Kelsey and her Husband Michael attended group classes with me several months ago and we quickly built a rapport. They stayed back after class to ask me extra questions and Kelsey and I were in regular contact as her EDD approached and her induction date grew closer. This is the most amazing birth story. Kelsey's words are just so beautiful and I have been so excited to share this with you....
"Pain, unbearable, crippling, these are a few of the words and feelings associated with childbirth, instilled into women from a young age. Before I was even old enough to have a child, I remember being told it would be the worst pain I would ever feel. Once pregnant, women would tell me their horror stories and build me with angst with sentences such as “Boy, you don’t know what you are in for”. I was indescribably scared. I wanted a baby so bad, not just any baby, my baby, but I was so scared it created anxiety of birth. I remember explaining to a friend of mine that I felt as though I had boarded a roller coaster.. A roller coaster I was so excited for but then as I started to climb the steep incline I started to panic as I knew I had to go over the top for the ride.. And I couldn’t get off of the roller coaster as I was strapped in and already on it, and well I wanted to have the ride, I just didn’t want to be thrown over the peak. If I knew then what I know now, I would have shrugged away their words and smiled politely.
Birth, well my baby’s birth, was nothing like I had been told, but I hadn’t learned that yet. I was approximately 5 months pregnant when I was desperately seeking positive birth stories, trying to surround myself with positive people and a source that could eliminate my anxieties. This is when I found Hypnobirthing Australia, an experience that would last a lifetime, an experience that would eliminate my fears, anxieties and retrain the way in which we think and view childbirth. A close friend of mine recommended Renee from “The Birth Space”. This is the most valuable recommendation I believe, I will receive in my lifetime. To share my story, I need to take you back.
At 25 years old, I was informed I have endometriosis and Polycystic Ovary Syndrome. We tried, and after trying and failing to fall pregnant just after my 28th birthday, we completed some tests, this is when we were told that the surgery my husband required in his early 20’s had resulted in an accidental Vasectomy. This meant all odds were against us having a child of our own. We completed a single round of ICSI - A form of IVF and were blessed with a strong thriving and perfect embryo that was placed in my womb. Two weeks later we received the wonderful news we had dreamed of. Our miracle baby was on it way.
As far as pregnancies go, mine wasn’t terrible, but if there were a book of pregnancy symptoms, I think i would have been able to tick every box. At 28 weeks the Doctor informed me I had gestational diabetes, unfortunately my chosen hospital shipped me to a specialist hospital and I was told in my first appointment that I would have to be induced. My fear and anxiety went into overdrive, I cried for three days straight. On day four I emailed Renee. She responded immediately, and within a day I was booked in for Hypnobirthing Australia classes. I explained to my husband what we were going to and he screwed up his face and reluctantly said “Okay” my husband is a man of science, a man who likes facts and proof. To say he was skeptical is an understatement.
The day arrived and I was ready for some happy positive stories, my husband in tow. Renee was fantastic, she was so informative, and I immediately felt comfortable, I could see she truly cared, that this wasn’t just a business but a passion. Renee explained to our group the wonders of childbirth, our rights as patients in the hospitals, different methods to relieve pressure during labour, how to connect with our baby and most importantly she explained what happened within our body with each surge and so much more. This is when my husband learned the “Hyp” in Hypnobirthing didn’t mean “Hippie”. Hypnobirthing is scientifically backed and Renee explained where the method and technique had originated. My husband and I left the course with butterflies. Our fear had quickly turned to excitement and all of the sudden we were itching for the day to arrive, the day we would meet our miracle baby.
I was due on the 13th of March, I was booked in for an induction on the 5th of March. I would be 38 weeks and 6 days. On the 27th of February, I was 38 weeks. I was desperate for baby to come on it's own. I wanted so badly the chance to go into labour naturally with minimal intervention. I began kerb walking, walking up hill, eating spicy food, sex, using lavender moisturiser, hard foot massages, chiropractor appointments, expressing colostrum twice a day, bouncing on a fit ball and on Saturday the 2nd of March I booked in for Acupuncture. The next morning at 4am Sunday the 3rd of March (2 days prior to the induction) my forewaters broke. I was booked in that night at 10pm for a set of antibiotics and I spent the day moving trying to get bubby to come. 9pm bub was still relaxing, so we did too, My husband and I watched Married at First Sight, I packed my hospital bag and I looked around the house secretly amazed that the next time I was home I would have a baby! What would it be? A boy or a girl? I felt butterflies! I was tingling all over, so excited for what was about to come. Life felt surreal. We arrived at the hospital soon after. After a set of antibiotics we were taken to the birth suite. My husband immediately went into hypnobirthing mindset. He briskly went around the room dimming all of the lights, placed LED candles around the room and hung a plaque “You are amazing, You are brave, You are strong!” and he switched on my playlist. The sound of Rainbow Mist filled the air, I looked at him and smiled, “Here we go!”
10.30pm - The midwife placed the continual monitoring on me and asked if I was having any contractions, I told her I hadn’t had any. She said, well according to this you are! I couldn’t believe! I had been having surges and I hadn’t even felt them!
11pm - My membranes were broken, I immediately began pacing, rocking and moving, helping baby move down.
11.30pm - I was put on the syntocinon. My surges increased in strength and length. I closed my eyes and concentrated on my breathing, using the fit ball, rolling my hips around and around, instinctively I knew what my body needed each time. Listening to Vance Joy, feeling happy, between surges my hubby and I were laughing, making jokes about my funny moves, dancing to the music, my midwife said she was so happy to be in our birthing suite with us, it was such a calm happy environment.
Each surge hubby pressed on different pressure points which Renee had shown us. I was amazed at how much these helped. I am still amazed at what our bodies can do. My husband Michael read the hypnobirthing scripts to me, followed by the lotus flower script. In my head I went from laughing to breathing and concentrating on his words, "Open up, open up". The surges increasing, Michael would ask me to explain what I was feeling. Tightening, just tightening.
6am - How has time gone so fast? I took the gas, it made me unwell, so I had to stop.
6.30am - I was sure I was close, the midwife checked, I was 3cm dilated. I was having 1.30 minute surges and only a 30 second break, I was tired and bub wasn’t ready just yet. I felt no pain just exhaustion. I looked at hubby, I needed a break. He nodded in agreement, we both knew I needed something, after a quick conversation we asked the midwife to commence the epidural process.
7am - The epidural was inserted, unfortunately for me, due to my scoliosis only half of my torso was numb, I didn’t mind though, I was strong, my body was built for this, I just wanted rest.
7.30am - I sat up quickly. “Pressure! I feel so much pressure!” the midwife smiled and looked at my hubby “I think it’s time!” after a quick check the midwife told me I was 10cm dilated and ready to push!
Each surge came and I pushed, each push I gave it my all. “My baby will be here soon, my baby will be here soon!” Two hours passed, I was tired. So tired. All of the sudden I looked around the room, I was surrounded by midwives and two obstetricians. One Obstetrician said “Kelsey, I just had to come and see you, you are the talk in the ward, you are a warrior!” Me? I felt so empowered. I was doing good. Yes. I could do this. My body was incredible, it knew what to do. I knew what to do. The midwife squeezed my hand “Remember your hypnobirthing Kelsey, bear down and breathe.” The baby’s heart rate started to drop and I closed my eyes and started to sing, suddenly the heart rate picked back up, my husband and the midwife were amazed, we were so connected. If I was calm the baby was too. Another 30 minutes of pushing and bubby kept crowning but getting stuck on my pelvis. I needed help. The doctor asked if she could help me, I looked to my husband, my supporter, my rock, he nodded. “A little suction and a small cut is all you need” I knew it needed to happen and I wasn’t scared. I was ready. The next surge we were all prepared. I looked around the room as the surge increased 2 obstetricians, 3 midwives and my husband all cheering me on “You can do it! You’ve got it Push, Push, PUSH!” I put the last of my energy in, I knew this was it, my baby would be in my arms so soon and I pushed as hard as I could. I heard my husband cry out “It's head's out baby! Oh my gosh it’s beautiful! It has brown hair!!!” Pant Pant Pant… the next surge started to rise, ok this was it. This was the last push, I just knew it. I pushed once more and all of the sudden I had instant relief and then I heard crying “It's a boy!!!!!” I looked at my husband, tears filled his eyes “Oh Kels, he is so beautiful!” he cried. Suddenly my arms were full. My baby. My son. I have a son and he is in my arms laying on my chest. He is mine, he is here, he is healthy and I did it. I really did it. The feeling, I couldn’t describe it. I was speechless. My heart felt so full and yet I couldn’t help but sob deep hot tears rolled down my cheeks. So much relief and an overwhelming feeling of love filled me, a feeling I had never felt before. My baby, he was here. Finally, and it was so worth it.
Boston Phoenix McGrady was born on the 4th of March 2019 - 8 pound 3 ounces or 3.78kg of beautiful squishy delicious baby. Yes that’s right, I laboured on labour day! A joke my husband loves to tell. It still feels surreal.
As I sit here and write my birth story as my son sleeps soundly in his bassinet, I am instantly brought back to that raw emotion, that excitement, that out of body experience, and although my son is only 7 weeks old, I already know i cannot wait to do it again.
I am amazing, I am Brave, I am strong and I hypnobirthed like a boss!"