Photo: Felix and myself taken 20 mins after Felix was born (just after the placenta delivery).
It feels as though I have been waiting forever to tell you all my story.
During the build up towards our labor day I could tell that my body was ripening. Everything felt ready from 38 weeks onwards and I continued to use and practice all the relaxation techniques daily. My due date came and went and I didn’t mind. Benjamin had been 9 days late so I felt there was loads of time ahead.
However, once I got over 9 days late, I started to panic and my focus was drawn away from the calm birth I had been viewing for the first time. As each day passed, I had to use more and more effort to stay calm, relaxed and focused.
At 12 days over, I went for the checkup at Jorvi, all was good and I was informed that my cervix was around 4cm dilated. I was so happy to hear that but fear was beginning to grip me as I hadn’t been having any surges and time was running out. I had to go in on Sunday (15 days over) to be induced.
After a pep talk from Awital, I managed to get myself refocused and spent my time listening to the affirmations and telling my beautiful baby that it was safe for him to arrive.
Well, Sunday (5th October) arrived and after getting Ben settled at a friends house, we headed into the hospital. I felt calm and peaceful as I walked in and focused on the fact that my baby was arriving soon. It was decided that my waters would be broken first to see if that would get the surges coming. This happened around 10:30 and I was given two hours for things to start before they discussed other options.
Fraser and I chatted and started to make ourselves comfortable in the room. Luckily our midwife, Päivi, had a very positive outlook and had also worked in London, so she was happy to chat with us about everyday things. Half an hour later, the surges started to come. They were very light at first and very gradually began to increase. I had to stay connected to the monitor but was allowed to move between the birthing ball and the bed. Päivi was thrilled and even said that if things continued well, I could move to the birth pool. That gave me such a moral boast!
Around 14:00, my surges finally evened out into a regular pattern and I found that with the breathing techniques and tracks on in the background, it was easy to ride them. Soon after that, I was told that the birth pool was free and that I could go in. I was so happy I started crying. My dreams for this birth were coming true. Päivi warned that the pool might slow things down but I knew that it wouldn’t. I was proven right and straight away the surges doubled in length, frequency and intensity. Breathing and visualizing a flower opening got me through them easily.
Around 17:00, I could tell my body was beginning to transition as I was beginning to shake and my temperature was fluctuating, this had happened last time with Benjamin. I was happy to know it wouldn’t be much longer.
Suddenly, the surges changed and became so intense that I was taken by surprise. I was given the option to birth in the pool or go back to the room, as I was struggling to focus I felt that being in the room would be better. So we moved and I used a birthing stool. Having Fraser’s arms around me really helped but I still found it hard to focus on the J-breathing and pushed a little bit. Fraser and Päivi were such a help and kept reminding me that when it got more intense it meant that the head was in a new position and that he was getting closer. It took 20 minutes and then I had my beautiful boy in my arms. I only had one tiny tear near my episiotomy scar, which was amazing news, the second phase had been hard but such a positive and empowering experience compared with Ben’s birth.
So I am over the moon with my birth experience of Felix. He weighed 4.28kg and was 54cm, so much bigger than I expected! Everything afterwards went so smoothly and I feel confident and happy about all aspects of caring of my two boys.
I am so thankful for all I have learned from the MyGentleBorn Childbirth Preparation Class (Hypnobirthing) and Luonnollinen Synnytys. I would never have thought I could face my fears and experience such a beautiful birth in a hospital environment.
We are home now and enjoying being a family of four.
C. Colley, Espoo, Finland 2014