Nat & Gav's Birth Story
Nat & Gav’s Birthing Journey
I’m sitting here writing this reflecting on the past 9 months watching our beautiful sweet girl Zoe sleeping beside me and know that I wouldn’t have been able to do it without the support, guidance and trust I had in Nikki from Connected Hypnobirthing.
When I found out we were pregnant, I started to a think about what the next 9 months meant to me, our relationship and our life. I knew that I wanted to ensure we came out the other side stronger, grounded and ready for the next stage, but how do you navigate the labour, birth and keep the horror stories people like to share from impacting you and your imagination.
Knowledge is key and for me it was important to surround myself with the right team. Using hypnobirthing meant access to knowledge, connecting to my instincts and trusting that my body knew exactly what to do. My quest for knowledge led me to Nikki from Connected Hypnobirthing and we opted for a private home course.
We decided to work with a private OB, who supported my plan for a natural birth. After some research, I found Dr Sabrina Kauh, who was just amazing, nurturing, honest and the best care I could have ask for. I also worked with a naturopath, Kerry Jury throughout my pregnancy and an acupuncturist, Lea Papworth, who both kept me healthy, feeling good and ready for the marathon ahead.
Coming out on the other side of the birth of our baby girl Zoe, which was a truly magical experience I know we can attribute it to the work we did with Nikki in the lead up, all the information she shared with us, all the practises and meditations, breathing techniques, affirmations and tracks helped keep us grounded even when things didn’t go as we planned.
As the full moon rose on Monday 21st of January, I felt a trickle of water going down my leg, thinking it was just a new exciting stage of pregnancy (I was now pissing my pants) I didn’t pay any attention. At 2.30am I started to feel cramps which lasted for 10 seconds every 10 minutes, but at the same time one of our fur babies, who had been so sick, was having surgery, so although my body was trying to go into labour, my head kept thinking, hold on little baby, I need a few more days.
I had my scheduled OB appointment the next day which kicked off the journey to my labour. Once we confirmed my water had broken, we started to talk about induction then and there. This wasn’t a part of my birthing preferences and I felt quite rushed into needing to decide. But I remembered something Nikki taught us – BRAIN (benefits, risks, alternative, instincts and nothing). I was able to ask all the right questions and plan our next move.
It was amazing to have Nikki in my corner to speak to about my options, what induction meant, talk through my fears and our plan of attack. I decided I’d go into assessments to get more information and ask more questions before deciding what I wanted to do.
Once in assessment, it became apparent that induction was going to play a major part of my story as there was meconium in the amniotic fluid which changed the plan of attack. I then decided to be induced, it was important to me that it was my decision and that I had control of the situation (as much as possible lol).
So, at 5pm, I was taken up to the birthing suite, checked into my room and we got started.
My husband made his way to the hospital, with our LOVE led lighting, my crystals, music and good vibes. Before he arrived, Nikki and I did a fear release meditation over the phone to set me up for a journey ahead and removing any fears I had with the induction and changes to my vision of my birthing story.
Sabrina come to see me, and we established I was 1.5cm dilated so the journey began. I was stuck on the drip, had monitors on me every second, a midwife in the room the whole time. All my preferences were taken away, no bath, no shower, no food, no privacy. What I did have was my meditations, my breathing practices, a common language I could use with my partner and midwife and the knowledge to take the journey into my hands.
We got access to a fit ball, a thick mat for the floor, moved the bed, dimmed the lights and made the space ours. My labour started about 7pm and I was able to use hypnobirthing through all my surges, and it was amazing. My husband was truly amazing, getting out his cheat sheet and saying the right prompts to get me focused.
At 9.30pm it was decided that we would need to put a monitor on the baby’s head internally which wasn’t ideal but after speaking with midwife and OB on call we decided to do it. I was able to use my meditation techniques during this procedure and even the OB said that I was calm and was super impressed how I managed the process, thanks hypnobirthing. What he also said was that I was still only 1.5 cm dilated. At this point, my insecurities started to come into play.
Sabrina called and said the best thing to me “forget about the numbers, just trust that you know what you are doing, but I’ll see you tomorrow to deliver your baby”. Knowing we had a big journey ahead, it’s amazing how your mind and negative thoughts starts to take control. My surges were getting stronger, my husband could see that I was feeling insecure, unsure and not focussing on my techniques, so he took the lead and started to suggest different positions, kept moving, he was counting my breath and telling me exactly the right thing.
At 11.50pm, I couldn’t stop the internal voices any longer, the “I can’t do this” was starting to get stronger, I turned to my midwife and said, “we’ll have to start talking pai….” And she stopped me in my tracks, both her and my husband kept saying that I was doing an amazing job, that this is exactly what is meant to be happening and that I could do this. My husband then whispered in my ear, remember each surge is bring her closer to us.
I looked at the clock and thought, OK, you’ve got this, till 3am, then I’m having an epidural lol. What we didn’t realise was that I started to transition into the second stage of labour, we realised this when I went to the toilet and yelled out that I was going to have a poo. The midwife rushed in and said, “don’t push and come out on the bed”.
Because everyone just expected for it be a long labour, we hadn’t done any internals, but it turned out I was ready to go, 10 cm dilated and baby was on her way. Because my option of a water birth was no longer available, I squatted over the bed which was a great way to give birth. 17 minutes of bearing down technique, which I practised ed in the toilet, thanks for the tip Nikki, and baby Zoe arrived at 12.37am.
3.47 kgs of love started to crawl her way to my breast and we had 2 hours of skin on skin. I had a little tear, no stitches and absolutely love my birth story. The hypnobirthing course and my labour was just a beautiful bonding experience for my husband (who was super sceptical at first) and I.
Everyone’s birth story is so important, and I would recommend this course to anyone who is pregnant. We enjoyed every session with Nikki and think that this course helped prepare us be knowledgeable, connected and empowered regardless what journey our story took.