We are SO excited to share the news of the arrival of Hannah Penelope, born 23.3.22, weighing 3.095 kg, 51 cm long.
I wanted to share my birth story with you, I apologise for the length and please only feel the need to read if you want to! No pressure!
We had an incredible birth - I can’t thank you enough for both the Hypnobirthing program and the yoga Tom and I attended. I have no doubt that you were instrumental in giving us the positive and special experience we were so hoping for, one we will treasure forever that brought us so close as a family.
I had a long labour, surges started on Tuesday morning very early and continued building in intensity and frequency until we went to SCUH at 3 pm. I was only 3 cm dilated and was offered to stay at SCUH however I think that with the transition to the hospital and being very tired my body needed rest and the surges didn’t increase in frequency or intensity and I didn’t dilate any further after 8 hours.
I found the monitoring quite disruptive as even without the CTG I still had midwives placing their hands on my belly to feel the surges and each time I felt the pressure to meet their expectations - I knew this wasn’t helping my labour. We were offered induction or to go home and rest, or wait another couple of hours and go for a walk or move around. We decided to head home and I was able to rest from midnight until surges started increasing in intensity around 8am. We stayed at home, I moved on the ball a lot, listened to the rainbow passage and rested between surges until we made the decision to leave for hospital at 3 pm. By the time we were there, I was 5 cm dilated and surges were every 2-3 minutes. I could feel the muscle of my uterus pulling up, I felt the tightening and some pressure but no pain and managed with my breathing with every surge.
The breath was so important to me during my labour and I focused on this ceaselessly. The obstetrician attending even commented that I had the best breath control he had seen - thank you Carrie and Yoga! I remained seated throughout my labour, I didn’t feel the need to move, I just needed quiet and focus. Tom was incredible, he used touch, affirmations, matching my breath - he knew exactly what I needed and I couldn’t have done it without him. He left my side only 3 times and each time I felt his absence so strongly. I used hot packs on my legs as they cramped up and on my lower back and Tom spritzed my lavender oil on my face, chest and sheets. I also listed to the birth affirmations on repeat the WHOLE TIME! Tom was also in charge of checking that it was still playing every 20 minutes!! What a difference the affirmations made! Essential for me! I only stopped listening during the final stage of labour to concentrate fully.
Our biggest setback was that our baby’s heart rate variability was never consistent throughout the labour. This meant I was asked to keep the CTG attached (which I chose to do) and the obstetrician had concerns with the length of my labour and offered induction/augmentation of labour several times throughout. We were also offered a lactate test which I accepted but they were unable to perform due to baby’s position. We think this was a blessing in disguise as if it had been a poor outcome I would have been scheduled for a c-section and her heart rate variability didn’t change during labour so we feel this would have been likely. However, with the CTG I wasn’t subject to the 30 minute checks as I had the day before and I was far more settled and ignored the numbers and focused inwards. Not being touched made a big difference to me and I was able to go deeply inwards and find a place that was just me and my baby.
I recall the moment when my labour became more intense and I could feel my baby pushing down. With each surge I could feel her head and the pressure was increasing. I started making low vocal noises on my exhale and the midwife requested to do an exam. I was fully dilated and she could see the top of baby’s head during my surge. Tom and I were so excited to meet her and I have a photo of when I changed position to draped over the back of the hospital bed, big smiles on our faces. I used my downward breathing and each breath brought her closer however the midwives became increasingly concerned about her heart rate and the obstetrician attended the delivery offering to use forceps or vacuum if she wasn’t born in the next 30 minutes. Tom asked for alternatives and we were offered for me to change position and use assisted pushing. I moved to a semi-recline position and pushed through the last 20 minutes with a small episiotomy that the staff tried their very best to avoid!
Tom was able to assist in the delivery and cut the cord. I felt refreshed and exhilarated and remember all the details so clearly. She was born with her cord wrapped around her leg which reduced her oxygen intake and led to the heart rate readings that concerned the medical staff but she was not harmed by this and was born perfectly healthy! She has been a delight this past week and we are settling into her rhythm and needs as a little person with her own personality.
I used so much from the course and yoga Carrie, even at home Tom was helping me with movement on the ball and using the rebozo. The affirmations and breath and Tom’s support were the big ones for me and he felt so equipped to ask sensible questions and make clear, informed decisions throughout. I have left with only joy from the experience, no fear!
P.s. if you can, check out my blood pressure one of the photos below… if there needed to be proof I was relaxed!!
Thank you so much once again.
With love, gratitude and very full hearts,
Tom, Sophie, and Hannah xxx