Positive Hospital Birth 101: Gemma’s Story…
Introducing Henry Emerson, born to UK couple Gemma and Rob earlier this year. What a name hey ?
And what a birth. If name and birth alone are determiners of a life to be led, then this baby is set for a stunning and significant life. It is a wonderful birth story, in a public hospital in Melbourne!
Gemma and Rob were skilled with a range of Hypnobirthing Australia techniques and tools, they had superb support from their caregivers, they kept their mindset positive and open for change. They navigated their journey, declining where they felt necessary , holding space, time and embraced this new and exciting experience in their life. This is a very empowered and beautiful hospital birth.
What also resonated with me with this birth was Gemma’s conviction and internal referencing on how things were progressing. She states several times trusting her instinct, keeping focused, trusting the process and even when faced with hospital policy and agreeing to monitoring which supported her instinct that her “amazing body was working perfectly”.
Birthing women often just need belief, support , tools to keep nice and calm and time.
Thank you Gemma and Rob for sharing your birth story – it oozes positive birthing vibe.
With the magical world of parenthood taking poll position, putting fingertip to keyboard has seemed to find itself on the backburner. With that said, even nearly 7 months in, I am still totally proud of myself, amazed at how beautiful the experience of birthing our baby boy was and wanting to share our story.
So, here goes, with my due date passing by 6 days and the midwife clinic tentatively giving me a date for induction along with the offer of a stretch & sweep, which I kindly declined, we began to tick off from the ‘get things moving’ list… sitting on my fit ball, long walks around the block, drinking raspberry leaf tea, eating a spicy curry, lots of pineapple, plunging into a hot bath laced with Clary Sage and one other thing that we will leave unmentioned haha!
It was at around 4pm on Friday 19 February that I felt the first flicker of a surge. Rob was working late that day and so I began to get myself comfortable (and organised). I put on my hypnosis tracks and relaxed on the sofa, for about ten minutes, and then I picked up the phone to Rob’s work, I think mostly out of excitement, I told him not to worry about rushing home as I was fine, but sure enough within 12 minutes he was bursting through the door and we were giggling with excitement.
The next couple of hours passed quickly, we settled into our practiced tracks with some light touch massage, and the surges soon began to intensify, I found myself unable to sit or lay down and so the kitchen bench or kneeling over the fit ball became my resting place. The element of unknown (and tiredness from mostly standing) kicked in at around 1am, my waters had still not broken but with the surges being close together, nearly 3 mins apart, we decided to make the short car journey to Frankston Hospital. This part is a bit of a blur, I remember being left in the examination room for about an hour whilst being connected to a heart rate monitor, it was uncomfortably hot in there so I stepped out to go to the toilet & recall losing my mucus plug in the loo & then vomiting shortly after, but not much else. We were then sent home to try and get a little more rest as I was not yet far enough along.
So off we went, back to our tranquil place.
Rob ran me a warm bath with lavender & clary sage and I continued listening to my tracks & breathing as I had practiced. Looking back at this part Rob has said it was somewhat surreal.
I was completely in my birthing mindset and time seemed to stand still with hours feeling like only minutes, he drifted in and out of sleep and would wake at the right moments for support.
Around 9am I felt totally in control and knew it was time to go, our amazing midwife (Zoe) took one look at me and saw that I was now ready to be admitted without any need for examination. We settled into the birthing suite and I spent the next hour or so in the shower, drifting off to my bubble of comfort, while Rob ran around gathering our bits from the car and parking etc, something I had previously been worried about but he was back before I knew it . Rob set up the ipod and our music of choice (tracks by Christopher Lloyd Clark & Ludovico Einaudi) and we were finally in our ‘birthing zone’.
Zoe (our midwife) read our birthing preferences and allowed us to find our own rhythm. Everything was going well until around midday when the surges started slowing down, Zoe reassuringly said that she would go off for some lunch and suggested by the time she got back that I should be focusing my energy and trying to get those surges going again… sure enough by the time she was back I was on track & feeling like, well there is no nice way to put it other than it felt like needing a poo.
Now, at this point my waters had still not broken, there was mention of possible intervention to do this, however, I trusted my instinct and remained focused.
I could only seem to find comfort on my feet but after such a long time fatigue was setting in, Zoe suggested I try getting up on my knees & leaning over the back of the bed, this seemed to work as with the next surge I concentrated my energy behind my baby, and just remember the membranes gushing at my feet and the room filling with cheer haha!
I felt the baby drop, the pressure I had been feeling on my tailbone released and my belly dramatically reduced in size on one side… This was it, the bearing down started! Rob had been by my side the whole time, reciting affirmations, mopping my brow & my favourite part … feeding me icy poles!!
At this stage I remember needing him more than ever, and after 2hrs of active pushing there was once again mention of intervention. I agreed to have the baby’s heart monitored and in fact found this reassuring to know that there was no distress & that my amazing body was working perfectly…
sure enough … within the next few minutes the head was crowning, the midwives ready at the receiving end were guiding me with ways to direct my energy and Rob with chants of encouragement, shortly after, our beautiful boy came flying out, literally head over heals, it was so quick at the end, it was amazing!
He was passed up to my chest for immediate skin on skin contact and with tears of joy we happily stared down at our gorgeous baby together, we were totally in awe, so much so that a minute passed before we asked ‘is it a boy or girl’?
And with that we named him Henry Emerson!
The midwives at Frankston hospital were fantastic, they provided the perfect level of council throughout the whole experience & helped us to have the calm birth that we had hoped for. Our wishes for delayed cord clamping and natural delivery of the placenta were also granted, Rob even managed to make prints with the placenta before it was taken away, an image where the placenta and umbilical chord resemble a tree of life, somewhat fitting for the place that had housed our baby for those 9 months and something that we can treasure forever.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading our positive birth story and would highly recommend Hypnobirthing Australia to anyone looking for a calm and natural birth.
Gemma and Rob did a Hypnobirthing Australia™ Course with Big Hearted Birth.
Big Hearted Birth teaches Hypnobirthing Australia™ Courses in Caulfield, Inner Melbourne, Australia.
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Not near Melbourne or can make a Big Hearted Birth class?
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