My Birth Story…

In all honesty, this is not the birth story I was expecting to share. Things didn’t go to plan, and I have a lot of mixed emotions about it. I can certainly say my birth was a positive experience. I felt powerful, calm, strong and in control. But I also have feelings of sadness, disappointment, and loss. I want to be authentic in sharing my story, and rather than just sharing the positives, I also want to share the tough parts… even though it makes me feel vulnerable! HypnoBirthing is truly amazing, and it certainly supported me to have an empowering birth… but at the end of the day, we need to let go and accept that our body and our baby dictate how our baby enters the world. And for me… my baby entered the world via a c-section!

It all started in the early morning of 8th April 2020. At 40 weeks and 3 days pregnant, I woke up at 3.45am with a pop, as my waters started releasing and I experienced my first mild surge! I was overjoyed to finally be in labour, and after having pre-labour on and off for the precious 3 weeks, I knew we were going to finally be meeting our baby! 

After having a quick first labour, I knew I needed to be prepared in case things escalated quickly.. which they did. I got up and started preparing my birthing environment – I put on my music, diffuser, and candles, got myself a bottle of water mixed with electrolytes and within 20 minutes I had my second surge, and 10 minutes after that I had my third surge! At this point, I woke up my husband and shared the exciting news – it was finally happening! Shaun jumped into action, and immediately started filling the bath and getting ready.

We quickly called my mum, who was coming over to look after my beautiful 2.5 year old daughter, and by 4.30 I realized I was in active labour as my surges we’re growing in frequency and intensity, now coming 5 minutes apart! As the bath filled, I rocked and swayed through each wave, breathing and tuning in to my baby! The intensity of the surges continued to grow, and they varied from 30 seconds to more than 60 seconds in length, and we soon called the hospital to inform them that things were on. 

I had completed the Midwifery Group Practice (MGP) Program for my pregnancy care, but unfortunately my midwife was away on leave and I had to quickly become acquainted with a new person. On the initial phone call, she informed us it was protocol that once your waters released, you should come in for monitoring. We politely declined as our plan was always to labour at home for as long as possible! She respected our decision, and we let her know we would be in touch when we were on our way. 

I got in the bath as soon as I could, and instantly felt my body let go on tension and I could let go and go further into relaxation. Shaun was amazing, holding my hand, applying hip pressure, and talking me through each surge! Within 45 minutes of being in the bath, we knew things were progressing perfectly, and decided that we would need to start thinking about going to hospital. At this point, the surges were intense and coming about 2 minutes apart. So in between surges, I slowly made my way out of the bath, got dry and dressed, and laboured in bed for a short time as Shaun called the midwife and got the car ready to go.

I remember moving to the couch to labour, and at this point I was groaning loudly through each surge. My mum nervously suggested that we hurry, recognizing that I was definitely getting closer to the birthing phase, and we didn’t want to cut it too fine! The car ride was actually better than I anticipated, as Shaun talked me through each surge and was able to use deepening hypnosis techniques to help me stay calm and relaxed! 

It was 6.30am when we arrived at hospital, and we started our journey from the car into the birth suite! We made our way through emergency, and after I yelled at a security guard he opened the door for us to enter the main hospital. I was reminded quickly that I was birthing during a pandemic, when Shaun was asked to stop to have his temperature taken, and I slowly climbed the stairs making sure I didn’t touch the hand rails. I was also disappointed to know that I was unable to labour or birth in the bath, which is something that I really wanted as part of my birth plan! But to be honest, that didn’t seem to matter once I finally arrived in the birth suite. 

Shaun quickly put on music and helped me find a comfortable position on my hands and knees on the floor. I continued to trust my body and let it do it’s thing! Within two hours of labouring in the birth suite, I reached transition and soon felt the urge to breath my baby down the birth path! It was about 9am, and the midwife, Shaun and I were excited to think that bubs would be joining us very soon! On my knees, with my head and chest leaning over the bed, I was ready to welcome my baby… using my breath, gravity and the beautiful natural expulsive reflex. There was a mirror underneath me so I could see when baby crowned, and the midwife was talking me through what to do when that happened to prevent any tearing! 

Unfortunately, that’s when things seemed to go pear shaped. For some reason, bubs wasn’t moving down the birth path… and no matter how hard I pushed bubs didn’t seem to be coming! The midwife asked me to try and feel babies head, but she was too far up for me to feel anything! I consented to a vaginal exam, which confirmed that I was definitely fully dilated but she also said bubs head was still really far up. Over the next two hours, Shaun and I, with the support of our wonderful midwife, tried everything to get baby to move down the birth path – different birth positions, rebozo, spinning babies techniques – but nothing seemed to work! I was slowly starting to feel exhausted, and had to rest on the bed. 

This is when the doctor made her appearance and we had to re-assess our options. She did another vaginal exam, stating that baby was still really high up and after pushing for two hours, she was worried about babies safety. She recommended that we have a c-section. We requested time and space to consider our options, and discussed things with our midwife… and eventually decided that our baby would enter the world via c-section. Once the consent forms were signed, we had to wait for over an hour before they were ready to take me for surgery. This was by far the hardest part of the birth – experiencing intense surges every 3 minutes, having the urge to push, but all I could do was endure it and wait! 

Finally the time came to be taken for surgery, and despite feeling exhausted and disappointed that my birth had not gone the way I had dreamed it would, I was feeling in control & calm, so excited to be meeting our baby very soon. Once the epidural was complete, I experienced such a huge sense of relief – the pain was finally gone and I was ready to finally meet my baby! Shaun sat right next to me holding my hand, until finally they lifted our baby out of my womb and held her up in front of us… and we saw our beautiful little girl for the first time! She was absolutely perfect, and tears streamed from both mine and Shaun’s eyes! He was over the moon to have two little girls, and seeing her for the first time was one of the best moments of my life! We requested delayed cord clamping, and she was placed on my chest for skin-skin bonding! She stayed there while they completed the operation, and I only passed her over to Shaun for some skin-skin when I started feeling nauseous. I was separated from my beautiful baby girl for a short time, and as soon as I entered recovery she returned to my chest and quickly found her way to my breast and instantly started sucking! Everything was perfect and she was amazing! 

Another beautiful birth…

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).

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

A 24-hour Labour

“I had my first surge around 9.30pm on Tuesday evening but thought it was intense Braxton Hicks. My husband and I went to bed shortly after and the surges started taking place every hour which is when I thought “hmm I think I’m in actual labour”. Luke and I managed to rest/sleep through until 4.30am and that’s when I went into active labour. I laboured at home in and out of the shower using my HypnoBirthing breathing techniques to get me through. We then made our way to the hospital at 10am, I had 5 surges in the 20 minute car ride to hospital. We walked through to the birthing suite where the midwife who I spoke to on the phone greeted us and said “ok yes you’re definitely in active labour” which I knew I was! I was 7cm dilated when I arrived which was amazing to hear. I laboured in and out of the shower, once again changing positions regularly and swaying my hips from side to side with Luke supporting me.

It got to about 3pm and my waters had not broken, my membranes were so thick bubs couldn’t break them alone. I had my waters manually broken and the surges became very very intense, lasting for longer with very short breaks in between. I was by then fatigued as I had felt the urge to push without luck for over 2 hours. At 4pm I asked for an epidural and the midwives said let’s wait till 5pm because I was so close. 5pm came around and there was no sign of bubs coming out any time soon due to his position. Boston was lying side on therefore he was having trouble coming through the birth canal. So the epidural was ordered and administered at 6pm, the epidural relaxed me completely and I dilated from 8-10cm in 30 minutes.

It was time to start pushing at 7.30pm, I was in tune with when to push and was using my birthing breath. Unfortunately, every time I would push Boston’s heart rate would drop. The midwife called the doctor and they decided we would try a suction cup due to Boston’s position. They said if the suction cup wasn’t successful they would try forceps. However, if forceps didn’t work I’d need an emergency caesarean and I had to sign the consent forms for this, which I was so hesitant to sign. I told the midwives and doctor that I really don’t want a c-section, as it didn’t make sense if I was 10cm dilated and the baby has already crowned! We headed down to surgery, the suction cup delivery didn’t work but the forceps did along with an episiotomy. Our beautiful baby boy was born at 10.22pm and has been all round a calm baby since he was born.

I don’t think I could have gone 21 hours drug free if it wasn’t for HypnoBirthing and even the midwives commended me multiple times through out the day on my efforts. They said that I was doing so well because of all the work I put in prior to the birth. For my whole labour I was informed and felt completely in control the entire time. Although my labour was long it was all in all positive experience.”

Shannon’s Amazing HypnoBirth

“At 11.30pm on the 18th of December I heard my waters pop lying in bed. A huge rush of excitement came over me knowing our little boy is on his way. How long that would take was anyone’s guess..

After quick a shower and change of clothes later the surges came on rapidly. From 5 minutes apart, lasting one minute, to developing to 3 mins apart within a 15 minute period.

They were quite powerful with no build up. I was listening to my body and knew that we would meet our little boy sooner rather then later. Jay was supporting me through calm breaths and surge breaths as they rapidly grew stronger and more intense, faster then expected. Although Jay wanted me to try stay home and labour I knew that he was coming. We called the midwives, who were sure labour was going to take its time as I sounded very relaxed over the phone and it was not long after my membranes had released. 

They advised us to come in for a check anyway and we decided to stay home longer… that wasn’t the case. Within 30 minutes of the release we were in the car on the way, I felt heavy pressure and almost felt ready to push. Learning to listen to my body was the best thing I could of done.

We got to the hospital within 10 minutes (12.30am roughly) listening to rainbow relaxation in the car. When we got to the hospital the surges had ramped up and I took the long walk to the birth suite. Once I got through the door of the ward the surge finished and I was able to get the reception desk calmly. I don’t think the midwives realised how far along I was. They counted my contractions and with how close they were the midwife took me to the birth suite. At that point I felt pressure in my behind and what I could only describe as an uncontrollable urge to bare down. When we got to the room the midwife was brilliant. I told her I was HypnoBirthing between a surge and she knew exactly what to do. 

Jay set up the music and dimmed the lights. The midwife asked me if I wanted to be checked for dilation and at the point I felt like I wanted to know as pushing urges were building up. she checked me and I was already 8cm. Within 1 hour and a half of my membranes releasing I had dilated fast. 

This actually gave me a lot of strength and confidence that I can listen to my body and it’s urges. We continued to labour and I felt I was in a calm environment ready to birth my son. Our midwife was non invasive, was positive and gave me to power to push when I was ready. She told me to trust my body and to go with any urges I felt to push. I didn’t have a chance to get into a bath, use my diffuser or even share with the midwife my birth plan. It didn’t matter. I was safe, comfortable and being supported by my partner. I laboured on my feet and had my arms around Jay and it felt really comforting for me and I was able to relax in his arms between surges. Around 2am I was ready to push. That was the point of the birth that was really powerful and out of body for me. My mum and mother in-law were outside the suite at this point and hearing their voices gave me more strength. It was perfect timing. I felt having them beside me witnessing the birth of their first born grandson gave me the power to do this.

I was so excited to meet my man. 

I got up on the bed on my hands and knees using the bed head as a support with Jay beside me. I used the J breath during surges and didn’t use too much force pushing, I trusted my surges to birth my baby down. I found myself naturally using the calm breath and felt extremely relaxed almost unresponsive to conversation between pushes.

Within 3-4 surges out came my baby’s head, I found the opening flower visualisation really helped as it felt like I couldn’t go on. They say this is the hardest part, but looking back I actually found this the best. Hearing “his head is out” I turned my head and Jay said the look of excitement on my face was priceless. I knew I could do this!

One more surge and he was here. Our son was born at 2.58am, within 3 and a half hours! I can honestly say that was hands down the best moment of our lives and I will cherish it forever.

Levi Dexter Joyce, middle name in reference to his great grandfather that passed 3 years earlier. He coincidently was born on the anniversary of his funeral. That is a special connection that we hold so dear to us. 

We did delayed cord clamping and the midwives allowed us to have skin to skin for as long as we wanted after birth. I did experience a second degree tear which I honestly didn’t feel at the time and one thing I wish I did was birth my placenta naturally. I got the jab which ended up making me feel quite sick and ended up passing a large piece that was missed  a few days later. That’s something I can definitely focus on next time. 

I was nicknamed speed racer at the ward and the midwife said that it was an amazing birth, she also said when she has a baby that she hopes her birth is just like ours.  The hospital staff were talking about my birth and I was praised by everyone for my efforts which was really nice. 

Jay and I are so thankful for the tools and techniques that you taught us in the HypnoBirthing course. I can honestly say that the relaxation consistently practised in the preceding weeks of his birth prepared us and our baby for his perfect arrival. He is such a chilled out little bub, very relaxed and we both believe it’s due to how relaxed I was through the whole process.

Although our water birth didn’t go to plan we were so happy with how our labour and birth panned out. Some would say it’s a perfect labour. We were not expecting what unfolded that night but we can look back and say that it was absolutely the perfect birth and a memory that we can hold close to our hearts forever. 

I don’t refer to  my birth as traumatic or a bad experience. I don’t refer to it as painful or unbearable. I found it a powerful, spiritual, out of body experience. I learnt more about myself then I ever have in my whole life and have such a beautiful support beside me the whole way. I’m proud of my birth and I’m proud of myself. Not only for a natural, drug free, non-intervened birth, but the fact I conquered my fears and turned a scary experience into a beautiful one. 

We are so grateful, Rebecca. You have given us so much to be thankful for.

We are so in love.”

A special thank you to Shannon and Jayden for allowing me to be a part of their journey and to share their beautiful birth experience with everyone!

Levi Dexter Joyce; 19/12/19; 2.58am; 3.17kg

A Positive Hospital Birth

Key words: endometriosis, gestational diabetes, HypnoBirthing, rebozo, accupressure, chiropractor, breathing techniques.

“After struggling with endometriosis, we were concerned conceiving may have taken us a while after being told it could take more than 12 months. We were so excited and grateful when I fell pregnant in the third month of trying with our beautiful boy. My pregnancy was a good one. Sure, there was some sickness early on, heart burn and back pain, but this to me meant my baby was doing well and I was still so grateful to be pregnant. I also had gestational diabetes, which ended up being a blessing. I lost weight and felt better being pregnant than I did before pregnancy and loved my pregnant body. My husband and I were both excited heading into the birth however wanted to arm ourselves with all the knowledge and techniques possible.

We looked into HypnoBirthing in particular because Chris didn’t want to feel useless throughout labour and HypnoBirthing covered techniques that he could use to support me. We liked calming breathing techniques, building confidence that our bodies are perfectly made to give birth, and learning rebozo techniques. And whilst we did feel that some aspects of the program weren’t for us, we had the confidence to take the pieces that were relevant to us and our situation. We really enjoyed the completing the HypnoBirthing Program with Bec from @themindfulbirthmovement, and were able to learn and take from the course what was important to us.

In the week leading up to my birth, I had an appointment with my OB on the Tuesday who told me I was 1cm dilated and gave me a stretch and sweep. I was booked in to be induced on the following Wednesday (due to GD and concerns related to my placenta), however was eager to try kick things off naturally myself. I saw an amazing Chiropractor/Kinesiologist all pregnancy, I visited him on the Thursday to help beat the induction date and he gently adjusted me and said I would be having my baby over the weekend. He showed me some additional pressure points to help bring on the labour. I spent the next few days bouncing on my exercise ball and pushing my pressure points whilst talking to my baby about joining the outside world. Friday morning I woke up at 3am with surges that continued irregularly throughout the morning. I went out for lunch with my in-laws, which I believe stalled my labour and things stopped. Once my husband was home we had some Indian for dinner, used the rebozo technique, massaged acupuncture points and continued bouncing on the exercise ball.

I was 39 weeks pregnant and all was going well with my pregnancy. The placenta was still nourishing the baby and he was growing well however as a precaution I was booked in on the Sunday for foetal monitoring. At 4am on Saturday morning the surges started again. They continued all day, they were still quite irregular however the surges were increasing in intensity. Throughout the day Chris was helping with the rebozo techniques, getting me comfortable with each surge and massaging my back. I called the hospital on Saturday afternoon as my surges were still irregular however quite strong so I spoke with the midwifes and it made sense to come in for monitoring on the Saturday, instead of the scheduled Sunday. At the hospital the surges were becoming stronger and stronger however still irregular. After a few hours they offered me some pain relief and if the surges went away it was considered practise labour, however they didn’t subside.

At this point, we were offered a room however decided to go home and put what we learnt at HypnoBirthing into practice, to make early labour more comfortable. It was Chris who really pushed this decision despite myself being inclined to stay in the hospital, as he knew that we would be more comfortable for us. Once home I had a shower, a light dinner and managed to sleep in bed in between surges until 1am before the intensity ramped up further. I was in the shower for an hour timing contractions and they were 3-5 minutes apart so we headed back into the hospital at 2am. Our HypnoBirthing skills played a big part whilst we were at home. We knew to relax as much as possible and breathing through each surge really helped, along with knowing they were only going to last a minute before I could rest. It was much more uncomfortable when I was tensing than when I was breathing and talking myself through them.

With every surge Chris continued to comfort me with the pressure points in my back, massage and also supporting my belly. Sometimes one helped more than the other and Chris was able to try something he learnt in the program each time to help me. When we got to the hospital, I had already progressed to 5cm dilated and was told my cervix was very soft and stretchy. I also requested an epidural upon arrival and then went back to sleep until 7am. My OB came in at 8am and I was 7-8cm dilated and broke my waters. Around 10am my epidural had stopped working and I was in a lot of pain. I didn’t want to use the gas in my labour as I wanted my mind present however we decided to give it a go while they sorted out the epidural and if I didn’t like it I could stop.

Jess rocking her hospital birth…

Throughout every surge Chris was by my side, holding my hand, talking me through each surge and encouraging me. He was my voice throughout the labour while I focused on breathing and birthing our baby. Throughout the entire labour Chris was my voice, we had discussed our preferences and I didn’t have to worry about anything except birthing our baby. I could feel my babies head pushing lower and lower into the birth canal. After the epidural kicked back in my OB did another examination and the babies head was in place and it was time to push. I just remember Chris telling me it was time to meet our baby and I started crying.

After the first surge that I was pushing the baby became a little distressed so they popped the vacuum on his head and with two more surges our beautiful baby boy Boh was born happy and healthy at 12:14pm on Sunday. Overall, we were both really happy with our pregnancy and birth experience.

Jess & Chris meeting their beautiful baby, Boh…

We aimed to surround ourselves with positives and steered clear of negatives, which allowed us to embrace the GD, morning sickness, and anything else that would pop up. We felt really lucky to be able to both pick out our own obstetrician and hospital, who we had a great supportive relationship with, and to also be able to do the HypnoBirthing course to compliment everything the hospital offered. I knew early on that I would probably like an epidural and was really comfortable with that decision, however I was so happy to be able to labour at home as long as I did and be in such a great position when we arrived at hospital (I definitely put this down to the HypnoBirthing course, even the midwives were surprised how well I had dilated). Chris definitely would not have had the confidence to strongly suggest that we should go home instead of remain in the hospital on the Saturday, without having completed the HypnoBirthing course. The key points that we took from the course played a big part in our experience, and we would strongly suggest to any of our friends or family that are having a child to undertake the HypnoBirthing Program with Bec!”

Introductions to the rest of the family…

A 3-hour Birth

Ella Adrienne Maryanto, 22/10/2019

“On Monday 21st October mum drove me to my monitoring appointment as we were overdue (41 weeks). We got hooked up to the CTG machine and everything was textbook. She was perfect. We then had an ultrasound to check the fluid. The nurse was having trouble finding the pockets of fluid so she called in a doctor to help. It was then discovered that there was no fluid, only 3cm in 1 quadrant and none in the rest. The doctor recommended to get things moving for the safety of the baby. The midwife then did an internal to check the cervix. Which was unfavourable and not softened at all. She did a stretch and sweep whilst she was doing the internal and a bit of my mucus plug came out. The midwife then booked me in to come back at 7pm that night to have the balloon inserted to commence the induction process.

So off I went home to collect my bags, have something to eat, have a nice hot shower and wait for Eda to get home. I spoke to Eda on the phone after mum and I left the hospital telling him what was happening and there was a panic in his voice. I reassured him that everything is fine, I’m fine, bubs is fine it’s just time to for her to come out soon. We went in at 7pm to have the balloon inserted and the midwife did another internal check and said we don’t need to do the balloon, as I was 2cm dilated. She said to go home, and if nothing happened to come back at 7am to have my waters broken.

At 3:30am my waters broke! We called the birth suite and they suggested to come in to have a check. We were feeling pretty relaxed and both of us were expecting to be sent home again as contractions hadn’t started. We arrived at the birth suite and by 5am contractions had started. I was quick to focus on my breathing and keeping my body relaxed. Breathing in for 20 and out for 20, keeping a nice slow pace. Eda set up the room, we had our oil diffuser, salt lamp and my music. He also helped me put the tens machine on. At 5:30am they put the hormone drip in. This made me feel anxious. I needed to keep focused on my breathing and feeling ‘safe’ in the room. They had me on the lowest setting to start with.

At 6am I was 4cm dilated. The surges had really started to ramp up. Eda helped me change positions and did some light touch massage, I was kneeling on the floor, resting on the bed. A nurse came in to up the drip. I had just finished a contraction and then another one came straight away after she up’d the drip. It was unbearable. I cried for Eda to get her to come back and put it back down. She was hesitant but she put it down for me. By this stage the tens machine wasn’t doing anything so I asked for the gas. I struggled with breathing on the gas mouthpiece and ended up frustrated with it and threw it away.

I wanted to give up. I kept my breathing going, 20 in, 20 out. Sometimes I’d catch my self in a panic breath and had to remind myself to slow everything down. All of a sudden I had this urge to push. I told the midwife and she replied, ‘no you don’t’ .. I said to her, no I really need to push. She then said, hmmm let’s get you up on the bed and have a look. The surges were really close by now, I wasn’t able to have much of a rest in between. I was leaning backwards on the bed on my hands and knees. Eda was by my side so I knew I was safe here. He reminded me to keep breathing as I was losing focus on my breathing.

Ella’s shoulder got stuck so they needed to flip me on my back. I asked why because in my head I couldn’t give birth laying on my back. The midwife firmly said we need to do this. I just had to trust her. A surge then came so I quickly forgot about being on my back. She then said we need to do a little cut to help her out. By this stage each push I was giving it my everything. I opened my eyes and suddenly there were 12 more people in the room and one of them said, your going to meet your baby really soon. In my head I was thinking, ‘yeah sure we will be here for another 12 hours’. Eda looked down and her head was peeping out, he said to me, ‘shit, she’s just there, I can see her, she will be here soon!’

I had 30 minutes of active pushing and the 1 last push I gave my absolute everything and the rest of her came out and she was then on my chest. I was almost in disbelief, her wet little body on mine I looked at Eda and said “I fucking did it!!!!” He was proud as punch. We were both instantly so in love with her and our hearts were so full! We catch ourselves staring at her all the time. We are so proud to be her parents and love her so much.

It still feels so surreal that I’m her mum and she was in my tummy for so long. I thought I’d be pregnant forever. I couldn’t have done it without Eda by my side. He made me feel so safe and trust my body to know what to do. The birth was very fast and intense with the drip and no drugs but overall I feel very positive about the experience and doing HypnoBirthing helped so much. I don’t think I would have coped anyway near as well as I did if I didn’t do HypnoBirthing. Trusting my body was my main focus and HypnoBirthing helped me achieve this. I’m so glad I did all the preparation and I feel excited to tell people how I did it.. how I birthed Ella in 3 hours ❤️”

The Birth of Raeven

“I experienced a very long 19 hour posterior back labour and 2 hours of pushing  with Eli (our first born), where we went to the hospital 3 times in one day, which ended with all of the drugs/interventions I could get my hands on (I almost made it to a c-section). I walked away feeling disappointed…. which is absolutely ridiculous and still not something I can really explain. I felt unfulfilled and, what I realised later, a little traumatised. I decided this birth (being my last) would be different.

Our beautiful Raeven (Rae) gave me everything I was hoping for. Our little girl arrived at 40+1, after a 4 hour active labour with 7 minutes of stage 2 labour into an amazing water bath, surrounded the most perfect birth team. My sister (who was at the birth along with Michael) described it best, as a “home birth in hospital”.

We were in a room away from the usual hustle and bustle of the hospital. I never saw a monitor or machine, and the midwives physically felt and timed my surges with their hands and only used a Doppler to check on bubba. When we got to hospital at 1:15pm I was having three surges every 10 minutes, but I was coping really well. I saw the midwife later who admitted me and she said she didn’t expect to see me on the ward with a baby that day as I was coping too well.

My surges were almost on top of each other and I had gotten in the bath before my head midwife realised no one had checked my progress… so she got me out, checked me and gave me a good sweep to release some helpful hormones. Karen didn’t tell me and I didn’t ask but I later found out I was only 4cm dilated but my cervix was paper thin… if she had told me at the time I would have 100% given up as it was very intense at that point…

I got straight back in the bath and after some very comical situations we had our baby girl within 40 minutes of that check at 4:20pm. The time after we had her was so beautiful, there was no rush and everyone was joining in our baby bliss. The whole experience was incredible, we felt supported and heard, and we had the most special team!”

About HypnoBirthing…

“After lots of research Bec from @themindfulbirthmovement fell in my lap and before even walking in the door I knew she had me. We were sitting in her clinic 2 days later with the most beautiful bunch of people learning how to breath our baby into the world! After the first session Michael and I were both so excited. He had gotten more from that 2.5 hours than he even got from our own first birth! (Without anything else this was priceless to me)

The HypnoBirthing Program is something I will now 150% recommend to everyone! Although I wouldn’t say I “hypnobirthed”, I used a lot of the practices, techniques and ideals we learnt with Bec.

I have walked away from the birth of our little girl feeling complete and positive and almost wishing I could do it again. I would almost go as far as to say I enjoyed it!”

A HypnoBirth Like No Other…

I am so excited to share a beautiful birth story from one of my most recent HypnoBirthing couples. This amazing mumma birthed her baby just ten minutes after arriving at hospital, and was described by her midwife as a “birthing goddess”.

“We are excited to announce that at 8.07pm on March 21, Ayla Rose* entered our lives. We made it to hospital with just 10 minutes to spare, with Ayla arriving within minutes of entering the birthing suite.  We had just enough time to plug in our salt lamp.

The first signs that labour may have been kicking off were around 3am, however things only really started to ramp up from around midday shortly after Dan arrived home early from work. When things started to get more intense I was focused on my relaxations, affirmations and surge breathing. At this point, Dan gave our midwife a heads up that I was entering the early stages of labour.

Dan was the perfect birthing companion. He kept me grounded by reminding me to breathe through the surges while giving me light massage and acupressure on my back. He kept me well hydrated and kept reassuring me everything was going well and just the way we wanted.  Being in the comfort of our own home ensured that I could really get into the zone without any interruptions or unfamiliar faces. I could get into any position I wanted and do whatever I needed to, to get through each surge. Sometimes I would lean over my birthing ball and sometimes I would stomp around the room to distract myself.

During a very intense surge, my membranes released and this is where my body really took over, I moved to the shower which provided relief during these intense surges. Things got so intense that I told Dan I think it was time to go to hospital. Dan spoke to our midwife who was amazing.  She really wanted us to achieve what was set out in our birth plan and suggested we try and stick it out a bit longer. At this point surge breathing became hard to concentrate on and I just went with the urges of my body, I starting making noises I never expected but it was just instinctual. Dan reassured me that each surge would soon be over and that soon we’d be meeting our baby. At this point I didn’t want any touch or distractions. I found that positioning myself on the side of the bed allowed me to really go with the flow and sensations of my body.

Suddenly I felt the urge to bare down, I could feel the baby coming. I told Dan we need to go to hospital. It was a few hours since we last spoke to our midwife so he called her and she wasn’t totally convinced we should come in yet, that was until she could hear me in the background going through a surge. She told us to come in straight away. 

Dan had already packed the car so it was just a matter of getting to the car (down about 30 steps) I had to do this in stages between surges. During the 3 minute drive down the road to the hospital, I had another 2 surges in the car leaning over the back seats. We arrived at the birthing suite before our midwife and all I could do was lean over the bed and go with the surges. As Dan ran off to get our bags, the midwife arrived. I told her I had the urge to push and she reminded me to remember my breathing (she knew we were a hypnobirthing couple) and started to get things ready. Dan came back and started setting up the room, he only had enough time to plug in the salt lamp.  I asked to be measured, got up on the bed and the midwife said I was fully dilated and the baby’s head was right there! She couldn’t believe it. I got back to kneeling over the side of the bed and the urge to breath and bare down took over. I started to get a bit anxious at this stage as I could feel the baby crowning, my midwife reminded me to breath and I breathed down and the head started to emerge. With the next breath my baby emerged and I pulled her up to my chest in absolute disbelief.  I had done it, she was here and we had achieved our birth plan.

My midwife called me a birthing goddess.

We delayed cord clamping and maintained skin to skin for an hour. We started feeling some pressure because the placenta had not emerged yet and other staff were asking about it. My midwife suggested she would have to help with the placenta as I wasn’t having any more significant surges and gravity wasn’t working. The placenta was almost out, and with some gentle encouragement it emerged. We went through all of the paper work, continued to have skin to skin and started breast feeding over the next few hours which went well. So, after just over 6 hours, we were able to be discharged and head back to the comfort of your own home with our newborn baby.

I really believe that the techniques we learnt through the HyponBirthing course helped us to achieve our perfect birth. We are so happy that we participated in the program and we really want to thank you Bec for such a wonderful experience. The tools and knowledge we gained empowered us in a way that gave us enough strength and confidence to achieve such a wonderfully positive outcome.

We cannot recommend your program highly enough and want to thank you again for providing us with such fantastic tools. 

*Name has been changed

Rediscovering myself, over a year after giving birth…

My daughter is 16 months old, and took her first steps last week. Although I have been waiting for weeks for her to get the courage and self-belief to let go of my hand and finally take those first precious steps… it completely blew my mind when it finally happened. In that one moment, I went from having a beautiful baby, to a walking, energetic and inquisitive toddler. I’ve had to spend some time coming to terms with this fact, and I have to admit… I have been a little bit sad about losing my baby.

This huge change has also prompted me to reflect on my own journey as a mother, and how monumental the last 16 months have been. Motherhood is a complete rollercoaster… just when you feel like you’re getting the hang of it, something comes along to slam you back down or turn you upside down. It is an ongoing journey of learning, growing, re-learning and re-discovering… both about how to be a mother, and how to be yourself. It has taken 16 months, but I finally feel like “me” again.

Although I have been working in some capacity basically since Stevie was born… it has only been the last month or so where I have had a routine that involved actually leaving the house to go to work. And for me, it’s not just ‘work’… it is something that I genuinely love to do. My business and the work I do brings me so much joy, satisfaction and a sense of achievement. I feel like a have a purpose and am making a difference. Although I get these feelings from motherhood, it is a different kind of feeling when it is work-related.

And now that I actually go to work, the time I get to spend with Stevie I appreciate and adore that much more. I am completely infatuated with her, in awe of her, in reverence of every move she makes, every new milestone, and seeing her cheeky personality shine through. Being back at work has made me a better mum, a better version of myself, and I finally feel like me again.

Now, everyone’s journey is completely different… but if you’re a new mum and still feeling a bit out of sync with yourself, I think it is important to firstly, check in with yourself and notice how you’re feeling. Secondly, start to put aside some time for you. What are you passionate about? What do you enjoy? What makes you feel alive, fulfilled, and satisfied (outside of being an amazing mumma)? When you’re ready, start to explore those aspects of yourself that are separate to you being a mum…. Because I promise you, when you find yourself again, life will be that much sweeter.

If you want some professional support to help you on this journey or re-discovery… please don’t hesitate to get in touch!