Alex, 26, was shocked to find herself pregnant, and spent a lot of her pregnancy processing her emotions around being pregnant. She describes almost a sense of grief experienced in early pregnancy that many mums go through, but don’t talk about (as we all feel we should be overjoyed to be pregnant!). A Hypnobirthing class was the turning point in her pregnancy and helped her to move forward. Alex discusses her labour, and how her Hypnobirthing skills helped her get through her labour and birth, to meet her gorgeous little man, Henley!
Finding out I was pregnant (after a boozy weekend in Sydney) was a big shock to me. Pregnancy and babies wasn’t something I had planned in the near future or maybe even ever! I didn’t feel an overwhelming sense of joy that I felt many other women feel – I actually cried … a lot!
We had a 6 week trip of America booked that had to be cancelled because I would have been due to give birth while we were travelling. For a long time, I felt an overwhelming sense of loss for this life I felt like I would no longer be able to live. It wasn’t really until the mid to later stages of my pregnancy that I started to feel a real and authentic sense of happiness.
I thought if we told family, friends and work colleges early on and I could see how happy they were for us I would also begin to feel happy. This did not work, in fact it had the opposite effect. Suddenly I felt as though I barely existed anymore. It felt like every conversation was baby related, a horrific birth story or people asking me if I was “sure you’re not having twins?” This was apparently everyone’s favorite question!
We took an amazing Hypnobirthing class (which doesn’t include hypnotherapy, despite the name!) which gave back the control I felt I was lacking for the majority of my pregnancy.
I was induced at 38 weeks. The induction began on a Sunday afternoon but nothing at all happened until it was decided that my waters would be broken by the Doctor. For me this was probably the worst part of my labour journey – but boy, did it get things moving! For some reason I thought after my water was broken I would have maybe an hour for contractions to start and I was not mentally or physically prepared for the rate that labour progressed after this.
At one point I refused the hormonal drip because I knew it would make my contractions worse and begged my partner to just take me home (not sure what I thought that would achieve)! Luckily, I have a wonderful and supportive partner, I had a lovely midwife and a beautiful student midwife who helped me through every second.
About 5 hours in I opted for an epidural and this was the best thing I could have done for myself, my partner and my poor midwife who had now been with us since Sunday. Pre-birth the thought of an epidural was as scary as giving birth to me but it went off without a hitch and everyone in the room got a much needed nap (including our midwife).
At about 1 am our new midwife (shift change had occurred) and the wonderful female Doctor who was on duty began to discuss beginning to push. They were very happy with the way baby was progressing and gave me an extra hour to allow him to fully engage. By this point I was getting excited and nervous all at once – I was determined to get the second part of my labour right, so I put on hypnobirthing tracks and within a single hour baby was completely engaged and we were ready to get pushing!
Despite having an epidural I was able to labour upright using the bed for support for majority of the time. After 2 hours our midwife was concerned I was becoming too fatigued and called in the Doctor- however she was happy with the progression and told me she believed I could do it without any assistance…and we did! At 4.44 am our baby Henley was born!
Similar to my pregnancy I feel I really lacked that overwhelming joy that many women describe. I didn’t cry at all, I didn’t really feel much at all until my partner was holding him. Becoming a new mother is challenging in so many ways, some people love to tell you about like how much sleep you’ll lose and others not so much, like the nagging feeling that your baby doesn’t really like you because he will only smile for dad. My advice to any new mothers is to be kind to yourself. Motherhood doesn’t look or sometimes feel like it does in the movies or on Instagram. There is no single ‘way’ to adjust to becoming a mum. If you’re worried that you’re doing it wrong, you’re already doing it right.
Adorable Mr. Henley now!
I hope this has been a helpful read. Please share the love by sending this post to a supermum or supermum-to-be, who might benefit from reading Alex's story. And I would love to hear your thoughts on Alex's story below!
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