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Hypno-mom Lindsay sent us her birth story and beautiful birth video; her hubby and doula decorated the hospital room with lights and Affirmations cards, Lindsay powerfully birthed Baby Aspen into her own hands, and Daddy announced the sex of baby. Gorgeous footage and empowering Pitocin-induced unmedicated Hypnobabies birth story that even the hospital anesthesiologists were impressed by! Birth story first, written for Baby Aspen, and birth video after that, below.
Aspen’s birth story
We used Hypnobabies to have a relaxed, comfortable, and confident birth. It taught us how normal and natural birth really is. During my pregnancy, I imagined our birth happening on a weekend and you being born on a Sunday morning so we could get brunch from Maggiano’s next door to the birth center.
I had been listening to my Hypnobabies “come out baby” hypnosis track every day since 40 weeks to ease any worries either of us had about you being born. I knew you would come when you were ready, but I was feeling lots of pressure from the midwives, family, and friends. On this morning, at 41 weeks, I woke up a little after 4 am. It was a Saturday and I turned on the come out baby track. Right before it ended it rained hard for only a minute or two, then as soon as the track was over I felt the trickle of my water breaking. I was so excited because I knew we would be meeting you this weekend.
We were both so excited but also unsure of what to expect over the next few hours. I texted our doula, photographer, and Auntie H. to let them know what was going on. After breakfast I began walking, squatting, and doing everything I could think of to get birth started. By the afternoon I had some pressure waves but nothing consistent yet. We decided to call the midwife and let her know what was going on. I knew they would only give me 24 hours once my water broke, so I was nervous about what they would say. I was fully confident my body was doing just as it needed and I wasn’t the least bit worried about infection. I told her my water didn’t break until 7 am to give myself a little more time. I was confident that my body would do just as it needed. She told me just to check in in a few hours. I continued to do everything I could think of to get things moving.
Daddy said it would be a long night so he went to sleep on the couch. I continued being really active trying to keep things going, while listening to my hypnosis tracks. Throughout the night I alternated between being really active and taking short rests on the couch. I checked in sometime in the middle of the night with the midwife and she said to call around 5:30 am in case we needed to come in around 7 am, which would be what I told her was 24 hours. They also changed shifts at 7 am, so it would be a different midwife. Finally around 3 am my waves were 4-5 minutes apart. Daddy woke up and we took a shower. While we were in the shower, I had a few strong waves that were pretty close together. Daddy said “wow we probably need to leave soon”. We got out and got dressed and my waves basically stopped for about an hour. I had been up for almost 24 hours and was totally exhausted. I decided to try to sleep for the next hour and hopefully my body just needed a rest.
I dozed off for only a few minutes at a time, but I did feel a little more rested. I started having waves again about 8 minutes apart. It was 5:30 am and the midwife called to check in. I let her know my progress and that I really thought my body just needed a couple hours of rest. She said we need to come in because it was almost 24 hours. By this time, it was 6:30 am. I talked to Katie our doula and decided if we wait until 7am we could talk to the new midwife and maybe she’d let us stay home and rest for a little bit before coming in. The new midwife called right at 7 am because she was expecting us to be there. We told her about the past 24 hours and how tired I was but she still asked us to come in. I was again disappointed, but knew we would be meeting you soon, so that made it alright. Daddy finished putting everything in the car and we hit the road.
We arrived at the birth center close to 9am and met Katie. I was glad she was there for knowledge and support. Once inside, the midwife checked me and I was 4cm open and 60% effaced, but you were still very high. She said since I was still considered to be in early labor that we needed to transfer (to the hospital) since my water had been broken for over 24 hours. I was so upset that things weren’t going the way I had wanted. I kept reminding myself that we would be meeting you soon and that made it ok. I snacked in the car not knowing if they would let me eat or not once we got there.
It was a Sunday, so valet was closed and we parked in the garage. Once we gathered all of our things we headed to the labor and delivery ward (I hate those terms, why can’t they just call it the birthing ward??). We got all checked in and taken to our room. We all started unpacking and the sweet nurse introduced herself. Katie asked which midwife would be taking over and when she found out it was Margaret she was relieved and said how awesome she was. Margaret came in a few minutes later and introduced herself and let us know she was going to see if a larger, newer room was available. Shortly after, we were able to move rooms. Daddy and Katie began setting up the lights and affirmations in the new room and then finished unpacking. It really transformed the room and made it much more comfortable.
Margaret came in and sat down and let us know that she understood we didn’t want to be there and that we were upset it didn’t go according to plan. She had read over our birth plan and said she would do everything she could to make it happen. It was important to her that she gained our trust and that we felt comfortable in her care. She told us how her first birth she was given the knockout shot and treated poorly and that she didn’t want anyone else to have to go through that and that’s why she became a midwife. She also told us that back in the 60s she lived on a commune. I thought she sounded like a pretty cool lady! Then she wanted to know all about us and we sat and talked for 15 minutes or so. I felt much better after this.
Around 1 pm once we were settled in and had gotten to know Margaret a little, it was time to start pitocin. I was nervous because I know how strong it can be, but Margaret understood this too and said she’d be using the smallest amount possible to nudge my body to do what it would naturally anyways. I laid down on the bed to try to rest as much as possible because I knew things were definitely going to pick up from here on out. Daddy and I cuddled on the tiny hospital bed until things started to pick up. I started again with my Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks. My hypnosis really helped me and everyone said I was very focused. Once the pressure waves started again I was so thankful since they had slowed down for so long. Every time one came I closed my eyes, hung my head and rolled it back and forth, and repeated in my head “soft jaw, soft hands, relax” and it really helped me to relax. I imagined my waves like a big warm hug and actually pictured hands wrapping around my belly helping you move down. I pictured my dad’s hands (your grandpa in heaven) and I felt so at peace knowing that he was guiding you into the world. I knew he was watching over us and that he wouldn’t let anything bad happen. I had to use the bathroom frequently and getting up and moving around made my waves more intense. This whole time I had no idea who was in the room or when they came because I was so focused. I kept my eyes shut pretty much the entire time.
I didn’t know how far apart my waves were, but once they were very close together I was sitting in the rocking chair. Our doula Katie kept one of my legs elevated with a stool to help you move down into my pelvis. I was so tired that in between waves I started to fall asleep and she had to hold my head back because I kept nodding off. I got up one last time to use the bathroom and after I did I had a wave that didn’t completely go away before another one started. I thought ‘I hope we’re getting close because I’m so tired’. The only time I ever thought of having an epidural was because I was so tired I knew I could at least sleep then. But I knew I didn’t want that and knew there could be many side effects. I decided to get on the bed since I was falling asleep through waves anyways. Right before I got in the bed I had a very strong wave. Almost right after I laid down, I felt that you were coming soon and I asked Daddy and Katie to take my pants off (I was still wearing a tank top and yoga pants). I knew these waves were different and it felt good because I knew we were making progress and you’d be born soon. I asked Katie to turn on my Hypnobabies “pushing baby out” track out loud. I remember the midwife asking for a delivery tray. Later daddy told me they were scrambling to set it up and even turned my pitocin way down. I was still on my side and Katie helped me hold my leg up so I could focus. I enjoyed feeling you move down.
Finally I could feel your wet head. I touched it with my hand the whole time until you came out. I remember feeling you come out a little and then go back in, gently stretching my tissues. I repeated to myself “soft and strong and stretchy; I’m gonna get huge down there”. It really helped me. I knew if I felt any sort of burning sensations that my body needed more time to stretch. I felt a little burning at the top but it was really hard to try to slow down because each wave was so powerful and I was so ready to meet you. It felt like it all happened so fast. I remember when your whole head came out and I unwrapped the cord from your neck and then held you while the rest of your body was born. Then I untangled the cord from your arm and pulled you to my chest. It was such an amazing feeling. You were looking at me and it took a little bit before you cried but I knew you were perfectly healthy. It was so beautiful and peaceful. You pooped on me as soon as you came out! I asked daddy what you were and he looked and said “it’s a girl!”. I immediately responded “I knew it!”. After a few minutes the midwife said the cord stopped pulsing and asked us if we were ready to cut it. I wanted to wait a little longer. Then I remember the weird feeling of the placenta being born. After it was born daddy cut your cord. I had a little more bleeding than usual, so I got light headed. I was also starving and exhausted. Daddy got to hold you and he was glowing. Then, they weighed and measured you and you were perfect.
We were finally able to move to our room and we got to eat. Nana and Papaw held you while daddy and I ate. It was late and I knew we should be so tired but I was so excited I couldn’t sleep. I was so thankful for the way everything turned out. I was thrilled to be able to nurse you too.
The next day four anesthesiologists came in because they wanted to check on me since I had an epidural. I told them “no I didn’t have one”. He said “you’re Lindsay Black right? And you had pitocin? You didn’t have one?”. Again I said no. He said “I have paperwork showing you had one. They probably just filled it out and assumed you’d want it.” He was very impressed and gave me a high five! One of the others looked at daddy in awe and said “now that’s a strong woman, you should keep her around!”. It was quite the encounter, I felt so proud. After our stay we were so ready to get home and start our life with you. When we got home we found out the animals had eaten all 10 of the enchiladas that Becky had made for us. I knew we were in for a stinky night and I looked at daddy and said, “welcome home!”
Hypnobabies comments and advice from Hypno-mom Lindsay:
I did play my Hypnobabies tracks on my headphones the whole time, although I don’t consciously remember which track we were on and I didn’t try to follow the suggestions on the tracks. But they kept me calm and relaxed and comfortable. I had my eyes closed almost the whole time and I didn’t know when someone came in or not or how many people were there. I never technically used my Hypnobabies “finger drop or off switch” but each time a wave came I pictured my orange hypno anesthesia and let my body completely relax. So I did use what I needed from what I learned in Hypnobabies. Also, it worked so well that I honestly don’t even know when I was in transformation (transition). My doula said it wasn’t very obvious either. I think it was very quick lol. I had one wave that never completely went away and another started and then I felt pushy!
Advice for other Hypnobabies moms, from Lindsay:
Trust your body and trust the process. Educate yourself so you always know what’s coming and the pros and cons of things. Every birthing wave I repeated to myself “soft jaw soft hands relax” and my whole body was relaxed through each wave. I also had a period where my waves stopped, so when they started again in the hospital I said “yes please” once each wave started instead of dreading it. Your mind controls a whole lot more than you think it does. It’s all in your head. 😊
Baby Aspen’s Beautiful Hypnobabies Birth Video (you may cry!) Birth photography and video by Kailee Riches Photography and Film