“There was never I time I felt I couldn’t do this. I definitely felt like it was a lot in some moments, but I felt so confident in my body for the first time ever. I didn’t feel like that in the previous two births, I handed over my control to others, but I didn’t do that this time I just had the faith in my body and knew I could do this. Hypnobirthing was the best investment we made, along with reading and listening to podcasts to gather information. It really helped make our third birth such a powerful experience. ”
Amber, Peaceful Birthing Mother
We were told at our 36 week appointment that Jack was breech. My two daughters were also breech so it didn’t really come as a surprise, and as we’d not long done the Hypnobirthing Australia course with Simone, we met our curve ball with calm. A week later we arrived at the hospital in preparation for an ECV (external cephalic version). We spent time talking to the midwives about our options if the ECV wasn’t successful, and they were really supportive of a breech natural birth. After a couple of hours being monitored and chatting, we were preparing for the ECV. The midwife was using the ultrasound to confirm baby’s position, and she kept saying she couldn’t find his head. This made us giggle, as we knew for sure he had a head, and after some time she asked the Obstetrician to come and have a look. It only took a moment to confirm she couldn’t find his head because he’d turned and was now fully engaged! Went home pretty relieved.
The next few weeks felt like months…I was so sure I’d go into labour early, but Jack waited until the day after his guess date to begin his arrival!
“The hospital were preparing me for a big baby and did offer to induce me at 39 weeks, however after my previous birth experience of being induced, and the Hypnobirthing course, I was confident this isn’t what we wanted. We were determined to feel in control of the decision making this time around, and we were prepared to fight for this, but thankfully it wasn’t necessary the hospital was really respectful of our decision to wait for labour to begin spontaneously. “
And it did! Jack began his entry into the world on Sunday 26th March. Through the day I felt what seemed to be Braxton hicks ramping up. We spent the day at my mother in laws, and I could talk through the sensations comfortably. I took this opportunity to talk to our eldest daughter about what to expect, and that her and her sister would be staying at their grandparents that night. She was so excited! By 5.30pm I was sure this was labour, I wasn’t timing surges but I could tell they were becoming more consistent and stronger. My husband Mark took the girls to their sleepover so we could concentrate on labour.
I was breathing through the sensations, and the surges started to ramp up by 8.30 and I was considering going to the hospital. We’re a 40 minute drive, and being my third baby, we weren’t really sure how long labour would be, and I really didn’t want a baby delivered on the side of the road! So we called the hospital to let them know how we were progressing, and we decided to just wait and stay home for a bit. I had a shower which helped, and then put the TENs machine on which I LOVED! It was the best! Unfortuantely I didn’t even know about it for the last two births, it gave me such relief. I tried to rest laying on the bed, the surges would back off so I wasn’t sure if we still had a really long time or not. But when I got up, the surges were one on top of another. So at about 11pm, I made the call to move to the hospital. I had about 4 surges in the car, and was able to just breathe through them.
“I kept remember they’re just surges, I need to get to the peak, and then I’ll be coming down the other side. It really helped, the last two labours I know I tensed up and now know that’s exactly the opposite of what helps labour progress. Mark was great, just coached me to breathe through them, and he was quick to recognise when I was having a surge, or when one was coming. I felt loved and supported.”
We made it to the Sunshine Coast University Hospital through the after hours entrance, and we were met by a midwife with a wheelchair. I had 3 surges there, but I coped just breathing through them and with the TENs. Time didn’t really matter – we actively avoided focusing on time as I really felt like it wasn’t helping. Once we were in the birth suite, the midwife said she was really sorry she hadn’t looked at my chart or preferences yet, so she left to sort it out. Then another midwife appeared and said don’t you worry, I’m up to date with your history and I’m going to take over.
“And she was so beautiful! Her name was Jess, she had the room set up so beautifully, calm music on, fairy lights, the bath was full, it was just perfect. Mark was so confident in his role, and decided to be forthcoming with our all our wishes and what we didn’t want. It was so comforting to have him there to do that, I felt I didn’t need to come out of my birth zone. Jess said the exact things we needed to hear – ‘that’s all no problem, it’s your birth’. It was such a great start. She was so content to just support us. “
She also had a student midwife with her, and they were both so beautiful and respectful. We did accept a vaginal examination and I told the midwife not to tell me if I wasn’t very far along, but I was 7cm and very happy about that!
Our first challenge came when my blood pressure was through the roof (which was the reason for induction for my second daughter). But we remained calm, and we were told that the only thing it might change is that we might not be able to get in the bath. That I felt I could handle.
“They gave me some medication, it didn’t seem to help much, and we were offered continuous monitoring. We declined for now, and we were supported in our wishes. Jack was fine, and it seems this is how my body responds to labour, so I was ok with that. We were prepared to stand our ground with this, Mark was incredible asking all the questions as to the risks and benefits. It was so nice to have that power, he felt so confident and felt he was protecting me. It was so lovely.’“
We agreed with the midwife and decided not to get in the bath, and she would occasionally come and take my blood pressure so it didn’t feel like it changed much.
I was happy standing and leaning on Mark, or holding onto him. I’d feel a surge coming and he’d stop everything he was doing to come and encourage me to breathe through, but he knew I didn’t want much talking. The midwives left us to it, just what we’d hoped for. It felt like it was just us, so comforting and peaceful. I felt like we could just do what we needed to do.
At one point I called him over, and he was standing between me and the bed, and I felt a huge pressure, and all of a sudden my waters broke, all over his feet! It was pretty dramatic. Things intensified then, the next surge more fluid was released, and then I could feel him coming. I told Mark I needed to get in the shower, right now! I decided to have one more surge with the TENs machine on while Mark set the shower up, and then move into the shower. The TENs was amazing!
“I had a surge on the way, and really quickly I felt the natural ejection reflex. It was incredible. The midwives turned the shower off, I’m not really sure why, I was fine and I knew Jack was fine. But a couple of surges, lots of grunting, and he was out! Baby Jack was finally here, 1.37am.
I couldn’t have asked for anything else. It was so redemptive, and so healing, to have all the control. “
Even though we had to face some hiccups, at no point did we feel like we’d failed, or lost our positive mindset. I felt really confident, but also really supported by Mark and by the midwife which I was so thankful for. Having someone who didn’t want to support our Hypnobirthing preferences could have put a spanner in the works, but Mark was prepared to ask for another care provider, but thank goodness it didn’t even come close to that.
Once Jack was out, we really wanted the golden hour, and much to our delight the midwives encouraged us to have as long as we wanted in our bliss bubble – we had 3 hours! Any checks were done with him on me, or with him in my arms. We were both just so content, and he fed right away. We got to have a moment, it felt like a release. Mark got emotional, the realisation that he’s finally here, we’ve done it!
“There was never I time I felt I couldn’t do this. I definitely felt like it was a lot in some moments, but I felt so confident in my body for the first time ever. I didn’t feel like that in the previous two births, I handed over control to others, but I didn’t do that this time I just had the faith in my body and knew I could do this. Hypnobirthing was the best investment we made, along with reading and listening to podcasts to gather information. It really helped make our third birth such a powerful experience. “
Welcome earthside baby Jack!
Jack was born on 27th March (his grandfathers favourite number!) at 1.37am weighing 9pd 3ounces.
Amber and I talked for a while after she relayed her incredible birth story, and she reflected how much better she felt this postpartum compared to her last two, despite having two girls to care for as well as her newborn. She’s recovered beautifully, healed better this time with a small graze despite the ‘big baby’. Mark joined us half way through, but superstar Dad was needed in the playground! They were both positively glowing.
This is what an empowered birth looks like. Informed, confident, and absolutely rocking their birth x