Sullivan’s Birth – “Knowledge is power and you gave us that.”

Sullivan's HypnoBirth
I woke up Wednesday morning 20th October just before 2am with surges. I tried to go back to sleep but I couldn’t. I got up, went to the bathroom and thought “we might be on here”. I tried to stay relaxed, but I just couldn’t settle. I woke Andy about 3am. I wanted to put the TENS machine on but knew I should shower first so I could leave it on as long as possible. A girlfriend had told me once she took it off then tried to put it back on again, it just wasn’t as effective.
Andy was reassuring me and urging me to stay relaxed, “try and go back to bed, just lie down”. I tried to lie down next to him but I just couldn’t relax, nor lie down. I remember as part of my prenatal education, early labour is not the time to be bouncing around on the fitball, stay composed, stay relaxed. But I wanted to sit on the fitball, so I did 🙂


“Our bedroom was dimly lit, we have a comfy aqua armchair in the corner, I would sit on this in between surges, then move to the fitball during my surges and crank the TENS. Andy showered and had breakfast. Every second surge was worse and the next would be easier. I would crank the TENS, bounce on the fitball and rub my belly during surges. At 7am mid surge, my waters broke, Hollywood style like a water balloon. It went on the fitball but not on the carpet (lucky save).

After my waters broke, it was ON!! My surges were getting closer together, lasting longer and much more intense. I would move to the fitball during a surge, crank the TENS and now I started rubbing my leg to create a different stimulus for my body and I was definitely more vocal. Andy would rub my shoulders, remind me to focus on my breathing and time my surges. During my prenatal education they said to keep your bladder empty to avoid excess pressure. At 8am I made my way to the ensuite, sat down and wanted to push. “Andy I want to push, it might be time to go”.

Andy rang the hospital for the third time, they said we were welcome to come in for an assessment, but try and stay at home as long as possible. About 8:45 it was time to go. The urge to push was too much, my surges were 1.5mins apart, lasting 1 min or more, it hadn’t been for 2 hours, but I think all rules were out the window now! Andy had packed the car, I put on my eyemask and prayed for a quick trip. The car trip was awful. Every surge I wanted to push, I was kicking my legs, squeezing Andy’s hand and trying to focus on my breathing. It felt like I was making plenty of noise at this point. All I could hear was the indicator of the car, thought it was quite curtious of Andy to indicate. He got us to Box Hill “safely/in one piece”.

He parked right out the front, the security guard spotted us, got a wheelchair, because at this stage, walking was difficult. Many people trying to enter the hospital stepped aside to let us through, don’t anger a labouring Mumma. The security guard wished us luck as he sent the lift up to level 3.

It was 9:15am – straight to the birth suite! They welcomed us and pointed us into our room for “an assessment”. I got put off the wheelchair, on the floor on all fours. The midwife was trying to attach a CTG machine, felt like she was bear hugging me for an eternity, she couldn’t get it on. “The baby’s heart rate is dropping, we would like to put a clip on its head”. I refused, I had done so much preparation, I didn’t want intervention. Women have been birthing for centuries, let our bodies work.

They suggested moving onto the bed to let gravity assist me. Up on the bed I got. Hanging over the end of the bed and on my knees. Then, over the loudspeaker “could the owner of a white car parked in the entrance to the hospital please move their car”. “Andy that’s our car”, “don’t worry let them tow it”. The midwives said they would ring someone so we didn’t have to worry about it. The midwives said “just go with your body”. At this stage I felt like I was screaming, Andy said it wasn’t that bad. They moved my right leg to stand on my foot while the other leg was still on my knee. It was time, the baby was crowning, they could see and feel the head. I was trying not to push and use the birth breathing Bec taught me, but I pushed.

For what didn’t feel like very long, they said they would tell me when to stop. Then POP, when the head came out, it was such a release of pressure (and unfortunately a third degree tear). So much nicer after the head was out, felt like not too much longer and the baby was out at 10:14am. They rolled me onto my back, baby straight on my chest. I think they thought we knew the sex, “what is it”, Andy just looked at them “I dunno you tell me I didn’t see”. They rolled the baby over, A BOY!!!!

The cord had a knot in it, he has been doing somersaults in there. Andy cut the cord, bless him, he hasn’t got the strongest stomach. He didn’t crawl to the breast or latch at this early stage.  They gave me the injection to deliver the placenta, after some gentle pushing on my tummy, it was out, quick and painless. They did an in-out catheter and accidentally dumped the placenta in the kidney dish off wee. They asked if I wanted to keep the placenta, I declined, they said “oh good, because we accidentally put it in your wee”. The doctor came in to check my perineum.

She wanted a second opinion and it was decided it would be best to take me to theatre. Better lighting, better pain relief which would hopefully lead to a better recovery. I got about 1 hour skin-skin with our boy. I was prepped for theatre, covid swabbed, lined up and off I went. Andy took over skin-skin and continued that until I returned. I went to theatre, had a spinal anesthetic, so was numb from the waist down. I was away from the boys for about 2 hours. The doctor was great, explained what she had done, she asked if I had pained my toenails, because she was holding onto only one shellacked nail haha. I went to recovery shaking like a leaf. The spinal and the adrenaline wearing off. I wasn’t in recovery long, my midwife collected me and I was reunited with Andy and our baby boy.

Sullivan Andrew Longman, born on his due date, after a quick 8 hour natural labour. Weighing 3.18kg, 50cm long and a 34cm head. And just like that, we were a family.

Mum CJ’s Fourth Trimester Story to follow! Stay tuned.