At midnight on the 25th May, I hadn’t been in bed all that long when I got my first surge. Not having done this before, I wasn’t sure if this was very intense Braxton Hicks or if it was the real deal. I waited it out in bed and surely as rhythm became quite rapid and strong, I knew the surges were here to stay.
I got out of bed and sat on my birthing ball in our bedroom, Jake was ready with what to do to prep my birthing space with my positive anchors.
He set up my diffuser with lavender, switched on the fairy lights and started playing me the positive affirmations MP3.
I had also purchased the LBC's positive affirmation cards, as being a visual person, I knew I’d need visual cues to keep myself in the zone.
So I sat on my ball, and practiced my breathing through the surges, which at that point were about 5 minutes apart, following my finger along the line of the cue card, breathing in for 5 and out for 5.
I laboured like that for the next few hours and alternated from ball, to bed, to bath tub... and back to bed.
Side note: I had planned a water birth in our living room but at this point I was so in the zone in our bedroom which felt super cosy with the dim lighting and all, and I also wanted Jake to stay close by and not to leave to fill up the pool, so I decided I would stay where I was as I felt safe and in a rhythm. I would still have loved a water birth but hey, and dare I say it just a few short days post-delivery but... maybe for the next birth!
At around 7am the homebirth midwife arrived to check on us and asked if I would like to be examined. At this point I was happy to know how things were progressing as I knew in myself there wasn’t too much longer to go - instinct I guess? The midwife advised that I was 3cm but had a soft cervix and would likely “go quickly” when baby was ready.
The midwife left me to labour peacefully for a bit longer as she felt I was progressing really well in my calm environment and she asked Jake to phone her at the slightest change.
By 8:30am I had the urge to push, so Jake phoned the midwife and shortly thereafter she and our other midwife turned up ready to help deliver.
In all honesty, my sense of calm at this point started to waiver as my body moved into this next stage, probably because it meant change from what I had already been through. By this I mean I had already found a rhythm for riding through the surges with my breathing techniques, soft touch massage from Jake and lots of hugs and kisses but with the new urge to ‘push’ and not knowing if it was too soon for that, I started to eel the fear creep in. All it took was the reassurance of the midwife telling me to go with my body, for me to feel like everything was ok and that I was still very much safe and in control.
I also quietly reminded myself that I trusted “my instincts, my body, and my baby”.
By 11:12am, Jenson was born. It was the most out of body experience I have ever been through but equally the most magical moment in my life.
I have never felt so strong and quite honestly, so proud of myself. It was more than I could have ever wished for, a peaceful at-home birth, with no interventions and no pain relief.
I truly believe that if I hadn’t had the hypnobirthing techniques to guide me through labour that I might not mentally (or physically) have coped as well as I did. It was about having a clear focus and determination to meet my baby.
I’m not saying I mastered the hypnobirthing techniques (in fact I relied on only a few) but I’m definitely saying that I’d be willing to do it all again... and as a first time Mum that means a lot!
I also owe a big thank you to Jake for being such a level-headed and calm birthing partner. With thanks to our course with you, both of us felt knowledgeable about what was happening throughout the labour. Jake especially felt equipped with how to best support me. So a huge thank you for all of your guidance and teachings, from myself and my little family.