Michelle's terrifically calm HypnoBirth of her first baby
A few hours before the 2018 World Cup finals, we celebrated the birth of our beautiful baby Xanthea.
It started a few weeks earlier, when we went for our regular check up, the doctor said my placenta had started to calcify, my cervix was soft, and I was 1cm dilated, signs of early labour. I was at 37 weeks then, and he told us we might not get to 38 weeks (I actually only went into labour at 39 weeks + 4). So we decided to start our maternity and paternity leave early to prepare (so many things not done!). Excited and anxious, we made the most out of that week going places (so that I would walk more) and eating whatever I could.
But as the days went by the waiting game turned us from excited to impatient. I was on constant alert mode, questioning every twitch and every surge "Is this it??" "Is she coming soon??" It lasted the next two weeks until finally on Friday the 13th (oh, the horror!) I got my show, but the surges were still far apart. We went about our day as usual and the surges got more intense the next night. I kept asking my hubby if we should go to the hospital, while furiously googling signs of labour (even though I've already read it a million times). Hubby kept saying "No just wait. Go and rest first" (my rock he is!). Amazingly I managed to squeeze in some sleep that night, before waking up at 6am feeling more tsunami-like surges. We still procrastinated and I kept saying "I want to mandi first. I want a long hot hot shower!" The hot shower really helped, and I felt like I could wait it out much longer after that.
Finally at 11am on Sunday we caved and decided to go to the hospital. The surges were actually still manageable at that point, but I was worried that she might come out any time (first-time-mum-worry). Called my parents and off we went. When we got to the hospital the nurses got us settled while we passed them another copy of our birth plan and they gave me a quick check. I was only 3cm dilated! Disappointed, we contemplated whether to go home or wait it out there. Ended up staying because we just didn't want the hassle to go back and forth (so malas).
We got comfortable in our room and Hubby made me walk and walk around the hospital to get things going. Thankfully he had the heart to hold me the whole time especially when the surges came. I had to stop every time a surge came and hold on to the wall just in case! At 3pm that afternoon the midwife came in for another check and I had only dilated another 1cm. At this point the doctor came to see me and suggested to rupture my membrane. We thought about it but decided not to, we wanted to stick to a completely natural birth. So I walked some more that afternoon, until I got tired and wanted a nap. At around 6pm the surges woke me up, and from then on I went into my bat cave and only held onto my hubby's finger (I swear I almost broke his finger). I shut off my surroundings and focused only on the next coming wave. I didn't realize how long it had been, next thing I knew, I was telling my hubby, "Get the doctor, she's coming out."
I could hear the nurses bustling around me getting things in place, but I kept my eyes closed to keep my focus. I could hear everything that was going on but it didn't affect me and I didn't bother to respond. When the surges were at its peak, I went into every wave as it came and could only hear my hubby telling me to breathe. I don't remember feeling 'the ring of fire' (as everyone told me) when I heard the doctor telling my hubby "There, you can see the hair". At that point I felt like pooping a bowling ball! 3 surges later our little trooper came out and was placed wriggling on my chest. She calmed when I hugged her, and we had our first mummy-daughter time while Hubby got the honour of cutting the umbilical cord.
We're beyond grateful that everything went smoothly and according to how we wanted it to be - calm, with no induction, no augmentation, no IV line, no drugs or any form of pain relief, not bound to the bed and for her to be placed immediately on my chest. It was an incredible experience, with no words powerful enough to do it justice.
The only thing I regret is not taking a picture of the exact moment she was placed into my arms. I would have loved that picture the most.
P/S: To all mummies and daddies (I don't say "to-be" because the moment you get that positive sign, you're mummies and daddies!) who are contemplating a hypnobirthing class, please go for one. I cannot tell you how much it will help you, but I can tell you how big a role your mindset plays when you're in labour and childbirth. Your mind is already so powerful, hypnobirthing just teaches you how to use it.