The birth of Oliver George
I’m very excited to share with you all the birth story of my beautiful boy Oliver George… Something that I’ve learnt after having a baby is that your birth is something that you think about a lot in the days, weeks and months following. Good or bad, it’s going to come to the forefront of your mind for a good amount of time. Most grandmothers can recall the details of their births… it’s something that stays with you. I think it’s important to make it the best experience it can be.
Welcoming Oliver was an empowering and life changing event for both Ben and I. A lot of preparation was put into getting ready for the arrival of our little man, not just with physical items such as clothes, cots and change tables but also emotional preparation to ensure we felt as ready as we could to welcome our beautiful first born child.
Being a midwife meant I had seen lots of different birth situations. The best of the best and the worst of the worst, we get exposed to a lot. I had some fears leading up to my birth that I wouldn’t get to have the birth I desired. That I would end up another statistic. These fears seeped into my home and my husband also began to fear what might happen in the birth suite – not an ideal situation as first time parents. Lucky for me, I worked with a beautiful colleague who was a hypnobirthing practitioner. She believed that I could have the birth I desired, she trusted in my ability to birth. Ben and I then committed to the hypnobirthing course. This was by far the most valuable experience for both Ben and I. We learnt about normal birth, and how normal women are designed to birth normal babies, and the impact that the media, friends and family have on your perception of birth as first time parents. Over the four units of the course, we learnt tools and techniques to prepare us for birth and the incredible moment when we meet our baby.
On the 25th of March, I was 38 weeks pregnant and celebrating. It was my birth month! How exciting! The estimated due date (EDD) is just that, an estimation. Normal pregnancy can go until 42 weeks so the EDD is just the middle of the birth month. I was excited that I had four weeks and I would be meeting my son or daughter. When I went to bed that night, I realised I couldn’t sleep because I was having Braxton Hicks. By 10pm they were regular. They continued until 4am when they went and I could go to bed. Ben was very surprised to hear that I’d had some contractions overnight, I however felt somewhat anxious, not for the birth but because I didn’t feel ready yet. I didn’t have my birth space ready! I spent Wednesday preparing it in case I had some more contractions – of course I slept through the night.
On Thursday night, we had Emma our hypnobirth instructor coming over to finish our last session. I was excited to see her as my pains were again picking up. I was excited to tell Emma that I was contracting when she came to see us. We started the hypnobirthing lesson and discussed the final aspects in preparation for birth. We practiced birth scripts and Ben learnt some more techniques to support me during labour. This process was incredibly relaxing and by the time Emma left at 10pm, I was contracting 3:10 and they were beginning to feel quite intense. I decided to send Ben into bed as I knew that he would need to be rested in case I did go on to labour. He was hesitant to leave me but I ensured him I’d wake him if I needed anything. I spent time alone in my birth space, hydrating myself and snacking, watching tv and relaxing. The pains continued into the early hours of the morning. At midnight, I felt that my labour was establishing. I had a hot bath, and then settled into my birth space and listened to my relaxation music.
During the early hours of the morning I was in an incredible state of self induced hypnosis. I felt like I was on the bottom of the ocean. When I had a contraction, I would come to the surface, breathing through gently, and feeling my baby move around. As it eased off, I drifted back to the bottom of the ocean. It was incredible. I was so relaxed and woke feeling so refreshed.At about 4:30am I noticed my labour stopped. I was hungry, so I ate breakfast and kept myself hydrated. I wasn’t sure if it was another false alarm so when Ben woke for work, I wanted him to go because I thought it might be nothing again. We called our midwife and decided to head up to the hospital to get checked. 7cm dilated. I was certainly in labour – but how? I had hardly felt any pain to this point. I realised that the hypnosis was more effective then I had first given it credit for.
Things were really heating up. We made our way into the birth suite and Ben started to get the birth space ready in the bathroom as we had planned. My midwife Beck took my vitals. My long intense contractions continued in the shower and I felt very supported by Ben who ensured I had everything that I needed and that my birth space was safe. Time became completely irrelevant to me at this point. I had no idea how often I was contracting, how much time had passed or how much longer this process would take. I began to feel a little out of control. Ben used the techniques to keep me calm and in control. There was no point in fighting the surges, I needed to go with them and accept them. My beautiful midwife was suggesting some position changes for me to encourage my waters to break however I was very stubborn and didn’t want to move. When I did (finally) move my waters broke and I knew what needed to happen. I needed to have my baby. Although it felt ‘loud’ in my head at this point, my body instinctively birthed my baby exactly as I had been visualising for weeks leading up to my birth. I couldn’t really believe what was happening! Ben had hot water running on my lower back, it was just perfect. Less then half an hour after I started pushing I birthed our beautiful boy. I was still in disbelief, because I thought there would be a lot more pain. Intensity is the word I use to describe my birth. It was not pain like banging your toe.
I was overjoyed. I couldn’t laugh, I couldn’t cry. You were a boy, you were here, it was magical. I had such brilliant support from my husband and my midwives. I was empowered by the experience. I wanted every woman who would birth after me to feel this kind of empowerment. In the days and weeks following my birth it helped me to parent. I felt on top of the world and I could give my son the best love because I felt whole.
I’m so excited to birth my next child. I cannot wait to enjoy that blissful hypnosis again. I use the hypnosis techniques often in everyday life – parenting is a hard gig some days. The only thing I will change about my next birth is including some birth photography/videography. I hate that I don’t have photos of that incredible time. I think it would be interesting to see what the space looked like in contrast to what it felt like at the time. Lucky there will be more babies to come.
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading my birth story. I feel very blessed that I had special people that believed in my ability to birth – thanks Emma and Beck. I can be that person that believes in your ability to birth. If you have birth fears, why don’t we have a chat. It might change your life…