First Time Mom K’s Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“At 6am, I woke up my husband “just in case” this was the big day. LOL, I had a long packing/to-do list for him. He gathered my birthing ball, pillows, etc. and drew me a bath. The bath was glorious. As soon as I got in the water, I felt a gush. I didn’t know if my water broke.”
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First time mom, hospital birth here! I gave birth to our baby girl at 40+3 weighing just 5 lb 15 oz. The Hypnobabies program really works! I truly believe my hypnosis was more effective in comfort management than an epidural would have been. I don’t feel my story needs any BOPs (Bubble of Peace), but I flagged some parts. Warning, this one is a novel!
I started listening to the Come Out Baby track (Hypnobabies track to encourage baby to be born) at 39 weeks. This helped me be patient because baby girl was telling me during the track that she wasn’t ready until about 40 weeks. I felt great throughout the entire pregnancy. My prenatal workouts kept me strong and healthy. The last week and a half, though, were tough because a spot on my upper back flared up. I couldn’t sit down, walk, fold clothes or anything without it hurting so badly. So, I spent my days leaning forward on my birthing ball, icing, using electro stim, and taking baths! On 40+2 (my personal guess date based on my ovulation tracking), I had chiropractor, acupuncture, and prenatal appointments. I decided to do my first cervical exam because I wanted to have a membrane sweep. I really felt that my baby was ready to come. She had felt so small the whole pregnancy, and I finally felt she was so strong inside me. I hardly felt anything from the sweep. I was only 1cm dilated, 25% effaced and medium texture.
This didn’t discourage me because I knew from Hypnobabies that we don’t birth by numbers! I finally felt optimistic about my back after the appointments that day – my body was ready! My husband and I went to lunch after the prenatal. Then we went on a walk, and I did a little curb walking. I could finally walk after over a week! I felt cramping starting at lunch. After watching a movie, I went to take a bath and listen to my Hypnobabies track at 10pm. I told my husband “These are real pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions), but I don’t know if it’s my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor) because membrane sweeps can cause cramping that turn out to be nothing.” By 2:30am, I woke up from waves and couldn’t sleep. I tried listening to my Your Birthing Time Begins track (Hypnobabies reminder of all the tools for birthing) but dozed through it. I then turned on my Hypnobabies music to help me sleep but couldn’t. I googled how to know if you’re in your birthing time because the membrane sweep made me unsure, and the waves were comfortable.
Google said to time them, so I got out of bed, downloaded an app, and timed them. The pressure waves really did feel like waves! I had a hard time telling where they started and ended, but the peak was clear, as with an ocean wave. My timing indicated I was already at 4-1-1. Still listening to my Hypnobabies music, I just leaned on my kitchen counter or birthing ball whenever I felt a wave. I called my doula just in case this was the real thing (I still wasn’t sure!). She told me to eat something, so I ate a big bowl of mushroom ravioli (thank goodness because I couldn’t have eaten once things picked up!!). She asked if I started my hypnosis tracks. I said no. She said I seemed really calm for not using my hypnosis yet, so she recommended exercises to make sure baby was in a good position. In hindsight, I was in hypnosis without knowing it!! My hypnosis happened automatically. I never once consciously used my light switch. It all just happened perfectly.
At 6am, I woke up my husband “just in case” this was the big day. LOL, I had a long packing/to-do list for him. He gathered my birthing ball, pillows, etc. and drew me a bath. The bath was glorious. As soon as I got in the water, I felt a gush. I didn’t know if my water broke. Once out of the water, I thought it must have been the rest of my mucus plug because I wasn’t leaking or anything. I thought I had lost the mucus plug a couple days ago, but it must have not been the whole thing. While in the water at 7am, I was finally convinced this was the day! I texted my mom letting her know and saying I couldn’t text because I needed to focus. From this point on, I wasn’t able to time my waves or text my doula anymore.
My husband took over everything. My hair was super greasy, so I vainly decided I needed to wash my hair. That wasn’t easy! My waves came so fast, my husband had to blow-dry my hair. Then I had to go number 2, which I knew was common before the birth. I did this backwards on the toilet so that I could lean forward during waves. My husband called the hospital and spoke to my OB (thankfully she was on call that weekend!). I told him to tell her to make sure I had a bathtub! We chose a hospital further away because they had bathtubs. All I wanted was to be in water. (I always did my tracks in a bath when I could. Warm water kept my itchies & twitches away.) Through each wave, I relaxed against a counter or my husband while my husband used the Relax cue (Hypnobabies cue for deepening hypnosis) for me, all while I was listening to the music and saying Peace (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) to myself in my mind. I told my husband to say relax over and over without long pauses in between. This helped tremendously. Poor guy was still trying to pack the car when I said “you cannot leave me, I need you! Get me in the car first then the stuff!”
BOP (Bubble of Peace)Travel to hospital
The travel to the hospital was the hardest part of the whole experience. I thought I’d want to move during my birthing time. I did not want to move at all! Walking to the car with what felt like nonstop waves, leaning on my husband, took about an hour from our bathroom to the car! I started vocalizing “peace” so loudly that my neighbors opened their window (about 8am on Saturday). I didn’t notice of course! Thankfully it was Saturday with no traffic, so the car ride was 30 mins. I set up the GPS and the early birthing time track. My husband literally sprinted to finish packing the car. For some reason, I didn’t like any tracks, just music, so the track didn’t help me. I also told my husband not to do the forehead relax cue so that he could focus on driving. The car ride was difficult for me. I vocalized “peace” so loudly, shaking my head, that my husband plugged his ear.
Hospital check in
We got to the hospital at 9am. The hospital doors were closed when they should have been open. My husband had to call them to open the doors, so I leaned against the glass doors through waves. A woman saw me, and I saw her, thinking “don’t leave me!” LOL, She came and opened the door. Soon after, my nurse was there with a wheelchair. The nurse told my husband he could dance with me. He started to, and I said no no no. Sitting in the car and on toilets was so uncomfortable. I was NOT sitting in that wheelchair.
The nurse was clearly frustrated with me because I was so slow. My waves came so fast and lasted so long, my progress walking was slow because I went “off,” leaning against my husband, through each one. She asked me again if I’d like to go in the wheelchair. I could tell she wanted me to, so I kneeled on it! LOL, she said she can’t push me that way so I said I’m walking. She stopped asking then! Finally, we got to check in. I felt like I had tunnel vision because I was still so relaxed from my hypnosis when my light switch was in the Center (similar to my practice). I was able to sign my name, answer questions, and take in the looks the nurse gave me. LOL I must have looked interesting leaning against my husband and the counter with my eyes half open. The nurse gave me a gown. During a wave I leaned against the bathroom wall. She tried counter pressure asking if that helped. I stomped my foot like an angry animal. HAHA
Any movement or touch interrupted me when I was “off,” which was most of the time. I also couldn’t speak when “off.” The staff quickly knew not to touch me or ask me questions during a wave. Once they understood what I was doing with hypnosis, they were very respectful and kind. Once I got on the triage bed, I was able to regroup. My doula met us there, and her presence calmed me.
Triage – doubt I could do it and provider insisted on telling me cervical exam results
I told her and my OB I wasn’t sure if I could do it. I couldn’t imagine experiencing the car ride equivalent any longer, and I wanted to hear reassurances (hypnotic suggestions). My doula started saying things like “your hypnosis is working perfectly.” This helped a lot. I was able to relax through waves again. I heard my husband tell my OB to only tell him and my doula what my cervical exam showed. My OB said something like, “yeah she’s made progress, so I’d admit her.” And she really wanted to tell me the results. Based on all her comments, I said fine tell me because I already knew I wasn’t as far along as I’d hoped.
I had bloody show, a bulging bag of waters and was only 3cm. She wanted to know if I wanted to be admitted, but I was riding a wave. I could tell she was impatient and about to leave (I don’t think she understood my needs at this point yet). Once the wave ended, I quickly said I want to be admitted! That was obvious to me without knowing my cervical progress. Getting to the room from triage, I knew it was close, so I basically ran in between waves since I knew I didn’t have long. Once we got in the room, I was on the bed deeply in hypnosis. I was listening to the music while my doula provided me super helpful suggestions and my husband used the Relax cue.
My doula said, “look they have a birthing tub for you!” My waves were long and nonstop! So, in my blur, I had a few seconds to open my eyes and see the tub folded up. I was the first person in the hospital to use the tub, so there was a lot of commotion as they tried to figure out how to set it up. I had expected to use the permanent bathtub in the bathroom, so this was an awesome surprise. At one point, they asked me if engineering could come in to get the water flow to increase. I remember hearing cheering when the water started gushing from the shower because engineering removed the resistors. I remembered thinking I could’ve told you that! LOL, I didn’t see a thing because my eyes were closed the whole time.
The hypnosis practice tracks say something like every 20 mins will feel like 5 mins. For me, I had no sense of time at all. Because my waves came so fast and long, my doula thought maybe the baby wasn’t positioned well, so she suggested I change positions and go to the bathroom. (Baby was positioned well.) I said I would like my birthing ball. Going to the bathroom was really difficult, and it took me a long time, so I never did end up using the birthing ball. When I got off the bed and leaned on my husband, my doula said go limp, loose and lazy. I wasn’t fully supported by my husband like she thought, so when my legs went limp, I collapsed to the floor! My subconscious mind ensured it was a soft landing. I rode the wave on the floor. I heard the nurse freak out. My husband and doula tried to explain, but she said she needed to hear from me that I was ok (she thought I passed out). I waited for the wave to end to say I’m okay! When I was done, they said the tub was ready. I said I wanted a cervical check first.
The OB came in, and I heard her say, with a shrug, yeah sure we can do a check. Then in a surprised tone, only two hours after I was admitted, she said 7cm! Then I got in the tub, and it was GLORIOUS! I was in a supported child’s pose while listening to the music, hearing wonderful suggestions from my doula, and getting the Relax cue from my husband (touching both forehead and shoulder!). I didn’t move an inch until the OB asked me to turn around and sit so, they could adjust the baby monitor (telemetry units). A couple times, I accidentally hit the “next song” button on my headband headphones, ripping it off my head. I freaked out each time because the song changed to something really upbeat. My doula had to put both hands on my forehead and give me suggestions to calm me. At one point in the tub, my doula asked if I wanted to listen to my hypnosis tracks. I said okay because I felt like that’s what I should do, but I quickly knew it’s not what I needed so I said no prerecorded tracks. My husband read scripts to me during transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition), and I went into the deep, sleepy hypnotic state that I sometimes went into during the practice tracks. I remember “coming to” when he restarted a script. My doula suggested I go to my special safe place with my baby. This track triggered lots of itchy twitchies for me, so it wasn’t my favorite, but going to my special safe place with my baby was just what I needed during transformation.
The waves were intense at this point but focusing on my baby distracted me. I talked to her in my mind, telling her she was doing such a great job coming down. She and I really worked as a team in her birthing. When I was in transformation, someone asked if my mom could come in. My mom and I didn’t talk about that beforehand, so she came to the hospital just in case. I didn’t have breaks between waves. They were on top of each other, with one wave tapering off as the next built up. I wanted to say, “yes if she promises not to make any noise,” but I didn’t have time for that many words, so I said “no.” Transformation was objectively the most intense part of the whole birth, but it was doable, despite my long and constant waves. About an hour and a half later, I started vocalizing. That’s the only way I knew it was coming time to push. I wasn’t allowed to push in the water. My doula was telling me to breath my baby down. I was so relaxed (although vocalizing loudly) and did just that.
Apparently, my water broke in the tub, but I didn’t notice. I had more time between pushing waves, so I said my mom could come in (only 20 mins after I said no, when she was waiting in the car). My OB felt the head and said I should make my way to the bed when I was ready. I said I would after the next wave (because I knew they came so fast, and I didn’t want to be standing when one came). That was a very long wave, and I could hear my OB was nervous I’d have the baby in the water (she didn’t need to worry!). The OB was very respectful of my wishes, only touching me between waves and telling me to listen to my body. She talked too much near me, though, so at one point I shooshed her during a wave! I got on the bed with the bed rest kind of high and me on my knees. My OB was okay with me pushing how I wanted, though she had said beforehand that she’d prefer me on my back.
My OB said not to relax and vocalize during pushing waves, but to use the wave and focus my energy on pushing. My doula on the side was trying to tell me to listen to my body and breath my baby down. That switch to pushing was tough for me, and I didn’t know what to do, so I went on my back and did coached purple pushing. I was exhausted, and my body felt so relaxed and weak (strong and controlled through each push, though). It’s not what I imagined, but it was right in the moment. Pushing lasted an hour because my tissue was so strong and baby girl decided to come out with her fist at her face. My OB did serious perineal massage to avoid an episiotomy. She said I know this hurts but… I stopped her and said it didn’t hurt (because it didn’t in my hypnosis and because I wanted to stop her from saying a suggestion of “hurt.”) She said even women with epidurals often find it uncomfortable and I was so controlled that most people would think I had an epidural. At one point I felt the massage and told her I needed a moment to relax. Pushing was exhausting, but there was no discomfort. When baby girl came out, I felt warm liquid and didn’t realize right away that she had come out! I had what they called “a laceration, not a tear.” The next two hours were a blur. Focusing on my baby, calming her and singing her happy birthday distracted me from any of my own discomfort. When I felt stitches, I just went “off.” I told my baby, my doula and my husband that they all did such a great job!
Some points from my experience:
– no itchy twitchies during birthing time, though had them during practice. Warm baths prevented them (got them if the water went cold). The birthing ball was a second-best option.
– didn’t do perineal massage because I was afraid around this. I don’t regret it.
– beach body barre blend prenatal workouts all three trimesters kept me strong, healthy and thinking positively
– followed the course to a T. Only missed a few days. Listened to joyful affirmations while driving, cooking, or something else. Often listened to tracks as I was falling asleep in bed because this is when I had time, though itchy twitchies were common when I did this.
– husband read practice scripts to me a handful of times and only read a little bit of the material. I talked to him about it, though. It was enough.