Our Birth Story
I had a very uneducated and naïve approach to my birth up until I was thirty-six weeks pregnant. Bodhi & I had planned very early on in our pregnancy that we ultimately wanted a water birth at the Birth Centre. After those big decisions were made I found myself just rolling through the motions and having a ‘whatever happens, happens’ attitude towards my birth. I remember saying to people “well I’m going to have go through it so we’ll just wait for it to happen.” It wasn’t until we went to our first recommended birth class at the birth center that the anxiety kicked in and to be honest, I’m glad it did. I finally acknowledged that my birth was fast approaching and that maybe I needed to be a little bit more prepared. I began living in my head and listening to that voice that was better described as the ‘worrier’ voice. In one day I had gone from someone who was strangely calm, to a woman who was visualizing every possible situation of something going wrong. I continued to stay in an unhealthy state where I began doubting my capabilities and myself until a woman mentioned hypnobirthing at the next birth class we attended a week later.
On the way home I jumped onto google and found Hypnobirthing and began reading about it. Our instructor’s comforting words put me at ease immediately. Bodhi & I were both nineteen and I knew I’d found someone who was truly going to help us when she spoke so positively about us being young parents. As you could imagine not everyone had the same positive response to our news so I knew I had found someone very special.
Bodhi & I signed up for the hypnobirthing course the very next day. To be honest, I think he was relieved that I had found someone and something that might actually get me out of my head and stop me from worrying so much. It only took completing half a day of the course for my worries to fade away. I remember sitting across from Bodhi in the lunch break feeling like I was 10kg lighter just because I had let go of the worries and fears I had. Bodhi was just as excited as I was, it seemed like our natural and calm birth was an achievable goal after all.
Once we had completed the course I stayed in close contact with my instructor. I started having long baths with clary sage and lavender immersed in the water and I practiced my deep breathing that I had learnt regularly. I began getting acupuncture, which was another thing we were advised as our baby was in the posterior position. Bodhi and I listened to the CD’s each night and I even made a poster filled with photos of Bodhi and I that we’d taken throughout the pregnancy and added all words of affirmations that resonated with me. I knew I had come along way in such a short time when I began telling my baby that I was “looking forward to my birthing day and I couldn’t wait to meet her.”
Things were going great, the bags were packed, I was happy, Bodhi was happy and we both felt empowered, confident and excited for the next step of this incredible journey. However when I hit forty weeks, my midwife booked me in for an induction to happen at forty-one weeks. I contacted our instructor explaining how disappointed I was and how fearful I was that I wouldn’t feel as empowered and confident. I was concerned because at the birth centre our midwife was aware we were hypnobirthing, we knew the place, we knew what we could and couldn’t bring and of course we would be able to birth in the water there. I was also worried about Bodhi’s role and didn’t want the midwives in the hospital to overrule him or not let him play as much of an active rule as he was capable of doing. Our age was also a concern, I didn’t want the midwives thinking that because we were a young couple we could be overruled and told what to do. She was quick to reassure me that we were going to be able to hypnobirth anywhere and that a natural and calm birth was still achievable.
Bodhi decided that since we both felt our little girl wasn’t arriving any time soon, he would work the Saturday and Sunday to try allow more time off when she did arrive. On the Friday, I voiced out loud how worried I was that Bodhi was wearing himself out and he’d make himself sick. It’s safe to say I think the universe and my little girl heard and sensed my concerns because that’s where it all began.
On the 21st February 2015, at 2:30am, I woke up to my waters breaking. I quickly jumped in the shower. I knew that because my waters had broken I’d have to call my midwife and head into the hospital part to be checked for infection. I was a little bummed out because I was convinced that I’d be sent home and have to labour all day and night slowly that when Bodhi came in to check on me I told him that I’d take myself to hospital and that he should go back to sleep so that he was well rested for work. I’m glad he didn’t because 10 minutes after I got out of the shower I was on all fours, leaning on the bed and breathing through my surges. Bodhi grabbed all the bags and helped me to the car.
The car ride was where I began getting into my primal self. I was extremely uncomfortable but focusing on that wasn’t going to bring my baby to me. I knew I had to begin visualizing, saying affirmations to myself and concentrate on my breathing.
When we arrived at the hospital I no longer wanted to have my eyes open. We were put in a little observation room and I was hooked up to the monitor and checked internally. It was 4am and I was dilated 4cm. I was so lucky that I grabbed my maternity pillow on our way out because I found comfort in having something from home with me. I alternated between lying on my side on the bed, to leaning over the bed and slow dancing with Bodhi. Unfortunately with each surge I had I was vomiting. The nurse put me on a drip because the vomiting was making me dehydrated but Bodhi quickly asked the nurse “is this harming her or my baby and will this prevent us from birthing down in the birth centre?” when Bodhi reflects on the birth he said hypnobirthing made him feel empowered enough to ask questions. It was good for Bodhi to ask because he knew what was going on and what was happening to me because he asked instead of being fearful and uninformed. At this point I was no longer talking and just going deeper and deeper into relaxation as I kept reminding myself that each surge was bringing my baby closer to me and I was safe. Bodhi was doing light touch massages and telling me in my ear to allow my body to do what it needs to and to trust my body.
As things progressed, the nurse became concerned about our little girl’s heartbeat. It was consistent, but not as strong as she’d hoped. One doctor said that because I was young and healthy she wasn’t concerned and she’d be happy to send me down to the birth centre however half an hour later a different doctor made the final decision that I wasn’t to be sent to the birth centre and we’d have to birth up in the hospital. Because I was so relaxed and in my primal self I didn’t even respond to the news. I had so much trust and faith in my body and in Bodhi that I just followed him as he directed me into a proper hospital suite by my drip.
Once in the room, my body knew that I was safe so I was able to sleep in between my surges. I was on my knees on the floor resting over a fit ball. Bodhi had both knees pushed into my lower back and was doing light touch massage all over my back and touching different acupressure points. The midwife was keeping me warm with heated towels and when I woke for a surge I remember breathing through it and saying to myself “that’s one less surge I have to go through to bring my baby to me now. I am one surge closer to my baby.” Both our mothers arrived at 7am. Their voices comforted me but I was too focused to come out of my primal self to join in on the conversations. At 7:30am the midwife told Bodhi to take me to the toilet. I remember leaning my forehead into his and expressing how exhausted I was. Tears began to run down my face. It all had seemed like a blur mentally, but my body was telling me this marathon it was in was taking its toll. Bodhi was reassuring me and telling me how great I was doing and that I could do this. Little did I know that this was me transitioning.
We came out of the toilet and I was instructed to hop on the bed so that the nurse could do an internal. She announced I was fully dilated and instructed the mum’s to leave the room. At this point I came out of my primal self. I couldn’t believe how quickly this had all happened. I felt like I had just trusted my body the entire time and let it do what it told me to do that now when being confronted with words like “how do you want to do this?” and “we need to get ready to push” were confusing me and I was very unsure. What got me to re-focus was remembering the videos of women birthing in hospitals. I asked for the fit ball to be put on the bed, I leant over it again just like I had before. My adrenaline kicked in when I felt Bodhi’s excitement. I saw out the corner of my eye him doing a little spin because he couldn’t believe it was time. He got right up in my ear and said “come on babe, this is the home stretch you can do this.” I became determined and ready. I asked the midwife to turn the lights off, I took my top off and began pushing. I always wondered if I’d feel the urge to push after watching some women in the videos pushing aggressively and some women not pushing at all. When it came to it however I was so excited and determined to meet my baby I wanted to push.
Indi Joy De Freitas was born at 8am. Weighing in at 8.8 pounds and was 53cm long after only 15mintues of pushing.
The best part was that Indi decided to come out when the midwife turned her back to change her gloves as they weren’t the right size so Bodhi was able to be the first one to touch her. He laid her on her back and pushed her in between my legs and told me to look down because she was here. I still remember opening my eyes and looking down at her and seeing my beautiful baby girl for the first time. I lifted her straight up to my chest and told her how happy I was that she was here and how beautiful she was. I kept saying to Bodhi “we did it! We did it!” and I thanked my daughter for coming into this world and letting me experience a beautiful birth. With Bodhi’s arms wrapped around me and us both looking at our little girl, I was totally and completely in love.
Bodhi went and go our Mums and I remember saying to my Mum with tears in her eyes “look Mum I did it!” The room was totally filled with love, just how I wanted it.
Our only thing we feel was anything near a struggle was the third stage. We told her we wanted to do delayed cord clamping and our midwife agreed. However I lost a lot of blood so she was beginning to become concerned and I was close to losing that much that I wouldn’t be able to go home that day like we wanted. Bodhi asked if I’d still be safe if we waited a couple more minutes and she agreed. We cut the cord after 6 minutes.
I felt like an absolute super hero. Everytime I talk about my birth I just beam with pride. Bodhi, Indi and I worked together as a family and we welcomed our little girl into the world in a safe, drug free and loving environment. We didn’t get the water birth but we got a happy, healthy beautiful baby and I’d birth anywhere if it meant I got her. We left the hospital at 1pm. We found it difficult to rest with all these midwives coming in to check out this “young couple that had hypnobirthed and labored in less than six hours.” When we got home we were all able to rest properly and we were home as a family.
Indi still is a happy and healthy baby. Everyone couldn’t get over the fact that she was so calm and content. Bodhi and I put that down to us having a calm and natural birth. She now is sleeping through the night and began doing that at six weeks old. We are both happy and working as a team to breastfeed.
Bodhi and I still use things we learnt at Hypnobirthing. I especially continue to use breathing techniques to fall asleep and when Indi is unsettled I concentrate on breathing calmly and keeping her close so she can feel me relax and try do the same. Hypnobirthing taught Bodhi and I to communicate better also and we continue to do so. We have also opened up people’s eyes to hypnobirthing when we rave to people about it. We are total advocates and couldn’t be more grateful for what Pip did for us. It wasn’t only the best thing we did during the pregnancy but it was the best thing we’ve done for each other as a couple. I have a deep appreciation and respect for Bodhi because he kept me so safe and trusted me and my body to deliver our baby girl safely. We are experiencing a whole new level of respect and love for each other and enjoying being parent.
We both know that without hypnobirthing I would’ve been lying on back trying to push a baby out unsuccessfully and be too busy being all in my head and not in my primal self that Indi wouldn’t have felt safe enough to come into this world.
From the bottom of our hearts we are filled with gratitude.