Max’s Birth: The right story at the right time, for the right woman, for a positive induction and birth.
Early last month, Big Hearted Birth shared a video of another couple’s extremely positive birth experience with an induction.
Within minutes, a hypnobirthing client, Bel messaged me, writing “This is amazing timing: I’m being induced on Friday and this video was a great refresher about everything we learned with you in our classes! Wish me luck “.
Bel and partner Luke had excellent preparation but a little bit of luck never hurt any good birth, so I wished them well and waited.
Before the birth of my own children, I was a school teacher. I taught young children how to read independently. The expression …the right book, at the right time in the hands of the right child was a recipe to me for engaging a child to a wondrous world of words and books. Similarly, this simple expression works with birth too… the right story, at the right time in the mind of the right woman, to go on to a positive birth and possibly a lifetime of satisfaction when remembering this life event.
It was the story of Jess and her journey into a birth with special circumstance, the option of an induction, her positive choices, the support of her own partner and caregivers, her mindset, the tools and techniques that worked and ultimate positive birth, that Bel took with her into her own birthing time. As it turned out Jess had been inspired by other hypnobirthing stories at her time of birthing too. There’s a bit of a pattern emerging here, right people?
Big Hearted Birth promotes women being at the centre of the birth process. It is when women are at the centre of their birth experience, are listened to and supported in their choices, do they have the best opportunity for feeling deep satisfaction, having an enhanced birth experience that is a highlight of their life.
Positive birth is so much more than preparing for a physiological birth, it means having informed choice, navigating the options along the way and calmly facing whatever turn the journey takes. As you will read it is also about being surrounded by birth stories that inspire and re-inforce at the right time… we are not alone, others have walked this walk, I too, can be strong.
THE BIRTH OF MAX ….
Luke and I would like to introduce you to our little man, Max Angelito.
Max was born at 11.06am on Saturday 6 February, weighing in at 3.3kg and 50cm in length.
As a high risk pregnancy with diabetes and hypertension it was always going to be highly likely that my labour would be induced early and I’d probably need all the interventions that go with that. It was challenging to get into and stay in a mindset that was accepting of this and brave enough to face my fears around intervention.
Fortunately, Cindy shared a Facebook post from a positive induction story the day before I was due to be induced.
Jess’induction story video was inspiring as Jess was able to use her hypnobirthing tools to have the peaceful hypnobirth she’d always hoped for.
It was inspiring and encouraging to watch this – the perfect kind of pep talk I needed before my big day.
Despite drinking gallons of raspberry leaf tea, kilos of dates and pineapples, diffusing clary sage essential oil, downing evening primrose oil capsules, doing multiple sessions of acupuncture and acupressure massage, Chinese herbal tea, hand expression of colostrum, doing the deed, long walks, dancing, hot spicy food, and bouncing on the fit ball, none of these old wives tricks were successful in bringing on labour and I conceded to my obstetrician’s request to commence labour induction on Friday 5 Feb. As my placenta had started to calcify and age early at 38 weeks, I finally accepted my fate and knew it was time to meet my baby!
I downloaded a couple more audio tracks from the Hypnobirthing Australia website – the Fear Release track, and Baby Come Out to add to my playlist. I had these playing non-stop at home in the days prior to induction. The affirmations track was probably the one I had on loop the most – I especially found it useful for during my hand expression of milk as positive thoughts of baby would encourage production.
In the previous week to the induction my OB performed a stretch and sweep as part of his internal exam. It was uncomfortable but helpful as OB let me know bub was 3/5 engaged and cervix was almost ready. Doc was impressed with my deep breathing and that he believed that a positive mind focus would help me with my labour and delivery.
I received the prostaglandin gel on Friday 5pm along with another internal exam – the midwife and OB both commented on my incredible pain tolerance and that they could tell that I wouldn’t need an epidural. This was really encouraging! (or perhaps even a great trick!)
Went out for a spicy Italian meal on Lygon St before returning to the hospital. Hubby was recommended to go home while I stay for observation. I wasn’t keen but hubby was. I wasn’t keen because something ALWAYS happens when the other half is not there. And of course something did!
My waters broke naturally at 3am (yay! wouldn’t be needing the ARM procedure). The midwife told me she’d give me some pain relief and that I should go back to sleep. Hubby didn’t need to come back til 7am. I decided to track my surges with a timer app and I started to worry a bit when they were coming every 2-3 minutes and was no longer able to stay lying down without being in agony.
I listened to my body and stood up and swayed my hips through the surges.
At 4am I decided to call Luke to let him know what was happening as I was feeling scared and wanted emotional support, couldn’t care less what the midwife advised!….. but then my call goes straight to voicemail. I call his work mobile, and then the house phone – but no response. I repeated this calling frenzy about another 30 times before starting to lose it a bit, on the verge of tears. Then he picks up FINALLY and he feels so bad about sleeping through all the phones ringing. I am in too much pain to be angry at him – I needed to stay focused. I needed to be calm and relaxed!!!!
Luke gets to the hospital at 4.45am and my labour starts to kick in at 5am. Luke sets up the birth suite with all of our lovely LED candles, affirmation cards, pillows, tens machine, music, hypnosis tracks and then put on some nice nature documentaries on my iPad for visuals. I finally get introduced to my allocated midwife who is young and friendly and into hypnobirthing and calm birth. I was so relieved! Luke did a bit of light touch at this early time, and I recall that there was a bit of a slow dance too.
At 5.30am, my OB arrived and put on the syntocinon drip but as I was already 3cm dilated and in active labour with regular surges they’d start with the lowest dose. Fortunately, it was enough to get me through the whole thing!
My midwife later confided to me that she purposely delayed calling the OB throughout to help me get the kind of labour I was seeking in my birth preferences. She was so great!
I was hooked up to continuous monitoring the whole time which sucked until they gave me the wireless CTG. By the end they needed to hook up the CTG internally to bubs’ scalp as i kept getting disconnected from the monitors during surges. By that time, I hadn’t even noticed though as I was in my own world!
I spent most of my time during active labour standing against a high bench, or next to the bed, or kneeling head down on bed, listening to the Surge of the Sea on repeat, looking at affirmation cards and taking sips of Powerade in between surges. I used the gas but didn’t like how I had to mouth breathe so mainly just used the gas mouth piece to muffle my gutteral screams! Luke said I was lovely and normal in between the surges!
At each surge Luke would initiate a strong massage technique to the base of my spine (I made him do more classes lol) and I would boost up my Tens machine. The massage was the best thing to get me through. Luke was (surprisingly!!) amazing and didn’t leave me for one contraction. Later on he said each surge massage was like him doing push ups on my back!
By 8am my labour had turned very intense and I was vocalising loudly so I decided to ask for morphine as I thought the end was nowhere in sight. I got a jab but don’t think it did much to be honest except distract me for a minute.
By 9.30am my OB came by and told me I was 9cm dilated. I thought it must’ve been arvo already! I got down off the bed as I was told it was time to have this baby. OB told me that my breathing would need to change for this and then I remembered J Breath! This part for me felt like forever though it was about 90 mins. In the end, I delivered standing up (how could anybody lie down!!?) and Luke was down at the business end watching it all unfold (exactly opposite of what he thought he’d do!). It took about 8 surges to bear down and I got to catch my baby!
Baby Max didn’t cry loudly on delivery – instead made these super cute meowing squeaks which were sooooo adorable. I was so happy and relieved that we got through it all.
OB and midwife couldn’t believe how fast it went (6 hours labour) and my fantastic resilience to do it using breathing, vocalisation and focused bearing down. Placenta delivery was also induced and unmemorable but I think I decided to use gas at this point, not sure why lol! Had a couple of stitches but only minor tearing thankfully
We got our wishes of skin on skin, delayed cord clamping, baby led feeding, keeping vernix, and delayed measurements. It went perfectly!
Though I’m not your traditional type of hypnobirther, I am so happy I did the course as it really helped me to have my dream delivery.
The hypnosis tracks were great for programming my mind for the task at hand and keeping me focused on me.
Thanks Cindy for the serendipitous timing of Jess’ video too!
Good luck to everyone and the adventures that lie ahead! Big congrats in advance to you all.
Thanks for letting me share my birth story!
Bel & Luke
Bel and Luke did a Hypnobirthing Australia Childbirth and Hypnobirthing course with BIG HEARTED BIRTH in Caulfield, Melbourne, Victoria .
Be at the centre of the birth process, Enjoy a positive birth …Make birth a highlight of your life …Hypnobirth!
To look into classes with Big Hearted Birth go here
Jess was taught hypnobirthing with certified Hypnobirthing Australia practitioner and midwife, Sue Hunt, in Gosford NSW.
Video shared with prior permission of Jess, who hopes that by sharing her story helps other birthing woman.