Lola's Incredible Hypnobirth

Lola's Incredible Hypnobirth

Here is my birth story... I had to turn off my notifications to avoid being stressed by all the calls and texts that began around 39 weeks and focused as much as possible on relaxing, eating, sleeping and breathing... My mom arrived the day after my "due date" which was Sunday 25th and my partner Folarin started a new job (!) the next day (Monday). That same day, Monday, my mom accompanied me to my midwife (I wanted the midwife to talk to her about the safety of the home birth, because mum was a bit skeptical). When mom and I got back to the flat, Folarin's parents were waiting for us, having just landed from Lagos.

We gave them the keys to the place where they were staying and then we hung out all day chatting about birth and our matrilineal history and other things. She told me not to worry about going past the "due date", as she went 3 days over with her first baby (my older sister). Mum cooked, then we went to a bookstore in Greenwich (figured it would be a while until I could indulge in such dalliances again :)) We took a long walk back from the bookstore to the flat.

Folarin got home from work and tried to do a test run of the pool (as midwife had advised in my morning appointment).The hose was missing, so we couldn't fill it! Mom and Folarin had both gotten ready for bed, but I was feeling restless. Around midnight, I started having what I thought may be Braxton Hicks tightening, but painful, and had to pee constantly...eventually I cleared my bowels (thrice) and knew I was likely in labour, so woke up Folarin to let him know (mom had already figured it out when she heard me going back and forth to the bathroom).

I laboured at home, still planning to have a home birth. Folarin was still trying to set up the pool, but I had given up on that since we didn't have the hose, and was in the shower breathing through the surges. Folarin began timing the surges and when there were 3 in 10 minutes, called the midwives. While he was on the phone, I suddenly got out of the shower and vomited (this was probably transition); and the surges suddenly became much closer together and more intense. Folarin started putting together my hospital bag and my mom was gathering her things. He said everything is fine, but the community midwives were unavailable, so we are going to the hospital. He dressed me and mom helped me down the stairs. I was on all fours in the backseat as I couldn't sit. We got to reception and as usual, the midwife had no idea how far along I was because of hypnobirthing. The midwife asked me for a urine test, so I went in the bathroom, but when I pulled down my pants saw something that was coming out. I called the midwife to tell her but she said it was just cervical mucus. I told her I couldn't urinate, so we went into the exam room in reception. She took my blood pressure and measured baby's heart rate. She told me to kneel on all fours for the vaginal exam since I couldn't lie down. When  I got on the gurney, she immediately called for another midwife. She said she didn't think we would make it to the birthing room. I heard Folarin telling her to start filling a pool anyway, and to wheel me to the birthing room on the gurney. We got there and the pool was full enough for me to get in. The lights were dim and my mom was in the corner telling me "pele" ("sorry"/a Yoruba form of commiserating) when I had a surge, and Folarin spoke to me softly holding my hand and reminding me to breath and saying uplifting things. The midwives were mostly silent. I down breathed that way for about 45 minutes and he was born at 6.10 am!

The midwives and my mom were absolutely amazed by what hypnobirthing labour looked like (and the fact that my labour only lasted for a total of 6 hours for a first baby). Even though It didn't go exactly according to plan, it was anincredible, life affirming experience and I am so grateful I had it. There are so many ways in which things could have gone differently, at many different points in late pregnancy and in labour but hypnobirthing gave us the tools to have a beautiful birth and welcome our baby in such a gentle yet powerful way. he came out in his sac (just like Gustave!!!), and he was all wrapped up in his cord (around his neck, waist and legs -there is a special meaning when a baby is born wrapped in his/her cord in Yoruba culture).

Literally midwives stopped by our room to chat about hypnobirthing and my 6 hour labour, having heard about it from the midwives who attended our birth! I felt like some sort of legend :) my mom calls me superwoman and everyone we've told is desperate to sign up to a hypnobirthing course. It's so funny/crazy....Anyway, there's your morning long read!  

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