Today’s Doula Diaries submission comes from the wonderful Jes Jackson at Itty Bitty Photography in Tasmania. A great tale of how one mama in Hobart used Hypnobirthing and patience to achieve her dream birth!
The moment I met Sarah I knew that she was going to change my concept of birth entirely and that together we were going to be a force to be reckoned with in changing the face of birth in Hobart.
Sarah is a trained psychologist and Hypnobirth Practitioner, I initially contacted her to network, to learn more about what it was she did and to see if she would be happy to exchange brochures for us to share with clients. I didn’t realize Sarah her self was about 30 weeks pregnant. We clicked instantly and before our second meeting I was booked in to photograph her birth!
During our meeting Sarah told me the birth story of her first baby. During that pregnancy she had hoped and prepared to have a home birth. After a long, hard labour Sarah was stuck in the second stage and finding it difficult to make progress. The decision was made to transfer to the hospital for assistance with the delivery.
Sarah expressed to me how this time around she wanted to be able to give birth in the water at home. She had been working really hard to visualize and focus on that moment, learning to really trust in her body and and regularly practiced Hypnobirthing Australia Techniques that she teaches to her clients.
We kept in regular contact until her delivery day. Sarah was 41 weeks and was growing tired of waiting, I remember her saying she thought her baby might never come out, and I joked with her that clearly she had made a very comfy home in her womb for her baby.
It was a Saturday, at about 7 am when I got the first message to say that things had been happening through the night but there was no need to rush, because they were anticipating a long labour like the first.
I had a full day of mini sessions booked in, and I was unsure whether to attempt to get through them or to reschedule them now in case I was to be called out. Sarah was about an hour drive from my home so I needed to have some time up my sleeve.
A couple of hours later she messaged to say labour had stalled, but her midwife still thought it would happen today and they were going to go for a walk and get some rest in.
I decided to get through the morning sessions, And together with my clients made the decision to reschedule the afternoon ones. Good thing I did as I got the next message from Andrew (Sarah’s husband) at 3:30. Calmly he said, “Things are progressing nicely, if you would like to make your way out here when you can.” Thankfully I was packed and ready to go, I jumped straight into the car and made the drive over the river.
My instincts told me that things were going to happen a lot quicker then they had anticipated. I actually went to bed that Friday night thinking, “Saturday is going to be the BIRTH day.” Usually I get this feeling with my clients the night before. I always make sure my hair is washed and straightened when that feeling comes on as I know ill be called away at any moment! Of course there had to be a car broken down on the bridge which delayed traffic slightly, but I made it… Just…
As I arrived the second midwife arrived too, I knew that meant we were getting close to delivery.
I entered the room ever so quietly, doing my very best not to drop my lens cap or run into the couch. (I have a tendency to embarrass myself by drawing attention unintentionally!) There was beautiful soft music playing and a gorgeous aroma burning that filled the room. Sarah was in the birth pool, her midwife gently pouring water over her back. She was on all fours with her elbows up over the birth pool (which caused her a lot of pain and a very dead arm for some weeks to follow). Her husband Andrew was softly whispering positive hypnobirthing affirmations in her ear.
She rode through each surge so peacefully and calmly, that it was hard to believe she was actually in labour. In one moment she breathed her baby down and reached down to touch her babies head. A grin extended from ear to ear, as if to say, “I am totally doing this!”.
Sarah kept breathing, and the anticipation and excitement filled the room. A smile on everyone’s face, pride beaming from us all. We knew how much this was going to mean to her.
A few short moments later Sarah was catching her baby, in the water with her darling midwife and loving husband by her side…just as she had hoped and dreamed about.
It was truly beautiful and appeared effortless. Hiding behind my camera, tears streamed down my face. I had only known Sarah for a short time but I just couldn’t help be so proud and thrilled for her. I got a true sense of Sarah’s sense of accomplishment.
This moment, I will never forget and it gives me goose bumps every time I look at her images…
“I did it.”
She cried with so much joy, love. strength and courage. Power written all over her face.
She birthed her baby beautifully and it was an absolute honor to be there and capture this moment for her!