Thank you to Kristall for sharing her birth story with us!
I don’t believe in love at first sight. My husband won’t mind me saying this as he feels the same about me hahaha – we were best of friends for years before we grew in love with each other.Ok I lie, I didn’t used to believe in love at first sight until I had my first baby Celeste. I still remember it vividly – I had had almost 4 days of contractions on and off, I had not been eating drinking or sleeping during that time either, here I was on a bed in the hospital with a drip in my hand that was not put in right so it just made my hand blow up like a blown up glove. I was so exhausted and had complications and the doctor was telling me to push – and I had no energy. It was excruciating, exhausting and .. What’s another word that starts with E? But when I saw my daughters face for the first time, I just instantly fell in love – so completely! It was crazy to me that this little screaming pink thing which I had never seen or met before could just immediately become my whole world and that I felt I would do and give anything for her. So powerful was this love I felt for her. I felt the same when I had my little boy, Hyrum – even though with his birth I again did not get what I wanted from the birthing experience. But I still fell in love with him the same – instantly and completely.
Who wouldn’t fall in love with this cutie?!Over the years you forget about the pain and the trauma of childbirth. You just remember how much you loved them from the first time you ever saw their beautiful faces up until now- and you want to feel that again. I had heard magical tales of my sisters births in America – they plan the date they will induce her, when the contractions get painful she asks for (and GETS) an epidural – then she watches TV while the monitor says she is having contractions, she pushes when told and she gets her baby! Who wouldn’t want that after what I went through!? After I had Celeste I decided I wanted to give birth like my sister Jas! They don’t offer epidurals at my local hospital, so we went Private. Hired an obstetrician and paid a lot of money with the only intention of it being to get induced and have an epidural. I did not realise how they induce here in Australia is a lot different to how they induce in America. Here, it consisted in me having about 10-20 internals!! HAHAHAHHAHAA poor me! I HATE internals LOL I had been sucked in! It was invasive and painful. NEVER AGAIN. When I was put onto an IV to induce the contractions 2 days later, the contractions were sooo powerful – there was no nice little lead up it was just full on. So I asked for an epidural, and the midwife said it was too early and may stop the contractions if I got it too early – the next minute she said it was too late and I should be happy I saved $500 for not calling the anaesthetist out – are you kidding me?! I don’t care about $500, I had spent about $5000 out of pocket JUST to get that epidural! I felt cheated again and traumatised – and now, poor too! Oh, I can laugh about it now.. but I cried a lot back then LOL.This is me after Hyrum was born haha! Can you tell I felt cheated??
Last year, my sister in law, Solange, gave birth to beautiful Ivy. She lives at my place, so she went to my local hospital (that does not offer epidurals and the one I had Celeste at) for check-ups but found she could deliver at another hospital and get an epidural. And she did. WINNER! I thought this was the solution to my problem – I could get what I wanted and not be poor. Confidently I went to my local hospitals ante natal clinic, admin said it was fine – I was happy. Then at my 20 week appointment I was told by the midwife who saw me that ‘they don’t do that anymore’ and ‘I am sorry if someone got your hopes up, but that is not happening’. I tried to tell her about my sister in law who had done it not 6 months earlier, and what admin had said, I tried to tell her what I had done with Hyrum to get an epidural – but she would not have it and just told me to forget it and pretty much just shattered my dreams. I found out also, that she was the midwife who denied me my epidural at the Private Hospital with Hyrum and is a strong natural childbirth advocate so she most likely had her own motives for rejecting my request. HAHAHAHHA I could not escape her! I was shattered. I felt so helpless and that there was nothing I could do I was just NEVER going to have it my way or get the birth I wanted. It seemed when I trusted the hospital – they traumatised me and did whatever they wanted to me. When I PAID and tried to choose what I wanted, other medical professionals would put their will over mine. It seemed helpless. Needless to say, I cried all the way to my mums house where my kids were. Its not all sad – now I can see that this encounter was an absolute blessing in disguise.
At mums, I cried to Jas about what had happened and she said her friends in Utah swear by something called Hypnobirthing and suggested I look into it. So I did. I read and read about all these HIPPIES who hypnotise themselves during childbirth – I watched videos of women giving birth and looking and being so calm. This was so different from what was on TV – and very different from what I am like during childbirth too (think ‘female Tarzan’ hahaha). Then I discovered Hypnobabies which is like Hypnobirthing – self-hypnosis, but instead of being still and stagnant, it teaches you to hypnotise yourself during contractions (pressure waves) and then walk around and move in between them and be completely comfortable and have an active birth. They also sold a home study course which was perfect for me. So I ordered it online (from the States) and started my Hypnobabies journey. Because I was going back to my local hospital where I had been traumatised with Celeste’s birth, I also looked into hiring a doula to be MY advocate and voice at a time when I am vulnerable. I found the perfect one for me online! Christa is a doula who also did Hypnobabies with her third child, like me, she is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, and she lives 20-30 minutes from me whereas other doulas live hours from me. Perfect in every way!
I loved it from the beginning. It was all about doing what is best for baby and yourself – naturally and without all the interventions that I had had before that had led to complications. Believing in yourself and that our bodies are designed to give birth. I started the course when I was 26 weeks – and did each one week class over a 2 week period. Listening to the tracks was so relaxing and helped me to feel positive about myself, my body and the pregnancy. As a result, I slept soundly most every night, I did not blow up like I usually do when pregnant and felt comfortable all the way through – even though I went to 41 weeks. I was still taking my daughter to school and doing things as per normal. Usually I become a beached whale.
So my ‘due date’ came and went. I wasn’t worried about it until I went to the antenatal clinic on Friday for a check-up and was told that my birth preferences were impossible (ok really just the one about not having internals – I requested NONE hahahhaha but honestly, I had enough last time to last me 10 pregnancies! And what is the point of them??), and was pressured into taking a referral for an ultrasound and even worse, we set a date for my induction – as the doctor said I would be killing my baby keeping her there and because I was induced the last two times maybe my body could not go into labour on its own. These were all things I did NOT WANT, but my husband was with me and said if we didn’t say yes the Doctor was a stubborn old man and we would be there forever fighting. He said just because we took it did not mean we had to do it, and that we wouldn’t do it. But the thought of not getting what I wanted and being so pressured into doing what the doctor wanted shook me up, and made me feel vulnerable again and that this would end up being like my last births. She was due to be induced on Wednesday and this was a Friday. Sooo.. yep, I cried all the way home again.. what a surprise!!! Hahaha but this time I had Christa to call to calm my fears and help me feel that it would all be ok. I went home and listened to a fear clearing session Hypnobabies track and tried to get positive again. Solange came over and asked me how it went and I told her how it was the worst thing for me – it was hard for me not to be upset. That night Martin and I were playing a board game and she brought over some oil that she had sniffed and rubbed on her stomach when she was overdue with Ivy. I rubbed it on my tummy and smelled it a bit before we went to bed.
In the morning it didn’t feel like anything was happening and the oil hadn’t done anything however, at 11am I started getting waves (contractions) about 10-15 mins apart – nothing too major. We went shopping and when they would come I would just sit down and relax, or stop where I was. We came home and had lunch and I had a nap. The pressure waves continued to come, but they were not intense so I just did things normally. We had a session of Stake Conference (a church meeting) that night and I had organised to go – so I went. I had pressure waves throughout the whole meeting about 8-10 minutes apart – I was next to my husband who would time them. When they came I would just turn my light switch off and relax. Then when they finished I would drink some water and go back to listening. I was in the 4th row from the front and President Simpson can only see 4 rows in – I apologised to him afterwards if he saw me sleeping during his talk but I was actually just having contractions hahahahaha! I should have sat 5 rows back. After that, I went home and ate some warm weet-bix for dinner while Martin went to pick up our kids. I watched some of Get Smart and had a laugh and then decided I should probably go to sleep in case something happened and I needed my energy. During pregnancy I read another Hypnobabies story about a mother who slept through her contractions and had her baby at 6:12am the next morning while in the bathroom. That sounded good to me, so I would ‘tell’ my baby/body to have pressure waves through the night so I could sleep through them and then baby could come in the morning when I had energy hahahahha.. At about 9:40pm I messaged Christa that I was having pressure waves about 8 minutes apart but that I would probably be there awhile so don’t worry but just be on alert. I listened to ‘Easy First Stage’ and ‘Birthing Day Affirmations’ and rested. This was fine until about 2-2:30am when it started to be uncomfortable for me just lying in bed. Martin gave me a Priesthood Blessing that this would be fast, easy and comfortable for me. Then he ran a bath for me and we timed them and talked and laughed – then I showered and went back to the bedroom to relax. At around 3:30 they started getting pretty intense, so Martin called Christa to make her way over since she lives about half an hour away from us. She was here around 4:15am I think and this was where my pressure waves were getting more powerful. The track kept saying ‘you welcome these powerful pressure waves’ and Martin kept saying to envision my baby being here soon, but I was not enjoying the powerful pressure waves and I wasn’t even sure I wanted to have a baby anymore hahahhaa.. I started to doubt myself. I started thinking about Celeste’s birth and how I felt I was at this stage for 3 days and nothing happened. I started thinking about that doctor who suggested that my body can’t go into labour on its own and I would need intervention. I started wondering how long this was going to last and if I could actually do this. Martin and Christa provided much assurance. Christa would put counter pressure on my back during waves and this eased the intensity. My mum came after 5 with our babysitters and I was asking when we should head over to the hospital. Christa said whenever I felt we should – but secretly, I wanted to just have my baby at home. I feared that going to the hospital I would most likely have to fight, and I was not looking forward to it. I wanted my fast easy birth in the bathroom! I asked if we could just NOT go, but Christa was like ‘Ummm if we don’t go does that mean you are going to have a baby here?’ I knew we had to go and replied reluctantly ‘Alright then.’ Cue: Sadness! LOL
This is me having a pressure wave in bed and Martin reading scripts and cue words to me. He was so good and I loved that Hypnobabies helps Daddys be a part of it and learn how to help mummys relax – we really did this together!
At 5:45 we started heading to the hospital – I had 3 pressure waves just on the way to the car. At the third at the car I started peeing – luckily I had brought a towel for the seat haha. I had another 3 or 4 on the way to the hospital – peeing all the while. Martin was in the backseat with me giving his cue words and talking me through. I started to get pretty vocal – it must’ve sounded bad because Mum was driving and started to speed.. poor mum! We got to the hospital and I was still having pressure waves all the way down the corridor – whose smart idea it was to put the birthing unit so far away I do not know! But I had about 3 or 4 in the corridor and I peed all the while again. Poor janitor. I remember having a pw in the foyer and a lady walked past smiling and said ‘You’ll get there.’ I remember thinking ‘Can you please leave me alone?’ hahaha – mainly because I looked like the biggest fresh – my hair was up in a messy bun, jandals, I had a lava lava on that was tied at the front and open, I wasn’t wearing a bra either hahahaa.. so fun! We got to the door of the delivery suite and Martin rang the buzzer – just then I had another pressure wave and my body told me it wanted to push – so I started to push. Unfortunately, once again, I pushed in the wrong area again and pushed something else out instead. They let us in and for some reason again decided it would be a great idea to make me walk to the other end of the corridor to another delivery room. So we walked, and pw’ed and pushed some more. When I got to the door of the delivery room, there were 2 midwives with gloves on by the bed and they told me to get on so they could check me (yep, an internal..ugh.), but I had something in my pants and there was no way I was getting on the bed – I just put up my hand and said ‘I’m going to the shower.’ This was at about 6 something. Martin cleaned me and kept the shower water running on me since that felt good – and for some reason I felt like it would be better without clothes on so I just took everything off HAHAHAHAH no shame! Poor Christa! Martin and my mum have seen it all before as have the midwives I assume. My body just took over and I did whatever felt right – it felt right to squat and the urges to push kept coming, so whenever they did I would push. I think it was only one or two pushes after I got in the shower that they saw her head coming out. One of the midwives put her hand down there to catch baby but it felt so uncomfortable I asked her to go away (again, if I had been in a ‘thinking before I acted’ state I don’t think I would have been as rude??). So instead they told Martin to put his hand down there. He asked for a glove – HAHAHHAHA my husband is so slack to me! I heard one of the midwives say ‘Ummm that’s your WIFE.’ HAHAHHAAHHA.. I remember closing my eyes and smiling and saying softly ‘Come on, baby.’ It felt like me and her were in this together and we were going to be united soon after all this work and preparation together. I gave her another big push according to what my body felt like doing and she was out – Martin caught our baby and put her on my chest. It was over! It was 6:20am. I looked at this crying baby that I held close to my chest and I just fell in love – all over again. Grace was absolutely perfect and oh so cute and just darling!
One of my ‘I can’t believe we just did it!’ moments – on the shower floor hahaha..
It felt soooo surreal! I was just like ‘I just had a baby! I am the mother of three!’ I could not believe it was over and that it HAD been easy and fast and NOT painful at all – but very intense and powerful. My body had done it!! I was like ‘Take THAT, silly doctor!’ Without intervention, without any dumb internals (HOORAY!), without any ‘pain relief’. We waited for her cord to stop pulsating before we cut it and then we waited for third stage. Third stage was the same as second stage in intensity and Martin used Hypnobabies cues throughout it – but about 20 minutes later, my placenta naturally detached itself as well. I felt so energised afterwards and extremely hungry! Grace was 4.1kgs and I tore a little but it was so minimal that I didn’t need stitches – for the first time ever. Yay, body! My recovery has been the best of all my births as well. Isn’t the body just amazing? Hooray for bodys! Hooray for Hypnobabies!
The midwife said afterwards we should have just had her at home, since we just came to push hahaha – maybe for my next one! Now that I know that I CAN do this and I also know HOW to do this comfortably and without pain, I am already looking forward to falling in love at first sight again for the fourth time.
Yep, I’m in love!