Hannah’s Empowered Hypnobabies Hospital Waterbirth
“I said “Oh baby I’m going to meet you! I can do this!” Nurse is in and out of the bathroom checking bath water temp, getting cold wash cloths etc, otherwise it’s just Mike and my Doula. OB is in the hospital room (guessing he didn’t think this was going to happen so fast, ha!) I started to stand up in the tub shouting “baby’s here baby’s here!” Mike confidently and gently caught baby.”
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Birth is unpredictable, but I knew I had a choice in how I used my imagination leading up to it! Hypnobabies prepared me to be flexible. My first birth went almost EXACTLY as I had been practicing visualizing, except the part with my husband catching the baby unassisted. That part was a good surprise! Hypno-anesthesia and self-hypnosis worked very well for me.
The way I see it, birth is not a medical event, it’s a normal physiological process. And in some instances, requires medical attention. I chose to have the baby at a hospital’s birth center, but I wasn’t really relying on them to tell me what to do. This birth was mine, not something to automatically hand over to a medical team. Routine interventions are rampant in birth, and I wanted no part of that if possible! I questioned nearly everything beforehand that’s typical in a hospital birth as I prepared my birth plan, deciding what I was comfortable with and not comfortable with. “Childbirth should be a natural event that occasionally needs medical help, instead of being a medical event that occasionally happens naturally.” I know it can’t always happen according to plan, but the bottom line is, a woman deserves to feel empowered even if her birth plan goes out the window.
Here’s our story…
June 11, 2020
2:45 AM: I got up to use the bathroom. Went to lay back down in bed and my water broke. It really shouldn’t have caught me by surprise being that I was 39 weeks ad 5 days… but it did! When we turned the lights on, husband Mike’s face is white as a ghost and I couldn’t help but laugh. I contacted my doula and the birth center to let them know. They encouraged us to go back to sleep and get as much rest as possible… because my pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) were going to need to start within the next 24 hours to avoid infection. Did not fall back asleep due to excitement. Turned my Hypnobabies audio tracks on and rested on the couch.
11:00 AM Still no pressure waves. I was beginning to worry that I would need to get induced if they didn’t start on their own. I kept affirming to myself, my body knows what to do. Mike and I took a quick 15-minute walk around the neighborhood.
12:20 PM I FaceTime with my sister and nephew. Started to battle worrisome thoughts even more. Sister encouraged me to just invite the waves to come.
12:30 PM First wave. Continuing to listen to tracks specifically for birthing time like Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing day track) and Birthing Day Affirmations.
2:00 PM Took a shower. Mike was timing the waves nonstop. 10-30 seconds of pressure and 6-8 mins apart. Our Doula has us doing abdominal lift and tucks through 10 waves to see if we can get the waves stronger. We’re also doing the “3 Sisters” movements from Spinning Babies.
4:00 PM: Waves are 6-7 minutes apart.
6:00 PM Waves are 5-7 minutes apart, lasting 60-90 seconds. Hospital recommends we come in by 3 AM at the latest since that would be 24 hours passed since my water broke. My mom comes over to help. I eat some oatmeal. Waves are getting more intense. I’m preferring laying down on my side and standing up leaning over my kitchen counter during the waves.
7:15 PM We let our Doula know we are leaving and we’re ready for her to meet us there. I hugged my mom as I got into Mike’s truck and started crying, so emotional leaving the house! Put my headphones on and closed my eyes the whole ride there. Felt like only 5 minutes had passed.
8:00 PM We arrive at hospital, entering through the back door of directly into birth center (due to Covid). The nurses met us outside, ready to help me in. I said they can take all our stuff, and I wanted Mike to drive back to the parking lot so we could enjoy one last walk together just the two of us. The hospital is in a rural area and it was such a perfect summer night! Upon entering the building, they gave us masks, took our temperature and brought us to our room. Listened to baby’s heart. Waves are about 3-4 mins apart.
8:45 PM Nurse bring out the Corona test. I was told at my prenatal appts I would be required to get tested upon getting admitted to the hospital. At this point I ask the nurse “What happens if I decline getting tested?” Come to find out, I have the right to decline, it was not actually required. Glad I asked.
8:50 PM Ate a granola bar. The OB on call was already at the hospital. I had not ever met him before and didn’t think I needed to for any of my prenatal appts because he doesn’t do water births and that was my plan. My OB was off, so a midwife would be on call for the water birth.
9:00 PM Nurse says the OB would like a cervical exam to get a baseline, given that my waters have been released since 3am. I thought it through and gave my consent.
9:15 PM Nurse checks: 4cm, 75%, 0 station, thinks baby may be LOP position. I asked them not to tell me any of this.
9:25 PM OB would like to start Pitocin augmentation to speed things up since it’s been 18 hours since waters released. Nurse asks my doula to have a conversation with me about it. We want to give it more time…. 1.5 to 2 hours to see how it will progress on its own.
9:30 PM Nurse comes back to tell me that the OB really does want to proceed with Pitocin. But he will wait until we do the 3 sisters exercises, and then come talk to me himself.
9:35 PM Doula does the “side lying release” on me while I’m on the bed. Noticeable shift in intensity.
10:15 PM Doula does unwinding (leg circles) on me. This feels great.
10:18 PM Side Lying Release other side.
10:30 PM OB comes in room to observe. While I’m literally ROARING, he is STILL suggesting we may need to start Pitocin soon or check my cervix to see if there’s progress. I said, fine check cervix. At this point I’m already pushing.
10:43 Nurse checks me. 10cm & baby very low (+2 station?) Thinking I’m very glad I chose to listen to my body than to listen to OB’s persistent suggestion for me to get induced. (NOTE: We always have a choice, even if the doctor makes it sound like they know what’s best.) I asked the OB if I could get in the tub and he said yes! Midwife on call gets called to come for the water birth.
10:46 Get into the tub. I ask Mike to set up his phone to video record. I stayed in the same position the whole time I was in the tub, very comfortable leaning over the edge. Mike is forehead to forehead with me. I have my “Pushing Baby Out” track playing out loud. I exhaled and released very vocally as I pushed. Didn’t hold my breath for pushing.
11:00 PM I asked, “where’s the midwife, is she close?” I was told she was on her way.
11:05 PM I said “that baby is close, you’re so close baby! I feel him! I can do this; I can do this!” Nurse comes in and checks with flashlight but can’t really see anything with the position I’m in.
11:07 PM I said “Oh baby I’m going to meet you! I can do this!” Nurse is in and out of the bathroom checking bath water temp, getting cold wash cloths etc, otherwise it’s just Mike and my Doula. OB is in the hospital room (guessing he didn’t think this was going to happen so fast, ha!)
11:08 PM I started to stand up in the tub shouting “baby’s here baby’s here!” Mike confidently and gently caught baby. NO tugging, pulling or rotating. I sat back as Mike put baby on my chest. We enjoyed these initial precious moments with Jack, so amazed! Delayed cord clamping. They helped me out of the tub.
11:21PM OB was suggesting Pitocin AGAIN to deliver the placenta. I said, let me try pushing first….. No Pitocin needed.
1:10 AM Baby’s measurements taken: 7lb 11.8oz, 20” long, 13.5” head circumference, 13.5” chest.
We left hospital June 14th at noon.
Every time Mike and I gazed at this sweet baby, we were overcome with love and happy tears. Feels like I’ve known him my whole life. Now, we’re writing the next chapter with this little one, Jack Cannon.
A GREAT doula is worth every penny. The one we hired is a hypno-doula and took some amazing photos for us
One last thought… moms are incredibly brave, no matter how they welcome their babies!