We were very lucky to be blessed with our daughter, on 26 August at 9.43pm. She was a healthy 7.4lbs! We are overwhelmed with joy and grateful for the skills you taught us that helped bring her here.
I started having roughly 3 contractions an hour from about midnight that day. Chris was supporting me through them from about 3am when they became a little more regular, but still only one every 10 (and then later 8 or 6) minutes, lasting only 20 seconds or so. At 6.30am I noticed some blood, and it got worse at 8.30am. The MAU did a vaginal exam at 10am and my cervix was closed. Concerned about a potentially bleeding placenta, however, they recommended observation on Level 5 at the JR maternity centre.
My midwife let me take a bath, and was trying to negotiate a transfer to the Spires, despite the bleeding. But, after my bath on the Level 5 ward, I bled some more. She consulted a doctor and they said this meant I would need constant fetal monitoring in the delivery suite.
I was transferred to the delivery suite at around 6.30pm as I started pushing spontaneously. Until that point, all the focus had been on monitoring my bleeding and fetal heartbeat (on an open ward with me in a bay among 3 other beds and hearing consultations going on with other women, on everything from breastfeeding to vaccinations!). I hadn’t had another cervical examination since 10am, despite my contractions being 4 in 10 from roughly 2.30pm and my waters breaking at 1.30am. I had been given two paracetamol sometime that afternoon, but hadn’t been transferred to a delivery room.
When I got to the delivery suite, a vaginal exam revealed I was fully dilated, with our daughter’s head easily visible to the midwife. This meant that I went from a closed to a fully open cervix without much pain relief, in an open ward without control over the environment in the way Chris and I had planned, sometime between 10am and 6.30pm. I don’t believe I could have done this without Chris’ support and the breathing, focusing and massage tools you gave us, and also the belief and conviction that whatever our environment, we could control how we were feeling, as we prepared to meet our baby in a confident and empowered way. Chris was incredible at reminding me of these tools at important times. My aunt also stepped in to support us in the delivery suite, and with her history as a massage therapist, she knew exactly the places to press in my lower back as our daughter moved down.
The delivery suite was very busy and after 2 hours of pushing, the doctor recommended a forceps delivery. I asked for another hour as her heartbeat was fine, which they gave me. An hour later, another examination from the doctor revealed some head swelling and a difficult position with my baby’s shoulders. So, I did have a forceps delivery in the end (with episiotomy). I am grateful to have her here safely! Chris was great at reminding me to breathe throughout the forceps delivery, including when the room went quiet when the doctor said our daughter might be in a potential turtle sign and called for assistance from the paediatric unit. In the end, the extra assistance wasn’t needed. When I thanked the doctor for his help in the safe delivery of our beautiful daughter, he was insistent in saying it was all me, which wasn’t true – but I think reflected that a combination of forceps, maternal effort and a strong supportive team goes a long way. I fell in love with my daughter from the moment I saw her. The midwives helped her latch for a feed, and we had skin to skin time in the moments after her birth.
Since the birth, we’ve been carrying on using the techniques when we’re tired, visualising happy play times and using our breathing techniques and affirmations such as ‘I can do this’ and ‘I am the mum my daughter needs me to be’. Saveria also got us to watch an old documentary on breastfeeding, which was absolutely brilliant. It really helped get a strong latch in those early weeks, and I’m continuing to enjoy breastfeeding our daughter.
Chris wasn’t convinced about the hypnosis component of the course before we started, so when we were discussing the possibility of doing the course I focused on telling him about the knowledge and the practical skills he would gain, such as the massages, the breathing and how he could support me throughout labour and birth. Once he was convinced, we decided to do private classes. It was a gift to ourselves and our baby to be completely present amidst very busy professional lives. It was really great to be able to just come home, have dinner, and know that Saveria would be coming soon to help us build the skills we needed.
We absolutely recommend Saveria and her services. She understood what we wanted and uncovered fears and anxieties that we may not even have been aware of otherwise. We addressed these early on and then focused on the positive aspects of being prepared, positive and open to the right birth on the day.