Tana, first time mum, positive drug free birth

Tana and Nick completed group classes with me late last year in preparation for their first baby. As Tana's pregnancy was nearing her 42nd week, she was feeling the pressure to schedule an induction by her hospital. We chatted through their options including waiting for spontaneous labour even if it exceeded the hospital's policy of 41+3 and going ahead with the induction and if so, how they could make it a positive one. In the end, little Evelyn decided when she wanted to be born and they had a beautiful hypnobirthing experience!

"We were booked to be induced on the Saturday, 28 December. (41+2) I was anxious about being induced at first, it wasn’t the path I’d hoped for but after communicating with you I felt much more at ease that we could still have a positive experience. So we agreed that we would proceed with the induction if labour didn’t start naturally before then. I kept reminding myself that there was still a chance that could happen so tried to relax and just go with the flow. On the Friday, I had period like pain on and off. I didn’t think too much of it (although I was secretly hoping it was my body getting ready!). Went through the day as normal. Nick and I went to bed at 10pm and when I woke at midnight, my waters had broken. We called the hospital and they suggested we go in. I started having contractions at the hospital so put my TENS machine on.

After I (and the baby) were checked over we decided to leave and labour at home because we assumed it would be a while to go yet. I could feel the contractions getting stronger at that point.

So we left the hospital and got home at about 5.30am. I went to bed and thought I could get some sleep in the meantime but the contractions just kept getting stronger. At about 7.30am I told Nick we needed to go back. It was at that point that I decided I wanted pain relief. The TENS machine wasn’t enough. We got back to the hospital at about 8.30am. I immediately expressed that I wanted an epidural so they started the process of organising one. An internal exam told us that I was already 5cm dilated! While we waited for the epidural, I had the gas. At this point I was on the bed. I tried a couple of positions but my back was hurting quite a bit so laying on the bed seemed to suit me best. Before too long, I felt like I needed to change positions so I went on all fours over the fit ball. I realised looking back that this was me going through transition. Another internal exam told us I was fully dilated and ready to push. We cancelled the epidural. That was at about 10.30am. After 30min - 45min of pushing, Evelyn was born at 11.15am. I only had a small tear that didn’t require stitches.

So it was quite intense and quick. But happy to report that it was extremely positive, which was the number one thing we wanted from the whole experience.

At first I was a bit disappointed thinking that everything we had done in our Hypnobirthing prep went out the window. But when I had time to reflect, I think because it all happened so quick we just didn’t really have a chance to get in the ‘zone’ to do it the way we had planned, but the Hypnobirthing prep did play a big role in the positive experience we had.

• I accepted that I might of needed to to be induced. I was well informed and confident that it was my choice. • We knew that we wanted to labour at home as much as possible and this informed our decision to return home from the hospital (even though the doctor wanted us to stay, we were confident in our decision). • The TENS machine did help to begin with, but because it happened so quickly I didn’t recognise when I had reached that next stage of labour and so I didn’t change the settings! • I listened to the tracks on the way to the hospital to block out what was going on around me, and let Nick focus on getting us to the hospital. • Because I could recognise when I had gone through transition, I knew the worst part was over and I could do this! Also through transition, Nick performed light touch on me which helped a lot. • From what we learnt in your class, I had faith in my body that I could push Evelyn out without the epidural. As I was pushing, I was focusing on seeing her at the end and holding her in my arms. Those positive affirmations that I had been listening to in the lead up to the birth, even when the midwife called the doctor in and they were having discussions at one stage, I remained calm and didn’t let it rattle me. I reminded myself that my body and my baby were working together and between us we would work it out. She came out perfect! • It’s weird because I didn’t even get my birth preferences out for the midwife, but most of what we had wanted to happen, happened anyway. We’d thought about it in the lead up, we were informed, we’d discussed it and practised it.

So in the end it didnt really matter how we got there. The important thing was that we were all ok, and when I look back and even tell people about my experience (if they ask!), I’m so pleased to be able to say how positive it was.

Just want to say thanks so much for the class, but also the support outside of those two days. We really appreciate it. And you might remember, in our class group all of the couples knew they were having girls except us. We didn’t know the gender of our baby. Means that it was 100% baby girls in the end. Crazy!"

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Renee Bradfield, Perth WA

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