Emily’s Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“My husband also stepped up and helped new nurses and doctors understand the Hypnobabies program. Since I was “off” and deeply in hypnosis, he would explain that they couldn’t just talk to me, that if they needed to, he would need to count me up to “center” and once they were done or needed to check me, he would use the “Release” cue and I would switch back to the “off” position.”
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I’m sitting here, the day before I return to work from leave, reflecting on my beautiful pregnancy and the amazing blessing it has been. Before we get to the birth story, I’d like to share of bit of background.
My husband and I have been together for 11 years, married for six. We love children, yet never planned on having our own. So, you might say, this pregnancy was a bit of a surprise (ok, more of a SHOCK) for both of us and, of course, our families. We thrilled to meet this little one.
At the time I became pregnant, I was 41 years old. I knew that this was a once in a lifetime opportunity and I wanted to make the most of it. My husband will tell you that I was stressed (boarding on obsessed) about every little thing very early on in my pregnancy. Admittedly, I was. While I let some things get me more worried than necessary, oddly enough, I was never worried about giving birth. We had planned on a hospital birth, and I knew in my heart that I wanted my birthing time to be a beautiful experience and that’s when I began researching different methods to use during my birthing time…. enter – the Hypnobabies program.
When I first discussed the program with my husband, his response was, “Whatever makes you comfortable.” I knew it wasn’t really his cup of tea, but considering who was giving birth (me), I went ahead with it. So, I got the home study materials and off I went. I can’t tell you how much I enjoyed the audio tracks, especially the daily affirmations (Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations). Most of my stress and obsessions were diminished as I continued to listen to those each day. When it came time to introduce the partner scripts and cues to my practice, my husband did a fantastic job. I still knew it wasn’t his thing, but he was very supportive and read up on the things I asked him to.
Ok, now the birthing story!
I met with my doctor (supportive of the program) during my 38-week appointment. I was dilated to 1 cm – very excited! Because of my age, she and I discussed the fact that she would not let me go past my guess date, July 11. Through my Hypnobabies training – the baby comes on his birthday and not when the doctors say. So, I went home and discussed her thoughts with my husband. I told him that I would like to purchase the “Come Out Baby” track when I reached 39 weeks, as the last thing I wanted was an induction. Because of the holiday week and my doctor being out of town, I wouldn’t be going in to see her until July 9, so I wanted to get things moving along before then.
On July 4 (39 w), I was excited to purchase the “Come Out Baby” track. I couldn’t wait to listen to it! It was so calming and encouraging. The next day, I decided to listen to it twice. I figured it couldn’t hurt, and, again, I knew he wouldn’t come unless he and my body were ready. That evening, I asked my husband to have a conversation with our son about getting ready for his birthday. He said, “You’re welcome to come any time after 8:00 am tomorrow.” Well, our son kind of listened.
At 2:30 am the next day, I woke up and felt like I need to go to the bathroom. Once I was done, I stood up and my water broke. It didn’t click at first, so when I tried to stand up again and water kept coming out, I knew… this was it! As soon as I was able to get the water to stop for a bit, I woke up my husband. That was fun! It was quite the way to wake up for him. After the shock and surprise wore off, we got dressed, got our bags, and had some breakfast. I called the hospital to let them know and see how much time we had before we needed to be in. I was going to use my Finger-Drop (Hypnobabies cues) to get into “off” and “center” (hypnosis techniques) at home, but my concerns got the better of me, so we just headed to the hospital. I put my earbuds in and started my birthing day Hypnobabies tracks on the way. By the time we got there, I managed to get myself under hypnosis.
After getting settled in my room, the nurse came in and we went through my birth plan. She was fascinated with the program, so I provided her with the Hypnobabies language sheet. She left to let us get settled. When she returned, she was using the Hypnobabies language and extremely supportive!
About three hours I arrived, I still wasn’t having strong birthing waves. The nurse and doctor came in to discuss starting Pitocin. While it wasn’t on my birth plan, I knew that we needed to start moving things along. So, I kept playing my birthing day hypnosis tracks and kept myself in “off” most of the time.
Because I was in “off” (deeply in hypnosis) and my eyes closed, sometimes the concept of time and people coming and going escaped me. I know the massage/aromatherapy specialist came in to help with the pressure waves and showed my husband how to help with pressure points. I know they continued to up the Pitocin, as my pressure waves became stronger and stronger.
For the most part, I was able to breathe through them and focus on my hypnosis techniques. I’m not sure what time it was, but there was a point in time where my pressure waves were lasting two to three minutes, and only a minute a part. I told my husband I was having a tough time catching my breath and I couldn’t catch a break. Apparently, this pattern went on for about 45 minutes. This was the only time when I wavered from the hypnosis and thought I might need something to take the edge off the intense waves. Thankfully, between the nurses and my husband, they recognized the difficulty I was having and dialed down the Pitocin. My husband also stepped up and helped new nurses and doctors understand the Hypnobabies program. Since I was “off” and deeply in hypnosis, he would explain that they couldn’t just talk to me, that if they needed to, he would need to count me up to “center” and once they were done or needed to check me, he would use the “Release” cue and I would switch back to the “off” position and go more deeply into hypnosis.
As we progressed from day to evening, things got a little more intense. Because I was on Pitocin and on monitors, I could only lie on my sides. It was causing more discomfort than I had expected, but nothing I couldn’t manage my way through with my Hypnobabies cues. Once they dialed back on the Pitocin, I was able to be seated in a comfortable butterfly position and finally, go deep into hypnosis and much more comfortable. I finally had some time to re-center and even rest between pressure waves. And then, it was time to give birth.
Admittedly, my bright orange hypno-anesthesia didn’t work as well as I had hoped during pushing, but only three good sets of pushes and 40 minutes later, Addison James entered the world – 11:06 pm, 7 lbs 13 oz, 20.5 inches long.
I’m not sure at what point my husband the skeptic turned into my husband the believer, but he told everyone how impressed he was by my ability to use the Hypnobabies program for my birthing time. Apparently, the nurses and doctors were too. I guess I was the talk of the birthing and postpartum floors. We had a few nurses, who helped during the birthing time, come visit us the day after Addison’s birth. While my husband knew who they were, I only remembered the first nurse we had. How’s that for being in “off” (deep hypnosis)!?
While Addison will be our one and only Hypno-baby, I am so thankful this program gave me the tools I needed to have the beautiful birth I wanted. There just aren’t enough words of praise and thanks.
Thanks for letting me share my story!