Emily and Adam’s hypnobirth story
Emily and Adam’s hypnobirth story tells their tale of how the techniques they used during the classes not only helped overcome any fear about pregnancy and birth, but also manage the difficulties experienced after birth with feeding.
We emphasise that the tools learnt during our unique antenatal education classes are useful for both parents for LIFE not just for birth
Thank you to Emily , Adam and Harry for sharing their story and being willing to show the positions used in labour to enable a very positive outcome .
As you will notice, Emiiy was standing for some of her labor and Adam was close by at all times, providing the emotional and physical support Emily needed
I’m so sorry that this taken me almost two months to put together.. but it somehow turned into a short story! I wanted to include every little detail, I guess so that I can keep this and remember the whole experience, but also for you to use either in it’s entirety or just what ever is relevant and you would like to, to spread the word about hypnobirthing.
Having done hypnobirthing and had such an amazing birth, I’m so passionate about telling people about it, which is why I didn’t want to rush writing about my experience for you.
On Tuesday night, against my better judgement, I sat in bed watching One Born Every Minute, messaging with my friend who had had her baby two weeks earlier. I had been having cramps that felt like mild period pain and a heaviness that evening and the night before. I spoke to my friend about my upcoming Obstetrician appointment on Thursday and that I thought the cramps weren’t anything to worry about, as we were still two weeks out from our baby’s estimated arrival date. I got up and got ready for bed, as did Adam. I jumped back into bed and as I did, I felt a small gush of liquid escape and heard a small pop sound. Adam, not seeing the shocked look on my face continued to talk about who knows what. I was fairly confident that my waters had just broken and it wasn’t just pee, but got out of bed and stood up to check. I then immediately had
a larger gush of liquid, that definitely could not be mistaken for pee. Adam looked as surprised as I had been a minute before. Although two weeks early and not what we were expecting that evening, I was excited and felt emotionally and physically ready, even though there were so many things we were yet to do to prepare our home for our baby’s arrival. I messaged my friend again, who was yet to reply to my last message, “my waters just broke!”.
Adam and I rang my mum and dad to let them know what had happened, as I was having my mum at the birth and my dad taking us to hospital when it was time. My dad answered and I jokingly told him that he should have worked faster on our home that he was building us and we were currently living in. I told him that my waters had just broken and after he had asked “you’re joking?”, five times, he eventually put my mum on, so I could tell her the news also. Adam began to pack his hospital bag, which only that night I had been nagging him to do and he advised that he still had plenty of time. I would like to think I was pretty calm, until I saw Adam pack a pile of eight or so magazines into his hospital bag, like he was packing for vacation! I began to feel an overwhelming and constant urge to pee and when I went to bathroom, more liquid which se
emed to be amniotic fluid and pee began gushing before I could even make it fully onto the toilet. I also had a small amount of mucus come out,
which I presumed was the mucus plug and was much less eventful than I had imagined. I felt excited at this point, as there was little doubt in my mind that we would be having our baby soon.
Adam and I could not recall the finer details of what order we would be expecting things to happen and as I had some slightly reduced movement that day, we decided to contact the hospital. The midwife advised that it might be a good idea to come into the hospital to check if it was in fact m
y waters that had broken and if everything was okay. Adam and I agreed and my mum and dad came to pick us up and we loaded everything but the kitchen sink into the car, with mum and Adam squished in the back seat between my bolster and fit ball.
Upon arrival at the hospital, my pad was taken and tested and the midwife began monitoring our baby’s heart rate, which appeared to be strong and no cause for concern. At this point I had began having small cramps, which I thought to be the beginning of surges. The surges could be seen on the monitor and our baby’s heart rate would increase with the surge, but then recover really well following this. The midwife advised me that the test came back showing there was no amniotic fluid and she wasn’t convinced that I didn’t just have a urinary tract infection that caused me to pee myself. I wasn’t convinced and agreed to an internal swab, which came back showing that my waters had in fact broken. The midwife advised that as my surges were inconsistent, I could stay at the hospital if I wished or go home and try to rest and labor there until my contractions became more regular and close together. Adam and I agreed that we would go home and come back when it was time. The midwife advised that if I had not had my baby within 18 hours, 4.00pm the following day, I would be required to come back to hospital to re
ceive IV antibiotics, to prevent an infection for the baby, as my waters had broken so early. I have a fear of needles and generally anything medical and so decided that I would be having my baby by 4.00pm the following day.
Adam and I returned home and began the process of trying to move things along and clary “saged” the entire house! I
had clary sage in the oil diffuser in our bedroom, on a hanky in my pillow case and rubbed onto my belly.
I played my hypnobirthing music as we got back into bed and tried to go to sleep, which I thought would be an impossible task, as surges continued.
If you would like to learn more about hypnobirthing CLICK here
I somehow managed to sleep and woke in the early hours of the morning vomiting, as my body was obviously clearing the way for labor. I tried to get some breakfast in, which was largely unsuccessful.
I began to pack my last minute needs for hospital, while listening to my hypnobirthing music on repeat and pausing for surges.
I bounced on my fit ball as I tried to mentally prepare for what was coming. Adam used soft touch massage on my back when a surge came, which helped me on every occasion.
My dad arrived to continue working on the house that day, as he did everyday, not realising I wasn’t joking when I said maybe he could have a day off, given I will be at home in labor.
I continued to labor at home until around 11.00am, when my surges had become more intense, but no more regular.
I would at times have surges thirty seconds apart from one another, but then have a break for twelve minutes. As I needed to be back at hospital before 4.00pm, we called the hospital to advise them that we would be coming in and decided that it was time.
We called my parents and again piled into the car with all of my things.
Upon arrival at the hospital, my dad said goodbye as if I was just ducking in to a coffee shop to grab some lunch.. no big deal.. and I caught my mum giving him a sideway glance, as she does, trying to get him to show more emotion.
Mum and Adam helped me into the hospital, while dad waited with the car, so that Adam could come back and unload it. I got into the labor ward where I was shown to the room that I would be having my baby in.
Although a hypnobirthing room was available during my first visit to the hospital in the early hours of the morning, unfortunately the two hypnobirthing rooms, with baths were taken by other women birthing upon my arrival second time around. My dad came into the labor ward with the last of my bags a
nd again said goodbye, this time appearing to realise what I was about to experience and he hugged me tightly, tears in his eyes, wishing me good luck and appearing not to want to leave.
Adam began to set up the room for our baby’s birth, knowing exactly what I wanted where. We pinned up my hypnobirthing posters that I had made, with my favourite affirmations and photos of my belly, our wedding day and other happy images.
I had my oil diffuser going with clarity sage once again, my salt lamp on with all other lights off and curtains drawn and my speaker playing my hypnobirthing music on repeat – which I could happily listen to for hours, which I did, six hours to be precise and then some, following my babies birth for the hours of skin on skin following this. We had created a calm, warm and nurturing little sanctuary to labor in, uninterrupted and naturally. I felt calm and at peace in this little haven we had created and moved about the room freely, bouncing and rocking on my medicine ball and leaning up against the bed, peddling my feet slowing in the same spot, which we later named ‘the baby dance’!
At every surge Adam knew the drill and would come over to do soft touch massage on my back. I felt like I needed this at every surge and it helped me instantly. Surges continued to be random in length and I never became regular like they were looking for. H
owever, the surges were becoming more intense and I had a strong pressure in my lower belly for much of my labor, which I would not at all call pain, but instead just pressure. I had no other pain or discomfort. I had no need for any medical intervention or devices to be attached to me, preventing me from moving about freely. I had only a few midwives during my six hours of active labor, who were provided with our birth preferences a
nd were extremely respectful of this, made themselves scarce and at no point did anyone talk of pain relief, let alone offer it, as I had previously requested.
At one point my mum stepped out of the room and the moment she did, I had three intense, very close together surges in a row and I instinctively knew that things were progressing. At this point, I had been at hospital labouring for a few hours and I asked
the midwife to check how dilated I was. I felt it was getting close and I felt confident in having this information and it not swaying my decision to aim for a natural and drug free birth,
regardless of where I was up to in my labor. The midwife checked me and advised that I was already at five centimetres dilated. I was happy to hear that I was already half way there, as at that point, I did not feel that I had any pain, nor had to work particularly hard.
I remember joking and laughing with Adam that I wasn’t sure what everyone was complaining about, that it was easy and we should have five more babies! My mum, Adam, our midwife and I began placing bets on what gender our baby would be and what time babe would be born. I bet that it would be a little boy and I would have him at 4.00pm, as I did not want to have any intervention or antibiotics and Adam bet that it would be a boy at 4.10pm, as I’m always running late.
As things were starting to get more intense, I decided that I would like to get into the shower for some relief. Adam stood with me, helping me to lean on the back of a chair, the water running over my back, where I continued the baby dance. I spoke with Adam and joked around, pausing for surges and then continuing like nothing had even happened. I distinctly remember feeling so relieved that I was doing this, as I planned and I could do it, I could manage this feeling and I could trust my body to birth my baby safely and naturally. I remember thinking that the war stories so many women before me had told, were not at all my story and I could do this just the way I had hoped and prepared.
I grew increasingly tired, having been standing for a lot of my labor and having eaten very little and I wanted to get out of the shower to rest. I asked for the back of the bed to be put up as far as it could go, so I could lean up against it on my knees. This position allowed me to rest my legs, while not lyin
g down. I began to feel nauseous and constantly hot and then cold and I felt that things were beginning to intensify. I had Adam put my dressing gown, off and on me, then off and on, off and on, as I continuing to fluctuate in temperature. The nausea continued and I vomited, my body appearing to be once again clearing the way. I asked to be checked again and the midwife advised that I was almost fully dilated and just had a small amount of cervix t
o go, instructing me not to push as yet. I recall thinking to myself that my body will do what it wants to do, so no good telling me when to push.
I felt the strong urge to wee and Adam helped me get to the bathroom. I sat on the toilet, however, did not urinate. I sat with my eyes shut, slumming and letting my body just do what it needed to. Adam stayed with me, propping me up and taking my dressing gown off and on as I needed. I recall some talking around me, however, I did not participate and recall being in my own bubble, almost in a meditative state, with little thought or movement. I then felt surges that were stronger and my body involuntarily began bearing down. I had no control of these surges and cou
ld feel my baby moving down with no effort or active pushing from myself. I asked to be taken back to the room and during one surge shrugged Adam’s hands away from me and the soft touch massage. I recall the midwife looking at Adam and my Mum giving them a look as though it was time and I knew that I had transitioned and my baby was on it’s way.
I wanted to lye on the bed at this stage and opted to lye on my left side, with my pregnancy pillow supporting my belly. I was able to see my posters and the soft glow from my salt lamp in this position and I was able to relax and let my body instinctively take over and do what it needed to do. Adam sat beside me so I could see him. On a few occasions the pressure at the front of my stomach got so intense that I told Adam that I wanted the baby out now and that I was done. My Obstetrician, Casie, arrived and I felt relieved, as I was certain the baby would be arriving any moment now. I began to have more intense surges and could again feel my baby moving down. I felt a strong stretching feeling in the front and for a moment worried that this might tear. I remembered the analogy of the involuntary convulsions being likened to bowel movements, which I would agree that it was very much the same feeling. I had around three very big contractions, in which I could feel my baby’s head at the opening and every time the head moved forward, Casie, our midwife Andy, Mum and Adam would begin gushing, encouraging our baby out and getting excited.
It was like having my own cheer squad and I knew that they were able to see our babies head emerging. At this point, my body was doing everything when and how it wanted and I was not actively pushing or controlling any of it. Casie asked if I wanted to feel the top of my baby’s head and I agreed, reaching down and feeling a hard and slimy little head at my opening. I remember being in awe that my baby was just sitting right there and at the fact that my body just knew what to do and it required no thinking or active input from me. I could feel that the baby was just about out and each surge it was only inches away from being over the largest part of the head. I recall feeling like it was time and I wanted to actively bear down and get my baby out. I had two surges in which I actively beared down, trying to help my baby along. I did not find this painful, however again felt the front of my opening stretching and I had fleeting thoughts that this could tear, not realising this is actually not where tears normally occur. On the second surge, I could feel the largest part of my babies head coming out and had an instant sense of relief, knowing that we had done it, as the rest of my babies body followed and it felt as though the room erupted in gushing and cheer. Casie handed our baby through my legs, to Adam, who placed our baby on my chest. Not knowing what we had had, I asked if it was a boy or girl. Casie checked and advised we had had a little boy! I felt so happy and relieved that our little boy had made it safely into our arms, at 4.10pm. Adam and I looked at each other and both reading one another’s minds, agreed on our previously chosen name of Harrison Domenic Bartlett, Domenic after my dad. Harry sat on my chest covered in vernix and a little blue, but very healthy and a good set of lungs, that he promptly began exercising. I didn’t cry like I thought I would, meeting my baby for the first time, but felt like I was in shock – the baby that I had inside of me for nine months, that I spoke to every day, was now sitting on my chest and at that time, I could not join the two. I instantly wanted to make Harry feel better and sooth his cries and I stroked his little face and head, trying to make him feel safe in this new world that he had abruptly arrived into. Harry had his first breast feed not long after arriving onto my chest and he knew exactly what to do, that made one of us! We had delayed cord clamping and Adam cut the cord after some time, when it had turned completely white. I birthed my placenta naturally and we asked to keep this, as I had planned on planting it under a magnolia tree for Harry, it could feed Harry’s tree like it had previously fed him. Andy advised that they had never had this request before and agreed. I tried to avoid the syntocinon injection, however, after forty five minutes, I was still bleeding heavily and Casie asked if I was okay to have this, which I agreed. I had close to two hours of skin on skin with Harry, before Adam held Harry for skin on skin. We sat for the longest time in our room, in our little love bubble with our little Harry boy, just cuddling in our little haven.
The hours and days following Harry’s birth, I continued to replay his entrance into the world over and over in my head. It wasn’t until later that evening that it probably really clicked that I had just brought a little person into the world and I remember holding Harry and saying over and over, ‘God he’s cute’.
It was such an amazing experience and I have such admiration for what my body could do and how well it could do it, if I trusted it and allowed it to do what it knew how to do. I have always had a bit of a love hate relationship with my body, always struggling with weight and body image. However, I feel like my pregnancy and the birth of my baby, brought me not only closer to my husband and family, but to myself and my body. I developed a new respect for my body and felt that I had made my peace with it, after almost 35 years of often hating it. Following my labor, I felt like I had proof, that my body could do anything and even though I was tired and somewhat weak following my six hour labor, I felt like the strongest women in the world. Even now, two months after Harry’s birth day, as I’m writing this, every time I stoke Harry’s head, I remember the first time I touched him, before he had even entered the world and I am filled with such happy memories.
When people ask about Harry’s birth and then they say that I was just lucky, I’m quick to tell them that yes I was lucky that Harry recovered well from surges and didn’t have any complication, but it was also because of a lot of work and preparation leading up to Harry’s birth day. It was also because of a very specific mindset, that I was able to birth my baby without fear and consequently, without pain.
Before ever knowing about hypnobirthing, something primal resonated with me and I believed that birth was meant to be natural and shouldn’t involve a heap of medical intervention and women screaming and waling in pain. Having learnt about hypnobirthing and having experienced it, I believe that this is how birth was meant to be and hypnobirthing is not anything extreme or any sort of crazy hippy stuff.
Hypnobirthing to me is simply put, giving women some tools and confidence to believe in her body’s ability to do what it already knows how to do and to birth their babies safely how nature intended. I was the expert in my own labor, without even knowing it before hand. I can not fathom the idea of birthing without the use of the tools I learnt in hypnobirthing and I’m very grateful to have had such a beautiful and peaceful experience in bringing my baby into this world.
If you would like to learn more about hypnobirthing CLICK here