Birth Stories

Rest, Relaxation and Hypnobirthing Breathing Helped Bethany During Her Hospital Birth

  • When did you realize you were really in labor?

    I was 35+6 and had a lovely afternoon tea with a dear friend where we joked that baby would need to arrive before midnight to keep in with the pattern of my previous two births... Which obviously wouldn't happen! It was 4:30pm and I had at least a month to go and I was in no way experiencing anything that looked remotely like labor! I had a lovely evening with my hubby and went to bed around 10:30pm. I woke at 2am with what I thought were Braxton Hicks contractions. They were painful and constant but I was half asleep and the pain was in my back so I didn't think anything of it... I was also only just on 36 weeks (by 2 hours!) so the possibility of it being labor day wasn't even on my mind. I woke my husband at 3:30am to ask for a back rub. By 4am he was convinced we needed to go to the birth center. It took 30 minutes for our baby sitter to arrive and we got to the birth center at 4:45. Being pre term we were sent to the labor ward. I was still not 100% convinced I was in true labor (despite needing to vocalize quite loudly!) because I had been told time and time again that third babies like to stop and start!!

  • What was the most challenging thing about going natural?

    Having done it twice already I knew I could do it. This birth the pain in my back was unexpected and, honestly, unbearable. I really thought I couldn't do it and begged the midwife for pethidine at almost every contraction. It was so hard. I think being early too I just wasn't ready mentally for the possibility that baby was coming.

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  • What was the most helpful thing you did to prepare for childbirth?

    Resting! I really prioritized rest and relaxation and practiced my hypnobirthing breathing regularly. I also joined a natural hospital birthing Facebook group and loved to read the wonderful birth stories of the wonder women in that group.

  • What surprised you about your birth?

    That he arrived at 36 weeks!!!
    He wasn't breathing very well by himself so I didn't see him for the first hour. It was a very bizarre hour...
    I was also surprised at how intense and painful it was. Definitely the most intense of my three births! I also wanted a home birth but when he had trouble breathing was so glad we were at the hospital - a thought I never thought I'd have!

  • Prepare. Pray. Practice. Be at peace with what eventuates and know that you did what was best for you and your babe.
  • What pain relief strategies worked best?

    My hypnobirthing breathing did wonders while i was at home and in the car, but I was very thrown by not being able to birth in the birth center as planned. When I got to the labor ward I asked for gas (I'm in Australia) and I don't think the gas itself took much of the pain away but it helped me return my focus to my breath and relax. I used it until he was born at 6:28am.

  • What position did you end up delivering in?

    I was on my knees on the bed leaning on the top of the bed which was completely upright.
    He was born onto the bed after only a few gentle pushes and the placenta fell out about thirty seconds after he was born!

  • How did it feel to hold your baby for the first time?

    So much relief. I didn't hold him for the first hour as he was with the pediatricians being given oxygen. He stayed in the same room as me the whole time but I couldn't get up to see him. I felt my shoulders and body physically calm and relax as soon as he was placed on my chest. His breathing improved dramatically once he was back with me too.

  • What advice can you give to other mamas who want to go natural?

    Prepare. Pray. Practice. Be at peace with what eventuates and know that you did what was best for you and your babe.

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