“All in all, I’m just amazed that Hypnobabies helped me to have the birth I had hoped for (and the birth I didn’t get to experience with my first non-Hypnobabies baby, also induced), just in a package that looked different than what I expected.”
Last week, after several non-reassuring NSTs and slightly elevated blood pressure, I agreed to go to L&D for extended monitoring. All the midwives and nurses thought I’d be sent home soon, but things still didn’t look good there. We had very low scores on several Bio Physical Profiles, and were told that our baby showed no signs of practice breathing or fine motor movements. Docs and midwives were worried this was a sign of placenta beginning to fail, along with the rising BP. We couldn’t go home knowing that our baby might not be okay, and that day at 37 weeks we decided on induction to avoid any emergency measures. I had told my husband to stay home, not anticipating this outcome, and used my Fear Clearing track (To help release any last minute fear) and the Deepening track to calm myself and deepen my hypnosis after a good cry on the phone with him. He kept reminding me that we would get to meet baby Eli soon, and that it would be an amazing experience no matter what as he got himself to the hospital.
The induction started with a Foley bulb Thursday night, and we started Pitocin Friday morning. I used Hypnobabies from the start, and was amazed to feel nothing but a little pressure before it was placed. I used the Easy First Stage track (Keeps our hypno-moms in hypnosis during their birthing time) and Birthing Day Affirmations alternating with Deepening track through the day, and paced the halls through most pressure waves, which felt like intense pressure while sitting and almost felt good while walking. Late in the day our backup doula arrived (ours was out of the country and we’d literally just met the backup!). She was amazing and jumped right in alternating with my husband using the Relax cue with hands on shoulders to deepen my hypnosis – throughout the birthing time, I relied on someone’s hand on my shoulder and was SO grateful for it.
By evening I had progressed (didn’t want to know how much), but not enough to be in active birthing time. We agreed to have the midwife release my waters, since there was concern about continued Pitocin. We were told that for a second child, this was likely to cause a natural release of oxytocin which could help me into transformation. Reluctantly, I agreed to this plan, asking for extra time to get into hypnosis (I used the Come Out Baby track several times at this point, then Deepening for the procedure) and for them to let me stay in hypnosis, giving a thumbs up when ready. Again, just pressure.
The release of my waters instantly pushed me into transformation. Retrospectively, I wish they’d have cut off the Pitocin (they cut it in half) because things got very intense very quickly. After about an hour, I felt I was losing focus on hypnosis and asked to try nitrous or an epidural due to the intensity. I was conflicted because I wasn’t sure if this was sabotaging my months of Hypnobabies practice, but I truly felt that I was losing my capacity to focus and be present for my baby’s birth. Additionally, I had developed a splitting migraine (my body’s reaction to birthing time with both my babies) which was impacting my focus. Nitrous helped but I didn’t like how dopey I felt, and wasn’t able to feel present and couldn’t focus on my tracks. The anesthesiologist was amazing, honoring my request for as mild of an epidural as possible. In contrast to my first non-hypnobabies birth, the epidural only took some of the intensity away – I could still feel everything!
At this point I played Strengthen my Birthing time on repeat, maybe 1-1/2 times. The image of the oxytocin fountain was amazing, and after this cue I began to feel baby move down. I was amazed to feel him move gently into my birth canal, turn and wiggle into the right position, and continue to descend until I felt the urge to gently push. Husband turned on the Pushing Baby Out track (This track keeps hypno-moms in hypnosis and encourages them during pushing), and we pushed for around an hour. I was reminded by the midwife that if I pushed more, the baby would be here already, but I didn’t want to push more or harder. With each wave, I gently pushed and felt him descend bit by bit. I eventually felt his head with my hand which was exhilarating, and as he came down and out I somehow knew exactly when I wanted to push his head out between waves, and did! Later I was shocked and delighted to discover there was only one minor tear, not requiring any stitches.
After that, he was quickly born and I experienced the most amazing rush of love when I saw my chunky 8lb 5oz baby boy with leg rolls placed on my belly by my husband, who caught him.
Even though things got intense and I felt like I should feel guilty or as though I’d failed at Hypnobabies for getting the epidural, I have gotten over that part and actually feel like Hypnobabies helped me through an incredibly scary start to my birthing time, and helped me to feel in tune with my body and baby enough to be clear minded at every decision point. My husband pointed out that I was able to continue using hypnosis after the epidural, and stayed in tune with my body and baby the whole time – which was the goal. We were also relieved we decided to move forward with having the baby – the person who encapsulated my placenta (and midwives) notes that there was significant damage to the placenta which might have become more serious over the subsequent weeks. I’m so grateful for the help I had keeping calm with Hypnobabies as we made those tough decisions.
All in all, I’m just amazed that Hypnobabies helped me to have the birth I had hoped for (and the birth I didn’t get to experience with my first non-Hypnobabies baby, also induced), just in a package that looked different than what I expected. We are now in love with our sweet boy, whose temperament is utterly chill and relaxed (maybe a side effect of hypnosis every day for 5 months?). And most importantly, baby is healthy, well, and so is mama. ❤❤❤