to Surge of the Sea track, it was so relaxing – so much so my husband came up to me and asked if it had all stopped? I was like NO! I was still working hard having surges every 3-5mins that were getting more intense with each one, but the hypnosis just made me so relaxed, calm and focus, he didn’t even think I was in labour anymore. After this I had a shower, it was in the shower I decided I would feel better if my midwives came and were present, give me the support and reassurance that I was in established labour and this wasn’t going to fizzle out again.
It was like after I had made that decision and call the photographer everything turned up a notch. I was having to work hard during surges, started feeling nauseous, unable to sit still, breathing and starting to vocalise. By the time my midwife got there around sometime around 9pm, she said just by looking at me knew I was definitely in established labour (my own inner midwife denial – I was good at that, did it with my first labour and didn’t call my midwives until I started to feel the urge to push). She called for back-up and it was then I started to lose my cool and control a little so my midwife took me into the bathroom, turned off all the lights so in the dark it was just me, my husband and my midwife. I was able to calm myself.
It was just the privacy I needed. Also gave me the chance to empty my bladder, to change position all to help bring my baby down. It was in there then that my waters released, on toilet, very convenient and felt like a huge pressure had been release, a sense of relief. The first sign of labour starting with my first birth was my waters breaking, so things were a bit different this time, was like I had just been waiting for it to happen. After this I started to feel the urge to bear down at the peak of my surges, so I moved into the bath. I continued to feel in control and grounded with our anchor touch and the light touch massage from my birth partner.
The urge to bear down got stronger and more uncontrollable, it was involuntary, but I also started to get this sharp pain across my pubic bone which I was familiar with from my first labour and it was then my lower back started to hurt not just during my surges but in between too. I self-checked my own cervix, as guided to by my midwife as we were all expecting to be meeting a baby by now to find what I had knew to be there… an anterior lip of cervix at the front. My midwife asked me to stop pushing and bearing down but I couldn’t, it was involuntary, we tried position changes and some clary sage on a hot flannel to help it move.
But I just couldn’t stop bearing down on it, and the back pain was becoming increasingly intense, more painful than the surges themselves, to me the surges were easy to manage but this back pain was not. I started to worry my baby was posterior and because I couldn’t stop pushing, we made the decision to get out of the bath and I remember laying down for my midwife to assess his position and saying to her my baby is OP isn’t it? And her saying Yes but that’s ok reassuring me this baby was smaller, had room in my pelvis and was sitting low so we can try somethings to turn baby. I was disappointed but reassured, not once did I get fearful about baby being OP or think it was something I couldn’t manage because this time I had knowledge and tools and a great support team, I just knew I was going to have to work a little bit harder to get my baby out. So, we tried spinning babies side lying release and acupressure points. It was intense and the only really painful part of my labour, having to be lying down just putting up with the back pain and surges not being able to work through them but you know what…
It worked, he turned and came down into my birth canal, I remember telling my midwife to get her fingers out of my vagina to her reply being I am not touching you haha and what I could feel was my baby. So back into the birth pool we went, feeling excited and ready.
It was when I got back in the bath that I realised and remember what I had to now do, get through that feeling of my baby moving through my body and the intense stretching, I did but didn’t want to do it. I remember my midwife starting to worry the anterior lip may have come back and asking how far away baby was but I just had to mentally working up to it now … it was that final moment of transition, the rest and be thankful phase…
I then got in to a lunge like position and let my body take over birthing my baby, breathing down all my love and energy down behind my baby and into my pelvis. When my baby reached my perineum, I had my hand there, my midwife telling and reminding me to just breathe, thinking to myself that would do nothing and all I wanted to do was push, push through that stretching sensation, I took my hand away in frustration, breathing heavily and I couldn’t believe how quickly in passed and I remember reaching back and my baby’s whole head was out, I couldn’t believe it! It had worked. So from couch to baby in arms it was less than 20mins, so much quicker than my first birth, I pushed for 2 and half hours with my daughter thanks to her being asynclitic and me not having the knowledge and tools to help manage that.
I remember my husband sitting in front of me and my midwife saying 'Ben if you want to catch your baby you better come quick' as she started to see his head and by the time he got around there, baby was out, they lifted him to the surface together behind me because they were concerned about his colour looking very white under the water but it was just all the vernix that covered his body and face that made him appear that way. It was so thick his eyes were glued shut.
I had to oh so gracefully lift a leg over his cord to put his to my chest, it was then that I discovered before anyone else he was a boy! A beautiful surprise as we didn’t find out the sex and I had this gut feeling that I was having a girl my whole pregnancy.
We spent a beautiful but short 15min in the pool admiring our brand-new baby, taking in that smell of oxytocin from my newborn, waking our daughter as promised, who had not long been asleep to meet her baby brother before I had to get out of the bath because I no longer felt comfortable due to my placenta being ready to birth.
So, as I got out of the bath, I squatted next to the birth pool and birthed my placenta with such ease it amazed me. We moved to the couch to clamp and cut the cord, continued skin to skin and all admired our baby boy.
He attached the breast and feed well, giving his sister time to study him before he was weighted and measured. Healthy 3.71kgs of perfection. I got up for a shower completely overwhelmed and impressed by how quick and easy it all went even with him turning OP in transition (he had a bruised head to show for it) I just hypnobirthed my baby – I was so proud of myself and my baby.
The best part of it all and my hypnobirthing experience was that I did love every minute of my labour and birth, the tools it gave me to help me focus, remain calm and let go of my fears, have the support around me from my birth partner, my incredible midwives to my mum and my daughter, to the knowledge of being able to calmly meet whatever turns my birthing my take like baby turning OP but having trust in the journey and all the preparation gave me the physically, mentally and emotionally strength I needed to manage my labour. Hypnobirthing gave me that connection I needed to myself, my body, my baby, my husband, my family and birth support team. I want all women to feel that and have their own unique positive birth experience, having knowledge to make informed decisions, be an active part in their labour and birth, feel that connection to what is important to them and that is part of my why I became a Hypnobirthing Australia™ practitioner and called my business Connected Hypnobirthing.