We welcomed Nina Luna into the world on Monday 10th February 2020. Nina seems to like to do things faster than we expect and her birth was no different. At 37 weeks and four days she was ready to come out and join us. We had thought we still had plenty of time so that Saturday we decided to spend the weekend down at Anglesea, "before baby arrives". After a wonderful day at the beach and a romantic dinner, my waters broke at midnight! We rang the hospital to let them know and they told us there was no rush and to take our time. That drive back to Melbourne was so beautiful as there was a full moon that lit up the quiet roads. Vince and I were so excited that very soon we would meet our baby. We kept looking at each other with the biggest grins on our faces!
Once we got home, I had a rest, and then did a bit of nesting, as we had the baby shower the week before, and the house was still in disarray after the party. All I kept thinking was "I can't welcome a new human into a messy home!". I had had a plan to have food from home in the hospital so I also got busy prepping foods I liked and that would give me sustenance during the birth so I cut up fruit and veggies and prepared chia pudding. After the house was clean and the hospital bag was all set, Vince helped me set up the living room with aromatherapy and diffused light via a salt lamp. At this point my contractions felt a little more than period pain and I put the TENs machine on, did calm breathing, and the rainbow relaxation, I had no concept of time.
The techniques that I found very useful at home were the calm breathing, meditation, the massage technique, acupressure points, and using the TENs machine. Vince called the hospital at different stages throughout the evening to check if I should come in, and come Sunday evening I felt that I was ready to get into the water. Vince called the hospital again to let them know to get the bath ready, as we had planned a water birth. My contractions were pretty strong at this point, it felt like she was nearly there. I had been singing my contractions out but at this stage my body was making a more primal sound and the Midwife on the phone told Vince to bring me in.
I had a great experience at the hospital, the midwives were all on board with how we wanted the birth and were really supportive of our wishes. To not be overstimulated on the drive in I wore an eye mask and Vince had some calm music on in the car. When I got into the birthing suit, I was assessed and it turned out that Nina was right lying. The contractions needed to be slowed down so the bath was perfect to do that. Grace the midwife told me to "blow the contractions away" and this became my mantra. Having the water hold me up and using my breathing my body slowed the contractions and they became more regular. I continued to stay in the water for one midwife's shift. After a while I was assessed and Nina had not turned yet and my contractions had slowed. Sarah and Millie the next shift of midwives advised me to hop out of the water, and begin active labour using the birthing ball, doing lunges squats and moving my body around to help her turn. After assessment it was recommended I have the Syntocinon, I was getting tired but Vince and I talked and decided to wait for another hour, the cue cards of the birth companion responses were really useful to be able to communicate with staff. So we decided to have a bit more time to do it naturally, and the doctors were supportive and happy to wait an hour.
Nina had turned into position, and after it had been an hour, we went with the Syntocinon on the lowest dose. Fifteen minutes later she was out! My perineum tissues were fine, I had one tiny natural tear that needed one stitch and that healed really quickly within two weeks. We waited for the cord to stop pulsing before it was cut, and I birthed out the placenta with the help of the Syntocinon injection as my haemoglobin had been on the lower side.
For the actual birth I would describe it only as intense pressure, using the breath to regulate each contraction and "just blow it away" took more mental strength, physically my body knew what to do. The most painful part of my body post birth were the muscles in my shoulders it felt like I had down a big workout!
I felt very proud to have achieved the birth we had hoped, no drugs, minimal intervention and overall a very positive, joyful and calm environment to welcome Nina into. Vince was so supportive, I felt the biggest thing from the hypnobirthing course was that he had the knowledge and tools he needed to be an active participant in the birth. For me what made it a really positive experience, was we were all one big team, we ended up having four midwives assisting Nina's birth from start to finish, the hand over between each shift was really good and they took their time reading our preferences. They gave us their expert advice but also listened to and respected our wishes. I felt so supported and respected the whole time.
Vince and I are so proud and grateful to have been able to give Nina the birth we had hoped for!