Hamish Ewan- Cate’s story

‘I woke up having contractions 5 minutes apart, but didn’t actually think I was in labour as I’d had so many practice contractions and back pain that felt the same in the previous few weeks, then my waters broke and it clicked! We went to the hospital, we were five minutes away at accomodation in Melbourne. Unfortunately my Streptococcus B swab had come back positive, so I was admitted straight away and given antibiotics. I was also told I had to have the artificial hormone to speed up labour, and I had no knowledge in this area, so after trying to question them and refuse, I accepted their explanation of medical necessity calmly and went with the flow, rather than getting stressed or upset about the circumstances. I was also given continuous monitoring, which I hadn’t wanted, but in the end I didn’t want to move around at all, I stayed curled on my side almost the whole time in my ‘comfort’ position, the same one I used to practice the relaxation and scripts at home and in class. Within an hour my contractions were coming every 30 to 60 seconds and were very strong and extremely painful. This continued for four hours. I thought often I can’t cope with this, however I kept reminding myself that I could and focused on my breathing, which I maintained the entire time. I was in a strange state of some kind of zen, separated from what was happening, completely focused on the process and my breath, but completely at one with the birthing process at the same time. To my surprise, I remained completely silent the entire time, only communicating with looks and nods towards Julian when I needed something. After four hours, I was dilated to 10cm, (Part of my birth plan was to accept a lot of the medical checks and procedures, I was comfortable with that, unless they were invasive and unnecessary, my focus with hypnobirthing was to reduce fear, anxiety and stress both before and during the labour and birth, I had also decided I was happy to push rather than breathe the baby down, although I have now changed my mind about that!) I pushed for 45 mins, which was the most difficult part for me and I definitely announced I couldn’t do it and could they please just pull him out a couple of times! However, I focused on my breath and remembered you saying the same thing happened to you and you just told yourself you could do it because you were doing it and told myself that! I achieved a natural vaginal birth with no intervention, which was my aim, but for my next baby I definitely want to breathe the baby down rather than pushing! The obstetrician and midwife told me afterwards I was one of the calmest labouring women they’d ever seen and Julian told me he was amazed by how calm, focused and zen I was throughout the whole experience and by my complete silence until the pushing stage!

Hamish Ewan McGregor joined us at 9.02 am on Saturday, 14th June. Unfortunately we had some special circumstances after the birth, he required medical treatment and tests and almost ended up in special care, but we avoided that and within two days he had recovered and was in perfect health, and he has been a perfectly healthy baby hitting all his milestones ever since. I used similar techniques to cope with the stress of him being unwell afterwards, staying relaxed, using breathing when I was upset or frightened and reminding myself to go with the flow, practice acceptance and have faith that what is meant to be will be, and everything would work out as it should. We stayed in hospital for four days.

Thankyou so much for your classes. Before I took them labour and birth was one of my biggest fears, I was frightened of and anxious about the experience, seeing it only as something horrible to ‘get through’. After the classes, I no longer had any fear or anxiety surrounding the birth, people were always amazed when I said I had no worries about it at all when I was pregnant! I think eradicating that fear and using the breathing techniques, relaxation and scripts beforhand, and the breathing and mindset during, resulted in me having such a calm birthing experience, and new baby experience, despited the circumstances being different than what I had wished for. I doubt my birthing experience would have been so calm and felt so zen if I had not done the hypnobirthing classes.’

Cate