Becky and Jono attended HypnoBirthing classes with me in June 2022 as they prepared for their first birth.
They had been accepted into the Calvary Birth Centre program, birthing with a known midwife. This model of care is considered the "gold standard" of maternity care and women are less likely to to experience unnecessary medical intervention.
This is Becky and Jono's birth of Nora, in Becky's words.
"We welcomed Nora Lily Smail -Burrows on the 19th August at 2:42pm and had our planned, completely unmedicated birth labouring 15 hours at home and giving birth 45 minutes after getting to the birth centre 🙂
So on the 18th August (my guess date) after going out for dinner with Jono at our favourite Italian place in Deakin, I started to feel some cramping and had a feeling this was it and was preparing for a full night/next day of labour. The surges were very light and manageable but I started my calm breathing, listening to a pre made play list of HypnoBirth music with my aromatherapy blend billowing out vapour to get myself in the zone.
By the time we got into bed, the surges were become more intense and regular so I let Jono sleep, cleaned the bath and ran it, preparing to start working through my birth plan. The surges were coming on every 3-7 minutes and after a couple of hours of this, I started to doubt whether this really was labour! I made tea and decided to get back into bed to try to get some sleep, all the while the surges kept coming on for 30 seconds, 1 minute then 30 seconds again and quite intense. Tried not to feel disappointed but I was worried if this was "false labour" then what was real labour like!
I only managed to doze on and off for 20 minutes at a time with the surges waking me up throughout the early hours on the 19th. I decided to get up and just work through them, listening to my HypnoBirth/spa music play list the whole time to keep myself calm. The surges were still irregular but by 7am I felt I needed some input from my midwife who advised me to stay put as I "didn't sound like I was in active labour"...oh how wrong we were!
By 11am I was back in the bath, the surges were so intense and coming on every minute, Jono called the midwife who was now taking care of me and she could hear the surges and the level on intensity through the phone but I was so convinced I wasn't far enough along to go to the hospital so I continued to put off the 20 minute drive to Calvary.
Jono suggested we try the tens machine at this point to help alleviate the intensity but something told me it was way passed that point. I put the tens on anyway and it helped take the edge off but not by much. What was getting me through was moaning the letter M through my contractions and with each surge I actually saw the letter M in my mind which I now believe was my mind cueing me to moan.
Finally, Jono got me into my bathing suit to gear up for the tub at Calvary and we made the HARROWING journey to the hospital. We got to ED at 2:00pm with everyone staring at me I was wheeled to the birth centre. Upon arriving to my room, i leant over the bed and swayed, continuing my Ms and immediately my water breaks and the fetal ejection reflex kicks in. I describe this as like wanting to vomit, but from the other end haha. I tell Jono and my midwife "I think I need to push" and get into the tub.
From here I had the incredible experience of pushing Nora out into the tub with very little pain, just a bit of pressure and within 45ish minutes, my baby was up on my chest. I said "oh my god she's blonde!" and "I can't believe I did that". It was magic.
Nora was very calm, hardly cried and turn a beautiful colour pink in the hour after birth with me holding onto her.
I birthed the placenta physiologically, with some retained product that has since come out and waited till the cord ceased pulsing before Jono cut it away.
We had the most glorious golden hour, allowed Nora to latch all by herself and my goodness she is such a content little baby and we have bonded like I couldn't have ever imagined.
I had minimal tearing, some lacerations and ended up with 2 stitches while Jono held Nora for skin to skin. this is something he cherishes even now and I find them on the couch or in bed snuggling and bonding, it's very cute.
I was so impressed with Jono, from someone who thought he'd faint at the sight of blood, he stuck beside the tub, filmed the birth and cut the umbilical cord. Very proud of him.
Thank you for your guidance, I couldn't have had this experience without you and the HypnoBirth method."