On Wednesday 6th of November, at 40 weeks and 6 days pregnant, I started feeling period like sensations at around 9am. They were frequent – 2 times every 10 minutes, lasting about 30 seconds in length. I didn’t really know what they were, so I laid in bed and tried to sleep.
I couldn’t seem to sleep, so I slowly got up, showered, and got ready to meet my family at Chadstone for a fun shopping day (my sister, brother-in-law & nieces/nephews were in town from New Zealand hoping to meet the baby). These period like sensation continued all morning. I got to Chadstone around 11.30am and did some shopping with my family. I realised now that possibly these aches/feelings were the very early stages of labour. These surges continued at roughly 2 every 10 minutes, lasting close to 1 minute long.
We continued to shop and trek around Chadstone, and I purchased myself two pairs of shoes in the process while I breathed through every surge. I stayed calm, relaxed, and enjoyed the time with my family. My sister has had three children, and she believed I was in the early stages too. This reassured me that our wee baby was on its way!
Just before 2pm, my husband (Steve) came to collect me for our scheduled OB appointment at 3pm. We drove to Mount Waverly for the appointment and met with our OB. Continuing to have surges every 3-4 minutes for 1 minute at length the whole way there & home. Our OB advised I was 1.5 cm open after doing an internal, and this led to a little bit of my uterus seal coming loose. He confirmed I was in the early stages of labour, and advised us to head home, relax and call Cabrini Hospital when I needed to.
We arrived home around 4.30pm and set up our lounge room into the calming environment/space I had dreamed of. We pulled down the blinds, turned down the lights, put on a scented candle, some calming acoustic music and I got in the zone. At this point, I had been having surges for 1 minute in length, 3 minutes apart for over 2 hours. I knew our wee baby was coming & continued to stay positive & focused.
I did the calm breath while waiting for each surge, and the surge breath during the surges. I took each surge as it came, knowing my body could do this. I was calm, relaxed and excited to be slightly closer to meeting our baby. I had positive thoughts about relaxing my body, which would hopefully relax the cervix ready for the baby’s arrival. I also used the tens machine to help with the surges, and a heat pack on my lower back as the night went on.
Steve stayed by my side whispering encouraging words, he gave me light touch massage every now and then, and held the heat pack on my lower back during the slightly strong surges.
At 5pm, the uterine seal came way, and continued to over the next hour or two. Steve contacted Cabrini around 7pm, advising of the situation and we continued to breathe through each surge, and relax as much as we could – whether it was sitting on the couch upright, sitting on the birthing ball, sitting on the toilet (this was one of my favourite laboring positions) or standing and leaning against the wall. Upright, using gravity was perfect for me, and helped me feel in control of the surges.
As the night went on, the surges became stronger, I continued to focus on one surge at a time, and Steve and I agreed to focus on 30-minute blocks. Once we got to hourly/half hourly blocks, we decided to either call the hospital with a quick check in, and continued to stay at home. By 8-8.30pm, the surges were strong, powerful, my breathes were slowing down and getting heavier as the surges were both in the front and in the lower back. By 9pm, we decided to call Cabrini and advise I was coming in, as the surges had been consistent at 1 minute long, 2-3 minutes apart since really 4-5pm.
Steve did the calling to Cabrini & talked on my behalf, which allowed me to stay in my zone, continue on my breathe & focus on the positive affirmations I had read & learnt all about during my HypnoBirthing course with Bec. We arrived at Cabrini, walked up to the birth suite, stopping as we needed to, to relax and breath through the surges. We went into the birth suite, and the midwives popped the baby heartbeat monitor on, while I had a little bit of gas, laboring standing up and leaning over the bedside table. The midwife did an internal and then had to get another midwife to do an internal to check what she believed she saw.
After both midwives checked me, they asked the question if I had the urge to push. I explained yes. They confirmed I had arrived into hospital fully dilated, and were shocked that I was so calm, and not making a big fuss. This was a fantastic feeling, I knew my body could birth this baby, and I had the internal and mental strength to get through each surge.
At 9.55pm my waters broke over the toilet, and the midwives called the OB to start making his way in. I continued to labour upright, using gravity as my best friend. Leaning over the bedside table or sitting on the toilet. These positions felt the most comfortable for me. As time went by, I continued to use the HypnoBirthing birth breath, did slow squats as I was breathing down our wee boy. I was in my zone, focused, using the surge & calm breathes, and knew I could physically do it & my body could birth this baby.
After just under two hours of pushing, the OB and I agreed to use the ventouse to help guide our wee baby out as I pushed him out. It was very different going from being upright and using gravity for nearly 15 hours to having to lie on my back because of the ventouse being used, but I did not let this change my mindset or change my practiced breath. I knew this was the journey that was needed to bring our baby into this world naturally & vaginally, and we did it!
After roughly 3 contractions, our wee baby had arrived, and we were over the moon that our wee little one arrived & both Mummy and baby were healthy & safe. We were able to do delayed cord clamping as wished, and Stephen was able to find out the gender of our baby as we also had wished for the whole pregnancy. It was a wonderful surprise finding out we had our first baby and it was a BOY!
Angus Craig Campelj was born at 11.57pm, weighing 3.56kg. We were able to have a long Golden Hour with him with skin to skin. We allowed him to the do the boob crawl with a little assistance from Mum and the midwives and he latched on so perfectly. It was all that I had dreamed of. While we had the Golden Hour the placenta was birthed through the injection (which I was happy to go ahead with because of the circumstances and was so extremely happy with the natural vaginal birth, I was happy to ensure the placenta would come away at full, and they could then focus on stitching up the 2nd degree tear that occurred through the pushing phase).
Mummy and Daddy were on a natural high because of how well the birth went, all to what we had dreamed and hoped for. This high continued for many days afterwards with Angus feeding so well on the breast, sleeping well & just being so cuddly. He didn’t cry much at all in the first month or so, he was a dream baby. He still is! He smiles, coo’s, giggles & gives such beautiful cuddles after a long nap in his bassinet in his own room.
We feel so blessed and so grateful to have gone through the HypnoBirthing Program with Bec, as it allowed us to have the birth we had hoped for, and has kept us in a positive mindset and we can only wait for a second pregnancy/birth in the very near future (fingers crossed).