Melisa shares how Hypnobirthing assisted her in delivering her first child into the world.
My beautiful girlfriends including Lisa called my pregnancy "the unicorn" because apart from feeling tired at the start and at the end, the rest of my pregnancy I felt amazing, I truly loved every minute and was fortunate enough to not experience most pregnancy symptoms. I did everything possible during my pregnancy to prepare for my birth. I ate very healthy the entire pregnancy, I exercised 1-2 times per day with jogging, swimming, yoga and in particular focused on opening my hips and assisting my baby into a good position. I was living remotely at the time so didn't have access to birthing classes so instead did hypnobirthing daily and read two books "Birth Skills" and "A Labour of Love" which educated me and helped me prepare my body and mind and most of all empowered me. I stuck notes all over my bathroom mirror and read them daily about having a natural birth and I also wrote how I thought my birth was going to go and read it daily. I also used an epi-no pelvic floor trainer and then in the last few weeks of the pregnancy used it to stretch the perineum which can reduce tearing and or prevent and episiotomy.
The day before our due date, my husband Nathan had the day off work and we spent the day relaxing at the beach, we then went to some twilight markets and had dinner at our favourite Italian restaurant before heading home for an early night. I was sleeping and started feeling very mild period-like pains and the baby was moving around lots. At exactly 12 midnight I woke up and felt a big pop, I contemplated what it was for a few seconds before running to the toilet and thankfully my waters broke there. I didn't want to wake Nathan just yet in case it wasn't the real deal, but obviously my excitement was too loud and within minutes he had woken and I told him our baby is coming but to go back to sleep and I'll wake him when the contractions start. I tried to get back into bed but was up again straight away, I went to the bathroom and called my Mum to tell her the news. My mum who lives in another state advised I should get in the car and go to the hospital. I decided to call the hospital and the midwife there told me to go back to bed and call her in the morning if nothing had progressed. As soon as I hung up the phone my contractions started, they were mild like period pains. The small hospital we were birthing at was an hour drive away, Nathan got out of bed and we decided it felt right to make our way to the hospital. We packed the car and I laid on the back seat and listened to my Hypnobirthing cd. The whole drive I felt calm and just when I started getting a little uncomfortable and my contractions started to increase we arrived at the hospital.
On arrival at 1.45am we went to the birthing room and met the midwife Jo for the first time. Nathan put on our music and Jo dimmed the lights and suggested I try getting into a few positions to help with the contractions. I had envisaged during my pregnancy that I would birth on all fours or in the bath, so I first decided to try out the mattress on the floor on all fours but instantly I was extremely uncomfortable as it hurt my stomach to be hanging, so I quickly had to change positions. Jo did an internal and I was 3-4cm dilated. I vomited a few times and then found standing leaning on the end of the bed was the only position I was feeling comfortable in during the contractions. Gratefully I had been lucky enough to watch my sister give birth to her first son and I thought to myself my labour was going very similar to hers and felt I kind of knew what was coming next from her experience. Jo suggested Nathan rub the lower part of my back and showed him how to with oil, which felt great. She then left us to ourselves which was also nice. After a while we got in the shower which felt amazing and was a great relief. After a while my legs were getting tired and so was I. I had started using sound on my exhale but my breathing wasn't slow enough or rhythmic, so I decided to get out of the shower. I tried to lay down on the mattress on the floor but only lasted a few contractions and had to get back up to standing. I wasn't able to use any positions I thought I would like, the fit ball, on all fours, swaying, stomping, the bath, sound, all I could really do was stand, lean and try to control my hard and fast breathing. I'm not exactly sure how close my contractions got but I would guess from the time I arrived at the hospital they were roughly 5 minutes apart and stayed that way for my labour, which allowed me time to prepare for the next one and rest in between.
"I started to think I'm not sure I can go through one more contraction and the pain is getting too much, when with the next contraction I felt the need to push but didn't want to excite myself..."
I started to think I'm not sure I can go through one more contraction and the pain is getting too much, when with the next contraction I felt the need to push but didn't want to excite myself. I let the feeling come for a few more contractions before I told Nathan to go get Jo. When Jo came back I told her I wanted to push, she did a few other things for a while and told me to stop pushing. Finally when a break through contractions came she did an internal and found I was fully dilated. I continued to push through contractions and Jo was guiding me through them telling me to hold the baby's head there to let it slowly stretch, the baby's head would then go back in. After about 3-4 pushes, Jo told me to keep pushing and I was getting tired and thought "I really want this baby out now!". The burning stretching feeling and the pressure of the baby's head was so intense. With a final push the baby's head popped out and It was such a great relief having the head out but I didn't want to keep pushing. Jo was telling me to squat down to get the rest of baby's body out but my legs were shaking uncontrollably so she had to push on me to keep me down in a squat. I really wanted it to be over and the baby out so I thought I'm just going to keep pushing and gratefully out came the baby's body. What a relieving, incredible feeling. I dropped down to a mattress on the floor and had the baby put on my chest. It took me a while to realise I hadn't even checked the sex of the baby yet, and there we found a little boy after 9 months of being convinced it was a girl. Our prompt little man was born at 4.31am on his due date on a rare lunar eclipse blood moon at Margaret River, WA
OPIE JAY LICKFOLD
Our prompt little man was born at 4.31am on his due date on a rare lunar eclipse blood moon at Margaret River, WA
I am so blessed to call Mel a friend and can truly tell you, she is "the unicorn". We were both pregnant at the same time, and whilst I was spewing, swelling, cramping- she was bouncy and simply glowing. I was so in awe and still am, she handled her pregnancy and birth with serious, positive dedication. So proud of you Mel and your beautiful little man. Mel, Nathan and Opie are currently travelling through Australia showcasing their compassionate lifestyle, you can follow along on instagram @meli_licki