Ella’s Birth Story
Let me start out with a little disclaimer: I chose to have a medication-free delivery and thankfully, the stars aligned. My body and baby cooperated. But just because this was my choice – it doesn’t mean it has to be yours. Pregnancy and birth are beautiful no matter how it happens. I appreciate you respecting my decisions as I respect yours. What matters, in the end, is healthy moms and healthy babies. HypnoBirthing is about empowering each Mum to have the type of birth they want and that is my goal throughout my own classes. 🙂
Ella Aurora Donnelly came into this world 9 days past her ‘Due Date’ in a relaxed, calm and loving environment. Weighing a beautiful 8lbs and having an APGAR score of 10- She really arrived in her own time.
Leading up to the Birth
My son Benjamin was born 5 weeks prematurely. So at 30 weeks, when I started having continuous surges for several hours throughout the day, I naturally went to the hospital to be checked. After an assessment, it was established that I was not in labour but due to my history, the doctors wanted to keep a close eye on me. These tightenings continued for two weeks, and at 32 weeks I was put on bed rest and given steroid injections for Ella’s lungs as the doctors were concerned about her arriving prematurely like her brother.
Every appointment with doctor or nurse, they all had the same idea- as did I- that this little lady was coming early. Being so convinced that this was the case that I took early maternity leave. And the wait began….
Ella’s ‘Due Date’ came and went and it seemed like an eternity since the 8 weeks prior. Those past few days were definitely challenging as the mental and physical preparation for her birth had started many weeks before. I kept reminding myself that she would come in her own time and that every day spent inside was beneficial for her.
So, I continued to wait….and wait….
Friday morning, I had my 41 week check. I was 2cm dilated, completely effaced and Ella’s head was right down and ready to go. Although the consultant said he was certain that she would arrive that weekend, he still wanted to book me in for a induction the following Wednesday. I told him that I wasn’t interested in being induced but he assured me that I wouldn’t have to think about it because he was sure she was going to come sooner than Wednesday. Knowing that I could reject that on the day if I wanted, I allowed him to book this in and continued on (figuring less stress at this stage was for the benefit of Ella and myself).
Early Saturday morning I had very light surges but definitely noticeable. I was so excited about her impending arrival but after the second day, I was wondering if Ella was ever going to arrive.
To my disbelief (and horror 😂😂) the surges after becoming quite strong and regular stopped on Sunday afternoon.
Was my little girl EVER going to arrive? She was definitely giving me a lesson in patience along with the knowledge that NO ONE really knows when baby will arrive. Everything is speculation and really, at the of the day, speculation isn’t always reality. So we (my husband, Glen and I) began to wait some more…
Monday morning at 7.30am, the surges started again. HALLELUJAH!
They were consistent but very manageable. At 9.45am, when they were 4 minutes apart, we decided to go to the hospital (45 minutes drive). We arrived at the hospital and I was still feeling very comfortable and ease with the surges and very well so we strolled about the hospital before going in. When I arrived in the labour ward, the midwife (who was absolutely exceptional) did an ECG, and I was asked if I would like to check to see how dilated I was. I accepted as I was very curious. Results showed I was 4cm and still I was still feeling VERY comfortable. I walked down to the admissions desk *stopping all the way with surges* with Glen. We bought some coffee, falafel wraps (not the tastiest), had a chat and made our way back up to the ‘delivery suite’ we had been set up in.
Glen had explained we were HypnoBirthing and explained we wanted things as quiet and with as little interruption as possible. I was given a birth ball, Glen turned up the relaxing music to a nice level and I stayed in the zone. I remember feeling so relaxed, so content and so excited about the arrival of our little girl. The midwife popped in intermittently to check Ella’s heartbeat with a doppler and other than those short and non-intrusive checks, it was just myself and Glen until 3 pm.
While my surges were regular, they weren’t very strong and I was still feeling very comfortable. At 4 pm, the midwife asked if I would like another check, I accepted and was still at 4cm. Ella’s head was right down but the amniotic sac was acting as a cushion for head against the cervix and preventing her from really pushing against the cervix to encourage surges. I wasn’t feeling disheartened but was still eager to move things along. The midwife offered positive intervention of releasing the membranes so that Ella’s head could move right down and encourage the surges. So, and 4.15pm, our lovely midwife released the membranes.
Immediately, the surges increased in intensity, but still, I felt everything was manageable. I used my HypnpBirthing techniques- Breathing, Visualisations and Affirmations throughout these. Glen stood behind me and practiced light touch massage in between these surges. He used positive affirmations and powerful words of encouragement.
I felt so empowered, so calm and so excited about her arrival. The surges, while they came quickly and were very intense- they were always manageable. When the shift came and I felt the pressure of her bearing down, I moved into a side-lying position on the bed. I was offered Entonox as Ella’s head was about to emerge which I took and continued with my birth breathing. I remember feeling so ecstatic and as I was breathing her down I spoke to her and encouraged her to come out. ‘Come out Ella’ was what she heard myself and Glen saying to her as she arrived safely with a loud cry at 5.48pm (1 hour 33 minutes after my membranes were released. 4cm to being born!). Being so relaxed, feeling everything was completely manageable and being able to speak to Ella as she was emerging are the fondest memories I hold of her birth.
After the Birth
Ella had an APGAR score 10 (10 is the highest for those who aren’t familiar with this) and began breastfeeding like a natural a few minutes after being born.
A month old now and she is still such a relaxed, calm and happy little girl. She feeds so well, sleeps so well and all around is such a little blessing. I physically felt great the day after she arrived and at no stage have felt that shellshock I experienced with my son’s birth.
While she did make us wait- she was worth it all and so much more!
Coming away from this birth- the day after I told Glen I loved it so much that I couldn’t wait to do it again. Something I definitely didn’t say after my first.
This was my second birth, my first HypnoBirth and hopefully not the last!