Now that we have been in a complete baby-bliss-bubble for the past month (complete with sleepless nights, endless baby spew & a zillion kisses), I thought it was time I write down our sons birth story, before it starts fading in my mind. Loxley Nash, he’s the most perfectly, squishy and delicious little soul and we really can’t believe that he’s here, but also can’t believe how fast time is racing!
Hypnobirthing – My Saving Grace
The gorgeous Renee from The Birth Space (Hypnobirthing Australia) reached out to me when we first announced we were expecting again. This was perfect timing as I had been eagerly wanting to try Hypnobirthing since my first birth with Alaska was rather traumatic. I really can’t boast enough about how incredible this course was. Renee came to our house at night while Alaska was asleep, for private classes. This meant we could solely focus on the information in the comfort of our own home.
At first, Ben wasn’t overly thrilled. His impression of Hypnobirthing was that it was exactly that, hippy and weird as fuck! Boy was he spun out after the first class finished. We both sat in our lounge completely mind blown, rolling on an adrenaline high, excited to implement what we had already learnt.
The main things we took away from doing these classes, was learning that Hypnobirthing IS NOT hippy, but in fact completely science based. It was also eye opening to learn that the reason we have so much fear about birth in general is down to how it’s portrayed in the media, in movies, other peoples reactions about pain etc. If we only learnt to recondition our mindset and change our terminology, then our brains will help us to relax, to embrace and to be empowered during the birthing process. Instead of freak the fuck out like we are expected to!
Hypnobirthing isn’t just about encouraging natural births, it’s actually teaching you a more positive way of life. Giving you incredibly powerful life skills to deal with situations that will sometimes, be out of our control. Not all births go to plan, this is one very real and very important thing to take on board. I was opting for a water birth with no intervention, but what took place was the complete opposite. Instead of feeling discouraged and depressed about this, we put all our hypnobrithing techniques into place and still had a magically calming birth experience.
Every birth is different, there’s not two alike! We wanted to be content with how ever baby came earth side- no regrets or disappointment. If we needed to have a C section, then we would. If we needed other types of intervention during labour, then that was fine too. However YOU birth YOUR baby is part of YOUR journey and YOUR story. Our goal and intention was to ensure we came out the other side happy regardless of what happened.
Throughout my first trimester, I continued to bleed. I first thought I was miscarrying but was finally told at 16 weeks that I had a large subchronic haematoma, this was sitting above the baby. All the medical professionals basically told me there was a huge change that I would loose the baby at any time. I was on strict bed rest for two weeks in the hope that it would shrink. This then put me in the high risk category and I needed to have fortnightly scans to monitor the size of the haematoma. At 24 weeks, the haematoma completely vanished, no where to be seen at all so we were completely over the moon!
Our Big Baby- When It All Changed
The whole regular scan thing for me, was something that I really needed to internally work through. It was frustrating to learn that baby was “going to be” BIG and that this “would” limit our birthing preferences. Most women stop having scans after 20 weeks, so they really wouldn’t be aware if their babies would be on the larger size, until their babies are actually in their arms. If I didn’t have the subchronic haematoma, then I too wouldn’t have been made aware of the size and I could have continued on in my pregnancy non the wiser. Maybe I would have been less stressed, maybe I would have felt in more control, maybe there would have been less fear pushed into both Ben and my minds.
But during these regular scans, they also discovered baby was consistently growing ahead by four weeks each time. This meant they wanted to continue scanning me, monitoring baby’s size, up until his/ her birthday.
We were basically told by everyone around us that women can’t birth HUGE babies. Everyone has basically been conditioned to think that it’s near on impossible. OR if they do, then there will be serious complications or serious vaginal trauma. If I had a dollar for every time someone could make the comment “oh you’ll have to have a C section” or “shit that’s going to hurt like a bitch, your vagina will be ruined for life”. That continual discouragement really is painful. I get that’s what we think we “know” will be the truth, but the truth is, I proved everyone wrong and it actually can be done without all the negatives!
To C Section OR To Push
At my 37 week scan, baby was measuring 5.2kgs. I was thinking holly hell, this can’t be right, how am I going to push this giant out of my hooha if baby continues to grow. Our doctor and midwives strongly suggested to be induced at 39 weeks. This was again, something that wasn’t included in our birthing preferences. My dream water birth- when my body is ready- no intervention-plan was slipping through our hands.
But by implementing all of our Hypnobirthing techniques and talking through our options with Renee and my midwives, we made the decision to go with the induction. We were completely and utterly at peace with this decision, it didn’t alter our positive mindset one bit. Yes it scared us a little, as the risks were very real too. But we were still completely content with our choice, we respected there could be risks, but I also had faith in what my body was capable of doing.
Baby Is Coming
I was having full blown back to back surges that would last all night, for almost a week straight. Because I’d been through this with Alaska’s birth, we knew not to rush into hospital and to ride it out at home for as long as my body would allow. But every morning, almost to the minute, the surges would completely stop and die in the arse! I would usually be disheartened by this, but I was at ease knowing it was my body getting ready.
I went in for the induction with my bags ready to stay the night. They did an internal to prep me for the gel or cerdavil BUT they said I could go home as my body could possibly go into natural labour over night all on its own. If I didn’t, then I was booked to go back in first thing in the morning to have my waters broken. That night I continued to have strong surges and really thought I would be heading in on our own. Between each surge I was so excited as I visualised what my body was doing. I would be having a baby tonight!
Just like clock work, the surges again died in the arse by morning. But that was ok, we were still ready and prepared to have some help to bring baby into the world. We arrived at the hospital at 8am and my gorgeous midwife and OB were waiting for us. We were taken straight into the birthing sweet where Ben starting setting up our diffuser with my favourite oils, he cranked our Spotify playlist and prepped me with my pillow from home.
Internals for me in my first pregnancy were extremely painful, I’d go as far as saying they were really traumatic. I had them frequently, they bloody hurt, I felt uncomfortable and I always bled. But this time, every internal I had, I took myself deep into a safe place, relaxed like I was melting into the bed and breathed correctly until they were done. There was never any pain. After my waters were broken I actually laughed with a giant smile and thanked my OB for being so gentle. We then asked to have an hour to be able to walk around and see if I would start surging on my own.
10am rolled around and nothing was happening naturally so they hooked me up and started the drip to get things going. By 10:15am things were fast tracked and I had back to back surges again.
Gimme All Da Drugs
At 11:30am, I begged Ben to get me an epidural. My midwife suggested I try the gas first but I hated this with my first labour. I wasn’t getting a break between the heavy surges and I just knew what my body’s limit was. I envisioned another possibly 15 hours of this synthetic pain and needed some relief to help me through.
So, I now had stretch and sweeps, my waters broken, syntocin running through my system, catheter in me, strapped to the bed with monitors and an epidural. All of the things we had planned NOT to have, yet here we were making the CHOICE to have it all. All was still ok!
The epidural only took the edge off each surge. I was still moving around the bed and they were getting more and more intense. I knew when I was having one and so did Ben. With each surge Ben would spray me with clary sage, or use light touch to take my mind into a more focused positive zone. He would move between stroking my hair, placing a heat pack onto my back, massaging my shoulders, giving me water, and again spraying more oils into the air to relax me. He was a birthing partner machine! I didn’t have to speak, he did all the verbal communicating. I concentrated on what my body was doing and completely focused on visualising opening up like a blooming flower (yep, that’s all I could imagine). I knew with every surge, it meant my body was working on bringing my baby further down and out into my arms.
Granny (my mummy) had our daughter Alaska and was making sure she was having the time of her life. She usually notices when we aren’t around, so Granny made sure she had a really special day! Granny kept Ben updated with videos of their day. I re watched them over and over and that helped to get my endorphins flowing and to encourage me to stay relaxed.
Acoustic covers was still playing soothly in the background. Kellie my family photographer was sneakily snapping away candid shots. I was st