"I felt very lucky as I had mentally prepared"

"On the 4th March at 1am I woke up to find that my waters had broken. “Here we go!” I thought, and awaited the contractions. I wasn’t sure what I was feeling - the uncomfortable feelings during the early hours of the morning were random in frequency and location and hard to keep track of, and I couldn’t get my brain to switch off to sleep. I expected it to be a long day ahead and to meet my baby eventually the following day.

By morning time I definitely knew what I was feeling were contractions, but again I had no idea of how far along I was. I did my best to up breathe through the waves and sat down to do a puzzle and have a smoothie, after my partner connected the TENS machine to my back. By 10am I was phoning my midwife for the third time, and she made the call to come and see me only to find that I was already 6cm dilated.

We had planned to birth in the hospital, mostly due to property access issues and peace of mind for our first labour experience so we sped off in the car. This was the most stressful part of my experience - I felt like I was going to poo my pants then and there! The hospital ticket machine took it’s sweet time to cooperate, and then when we finally got in the underground car park was completely full. I knew I had to get to the delivery suite ASAP so made my way alone before being helped by a doctor on their way back in, while my partner found a car park several streets away. It was scary to arrive in the birthing room by myself during the most intense part of my labour, and the gas machine was a real help to distract myself while I waited for my midwife and partner to get there. Not too long later everyone had arrived and the effects of the TENS machine had become less effective. I was 10cm dilated already so myself and my partner got into the bath.

The next part of my birth experience was more of a blur. The contractions were suddenly less noticeable and my brain had blocked out the outside world so that my body could focus on the task at hand. My body knew to use the down breathing and my partner even took it upon himself to do this alongside me only to make himself hyperventilate!… Luckily he managed to hold himself together to be able to feed me muesli bites and water throughout, as well as supporting my body when needed. The baby’s heartbeat was measured frequently throughout and remained normal the entire time. It was lovely to know that he came into the world so calmly.

13 hours after my waters broke my baby was in my arms in what felt like a very surreal moment. I was so proud that we had made it to that moment, and that my body had known exactly what to do and hadn’t required any medical interventions during the process. I felt very lucky as I had mentally prepared myself to be open to whatever happened during labour. The support from the midwives and my partner, as well as the mental preparation from hypnobirthing, enabled the experience to go as smoothly as possibly, and I will always be grateful for this".

Joy - 2020