HypnoBirthing waterbirth of Ellie – February 2012

I woke up early on the Wednesday morning with surges that were strong enough to keep me awake. Jamie knew something was up because this must have been one of the first times in our relationship that I had woken up before he did. I wasn’t sure if they were practice surges but they were coming consistently enough.

I encouraged Jamie to go to his course as I felt that these surges were too far apart and very, very easy to breathe through – the baby wasn’t coming in a hurry. Although I was organised for the hospital I spent the morning packing and repacking as well as finalising the music I wanted to play. I kept myself busy cleaning and relaxing, I even took myself off to the shops at midday.

By about 3pm I was starting to feel a slight increase in the frequency of the surges and they were a little stronger. I used my exercise ball and the kitchen bench to breathe through each surge and I started to feel like I needed Jamie home for support. At this stage I realised that the sensation of each surge was changing.

By 7pm they were a couple of minutes apart, stronger and the sensation had changed from what felt like menstrual cramping to real muscle cramping around my whole belly. Jamie suggested we take a walk around the block and this helped bring the surges on. When we got home the surges were very regular and strong. I paced around the yard with the affirmations and rainbow relaxation playing in my headphones. I couldn’t sit still – in fact I couldn’t sit or lie down at all so I paced and I moaned to help me through the surges. I was in my own little world.

At around 11pm I was ready to go to the hospital. I was not looking forward to driving 40 minutes up the highway sitting in the car. I rang the hospital and they said to stay home a little longer and ring again when we were on our way. Half an hour later we were in the car. I think I only had maybe 5 surges on the way up which suited me just fine, however this put my progress back a bit.

When we arrived at the hospital I left poor Jamie for dead in the carpark and was let in by a nurse (it was her first night shift and she was a little freaked out.) I was led to one of the rooms to wait for my midwife and Jamie finally found me. I didn’t know this at the time but apparently there was about 6 women all in labor from 11pm until about 6am which had the staff in a bit of a frenzy.

My midwife asked if I wanted to be put on the monitor and I guess at that point I was happy enough to, just to make sure that the baby was ok. I can honestly say that I didn’t feel her move much during the last 16 hours so I think that I needed some piece of mind that she was travelling well. I had to stand up in the one spot for nearly an hour. The car ride had really set my surges back, and the baby’s heart rate was really low. After about 40 minutes the midwife told me to have a cold glass of water to see if that would wake her up a bit. Eventually her heart rate increased and I was led down to the birthing suite.

I ran for the shower and made it really clear that I wanted to birth her in the tub so while the midwife set the bath up I stayed in the shower for a while. The surges slowed right down so I decided to get out of the shower to try pacing again. After a while the midwife suggested that if I wanted she could check me to see how far along I was and to perhaps sweep my membranes. I agreed to be checked, but as she started to prep herself and the bed for me my surges came on thick and fast! I was so relieved and I think the mere suggestion of some intervention got me going.

I felt like I needed to go to the toilet and as I was over the bowl I lost the mucous plug. I wanted to get in the tub and felt a lot of pressure so I was given the green light.

I sat kneeling against the edge of the bath and my body just took over. The overwhelming sense to push blew me away. Jamie was unbelievable – he helped me to slow things down and to remember to breathe down. It was difficult… when the surge started I would breathe down but I was overcome by the sense to push. Jamie reminded me to slow down. I was doing this for about an hour. My water broke in the bath and I felt a huge sense of relief. The surges were sooooo intense but my midwife was brilliant. She was so encouraging and kept telling me that she could see her coming, she just took her time.

Finally I was feeling a little despondent after pushing for so long and then….her head finally popped out! I went to grab her but the midwife told me to wait a second. She rotated her little head and with the next surge she was out. I rushed to lift her from the water and again the midwife slowed me down. She helped me guide her to my chest and there she stayed until her chord stopped pulsating.

I got out of the tub and they helped me onto the bed. Jamie put Ellie on my chest and we waited for her to find her way onto the breast. She missed at first but finally she latched on. Within seconds my placenta was out – and I felt that second wave of euphoria. She nursed for ages while we talked about her name. Ellie Victoria had arrived at 5:10am in the water with no interventions or pain relief.

Although intense I loved the whole experience and if you ask Jamie, he would say that HypnoBirthing was the best thing we ever did. It completely changed his view of childbirth and he was so proud of me. I can’t wait to go back for another one but in the mean time, I am enjoying every second with my girl.

Thanks for everything Bree. Your advice was invaluable and without it I would not have had the birth outcome I wanted.

People gasp in horror when I say that my labor was over 26 hours from start to finish, but I am one of the few women who can say that they enjoyed the experience. Even women in my mothers group who had 5 or 10 hour labors are not happy with their experience. I’m spreading the word and hoping more women can look back on this life changing event and smile like i do 🙂

– Vicci & Jamie