Jess & Luke are first time parents and completed the Positive Birth Program with me in October. In this birth story you will read about natural vaginal delivery, tens machine use, active birth movements, nitrous gas and syntocinin along with the relaxation and breathing techniques taught in the program. I hope you enjoy this read in Jessica's own words and it inspires you for your own upcoming positive birth.
It all started on Thursday the 24th of October the day before my due date, I started feeling surges throughout the day and I remember it was so hot. My husband left me some fruit and water and went off to work. I asked him to drive me to my midwife appt at 1pm because I didn’t think I could drive at that point as I was focusing on breathing through the surges, which were still 15-20 minutes apart by that stage. My midwife told me I was in pre labour and I felt like it was going to happen any day.
My midwife was so amazed how I would just stop put my head down and breathe through each surge in between our conversation. It got to 5.30pm that night when my husband finished work, I asked him to come home straight away so we could put the tens machine on, by that time we decided to go for a walk which I was stopping every 3-4 minutes to breathe through my surges. The tens at this point was really helpful and just took the edge off the uncomfortable feelings.
At this stage it was time to go to bed and everything ramped up. I started timing the surges and they were about 10 minutes apart sometimes 6 or even shorter. By this time I was very uncomfortable and just couldn’t sleep. My husband was trying to get some shut eye expecting things would be happening very soon and one of us needed some sort of rest.
I decided to have a shower early hours of the morning to see if this would give me a little break from the pain. So we took the tens off and it definitely helped. I think I was in the shower for about 20 minutes, we then put the tens back on and I tried to get some rest. By this time I just couldn’t get comfy as I tried a range of positions Vanessa had recommended like bouncing on my exercise ball, leaning over the couch and kneeling on the floor over the bed. At this point breathing was key. I was ready to put all that I had learnt from Vanessa into action.
I then started noticing some bleeding as I was going to the toilet. I contacted my midwife and she said this can be normal and to monitor it. This continued for the next hour, at 2am she recommended I go into hospital. I felt mixed emotions about this as I was worried of being induced or being told to go back home, I wanted to stay home as long as I could so I could have a birth as natural as possible and at this point my waters still hadn’t broken. By this time I felt ready to go, my husband was questioning me saying “are you sure you want to go in now? Remember what Vanessa said about staying home as long as you can” but honestly I knew I was ready. The contractions were about 5-6 minutes apart by this stage.
My sister came over and helped my husband pack all our things including my oil diffuser which we had turned on with my chosen oil when we did a practice run of my labour with Vanessa at our house. We had started playing the two hypnobirthing tracks chosen that I had used throughout my pregnancy. So we all rode to the hospital with the music playing and I was little rally in the back with my head down hardly making any noise and breathing.
We arrived at the hospital at 3am and the car ride was a pretty terrible but the breathing and hypnobirthing tracks (surge of the sea and rainbow mist) seemed to help keep me in my zone. When we got to the room they told me I couldn’t have a water birth because of my bleeding, they would have to put the monitor on me for the whole birth also. Luckily I didn’t have a specific birth plan and was happy to be in or out of the water so that didn’t phase me too much, then the nurse asked me if I wanted to check my dilation. I really wanted to know so she checked and told me I was 7cm dilated and that was all me with my breathing and the tens machine! I was so proud of myself thinking ok this is it I’m getting close to meeting my baby with every surge!!!
By 5am we headed into the birthing room. I kept breathing through the surges and listening to my music. There were times the surges were pretty intense and my husband would hold onto my shoulders and say “remember to relax” I would then instantly relax my shoulders and go with the surge. This continued for hours, and in the mean time I decided to have some of the gas to take the edge off. Once I was on the gas I stopped using the tens because I found it a bit much breathing then gas and trying to press the tens button when I felt a surge coming on. I asked to be checked again for dilation but was told they have to wait 4 hours so at 8am they checked me and I was 9cm.
I was so excited by this time knowing how close I was to holding my baby girl in my arms. The midwife had told me she moved out of position and that we would have to do some spinning baby positions to get her back to where she needs to be. The positions worked and she was ready to go, I could feel her sitting so low but she was very comfortable and by this time my contractions had stopped! The midwife asked me if I wanted to try and go to the toilet because that is a great position to get things going, but when I realised that the gas didn’t reach I decided not to go.
At 12.30pm I still had not had any surges and was feeling exhausted. I started doing squats, lunges and all other movements to try and get the labour going again.
We had to take the monitor off because baby kept moving so the midwife then put a clip on her head so we could continue to monitor her.
The midwife suggested I go off the gas and she would give me a drip to make the surges happen again and then I could push. She noticed my bladder was full so they did a catheter first so I was able to push. I was taken off the gas and we took the tens machine off so I felt comfortable lying on the bed. I put my legs up, held onto this bar and when I felt a surge I would tell everyone and we would try and push this baby out!
By this time I think I had heard the two hypnobirthjng songs that were on repeat about 50 times but they were so calming and my breathing continued through the whole labour which by this time was almost 13 hours. I pushed for about 45 minutes as I never felt the urge to push. At this point my breathing was everything because I literally had no drugs it was all me!! After 45 minutes of bearing down I pushed a massive push and out she came all in the one go!
I was so lucky I was able to have skin to skin straight away.. my husband and sister were on either side of me crying while I was lying on the bed cuddling my little doll “Chloe Ann”. it was such a magical moment I will never forget.
Thank you Vanessa for all the tools you taught us, my husband and I swear by hypnobirthing and talk about our positive birth experience all the time and always recommend your program. The videos you showed us desensitised us to the birth and Luke even had a look as she was coming out which was not something he was open to before doing the course with Vanessa. I even used the breathing techniques when getting stitched up and now when I need to wind down before bed at night. Hypnobirthing is honestly a life long skill and an investment for me.
Vanessa and her program is truly amazing you helped me have my natural positive birth I wanted x