After three days of on-and-off pre-labour, not much sleep and many weeks of bad nights because my tummy was so big and uncomfortable towards the end of pregnancy, labour finally started properly on Sunday 20th November 2016, mid-afternoon. Sébastien and I went to the Wallingford birth centre at 5.30pm and upon examination found out I was 5cm dilated, which I was quite pleased about. The vaginal examination triggered a fair amount of pain, but with the help of the midwife and Sébastien, I managed to calm down and go back to my relaxing place.
Within an hour, I was in the birthing pool, and after a second stage of about an hour and a half (so just over 3 hours after our arrival at the birth centre), our beautiful 9-pound-5-ounce baby girl was born, with her hand by the side of her head, requiring only a few stitches.
Altogether it was 6 hours of established labour, so it was very manageable, and it was a very positive experience, especially compared to last time, when I had a very traumatic birth with induction at 36 weeks, breaking of my waters, epidural and forceps delivery. This time, I didn’t have any kind of pain relief, it just never crossed my mind, and it was all natural and spontaneous. I shouted a fair bit, from the sheer strength of my muscles pushing that big baby out! I am quite petite but seeing how big I got at the end of pregnancy, it wasn’t really a big surprise to find out that our baby was so heavy!
The placenta was delivered with the injection of synthetic oxytocin as it wasn’t coming after 45 minutes of waiting.
It was so lovely to spend time with our baby girl straight after birth, to have that ‘golden hour’ (and more) just the three of us. Also, waiting for the cord to stop pulsating before clamping and cutting it was wonderful, something we couldn’t gift our son last time (my husband had asked if we could wait but the medical team answered we had waited long enough without really listening, and at that point we didn’t really know that we could say something else).
There were points during labour when I panicked a little, mostly around the ‘transition phase’ (where women tend to go wild or panic or swear etc.!), but my birth team knew what to say or do and I always managed to relax again. Without the hypnobirthing classes, there is no way I could have done that. We really accomplished something special with my husband. The practice really paid off. We are very pleased we did the course with Sam. (See Myriam’s testimonial about her birth trauma session with me here.)
What we loved the most about the hypnobirthing classes and how we used the techniques during the birth
What helped me the most was:
- the breathing techniques
- the soothing strokes
- having a water birth – being in the water was just lovely, helped me focus and relaxed me so that I could remain calm most of the time.
The Wise Hippo hypnobirthing method allows the partner to be much more involved into the process of birth preparation.
Using a selection of the proposed exercise and techniques, like the soothing strokes and the partner script, we quietly prepared ourselves for the birth of the baby.
Practising the exercises (even at a random frequency) creates a bond between the mother and the partner, which makes you fully part of the process on D Day.
In our case the labour was on and off during 2-3 days before It really started, and the soothing strokes especially helped managing the pain linked to the surges while Myriam was staying calm and relaxed using the breathing techniques.
When the labour really started on Sunday 20th November 2016, we knew it was for good as the surges were taking a different shape.
We arrived at the Wallingford birth centre late in the afternoon.
We were welcomed by truly expert personnel who listened to us and to our expectations for the birth of the baby.
After a painful examination, we managed with the help of the midwife who was trained to the method to restore our comfort bubble.
Within an hour after our arrival, Myriam was in the pool in established labour.
The pool with warm water around really helped her to relax and soothed the discomfort of the surges. The combination water + breathing techniques was perfect.
At some point, however, there was a start of panic when the surges transformed into the ones that push the baby out.
The expertise of the midwives helped Myriam to go back to her comfort bubble and go on with the process as quietly as it could be.
After a 4-hour labour spent in the pool, our baby was delivered not using any pain relief and … it was a pretty big girl!
The midwives left us plenty of time to enjoy the birth of Tylia, allowing plenty of time for the cord to stop pulsating and for skin-to-skin contact.
We almost had one hour each, which was absolutely not the case with the previous birth of our son. This was absolutely lovely. We really enjoyed that ‘golden hour’.
Myriam had small stiches because Tylia decided to come into the world with her hand on her cheek! But apart from that, all was OK.
The techniques really worked and our daughter had the most beautiful and natural birth you can expect.