Cassie’s Beautiful, Comfortable Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“They asked to check my progress, which I initially said no to (because of the increased infection risk after waters break), but when they called my OB, she insisted as she was the only OB in the office and needed to know how quickly she should come, so I conceded and was 9 cm.”
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On Tuesday, March 10th we welcomed our “little” bundle of joy, all 10 lbs 5 oz 22 inches of him – meet Carson!
In case you can relate to any of the following, feel free to read our birth story!
– First pregnancy
– First Hypnobabies baby (skeptical scientist turned believer!)
o Diligent, but not perfect hypnosis prep (either slept through my tracks or was in deep hypnosis)
o Supportive birth partner (but limited involvement in prep)
– Big baby
– Early dilation and effacement (evidence that numbers really don’t matter)
– Natural birth in a hospital (short birthing experience, but longer pushing stage)
Here’s our story:
I was dilated 3 cm and was 70% effaced by 36 weeks, then 5 cm and 100% effaced by 38 weeks with no practice waves to speak of (not until 4 days prior to his arrival). You can’t help but get excited when you hear those numbers but he didn’t come until 39 +1 weeks!
Birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor) begins:
But finally, on Tuesday morning at 11 AM I noticed I was leaking clear fluid, somewhat consistently, but without any pressure waves (Hypnobabies word for contractions) so I was skeptical it was the real deal. I called my husband to start his 1.5-hour commute home just in case. While waiting I tried the “lie-down test” to see if the fluid would pool and gush when I stood. But while I was lying down there was a distinct “pop” and a gush of fluid – it was the real deal. Soon after I started feeling my first real pressure waves, (I think they were immediately 5 minutes apart and lasting 45 seconds, but not very intense feeling) – luckily my husband just made it home. He called our OB and she said to head to the hospital.
Birthing time continues:
While my husband packed the car, I turned on my “Birthing Day Affirmations” track to get in a positive mindset. On the drive in I listened to “Easy First Stage” (Hypnobabies main birthing time track) on repeat to get into hypnosis (not sure I ever truly made it deeply into hypnosis, but I was calm and managing the pressure waves easily with my eyes closed any time I wasn’t walking). When I got to triage I continued to listen to my hypnosis track, although with the bombardment of questions I couldn’t really focus on it. They asked to check my progress, which I initially said no to (because of the increased infection risk after waters break), but when they called my OB, she insisted as she was the only OB in the office and needed to know how quickly she should come, so I conceded and I was 9 cm.
As a natural birther, I requested the room with the large tub and they took me to my room with my husband. I started out in bed as they filled the tub and switched my track to “Deepening Your Hypnosis” (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis). I was only in the tub maybe 10 minutes when the water started to feel really cold – turns out the room ran out of hot water (?), so back to the bed I went (after trying the birthing ball for a quick second, wasn’t a fan in the moment which was surprising given that I had loved it throughout pregnancy). I requested a hot compress for my perineum, which they didn’t have on hand. Before they returned I started to feel the urge to push (after being in my room for less than an hour).
Birthing time continues (pushing stage):
They encouraged me to follow my body’s urges, so I did (although I didn’t change my track to “Pushing Baby Out” (Hypnobabies track just for comfortable pushing) because we didn’t have any time to get our things from the car – such as the wireless speaker). Soon after I started pushing my OB arrived. I could not get comfortable or find a position that really felt good – tried a bunch. After 2.5 hours of pushing, I have to admit I was ready to throw in the towel – not because of any discomfort, but because I was exhausted (more exhausted than all of the basketball games I had played in my college career). I asked for my OB, as I wanted to talk options. She said that while I was doing great, my pushing was not as effective because for some reason my pressure waves became much more frequent (every minute or so), but shorter (about 30 seconds), so I was only able to get in two pushes per cycle. She told me, this is a big baby and that I would have to help him out and Pitocin might help lengthen my pressure waves so that I could get in more pushes per cycle. Wish I listened to my “Fear Clearing” (Hypnobabies track to release fear) track because I was scared that would make everything more intense (but it didn’t). Eventually, I agreed to try it at a low dose. Honestly, I don’t think the Pitocin did anything, but I changed my strategy and just kept pushing 1-2 more times even after the pressure wave stopped. I also focused more on putting my energy into my abs and butt and taking it out of my voice, face, and hands. And thanks to an energy boost from a popsicle I was able to push for another 2.5 hours. My poor baby was stuck in the birth canal for at least 8 push cycles, so it was no surprise that his heart rate was dropping. While I felt every bit of pressure in that area, I felt absolutely NO pain. My OB said ok, this time let’s get baby out. Despite my best efforts and 4 pushes in the cycle, his head wouldn’t come out until the next cycle. But he came out!
All of a sudden, my sweet boy was plopped on my chest. I remember so many people and hands rubbing my baby to stimulate him I couldn’t even really see him. But he soon made a gurgling cry! The nurses asked to take him to help clear his airways and soon that gurgling cry turned into a full-blown wail! (During this time, my OB asked me to give one last push and my huge placenta easily emerged). The nurses asked if I would like to hold him, but I said no – my husband would because I could tell my OB had some repairs to make.
… BOP (discomfort)…
The repairs to my Type 2 tear are the only part of my birthing experience when I ever felt a lot of discomfort. My hypnosis training went into overdrive and I just repeated every Hypnobabies term I could think of out loud, “Peace”, “Bright-orange hypno-anesthesia”, “Relax”. I was very glad I wasn’t holding my son through the experience because it helped me focus and I didn’t want him sensing/feeling my discomfort after what he had been through.
Although I don’t think I ever truly entered deep hypnosis (everything happened so fast), I can honestly say my inner mind was completely ready and stepped in to give me the pain-free birthing experience I didn’t know was possible. Despite my OB’s fears of shoulder dystocia, I was confident in my body and its ability to birth my baby no matter what his size. And even more wonderful, is the bond the birthing experience created between my husband and me, he was so sure he would stay up by my head and speak words of encouragement, but he ended up jumping right in there – holding my leg up for every push and he watched the whole thing going on downstairs! Watching him hold our son for the first time just melted my heart!
I hope my birth story inspires you to stick with your Hypnobabies program and trust your bodies. You will have a beautiful and comfortable birthing experience too!
PS – about postpartum: The background music for the Hypnobabies tracks is a wonderful way to help you fall asleep faster when babies sleeping, assuming you have someone else temporarily watching your little one.