archie, born at nambour Hospital, 31 jan 2015
Michael and I have been taking our time settling in as parents and so it has taken awhile to send this email, but on the 31st of January we became the proud parents of Archie Leonard Pickering. We are so blessed that he choose us to be his parents and he has treated us so well since becoming part of our lives. Thank-you for helping to prepare us for the birth of our son. We had pictured and meditated on having a birth much like those in the videos we watched in class, and in that respect we did not have a typical hypnobirth, however we are both very happy with our experience and feel like we owe a lot of that to hypnobirthing.
My waters broke at midnight on the Thursday without going into labour. We called the hospital to advise and they asked us to come in so they could check on baby. All was well and we got home at 4 am. The idea was they would give us 72 hours for labour to start naturally but they wanted us to check in at the hospital every 24 hours to have a listen to baby's heart and to administer antibiotics if we went longer than the initial 24 hours. We went back up Friday afternoon at 2, slightly sleep deprived already, and they monitored baby's heartbeat and to see if I was having any tightening. While I was there I had a one off intense surge which lasted 3-4 minutes and caused our little man's heart to stop for about 90 seconds. It was a frightening time as the room filled with medical staff who all started prepping me for an emergency caesarean. The look on Michael's face in that moment is one that will stay with me forever. When baby's heart started again the doctor cleared the room but from there it was a lot of conversations with doctors and midwives about inducing labour, they wanted to do it straight away but were concerned his heart would react the same way when I had another surge. This is where I feel hypnobirthing helped us get the experience we had.
We explained what we hoped for for our labour experience and throughout every step the doctors & midwives engaged us with conversations about pros & cons of how they would usually proceed. There was a lot of discussions throughout the afternoon and evening and in the end we stayed the night on the maternity ward and were induced the next morning at 9 am after labour still hadn't started naturally. Half an hour after induction I had my first surge which again was prolonged and caused his heart to drop dramatically. They switched off the drug and the doctor came to see us to discuss that if this kept happening we would be having to have a Cesarean birth. Again I feel that our hypnobirthing classes gave us the confidence to discuss the different scenarios with the doctor but also to be clear about what we would like to try first if medically baby allows it. I can not commend the doctors and midwives at Nambour enough as they were on our side the whole time. I am sure that it helped them to support us knowing that we supported them had they had to make a quick decision about any medical interventions needed in the birth.
Thank-fully at 10 am my body started surges that were much less intense and shorter in time and baby's heartbeat stayed regular. I used my surge breathing but found it difficult to stay in the right head space due to the stressful 24 hours we'd just had. During transition my surges were coming fast and I was not having any break between them like we practiced. I became panicked and while Mick and the Midwife both coached me to do my breathing I couldn't reign it back in and took the gas at 1:30. It did nothing to relieve the pain but turned out to be a godsend as I had to breathe deep to rattle it and it helped me to calm down and refocus on my breathing and I didn't need it for very long. By 2 I was fully dilated however baby was reluctant to make his entrance. In the end Archie was suctioned out and born at 4 pm.
While no step of the way was how we had dreamed it would be we both feel as though hypnobirthing prepared us and helped us to stay calm and focused at every turn we came to. Every decision we made we were behind 100% because it was a decision that had been discussed and thought about before proceeding. We always had the goal that as long as we had a healthy son at the end it would be a success, but it's so lovely that the experience to deliver our son was one that we are happy with. Thank-you for your wonderful classes. We feel it would have been a very different story had it not been for them. We're already looking forward to our next birthing experience!
Love, Chelsea, Michael & Archie.