Admittedly, we left it pretty late in signing up for our Hypnobirthing classes. Considering the last class was scheduled for the day after our due date, we knew we might not see the course all the way through to the end and, as it happened, our baby came early.
We made it to the penultimate class, which worked out nicely as that was all about birthing positions, which was extremely good timing when we went into labour the very next day.
At this point you might think that, considering we didn’t complete the course, we might be stressing out a little as we went into labour, but that couldn’t be further from the truth.
Having intensely practiced our affirmations, rainbow relaxations, breathing exercises and so on, we knew what to expect and we took it all in our stride and stayed calm throughout, which was a happy coincidence as we were in a baby calming class when we started having surges, only we didn’t realise that was what they were at the time!
Upon arriving home after the baby class, during which Dee had been complaining of some annoying back pain, we had a cup of tea and chat before we went to bed. Dee continued to get what she was describing as spasms in her back that she said were lasting for a few seconds at a time - turns out upon timing them they were lasting around 60-70 seconds each!
Still, Dee was convinced that these weren't surges as it wasn’t what she expected, therefore, it was just back pain, or maybe, just maybe, she was experiencing Braxton Hicks.
So we ran a bath, Dee relaxed and chilled out in the tub, while I caught up on the homework from Hypnobirthing class from the night before.
After the bath, the ‘spasms’ continued and felt a little more intense and it took some effort for me to convince Dee that she was having surges and we were actually in labour.
So off we went to the hospital, arriving around 3:30am and, convinced we would be sent home, we found out we were actually already six centimeters dilated (at this point Dee accepted we were in labour!).
The midwife we were assigned was absolutely wonderful, listening to our requests and supporting how we wanted our birth to be - she was reassuring and supportive, she was calm and relaxed (like us) and she was in good humour laughing with us as we made jokes throughout.
A couple of hours later, the surges started to get closer together and became a little more intense, but Dee, using her learnings from the Hypnobirthing classes, was cool as a cucumber.
She was walking around the delivery room, bouncing on the birthing ball, eating cheese and crackers and generally relaxing in between each surge.
She found a comfortable position leaning over the end of the bed for whenever the surges came and carried on as normal in between.
As we approached the end of labour Dee found a comfortable position and naturally found the energy to get through the final stages, resting on her knees and leaning forward over the front of the bed. As time went on, things got a little more intense, but throughout it all, Dee remained calm, breathing in and out rhythmically, whilst going through the affirmations in her head as I helped her to count through her breathing, feeding her food and water between surges.
As our baby’s head began to crown, we could see that she was still in her sac.
This which was absolutely wonderful for us to know as we felt that by staying calm ourselves, we were able to keep our baby calm too, enabling her to travel in her sac remaining stress-free (as much as birthing can be!).
Upon repeated surges, however, it was evident to see that Dee was not going to be able to deliver our baby and the sac at the same time, so at around 7:25am we decided to manually break the waters and less than 5 minutes later, with no drugs whatsoever, not even a single panadol, our baby, Quinn, was born.
Instantly responsive and alert, we were able to get Quinn onto her mothers chest whilst keeping the umbilical cord attached and, after a short while.
I was privileged to be able to cut the cord myself as we helped our little girl adapt to her new surroundings.
Throughout her labour, Dee was incredible. Taking nothing for pain, she embraced the entire process and we repeatedly talked about it being a natural event and she would be fine and how she already knew how to deliver our baby. We were relaxed about our baby as we believed she knew, instinctively, how to be born and that she was completely ready. Dee was calm and poised and even had time for jokes throughout.
Going through the Hypnobirthing classes, even though we missed the final class, really helped us to understand exactly what was going to happen and how we were going to approach it all.
There was no fear, plenty of excitement but most of all, calmness and an understanding of what was going to happen.