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36 hours of labor! That’s right 36 hours of labor and I would do it all over again! With the help of the Hypnobabies program and my awesome husband, my birthing time was very manageable and even enjoyable.
So many people before I gave birth were asking me what I was planning for my birthing time. When I told them about Hypnobabies they thought I was crazy because they had been through labor cursing their husbands and screaming for drugs; there was no way it could be a positive peaceful experience. They also just didn’t think I could be mellow enough to accomplish self hypnosis. My “Bubble of Peace” became the goal to prove them all wrong and I did!
On Friday March 12th I had my weekly checkup appointment scheduled for 11am. At 10am, while putting my makeup on I noticed some mild contractions. On the way to the doctors office I watched the clock as I drove and realized they were 7 to 10 minutes apart. When I got to the office my doctor was running behind so I sat down and practiced my Hypnobabies. At this point I wouldn’t allow myself to believe this was it! When my doctor asked how I was feeling I told her about the pressure waves so she set me up on the monitors to make sure I was in active labor. I was instructed to go right home and go to the hospital when the pressure waves were 5 minutes apart because I was already dilated 3 cm.
I’m not very good at following directions. I was listening to my body. I knew the process was going to take a while so I ran a few errands on my way home and baked a dessert for the nurses. That evening the pressure waves had progressed to 5 minutes apart but I was reluctant to go to the hospital. My family has a history of long labors and I didn’t want the doctor on duty to get antsy and suggest altering my labor or breaking my water.
I called my wonderful Hypnobabies instructor, who is also a Doula, at about 9 pm and asked for her advice. She reminded me to listen to my body and go when I felt the time was right. Up to this point I had been using self deepening techniques for the contractions and taking long slow deep breaths.
My labor slowed down through the night. I put on the deepening CD and listened to it while I slept between contractions. At around 3 am Saturday morning the contractions started to become regular again at 5 minutes apart. I stayed in bed and tried to rest a bit more. I got in the shower at 5 am and sat on my birthing ball while using my deepening techniques.
At this point the contractions were becoming more difficult to talk through and I had to concentrate on my techniques. After getting breakfast we decided it was a good time for me to go to the hospital.
On the drive to the hospital I listened to the Birth Day track. I loved it! After I went through admissions I had to sit in triage until the doctor could check me out. During my stay there I made sure I told the nurse I was using Hypnobabies to birth naturally. She was happy to learn this and told me she would get me assigned to a nurse who was conducive to my birthing choice. The doctor on duty, whom I had never met and I soon discovered I didn’t like her personality or lack there of, came to check me and I was 5cm. She told me they were going to start me on an IV of fluids. I told her I would like to wait and she reluctantly agreed. Let me take this opportunity to say in my experience the doctor you have doesn’t matter, it is the nurses that add to your experience.
I was then lead to my birthing room and introduced to the first of my awesome nurses. Much to my dismay she connected me to the monitor. I was not allowed off of the monitor unless my doctor oked it. My understanding was that it was hospital policy. The good thing is I could sit on my birthing ball the bad part was the baby was moving constantly making monitoring difficult.
During my birthing time I was allowed off of the monitor for two half hour stints. I walked the halls and listened to my tracks. I would stop and lean on my husband during pressure waves. At the end of my last walk I decided it was going to be my last. I was having a difficult time standing and I was getting uncomfortable. I went back to my birthing ball.
This was the point that I really had to focus on my deepening techniques. If I didn’t the pain would take hold and I would feel overwhelmed. My mantra became, “I’m in control. It’s just pressure. Control, control, control.” All while my husband was talking in my ear telling me I was doing great. With the help of my mantra, my husband and my tracks I was able to turn the pain into pressure an not become overwhelmed. It is amazing what your mind and body can accomplish when they work together.
Seven hours or so into being at the hospital, 31 hours into labor, I was bored. I wanted my birthing time to be over just so I could do anything else! This is when my birthing time kicked into high gear. I was still listening to my Birth Day track and using my mantra. The doctor came back to check on me when I was 8 cm. She told me she would be back in about an hour to see how I had progressed. This is when I started whining. I wasn’t sure I could do it anymore. I was tired and I just wanted to close my eyes for 5 minutes. My nurse reassured me that I was doing an awesome job and I could do it. It was the end of her shift and she saw to it that I got another nurse that was open to my birthing style. The second nurse was just as good. She was very positive and reassuring.
My water still had not broken but I was feeling the need to push. I listened to my body and pushed. The pushing track was on in the background but I don’t remember hearing it. I was inside myself at this point and didn’t notice much around me. The doctor came back in again to check on me and yet again said she would be back later.
Just after she left the room my water broke. Pushing became a relief! I was just doing what my body wanted and it felt great. I felt three stages during each push and made a different noise for each stage. The nurse put the mirror up for me to see my progress. When I pushed she told me to look. I could see the baby’s head crowning. That was all the motivation I needed. The doctor came back in and within 10 minutes. I had a beautiful, peaceful baby girl in my arms.
Annalise was born on March 13th at 10:08 pm. She entered the world calm, alert and wide eyed. I didn’t curse my husband and I didn’t cry for drugs. I had a positive peaceful experience that I hope to have for any other children I may be so blessed to give birth to. The nurses both told me, after watching my birth, they will be using it for their next babies.
I’ve been asked why I thought Hypnobabies worked for me. I think there are a few reasons. I wasn’t fearful of giving birth. I’ve known since I was a teenager that I wanted a drug free birth. I trusted the program, did my homework and practiced. I can’t say I kept 100% to the schedule but I kept practicing long after my classes were finished. I visualized myself swimming in water and the feeling of weightlessness as I descended with each count during the tracks. I was able to make the program my own. Hypnobabies isn’t something to be scoffed at. It’s legit. Trust in the program and trust in yourself.