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Breathing Techniques

Kylie shares her birth story

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Firstly let me give you a brief catch-up on my first birth. I labored for 3 days. i was at the hospital for 17 hours screaming my head off before she was born. The pain was so intense i would pass out between contractions. Somewhere around 12am i got a small window and i was hauled from the bath and given gas and pethidine when it was noted i was only 6cm dilated. by 2:30am the anesthetist was finally available to give me a epidural and at 3pm Baby went into fetal distress and was delivered by the vacuum thing cos i was to tired to push. And i got stitches.

It was traumatizing for me, my husband and our baby girl. She slept for days and wouldn't feed. Breastfeeding was never able to establish and my milk never arrived.

I vowed I was Never going through that again.

So when i got pregnant this time i ignored it for as long as i could. Then when i realized i was going to have to do it again i found the hypnobirthing techniques. So i read the book and took my husband to some classes and this is how it went.

26th December

7pm. - didn't feel like sitting. decided to have a tidy in the bedroom before bed.

9:30 pm - for some odd reason i text the midwife and asked at what point do the braxton hicks go from being braxton hicks to early labour. She replied "ill see you in the morning".

12am - Got up to go to the loo, felt abit crampy but nothing different from the last 2 weeks so i ignored it but decided to get some good rest just incase, considered telling my husband to get off the playstation and get some sleep but figured if it was it I'd know.

2:30am - husband comes to bed and i wake up, reaise that I'm still cramping and i start breathing like I'm blowing up a balloon (hypnobirthing relaxation and breathing technique) so I don't get excited and can have some sleep.

*Dozed untill 4am*

4am - i decide to wake husband. i tell him i think im having contractions but they aren't painful or anything but could he rub my back a little and time them for me.

5am - I'm relaxed in bed but thought i should get up and have a shower now before they get sore and i cant walk or stand.

5:10am - Husband calls my mum to come look after our 2.5yrold and informs me while I'm showering we should probably ring the midwife as I've been having 3 contractions in 10 minutes and we are an hour from the hospital. I was unconvinced and wanted to wait to ring her as she was probably in bed.

5:25 - mum arrives and after observing me for a bit told me to go to the hospital. Again i argue that it will waste everyone's time because it isn't real labour yet.

5:30 - Call midwife, she says she's at the hospital anyway delivering a baby and to come in

6am - We are in the car leaving. I'm using these nice surges to really practice my balloon breathing so im really really good at it when "real labour" starts.

6:25am - we stop for petrol and all of a sudden the baby turns posterior. I wasn't prepared for the back pain but it was manageable with the balloon breathing.

7am - we are at the hospital. I get seen to our birthing suite and have a sudden moment of anxiety when i realise it is the exact same room i was in for my Daughters birth, but i just as quickly block those bad thoughts and smile because this time is going to be different. Husband goes to park the car and i feel like having a wee rest so i sit on a swiss ball and lean on the bed with my headphones in.  A hospital midwife comes in while im sitting there and asks if I'm ok. I smiled and told her I was fine was just waiting for my husband to return.   My husband returns and my midwife arrives soon after and ask if I'm ok.  Again I say I'm fine but I'm getting a lot of back pain. She nods and ask if i want anything for pain. i decline. I'll save that for later if i need it.

After all, I'm only 3 hours in and my last was 17 hours at the hospital.  I decide to try a different position to see if i can make the back labor a bit more comfy. I hopped on my hands and knees on the bed and instructed my husband to rub my lower back with the surge. That helped. I realised it was hard to stay completely relaxed on my hands and knees so i tried laying down for the next one. That was a mistake. I wasn't expecting how intense laying down would make the discomfort and i completely lost all focus, tensed up and felt extreme pain. So i went back to my hands and knees.

I'll mention here that throughout my wonderful husband was doing light touch massage on me and talking to me in soft tones, i was very relaxed and only felt mild discomfort in my back because of the baby's position. My surges would be there a few minutes apart and last for 30 seconds then I'd have a 5 minute break. Then they would start again. in between me and my husband talked and joked. My midwife had only seen me for a few moments and cos everything seemed fine and ages away i sent her off the finish the birth she was doing when i arrived.

8:25am - i hop in the bath when the midwife returns thinking i had the majority of the day to go and i needed to find the most comfortable way to manage the back pain. She checks me out and informs me i have a long way to go and would I be alright If she went to clean up after her last birth. She also reminds me that she doesn't do water births and to make sure i get out of the bath when things pick up. i was okay with that. She left the room and about 30seconds later I felt the baby turn and I looked my husband in the eye and in a sudden panic I said "OMG I Have to Push!" He ran in a few circles before finding the buzzer. A hospital midwife came in and he told her i felt like pushing. She went to find my midwife. My midwife came back and asked if i was able to get out of the bath. I said "No way im staying here" My body was happy where it was and i was not going to go against what my body was telling me.

With each surge from then i breathed down the baby (with hypnobirthing you DO NOT push the baby out), i felt like a idiot making the groan sound as i did but it made it more effective so i continued on. I was still not in pain. In fact i was more comfortable then i was before. The midwifes kept telling me to push so i ignored them and listened to hubby telling me to breath our baby down. It felt so gentle.h

I heard the midwife say to the other midwife that the baby was going to be born in the water. I liked the sound of that. She asked me if i could give a big push. I choose to give it ago and realised it was hard work and I didn't feel like it worked, it felt like I was straining so i stop pushing and went back to breathing.

8:47am. My beautiful girl entered the world. At the last moment my midwife pulled her out the rest of the way so that did hurt a wee bit. She was born with her hand up by her face, i got a slight graze from this and my midwife was shocked because when babies are born like that and fast the mother usually gets quite serious tearing.

I turned and took her. She cried, then i cried. then after ten minutes Daddy cut the cord ( I requested for it to stop pulsating before it was cut but it was still going strong and the midwife wanted to get us out of the water so our baby girl didn't get a chill), then i went into a bit of shock with all the adrenalin and excitement. The Midwife took our baby while i got out of the pool and then got the injection to help the placenta out, to which i was a real baby and protested that the needle would hurt and complained when it did (midwives found that kinda amusing after i had just had a baby with no pain relief) Then I got to the bed and our midwife brought her to me and she feed instantly and like a dream.

The whole experience was the most amazing experience of my life and I'd do it all again in a heart beat. i felt empowered. And after the shock wore off i felt amazing.

I even had a few other hospital midwives poke there heads in because our midwife had gone straight out and talked about it and was astonished with how completely in control I was the entire time.

A few days later i could hardly walk and I figured i must have sprained my ankle at some point in labor and not realised. was still tender 5 weeks later.

I credit the success of my daughters birth the the hypnobirthing program.

- Kylie

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