Lancelot, born October 2019
My husband and I decided we were ready to have a baby, and poof just like that- we conceived! I knew I was pregnant the next day. People said you can't know that early, but when I suddenly craved for orange juice, had a ridiculously heightened sense of smell and suddenly needed to go to the toilet urgently- I knew something was up! I worked out the due date to be the 30th October 2019, which was my late Grandfather's Birthday. My Midwife made a slight adjustment to be the 1st of November, I secretly hoped she was wrong and that I was right... I was!
Fast forward 21 weeks, I started Jo's wonderful Pregnancy Yoga classes with much joy, as it was one of the only exercise regimes that was left that felt comfortable! I had a case of pubic symphisis throughout the whole pregnancy. We also arrived for the HypnoBirthing Course at 31 weeks and with Jo's gentle guidance and positive SUPPORT I learned about my body and its amazing capacity to birth. I began to anticipate my baby's birthing day with joy. Through the entire course, my husband Dave felt equally part of the learning and discourse and learned about how he could support me as I went through the different stages of birthing. He was a supporter and found he could guide me through breathing, visualisations and retreating inward.
For me, I found the HypnoBirthing affirmations to be a big part of my practice; as a type of meditation. Initially, I was hesitant about them- I am a Christian and wanted to focus on Jesus and his strength. But after praying about it as well as being informed I felt peace about the HypnoBirthing affirmations. I also discovered another Christian hypnobirthing app which added to my resources to use. Jo was patient and so understanding, allowing me to find my own way, that would make me feel comfortable.
On the 29th of October, I was watching a movie with my mum. I kept feeling back stiffness and so I moved from the couch to the chair, to the floor and gym ball. Mum looked at me strangely, but I said "Oh, I always do this". At around 3pm Dave came home and said "I think I want to try out the Tens machine". Luckily I did, as little did I know that I was feeling the early signs of my baby coming! Surges started a little while later and I was heard saying "This isn't so bad! I can handle this".
My surges continued through the afternoon and into the night. Because I wanted my baby born on the 30th, I felt fairly calm and ready to go through the night. However, at 12 am I was having surges around 3 per 10 minutes, and Dave and I decided to go to the hospital. My Midwife felt me and said my baby was posterior and I that I probably wasn't open enough. I remember walking out of the hospital crying, but in hindsight I was afraid and not really ready.
Over the next 6 hours, I used the HypnoBirthing meditations, did gentle movements and exercises and tried to sleep. When I called my MGP in the morning, she was surprised I had been able to hold off that long. When the Midwife checked me at 7am, she said "I was open enough to go to hospital". I was relieved that my baby was coming! The next 8 hours are a blur.... I remember the Tens machine, Midwives checking the baby's heart rate through the monitor on my stomach and having the HypnoBirthing affirmations on repeat A LOT!
At 2.45pm, my darling little one shot out into the world! I remember the Midwife plonking him on my chest and I felt astonished and bewildered! This was MY baby?! Wow!! My husband cut the cord, and as baby snuggled up for the first breastfeed, I felt instantly in love! I had no idea what the gender was- I couldn't see! In a daze, I asked "What is it?!" to Dave. He replied, "it's a boy!". I was surprised as I was elated... all along I thought 'he' was a she! Yet it made absolutely no difference to my joy.
I was determined to have my baby with no drugs and I did! Lancelot David Crowe was born with nothing but my courage and natural birthing hormones. He was so healthy, he had an oxygen level 100% and an APGAR score of 9. He was able to have his first breastfeed, and was so alert and aware. Then Dave took him out to see his Grandmother soon after he was measured and weighed and she had tears in her eyes when I said I was thinking of calling him Lancelot. As he was born on his Great GrandFather's Birthday (my mother's father). What made it even more special was that I had been born on my Great GrandMother's Birthday (my mother's Grandmother).
Jo was an amazing teacher and I was so touched by her genuine care. She was always there for Dave and me, and gave me empathy and courage to face anything that happened on Lancelot's birthing day. I can not recommend the HypnoBirthing course with Jo highly enough! If I could do it all over again, I would!
David and Nicole Crowe with Lancelot (Day 1)