• Sarah Purvey

The Ultimate Hypnobirthing Story – with All the Twists and Turns

I am honoured to share this amazing Hypnobirthing Australia story, so kindly shared by Josephine of Hobart, Tasmania with you all. An incredible story of strength, endurance and being prepared to meet whatever turn her birthing took. Josephine and George prepared in every way they could and faced the day they met their beautiful baby, as a couple and used all the Hypnobirthing tools, to make empowered decisions and to help Josephine and her little girl remain calm and focussed. Sit down with a cuppa and read this lovely Hobart Hypnobirthing Australia story

At my 39 week appointment my blood pressure had increased significantly (145/90) so my doctor asked me to have second daily monitoring and booked me in for a induction in a few days time as he was worried about the risk of pre-eclamsia. I wasn’t happy at the thought of having an induction and went home to consider my options and try everything to go into labour naturally and reduce my BP. Two days later my BP had reduced a little so the midwife called my doctor to pass on my request to put the induction on hold. My doctor called me and apologised for booking in the induction when I wasn’t comfortable with it and said we can keep monitoring the BP instead. During this time I used various hyponobirthing techniques to try to relax and bring on labour including; acupuncture, clary sage massage and inhalation, walking and lots of meditation (baby, come out! track).

At my appointment on Monday (40+3) my doctor booked the induction for 41 weeks and suggested a stretch and sweep to which I agreed to as I thought it may help prevent the induction. Looking back, maybe that was a mistake. My cervix was soft and a little open and he could feel her head. That afternoon I went for a walk but I had to call George to come and pick me up as I was getting regular pains that was making the walk not enjoyable. At 11pm that night I got up to go to the toilet and my membranes released. Straight away I started having short contractions every 15 min. I was very excited and happy that something was happening. I used meditation to try to sleep but every time I would drop off a contraction would wake me up. I called the hospital and they asked me to come in for a check up in the morning. I spent the night resting in bed or on the couch. After my check up on Tuesday morning we went home and I set myself up in the living room.

“I made the room dark, put on my Hypnobirthing tracks and the oil burner with clary sage. I sat on the fit ball while George did light touch massage on my back, it was so relaxing and lovely. My contractions were painful but totally manageable. I was enjoying the process and it was a lovely time with George, nothing to do except relax and look forward to meeting our baby. I walked in the backyard and leaned on the railing when I was having a contraction.”

Late afternoon the back pain started. I was still doing well but the feeling in my back was not pleasant. Sitting on the fit ball with George applying pressure to my lower back helped so much. At about 10pm we decided to go to the hospital as the back pain was unsettling me and I felt that’s where I wanted to be. We had a calm drive to the hospital. I listened to my affirmations and hypobirthing tracks on the way. I remember feeling so focused, in control, happy and calm. When I got to the hospital we were waiting at the door to be let in and I had a contraction and was leaning against the wall. The midwife said that was a good sign that things were progressing. The midwife confirmed my suspicions that she was posterior. We tried to use the tens machine but I couldn’t feel anything, maybe it was broken as George couldn’t feel anything either when he tried it. The midwife got me some heat packs that helped and George kept applying back pressure with each contraction. The back pain was getting worse and the midwife suggested a bath. The bath was nice and it gave George time to have a quick nap.

“I started to feel very tense and was getting upset by the pain and probably pretty tired after having 2 hours sleep in the past 2 days. I was using my breathing techniques, bubble of comfort visualisation and counting through the contractions. These Hypnobirthing techniques helped me immensely and I would have been a mess without these to focus on.”

I had a shower. Once I felt I had tried everything and gone as long as I could, I asked for pain relief. I had some pethadine in the early hours of the morning. It didn’t help the pain that much but it did help me relax, lie down and close my eyes for a little while. George was lying next to me and applying pressure to my back in his sleep deprived state. When the pethadine wore off, I knew I couldn’t go on any longer and it was time for an epidural. I used the gas while I waited for the anesthetist to arrive. I was 5cm dilated. The epidural was an amazing relief from the back pain. I could still just move my legs and feel the contractions but the pain was gone. As it was now 32 hours since my membranes released, my doctor suggested I start the oxytocin drip. After a few hours my temperature was showing a mild fever. My doctor was concerned about the risk of infection so he said if nothing had happened in a few hours he would suggest a C-section.

“The reality of what was going to happen hit me and I started crying, I was very upset and disappointed. I quickly turned my mindset around by reminding myself that we were going to meet our healthy baby soon and that I was prepared to calmly meet any turn that my birthing may take. These affirmations came to me when I needed them the most. “

An internal exam was done and I was 8cm dilated but as she was posterior and the cervix dilation was uneven, there was a small section that remained closed. This coupled with the time since my membranes releasing and my increased temperature meant a C- section was the only option.

We were waiting for the theater to be ready when the only horrible part of the birth happened. The tube connecting the epidural liquid into my back had become loose so it was dripping into the bed instead. The back pain was intense and there were almost no breaks in between contractions. I’m not clear what was happening around me as I was totally in my own world, using very loud vocalisation and the mantra ‘relax, release and let go’ and ‘I’m going to meet our baby’ and counting to 10. I was also sucking on the gas like there was no tomorrow. I found this part hard because I knew there was no point to the pain as I was having a C-section anyway and I suspect the oxytocin drip had numbed the natural pain relief I had before provided by birth hormones. I don’t know why but they had to wheel me up to the operating theater so the anesthetist could fix the epidural. I was begging the midwife to help me, crying and trying to get up off the bed with the monitors and drips still connected. It was crazy and out of control. I remember the midwife saying that she thought I was pushing and asking the orderlies to hurry up, as she didn’t want me giving birth in the lift.

When we got to the lift the midwife kicked another patient in their bed out so we could use it. I was so happy to see my doctor and the anesthetist when we got to theater. My doctor checked my cervix again and confirmed that even though I was far along it would still have to be a C-section. It was hard when George had to go to get changed into his scrubs as I found it really comforting to have him with me. He was stroking my hair and talking to me. I used distracting techniques like counting to 10 and going to the beach in my mind to help relax, it really helped to not think about what was happening behind the curtain. She was born at 6.30pm, 40 hours after the process started.

She came out so quickly and everyone commented how alert she was, eyes wide open.

They brought her around to us and we were both crying.

She was perfect.

The relief and joy was amazing.

They cleaned her off and put her on my chest. She was rooting around for my nipple straight away and she tried to feed while we were still in theater. I wish I could remember more about the post birth time but I think the medications and exhaustion has affected my memory. She had a cuddle with Daddy while I was wheeled into recovery and then she was kept with me, doing skin on skin and trying to feed. She had an apgar score of 8 at 1 min and 9 at 5 min. All during labour she maintained a steady heart rate. My doctor said she was stuck in my pelvis and a vaginal birth would have been very difficult. She had torticollis from her positioning in the womb.

I think not being induced too early and going through the labour process made her ready to be born and healthy. It also think it helped my hormones and allowed me to have so much colostrum. The midwife said I could feed the whole ward while before the birth I couldn’t express any. The colostrum flushed out her jaundice quickly. The hormones also gave me amazing after birth euphoria. I remember I had to hold on to the bedrail when the rushes of happiness flowed through me, they were so intense. She almost regained her birth weight when we were discharged 6 days later.

“While my birth was completely different from what I wanted, it was a positive experience. I was always treated with respect and felt safe and cared for. I mostly enjoyed the labour, it was an amazing experience that I am thankful for. I shared the process with George and we worked so well together, I couldn’t have done it without him. I believe the preparation we did for the birth via the hyponobirthing course allowed me to have a positive birth experience, feel in control and calm. I am left with a feeling of pride for what I achieved and how well I dealt with a difficult birth.”

I am a Sarah Purvey, a Clinical Psychologist, a Hypnobirthing Australia Practitioner in Hobart, Tasmania and a mother of two precious young girls, with my own private psychology practice in Rosny, the Eastern Shore of Hobart, Tasmania. I am passionate about helping mothers have positive birth experiences. I hope that women will inform themselves and learn strategies to help them through their births, regardless of whether they want to have a caesarean, epidural, natural birth or home birth. No one would run a marathon without some training and birth is harder than that, so childbirth definitely needs some preparation too. Birth can be an empowering and joyful experience and this gives you and your baby the best start to the rest of your baby’s life. Contact me now to book a Hypnobirthing Australia class in Hobart, Tasmania, a one on one Skype Session, or enrol for Hypnobubs Online, if you’re not in Tasmania (you can upgrade this to a Skype session with me too).

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