To the lovely Sandie  

I’m sorry it’s taken me so long to write but you’ve been in my thoughts. One could say we’ve been enveloped in a Poppy love bubble ever since her arrival on a full moon on March 1. What a blessing she is – a full head of jet black hair, a button nose, rose pink pouty lips and incredibly long! She nearly pushed into the 10 pound mark, our little pop star – but fortunately only giving me a minor tear – which was a blessing considering her head circumference was 38.5cm – which resulted in a standing ovation from the night shift midwives! And hence a wheelchair for me from birth suite to our room – my legs, my body had tapped out – fair enough I say. I thank HypnoBirthing and my expert midwife Alli that I didn’t tear anymore.  

My due date was February 22 and I had an obstetrician appointment on March 1 to speak with James and check in. I had an instinctual feeling that I still had some lingering fear left over from my previous birth experiences and miscarriages so I downloaded a fear release meditation the morning of March 1 – which was incredibly powerful. I surrendered all fear in that meditation and finally felt at peace.  

While invoicing at 11.30 that same day my waters broke with an almighty gush! I’m pretty sure I heard a popping noise and I remember smiling and laughing with pure excitement. 

I rang my obstetrics and cancelled the midday appointment, mopped up my waters, got the girls bags ready. Rang Alli my mid wife.  

Surges started an hour later after my waters broke. Steve was mowing the lawn at this stage so I took myself off to the spare room, ear phones in and started listening to my hypnobirthing affirmations.  

Once Steve came up I told him I was having surges every 7 minutes apart. He organized for Mum to pick the girls up from school and daycare. When The surges started to be five minutes apart we rang Alli to come up to make sure baby was okay. With a VBAC I didn’t want to take any chances.  

Thanks to your wonderful tuition I was deeply relaxed and breathing through my surges when the intensity started to increase. Alli arrived and put the doppler on and Poppy’s heartbeat was strong.  

Steve and Alli monitored me as I went completely inward. At this point I had been sitting up with my back to the wall – the only position that was comfortable to me. I decided to move position and lean on the bed on my knees. The change of position had me lose my HypnoBirthing state of mind and I felt lost in the pain for a while. Whether I was transitioning or not I really felt like I had hit a wall and that I couldn’t do it anymore. I completely lost my HypnoBirthing mojo at this point and felt every surge with all of its intensity. My birthing progressed very quickly, and Alli suggested we go to hospital now before it’s too late. But I refused to go, there was no way that I was moving anywhere. I couldn’t even contemplate it. Poor Alli!  

She decided to call her colleague, Anne, a midwife at Mapleton to bring the home birthing kit down and to ring the ambulance to transport me once the baby was born.  

At this stage I felt the undeniable urge to bear down and push. I changed to my J breathing and in a squatting position started to breathe down. This happened for about twenty minutes or more- can’t remember- Alli couldn’t feel the head. Good news is Poppy’s heartbeat was strong through all of this. Also, I felt better when I could breathe down rather than the surges previously. 

When there was no head after a while of pushing, Alli did an internal examination. She didn’t tell me but I was 5cm dilated and pushing against the lip of my cervix. She advised me to breathe through the urge to push and strongly recommended we go to hospital. I agreed. 

I got onto the stretcher, they strapped me, I was lying on my side with my HypnoBirthing plugged into my ears. This was the hardest trip I’ve ever had to make. In deep, deep labour I felt every bump, turn and jolt from the ambulance. And to breathe through the urge to push was incredibly excruciating. 

I can tell you now I wasn’t a gentle and calm HypnoBirthing mama at this point. Yelling at Steve that I can’t possibly do this anymore. Oh, and the speed bumps on the way into the hospital. The stretcher when they fold it up and down – head first. The trip in the lift where it was so hot and contained. 20 minutes of hell.  

When we got into birth suite not surprising they tried to hook me up to a CTG monitor as I was high risk being a VBAC. The bath took forever to fill and all I wanted to do was bomb dive into it. Then the bath was too hot and too cold. Once in the water, thank goodness I found my HypnoBirthing mojo again. I surrendered and returned to my cocoon of relaxation. Steven and Alli dimmed the lights and tried to instill a state of calm and love in the room as best they could in a hospital environment. That was until a doctor knocked on the door, turned on all the lights to give me a needle for the bacteria that I was positive for. I could feel his negative energy as soon as he entered the room. He tried to find a vein on my hand while I was having a surge, missed my vein and demanded that I get out of the bath. I told him I didn’t want the antibiotics and then he proceeded to tell Steven the risks to the baby and me and stormed out.  

Alli checked with a mirror and said things had changed with my dilation and I could start pushing now. So, I started to breathe down into my bottom getting into a crouching position each time I felt a surge. I was getting exhausted but would relax completely between surges. 

When nothing was happening in the bath, Alli suggested I move to the shower. To put my feet on the ground and let gravity do the work. Once in the shower there was faster progress and eventually Alli said she could see the head, black hair I asked? Yep. Same as our other two girls. This gave me the motivation to keep going.  

With Steven by my side together we welcomed our Poppy Mae into the world. She wasn’t small our little poppet, knocking on the door of ten pounds, once she crowned it was still a lot of effort to birth her completely. 

One of the strangest feelings of the entire experience was when she wriggled half inside of me. I remember yelling can’t you just pull her out! 

But it was all so worth it and we have you and Alli to thank.  

I feel incredibly empowered. Xx 

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