Carrie, I just want to thank you for this -
5.15 pm: We were attending the Sunshine Coast University Hospital for our routine midwife clinic appointment. I was 39 + 6 weeks pregnant and was due the next day. The appointment was standard and we were planning to be in and out as soon as we could as it was getting late and Paul had been working all day and we just wanted to go home and relax together.
At each appointment the midwife will check to make sure baby is well just before you leave. After getting up on the table and letting the midwife measure the belly she then proceeded to listen to the babies heart beat. She listened for longer then normal and at the end she advised that she is picking up that she has a lower heart rate then she is comfortable with. She called birthing suites to see if I should have this checked out with them with a more accurate machine to track the heart rate. After them checking this for some time the midwife called the team leader. She then checked and had the same result. The team leader then called for a second opinion who also confirmed that the heart rate was low. They then called the on call doctor. During this time there was a flurry of action by about 6 midwives and doctors. I was promptly changed into a gown, an IV was placed in my hand, compression socks were placed on my legs and then they even went as far as shaving me - prepping me for cesarean section surgery.
This is when Paul and I realised that our birthing plan may not go exactly how we wanted. It all happened so quickly. Medical intervention when needed......or is it?
7.00 pm: The doctor has just informed us that baby's base line heart rate was sitting at 80-90 and then would jump up to normal of around 130 and then go back down again. This was a consistent pattern recorded by the external monitors on my belly. He informed us that he was concerned that there is a heart arrhythmia in baby and he is not comfortable with sending us home. He advised that the only accurate way to get a reading of her heart is to place a clip on her head to record it directly from her. Easy enough right. Well no, this means that they will have to break my waters - and I will be leaving with a baby regardless. He said that I may go into natural labour but if it doesn't progress then they will need to administer a drug to help it start as they can't leave baby in there too long with possible issues of the heart.
Decision time - Paul and I decided to proceed with breaking the waters as top priority in any case is that baby is not a risk. We decided to proceed - breaking the waters - but hoping I will just go into natural labour.
8.00 pm: 1 hour after waters broken. No contractions and baby's heart rate is slow. Baby needs to come out. We are given two options. C- section or syntocinon to induce contractions. We decide syntocinon.
9.30 pm: Contractions have started but not by a lot - they were irregular and I was only 3 cms dilated and heart rate is up and down. Again they gave us the choice of c-section, but the doctor had changed by this point, we had a new doctor. He said that we could try again as he knew we didn't want a c-section due to hypnobirthing plans. We opted to try again with the syntocinon.
10.30 pm: Contractions have started. Go time. So this is the point where we got to put everything we practised for into action with hypnobirthing. 10.30 pm 09/05/17 till 3.15 am 10/05/17.
Over this 4.5 hour period every surge was intensifying as they progressed. Due to now being high risk - birthing in the bath was not an option. I had to focus on what needed to be done but under a whole new plan. I decided to do most of the surges on the birthing ball and on my knees on a mat on the floor leaning up against the bed and then also leaning onto Paul. Every surge was done with no pain relief and in a silent trance like state. I was completely in the zone and so focused on what needed to be done.
I was told then that I was only 6 cms dilated. This concerned me. I lost my focus.
But I shouldn't have. If I only knew that in half an hours time I would be holding my baby.
At this point I decided to change positions. I felt like I needed to be up on the bed - the beds move into a seating type position and it just felt more comfortable for me. I had also decided that I was at a point that I needed some pain relief. I opted to try a small dose of gas as I just needed the edge taken off on the contractions. The midwife obliged and set this up. What I didn't know though was I was now about to transition into active labour and my body took over completely. After two surges of my body really pushing baby out I was suddenly crowning and only needed one more surge to finish. I was told to focus all my energy into this last surge. The midwife increased the gas as she knew that this would be it.
The final surge was long and intense. My body know exactly what it was doing and I had no control over it - all I had to do was focus the energy of the sound coming out of my mouth and use it to push, and push hard.
3.37 am 10/05/17
After 5 hours of labour - Paul delivers our baby girl into this world. She was calm and content. I didn't even tear. It was a beautiful birth. I couldn't of asked for a more perfect experience.
In the end - Mary Grace Clifford has nothing wrong with her heart. She is a perfect 6 lb 14 oz calm baby girl.
We were both discharged from hospital the next day. She has no issues breastfeeding and I am up and active straight away. Don't even need a panadol.
To conclude - I thank you Carrie and HypnoBirthing as without the knowledge that you gave us I can see why it would be so easy for fear to set in. If I was none the wiser - I would have opted for the c-section at the very beginning instead of asking to try again. Because in the end my body took over and it knew what to do.
Thank you so much.
Loreleigh, Paul and Renee .... Oh and baby Mary. xx
A few words from partner Paul:
It was as expected. Loreleigh became the best mum in the world to a gorgeous baby girl called Mary.
Every single HypnoBirthing class prepared us for a perfect, natural birth. Carrie armed us with the knowledge and confidence to prepare for a kind and beautiful experience that comes with child birth. Mary was born in a stress-less and calm setting with the support of our midwife Gail.
At no point did my beautiful partner Loreleigh give up, believing in herself. Her focus and determination birthing Mary in a calm and exciting manner was testament to your HypnoBirthing training and support during your classes. My positive HypnoBirthing experience has given me the faith and confidence to continue my HypnoBirthing way. I thank you wholeheartedly for giving me the strength to support Loreleigh and Mary through their beautiful transformation.
Every surge was done with no pain relief and in a silent trance like state. I was completely in the zone and so focused on what needed to be done.
I thank you wholeheartedly for giving me the strength to support Loreleigh and Mary through their beautiful transformation. Paul