Here is the most recent Hypnobabies Birth Story I found.
Here is the most recent Hypnobabies Birth Story I found.
I have been meaning to write to you for some time but as you can imagine, I have had my hands quite full! I wanted to tell you about our birth experience since you played such a significant role in our preparation. I can’t imagine what we would have done without you and our Hypnobabies course!
Our birthing time turned out very different than we imagined. A few weeks before my guess date, some physical complications arose. I think [my husband] called you when we were having a hard time getting the baby to move away from my right side. I was baffled that he could be over there because I had been pretty diligent about my pelvic rocks and sleep/ sitting positions. Well, it turns out he couldn’t go over to the left even if he tried! After getting checked out, we found that my sacrum was rotated and my pelvis tilted at a funny angle, making the room in my pelvis mostly on the right side.
We didn’t know it, but this had also been restricting growth for our baby and the placenta. I suppose there was a reason why everyone said I looked so small. Indeed, [our baby] was born at 7.2 lbs, with a placenta the size of something that would have grown a 4 lb. baby. But the tissue itself was very healthy, thanks to my diet; it was just not allowed to get very big.
Anyway, I went to a chiropractor who is very gifted with pregnancy/ pediatrics and within a week of her working to move my sacrum and pelvis, my belly popped out and I gained several stomach centimeters and a few pounds. He was able to move over to the left and center very easily after a week and a half of steady treatment. As you know, two weeks passed after our guess date. I started birthing waves one afternoon and we excitedly started getting ready for that much anticipated time. We never imagined that our sweet boy would be born 36 hours later! I listened to my birthing time CDs and [my husband] was with me, helping me move and keeping me focused the whole time. I will never forget the way he supported me.
I wrestled emotionally during the birthing time after it was apparent that we were not in for a ‘fast and easy’ birthing time. After a while I knew I just had to focus and forget about it being what I thought. I felt a bit like I failed at Hypnobabies because it was not quick or easy. My back was not ‘fixed’ and it was physically more intense than I imagined. [Our son] was born after the greatest physical feat I have ever been through! We both felt confused and overwhelmed, to tell you the truth (add to that the shock of thinking we were having a girl and it ending up being a boy!). At the end of the day, when the midwives were finally going home, they repeatedly remarked what a pleasure our birthing time was to be a part of AND how peaceful and joyful it was. I was a little shocked, to tell you the truth. I remembered being more focused than I have ever been during the birthing time, but it was so intense for me, I did not know it looked so peaceful. A few days went by and we decided to watch the video we recorded of the birthing time. I was amazed! We both cried through it. If you didn’t know I was giving birth to a baby you might miss it on the video until he was lifted out of the water and started crying. I was that calm. We realized that in the intensity and length, the Hypnobabies prepared us more than we knew. I don’t know how I would have handled such an long and physically intense time without such wonderful emotional and mental preparation. I know now that I did not fail at all; Hypnobabies prepared me to deal with my unique situation. We plan on doing a natural birth again for sure.
Anyway, thanks a million times over for your care and support. We feel that God sent us the BEST support and preparation we could have ever asked for!
All the best, [Mom]
P.S. Our Little One has been smiling responsively (no, its not gas) from the beginning. People are shocked!!
What an amazing birthing you had. Thank you for sharing with such candor. I appreciate hearing of your experience of your birthing. I am so glad you practiced as well as you did, and were able to surmount all the 'speed bumps' that your birthing presented you (including your anticipated daughter, Hailey, being born with a penis!?). Shows how deadly accurate those ultrasounds are. How crazy that must have been for you. Were you completely prepared with everything PINK?! : )
I bet your midwives will agree that if you hadn't been in such good control and so relaxed, you might have fatigued and needed transport...or a cesarean. You not only avoided that possibility but managed an unmedicated, non-interventive birthing for your little guy. You should be beyond proud of yourself. I am very pleased for you. 36 long, challenging hours is incredible, and pretty much impossible for moms who are not calm, confident, and ready for what comes. Congratulations you two. Well done. Your little guy certainly is reaping the rewards of his birthing...smiling as he came out I'll bet!
Thanks huge lots for the pictures. Your [surprise son] is beautiful. He'd even make a cute girl if he had been so endowed. Hah!
May I share your story? Everyone would be so inspired and delighted to hear that in spite of some very real challenges, Hypnobabies managed to help you birth your baby naturally. If you'd like, I can change names to 'mom' & 'dad' and 'baby' to protect your privacy. And, if you'd really rather not, please say so, and I will be grateful that you shared with me.
In friendship and awe of the power of birthing women like you!
Our son has a lot of dresses! We are slowly catching up with boy clothes and have packed away the pink with hopes that perhaps a little sister will be able to use it someday.
Our midwives definitely agree that our birth would have been VERY different had we not been prepared in the manner we were. Other Moms I talk to are shocked as well at how things actually turned out with such a long birthing time and my pelvis/back being in the state it was in. There were so many little things I was able to do, such as our midwife telling me I needed to sleep for several hours, right in the middle of the intensity. Because of Hypnobabies I knew how to enter that state effectively. I had my CDs on and was able to ‘sleep’ for a few minutes between birthing waves for several hours.
It is the deepest connection I have ever had with my own mind and body. Pretty empowering! At the end of one of the CDs she says, “through birth I find healing.” That phrase has always struck me. Indeed, it was very healing and liberating to so fully connect to my experience and baby and overcome some challenges in such a natural, beautiful and calm way. My sense of self has been impacted very deeply. On a funnier note, [Dad] says he will never forget the hours and hours of our trio: the CD would say “Ahhhh...” then I would say “Ahhh...” and then our midwife would echo “Ahhh....”. After hours and hours of this, he was going crazy! : )
Of course you can share the story! We would rather our names and pics not be posted, but would love people to know that Hypnobabies makes all the difference in ANY given situation.
Bubble of peace needed after the pushing stage but it has a great ending and the hypnosis Worked!
My water broke at 10 pm on Friday evening. I had just gone to the bathroom and didn't notice anything then but when I got in the kitchen ,splash, lots of liquid came pouring down my legs. I called to my husband: "honey, I think my water broke!" and went back to sit on the toilet. DH handed me the phone so I could call my Doula. She suggested I wait a little bit to make sure I was still leaking and to go to the hospital if it was the case. I didn't have any pressure waves whatsoever. Actually, it had been 2 full days since I had felt any Braxton Hicks. I had been feeling them A LOT before that and so when they disappeared I had resigned myself to start birthing at 41 or 42 weeks! I should have known that the change was a sign even if the change was that I didn't feel anything any more! I did drink Raspberry leaf tea that day for the first time. I had also been listening to the "Birthing Day affirmation CD" for a few days.
I knew I'd be on the 24 hour countdown if my pressure waves didn't kick in so I didn't want to go the hospital right away. That and the fact that I knew billing starts at midnight at my hospital. :-)It didn't make sense to get there at 11.30 pm and be billed for a full extra night! I had something to eat. We cleaned up the house a bit, finished our last minute packing and I called my OB at midnight. He suggested I go to the hospital. We got there at 1 am. They checked to make sure it was amniotic fluid (it's just a little cotton swab like for the GB test) but didn't do any vaginal exam. Got in our room at 1.45 am. I figured I should try to get some rest and I would start moving around and doing things by morning if my pressure waves hadn't started on their own. I had an orange and then went to bed. Since I wasn't planning on moving I didn't object to being hooked to the monitor. I also asked for the first round of antibiotics since I was GB positive. By 4 am I started feeling sensations. I put my headphones with one of the scripts and relaxed. By 6 am, pressure waves were stronger. I woke DH up and went in the tub.
My Doula arrived shortly after. I still had my headphones on and would concentrate on the voice. DH was squatting in front of the tub, putting his hand on my forehead from time to time. After a couple of hours, things intensified, I actually said: "just so you know, I'm thinking of pain medication". It wasn't so much that I really wanted to get any, but I wanted them to know the thought was in my mind and they should be prepared to talk me out of it. Nobody answered and I closed my eyes again. By then, I was getting uncomfortable in the tub. It wasn't big enough and I couldn't straighten my legs and my neck was getting sore. I stood up but stayed in the tub hanging on my husband's neck. I had a lot of bloody show and I was being vocal. Low moans. Then I felt like throwing up and did: my entire orange came back out. I thought: this could be transition. My doula suggested I get checked and so we called my OB's back up since he was with another woman birthing. Well... I was only 4 cm at 9.30 am but I didn't let it disappoint me because I knew that I could be fully dilated within the hour.
I stayed outside the tub and was hanging on my husband's neck. Each time a pressure wave came, I asked him to lift my belly so he would put both his hands on my belly and support it as I said: Deeper... Deeper... to keep my hypnosis. I could totally feel it working. I was also blowing raspberries with my lips to stay relaxed as my doula suggested. By 11.30 am, I started feeling pressure and my Doula thought I should be checked again. I hesitated but then agreed and asked not to be told the number. After they checked me, I got the OK to start pushing! Yeaaaah! We put the "Pushing stage CD on" in the computer this time so everyone could hear it. Pushing felt good right away. I first started upright on my knees leaning on the top of the bed.
Then I switched to use the squatting bar, then I went on my side.
This ended up working best for me. After about 2 hours, my Doula suggested I keep pushing longer with each pressure wave and put a little bit more "umph" in each push. After about 3 hours of pushing, they could see a little bit of hair. However, an hour later, after 4 hours of pushing, she still hadn't budged any farther down. Her heartrate was fine but she was just not descending. I had asked for an IV at about the 3 hour mark because I needed the energy and I couldn't ingest anything except water and ice chips. The apple juice and birthing-ade I had made felt way too sweet and yucky.
I knew that I was pushing well so I knew that something had to be done because she wasn't coming out so I asked the doctor what we should do next. He suggested we use the vacuum suction to get her out. He was confident that she would fit through my hips and he said it was better than going for a C-section. He said that I had done a great job getting her low enough so that we could use the vacuum. I checked with DH and my Doula and we all agreed that something had to be done so we went ahead with the vacuum. He put the suction cup on her head and I started pushing and for the first time during birthing, I felt tremendous pain. Her head was half way out and the suction cup came off (it has a built in safety valve if there is too much pressure) so she went back in. That was disappointing. Now I had already felt the pain, and I knew I had to start all over again. I had this amazing dialogue with myself: you can't do it. yes you can. no you can't. you are being torn in half. she has to come out. she has to come out. All the while, I'm letting out what DH described as a ROAR. All my will went into it. I could see the doctor's hand pulling and shaking. I heard a "pop" in my rearend. When her head came out again, first her hand was by her face and had to be freed, then the cord was wrapped around her neck 3 times. Once all the way out, she wasn't breathing and she was all blue. I did get a chance to look between her leg and see that baby was a girl. They took her to the other side of the room for the oxygen and she did cry within a short time. She was brought back to me immediately and we all enjoyed seeing our little girl for the first time.
Amazingly enough, I didn't have any perineal tear at all. I only had a minor labial abrasion that required 2 stitches. I was bleeding heavily so they gave me medicine to help with that. My placenta came out very easily but I didn't get a chance to see it. The pop I had heard was my tailbone popping. I couldn't sit for days and am still in pain. However, I had no pain at all in the front not even going to the bathroom! I also was not constipated at all and didn't have any pain with my first bowel movement. I think maybe the fact that the first thing I ate after birthing was prune helped!
Talina Queen did not latch right away. It actually took 4 attempts over a 12 hour period for her to eat. However, I had a supportive nurse who told me not to worry and that her blood sugar level was fine and so she didn’t have to eat right away. I trusted the hospital staff so much I did something I thought I would never do: I let them take her to the nursery. I was so tired. I hadn’t slept in close to 36 hours. I knew she’d be safer with the nurse and I trusted that she would not be given formula.
Summary: Hypnobabies WORKED! I had a completely unmedicated birth. I believe my baby might not have made it if I had had medicine in me and thus in her. It would have been harder to revive her if she had had anesthesia in her body.
The staff at the hospital and my OB were GREAT! They started using Hypnobabies words after hearing them on the CD. Nobody ever asked if I wanted medication. My nurse was Awesome! She said, she had never seen a vacuum birth without anesthesia (I now know why!). My OB was amazingly patient. He was with me for a long time. He put his fingers inside of me to help me feel where I should push. I trusted him completely. I am glad I birthed at the hospital instead of at home.
All and all I am very pleased with my birth. I am extremely proud of myself. My husband brags about me to everyone but I tell him we gave birth to her together. I couldn't have done it without him. His body was in it as much as mine. Thank you Hypnobabies and thank you to everyone on this forum. Your support during pregnancy was great. Aloha and enjoy your birthing. Sarah
PS: I started the hypnobabies practice at 20 weeks of pregnancy. I did not do the finger drop technique every day. I actually only did it a few times during pregnancy and I did not use my light switch during birthing. My husband did not do the partner practice. However, I did listen to the CDs (scripts and affirmation) every day and I did BELIEVE it would work for me. It sure did. Funny point: whenever my daughter gets fussy while eating, I’ll say: “peace” and I can tell she relaxes!
It's a long story, so if these things interest you, it might be a good
read: First baby, Big baby: 10 pounds 1 ounce (5'6" 110lb pre-
pregnancy mom), 10 days "late", birthing center to hospital transfer,
10 hour birthing time from start to finish (11am to 9:02pm including 1
1/2 hours pushing)
Just some background info...I'm 28 years old and this is my first
baby. I knew from the start I wanted the most natural birth possible
due to my friends having failed inductions, c-sections and constant
worries from their doctors. I personally don't like doctors or
hospitals so I happily discovered a free standing birthing center
nearby. We saw the midwives at this birthing center the whole
pregnancy and ordered the Hypnobabies course early on, but didn't
start the program until my 28th week or so. I listened to the
assigned scripts daily, but didn't listen to the affirmations daily as
recommended, but instead sort of memorized them and would repeat them
to myself at random times during the day. My husband and I never
practiced the cues together, but I would "quiz" him every few days on
the ways he could help me focus during my birthing time.
I was 10 days overdue, but no one at the birthing center seemed to
care as they won't induce until 43 weeks, although the cut off to
birth at the center is 42 weeks. They did offer a sweep but I
declined as I really wanted to start my birthing time completely
naturally. I did however ask when 7 days overdue to be checked and
learned I was 3cm dilated and 80% effaced, but my cervix was really
On Friday morning I woke up well rested, really hungry and extremely
thirsty. I drank tons of water and milk and ate my breakfast while
scheduling an appointment for a sonogram to check my fluid levels (one
request of the birthing center in moms past 41 weeks). After tidying
up the house, I laid back down for a nap at 11am as I felt very tired
again. Moments later I felt a trickle of water and thought I peed
myself. When I sat up, more came out and thats when I realized it was
my amniotic fluid. I got some towels and sat on them on the couch and
waited patiently for DH to come home since he stops at home for lunch
each day around 11am. While waiting I emailed my mom to let her know
since we had been emailing back and forth all morning. DH came home
and I happily shared the news with him, and he went ahead and
microwaved our lunch as I listened to the birthing day affirmations.
I had many false starts during the past week, so already listened to
the affirmations and found them so relaxing. My pressure waves
started quickly and from the beginning were 3 minutes apart lasting 45
seconds. They were stronger than the Braxton Hicks I'd been having
since 32 weeks, so I knew this was the real deal. I only ate a little
lunch since I was too excited. I told DH he better leave soon to
return his work vehicle and pick up some last minute snacks because we
might need to leave for the center sooner than later. I was GBS
positive and wanted to make sure I had enough time for the
antibiotics. When DH left I called the center around noon to let them
know my water broke. I guess I was too calm on the phone because they
said to come in, in 4-6 hours from now. At 1pm DH had returned and
the pressure waves were still 3 minutes apart lasting 1 minute, so I
called again and said I wanted to come in now, and they happily said
okay. We drove down there and arrived by 1:30. On the drive down I
became vocal during each pressure wave and found that making a deep
AHH sound really helped me focus my relaxation. I'm not a loud
person, so I thought this was sort of funny. I listened to the
affirmations on the drive down and also once we got to the center when
they started the IV antibiotics. They listened to the baby during the
IV treatment and her heartbeat was high, around 180bpm, and that
concerned them. I was also checked and was already 6cm! They gave me
2 bags of IV liquids incase the accelerated heart rate was due to
dehydration but it did not help. I did ask when I could go into the
birthing pool and they said not until her heart rate is better.
At 2pm they explained that I will have to be transferred to the
hospital. Amazingly I was okay with this, probably because I was also
worried about her heart beat, and ever since my water broke she hadn't
moved at all. There is a reason her nickname was "Flicker" and when
Flicker wasn't flicking around, it wasn't normal. I hesitantly asked
if this meant a c-section, and they said no, so I was happy about
that. At this point DH was given directions to the hospital and I
could hear sirens outside. I was still very vocal during each
pressure wave and was now sitting on the edge of the bed waiting for
the paramedics. DH was giving me "relax" cues and touching my
forehead and shoulder and this really helped me stay relaxed. I asked
if he could go with me in the ambulance and they said no, and I wasn't
sure how I would do without him by my side. Thankfully the
entertainment of the ambulance ride distracted me from my missing
birth partner. The paramedics came in and there was a very young guy
who looked terrified to see me! The other paramedic was older and not
so bright. Of course as soon as a pressure wave began, they both
started asking me questions! I heard the midwfie explain "she is
having a contraction and cannot answer questions now, wait for it to
be over". Neither understood and continued this mistake the entire
time, only to have it explained to them again and again. They wanted
to give me oxygen and the midwife said "she doesn't need it", but they
insisted so he said "fine, whatever". I climbed on the stretcher and
they gave me the bumpiest ride imaginable to the hospital! The older
less intelligent paramedic asked "is she being induced" and the
midwife said "no, she is already in labor". Then the paramedic asked
"was she going to be induced"... "when were you going to induce
her"... "is she going to be induced" He had induction stuck in his
head and the midwife was getting a little frustrated. The paramedic
also asked why I was making so much noise- and the midwife explained
how making the noise helps me to relax. I was also asked about 10
times if I had ever been pregnant before- like that mattered! I think
I used my BOP without even realizing it since nothing the paramedic
said phased me and I actually found it entertaining.
Once at the hospital they took me into a hallway where we needed to
wait for the person that would admit me. I could sense the concern in
the midwife's voice as he asked again and again why we were waiting so
long. The paramedics continued to ask silly questions and talk to me
during pressure waves. I was still vocal and the other people waiting
in the hall were looking at me, but I didn't care- I was too happy
that I would be seeing my baby soon. DH actually made it to my room
before I did, and I was so happy to see him.
They put me in a private birthing room which was quite nice, but I
knew there was no birthing pool so this would have to happen without
being in a warm jetted tub as I had imagined. I was checked again and
was now at 7 cm. The midwife asked to break my front bag of water and
I said I would normally say no, but I knew we needed to get the baby
out sooner than later, and he completely agreed. He broke the
membrane and I didn't feel any increase in pressure. I had to be
continuously monitored and hooked to an IV for fluids per hospital
standards. They also had to convert the birth center heplock to their
own AND have me sign papers and answer loads of questions. When they
were doing anything during a pressure wave I could feel myself lose
concentration and noticed how my vocalizations sounded more "screamy"
than AHHH sounds. DH picked up on this quick and he started the
"relax" cues and then would whisper a description of my special safe
place. He also counted down from 5 to 1 and told me to relax and go
limp and lose. DH really paid attention to the hypnobabies course!!!
They asked me if a student could attend the birth. I said okay, and
she walked in looking very nervous and I soon learned this would be
the first birth she ever watched. They also gave me a nurse that use
to work at the birthing center- so there was the midwife, student,
nurse and DH in the room. I have no idea what time it was at this
point, but I'm guessing 3 or 4pm.
Around this time, probably at 8cm, I could feel myself tensing up, so
I whispered "hold me" to DH and he supported all my weight and
whispered cues into my ear during each wave. I was still sitting on
the bed and then they allowed me to kneel on the bed and lean on the
raised back of the bed. I continued like this for awhile and rocked my
hips back and forth and vocalized even louder. The nurse kept
adjusting my monitor belts during pressure waves and DH told me later
he would swat in the air to get them to stop. DH also told me later
that the student midwife stared at DH with amazement in her eyes that
he was there doing all these cues with me. The intensity of the
pressure waves were increasing and the length between them was
diminishing, but I really got into a zone and didn't realize this. DH
told me later that there was less than 1 minute between each one and
that is when DH thought to himself "I'm not sure how much longer I can
do this". I can honestly say I never had this thought, because when I
learned I was 8 or 9cm I knew this was transformation and a time when
I might feel like giving up, but knowing that made me even more
excited as it was almost time to push.
From about 6cm, every pressure wave first felt like extreme pressure
in my butt, and then it would lessen and spread more to the front of
my abdomen. That first bit of pressure never lasted too long, but it
was very intense and I knew once I got past that I was on my way to
having another break. This is really what kept me positive and I felt
very successful when I managed to completely relax my pelvic floor
during that first butt pressure part of each wave. I also got into a
rhythm where after every pressure wave DH would stick ice water
infront of me and I would take a sip. Then he would rub icy rags on
my face and upper back, and as soon as I started AHHH-ing, he would
put them down and hold me and give me cues. It was like my body
turned into an automatic machine and I didn't want to move around
because it would throw off my rhythm.
At 9cm the butt pressure was becoming more and more intense and the
midwife told me to sit on the toilet and just push as much as I
wanted. I thought it was weird he wanted me to push even though I
wasn't dilated but I think he wanted that baby out because she was
under stress. I sat on the toilet for awhile and they had the student
midwife on the floor applying pressure to my back and the nurse was
rubbing my leg reminding me to relax my pelvis, and DH standing
infront of me supporting my weight and doing the drink/ice routine. I
was hesitant to push, but soon started pushing hard and the midwife
was happy about that. Sometime later he asked me to come back to the
bed so he could check me, and I was 9 3/4 cm dilated. He did
something and then said "okay, now you are 10cm". They had me on my
back, which isn't what I wanted, but he said I needed to push with all
my power. He didn't have to say it, but I knew it was because the
baby needed to come out soon. I did purple pushing for 1 1/2 hours
total- I had no idea it was that long because it felt like 20 minutes
to me. At one point I opened my eyes and noticed it was pitch black
outside and I said "wow, it's dark outside already". There was 2 huge
picture windows in the room with no blinds drawn, so I thought it was
funny that anyone in the parking garage across the street could be
watching the show. The pushing actually felt so good. With each
pressure wave I pulled my legs back and pushed, and they would give me
cues on which pushes were the most successful. I have no idea how
someone on an epidural could push because there are so many muscles
down there and it took me awhile to get the right ones pushing. They
set up a large mirror and told me to look but I kept saying "I believe
you guys.. I don't want to see!!!" The mood was good and everyone was
very excited with each successful push. The student wasn't looking at
first, but the midwife urged her to look and soon she got very excited
and I could hear in her voice that she was amazed at seeing the babies
head slowly peeking out. This gave me encouragement too because she
was so sincere. DH also started watching the mirror and hearing him
say "wow, the heads almost out.. keep going" was wonderful. During
the pushing the baby passed meconium so they called in a team to clear
the meconium from the baby after the birth. The midwife explained
that the cord will have to be cut right away and they will take the
baby and clean her up and then I can hold her. I opened my eyes at
one point and saw the room filled with new people all watching and
waiting! I didn't care at all.
As the head was crowning, the pressure after each pushing session, and
between waves was intense. I could feel myself stretching and I
relaxed as best I could during these breaks to allow my perineum to
stretch. Pushes later the head finally came out and I felt the
pressure be relieved, and asked "is the head out?" Next was the
shoulders which were quite difficult to push out too, but I pushed
even past the next pressure wave and got them out. I felt her body
slide the rest of the way out. The midwife held up the baby and DH
said "it's a girl" and then he quickly passed her to the team for
meconium clean up.
They gave the baby to me for skin to skin contact and then the midwife
tugged on the cord and pushed my tummy and out slid the placenta. Now
this is the only part of the entire birth that was painful.
They measured Kira's head and everyone in the room was in shock at the
size, and at the lack of tearing I had. It really was amazing and I
think everyone couldn't believe I delivered such a large baby
naturally. The student midwife was tearing up and told me I was her
hero and she wants to have a baby now because I am an inspiration.
Her and her husband haven't been trying (but not preventing either)
but she says they will try now.
Thinking back, I never used my light switch after turning it to center
before I left the house. I believe I remained in center the whole
time and then DH brought me to OFF with the relax cue. Also I stopped
listening to the tracks on the ipod once I learned of the hospital
transfer. DH really took over and gave me all the cues that I needed
without having to listen to the ipod.
Despite things not "going as planned", this was such a successful
experience. I feel like I can do anything now, because I was able to
birth a 10 pound baby naturally.
On August 26 (Wednesday), my husband and I had our 39 week appointment with our OB/GYN group. I was really dreading this appointment because previous Friday, we had our final ultrasound and the technician estimated the birth weight of our baby to be around 9 pounds. I was concerned that our doctors will force me into an early delivery and not let me go on labor on my own due to potential weight of our baby.
Since our appointments always have been pretty quick with minimal wait time, around 3.00 p.m., I left the office leaving my computer on with a bunch of stuff that I have to do before the end of the day by thinking that I will be back to office in an hour or so. To our surprise, that day we have waited for 2 hours to see the rotating doctor just to learn that our own doctor will come and talk to us about the ultrasound. At this point, I got a little bit upset and told my husband that they will play the big baby b.s. with us... When our doctor came, we talked about the size of the baby but he was supportive of my natural childbirth wishes and we decided to have a NST at our 40 week appointment. He offered to schedule an induction (I was a loose 1 cm with a favorable cervix at this point) but I refused it and told him that I want to have the NST results first and he was totally fine with that.
When we left the doctor's office, it was already 6.30 p.m. so we decided to go home instead of going back to our offices. We had dinner, hanged out a little bit and went to bed around 10 p.m. From 10 p.m. to midnight, I had a pretty uncomfortable, loose sleep due some tightening around my abdomen area. Since I am a first time mom with no practice contraction history during my pregnancy, I was having trouble to identify what I was feeling. I thought I was reacting to doctor's internal examination since I had some bleeding afterwards. I decided to lay down on the couch in the living room instead of disturbing my husband's sleep by constantly getting up and going to bathroom.
On the couch, with wishful thinking, I put my ipod on and start listening Birth Day Affirmations. I noticed that the tightening feeling was not going anywhere but I was able to drift into sleep in between waves and then noticing that I have drifted when a wave came. I was very comfortable and in disbelief that what I was feeling was my birthing time. Around 2.30 a.m., my husband woke up just to see what I was doing. I told him that I was having some sensations but I didn't think it was anything serious since the sensations were on my abdomen area and not on my back (silly thinking). He was concerned but I ensured him that everything was okay, he should go get some rest and we evaluate the "situation" in the morning. He did set up my laptop in front of me so I can listen my tracks on the computer and charge my ipod at the same time.
Shortly after he went back to bed, I decided that it might be the time to start listening Easy First Stage track because affirmations were not comforting me anymore. I was still drifting into sleep in between sensations because I was tired and all I wanted was to get some rest. Around 5.00 a.m., I noticed that laying down was not easing what I was feeling. Since I read many wonders of being in warm water, I started to fill the tub to see if the water would help me a little bit. I was still pretty comfortable, moving around and stuff but starting to believe more and more that I was in my birthing time with a long day in front of me. Water immediately helped to ease my feelings and actually I thought things were slowing down because I was pretty comfortable. I had Easy First Stage track playing loud in the bathroom so I was able to listen and focus in between waves and then focus on my breathing when waves were coming. I was chanting 'open, open, open'. I spent two hours in the tub before decided that it was time to wake my husband up and ask for his help since I felt some pressure on my perineum with last couple of waves and was getting a little bit loud.
So around 7 a.m., I woke him up and asked him to start timing the waves. He apologized for sleeping when I was in labor and started timing them. We realized that they were 50 seconds to a minute long coming every 3 to 4 minutes. I knew that it was time to go to hospital as per textbook but I was still thinking that I could handle the waves and if we go to hospital I would find out that I was still in early stage. This thought quickly changed around 8 a.m. since with every wave I was getting louder and louder and not able to focus on my Hypnobabies scripts and cues... I told my husband that put all our bags and stuff to the car so we could head to the hospital. So we rushed out the door, jumped in the car and head to hospital. In five minutes ride, I had 3 waves and for the first time I believed that I was pretty close.
We gave the car to the valet since no way I would make to walk from parking garage to the hospital entrance. At this time, I started crying not because of what I was feeling but just got emotional about being in my birthing time and I was going to meet my baby. We came to L&D at 8.10 a.m. and as soon as they saw me, they just took us to a room and started the procedures. At this point, despite my all my long careful birth plan planning of what I want and don't want, I didn't care what they were doing and was focusing on myself and feelings.
The nurse checked me and told me that I was already 9 cm and they were going to doctor for him to come ASAP. I was just trying to answer some of the nurses questions and handling my waves. Laying down in the bed was just not comfortable. Doctor came, checked on me and he told me that he was going to change into his scrubs and be back. So around 9 a.m. I was complete and ready to push. With the first urge of push, I felt out of control for the first time and started screaming because I didn't know how to handle what I was feeling which was intense pressure on my perineum. Doctor and nurse were just wonderful, they were encouraging me and telling me I was doing great and try to show me how to push. I was feeling embarrassed of being very loud and in between waves I was apologizing for being loud but at each try I was trying to do better and be more effective. They never told me when to push because my body was doing its own thing and they went with the flow.
After 20 minutes of pushing, Mina came out at 9.23 am, looking wonderful and beautiful. She weighed 8 pounds 11 ounces and measured 21 inches long. She is the best thing I have ever done in my life.
So everything went incredibly well. Unfortunately at the late stages of transformation, I lost my hypnosis focus and never got a chance to listen the Pushing Baby Out script. Also, I wish I practiced on how to push prior to birth because my body took over my mind and I felt like I lost my control.
Thank you everybody and good luck with your babies!!!
Pinar and Mina
A little note on my pre-birth experiences: During this pregnancy I changed Doctor's three times and was concerned about the Hospital I would be birthing in. (Posted earlier "confident to change Dr's and Hospitals 48 hours prior to due date", as well as "Hospital Tour" Posted on December 1st.)Thanks to the positive affirmations and thought programing of Hypnobabies and my supportive family I had the courage to continue the pursuit of the birth experience I desired for me and our baby.
I found a midwife who took me on as a patient 2 days prior to my due date. She encouraged my desire to go all natural but said that it would be a hard labor since it was my first. I just told her I deserved an easy and comfortable birth and told her I'd been practicing and preparing for months with the Hypnobabies home study.
On Friday the 18th (5 days post due date and the 2nd appointment with her) she stripped my membranes and we discovered the baby had turned posterior. Nothing to worry about but she said it would be a more difficult labor. I told her that the baby would be turned by arrival time. I kept positive, spent a lot of time on all 4's and visualized the baby turning not only anterior but left anterior. She turned and was in perfect position for the birth.
On Saturday the 19th, while Christmas Shopping at Cabelas and Sam Ash Music I began to have consistent waves of pressure. I did not feel them as many people had described but they came as just a tightening in my tummy. At the music store I went to the bathroom 5 times and found myself relaxing over shelves of music every few minutes. I went and told my husband that we needed to go home now.
We arrived at home around 6:00pm. My Mom and Husband helped me into our jacuzzi bath at home and I relaxed and ate a piece of pizza between birthing waves. I turned on the "Easy First Stage" and then proceeded through other favorite Hypnobabies CD's trying to remain relaxed and calm as the pressure waves proceeded to get more intense and closer together. My husband and mom were very helpful and kept in touch with our midwife on the status of the birthing waves. I stayed consistent with each birthing wave lasting about 1:15-1:30 and coming between 2-3 minutes apart from about 6:30-9:00pm. I was able to take a 2 hour nap between 7-9pm while listening to the "Deepening" Cd over and over again. It was so relaxing and when I awoke at 9pm I couldn't believe that I had been asleep for 2 hours! The birthing waves had progressed in intensity and were now about 1:45-2:00 minutes apart. My Husband and Mom packed the car and we were on our way. My Mom kept her hand on my shoulder or forehead saying the words "Peace and Relax" through each birthing wave. We live a good 30 minutes from the hospital and while the ride had some bumps, hypnobabies helped me to relax and we were there before I knew it.
It was now 10:30pm. We had to enter through the ER at the hospital and the staff didn't seem to move very fast as they saw how calm I was with my ear buds in my ears and almost sleeping in the wheelchair while I waited to be taken to triage. My birthing team (husband and mom) were growing a bit impatient with the slowness of the staff and knowing that I am probably further along than everyone thought. I was finally moved to Triage at 11:00pm. I asked to remain in my own clothes for comfort and relaxed in the room with my Mother while my husband and stepdaughters waited in the waiting room. The nurse told me Ellen (our midwife) was just a few minutes away and that they would wait until she arrived to have her check me. Ellen worked at this hospital for many years as a nurse prior to becoming a midwife so all of the nurses knew her and left her patients alone. They monitored me and baby's heart rates. The baby's heart rate was a bit fast but was still within the safe zone. Ellen arrived around 11:10pm. When she arrived I asked her to give me a minute to relax (turned off my light switch) and then she proceeded to check me. I was relaxed with my ear buds in but my mom said that Ellen's eyes lit up with a smile on her face and she said "She's doing really good! She's at 5cm!" I of course was oblivious to this but mom gave me a 5 on her hand and everyone was smiling so I figured that was good.
We then walked from the triage room to the L&D room where my husband, stepdaughters and nurse joined us. I had to stop and rest on the wall several times but nothing was unbearable. Ellen told me that we could break my water (which would increase the intensity of pressure waves and make them come quicker) or we could wait and see what happens. For the first time I asked "just for reference how far along into birthing time could I get an Epidural if I decide it is to much" . She said I could get it anytime I wanted all the way through 10 cm dilated but if I made it this far I could make it all the way. Once we got to the room they checked my vitals and Ellen went right to running a bath for me in the jacuzzi tub. Vitals were normal but I was a little dehydrated so she told me if I wanted to avoid an IV I needed to drink more fluids. So I said bring me the water and juices..and I drank and drank and drank. No IV Needed!
I stayed in the tub for about an hour relaxing with each birthing wave. I was listening to the "Easy First Stage" and it said something about the "bag of membranes releasing easily" and right then..I felt a pop and my bag of membranes broke! Hooray! No need to break the membrane bag! I began to feel intense pressure in my thighs-hips. My husband put counter pressure on my hips and legs and my mom kept her hand on my shoulder or forehead. It was a full time job for both of them and they were both pretty sore in the following few days!
My nurse Elizabeth was wonderful as well and was so helpful in replenishing my fluids and bottles of juice and water. I then moved back to the bed to check our vitals and all was still good! I began to think…I can do this..this is totally manageable. At times I would repeat the Hypnobaby phrases out loud..and used the cues of "Peace, Ahh and Relax" to cue everyone in that another birthing wave was beginning and I needed counter pressure now!
At about 1:00am I needed to go to the bathroom so on we went to the toilet. I went to the restroom and after sitting there for about 15 minutes I felt my uterus push. I said "It's pushing!" I'm not sure how loud I was as I had my ear buds in at full blast and was oblivious to everyone else. The nurse said "don't push" and I responded "I'm not..It's pushing itself!" She then said well don't encourage it or bear down until we check you. Elizabeth rushed in and checked me while I was sitting on the toilet and I was 8 ½ -9 cm! Ellen said I could stay there on the toilet if I wanted or change positions. I sat there imagining birthing my baby on the toilet ..and thought yes..I need to change positions. They had set up a rocking chair to help with the decent of the baby so the plan was to move me there between waves.
At the next break we moved me to the rocking chair but as I tried to sit I knew that wasn't going to work. The baby was coming quick. I turned around and leaned over the front of the rocking chair with my arms resting on the arms of the chair and began to rock back and forth while standing. They quickly put a bunch of pillows on the chair for me to rest my head and my husband and mom rubbed my back while Ellen and Elizabeth were preparing for the birth. Ellen commented that "it was a position she had never seen before but whatever worked!"
It was 1:40am. From this point on, everything got very intense. My uterus was pushing with every birthing wave and they were coming very close together. My body responded with an animal-tiger like growl in a very low gutteral tone. It was amazing to feel the power of my body and the uterus moving the baby down and out. There was never a point where I thought "I could not do this" . It was very intense and I could feel a lot of pressure but nothing I would call pain. After about 20 minutes I could feel a cramp coming up the back of my leg..and said "I've got to move..I'm going to get a leg cramp!" It's funny to think about leg cramps when I am getting ready give birth to a baby! We moved to the bed and got situated on the bed.
I didn't realize how far along I was but next then I knew..Ellen said "Ok you can push whenever you want!" I remember thinking..this is it.. "Relax"..and I kept saying " We can do this baby, work with me" out loud. I had my husband on my right and my mom on my left each holding a hand. I had my husband turn on the "Pushing Baby Out Track" and I literally repeated everything she said out loud since no one else could hear what I was hearing (we left the CD player in the car). I felt Ellen pour warm liquid (mineral oil) all over my perineum area and start to massage and stretch me out. My uterus continued to push baby out and I began to breathe baby down with nice deep controlled breaths. I remember opening my eyes and looking up at my husband between pressure waves. I felt a little stinging and thought…oh this must be the "Ring of Fire" that I've heard about. It's not that bad! I continued to relax and let my body do what it needed to do. I heard someone say she has a full head of black hair. Ellen grabbed my hand and helped me to feel her head crowning! My husband told me after the birth he almost passed out at this point. He couldn't believe how relaxed I was with the baby half way out! I heard someone say her head was out and then next thing I knew with a deep breath and another uterus push out she came! Total pushing time in the bed was only 12 minutes! I only had a first degree tear and am healing up nicely.
Ellen put her directly on my chest and mom let them know that we wanted to wait to cut the cord. She was beautiful and so peaceful. She had a full head of black hair and her eyes were wide open. My husband cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. It was an amazing experience and Hypnobabies gave me so many tools to use during the birthing process. I had a very positive outlook on pregnancy and birth and it could not have gone any better. My husband, mom, midwife and nurse were all amazed at how well I did. My husband said he respected me prior to the birth but after the birth it has been raised to a whole new level! I told everyone "thank you" and I just feel very blessed to be able to have an amazing birthing experience for me and my daughter.
Thank you Hypnobabies!
Angela and Cadence
This was my first time with both pregnancy and hypnosis. Fortunately, my pregnancy was uncomplicated with just some mild morning sickness in the first trimester. Another fortunate thing, although I didn’t think so earlier, is that I am in Japan where natural childbirth is the norm. In fact, I had asked my doctor about epidurals and drugs very early on in my pregnancy, but he said that the hospital could only administer these for medical reasons, but never at the request of the mother. When I found out a little later that the hospital did not even offer childbirth classes, I started to worry about how I would cope with labour and delivery. I began searching online for options and this lead me to Hypnobabies.
I began the Home Study course about eight weeks before my due date so I’d been doing maintenance for the three weeks prior to delivery. I listened to the Joyful Pregnancy Affirmations on average 6 out of 7 days depending on how busy I was. As for the daily hypnosis lessons, I fell asleep most of the time (hypnotic amnesia) but woke up at the end of each session. Actually, to this day, I still don’t consciously know what is on most of the CD tracks. If I missed a hypnosis session, I sometimes doubled up on another day. I practiced using my light switch when I remembered to, and then only about two or three times on those days.
So basically, I practiced relatively regularly, but didn’t beat myself up about missing a day or two. I never really felt like I got the hang of the light switch, but I kept telling myself not to judge the experience and just keep at it.
DH practised with me a total of three times, and only in the last week or so before delivery. However, he was incredibly supportive of my efforts, though he doubted it would work on the day. As for myself, I also had my doubts, but then again, what did I have to lose by trying?
The day I started listening to the Birthing Day Affirmations was the day I went into labour, at 39 weeks 6 days.
My labour began with my water breaking unexpectedly. I was lying in bed around 10.30pm and felt some unfamiliar sensations down below, like baby was poking its fingers through the amniotic sac. I felt it once, then sat up, twice, and then the floodgates opened. I felt the warm liquid running down between my legs, similar to urine but without colour or smell. I called out to DH who came running at the excited sound of my voice. “I think my waters just broke.”, I told him, “I think baby’s coming!”. I went to the bathroom and checked the color of the liquid. It was very clear so I told DH that we had some time to get to the hospital and to try and remember all our last minute items for the hospital. I put on a menstrual pad, but that filled up in a matter of minutes, so I ended up folding up a towel and putting it between my legs to catch the amniotic fluid that just kept coming and coming.
On the way to the hospital, a 20 minute drive, I listened to BIRTHING DAY AFFIRMATIONS and did some of that slow breathing that Kerry always starts off with on the CDs – in through the nose, out through the mouth. I didn’t know it at the time, but that breathing technique would be crucial later in my delivery.
We arrived at the hospital and I was checked (here I used my light-switch OFF): 1 cm.
I was hooked up to an IV because I had tested positive for Group B Strep (a bacteria that can harm a newborn baby) and then DH and I settled into our room for the night. Needless to say, neither of us slept very well that night in anticipation of what was ahead. During the night, when I wasn’t sleeping, I listened to BIRTHING DAY AFFIRMATIONS, DEEPENING, and SPECIAL PLACE tracks.
The next morning, I was checked again by my doctor (lightswitch OFF): 3 cm.
He manually dilated me (really uncomfortable!) and in seconds, I was at 5 cm.
I hadn’t felt any pressure waves by this point. But I continued to listen to tracks on and off. Actually, I could have listened to them non-stop, but I felt sorry for DH who, when he wasn’t catering to my every whim and desire (Can you get me some coffee? Can you turn the aircon off? Can you open the curtains?) was just waiting it out. So I would turn my ipod off or volume down, put my light-switch in CENTRE, and chat with DH. One time he even read a script to me which gave him more involvement, and me more relaxation.
Nurses came in from time to time to either hook me up to the monitor, or change the IV bags. If I was in the middle of a hypnosis session (DH said I looked like I was sleeping) then DH would answer any of their questions, or at least ask them to wait until I was ready to answer. I think that having someone in the room who can be your advocate really helps you keep focussed and also helps the staff understand what’s going on so they don’t feel like you are ignoring them. I allowed some internal checks, but refused others – the fact that I could choose whether to have one or not really made me feel in charge of my birthing time (something that was hammered home in the JOYFUL PREGNANCY AFFIRMATIONS). Sometime in the evening, I allowed an internal: 7-8 cms.
At this point, I started listening to the EASY FIRST STAGE track over and over again. For some reason, I had been saving that one for when I really felt like I was in labour, and the 7-8 cms indicated that I was heading into transition, what for some women is the most demanding phase of labour.
Now, the nurses were never convinced that I was in active labour. They kept asking me, “Do you have any p***? Does it hurt?”, and I would also reply honestly, “No”. If they asked DH “Does she have p***?”, he would tell them the same thing, “No p***, just pressure”. So they didn’t believe that I was really labouring, even though they could see my pressure waves on the monitor from their own office, and even though those pressure waves were dilating me. It might be a cultural thing, but every time a nurse would enter my room, she would ask about the p***, and then when she’d leave, she’d say “Call us when she starts to feel p***”. Needless to say, we never had to make that call.
Transition for me was the first time I felt a pressure wave. I didn’t feel the “wave” part, but the pressure was undeniable. I kept telling DH that I needed to do a number 2, but every time I would go to the bathroom, nada. It was uncomfortable and annoying more than anything else. Eventually, after countless attempts to relieve myself, I recognised that the rectal pressure was the baby, and not some huge turd.
I spent most of this time in hypnotic amnesia, and even now, don’t have total recall of this transitional phase. I was using my light-switch more often by this point, switching OFF to go into deep hypnosis, into myself and my body’s physical experience, and then switching CENTRE when I wanted to re-enter the outside world (ie. To communicate with DH or the nurses). So I only remember bits and pieces of transition, like when I suddenly got the shakes and started shivering uncontrollably and DH covered me with duvets and started rubbing me to try and warm me up. Then just like that, I felt hot and sweaty and needed to have the windows open and wanted to strip down to complete nakedness. I remember looking at the monitor every now and again to see baby’s heartbeat (above 100 is good, below 100 call the nurses station we were told). I remember chanting along with the track “PEEEEACE, OPPEEENNN, RELAAAAX”, probably freaking out the Japanese nurses but by this stage, beyond caring.
Twice I had DH call the nurses’ station to tell them I had to push. The first time they came running, “So is she feeling any p*** yet?”. I think the withering look I gave that nurse answered her question. “I feel like pushing”, I told her. She said a midwife would have to do an internal before we went to delivery. I didn’t object. The midwife checked: 8.5 to 9 cms. The second time DH called them, my doctor came in and checked me: almost 10cms!! YAY!!
A nurse went running to get a wheelchair for me, which I didn’t fit into (damned Japanese-sized wheelchairs), so I walked the short distance to the delivery room.
(***Warning: Put up and reinforce your BUBBLE OF PEACE for delivery room description)
I love my doctor and the attendants that helped us were real angels, but the delivery room, my goodness, what a shambles. I could see big garbage bins filled with blood-soaked I-don’t-know-whats, and shiny stainless steel implements lying on a table. I saw deep sinks that needed a good scrub and the morgue-like fluorescent lights that were just not working for me. I don’t mention these things to scare anyone, but this was the one time during my labour that I desperately and urgently resorted to my BOP to block the negative images before me. I focussed on getting to the delivery bed, or rather, the delivery bench.
(***Relax your BOP, that’s as bad as it got for me J)
As soon as I lay down on the delivery bench, I switched on the PUSHING BABY OUT track. This I would listen to until I delivered baby. I had never listened to either track on the Birthing Day CD, so maybe this had something to do with what happened next, but for some reason, I was unable to breathe the baby down. Each pressure wave, now ranging from between 4 and 2 minutes apart, was manageable, and I was fully dilated, but baby didn’t seem to be making any progress downwards. After an hour of this, three things happened that made me want an alternative. Firstly, another woman was wheeled in to the other side of the delivery room, she pushed and pushed, then we heard the crying of her baby. She had successfully delivered in five minutes! Secondly, without warning, I was suddenly hooked up to oxygen. Baby was apparently not getting enough air and its heartbeat had dropped to below 100 beats a minute. “Breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth”, DH said. Well, this came naturally with all my Hypnobabies practice. The third thing that motivated me to try something different was that my doctor was looking, quite frankly, bored. I asked him, “Am I weak pusher?”. “Yes”, he replied, “You’re a weak pusher”. (Hey, I asked). I turned the volume down on my ipod, and said to him “OK, so please tell me how to push”.
Seeing my determination to get the baby out, my doctor coached me on the delivery table with classic Lamaze pushing technique “There’s a con***ction coming” (He had to tell me this because as I mentioned earlier, I couldn’t feel the onset or subsiding of my pressure waves, only the pressure at the peak). “Now take a deep breath….and….PUSH 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. 10 now RELAX”… “Breathe again…and now PUSH…”. Now while I was listening to the doctor, I had Kerry’s voice in my ears, DH with his hand firmly on my shoulder giving me PEACE and RELAX cues and the doctor instructing me for pushing. I felt like I had this whole team of people on my side, encouraging me and cheering me on.
It might be TMI, but what felt really good while I was pushing, was for the doctor or an attendant to push, with a cloth, against my anus, as kind of counterpressure. (I asked my doctor about it later and he said it was to help prevent haemorrhoids, and I’m happy to say it seems to have worked.)
At 12.18am, on November 7, 2009, my beautiful daughter entered this world.
As soon as my baby was out, I ripped out my earphones and tossed my ipod to the side. But word to the wise: If your doctor has to leave you to perform an emergency C-section, then returns 2 hours later to do an internal check and finds a tiny tear that he wants to stitch up, you might want to keep those Hypno tracks handy. I didn’t, and ended up begging the doctor to let me heal naturally, to which he relented. I hadn’t thought of using hypnosis for any part of afterbirth.
HOW HYPNOBABIES HELPED ME
I credit Hypnobabies for so many things:
* My practise sessions really helped me relax during my pregnancy and increased my confidence for this baby, not to mention future ones.
* I was able to stay relaxed and comfortable for all of my labouring and birthing time. Furthermore, I was lucid throughout transition and delivery, the two phases I thought would be the most challenging. Also, because I had been so relaxed up until delivery, I had saved up enough energy for pushing and was not completely exhausted by the end of it.
* DH did not see me suffer. He was worried about the unavailability of drugs with me being a first-time mother, and though he was sceptical at first, he is now a true believer in hypnosis for childbirth. What little practice we did was very helpful in the end.
* Marisa is a very calm and easily contented child. She doesn’t cry very much and then only when she needs something. I know it’s still early days, but for now, she appears very relaxed, a true Hypnobaby.
* My doctor was so impressed with my relaxed state during labour and delivery, he asked if this program was available or would be available in Japanese. He said he wanted to promote this idea amongst Japanese women who are really given no other alternative than to grit and bear it. So Kerry, if you happen to read this, Japan needs Hypnobabies please!
Finally, to all women still considering whether to try hypnosis for childbirth, I highly recommend Hypnobabies. I used the home study course, with great success, and will definitely be using it for my future babies.
To those women that are currently using the program, good luck with your birthing day!! Choose to use your hypnosis tools and enjoy your experience, as I did.
Love, Seta, DH and Marisa
*BOP warning - mom does experience discomfort and chooses and epidural, but a positive birth overall!*
I've enjoyed reading all the amazing birth stories on the Hypnobabies blog and have debated for a while whether or not I should post mine. I praticed Hypnobabies for about 12 weeks prior to my guess date (10/11) which I thoroughly enjoyed and found extremely helpful for staying relaxed and sleeping well while pregnant. I could envision the most natural and perfect birthing and felt really empowered. My story has a few unexpected twists and turns but I'm happy overall with how it turned out.
So it all started Thursday (10/8) afternoon when I knew something was up ... my "practice" birthing waves were getting noticeably stronger and a little closer together. I was hanging out with my mom that day and when I drove home, I was getting really uncomfortable. It was obvious that I was getting close to "real" labor. I relaxed and listened to my Hypobabies tracks at home that night and tried timing some of them for an hour to see if I could find a pattern. Not really ... some were 15 min apart, some 8, some 10 ...
That night, sleeping was not really possible since my birthing waves were waking me up. Around 4:30am I called my sister (a NICU nurse) to let her know that I need her to start getting ready to come over since they were around 5-7 min apart. My sister and husband were the ones that would be supporting me in the delivery room. By the time she arrived I was having to focus more and more on breathing through each birthing wave. All the while I continued to listen to my hypnobabies tracks on my iPod.
When we got to the hospital around 6am on Friday, I waited in the triage room to be "checked" ... and I was just 2cm, 90% effaced. They asked me to walk around for an hour and they would check me again. So I did and afterwards, I was just 2cm still. We took their advice and went back home to go a few more hours before coming back. As soon as I got home (around 10am), I got in tub to get some relief. I labored at home until about 3pm ... I was REALLY in the throes of labor at that point and had to get a wheelchair to get to L&D. They could tell I was ready to be admitted and got me into a delivery room. The midwife that would deliver my baby checked me and I was 7cm ... YEA! Wow, I was really on my way ... as time went on I was more and more vocal through each birthing wave. It took everything I had to stay in control but I was confident and determined to get through it. I walked around, rocked in a chair, and sat on my birthing ball, anything to help the labor move along more effectively.
The midwife came back around 7pm to check me and I couldn't believe it, I was only 7cm still. That was a shock and I thought maybe she should break my water to bring more dialation. I was getting a little desparate to speed things up. Wow, that was a strange sensation! Instantly I was experiencing birthing waves beyond my wildest imagination. It could of been a combination of exhaustion and stress but I started shaking all over really bad. My poor sister and husband must have been traumatized because I slowly found myself losing confidence and I was literally screaming when each one hit. Not exactly in control anymore. The water breaking was a major induction of my labor and I just couldn't get a grip. My husband was really supportive and kept saying you're doing great, you can do it (like I told him to) and I started saying do I have a choice? I was sure there was no turning back (getting meds) since I was too far along.
Bless my sister's heart, she could tell I was not going to make it and I was actually stalling labor by tensing up so much. I was saying things I won't repeat here :) and when she said I could get some relief to take the edge off, I agreed. She didn't say epidural but I knew what she meant. She got the nurse to get the anesthesiologist. The nurse never offered an epidural because it wasn't on my birth plan so I give her credit for sticking to it! It was about 10 or 11pm now and I was just grateful I had made it that far and could still be helped. I would have given my right arm to get relief at that point.
The next part is an unexpected twist ... the nurse is trying to put the IV in my hand and 3 times she was unsuccessful because she would hit a valve in my veins. My sister said it took all she had not to grab the IV and administer it herself. Each time she was unsuccessful I had to brace myself for another birthing wave. I thought I was going to lose my mind. My sister basically told the nurse to get the anesthesiologist to do the IV (since they are pros). What would I have done without my sister there, I don't know. She should be a doula. :)
So the candyman, I call him, gave me an epidural and it took a bit to take effect but eventually I could relax. As soon I did my husband said the birthing wave monitor was showing waves off the charts ... my body was finally able to do what it needed to do because I was letting it. It's offically Saturday now. The midwife came to check me after about an hour or so (around 1am) and I was fully dialated, station 2, so it was time to push. I couldn't help but notice how quiet it was ... just waiting for birthing waves to come so I could push. Having been up for about 48 hours I almost fell asleep between pushes! I could still feel the pressure of the contractions but mildly. After about 4 or 5 sets of pushing ... my baby boy, Max, was born at 1:52am! He was placed on my chest and I just couldn't believe he was finally there (I asked him what took him so long). I was so relieved and happy as I just stared at him as the nurse took his vitals.
That's my birth story ... an amazing experience I'll never forget. I wasn't planning to get an epidural but I also wasn't planning to have a marathon long labor. I give myself credit for getting as far as I did and I'm glad I was able to get the relief I needed to finally bring Max into the world. There's no way I would have gotten as far as I did without the empowerment of Hypnobabies. I also give my sister & husband LOTS of credit for being such awesome supporters and enduring each hour. Hope you enjoyed my story!
At around 6am on Thursday, September 17th I woke up as I couldn't get comfortable in bed and decided that I could just nap later. Once I was up and eating breakfast I realized that it could possibly be some type of pressure wave / contraction. They were different than the type that I had had earlier in the week. These were more achy where the other ones were more wave like from top to bottom. I tried to ignore them as I knew they could mean little and there was the possibility that they could go away completely.
Later in the morning when Matt woke up I mentioned that there was a little something going on, but that we shouldn't think about it as things could change at any time. We went about our day with a walk for Dakota, our Lab Shar Pei mix and a walk to our appointment with our midwife. At our 41 week appointment we talked about the following week and the options we would have to get things moving so Baby would arrive before 42 weeks. I also told her that I was feeling something but that there wasn't any consistency and that they were very mild.
After our appointment we went home and did a few things before heading off to Costco to pick up some items we needed before Baby arrived. The trip was fairly uneventful with the exception of some more pressure waves / contractions and my body deciding that it needed to clean itself out. I also enjoyed the samples that they had throughout the store. We went back home where we had some lunch and the pressure waves / contractions continued. They had a little more intensity but were still quite inconsistent. I would lay down on the couch to rest and get comfortable and started doing some word finds to keep my mind off things.
At around 4pm Matt called our midwife to let her know things were starting to get regular with pressure waves being between 3 and 9 minutes apart and 15 – 30 seconds long. They would increase and decrease in time between pressure waves. I also had the awesome time of throwing up at one point, something my midwife told me meant 1 centimeter of dilation, a good thing in my mind, but not fun. Our midwife suggested taking a nap and resting as I would need the energy later and she also told us to call once things were closer together, more like 5 minutes or less apart and 45 – 90 seconds long.
By 7 or 7:30pm the pressure waves were coming more and more regularly but were still only 30 seconds long. I was starting to wonder how I would ever make it through the birthing if it were to go for several more hours with the same spacing in time. We had studied Hypnobabies birthing for the last half of the pregnancy with both me and Matt studying the materials. Thankfully Matt was with me as his birth partner portion was extremely helpful as it allowed me to breathe through the pressure waves / contractions. When he would step away I could feel the pain and pressure, but if he was there it was so much better. The pressure waves / contractions were about 1 – 2 minutes apart at this point, close enough that I was having a hard time resting between them. I was also starting to wonder how women ever made it through labor when things were happening like they were but only longer.
I kept telling Matt that it felt like I had to take a poop and that there was so much pressure on my bottom. I continued to feel like I needed to push and they were pushing without my help. To this point we had none of our birthing supplies set up. I had planned to labor and birth in a birth tub, but that was still in the back yard and the hose wasn't even close to being connected. I told Matt that we really needed to get the bed ready so that we at least had one place to birth if the tub wasn't ready. We stripped the bead and he continued getting it ready with the shower curtains and clean sheets on top, all the while I was having pressure waves / contractions and needed him to help me through them.
Our midwife called us around 8 or 8:30pm to see how things were and Matt told her that I was feeling pressure and that the pressure waves / contractions were pretty close together but not very long in duration. She told us she was headed over and would be there soon. Not long after I decided that I needed to poop again or at least had the sensation to. In my mind, I knew that the "poop" feeling was really more and could mean that baby was close, but didn't realize how close things were. I decided to go sit on the toilet to see if I could get anything out but as I sat down I realized what the feeling was that was rubbing on the shorts I was wearing, it was my bag of water bulging out of me.
I called Matt over and told him what I was feeling and he looked and saw the bag of water and the baby's head inside of it. He also happened to be on the phone with our midwife and described what he saw. I was squatting somewhat and in one pressure wave / contraction the entire head came out. Our midwife told Matt to have me lay down and as I walked towards the bed the next pressure wave / contraction hit my water broke and Baby came shooting out and onto the floor. Matt quickly dropped the phone with our midwife on it and grabbed Baby off the floor. I turned and noticed that the umbilical cord was detached from the pressure of Baby coming out. I grabbed my bath towel off the wall and gave it to Matt as he was embracing Baby to keep it warm. I dashed to the bed where he quickly brought baby over so that I could keep Baby warm.
At this point our midwife and intern midwife were pulling up to our house and came flying in. They immediately started tying off the umbilical cord and checking over baby and helping deliver the placenta (I had completely forgotten about this part!). Zi's color wasn't the best and our midwives decided that washing her wouldn't be a good idea as it would lower her body temperatures. She was also given oxygen to help her out. Matt and I settled into bed with Zi wrapped up tight to keep her warm as our amazing midwives began cleaning up the bathroom and hallway. They also brought us food in bed; I can't tell you how nice this was! We were able to stay together as a family in bed enjoying our new baby while everything else around us was being done.
Our midwives decided that it would be best if they spent the night so they could check Zi's vitals after such a tremendous delivery. They came in every hour and checked on her and at 4am noticed that her respiratory numbers were lower than where they should have been. Our midwife suggested that we go in to the hospital as she wasn't comfortable with us being home all day if her numbers were low. Matt and I discussed it and after about an hour and the respiratory numbers still low, we decided to head in to the hospital.
At 6am we headed out to Denver Health Medical Center, not the first trip we had planned for Zi, but one we thought was necessary. When we arrived at the hospital we were greeted by a quiet pediatric section with no other patients. The entire staff in the ER was so kind and gentle with Zi. They put her on the monitors and began evaluating her. Our midwife was amazing and stayed with us through the morning, helping to answer the questions they had. One of the more difficult parts was when they put an IV in her arm, including a large IV board. Matt was kind enough to stay with her as I couldn't bear to see her go through that.
Around mid afternoon they finally decided to move us up to the NICU for observation. Once up in NICU we were able to start to work on breastfeeding, something Zi seemed to be a pro with, but Mom needed a little work, especially with her nipples. With the help of nipple shields, we were able to get a successful latch and get Zi on her way to a good afternoon snack. They eventually moved us to our own room on the NICU floor and Matt and I started to settle in for what was to be a couple days of observation.
At around one in the morning on Saturday one of the resident doctors came by and told us that her blood work came back with a bacteria growth and that they wanted to start a seven day antibiotic treatment. Matt was up and decided that we really didn't have much choice as it would be difficult to get rid of without. Poor Zi was continually being poked and prodded and listened to, something that she would have liked to have done without, especially all of the monitors they had connected to her.
Matt and I took turns sleeping on the pull out chair and rocking our little girl throughout the night and during the day. Thankfully on Sunday afternoon they were able to get us a room on the Mom and Baby floor where there were two beds and where Zi would be able to stay with us without being connected to any monitors. Each day was more of the same: IV's at 1am, 9am and 5pm as well as vitals taken throughout the day and check-ups from the pediatrician and the resident doctors.
My Mom was able to fly up the day after Zi was born so Matt and I were able to take a couple quick trips home to clean up and refresh without having to put Zi in the nursery. On Tuesday the pediatrician came in and told us they thought we could probably go home, but once they ran it by the infectious disease specialist, they came back and told us we had to wait out the full seven day antibiotic treatment as the specialist wanted to be sure the infection was gone. I was extremely sad that we wouldn't be able to take our little girl home and that she would have to endure another three days of treatment, but it was what would be best for her. They originally thought the infection was Group B Strep since I hadn't gotten tested, but once the culture grew out it was diagnosed as Enterococcus Faecalis Bacteremia, something they really have no clue about how she got it.
Throughout the week the nurses kept their fingers crossed as they would run her IV, hoping that it would hold out. It was done twice in the same arm and later in the week they couldn't get the IV in anywhere and asked if we would allow it in her head, which we were. I knew it would be easier for them to get and whatever we needed to do for Zi, we would do. Finally, finally, finally on Friday, September 25th, they gave us the all clear to head home after her last IV at 5pm. Once the last IV went through, we waited for permission to take the IV out of her head, something I don't really care to see her go through ever again. We had them cut the tape off as it kept pulling her little hair and she kept crying. After all was calm and we were cleared, we were on our way, something a full week in the making. It was so good to be able to bring Zi back to her home where she was born a week prior, a place much calmer and comfortable compared the hospital.
All in all I wouldn't change a thing. I loved laboring at home, being in a place where Matt and I were both comfortable. We did the research; we prepared our minds and our home. We loved our midwife and trusted her and her intern. Zi came quickly, but perfect. I'm very thankful that our midwife was concerned enough to have us head to the hospital. I'm content knowing we did what we needed to do to make sure our baby would be healthy. We don't know what would have happened if things would have been different and we hadn't had such a quick birth and we hadn't gone to the hospital. Everything happens for a reason and we would do it again in a heartbeat.
At 38w3d, I wake up at 7am on Friday morning due to abdominal discomfort. I thought it was the baby doing his morning calisthenics again - I'd been having those same feelings off and on in the mornings over the previous week or two and thought it was him stretching out since my belly would be totally lopsided. In hindsight, I realize it may have been Braxton-Hicks contractions (which I had thought meant your tummy would get round and hard - I guess not!). Unlike previous times, it did not go away and I could not go back to sleep by changing positions or applying light pressure. This did not make me happy because I'd be up late the night before working. At 8am, the uncomfortable feeling was intensifying, so I texted my doula to ask her if these might be BH. She wrote back, "sounds like early labour! any mucousy discharge? loose bowel movements?"
I'd been having loose bowel movements since (of course) the night DH left on his business trip (~2 weeks prior), and while that is a sign that your cervix is ripening, it doesn't tell you when you'll start childbirth. However, that morning went from the loose bowel movements that would make a Metamucil commercial proud to something more like diarrhea. I also had the slightest tinge of pink mucousy discharge, which in retrospect was my bloody show. My doula Angie and I discussed my signs over the phone and she recommended I get in touch with DH.
I still didn't think it was early labor because the discomfort dies down and I still cling to my belief that my daily affirmations to the baby that he will "be born easily and naturally after September 30th" will work (little do I know that he only paid attention to the first part of Mommy's request).
DH calls me back when he gets my message at 7am his time in Belgium. It's around noon, I think, and I relay Angie's assessment of the situation. At her suggestion, I take a walk around the garden in our complex and the PW ("pressure waves," Hypnobabies-speak for contractions) come about once or twice every 10 minutes. During the PW, I either slow down or stop walking and just breathe through them. DH is simultaneously on the phone with a travel agent and at that point decides to head straight to the airport to get back to Taiwan ASAP (I think he finds this crazy route to get back, something like Brussels-Helsinki-Hong Kong-Taipei) - the soonest he can get back to Taipei is before noon the next day, so roughly 24 hours away.
I still don't think I'm in early labor, but DH and Angie agree that it's probably best for him to come back. I really hope his last-minute plane ticket is worth it and that it really is labor, and that the baby waits until Daddy is back to arrive! During that day, I manage to have a Skype conference call with my accountant in the U.S. over my tax return (and he doesn't realize that I'm in labor)!
At about 4pm, Angie comes over to check up on me. We sit on my couch and have a nice chat. I breathe through my PW when they come, but it's totally manageable (still I think about every 10 minutes). Based on her experience with other births, she thinks it is totally conceivable that things won't really get started until much later and DH has a chance to make it on time. Take a nap or a bath (water in early labor slows things down), or watch a movie, she recommends, because I want to be well-rested in case things kick in in the middle of the night. Little do we know my baby will be born in about 4 hours!
She leaves. I call my girlfriend and she offers to bring over dinner. I accept her offer since I don't really feel like cooking. My friend says she needs to run some errands first, but she'll be over in about an hour and a half. That's fine, I tell her - I'm going to take a bath to relax - and she can come over, we can have dinner, maybe watch a dvd, have an early night.
I run the tub and get in with a good book. I have the presence of mind to keep my cell phone next to the tub by the bathmat. I become engrossed in the book, but realize after awhile I'm having trouble concentrating every couple of paragraphs. I call Angie. She sounds a little concerned since she's on her way to dinner with her kids, and asks me to keep her posted. About 15 minutes later (at roughly 6pm), I call her to tell her I think my water broke (I hear a pop and there is a gush of fluid in the tub after a PW - at that point, it's like my body is doing that breakdance move where the whole body moves in a wave on its own - so I logically conclude that either my water broke or I lost control of my bladder and peed in the tub, and I pick the former conclusion). Angie immediately turns her car around and offers to send her kids along with her nanny in a cab so she can head straight to my place, but I insist she first head home so that she can pick up her video camera as I really want to have the birth filmed since it seems like DH is going to miss it.
I'm not sure at what point I did this, but when the PW really pick up in intensity, I decided I need reinforcement of my hypnosis cues (since I just listened to the tracks at night before bed and barely practiced at all). It takes all of my focus and concentration to get out of the tub to unlock the front door and put on my Hypnobabies soundtrack. I debate between the "Positive Birthing Day Affirmations" or the "Easy First Stage" tracks, and I decide that since the PW seem pretty intense, I'm going to go straight to the "Easy First Stage" even though I don't think I'm there yet. I get back into the tub and decide that I'm not doing any more moving. I figure once I have the CD going, I can go more easily into hypnosis and the PW won't seem as intense and I can wait for them to die down. Except they don't die down, but keep coming.
Angie keeps me posted on her progress to my home - she's stuck in rush hour traffic. So is my friend. Sometime around this point I finally accept the fact that I am in childbirth, and I just let my body take over and go with the flow. I'm feeling very calm.
Angie asks if I can meet her downstairs so she can take me straight to the birth center. I can't get out of the tub on my own, I tell her - it would take too much focus away from going through the PW. Just to answer my cell phone (which is outside the tub) and not drop it into the tub while I'm on the phone takes a lot of concentration!
She tells me that once my friend arrives, I am to tell my friend to help me out of the tub, get me dressed, and go downstairs so we can go to the birth center. Less than 5 minutes later, my friend shows up. Actually, when she arrives the doorman calls to see if I'm expecting her - and I can't even get out of the tub to answer the cordless phone on my nightstand right next to the door to the bathroom, just one step away from the tub. I call her on her cell so that she can pass me onto the doorman for me to give him permission to let her in. He tells my friend he thinks I sound a bit ill. "She's having a baby," replies my friend.
When my friend shows up in my bathroom, I relay Angie's directions to me and then I tell her, "but I'm not leaving this tub. You can go pack my birth bags." Angie shows up about 5 minutes after my friend. I look up to her and I say, "this must be transformation (Hypnobabies-speak for transition), right?" She says she needs to check and goes to get her disposable gloves. Now, I'd read in my research that transformation is the most intense part of childbirth, and that there's usually a natural break after mom is fully dilated to give her time to gather up energy for the pushing stage. Angie checks and says that not only am I fully dilated, she can see a quarter-size bit of head!
Now, at that point I wasn't really sure if Hypnobabies was working, because I was not completely numb to all sensation with hypnotic anesthesia. I could definitely feel something was happening in the sense that when I was in the tub, the PW became these intense convulsions (for lack of a better word) that took over my body, but I hadn't realized I'd already gone through transformation and was well into the pushing stage. Keep in mind that epidurals are usually given at around 3-4cm in dilation - well before transformation!
Back to the childbirth: Angie immediately calls my doctor who promptly freaks out and tells me to stop pushing and go straight to the birth center. Now when you are in active labor, there is no conscious choice. It's like if you get traveler's diarrhea - your body is going to expel what it doesn't want whether you like it or not. The thought of getting into a moving vehicle is the last thing I want to do. My dr suggests calling for an ambulance. The thought of panicked paramedics mucking up my home and going to an unfamiliar hospital is even less appealing.
I have Angie and my good friend (who officiated my wedding) in my home. I am a low-risk pregnancy and the birth is obviously progressing rapidly and smoothly. I tell Angie we'll just have the baby at home because he's already sneaking his way out and go to the birth center afterwards. Angie goes into the nursery and tells my friend to stop packing the birth bags as we're having the baby at home. My friend asks Angie, "so are you a midwife?" "I'm a midwife student," replies Angie. My friend, bless her, calmly takes this in stride and asks how she can help.
They gather up all the towels in my home and I eventually get out of the tub and onto my bed. I start on my hands and knees, and then roll to my side to rest. Childbirth feels like awful constipation - I feel like I have the biggest poo ever stuck in my colon, I tell Angie, and then promptly apologize to the baby for likening him to poo. Since I'm feeling this way, I decide to move onto the toilet. Angie is great, providing support (literally - I lean on her doing PW) and my friend is photographing and filming the whole thing. In between PW I am relaxed and do things like comb and fix my hair so that it's not in my face, and be all Martha Stewart-y by directing cleanup so that everything is neat and in place.
When the baby's head has descended even more, Angie suggests moving off of the toilet since obviously he'll be harder to catch. I agree and I end up standing, leaning against my closet as Angie sits of the floor to catch him. His head slowly inches out. At one point, DH calls to get an update - he's transferring planes in Helsinki. My friend answers and tells him the head is out! Just before 9pm, his head out, he does a little turn so that his shoulders can come out and with a whoosh, his whole body slides out and Angie lifts him up to me. We are so ecstatic and it's wonderful to have my baby in my arms! He looks just like his daddy!
We pile any remaining towels onto my bed and I go there to lie down so that the baby and I can have our skin-to-skin bonding time, he can try to latch on, and I can birth the placenta. In a short while, the placenta is birthed and we wrap it up in a old Asian WSJ. At this point, I'm starving and I want to eat that dinner that my friend brought over!
I get dressed and go to the dining room and eat my dinner - I feel a little shaky - the kind of feeling you get after a huge physical exertion (e.g. intense swim practice, tough water polo game) and your blood sugar is low. I feel like I've run a marathon or hiked one of Taiwan's tallest peaks with just a few energy bars. I snarf my food down while Angie holds the baby and my friend cleans up.
We then head to the birth center (my dr is in a panic, remember). On the way over, I mention I could still eat a Whopper (not my usual order of a Whopper Jr., but a regular-sized Whopper). We arrive at the birth center - no parking spots by the entrance, so we park about 15-20 meters away and I walk into the birth center with my baby in one arm and my placenta, wrapped in newspaper and in a plastic tub, in my other arm. Later on the nurses keep commenting on how I didn't seem like a mom who had just given birth, given how I just strolled into their reception area where they were all waiting for us.
It turns out I had a 2nd degree tear (skin & muscle) which my dr sews up (for the record, that was much more uncomfortable and stressful than childbirth, even though I had local anesthesia - I did not prepare by going into hypnosis first as it caught me off guard). When I first arrived, my dr was very upset about the home birth and the fact that I'd taken so long to arrive since Angie had first called (I thought it was perfectly reasonable for me to have a good meal after giving birth to my baby, and I obviously didn't have that same sense of urgency she had). I'm on a high after the birth and don't mind her freak out at all; I just keep thinking, I just had my baby and he's the most wonderful, adorable thing ever in my arms!
Perhaps my dr had thought that I had secretly planned a home birth. I am actually one of those people that's quite comfortable with having my natural birth in a facility with all the backup medical resources available - but as they say, the first rule of parenting is to expect the unexpected! Anyways, after she inspected me she said that my cervix showed obvious signs of fast dilation and seemed to realize that hypnosis for childbirth can work so well that everyone (myself included!) can miss the signs of how quickly its progressing.
Even though I did not get my water birth, I had an amazing childbirth experience. Ultimately, it was exactly the way I wanted - smooth, natural, and peaceful. As Angie said, the three of us women worked together to create this great environment that was as pleasant as a few girlfriends gathering together for afternoon tea - except that instead of nibbling on petit fours, we had a baby!
Hypnobabies® - Natural Childbirth at its best!
Let me start out by saying that I studied Hypnobabies for 3 months prior to birth and fully prepared myself to have a natural childbirth. I believe if I ever have another child I will again prepare myself with Hypnobabies for a natural childbirth because Hypnobabies gave me the tools to deal with the process of having a c-section and made for a relatively calm birth amongst the craziness of the operating room. Doing Hypnobabies every night also made for a relaxing pregnancy and I believe had something to do with how incredibly calm my baby is.
On Monday July 6th I went to the hospital for a third fetal movement test. Since he was measuring big from the week before the Dr’s wondered if I had developed Gestational Diabetes so while there the nurse called to get the results of the GD test the week before. It turned out that I had developed it. From that point on I was told that the baby was coming out that day either by induction or by c-section. I was surprised that they actually were giving me the choice. Now I had not read up on c-section or inductions so I wasn’t prepared to make the decision. The only knowledge I had of either of the 2 choices was the info in the HB home study book as well as some support from people on the HB message bored when I asked which would be better. I thank everyone for their responses!
When my husband got the hospital, he and I debated for over an hour and half which method would be the better option. We asked the OB at the hospital and our OB what they both thought. I called my parents and a friend of mine who had recently had a c-section to ask her about the recovery process. After going back and forth between the 2 we decided that the c-section was the way to go. I do have to say that the OB at the hospital and my OB never pressured me either way. In fact at one point the OB who performed the procedure actually said to me, “Let’s just start with the induction.” Cause I was taking so long to decide! I guess she figured I was uncomfortable with getting a c-section. They both were supportive of either option as long as I was open to having the baby that day.
Once we decided and I got admitted, it was time for pre-op. The staff there and the OB let me have close to an hour to prepare myself by letting me get into my own self-hypnosis mode. Like I said I hadn’t prepared for a CS so I was a little unsure of how to use the method for that so I started out with the Deepening CD to make sure I was as relaxed as I could be. After that I put myself in hypnosis and turned on my center switch just in time to wheeled into the operating room. I turned myself off when getting the spinal block and back to center when I had the lie down and stayed there for a few moments while answering questions from the anesthesiologist. Feeling the spinal take effect was the worst part for me. There was a moment where I felt like couldn’t breathe. And the Dr had the nurses tilt the table a little bit to help me out which did help. Then came some nausea, which the anesthesiologist gave me some Zofran for. Then my head started to hurt and here is where HB really helped me out. I began using the “Peace” cue while the pain in my head came and went. The “Peace” cue kept me calm during a moment that I wanted to really panic.
After my head stopped hurting and the Dr. made sure that I could not feel anything. My husband was allowed in and I promptly turned myself off while husband rubbed my head and gave me the relax and release cues through the entire operation. I also was saying to myself the entire time, “Deeper and Deeper with ever exhalation”. I was completely relaxed and very aware of what people were saying and doing after I turned myself off. I never felt any pain during the surgery partly because of the drugs, but also because I was so relaxed. I remember the Dr and nurses telling me and commenting to my husband how calm I was and how good I was doing. I know that they are probably supposed to say that, but they all sounded genuinely impressed at how well I was handling everything.
Miles came out already crying and covered in meconium. This told me that I had made the right decision. He was just ready to come out. I remember the nurses all commenting on how big he was and that I had delivered the biggest baby of the day! LOL! I was able to see him after a few minutes of him getting weighed and some blood tests taken because of the GD. Turns out his sugar was not elevated at all. I must have just recently started to develop GD right at the end.
Miles is just a beautiful baby boy. So far in his week and a half old life I have only had one night where he was fussy, but most of the time he is so calm and able to settle right down when he does get fussy that I am calling him my Zen Baby!
I truly do not think I would have been able to be so calm through the operation had I not studied with Hypnobabies. It truly gave me the knowledge and the tools to make my decision and to remain calm and relaxed throughout the c-section.
were really inconsistent--up to 45 minutes (or more; they were so
inconsistent I didn't bother timing them!) between waves. This was
similar to my first birth, so I figured I'd be birthing my baby
sometime Thursday night/Friday morning.
Uh, no. Wednesday and Thursday night, I listened to HB scripts for a
couple hours to help relax through pressure waves. Probably around
midnight Thursday night/Friday morning, my water broke, but it was a
high break, so the small amount of liquid made me unsure that it had
broken. Still, I was able to get a good amount of sleep both nights.
Friday afternoon, my mother and my sister arrived from out of town (I
wonder if, really, I was delaying my own labor for her arrival so I
wouldn't have to worry about my 2 year old). We went shopping for
curtains for the baby's room and had dinner at my sister's house. (I
have a lot of sisters :D .)
By Friday night, my pressure waves still weren't really progressing,
though I had finally gotten up to 3-4 an hour. By then I was pretty
sure my water had broken (I don't know why leaking water all day
hadn't been my first clue....), and rereading the HB workbook section
on high breaks helped to reassure me, especially around 9 PM when I
realized that a doctor would give me a three hour deadline to have the
baby and I was scared to call my OB and be put on drugs to regulate my
I listened to more scripts and was able to get a little sleep Friday
night (as much as I could, having to pee hourly or sometimes even more
frequently!). After midnight, I was *extremely* uncomfortable, but a
few positions mentioned in the course really helped (specifically
leaning over against a counter, rocking my hips from side to side!).
At 2:30, I decided it was time to go to the hospital. For some
reason, although we live 1.5 mi from the hospital, it always seems to
take an hour from the time I decide it's time to go to the time we're
admitted. Okay, so I know part of the reason--my pressure waves were
too intense to walk and lasting several minutes. I was pretty much
freaking out and seriously thinking I wasn't going to be able to get
along without an epidural.
At the hospital, they asked first thing if my water had broken, and
they did a test paper that came back bright blue--definitely amniotic
fluid. So they were very careful about internal exams ( :D !), but
they did an initial one--I was eight cm. (Even better than I'd
visualized!) The nurse asked if I was planning on having an epidural.
I said, "Well, I wasn't *planning* on it. . . ." She told me I
didn't need one!
I was a little worried about this hospital, though I'd liked it okay
the first time around, I'd *heard* that other hospitals in the area
were more natural-birth friendly. But they never mentioned an
I had a very hard time focusing through the last hour of pressure
waves (and got very annoyed at my MP3 player), but my wonderful nurse
helped me to focus. She didn't even know we were doing hypnosis, but
she used a lot of the same cues from the course--the same breathing
cues, telling me to relax specific body parts. She also took hold of
my foot to give me another physical stimulus to focus on, which I liked.
DH was great, too, though I discovered that I hated the forehead relax
cue and couldn't tell him to use my shoulder. (A little busy, I was!)
The OB got there an hour after we did, and I was almost complete.
Because I had a high break and kept myself well hydrated, he actually
didn't believe the nurse when she said my water had broken and still
had to AROM (uncomfortable!) and pushed the last little lip of cervix
out of the way.
They told me I could push, and while I wasn't having any urge to push,
I was ready for my birthing time to be over. I did have local
anesthesia (which is really good, since I had 2nd degree tearing),
but, incredibly, pushing did not hurt. There was a lot of pressure,
stretching and a little stinging (probably from the local), but it DID
NOT HURT. It was just a lot of work!
Rebecca Shae was born at 4:58 AM on Saturday, July 26. She weighed 5
lbs, 13 oz and was 18.5 in long. After they weighed her and wiped her
off, they gave her back to me and she nursed for an hour. I declined
the routine pitocin, which my OB grumbled about a little as he sewed
me up, but for someone who I know is not very supportive of natural
birth, he wasn't bad (and I realize now that his personality is just a
lot more gruff than my regular, superoptimistic OB).
Other than being small and a little cold, she's done great! We should
be released from the hospital any time now (once DH gets here) and I'm
excited to go home.
I don't feel like I did very well at maintaining my focus on my own,
but HB did help me through two days of pressure waves and I was able
to give birth naturally.
My husband blogged about the birth (a much shorter account) on my
Guess date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009, first baby
Avery Catherine, 6 lbs. 5 oz., 20 in. long, born Thursday, March 26 at 1:31 p.m.
True birthing time began Wednesday, March 25 around 2 a.m.
Success with Hypnobabies? Absolutely!
Pre-Labor (Skip or read with BOP)
**Mild pressure waves started Sunday evening, March 22 and they were perfectly manageable so I went to sleep. I thought we might even have the baby by the next morning! Ha! How wrong I was. PWs continued through Wednesday night becoming more uncomfortable and I wasn't able to use my cues for some reason. It was probably all mental. I'd been Fear Releasing and Birthing Day Affirmations but something was still holding me back. Probably because I was a first-time mom, I was just scared. However I did and still do (even more so now, absolutely believe in Hypnobabies and know that we chose the very best way to birth).
By Wednesday night I was literally bored to tears from sitting around and not sleeping, and PWs were still inconsistent. So my wonderful husband turned on a bath for me and lit some candles. I had a glass of wine (never drank of course during pregnancy but I'd read some midwives say it was a good way to get things going) and boy were they right. I was refreshed and peaceful and the PWs started to pick up from here. For about 10 minutes I was moaning in the kitchen. But this was the only time during the entire birth that I actually felt pain.**
Ahhhhh, Hypnobabies brings relief!
The very moment I put my headphones on and listened to the Birth Guide CD when it was time to leave for the hospital, I was SO relaxed and comfortable. The midwife checked upon arrival and I was 6 centimeters and waters still intact! YES! What a great feeling. I was so happy and this carried me through until I was complete and ready to push at about 9 a.m. I didn't even know I was in transition. It was just more intense but I wasn't aware of any particular shift. Just overjoyed to hear I was complete. I felt SO great and my husband and Hypnobabies doula worked so well to keep me hydrated and encouraged. The nurses were wonderful and respected my birth plan. It was actually our midwife, who, while she did have a great bedside manner, and was extremely encouraging when I needed her to be, was also all about the "standard of care" and bossed the nurses around too much for my liking. You just never know. But I was allowed to move around even though the midwife was making my sweet nurse follow me around with the monitor to check the baby's heart rate. But at least she was able to follow me and I didn't have to lie down. It was tough on the nurse, I know, but she always found a strong beat, which I have to say, was comforting even though I wanted that monitor off me.
Let me just say a word on doulas. Hire one if at all possible and if she doesn't know Hypnobabies, train her. Find someone who is willing to learn. I relied mostly on my husband for physical support during the birthing waves, and all he had to say was "relax" or "release" to get me through, but it was my doula who I remember turning to most during transition and pushing. At that point I needed someone who had been through it and believed in her own body in order to maintain focus. My husband was getting a bit anxious and was asking a lot of questions, and our doula was incredibly supportive during this time. Through this increased intensity, I never once felt pain.
Time to Push!
BOP needed NOW. Skip these next two paragraphs if you want. They are not important to the overall success I had with the program, and I will preface it by saying that the more intense things became, the more Hypnobabies kicked in. And I was only about a C+ home study student!
**I honestly thought we'd have the baby by 10:30 a.m. or so. Boy, this little girl took 'patience' to a whole new level. I pushed for four and 1/2 hours, which was certainly no one's plan, and in the end my body was clearly giving out. Yet in the end, everything was so worth it. I can't say why I had to push for so long. My pelvis is obviously quite small since Avery was just 6 lbs., 5 oz. and really seemed stuck, and I did have a substantial tear when she was born at 1:31 p.m. (Even though I know plenty of small women who push much larger babies right through.) But I had no idea I'd even torn, and held and loved on my baby while I got stitched up. Also, the midwife had right away guided the placenta right out and I barely felt it. I am healing so well from the tear and have had a virtually pain-free recovery.
Just two thoughts on this: DO YOUR SQUATS. If I'd been physically able to stay squatting for longer (and if the hospital had had a squat bar like they should have), I think we'd have had our baby sooner. Also, don't delay listening to your Pushing Baby Out track. I never really had a chance to listen to it since I was saving it for Birth Day, and by the time I needed it I couldn't get my headphones to stay in. At that point I just needed my doula to give me the cues, and she did. Chiropractic care earlier also may have helped get my pelvis in better alignment. I will definitely be going earlier next pregnancy. But as challenging as the pushing phase was for me, the mood in the room during those hours was extremely peaceful. With each push I continued to remain confident that we were getting closer. It certainly was frustrating to not be able to literally see the fruits of my labor until 1:30 p.m., knowing that all FOUR grandparents were in the waiting room going crazy and ready to meet their very FIRST grandbaby, but everyone just kept encouraging me and telling me what a good job I was doing. My doula even ended up telling me to hold my breath some. While this is not normally a part of mother-directed pushing, I was glad she did because it helped give me a little added force when I was needing it. She said as many births as she's attended, she's never seen anyone quite as persistent as we were! After Avery was born, I looked at my doula and said, "That was hard!" And it was, but really only because I was going into it with no sleep. Hypnobabies absolutely helped sustain us when we needed it.**
Avery was SO alert and peaceful at birth. There are no words to describe how amazing it was to see her for the first time so I won't even try. She scored 8 out of 10 on Apgar at one minute old (I think because of blue feet) and they stole her from me to put her under the warmer for a few minutes. She was 9 out of 10 at 5 minutes.
In the days after Avery's birth, Kerry's sweet voice continued to echo in my ears. The voice of an angel who helped us have the very birth we dreamed of!
I woke up around 5 am on October 1st, 2007. I got up to relieve myself and noticed some pink on the toilet paper. I checked the bowl and realized I had lost my mucous plug. I was excited because at 36 weeks and 6 days, this was the first sign I'd had that my baby was getting ready for her birthday.
When I got back in bed (because I do NOT get up at 5:00 am!) I felt a mild cramping feeling in my abdomen. It went away swiftly, but returned a few minutes later. After this happened a few times I realized that I might be having pressure waves. I started checking the clock and found that the cramps were coming three minutes apart. However, the cramping feeling only seemed to last a few seconds and was confined to my lower abdomen rather than radiating from high to low or front to back. I decided that I was probably experiencing pre-labor waves because If I was really in labor with pw's only three minutes apart then they would surely feel stronger and last longer, and anyway we weren't expecting the baby to come for a few more weeks. …
I have been wanting to write and post this for months. This was my 1st pregnancy. I have two older kids through adoption 6 & 3 years old, so I have not had time to post our story until now. David Kai is now 4 months I guess better late then never :)
Two weeks before my due date I went to my usual Dr appointment and she had told me I was 90% effaced and station 1 but no dilation. she I needed to start to contract and then the baby would come (she knew I was doing Hypnobabies so I as so surprised she used the word contract)anyway the hospital where we were delivering has a 98% epidural rate and a friend of ours was a pharmacy rep and confirmed this, so I knew it might be a challenge to have natural childbirth but I was up for it. …
I know there are lots of questions on here about sleeping through the tracks, and I just wanted to share my experience . . . . I thought I was one of those people who was sleeping through her tracks almost every time except for the first listen. Last night, DH & I were listening to Creating Anesthesia, and I "woke up" during center of the last time Kerry has you do the fingerdrop exercise in the track. I remember feeling all freaked out b/c I had been asleep, and I was thinking, "Oh shoot, I missed it all again." But, I went ahead and followed Kerry through flipping back to Off, and then counting up to 3. After it was over, I asked DH how long I had been asleep (I have started snoring pretty badly when laying on my back in the last couple weeks, so it's pretty clear when I'm sleeping v. just having my eyes closed). He was like, "You weren't asleep--don't you remember talking to me?" Apparently, after one of the times on the track when Kerry counts you up to 3 after doing a practice fingerdrop, DH asked me something, and I looked at him with my eyes open and said, "Shhhh, you're not supposed to be talking." I have NO RECOLLECTION of that conversation at all. None--I don't remember anything after hearing Kerry explaining the idea of the switch until that final going into center when I "woke up." Anyway, I just thought I'd share. Although I was taking comfort in hearing that lots of people sleep through the tracks with great results, this makes me feel even better to know that maybe sometimes when I think I'm sleeping, I really am just experiencing hypnotic amnesia.