Cat: Our Stories
The Hypnobirth of Sia
Born: 28 March, 2015 5.08am
Weight: 3.950 kg (8lb 7oz)
This week you will be 5 months old. Someone has suggested that I write you my, well our birth story. It was hard to know at which point to start. When I think about the 41 weeks I had you in my belly there is so much I could tell you about.
So anyway, here it goes . . .
In the weeks leading up to your birth I was a blend of anxiousness (the good kind), excited, calm, ready, emotional, lots was going on in my head when I thought about your arrival. Cindy our birth teacher referred to this time as ‘zwischen time’ and I would often read an article about ‘the pregnant woman in waiting’ and it made me feel better. It made sense of the way I was feeling. Those last few weeks were the ultimate test of my patience, waiting for you.
The control freak in me wanted to take over and get things going. I tried pregnancy massages and acupuncture and in the week before you came I requested a therapist to work her magic and somehow trigger your arrival before your ‘due date’. But I was lucky and thankful in hindsight to be surrounded by women who encouraged me to hand my trust over to you that you would come when you were good and ready. Which you did.
The day before your birth I had lunch with Aunty Chelle and Aunty June. We had lunch at a French café in Hampton, we’ll go there one day. Aunty Chelle had already given birth to Percy and I loved being around them. I loved watching Chelle as a Mum. She was a natural and it made me all the more excited to have you. And Percy calmed my nerves, what a beautiful soul he is. I loved him instantly and when I cuddled him you would kick around in my belly like you knew he was there. I like to think that you guys knew each other before you both arrived Earth-side.
Later that afternoon I had acupuncture. I almost didn’t go because I was tired but looking back I’m so glad I did. The acupuncturist (Lucy) works out of an old art deco apartment block in Windsor. I distinctly remember laying on the bed and in a gap above the blinds you can see the tops of the trees outside the building. That time (the end of March) is one of my favourite times in Melbourne, when autumn really kicks in and the leaves change colour and start falling.
I remember laying there and a sense of calm came over me. My whole body relaxed, I got little tingles, maybe it was the oxytocin starting to kick in, but in that moment I knew you were coming.
I didn’t say anything and Lucy stood back and said the same thing to me. She said she could feel that things were moving and you were ready to come. I’ll always remember that afternoon, it was a great day.
That night your Dad had some words to you about how excited he was to meet you and maybe we told you to hurry up. We took a selfie in the mirror and pretty much went to bed. Someone told me when you sense birth is close you should rest your body for the marathon it’s about to run, so I did. And at 1 in the morning I woke up with the first sensation of your birth. I was excited. I turned on the light waited for another surge so I could wake up your Dad. I remember those twenty minutes pretty clearly. It was the time when only you and I knew what was happening. It was really special. I looked up at the affirmation post-it notes on my wardrobe door and read each of them allowed.
I am strong, I can birth my baby
I trust my body and my baby know what to do
Every surge brings my baby closer
My body was made to birth my baby
I can’t wait to meet my baby
I’d read these out loud every day for at least 10 weeks and never had they had so much meaning as they did in those 20 minutes.
When the next surge came I woke up your Dad, I think I cried a little, then, in true Casey fashion, I made the important decision to get up and wash my hair. Probably not the best decision I ever made but it makes me laugh when I think about it now.
The next two and half hours is a bit blurry. It felt more like 10 minutes. Your Dad lit candles and set up the lounge room with pregnancy oils, cushions, the fit ball etc. I remember sitting on the edge of the couch and at other times walking around or leaning against the kitchen bench, rocking constantly, visualising myself floating in water and all the time relaxation breathing.
By the time Mum (Nanna) arrived about 3:30am, my surges were coming much quicker and were more intense than I had expected and I became confused and a bit disoriented. It was then that I actually had to take check and repeat over in my head between surges “release and let go”. This may sound ridiculous to anyone that hasn’t done hypnobirthing – so be it – but for me it was the only thing that helped me get rid of the fear that had started to creep in.
I thought at the time, being my first baby, I would have all night at home and probably wouldn’t be seeing you until lunch time the next day. But you were well and truly on your way and reminding myself to ‘release and let go’ helped me to relax and accept the turn that our birth was taking. So I just went with what was happening. And, it was amazing!
Mum and I had some time together which even though was short I’m so grateful for now. Then I asked your Dad to call the hospital because I started to feel pressure which I thought was your head coming.
My surges were coming every 3 minutes and lasting for about a minute now. The hospital was reluctant for us to come in which made me question myself momentarily about how far we had come in those short 3 hours. But I went with my instincts which told me you were close, so we left for the hospital.
I can honestly say I don’t remember the car trip. I closed my eyes and imagined myself floating in water, with my ears below the surface where you can still hear the sounds around you but they are muffled. Dad and I didn’t speak a word.
When we arrived at the hospital we met with Tamara, our midwife. This was after surging as I got out of the car, getting in the lift, getting out of the lift, entering the delivery suite. I remember looking at your Dad as he handed over our hypno-birthing preferences and he looked a little vulnerable.
Tamara asked to examine me and we agreed so long as she understood our preference not to discuss dilation unless it was complete. It took a while for her to do the examination as I was surging so frequently by this time. Tamara told us that I was fully dilated and the pressure I could feel were your waters. I can’t remember how I felt with that news. I do remember sitting up, leaning my forehead against your Dad and my waters releasing (all over him).
I then asked for pain relief. I’m not sure why, I can’t remember how I was feeling, but I was clearly in transition. Almost simultaneously your Dad and Tamara suggested I move around and I decided to get up on all fours on the bed. And my darling, here is where I stayed for the next 45 minutes or so until you were born.
As my surges became intense I remember how I kept my body relaxed. I whispered in my head little prompts like ‘place your tongue behind your teeth, relax your jaw, relax your shoulders’ and so on all the way down to my toes. I could hear what was going on around me though it was so quiet and dark it felt like everyone was tiptoeing and whispering . . . maybe they were . . . but it was all white noise to me.
There was a funny moment after you were born when a midwife came in and said how wonderful she thought our birth was. I asked if she was in the room and she said ‘dear, that’s my hair tie in your hair’. Having the clean hair put in a bun – no recollection whatsoever!
Danielle (our OB) arrived at some stage as I started to hear her voice from time to time. Your Dad tells me that he told me when she arrived and I told him I didn’t care ha ha but I did. We had a 9 month journey with her and I wanted her there for your birth. I’ll always be happy that she was there to catch you first.
In the minutes right before I birthed you I repeated my affirmations over and over in my head like my own little birthing mantra. By this time my body had taken over and was heaving you out and resting when it needed, you and I were just along for the ride.
Your Dad was whispering affirmations to me as well, along with other little words of encouragement. Our heads were nuzzled together in the pillow and a couple of times I must have asked questions about how far away you were and Danielle said ‘just listen to Kaine’, so I did.
So here comes my favourite memory of all. You arrived and I’m sure I laughed with joy at your head of black hair! You were then and still are the most beautiful thing I have ever seen.
If you would like a wondrous birth story, click here to find out more about our hypnobirthing classes.