We’d had a few challenges towards the end of pregnancy, because I’d gone past my due date and measurements were showing baby was ‘big’. We had experienced some pressure from the hospital to induce, but as I felt good, baby seemed good, and all seemed well, we wanted to leave baby to come in her own time if possible. If we hadn’t done the hypnobirthing course, we wouldn’t have known that we had choices or felt very confident taking charge of our own situation.
For a few days I’d had slight backache on and off and I knew that my body was doing something. 14 days after our due date, I woke up and felt a bit different. I can’t really explain what I mean by that, but I just did! When I got up I realised I had a bit of period cramp type discomfort which I often feel in my back. It was nothing awful and totally manageable. I just felt this strong instinct to rest and get into my relaxation bubble. I got on the sofa with a blanket and a big cup of tea, sprayed my essential oil spray, I put on my favourite hypnobirthing track, and just closed my eyes and thought about how much I already loved my baby.
I honestly don’t know how much time passed but at some point I noticed that I was doing some of my calm breathing and I realised I was having surges! They felt fairly mild but they seemed to have a bit of a pattern to them. I called Tomas, my husband, and asked him to come home from work because I just felt like I needed him with me. Once I called him I found it hard to relax because I was starting to feel excited, and like I had this pent-up energy and I think I was just waiting for Tomas to get back.
Once he was home, I felt so much better and with his help, I could get back into my birth bubble! Again, I really don’t know how much time passed as we weren’t clock watching, but we just hung out together, sometimes we chatted between surges, sometimes we just held hands. I didn’t really need him to do anything then, just be with me. He says he did lots to help me but I guess I was a bit out of it! I did find changing my position a few times really helped, and circling my hips on the birth ball really helped too.
Tomas was roughly timing my surges and he said he was going to call the hospital. They wanted to speak to me and I didn’t mind at that point. I remember feeling really happy and actually I was really pleased to speak to someone about where I was up to. The midwife seemed surprised I was so calm but said we should come in because my surges were getting quite frequent (plus because I was 42 weeks, even though everything was fine)!
Tomas was absolutely brilliant getting us to the hospital. He’d actually done a practice run a while back so I think he felt calmer about it all. I did find the car journey a bit difficult at times, and it took a lot of concentration to stay focused. As soon as I started to let the outside world in a bit, things definitely felt more uncomfortable. Thankfully we don’t live very far away!
When we got there, we didn’t want to be examined. This was something we’d decided a while back. Because I was 42 weeks, they wanted to do various things which we didn’t want. Tomas says the midwife seemed a bit put out to start with, but I didn’t notice this because I was trying so hard to get back into my birth bubble. I was so surprised actually how easily I could do this – the practice of all the techniques definitely pays off! Due to the frequency of my surges, we went to delivery suite and Tomas got the room set up as we’d planned. Tomas says that I went from moving around the room to becoming quite still. Again, I don’t know how much time passed, but there came a time when I started to feel really very tired. I remember saying that I wanted to go home! Tomas reminded me that this was probably transition and that we were getting close now.
After a little while, I could feel some changes in my body and I really felt that my calm breathing wasn’t working anymore. I tried to connect with baby and I started doing some birth breathing but I found making some noise when I breathed out helped me. Tomas really, really helped me during this stage because I found it harder to stay focused. I was on all fours on the bed, with Tomas constantly reassuring me, and that’s the way our girl was born! It was such an incredible moment. I don’t remember clearly some of my labour but I definitely will remember that bit forever!
I can honestly say I enjoyed nearly all of our labour. We did find some of the pressure from hospital staff a little difficult at times, but I have Tomas to thank for dealing with all of that really. I think we used every single one of the hypnobirthing techniques at some point!
Hira and Tomas.