My first labour was only 4 1/2 hours long and although I decided beforehand that I would have an epidural, there was no time and my daughter was born naturally and drug free. My husband, Ryan, and I decided to try hypnobirthing for our second baby as we expected the second labour would be fast. I wanted to be able to birth naturally and feel like I was in control of my own labour.
My due date with my second was Aug. 1. I went into “practice labour” on July 20th. I started having contractions and I had a doctor’s appointment so I went to my appointment instead of the hospital. Dr. Miller checked me and I was 5 cm dilated so he told my husband and me that I would be having the baby today and to get to the hospital. We went home and then off to the hospital. I had a feeling that it wasn’t progressing and that it wasn’t the real thing. We were at the hospital for three hours and in that time the contractions completely stopped. My doctor wanted me to stay as he was sure that I would go into labour soon and if not, that they could induce me. I was only 38 weeks and did not want to be induced. We also did not want to stay at the hospital any longer and went home. We anxiously waited all week-end for labour to start again, but nothing happened, I didn’t feel any cramping or anything going on. We tried many ways to get labour going, but nothing seemed to work. Remembering that Marie had suggested acupuncture, I made an appointment on July 24th. The acupuncturist told me that if my body was ready, the treatment will give me the push I need. My water broke during the treatment. It was a trickle, compared to the gush that occurred with my first, so I was unsure of what was happening. I completed the treatment and as I was leaving the office, I phoned Ryan and told him that it might be happening and that I would call him when I got home. As I was driving home, I was having intense contractions, phoned Ryan back and said to meet me at home as we were going to the hospital. Luckily Ryan got home soon after I did and we “rushed” to the hospital (unfortunately it was raining so traffic was SLOW on the ring road!) At the hospital, I was quickly checked in. The head nurse who was working when we came in a few days earlier was there and recognized us so she knew it was the real thing this time. We arrived at the hospital at 1:00 pm.
I listened to my hypnobirthing music and concentrated on my breathing. I remember the nurse commenting on how calm and focused I was. Everything quickly progressed and at one point I told Ryan and my nurse that I couldn’t do it anymore, it was too intense. I should have realized that meant baby would be there any minute and I’d be holding her soon. In our hypnobirthing book and in class we discussed that you may come to a point where you feel you need to escape and feel as though you can’t do it much longer, and this is a hallmark of labour meaning baby is almost there. I had to refocus myself and told myself to relax, relax, relax. At this point I was ready to breathe my baby down. With each surge I tried my best to breathe her down but at the end of each surge I had an incredible urge to push, so I let my body do what it needed to do. After about 5 surges, fifteen minutes later, our beautiful baby girl, Alice, was born. My labour lasted a whole 2 ½ hours. They brought her to my chest and we bonded instantly. She only let out a small cry when she was born and in the first few weeks, she didn’t cry very much. She breastfed easily, which I also found with my first one; a fact I attribute that both babies were born without drugs. Our second labour was a wonderful experience and much different from the first. I wouldn’t describe it as pain free, but I let my body birth my baby naturally and I thank Marie and hypnobirthing for allowing me to do that!
Written by Kim L., Dec 2012
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