Guess date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009, first baby

Avery Catherine, 6 lbs. 5 oz., 20 in. long, born Thursday, March 26 at 1:31 p.m.

True birthing time began Wednesday, March 25 around 2 a.m.

Success with Hypnobabies? Absolutely!

Pre-Labor (Skip or read with BOP)

**Mild pressure waves started Sunday evening, March 22 and they were perfectly manageable so I went to sleep. I thought we might even have the baby by the next morning! Ha! How wrong I was. PWs continued through Wednesday night becoming more uncomfortable and I wasn’t able to use my cues for some reason. It was probably all mental. I’d been Fear Releasing and Birthing Day Affirmations but something was still holding me back. Probably because I was a first-time mom, I was just scared. However I did and still do (even more so now, absolutely believe in Hypnobabies and know that we chose the very best way to birth).

By Wednesday night I was literally bored to tears from sitting around and not sleeping, and PWs were still inconsistent. So my wonderful husband turned on a bath for me and lit some candles. I had a glass of wine (never drank of course during pregnancy but I’d read some midwives say it was a good way to get things going) and boy were they right. I was refreshed and peaceful and the PWs started to pick up from here. For about 10 minutes I was moaning in the kitchen. But this was the only time during the entire birth that I actually felt pain.**

Ahhhhh, Hypnobabies brings relief!

The very moment I put my headphones on and listened to the Birth Guide CD when it was time to leave for the hospital, I was SO relaxed and comfortable. The midwife checked upon arrival and I was 6 centimeters and waters still intact! YES! What a great feeling. I was so happy and this carried me through until I was complete and ready to push at about 9 a.m. I didn’t even know I was in transition. It was just more intense but I wasn’t aware of any particular shift. Just overjoyed to hear I was complete. I felt SO great and my husband and Hypnobabies doula worked so well to keep me hydrated and encouraged. The nurses were wonderful and respected my birth plan. It was actually our midwife, who, while she did have a great bedside manner, and was extremely encouraging when I needed her to be, was also all about the “standard of care” and bossed the nurses around too much for my liking. You just never know. But I was allowed to move around even though the midwife was making my sweet nurse follow me around with the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate. But at least she was able to follow me and I didn’t have to lie down. It was tough on the nurse, I know, but she always found a strong beat, which I have to say, was comforting even though I wanted that monitor off me.

Let me just say a word on doulas. Hire one if at all possible and if she doesn’t know Hypnobabies, train her. Find someone who is willing to learn. I relied mostly on my husband for physical support during the birthing waves, and all he had to say was “relax” or “release”  to get me through, but it was my doula who I remember turning to most during transition and pushing. At that point I needed someone who had been through it and believed in her own body in order to maintain focus. My husband was getting a bit anxious and was asking a lot of questions, and our doula was incredibly supportive during this time. Through this increased intensity, I never once felt pain.

Time to Push!

BOP needed NOW. Skip these next two paragraphs if you want. They are not important to the overall success I had with the program, and I will preface it by saying that the more intense things became, the more Hypnobabies kicked in. And I was only about a C+ home study student!

**I honestly thought we’d have the baby by 10:30 a.m. or so. Boy, this little girl took ‘patience’ to a whole new level. I pushed for four and 1/2 hours, which was certainly no one’s plan, and in the end my body was clearly giving out. Yet in the end, everything was so worth it. I can’t say why I had to push for so long. My pelvis is obviously quite small since Avery was just 6 lbs., 5 oz. and really seemed stuck, and I did have a substantial tear when she was born at 1:31 p.m. (Even though I know plenty of small women who push much larger babies right through.) But I had no idea I’d even torn, and held and loved on my baby while I got stitched up. Also, the midwife had right away guided the placenta right out and I barely felt it. I am healing so well from the tear and have had a virtually pain-free recovery.

Just two thoughts on this: DO YOUR SQUATS. If I’d been physically able to stay squatting for longer (and if the hospital had had a squat bar like they should have), I think we’d have had our baby sooner. Also, don’t delay listening to your Pushing Baby Out track. I never really had a chance to listen to it since I was saving it for Birth Day, and by the time I needed it I couldn’t get my headphones to stay in. At that point I just needed my doula to give me the cues, and she did. Chiropractic care earlier also may have helped get my pelvis in better alignment. I will definitely be going earlier next pregnancy. But as challenging as the pushing phase was for me, the mood in the room during those hours was extremely peaceful. With each push I continued to remain confident that we were getting closer. It certainly was frustrating to not be able to literally see the fruits of my labor until 1:30 p.m., knowing that all FOUR grandparents were in the waiting room going crazy and ready to meet their very FIRST grandbaby, but everyone just kept encouraging me and telling me what a good job I was doing. My doula even ended up telling me to hold my breath some. While this is not normally a part of mother-directed pushing, I was glad she did because it helped give me a little added force when I was needing it. She said as many births as she’s attended, she’s never seen anyone quite as persistent as we were! After Avery was born, I looked at my doula and said, “That was hard!” And it was, but really only because I was going into it with no sleep. Hypnobabies absolutely helped sustain us when we needed it.**

Avery was SO alert and peaceful at birth. There are no words to describe how amazing it was to see her for the first time so I won’t even try. She scored 8 out of 10 on Apgar at one minute old (I think because of blue feet) and they stole her from me to put her under the warmer for a few minutes. She was 9 out of 10 at 5 minutes.

In the days after Avery’s birth, Kerry’s sweet voice continued to echo in my ears. The voice of an angel who helped us have the very birth we dreamed of!