Born February 11th, 2021 in a hospital in Amsterdam
Being from a country where C-section is the standard labor story, I never felt so proud like in the moment I delivered my baby in a vaginal birth, with no pain relief and no medical procedure. When I got pregnant, I heard that it was common in the Netherlands to deliver the baby at home but I could not really believe it. Since we needed to cope with this new reality, we decided to study hard and to take a hypnobirthing course. Kasia guided us through techniques so that our labor could be a peaceful and joyful moment in our lives instead of a stressful one. We were already considering homebirth, but after the course we were sure that this was our best option! We wanted it to be mainly us in our comfort environment!
The week I had my labor was the coldest one we ever experienced in the Netherlands. Amsterdam was covered in snow and temperatures reached -15°C. Two days before my labor, we had a long walk to see the windmill near our house covered in snow. I was almost on my due date and my baby and belly were huge! I knew my baby was probably more than 4kg because in both my family and my husband’s family babies were usually big, so I felt that it would be better to have him sooner rather than later. I was practicing all techniques I learned during the hypnobirthing course, like meditation and natural induction exercises. I wanted everything to be as natural as possible, so I knew I had to do my part and practice the learnings from the course. This was a great opportunity, since in Brazil big babies are usually advised to be born through a C-section.
My water broke around 2am and my contractions started immediately. I woke up my husband and I had a video call with my parents and sister. I thought it would take at least a day until my baby would come out, but I was totally wrong on that. We started to listen to music and positive affirmations and to focus on breathing, so at 04:30 my contractions were 1 min long every 5 min and that was the sign to call our midwife. Once she arrived I was already 7 cm dilated and everything was going great. She called the kraamzorg and everything was ready.
I got to 9 cm dilated and I felt the beginning of the pushing phase, but she asked me to wait. I remember doing hip exercises and the camel walk to help the baby’s head to come down. The midwives had a shift change and the new midwife wanted things to go a little faster. She wanted us to go to the hospital so that I could get oxytocin and that’s what we did around 09:30. It was the longest walk of my life, going to the car with 10 cm dilation!
I was hoping I could get a bathtub inflated, since we thought we “still had time”, but when I arrived at the hospital I was fully dilated and the baby head was already coming out. There was only time to start bringing him to us! I guess the exercises helped him to settle. I tried to focus on the breathing technique during the expulsive part of labor, since I was having various contractions. I never felt so much power in all my life!
I stayed most of my labor in positions I had chosen, even in the hospital. When he was close to come, I decided to lay down because my legs were too tired for anything else. Around 11:30, I had three contractions in a row and I could push his head out. Another two contractions and his body was also out. I could not believe I had done it! I cried more than my baby out of happiness and relief for having him there directly from my womb into my arms!
We stayed together skin to skin for a couple hours. Our baby was 4255g, and although I had a laceration, I didn’t feel it. My placenta took around 30 minutes to come out, but it also came naturally. All my family was so proud of me! In my family, all women from my mom's generation had C-section and my story empowered all of them. If I could do it, it was like all of us could have done it as well!
I am grateful for all the learning and happiness that Kasia shared with my hypnobirthing group as well as all the meditation scripts that made my pregnancy peaceful and relaxing. I would definitely do it another time if I get to have another child. I hope more people can also benefit from this knowledge and have natural, happy births like mine."
Fernanda and Thiago joined the HypnoBirthing Group course via Zoom November/December 2020