First Time Mom Anna’s Change of Plans Hypnobabies Birth
“I know without a shadow of a doubt that Hypnobabies helped me stay calm, helped me make informed decisions, and helped me accept the change of plans.”
Hypnobabies® – Natural Childbirth at its best!
FTM here but had two previous miscarriages prior to this pregnancy. I think the universe decided I deserved a VERY easy and enjoyable pregnancy after those miscarriages. I absolutely LOVED being pregnant and seriously miss it.
I LOVED listening to Hypnobabies tracks during my pregnancy. I know the program helped me make informed decisions during my pregnancy and gave me the courage to switch OBs around 30 weeks pregnant. First OB was a personal friend but was skeptical of Hypnobabies and of many of our decisions, and refused to do delayed cord clamping, so we switched to a practice with midwives. Best decision ever, and I KNOW Hypnobabies gave me the courage to make this necessary switch. My anxiety was completely gone after doing this.
Hypnobabies also helped me deal with a fearful and high-anxiety MIL, I implemented the Bubble of Peace (Hypnobabies tool to keep negativity away) with her and it kept her fear from projecting onto me. I had to keep her calm during the pregnancy instead of the other way around LOL
For some reason, I had a feeling that I would not make it to my guess date of May 5th (I looked 40 weeks pregnant at 25 weeks, not that this indicates when baby will come). 40 weeks came and went and I started to get a little anxious for the first time in the pregnancy. Midwives suggested a couple of ultrasounds in 3rd trimester and we were comfortable with that, and all ultrasounds estimated that Joel was “big”, but I was not worried about his size and the midwives didn’t say anything about it either, as he looked very healthy! Plus, it is completely normal to go past the “40 weeks” mark. Not even sure why it’s a thing!
Every night from 39 weeks on I would go to bed thinking – TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT – and then nothing would happen. I never once had practice waves (only very mild cramps every once in a while). FINALLY, on 41 + 3, I woke up around 7 AM on May 15th and realized my water broke! I was not feeling any birthing waves (Hypnobabies word for contraction) but knew this was finally my birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor)! I called the midwife on call, worried she would want us to come in due to my water breaking, but she said I could stay home for a bit to see if waves started. They did start around 8 AM but were extremely mild and far apart. I used this time to listen to Birthing Day Affirmations and get last-minute stuff together (shower/get ready, bake cookies for nurses, finish packing, etc.).
I cannot remember the order of the tracks I listened to, but I spent the next hours into the afternoon either in center or in off listening to my tracks. I know I listened to Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis) and Your Birthing Day Begins (Reminder of all the tools and techniques to use during birthing), but I just can’t remember the timing. Waves were picking up slightly and were closer together, but only lasting 25 seconds or so. My husband and I walked the neighborhood together in the afternoon, and I would stop at each wave and lean on my husband. We touched based with the midwife and she suggested we come in by 7 PM even if waves were not getting longer just in case. We were comfortable with this and got to the hospital around 7:30 PM.
We got checked in and settled in, and I stayed in center (Hypnobabies technique for being deeply in hypnosis while moving around and talking) while we walked the halls. Waves were picking up in intensity slightly, but still very comfortable. I spent the night changing positions, snacking, listening to my tracks, and trying to get things moving. I agreed to our first check ever sometime in the night and was a little disheartened to learn I was 3cm, but I knew things can change quickly so I didn’t let it mess with my BOP. By 7 AM (24 hours since my water broke), the midwife on call was leaving and a new midwife was coming in. Waves were definitely picking up now. I felt most comfortable walking around and stopping and leaning in a doorway or on my husband during each wave. At some point that day (now May 16th) we agreed to another check and I was at 5 cm. I only went 2 cm in maybe 12 hours (not exactly sure of the time as it is all a blur), so I was starting to get discouraged and tired, but still remained positive. The midwife felt another bag of waters (I didn’t even know that was possible) and suggested breaking this to speed things along. We agreed and it got things going.
Waves continued to pick up, and we learned that at some point Joel turned sunny side up. He was face down the entire pregnancy! This was causing serious pressure on my bottom, and this is when I really started to feel uncomfortable. BOP as I had a hard time staying in hypnosis at this point (I think exhaustion was part of it), but I continued using my PEACE cue (Hypnobabies tool for instant physical comfort) over and over, and that helped so much. Up to this point, I had tracks on repeat out loud this entire time (for some reason the headphones bothered me) but was starting to unintentionally tune them out at this point (again I think due to exhaustion). I also had great support from my husband who used the Relax cue (Hypnobabies tool to deepen hypnosis) on me frequently.
The pressure was getting really intense in my bottom, and I had a hard time sitting down on the birthing ball. This went on for hours, and around approximately 3 PM (32 hours since my water broke), the pressure was sooooooo intense and uncomfortable that I felt like I had to push to make it stop. I was struggling at this point to stay in hypnosis but still had great support from my husband and repeated PEACE over and over to myself. I asked for a check, certain I was at a 10, but I think I was at a 7 or 8. Looking back, I know this was Transformation (Hypnobabies word for transition), as I was throwing up a lot and one wave was going into the next with no break in between. At this point, I had not slept in 32 hours and I was mentally and physically exhausted and didn’t think I had it in me to continue on. I was running a temperature so it appeared I got an infection from the checks, so I got IV antibiotics which is something I was trying to avoid. With no pressure from staff or husband, I decided I needed an epidural. My husband asked me a few times “Are you sure” as I was dead set on having the natural birth I envisioned, and he was afraid I would regret it. But I knew it is what I needed.
I didn’t consider what I was going to give up by getting the epidural (no more eating and drinking, had to be hooked up to IV getting fluids, blood pressure medication, can’t get out of bed, etc.) but I still believe it was what I needed to get some rest. I will admit I felt instant relief after the epidural and I slept for two hours. Unfortunately, the epidural slowed down the waves during the nap, and the midwife suggested Pitocin to get things going again. After talking it over with my husband, we agreed. The Pitocin definitely started picking up the waves and we were hoping it would be go-time soon. I was instructed that I would know I was ready to push when the pressure on my bottom doesn’t subside between waves (the epidural can make it harder to feel when its time). I felt this around 9 or 10 PM, and the nurse checked me. I was 10cm but had a cervical lip and the nurse was unable to move it out of the way, so we had to wait for more waves to help me.
Around midnight, 41 hours after my water broke, the nurse confirmed finally that the lip was gone and it was time to push. I had my husband play Pushing Baby Out track (Hypnobabies track just for pushing) out loud. I really wanted to do mother-directed pushing but it was hard to feel with the epidural, so I relied on the nurses a bit as well as myself and I felt comfortable with this. I appreciated their directions. We tried pushing while lying on my side, as well as laying on my back but propped up a bit and in a squatting position. I also tried pushing on all fours (nurses helped get me in that position). I felt like the pushing was getting us somewhere, the nurse could even see Joel’s head at times, but they didn’t feel the need to call the midwife in yet. Eventually the midwife came back in, and apparently I had been pushing for 3 hours (felt like only 5 minutes) after only sleeping 2 hours in a 44-hour period. The midwife said she really wanted to bring in the OB to evaluate the situation, as for some reason Joel’s head was not progressing past a certain point (she mentioned the possible use of forceps or C-section)
The OB came in and gave his honest opinion, which is that I may need to consider a C-section. He was worried about Joel because his head appeared stuck at a certain point and didn’t want to put him in distress. He was also worried that if the head could make it down, that the shoulders would get stuck. He said he would let me discuss it with my husband. I started crying my eyes out, as I did NOT want a c-section and was fighting it hard. My husband calmed me down but made me realize that it was time. Neither of us had any energy left, and we both believe with all of our hearts that we were not being forced into anything.
The staff remained respectful of our birthing plan and did not ever force anything on us or suggest anything unless we asked for it. At this point, the right decision for us was to trust the doctor. He made it very clear that he does not push C-sections unless he really believes it to be necessary. Grudgingly, at 3 AM on Friday, May 17th, I agreed and they administered more epidural for the surgery and get us in the OR. Unfortunately, the additional epidural made my arms shake uncontrollably while in the OR, but I breathed through the nerves and used the PEACE cue which kept me calm.
I will never forget the sound of my son’s strong cry and my first glimpse at him through the clear curtain. At that point, nothing else mattered in the world. My husband ran over to him with the nurses and ran to me and said, “We don’t have an ugly baby!” 😂😂I couldn’t wait to see him again and hold him. It felt like forever waiting for the OB to stitch me up. I just wanted to hold my baby. Once they finally got me in the recovery room, I held my boy for the first time and fell in love. He latched on immediately and breastfeeding has been a breeze ever since.
My birthing time definitely did NOT go as I envisioned it. I really wanted a natural birth, with immediate skin to skin, no fluids, no antibiotics, etc. Plans changed, and even though we did not get the birth I dreamed of, I know it was the right path for my son to join us in this world. Although after the first 24 hours of my birthing time I had a hard time staying in hypnosis, I know without a shadow of a doubt that Hypnobabies helped me stay calm, helped me make informed decisions, and helped me accept the change of plans. The only thing I wish we had done was the change of plans script, but in the moment we didn’t even think about it.
It took a little bit of time after Joel was born to accept the way things went. But I truly know it was what was meant to be. The hospital staff and midwives were absolutely AMAZING. I never felt pressured into anything, all options were explained to me in detail and made to feel like my husband and I were in full control. The entire staff was very supportive of Hypnobabies. This helped me accept the C-section – I truly believe in my heart that the staff supported our birth plan and tried their hardest to help us achieve it.