One of my favourite births…

This beautiful mumma holds a special place in my heart, and she had the most wonderful birth experience. Despite being faced with a number of special circumstances during her pregnancy, including GD, other health concerns and a necessary induction, she was able to implement everything she learned in the HypnoBirthing Program to have an amazing birth…

“Hi Bec, we’re so happy to let you know that Aurora Grace Rodgers joined us on Sunday 26th January at 1.03pm! 3.33kg and 47cm of star dust in our arms 💜

After a lot of thought and consideration, we decided to go ahead with the recommended induction at 40+2 weeks. We started with the balloon on Saturday evening, when I was already about 2cm dilated. The balloon stayed in over night and on Sunday morning we took our time before moving on to the next step; giving my body time with each step and asking questions before deciding on the next.

I had the balloon removed and my membranes were released by a midwife at 7.15am on Sunday. At this point, I found out I was now about 3cm dilated. We requested time after my membranes were released, to see how my body would respond. After 2 hours, I felt I was having quite regular surges. Our midwife, Kylie, and the doctors discussed with us why it was their recommendation to still go ahead with the syntocinon drip. I requested a vaginal exam before starting the drip, as I wanted to know how much I had dilated since the membrane release. I was now 4cm dilated and after another half hour, we went ahead with the drip. The dosage was only increased 3 times during my labour and I really needed to focus on my breathing, as my surges intensified quite quickly each time. I had my headphones in playing relaxation music and spent a lot of my active labour on the toilet, with the urge to bear down!

From the start to having Aurora in my arms it was only 6 hours, with 2 hours of active labour including 33 minutes of “pushing”. The whole experience was amazing for both Andy and I. We felt seen and respected throughout. What we learnt with you helped us remain calm, informed in our choices and confident to speak up and ask questions during every step.

Andy was just incredible! Everything we learned in the HypnoBirthing program gave him the knowledge and confidence to instinctively know how to support and calm me the whole time. I couldn’t have done it without him. His confidence and clarity in speaking up on my behalf when I couldn’t, understanding and observing everything, filtering information to only what I needed to know and his calm, loving presence, all made me feel so safe and at ease. His prompts and reminders to maintain my breathing techniques and not to hold my breath, helped me remain relaxed and in tune with my body. We were such a team and I’m so proud of us.

We also had our beautiful birth doula, Jess, supporting and encouraging us during the birth. She came in like an angel in the background… setting up a diffuser and salt lamp, making sure the lights stayed dimmed, refilling my water bottle, observing things we didn’t and offering advice, a smile and a nod or a gentle whisper to reassure me everything was going okay, we were safe… so many little unseen things, that were actually so big. Jess had also recommended HypnoBirthing during my pregnancy. I felt her love and tenderness, as she helped Andy cool me with cold cloths and she gently reminded me to focus on my breathing and to listen to my body and my baby. She gave me so much trust and confidence in myself, my body and my baby, to know exactly what to do.

There was a moment where all I wanted was my mum, but in between my surges I couldn’t quite verbalise to Andy to try to arrange for her to come to the hospital. Then suddenly, Andy was saying that my mum and sister were here, would I like them to come in. They had come to the hospital just to wait, incase I needed them!

All I could manage was a nod for them to come in. All my focus and energy was going within my body and mind to maintain my breathing and relaxation, so I couldn’t get any words out. But just seeing their faces momentarily and knowing they had come to simply wait and support me, gave me so much strength and gave me a boost to keep going. They went downstairs to have a coffee, because they didn’t think it would be much longer! (They were right). I later found out that my mum’s Church had all been praying for us during my labour, at their Sunday service. What amazing timing and how grateful I am.

After my surges had intensified and Aurora was well on her way to joining us, it became harder to maintain a reading of her heart rate. Kylie had tried very hard to manually monitor Aurora’s heart rate during the majority of my labour (getting down on her hands and knees at one point, to hold the monitor in place!), as she knew we were hoping to avoid the scalp clip for monitoring. But once it was no longer possible to monitor Aurora’s heart rate with the mobile monitors, she recommended the scalp clip. We were given time to discuss this, before deciding to go ahead with it to ensure Aurora was okay and not in any distress. This was just before 12.30pm and it was only very shortly after this that we discovered how close Aurora actually was to joining us!

I was looking at my affirmations on the wall and the opening blossom visualisation, while Andy held my hand and reminded me of the “coffee plunger” breathing to help me breathe her out… it was the most amazing experience feeling her come down and letting my body bring her to us. I trusted my body’s and Aurora’s timing, following their lead.

The excitement on Andy’s face as he realised she was almost here and he could see her head making it’s way, gave me so much strength and joy to keep going. I felt empowered by his excitement, I was about to bring our baby girl to us! It’s a moment I’ll cherish forever and gives me butterflies thinking back to his face.
Jess gave us a mirror so that I could see Aurora’s head and I’ll never forget the feeling as her head came out. I remember asking “Is she okay?” Everyone reassuring me she was safe and how well I was doing… she’s almost here.
It was only another birth breath before she joined us and just like that the past 9+ months of uncertainty faded away, as she was finally here safe, nuzzled into my chest, where she belonged. I remember looking up at Andy and saying through tears, laughter and slight disbelief “We did it. She’s here. She’s here”
I’ll never forget the feeling of her little body on mine, as we connected for the first time skin to skin.

In my birth notes, under pain relief it said “relaxation”, which made me giggle seeing that on a hospital report. I did have a moment when I was going through the pain relief options in my mind, thinking, okay I think I’m going to need something to help me through now and that’s okay… but it wasn’t long after that, that she was here. I guess that’s the moment where you feel like you just can’t go on but it’s all about to happen! Andy said he noticed the lull during the labour and he thought it wouldn’t be long, because he remembered from the HypnoBirthing that there is that time of rest before needing to continue. He really took in so much from the sessions and it just made the whole experience, our experience, not just mine. He was a part of everything and by my side the whole time.

It just blows my mind, after a lot fear and anxiety during my pregnancy, how even though we decided on and needed certain interventions, that it just went so smoothly and I get so emotional at how extremely loved and supported I felt. Even little things like the random songs playing on my iPod when she came out.. The Beatles “Here Comes the Sun” was playing as her head came out and Aurora means goddess of dawn. Then as she came out and onto my chest, our wedding song was playing.. and the playlist was on shuffle! Like how is that real?

The midwives were amazed how quickly & peacefully she arrived… I remember hearing one midwife say to a doctor that I “HypnoBirthed the baby out”. That was a proud moment. Both mine and Aurora’s blood glucose levels were in normal ranges for all our post birth checks, which was such a relief. But we stayed in the maternity ward for two nights, to ensure all remained well – which it did! The support and advice we received from the midwives while we stayed the two nights was invaluable and we are now home, soaking up this blurry newborn bubble and getting to know each other.

Bec, I am so very grateful that our paths crossed. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all your support, encouragement and for your role in helping us have such a beautiful birth, that we feel so happy and proud of. We are filled with joy that we can look back on our birth experience with such happy memories, knowing we empowered ourselves to trust the process and to make informed choices to bring our little girl into the world safely, peacefully and surrounded by so much love.

I hope my experience can encourage other women who deal with anxiety, or are facing special circumstances during their pregnancy, or potential induction; that while you cannot completely control how things will go and choices may need to be made that you initially hoped wouldn’t… knowledge is power and mindful preparation for your birth can truly impact how it goes and how you feel afterwards. HypnoBirthing was so beneficial in helping us find that knowledge, remove a lot of fear to make way for calm and was just such a huge tool for Andy and I, both during my pregnancy and birth, and even now postpartum.
Thank you for creating a space that made this possible xx

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