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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
First time mom who always slept through her Hypnobabies scripts, had a wonderful hospital birth and amazed all who were a part of it!

My guess date was August 30th and I was starting to get nervous about my upcoming OB app’t on August 29th, not knowing what my OB would recommend.  I had been having Braxton Hicks for about 3 weeks that would progress throughout the day while I was at work, only to subside when I got home and rested.  I kept hoping and wishing that “today was the day” and kept telling “sweetpea” that we were ready for him/her whenever he/she was ready to come join us.

I woke on August 28th around 2 am with a different sensation in my lower back than what I had previously been feeling with the BH’s.  It was more intense and crampy feeling.  I layed in bed for a few hours and decided that this was probably the day we were going to meet sweetpea as things just felt different.  I went into the living room and started to time my contractions as well as listen to my birthing day affirmations.  I sat on my birth ball and tried getting comfortable between pressure waves but the birth ball wasn’t providing me any extra comfort.

At 6:30 I woke my husband up and told him he wouldn’t need to be going into work as we would be going to the hospital instead.  I got into the warm tub and then a hot shower before getting dressed, eating some toast and drinking lots of gatorade.  My pressure waves were about 1-1 ½ minutes long and about 4-5 minutes apart.  I called the OB’s office at 8 am and the MD on call didn’t get back to me - ugh.  I waited another ½ hour and called the office back again and they recommended I go to the hospital.

We arrived at 9am and they admitted me to labor and delivery.  At that point, I was having bloody show and quickly changed from my clothes into a hospital gown.  The pressure waves were intensifying but I was able to stay comfortable thru them.  The OB on call came in and we reviewed my birth plan and he said everything on it was fine - no hep-well/IV, able to eat/drink as I wanted, mother directed pushing, etc.

He checked me and asked if I wanted to know how far along I was - I was hesitant to say yes as I didn’t want to be disappointed but my curiosity got the better of me.  I had envisioned arriving at the hospital at 6/7 cm but he told me I was at 3 cm.  Although a little discouraged, I knew things were progressing quickly based on the increased intensity of my pressure waves and was encouraged that we were finally going to meet our little one soon.  I listened to my deepening cd mostly and turned my switch to off when a pressure wave started.

Quickly after arriving, I vomited (which I never visualized in my birthing day) and my nurse said that is typical for some moms when they are dilating between 4/5 cm.  My nurse was excellent - she had used hypnosis for the births of her 4 children and was amazing in helping me to relax.  I had thought that I would like to keep moving - walking, rocking in a rocking chair, sitting on a birthing ball, sitting on the toilet - but when I tried all of these I became more uncomfortable and so I settled into the hospital bed alternating between lying on my sides.  My husband read mini-scripts and used the relax cue throughout the first stage when needed.

Time frames escape me as the last thing I was interested in doing was looking at the clock, but my guess would be around 12/1 pm, I was feeling a little pushy.  My nurse checked me at that point and said I was at 8 cm - the intensity at this point was getting ahead of me and I was having increased trouble relaxing.  My husband kept reminding me that I only had to deal with one pressure wave at a time and that we were getting closer to meeting our new baby.  I found the peace cue to be helpful at this point during pressure waves and I vocalized in a low moan as I exhaled.

Another thing I hadn’t heard about or visualized as happening during my birthing time was involuntary shaking during pressure waves.  As much as I tried to relax, turn off and go to my special place, my entire body was shaking and therefor I had a harder time I think at this point dealing with the intensity.  I quickly told the nurse that I wanted to start pushing so she told me to go ahead (they never checked me again to make sure I was fully dilated - I guess they just trusted me that my body knew what it was doing and I was so thankful for this, especially being a first time mother)!

Pushing was by far the most comfortable part of my birthing day - it felt so good to bear down and get things moving forward.  I started to push on my side but wasn’t entirely comfortable in this position.  My nurse recommended trying kneeling with the head of the bed elevated so that my backside was facing out into the room and I was able to rest my arms and upper chest on the top of the elevated bed.  I stayed in this position for the entire time I pushed and my OB delivered with me in this position which I was impressed with.  It was helpful for me to be focused on myself and not on things going on around me out in the room.

I pushed for about 1 ½ - 2 hours and no-one ever started counting or directed me in any way in how to push.  My body just took over and pushed during pressure waves - I tried to push between pressure waves but it didn’t feel right to me.  I was able to converse with the nurses and my husband between pushing but was very focused and inside myself.  The nurse and OB thought I wouldn’t tear because of the slow descent of the baby but at some point, I think I had had enough of pushing, got impatient and seriously beared down so that I could meet my baby.  I felt intense stretching/burning at this point that lasted for a very short time and at 3:55 pm, Amelia Mae was born.

My husband was able to cut the cord and the respiratory therapist had to suction her stomach right away because of the presence of meconium.  After that was done, she was given to me and was allowed to stay with me for at least 2 hours while we breastfed and enjoyed skin to skin contact. Right after delivering Amelia, the OB was pretty funny as I was still kneeling with my butt facing him while watching the respiratory therapist attend to my baby.  At some point I said “should I change position?” and he said, “that would be helpful as I’m having a hard time trying to figure out your anatomy from this angle”.  I quickly delivered the placenta (don’t really remember it as I was holding my bundle of joy and staring into her eyes) and had to be sewn up as I had a 2nd degree tear.

I had a successful first time hospital birth with no interventions and I am so thankful to Hypnobabies for this.  I was surprised by the intensity of the pressure waves and did experience some discomfort but I feel that is because I wasn’t able to focus 100% when my body started involuntarily shaking.  I also wish I had a better plan for my birth day as to what I would listen to on my ipod (I just kept going back to the deepening cd as I was looking for more relaxation but feel like I could have benefitted from other tracks as well).

During my pregnancy, I listened to my scripts religiously but always (I mean always) fell asleep while listening to them.  I always looked forward to coming home from work, lying down in my bed, turning on my ipod and waking up 30-60 minutes later feeling refreshed.  The one thing I wish I had done was spend more time practicing my finger drops and directing my anesthesia as I wasn’t as religious about doing these.  I was so thankful for the daily pregnancy affirmations - they empowered me so much and helped me relax throughout the pregnancy.

My OB wanted to keep doing ultrasounds because I was measuring small throughout the pregnancy.  I started to decline them, knowing I was healthy and that my baby was safe.  Turns out she was born at 6lbs 13oz - definitely not too small and just the right size in my opinion :) We went home after 24 hours and every one was amazed at how well the baby and myself were doing.  Thank you Hypnobabies!!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Mom had a comfortable long birthing time, but some different issues necessitated a cesarean.  Hypnobabies was still very helpful despite the change in plans.

I hadn't taken the time to write up my birth story until just
recently, partly because my birth detoured from what I had planned
and I needed some time to grieve the birth that I had worked so hard
for but wasn't able to have, so I'll caution my fellow Hypnomommas
to read with your BOP.

I'll start by saying that my experience with Hypnobabies was
wonderful and a true gift to myself and my child.  I believe in
Hypnobabies so much that it is my goal to become a Hypnobabies doula
and eventually to teach.

I chose to birth with a midwife who is part of a OB practice in a
hospital.  On Wednesday, April 2nd, my birthday, I was at work and
remember, after leaving a meeting, having the distinct feeling that
I should be at home.  My birthing time had not begun (although I was
five days past my guess date at this point) and I wasn't feeling any
pressure waves but I just had this feeling and I remembered hearing
in our HB classes and in the discussions from the Yahoo Group how
important it is to listen to your body, so I did just that and went
home.  On Thursday, April 3rd, I was feeling the same so I called
into work.  I did venture out for my scheduled chiropractic
appointment and that evening is when I finally felt something
begin.  We started keeping track of my pressure waves but they were
very irregular and so we called it a night and began again the next
day.  It was the same story that Friday.  I was having waves but
they weren't regular and didn't feel like they were doing much.
Jeff, my husband, went ahead to work and I spent the day relaxing
and in Center.  I had been in Center since Thursday afternoon,
recalling that it is a good idea to begin using your hypnosis
early.  (As a side note, I have to say that I think this is one of
the two reasons that Hypnobabies worked so well for me.  This and
remembering to choose to use my hypnosis.)  It wasn't until that
evening, when Jeff arrived back home, that things finally began
kicking into gear and my pressure waves became regular.  In
hindsight, I think I was asking my body to wait until he got home
and then once he did I opened up and gave myself permission to go
ahead with the birth.

Things continued into the night and Jeff called Kathy, our doula,
and asked her to head our way.  She arrived at our house around 2:00
am.  I was comfortable through each of my pressure waves and found
that my favorite place to be was on the toilet, funny enough.  I
continued to progress at home until about 3:00 am when we decided to
head to the hospital.  We got checked in and per our birth plan Jeff
handled most of the questions while Kathy set up the room, dimmed
the lights, and posted the Hypnobabies sign on our door.  When they
checked me to see what my progress was, we learned that I was
between 5-6 cm.  I was so ecstatic!  I couldn't believe that I had
progressed this far at home.

Over the next four hours I changed positions, several times,
utilized the bathtub in my room, which was great, walked the halls,
hydrated myself and snacked.  When they checked me again, at 7:30
am, I was at 9 cm, which was great.  This is where my story begins
to detour.  An hour later they checked me again but my cervix was
swollen a bit on one side.  The midwife recommended that my bag of
waters be broken and that I move around for awhile to see if we
could bring Wesley's head down more evenly on the cervix and help me
finish dilating and effacing.  Kathy took the lead here and had me
pacing the halls, doing the belly lift, bouncing on the birth ball,
etc.  They checked me again about an hour later and unfortunately my
cervix wasn't thinning out but was swelling more.  We decided to try
Pitocin to regulate my pressure waves and to see if the baby would
come down more.  I was on Pitocin for a couple of hours and when
they checked me again the news wasn't good.  Instead of thinning
out, my cervix was continuing to swell and was getting worse.  They
weren't sure why but at this point I had been at 9 cm for 8 hours.
Their recommended a c-section.  This is where my beautiful birth
plan got thrown out.  Although we really didn't want a c-section we
decided to go ahead for our safety.

Wesley Aiden was born at 4:02 pm on Saturday, April 5th, 2008.  He
weighed 7 lb. 1.45 oz. and was 21.5 inches long (although in the
birthing room, which is what my wonderful midwife called the OR, he
was mistakenly measured at 23 inches.  What a long baby that would
have been!)  :)

In reflection, I am still so happy with my Hypnobabies experience
and really feel that it gave me all the tools to have a p*** free
birth.  I was able to make it all the way to 9 cm with no need and
no wish for any pain medication, before having to allow for a change
of plans.  I'm still so proud of my accomplishment, although
saddened that the birth didn't quite turn out the way I had
envisioned.  However, in the end, the only p*** I ever felt was when
the nurse was putting in the hep-loc (which she was having
difficulty doing) and when the anesthesiologist was putting in the
epidural, neither of those having anything to do with the natural
birth process!  And best of all I have my wonderful, healthy son.
Thankfully he was only exposed to the epidural for at most 20
minutes, as the epi was placed minutes before the c-section.  Beyond
that, I had a wonderful and complication-free recovery that I truly
believe was facilitated by my ability to stay clam, focused, relaxed
and at peace, allowing my body not only to progress through the
birth but to also continue it's natural healing power after the c-
section.  All this because of Hypnobabies!  My mother-in-law still
talks about how great I looked after the birth.  She says that I
didn't look like I'd been giving birth at all.  :)

I hope that my story will be an encouragement to all of you
wonderful moms who choose to educate yourselves and insist on being
an integral part of your births!

Katherine
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I found this Hypnobabies Birth story that won an essay contest.  I thought it was pretty inspirational.  Mom overcame her fears of birth, moved forward with a Natural Birth, circumstances led to an induction, mom followed her intuition knowing that was the best choice.

Click on over and read!
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Well, Matthew is here – born 10/16 at 1028 pm, 8.5 lbs, 21 inches.

Here is his very very long story – sorry, just kept writing.

This definitely needs a BOP at times, but thought I'd share anyway.  Also, occasionally a possible TMI.

I have had two previous inductions that were very good.  I had some IV meds with both, but no epidural which was my goal this time as well.  This time, we are in the UK where they don't HAVE IV meds.  The only pain options are gas and air (laughing gas) and an epidural.  Again, I did not want to have the epidural, which is how I found the hypnobabies program – trying to find alternate pain management and stumbled across it.  I love the concept, so decided to give it a try.

Since I had two very successful inductions already, I was completely ready for my induction Monday morning, Oct 19th at 41+4.  Well, on the 16th at 530 pm he decided he was ready on his own and broke my inner bag of water which then started leaking.  I remember standing talking with my four year old and thinking "either my waters just started leaking or I have a bigger bladder problem than I thought."  So, I called the midwife who said come in and we'll check what is going on.  Meanwhile, I'm leaking every time I move so I'm pretty sure this is it.  Hubby got home, we had some dinner, said bye to our two girls and my parents who have been staying with us, and headed to the hospital.  At this point I still haven't had a pressure wave – the entire pregnancy.  I think I had ONE practice pressure wave this pregnancy.

We got to the hospital at 630 pm.  While checking to see if it was my water, the OB accidentally ruptured the rest of it – guess that was the water.  I was at a 2, same as I had been that week at my 41 week appointment (the only time I was checked).  I had declined testing for Group B Strep – assuming that I had it since I have twice before, so we decided to induce so he wasn't exposed to the bacteria for an extended period of time.  We could have waited to see if pressure waves started on their own, but there was no sign of any coming, so at 650 pm we started the drip and I got my antibiotics.

Well, I am now a firm believer that the drip meds in the UK are stronger than the drip meds in the US.  I was fully prepared for the induction, having had 2 very similar – one 17 hours, one 8 hours…..well, nothing had prepared me for this experience.  We turned on the CD and got situated.

***BOP NEEDED***
About a half hour after the drip started I had the thought that I was going to need an epidural for this child – there was already no way I was going to make it through this without one, but I'd see how far I got.  I hadn't had a BM all day and I needed to go.  It was still early, and I knew it wasn't a push feeling, so they let me go.  I took a little longer than they would like, so they kept asking "are you ok" through the door.  About an hour later I had to go again – this time loose stools.  Again they were asking through the door.  Finally my midwife asked if I'd like her to come in – I said yes, told her what was going on – and she was ok with the fact baby wasn't coming, but body was cleaning itself out, so she left and told my OB and hubby that everything was fine.

Listening to my CDs were helping, but things were becoming very intense, and I was definitely starting to feel pain.  About 9 I told my husband "they are just coming so fast" – I couldn't see the monitor because it was on the other side of the bed, and it was just printing out on paper so he couldn't see it either.  He was VERY helpful with my relax cues.  By his watch he figured that the pressure waves were coming every 30-45 seconds and were lasting 45-60 seconds, so they really were coming one on top of the other.  It was so intense that I was starting to be in my own world trying to manage that I wasn't really hearing the CD, and definitely wasn't able to concentrate on it.  About the time I said that to DH, my midwife decided it was time for a check.  I told hubby if I was a 6 or less, I was having that epidural.  We agreed that I would try the gas and air first, but then I would have the epidural.  Turns out I was a 7, so that was good – I figured I'd try and hold out a little longer.  My midwife also decided to stay there during a pressure wave and help stretch a little – that was quite painful, but I was not exactly in control.

At this point I decided that the gas and air was a really good idea, so I started using it, learning how to manage the pressure waves with it, and I gained control again.  I felt I had to go to the bathroom again a little later – but just wet.  They kept asking if I felt pressure in my rear – which I didn't.  So, we were getting ready to walk across the hall to the bathroom again, but decided I couldn't leave my gas and air that long.  So, they actually did something creative – made a toilet on the chair putting a waterproof pad, then a bowl so it was more comfortable than using a regular bedpan.  While there I was also having loose stools – which my midwife kept saying was a sign of clearing out and getting ready.  This was about 1015 when I got back in bed.  I was working on getting back on my side but found I could not put my knees back together – and was really struggling.  They were still asking about pressure in my rear, which I still wasn't having.  However, after about a minute I realized that I couldn't put my knees together because there was a head in the way.  My midwife was already planning to check me when I got back in to bed, and I knew exactly what she would find.  Sure enough, there he was.

So, we started pushing.  It was a midwife/self led pushing.  I wasn't exactly using the breathing technique, but I was completely listening to my body.  Again I was at the point where I was out of control, even with the gas and air.  I could hear everything going on, comprehend most of it, but couldn't respond to anything.  So, I was trying to focus on what my midwife was telling me.  She was FANTASTIC!!  She let me lead, and simply told me when I needed to stop pushing – I'm assuming to prevent tearing.  After three children, I have finally learned the definition of the ring of fire!  There were several pressure waves that she said I could push when I felt like it, but I could feel myself about to tear so I stopped.  After about 7 minutes his head was out.  Then I could feel the rest starting to come – but everyone (midwife, DH, OB) were all yelling at me to stop pushing.  Well….I couldn't stop – my body had completely taken over.  I knew what they were saying, I was telling my body to stop, and it just was refusing.  So I am hearing "cut it now!" because they figured out that I wasn't going to be able to stop.  Finally after about 90 seconds he started to cry.  Apparently he had been breathing, so no one else was worried, but I hadn't heard him, so I was.  Come to find out they were yelling for me to stop because the cord was wrapped twice around his neck – so that was pretty scary.  Placenta delivery went great – apparently I have a very large placenta…no idea J  He was born at 1028 pm.

I did manage to make it without an epidural – which was my biggest goal.  Also, I had a VERY small tear that required no stitches – a first for me.  I was up and showering within 2 hours of the birth.  I feel absolutely incredible.  I understand now why people would want to leave the hospital within hours of birth, or have a homebirth.  I also understand why people are afraid of induction.  If this had been the experience with my first I'd never do it again.

******Hypnobabies assessment********
I told my husband later that night I felt like a hypnobaby drop out – it was definitely NOT a pain free birth.  However he made several very good points to me.  First, when I was listening to my CD and able to concentrate I was doing well.  Even as things spun out of control for me, whenever he would use the relax cues, I did so immediately.  He said it was amazing to watch me be completely tense and go to complete relaxation with that single action.  He had been very worried about the role he would play in the birth between the Hypnobabies CDs and my midwife – he was absolutely indispensable (as he has been at each birth).  So, those whose DH's are worried – really, they are needed.

I definitely learned that listening to your body is amazing!  There really is a recovery period between when you are fully dilated and when your body is ready to push. Hypnobabies helped me to listen to my body, advocate for myself, and be willing to try something different.

I firmly believe that if circumstances were different, hypnobabies would have been a great success for me.  It was the speed and intensity of the experience that caused me to lose control and be unable to manage the pain without the gas and air.  Had I known about hypnobabies my last pregnancy, I truly believe I would have been able to have a pain-free birth with her, even with the induction.  This time I went from 2 to delivered in 3.5 hours.  The pushing stage was listed in the notes as 8 minutes.  It was definitely the most intense experience of my life.  I think if I had been able to go on my own, this program would be wonderfully successful.  I am very grateful for giving it a shot – it did help me during the labor many times, as my husband lovingly pointed out.  It was simply the circumstances that did not allow me to have the whole Hypnobabies experience I wanted, and that's OK – it helped me with my biggest goal which was to avoid the epidural, which I definitely would not have been able to do without Hypnobabies.

Thanks to everyone for all your support, I've enjoyed being part of the group.

Katie
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I got an epidural with my first child and went natural with my second.  I debated the first half of my third pregnancy if I would have a natural childbirth experience again or if I wanted the epidural.  When I went natural with my second, the pain was unbearable and I thought I was going to die--literally.  Just thinking of the pain would sometimes make me feel panicky.  I was so hesitant to get the epidural, though, because I knew that it could really lead to complications and make the recovery a lot harder.

A friend of mine told me that she did hypno-birthing and that I should look into it.  I kind of wrote it off because it sounded expensive- you have to buy the program and possibly hire a doula- none of which insurance would cover, but insurance would cover the epidural.  After a while I decided that I would at least investigate on the internet.  I stumbled across the "Hypnobabies" webpage and I read what they had to say.  There were great success stories of women using self-hypnosis to control the pain of childbirth.  I found a video on "youtube" of a girl who used hypnobabies and when she was dilated to 9 cm and about ready to push, she looked like she was asleep. On the video she dubbed her voice in and said, "You can tell I am having a pressure wave here because I breath deeper."  I thought that was amazing because when I hit 7 cm with my second, I was shaking, screaming and squeezing my husband's hand so hard that he was squirming to get away from me.

I found a doula in Rexburg (Kelly McKamey) who was "hypnobabies" certified so I called and asked her all the questions I could think of. This idea of using deep relaxation and allowing my body to accept what it was experiencing was intriguing to me. I then made a pros and cons list of getting the epidural or learning the hypnobabies program.  I determined that if I was going to go natural again, I had to do something different.  I would need to go into the labor equipped with tools.  I came to the conclusion that the epidural would be the easiest way, but had the potential to create problems.  The more I considered hypnobabies I realized that it would be a lot of work and preparation, but would have the biggest payoff.  I thought about how proud of myself I would be.  I saved the money, scheduled my doula and ordered the home study program.

It took planning and effort to make sure that I did all of the practice and preparation, but I did it.  My original due date was August 9th.   In July Kelly called and told me that she had an emergency and needed to see her daughter in California and would not be back until august 1st.  She really apologized, especially because there is no one else in the area that is trained in hypnobabies.  I began to worry because my second came 8 days early and she wouldn't be back until 8 days before my due date.  It is very interesting to note that one small aspect of the program is to visualize your birth, down to when you would like to begin labor.  In my subconscious mind I always told myself "not any earlier than August 1st."

Saturday, August 1st I went into the midwives office and was checked.  I was dilated to 2 cm and 80 % effaced.  She stripped my membranes and told me she wouldn't be surprised if I went into labor that night.  I went home and worked as hard as I could to get the garden weeded.  I started feeling my pressure waves, but I kept on working hoping to get done.  My husband was out dirt biking but he kept texting me to make sure I was okay.  I didn't finish weeding before I realized if I didn't go into the house right then, I might not make it in because my pressure waves were getting pretty intense.

It was about 6:00 pm when I went in.  I laid down to do some hypnosis.  Jaron made it home with a pizza and he put the kids to bed.  I ate a little bit, but I mostly laid still on the couch down stairs and listened to my hypno-babies cds (on my I pod).  I tried calling Kelly to see where she was at about 9:30-no answer. I moved up to my bed and just kept listening my I pod.  I tried her again at 11:30 pm and she was home.  I was sooooooo relieved!!  I told her what I was experiencing and she advised me to get up and walk around every so often because sometimes when you are in hypnosis you don't realize how strong your pressure waves are.  I got up and walked from my bed down the hall.  I barely got to my daughter's room and had to sit on her bed because my pressure waves were so strong.  I called Kelly back and we agreed to meet at the hospital.

We got there about 1:00 AM and checked in. I was dilated almost to 6 cm. Kelly was such a strength and comfort to me.  Every time I had a pressure wave she would put one hand on my forehead and one on the back of my head and gently speak words from the hypnosis scripts.  We walked around and bounced on the birthing ball.  I laid in the Jacuzzi for a while. Kelly would pour warm water over my stomach each time I had a pressure wave and she had a sheet of paper that my husband could read mini scripts from.  It was cool to hear his voice.

At this point I kept feeling like my labor was slowing down.  I kept feeling like my pressure waves were getting further and further apart.  I was worried that my labor was stalling.  I got out and we walked around.  The midwife Rachel said that she had to assist with a c-section and after that we would break my water.  I knew once my water was broken that I would go really fast.  I started to get really nervous because I remember transition (in hypno-terms: transformation) with Hudson.  That was the part of sheer deathly pain.  I asked Kelly if she had any mini scripts she uses that were from the "fear release" session.  She said, Why don't you get comfy in this rocking chair with pillows and listen to the full "fear release" session on your I pod.  That was tremendously helpful for me.

Immediately after, my water was broken (I was at 8 cm, 5:30am).  The pressure waves became extremely strong, but there weren't as many as I thought and I was able to mentally control the pain.  I began pushing and I pushed the head out.  Kelly said, "Brooke, reach down and feel your baby's head."  So I did and when I brought my hands back up Rachel the midwife said, "Brooke, reach down and catch your baby."  I actually reached down and caught her and brought her up onto my chest!! Isn't that amazing?

Kelly was so wonderful.  She stayed to give me a foot rub afterward.  The midwife and nurses clipped the cord, but they didn't clean her or weigh her.  They just left (after my placenta had delivered, which was a piece of cake-with my second I had complications with my placenta delivering; another thing I attribute to hypnobabies).  I nursed and just held my baby for about an hour.  Kelly left shortly after, but came out to the house a week later to see how everything was going.

It was so fun to visit with Kelly about the birth and have her insight on things.  The whole time during the labor I kept thinking that the midwives and Kelly must think I'm not in real labor because my pressure waves were so short and far apart and not very painful.  In talking to Kelly afterward she said that quite often because of the hypnosis, moms don't actually recognize when the pressure waves start and end very accurately.  Kelly shared something with me that I didn't remember happening that I thought was so awesome.  Right before I was about to push, my midwife Rachel said to Kelly, "You're going to have to tell me when she's having a pressure wave, because I can't tell."  That is amazing to me because with my second, the minute they broke my water (at 7 cm) I was screaming and writhing in pain!  When I thought back, I was a mirror image of the girl I saw on "youtube"!!

Also, my after labor cramps and pains were un-noticeable, the nurses kneeding my stomach was something I remembered being horrible, but this time was nothing to speak of.  I was so alert and had so much energy! About an hour after, I was up and showered and feeling fantastic!  I give all the credit to hypnobabies!  I felt so good when midwife Helene was checking me out of the hospital the next day and she said that Rachel told her I was a perfect model of what a hypnobabies birth should be!

I used hypnosis to help with sore nipples from breastfeeding.  I continue to use it to get to sleep at night.I have such a special spot in my heart for this birth experience and Kelly for her help.  I am so proud of my self.

This was the equivalent of completing a marathon for me.
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Our precious baby girl was born 2:40 a.m. on September 29!  Here is the story:

I was working at my laptop at the dining room table until after 11:30 p.m. on the 28th (my "guess" date).  I was having some mild contractions, but I had been having them for two months due to an irritable uterus, so I didn't pay much attention.  I had also given up on all the pre-labor preparations -- making sure I got to bed early "in case she comes tonight," having last-minute stuff in the bag for the hospital, the treats for the nurses, etc.  I had been doing that for weeks since it was expected she was going to come early, and I'd had enough of the disappointment.

I remember finally going to bed that night not being able to get comfortable, even more so than usual.  Still, I didn't think I was going into labor.

Around 12:30 I woke up feeling like I had to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I sat up, I felt a gush.  I still didn't believe my water had broken until I got to the bathroom and knew that couldn't be pee.  It was a lot of fluid.  Based on my first birth experience, when I went from 2 cm to 10 in 90 minutes, I knew things would probably move quickly.  I woke my husband, who at first didn't seem to believe me since we'd had so many pre-labor signs the past few weeks, but the waves started coming right away.  I was hoping he'd help me time them,  but he got in the shower (!) so I got my digital watch and the log sheet out.  5 minutes, then 4, then almost 3.  I practiced turning my lightswitch off during the waves.   I called my nurse midwife, who had also been there for our first baby, and she said to get to the hospital.  My husband was on the phone with our friends arranging to drop off our son. I grabbed the last-minute things and the ipod and got in the car.

The waves started coming more quickly on the car ride, and my legs were shaking slightly.  I thought I might be starting transformation stage.  I was listening to Easy First Stage and was comfortable.  I switched to Center to say goodbye to our son when we dropped him off and then went back to loose and limp until we got to the hospital.

I remember the wheelchair attendant guy at the hospital trying to make small talk as he took me to OB (my husband was parking the car).  I think I may have put my hand up, like "talk to the hand," and asked him to please be quiet.  Poor guy. I was trying to focus!

They took me to triage, but I wasn't there long.  The waves were right on top of each other and the rest of my water released.  Still, I was using the lightswitch and Kerry in my ears, and I was ok.  I scooted to the bed and they wheeled me into the birthing suite.

Once there, I remember I put on Deepening (my favorite).  The staff was great about keeping the lights dim and not talking to me.  I marveled at what was happening in my abdomen!  The waves were really like a wave -- tightest at the top first, peaking like a wave, then gradually fizzling out.  They were intense, but I felt in control and never felt discomfort through transformation, which had been my greatest fear. My husband said later that as he was sitting there quietly watching, he could see my belly rise way up when a wave started.  I broke my lightswitch one time when I said "pushing" to my midwife during one of the waves, because I realized I was.  She lifted the blanket and they saw the head.  This was sometime between 2:15 and 2:30 -- less than an hour since we'd arrived.  I was getting more vocal, which made me self-conscious a bit, but it was working.

I only pushed a few times, and probably more forcefully than I should have, because I did tear.  Had I listened to my midwife more closely, I probably wouldn't have, but that was the only time I felt discomfort.  It was also the only time during the birthing that I wasn't using my hypnosis tools, so learn from my mistake!  Oh well, Elise was in my arms.  Again the staff was wonderful about following our birth plan and letting us bond.

The MP3 player was a godsend.  I highly, highly recommend it to anyone planning a Hypnobabies birth.  I knew we wouldn't do birth partner scripts -- why would I have my husband awkwardly reciting these when I could have the expert I'd been practicing with in my ears?!

The past two weeks, I've used the Peace cue and breathing during breastfeeding when she first latches on to tender nipples.  I miss practicing the scripts every day.  I'm very grateful for Hypnobabies.  The nurses the next day said they'd heard what a beautiful birth it was.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
On June 17th, a Wednesday, I felt homey.  The sky was gray in the afternoon and I took that as an excuse not to go to my yoga class.  This was unusual, as I really enjoyed my yoga classes, but I felt a little fatigued.  I went to bed, to rest, and started reading a new book: Una piccola bestia ferita, by Margherita Oggero.  I knew this was going to be a pleasant book, a lighthearted mystery.
At around 4.30 pm I went to the bathroom and lost my mucous plug.  I had wondered what this was going to be like, as my sister never realized when she lost hers for my two nephews.  Well, it was unmistakable for me.  It was like dropping an egg white in the toilet.
I immediately called Stephan, my husband, to the bathroom, and we took a good look at it.  We were both very excited, even though we had read it could be weeks before birthing time.  Still we were one step further.  His parents called a few minutes after, and were told the news, and I e-mailed my mom, just to keep her up to date on progress.  Then Stephan had the idea of brewing me some RRL tea, which was very relaxing to drink.  I did the Deepening script, with lavender aromatherapy.  It was the best hypnosis session I ever did!  I felt great afterwards and with some mild cramping.  I thought the cramping was from the RRL tea, so I was very relaxed and I practiced my off switch here and there.
At this point I started thinking that maybe birthing time could be closer than we expected, we could not be sure it would take another week.  And the cramping continued, still mild.  So I decided that for dinner I wanted to have a huge pasta dish, spaghetti alla carbonara.  This is the good pre-races carbo loading tradition.  If it worked well for rowing it would work well for delivery too.  I felt I needed to be prepared.  Stephan didn't think we were at all near the big day, but helped me cook the pasta, as I still had cramping and was practicing the off switch.  I ate dinner with gusto and we went upstairs to watch a movie, Sleuth.  Interestingly weird movie.  But I didn't get to see the end of it until a few days later.  Because as we were watching it the cramping got more intense and I needed Stephan to stop the movie to better do my off switch without missing what was going on.
Meanwhile we noticed that the belly was much lower, but that was supposedly normal with lightening.  I was also peeing a lot and losing some liquid.  But it wasn't like water it was still a little thick in consistency.  Stephan read on the internet it could take hours to loose the mucus plug completely, so we didn't think it was my water breaking.  We then tried to time the pressure waves, if that was what they were, but it was hard to do.  I wasn't able to distinguish a start and an end.  It was a cramping truly like a wave.  What I could determine was the peak of each wave.  So Stephan timed the peaks and they were 3 minutes apart.  Again we looked at each other and he thought it was not possible, since I was doing so well.

But I had a feeling the baby was soon to come, I thought maybe the following morning, like I had often envisioned in the birthing visualizations.  We got to the point that we were stopping the movie so often it seemed silly to continue watching it.  And the waves became more intense, so much so I could not sit still.  This was initially shocking to me, as I had most of my confidence in my off switch.  I thought it was pretty powerful, it worked with cramps in my legs, with needles, etc.  I was not happy not to be able to use it during waves.  But I had already figured out that the center switch was going to be important, to move around.  And the last days I had being practicing it more, following some suggestions from the forum.  So I went to center switch and instinctively went on all fours on my yoga mat and moved my hips in circles.  This was bliss and helped so much in "riding" the waves.  Meanwhile Stephan took a shower, shaved, packed all the pre-assembled items for the hospital bag (a huge travel bag on wheels really) and called a taxi.  I had originally planned to take a relaxing bath and a shower before leaving for the hospital.  But I didn't feel like taking either.  I thought it was funny that Stephan was all focused on showering, but in retrospect it was good he did, as he didn't see a shower for the following two days, camping out at the hospital.  When the taxi arrived I was circling my hips on my birthing ball.  I got up and off we went with the huge bag in the trunk and the ball in the front seat.  I was listening to the birthing day affirmations on my iPod at this point.  I really liked them, not just affirmations like the pregnancy ones, more like guidelines.  The taxi took off and Stephan immediately realized it was heading in the wrong direction, so he made it clear to the driver that we were going to Pennsylvania Hospital, not University of Penn Hospital.  I guess the driver was a little nervous: I had four pressure waves during the 8 minute cab ride.  I saw him running at least one red light (it was past midnight, so not much traffic anyway).

The driver left us at the emergency room hospital entrance.  Stephan took the bag, I took my ball and off we went.  The security guard didn't quite understand I was in labor, but opened the door for us to get in.  So I walked all the way: the first floor hallway, elevator, fourth floor hallway, to the PETU desk.  I had four pressure waves on our way there.  For each one I would put down my ball and sit on it, making circles with my hips.  Also, as soon as I was inside the hospital I switched to the Easy First Stage track.  I heard what I thought was an interference, like the iPod was breaking.  I told Stephan and he said that was the background music in the hospital lobby.  Just imagine… I was annoyed by it.  I was totally in my bubble.  The funniest wave was the one in the elevator: it wasn't quite past when the doors opened, I kept circling on my ball.  Stephan didn't move, just waited.  But as the doors were closing the wave was over, so I jumped off my ball, took it in my arms and squeezed through the doors at the last possible instant.  At the reception desk Stephan dealt with everything, I was just saying whatever came to mind that he may forget, like "low intervention room" and repeating a couple of times.

They got me in the triage room and wanted to have me on a bed to monitor me.  But I didn't want to move from my ball, so they put the monitor on where I was.  Soon a resident came for a check visit.  I managed to climb on the bed, but stayed there on all fours.  Now this visit was painful, and she didn't know where to put her hands in this position.  She said I was at 5 cm dilation.  So they let me go to the bathroom, which I had wanted to do since getting there.  In the bathroom I told Stephan I was a bit disappointed: the waves were now intense and if I was only at 5, then I didn't have a clue on how to go on for who knows how many hours.  And I felt like pushing.  He told the nurse so and the resident was back for another check visit.  I was now lying on the bed like they wanted me to, since I was a bit down and in between pressure waves.  The visit from the front revealed that I was actually at 9, so they rushed me to the delivery room.  This time I was on a wheelchair, but still holding on to my ball.  I couldn't see Stephan and was calling him and also saying "drink, drink" as I was very thirsty.

Since everything was so rushed they didn't manage to put in the hep-lock, which I didn't want but was hospital policy.  I was very happy about this.  In the delivery room Stephan put on the Pushing track on speakers.  Now the difficult part began.  I thought I knew how to push.  I had even practiced the last month, while pooping, the exhale pushing and I thought I got it.  Well I didn't have a clue.  Also I thought I wanted to squat, but that was a difficult position to hold (even though I had practiced this one also) and the nurses weren't too comfortable with me on the floor.  I really wanted to be on all fours on the bed but the midwife was not comfortable with this position either and they couldn't monitor the baby's heart beat.  The belt was picking up my heart beat, so they asked Stephan for permission to put the internal sensor on the baby's head, which we agreed to.  Since I felt a little lost at this point and thought the baby would be out quickly, I wasn't sure of what to do.

The midwife asked if she could direct me and I said yes, ending up on my back, doing the purple pushing.  This also seemed to me not to work.  The fact is I thought this phase was going to be fast and that I knew how to push.  I had read the article Pushing for Primips by Gloria Lemay http://www.glorialemay.com/blog/?s=pushing+phase.  But I had somehow forgotten about it, or I thought the "head being shaped by the canal" had already taken place.  I should have memorized this article, not simply read it!  So I was really frustrated I couldn't push the baby out, especially since I am an athlete and am used to controlling my muscles.  All I kept thinking was that my face was going to explode and that I could feel my eyes popping out.  The nurses kept telling me to push against the pain, but I didn't feel any localized pain to push against.  The waves here were very intense and I could do only 3 pushes per wave, and they felt rushed.  In between waves I would calm myself, go back to center switch or off, rest and either apologize to the nurses for my screaming like a mad woman or complaining to my husband that I didn't know how to push and I felt like a failure.  But he was very reassuring and the Peace and Relax cues with hand on the shoulder worked wonderfully all the way, also while pushing.  Finally Stephan saw the head.  He asked me if I wanted to touch it, but at that moment I didn't feel like it, it was more about my overcoming this moment than thinking about the baby.

When I did feel the head right "there" the midwife said: "With the next contraction you can push the baby out".  But I remembered about pushing without a wave from the program and I also felt that the head couldn't possibly stay where it was as I was super stretched.  So I replied no, that I could now feel the "ring" and the baby and I would push him out.  And I did in 4 pushes, that I could control very well.  I took as much time as I needed in between, as I didn't have to fit them into a pressure wave.  It was very satisfying to feel back in control of my body's reactions.  And it was amazing to feel the baby come out, very gently, not all at once, and a bit slippery and warm.  Instantly it was about the baby again, not about me, and with a great sense of achievement, rather than relief.  I had my eyes closed and opened them only when I felt the baby on my belly.  First thing I saw was his head from the top: a head full of hair.  I touched it and it was so soft and silky.  And I caressed him.

I don't remember what I said, I was just in awe at this little red being that I thought I didn't know, but really I did.  And it was incredible I loved him, right then and there, without knowing where this love came from, it was just there all at once, all of a sudden.  Or so it felt like that.  Stephan was very moved and caressed him and then held him too.  He cut the cord.  We had about an hour to bond and try a first attempt at latching.  Then baby went for bath, etc and Stephan went with him.  I was alone for some time and couldn't believe how everything went, as I was sipping my Gatorade in the darkened room.  The pushing was 1 hour and a half, active labor overall was about 4 hours.  My perineum didn't tear, the midwife had been massaging it (Stephan had done a good job with the massage too in the prior weeks.  Not too often, but to a good point); I only got one internal stitch in the vagina, where there was a small cut and the midwife wanted to be sure it wasn't going to bother me later.  After a little while I got up and went to the bathroom by myself without a problem, not walking too fast, but certainly much better than I had imagined.  We kept the baby with us from the first night, he was born at 2.36 am.  Given the time difference with Italy I could call my mom pretty soon and tell her the baby was here: she couldn't believe it!  After all the phone calls by noon my husband and I went to the breastfeeding class.  We were the only parents who had had a baby that night to be there.

It was an awesome birth and much of it I owe to Hypnobabies.  If there was a video of my birthing time at the hospital it would probably not be as inspiring as the videos I had watched, so peaceful (I guess the peaceful part was at home).  However I feel hypnosis worked for me all the way.  I was very focused and confident.  With the exception of the frustration with the pushing I enjoyed the experience for what it was and while I cannot say it was comfortable, it wasn't painful either.  It sure was fast!  The sensation was intense and stretchy.  I was also screaming but it somehow went with the expression of the moment, it wasn't out of sheer pain.  I wonder if taking the Hypnobabies class with an instructor would have made me understand the pushing phase better.  If I had to do it again, I feel I still wouldn't know how to push without the sensation of where to push.  But I would be less impatient with myself, giving the whole process the time it takes.  Of course I was also lucky not to have any complications.  But I did everything that was under my control: I used the tool I had chosen to believe in, I was as well informed as possible and last but not least I was in excellent shape, having worked out throughout the pregnancy (I rowed in a quad with my wonderful team mates up to 31 weeks; after I stopped I did pre-natal yoga).  I now recommend Hypnobabies to all women who wish to have a natural birth.  And this forum was an excellent source of information, support and inspiration.  Thanks to all of you.

Ciao,
Emanuela
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Empowering birth for 2nd time mom.  She wasn't completely comfortable throughout the birth, but her Hypnobabies helped her have the natural birth she wanted.

I got a lot out of reading all of the birth stories of other mothers using Hypnobabies, and am happy to be able to share my own successful experience. I did not have a painless childbirth (so you might want to turn on the BOP here), but Hypnobabies allowed me to feel in control, keep a positive attitude, and ultimately to have the natural birth I really wanted. I’m still kind of in shock about how amazing the experience was, and that I really did it!

To provide some context, this was my second baby. The first, three years ago, was a less-than-ideal hospital birth. My water broke before labor began, and pretty intensive induction had to happen to get things going. This led to the classic cascade of interventions, and I only narrowly avoided a c-section. The worst of the interventions was the narcotics that I took, since they didn’t seem to help with the pain, but made me so out of it that I couldn’t communicate and felt out of control and isolated. I really wanted to avoid narcotics this time around, along with all of the other things (epidural, episiotomy, vacuum extraction, etc.).

This time around, I started hypnobabies at 28 weeks, and was very diligent about doing the scripts, affirmations, and daily finger-drop practices. During the maintenance phase, I slacked off on the daily affirmations, since I found them kind of annoying. My spouse (Michael) and I joked a lot about the bubble of peace since we were a little embarrassed about the new-agey-ness of using hypnosis, but we got over it eventually.

To get to the birth: I had been having practice pressure waves for weeks, some of which would get fairly regular and intense and lead me to think I was moving into active labor. So by the time I got to 41 weeks, I was getting pretty tired and frustrated with myself. At my 39 week appointment, my OB told me that he was going on a spur-of-the-moment two week trip to France on the day after my guess date. I hadn’t seen anyone in his large practice except for him, but he assured me that everyone was great. I had to take several very deep breaths at this news! I ended up having a doctor who I’d never seen before deliver Daphne, but since we were forewarned, Michael was ready to be assertive with our wishes.

I started having more regular pressure waves (or “tummy squeezes” as we referred to them with our toddler nearby the whole time) around 4:30 in the afternoon on the 17th of September, but I could tell it was very early on if it was the real thing at all. When visualizing my ideal birth as part of the practice, I had always visualized early labor happening during the nighttime, and doing it all by myself. I think that because I am a night owl, I really wanted the peace of being by myself during the night, and that’s exactly how it worked out. I went to bed that night as usual but woke up around 2am not able to sleep through the waves. I tried going into the “off” position while lying in bed, but found it too difficult (and, frankly, painful) to lie still through a wave. This made me discouraged about all the hypnosis practice I’d done, but I just decided to try all of the other tools before giving up. I got up then and started puttering around the house a bit, timed some waves, and then decided to make some cookies for the hospital staff just in case. Cookie baking is an ideal activity during early labor, it turns out, since you can go slowly and because it’s such a comfortingly familiar activity (at least for me). I did continue to time waves at this point, and they were pretty consistently 8 minutes apart, lasting about a minute. During each wave I would lean my forehead against the wall, say “peace” to myself, and pictured my cervix opening. It sounds cheesy, but it really helped keep the focus on what the waves were accomplishing, and made me feel good about each one instead of thinking of it as some kind of ordeal to get through. Others have described them as pressure moving up the uterus, or around the back. For me, I didn’t notice any pressure at all. Instead, all of the sensation was concentrated in my cervix, and it was almost exactly as if I was way overdoing it on a stretching exercise. I tried “painting” on my anesthesia, but it didn’t fully take care of the pain.

When my three-year-old and spouse woke up, I got dressed and we did our usual morning routine. He took her to school with her sleep-over kit since I was pretty sure this was it and that my friend would be picking her up from school that day. She was very excited and kept rubbing my back and saying “peace” during each wave, which was so sweet (but frankly, I wanted her out of there as soon as possible!). After she left, the waves continued at the same pace (6 min or so) but got more and more intense. I got through some in the cat position (on all fours); another handy position was standing in a doorway so that I could press the wall against my lower back. The most annoying thing was that the baby was so low that I had to pee after every single wave! My husband is really supportive, but I found myself still wanting to be by myself, and feeling the littlest bit self-conscious about having him there watching me through each wave. So I suggested that he go ahead and attend his theater rehearsal that morning, since it’s only a 10-minute drive away. I read a little bit in between waves, listened to “easy first stage” (which was great, except for during pressure waves I found it very annoying that the script was telling me that they didn’t hurt!). He was hesitant, but he went! I finally called him about 1pm and told him that I wanted him home again, but that I also really wanted a strawberry lemonade and to stop and get one (this is weird, since I don’t usually drink or even particularly like these!). At this point the baby felt really low, and one of the only positions that was comfortable was on my birth ball (which I hadn’t previously found to be comfortable at all).

When he got home with the amazingly tasty lemonade, we timed some more waves and found that they were about 4 minutes apart. Now I was really moaning through each one, and hanging on Michael, which felt good. I was really worried about showing up too early at the hospital, but started thinking that it was probably time to go.

I waited until a wave had passed while Michael loaded the car, then we shot out the door. Our small community hospital is only 10 minutes away, and I hoped to get there with only one pressure wave in the car. I turned on the “easy first stage” script, which really helped me feel calm and in control (one line that kept repeating itself in my head was “I am safe and my baby is safe.”). The one pressure wave was managed and we arrived at the hospital. I told Michael to leave the hospital bag in the car, since I was still worried that I’d get sent home (note: don’t do this! Take it with you, since you won’t want your support person to leave for an instant!). We made it inside after a few more waves (I had my ipod on the whole time and would just stop and hang on Michael), and I let Michael figure out where we were supposed to go. I had to take the headphones off to answer a few questions once we got to labor and delivery, and they sent me to the bathroom to change. I got into a triage room and the nurse came in and set me up on the monitor and checked me out. She quickly told me that I was staying, since I was 7 centimeters and she could barely measure because the baby’s head was in the way! I was elated! At this point (or maybe sometime before), I entered transition, and since I was hooked up to the monitor, I couldn’t use the positions that I wanted. The room seemed unbearably hot (it was…it’s an old facility and the AC couldn’t keep up with the central valley heat). Michael just held my hand and kept saying “relax” and “you’re doing a great job” with every wave, and began blowing on my face during each wave. It felt wonderful, both because it was cool and because it smelled pleasantly and familiarly of old coffee, just like always!

Somehow everything he did was exactly what I needed, and despite feeling like it was nearly unbearable, there was also a calm voice in the back of my head the whole time, telling me that this was transition, that everything was going as it should, etc. Several times I felt like saying “I can’t do this anymore,” but instead I found myself saying “I can do this” out loud. The calm voice inside my head kept repeating things from the scripts, too, like “relax your jaw, keep your bottom limp and loose,” etc. With this self-coaching, I was able to fully relax in between waves, which I think really helped. The nurse was gone much of the time (it turns out that there was a rush at the time we came in).

The oddest, and in retrospect the coolest, thing about transition was the calming “safe place” images that would flash into my mind during and between waves. I’d come up with a pretty generic safe place that never felt particularly meaningful when I was doing the scripts. When things really got going, though, my subconscious dredged up three or four images that I would never have thought of. For instance, I kept picturing my grandma’s pink and lavender floral bathroom that we used to lock ourselves in as kids and pretend was our own glamorous home, or a pond that I once went swimming in when I was 19 and visiting France. That strawberry lemonade kept reappearing, too, and every time I thought “wow, that was such a great drink!” The other strange thing that happened was that I realized that I could stay on top of each wave by singing (I know that others have reported this, but I am emphatically NOT a singer!). It wasn’t really singing, it was more a high-pitched “woo-hoo-woo-wooooooo” with some scales thrown in for good measure. Michael started giggling when I let loose with this, and kept saying, “it’s so cute!” At the time, I really didn’t like him laughing at me, but I certainly understand it now! The nurse asked Michael if we’d been doing some kind of Lamaze training, and he just said no (he didn’t mention hypnobabies, unfortunately), and she said, “well, you’re certainly doing something right!” She offered me something for pain, and it didn’t even cross my mind to say yes, and she didn’t ask again.

My water broke during a wave while the nurse was gone, and it was all I could do to say “Water broke! Water broke!” to her when she came back in, and then I had to resume my creepy singing. The pressure at this point, instead of feeling relieved, felt even more intense, and I thought, “I wonder if this is that pushing urge people were talking about.” Just as soon as I thought that, the singing abruptly changed to a low-pitched “Urgggggg” sort of sound, and I told the nurse I felt like pushing. She ran off and got another nurse, and there was some debate about whether to try to get me to a delivery room or to try to set up the triage area (probably about 12x12 feet in area) for the delivery. The other nurse said, “let’s go,” and they started pushing the bed out of the room. I felt great at this point; it was kind of cool to have a physical change of scene to mark the transition to the second stage of labor. However, the delivery room was kind of a shock. There was the usual bed, and then these two gigantic lights like what the dentist has, only larger. I think I said something about being at the dentist, and Michael laughed. It wasn’t very peaceful, but nothing seemed to matter anymore, as I was pretty deep inside myself. I somehow got onto the table (there was no discussion at all of alternative pushing positions, but at that point I didn’t care and just needed to push). I started to push and a new nurse, who was the only one I didn’t really like, told me sternly not to – right!

The doctor, who I’d never met, showed up then and introduced himself (although he never introduced or mentioned the two residents who were with him, which was weird). At this point it gets just a little blurry, although I remember the (nice) nurse telling Michael “your wife is awesome!” which made me feel great! The nurses and doctors started coaching me on pushing, holding my breath to counts of 10. I kind of feebly said that my body wanted to do little pushes, but nobody paid any attention (Michael says he didn’t hear me, so maybe I imagined saying something assertive!). The doctor was really great about coaching me on how to push (and to stop making noise and channel that energy), and at one point he stopped and said, “but what do I know? You’ve actually done this before, and I haven’t!” That also made me really like him!

I’m not sure how long I pushed, but there were what seemed like nice long breaks in between each session to rest. It was kind of awkward from my perspective, since I was lying there completely calmly, legs spread wide open with a bunch of people staring at my hoo-ha with nothing much to do. At one point, one nurse asked another if she’d gotten her flu shot yet, and I was reminded once again of being at the dentist and having the hygienist chat with the dentist over my gaping mouth. Basically, it was kind of surreal! The pushing itself didn’t hurt but was very intense and hard work. Finally everyone was cheering at the end of a count of 10, and he said that the baby had made it under the bone. I geared up for one more go, and one of the nurses said, “look at all that hair!”

Then I really gave it everything I had, and as the baby crowned I heard myself start screaming in a really loud and scary way, totally disproportionate to the pain I felt…it was weird how out of my control my voice was! I heard the doctor say “I’m just going to make some room here” and then felt him make an incision, which I was so disappointed about (although I was beyond worrying about much at this point!). They also put a catheter in at this point to drain my bladder and make more room, which I barely felt at all. With the next push, the baby’s head was born, and I could see her little face. I felt such enormous relief once her head was born, but I also felt that I didn’t have any energy left for the rest of her body! Luckily the shoulders and the rest of her came out almost without my trying, and there she was! The placenta followed soon after, and actually felt kind of good to deliver. The nurses whisked her off to be toweled off, and I heard the nurses exchanging guesses about the weight (one nurse said, “she’s at least an 8-pounder,” which amazed me, and the other nurse said, “we’ve got a shorty here,” which disappointed my basketball-loving husband!), but they quickly brought her back to me and put her on my chest. It was 4:30pm, just about two hours after arriving at the hospital. I couldn’t see her face much, since it was up so high on my chest, but she was incredibly calm and alert, and just looked all around. She looked like a baby from a movie, all plump and pink (she weighed almost 8.5 pounds!) I offered her a breast, and she did some nuzzling and licking, and just a little bit of nursing right away. It was so sweet! Michael gave me a big kiss, and we just looked and looked at her. Or at least, I tried to focus on her, because meanwhile the doctor and the two residents were working on stitching up the tear that I had gotten despite the episiotomy. It wasn’t horrible, but it wasn’t pleasant, and my legs were so tired that they started shaking and I felt like I just could stay in that position any longer. And the doctor was patiently explaining the procedure to the residents, and one of them was manning the needle and thread, and was being (it seemed to me), incredibly slow about it.

I can’t say that the whole experience was pleasant, or that I even ever want to do it again, but at the same time it was incredibly powerful, and gave me a huge sense of accomplishment. I still am kind of on an endorphin high from the experience, over a week later, and feel like there isn’t much I can’t do! It was so much better being part of the experience instead of feeling so isolated and removed from what was happening to me like I was with my first birth. I also feel like I sort of undid the anger and disappointment that I still felt about that first birth by being so successful with this one – I’m sure there are lots of other reasons for this, but I can’t help but think that my lack of baby blues this time around have something to do with the Hypnobabies (I cried uncontrollably for days after my first baby was born). The Hypnobabies training didn’t work in the way that I expected it to, but it definitely worked!

The other big help was reading all of the other birth stories on the site, which made me so sure of myself and where I was in the process – I could almost hear reassuring lines from other moms’ stories in my head at different points of labor!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
A mom shares the birth of her third baby on her blog.  Her first two she had an epidural and with this one she used Hypnobabies and had a great, comfortable and unmedicated birth!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
You can read his mom's blog post here.  There is even a short video of her relaxing through pressure waves at 9cm.
Tagged in: 3 weeks to prepare
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Colin was born on January 5th, around 2:45pm.  He weighed 7lbs 13 oz and was 20 inches long.

Before going into Colin's story- I want to warn you that manageable pain is mentioned, along with a very unconventional birth (not on purpose!)

A little background... I was induced my first son, who is now 2y 3m due to GD 2 days past my due date.  This time, I did not have GD and was praying not to be induced.  My due date was January 1st, and at my last doctor's appointment, he made scheduled an induction for January 8th.  I had confidence that I would go before then until Monday January 5th when I started to begin to accept my fate of an induction.... little did I know!

On Monday, January 5th, I put my son down for a nap at 12:30pm.  At 1pm, I was just about asleep and heard and felt a pop in my stomach followed by minor discomfort in my lower abdomen.  I called my doctor, but did not get in touch with him until 1:15pm.  He told me to go into the hospital and get checked- it sounded as though the pop I described was my water breaking, but nothing was coming out, so he was a not completely sure. When I hung up with him at 1:18pm, I knew it was my birthing time, because the discomfort was becoming stronger- however, it was not rhythmic and I did not feel the waves as people had described them, rather I felt them above my pelvic bone into my back.

I called my husband and told him to come home, along with my brother and mother in law who work close by.  I sat on the ball and put my head on the coffee table which helped ease the pressure.  I tried to get into hypnosis, but the waves came so fast, that it was difficult to focus.  I continued to breathe deeply and on the exhale, said "peace" which helped tremendously.

When my brother in law came, I went upstairs because I only wanted my husband and if I couldn't have him, I wanted to be alone.  He thought I went to pack a bag, so he sent up my mother in law when she arrived.  I did not want that!  But I asked her to put pressure on my back for a minute (until she continued to talk to me- then I told her I'd meet her downstairs after I went the bathroom- which I had to do every couple of minutes).  I was on all fours and the pressure waves did not seem to be breaking, they were intense, but manageable.  I continued to exhale "peace" and did figure eights with my hips which helped very much.  I finally had a small break in the intensity, so I ran downstairs to be ready to go when my husband came home.

I was kneeling down with my head and arms on my couch.  I was relaxed, but was getting anxious about getting to the hospital.  I felt as though I needed to push, but could feel my baby's legs still up at my ribs and could feel that my birth canal was closed.  My mother in law assured me that it was just pressure of the baby starting to come down.  I did contemplate calling an ambulance for about 5 seconds, but knew they would not take me to the hospital I wanted to go to and I really wasn't sure how far along I was.  I knew once I was there I would be able to get into hypnosis more deeply and relax at a  greater level.

My husband got home, around 2:10pm.  My brother in law drove us into the hospital which is about 25-30 minutes from my house.  I was on my knees with my head on my husband's shoulders.  I stayed completely relaxed, but could not turn my light switch off because of my position.  I continued to say "peace" and breathe deep.  I was experiencing pain, but it was very manageable and not at all scary.

When we were about 10 minutes from the hospital, I began to get overwhelmingly strong urges to push.  I tried to breathe through them, but my body took over.  I could feel a large portion of my baby's head coming out.  When we were about 2-3 minutes from the hospital, the baby's head was out.  When we turned onto the street of the hospital, he was completely out without any pushing (it was probably around 2:40 when he came out- but my husband was asked to state the birth time and he said 2:45).  My husband and brother in law were very scared, but I was extremely calm- he had started crying immediately and I was psyched that I was  not going to have to state my case about delaying the cord clamping.

My husband ran into the hospital and a couple of seconds later, there were about 25 doctors surrounding the car.  We had wrapped Colin up in a blanket- they put him in warming blankets and took him into the NICU with my husband to warm him up and make sure he was OK.

I was then taken in to the L&D floor where they checked me out.  I did have a small tear, which I know I could have prevented if I was in a sitation where I knew it was safe to push!

Overall, Colin's birth story was certainly not how I had visualized it.  However, Hypnobabies kept me relaxed, confident and comfortable.  There were actually a couple times in the car where I contemplated tensing up so that he would not come out so fast! When people hear the story, their reaction is to say, "You must have been so scared,"
"How did you deal with all that pain?" etc.  But it was a very peaceful experience- even with all things considered.  If I have another baby, I will have full confidence in Hypnobabies and will camp out at the  hospital for a week around my due date!
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I was so bummed when I woke up Sunday morning to a warm, urgent gush of fluid. It was unquestionably my water breaking and I jumped up and ran to the bathroom just in time to avoid a mess on the carpet. Having tested GBS+, I had been hoping that my water wouldn’t break until well into labor, but I wasn’t having anything more than the same incessant Braxton Hick’s contractions when it broke. It was 2:30AM, and I debated whether or not to tell my husband, but decided to let him know that something was up. He thought we should call the hospital, but I wanted to wait since nothing was happening.  

About 3:00, some very easy contractions kicked in. I told Saki to go back to sleep as I was just going to try to rest myself and hope things moved along quickly. I knew I was on about an 18 hour time limit because of the GBS, and wanted to get through labor with as few risk factors as possible.  The pressure waves started out at about 7 minutes apart and stayed that way for several hours. I probably could have slept, but I kept having occasional, annoying gushes of amniotic fluid that kept me running to the bathroom because I didn’t want to get wet. 

When the pressure waves started at 3, I decided to start using my Hypnobabies tracks while I rested (and surfed the net). I began by listening to the Painless Childbirth track a couple of times, followed by Birthing Day Affirmations. At 5 I switched over to the Easy First Stage track, although in hindsight the first stage was almost over by then. Throughout this whole phase, the waves were not painful at all. After an hour or so I hit on the best description for how they felt: it was like I was on a long road trip and I had to use the bathroom really, really badly, but I had to hold it until the next rest stop. When I realized I was mentally and physically fighting the urge to pee, I was able to let go of that feeling and the waves got even easier. 

About 5 AM, I started spending more pressure waves sitting on the toilet, and by 6 when I decided to call my doula, they progressed quite quickly to 4-5 minutes apart, but still very comfortable and easy; so easy, in fact that I was a bit confused. I knew by the timing that things were moving along, but the peace and composure I felt seemed at odds with where I intellectually knew my labor was headed. All I could think was that either I was tricking myself into thinking things were moving more quickly than they actually were, or the Hypnobabies was really working like it was supposed to.  

I had been trying to wait until 6 to call my doula because I knew she would be up by then, and I wanted her to get as much rest as possible, especially since I was enjoying my solitary birthing time so much and didn’t really need anything from anyone else. When I got on the phone with her, I soon realized things were happening more quickly than I previously thought, so I told her we would probably head to the hospital around 7. I decided it was time to wake up Saki then so he could finish packing up and get ready to go.  

He suggested that we get in the shower, which sounded nice to me, so we did. As soon as I got in the shower, I immediately had a several strong pressure waves one after another. I was in a peaceful place and not timing them, but he freaked out. “Are you having ANOTHER ONE?” Yes. “That was only about a minute apart! We have to go!” I know. He hopped out of the shower and started rushing around gathering stuff. He told my mom to get ready to go and get Tommy up because we had planned to take everyone as long as it happened at a reasonable time of day.  

I reluctantly got out of the shower, sat on the toilet again for another pressure wave and called my doula to let her know we were definitely heading to the hospital. About that time, I also started feeling a little pukey…SURELY I could not be close to transition!? It was all too easy and peaceful! But the pukey feeling was enough to convince me I better get moving just in case my mind wasn’t playing tricks and Hypnobabies was actually working. (Although I guess technically, Hypnobabies working IS the mind playing tricks. ?) Ha.  

I got dressed, got my iphone and headphones and resumed listening to my Easy First Stage track and got in the van for the rainy drive to the hospital. That was about 7:05 AM. At that point everything became decidedly uncomfortable and it was a struggle to remain positive and not say bad words at every bump on the road. For the record, I was in transition during the ride, but I didn’t realize it. I believe if I had not had to get in the car and drive 30 minutes to the hospital, I would probably have experienced a virtually pain-free birth. As it was, it wasn’t really painful; just decidedly uncomfortable going through transition in a vehicle. Thank God it was Sunday morning and not a weekday, so there was no traffic to contend with. We got to the hospital triage unit about 7:30, and Mary, my doula arrived right behind us. The triage nurse told me to go into the bathroom and change out of my clothes if I wanted to.  

Fortunately Mary followed me into the bathroom. I sat on the toilet and suddenly felt the need to push—or poop—I wasn’t sure.  Mary knew though. She said I had that smell of imminent birth. She told the nurse I was feeling pushy, then she took my clothes off of me because I wasn’t capable of doing much of anything else at that point. When I got a little break, we went back into the triage room where the nurse wasted valuable time strapping a fetal heart monitor on me. I agreed to let her check me and she said something about a 9 and something-pushy and immediately sprang into action, calling for backup.  She handed me a blanket to cover myself and off we went down the hall to birthing room #3. I was relieved that it was a small number and I didn’t have to walk all the way down the hall.  

I walked into the empty room, and stood there wondering what to do next. The bed was not set up for any type of delivery position (nor was anything else), and suddenly people were directing me to get into it. I stared at it blankly thinking “um, HOW?” It just didn’t seem possible, as I couldn’t think of any way of getting into that bed that would accommodate how I was feeling right at the moment. In a second I decided the only thing I could do was kneel and start pushing. I clumsily dragged a pillow off the bed to kneel on and took up a prayer position at the bedside. A very nice lady introduced herself as Kit, my midwife, and said “If you can get on the bed that would be great because it would be softer for you, but if not, we’ll just have this baby here.” I wordlessly chose “here.”  

She said, “I’m going to touch you and see where the baby is. Oh, it’s right here! PUSH!” And then it seemed like everyone was shouting at me to “PUSH! One more push and you’ll have the head out!” I totally thought they were lying and just saying that trying to encourage me. There was no way the baby was coming yet. We just got to the hospital! Mary was kneeling across the bed from me and she was the one who convinced me that the baby really was coming out NOW! I was totally shocked. I think I even said “Oh, you’re not lying!” Then sweet Kit told me to spread my legs wider and push hard again and baby would be out…and she was! The time was 7:42 AM. Counting the pushes in triage, I think there were no more than 6 or 7 total and we were at the hospital for 12 minutes before little Maggie was born. 

Kit said “Ok, get ready, I’m going to pass the baby to you through your legs.” After untangling the basically useless fetal and contraction monitors, we accomplished the hand off and I finally made it into bed. The total time from start to finish was less than 5 hours. I sat there on the bed holding my new baby saying “Wow, that was amazing” for about an hour, I think. 

I keep thinking that if I hadn’t woke my husband up right when I did, I could have easily had an unassisted home birth. I wish I could have, but it still worked out great and I feel so blessed to have had such a totally amazing, empowering experience. 
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After finding out I was pregnant and beginning to learn about birth and options, I decided I wanted to attempt a natural birth. I felt very empowered after watching the documentary The Business of Being Born. At this point, it was in theory I wanted a natural birth for all of the wonderful reasons to have one, but in practice I really didn't have
much confidence I could (or would) do it. I knew I would have to change my fearful attitude and my first step was to stop watching anything on TV about birth!

My second step was to hire a doula/birth coach, and we found Erin. She was an incredible resource throughout my pregnancy as well. She also introduced me to the "Hypnobabies" program which was incredibly helpful to me as I prepared mentally for birthing.

The last few weeks of the pregnancy got pretty tense as we considered recommendations for inducing labor, based on amniotic fluid level that was in the healthy range but at the low end of the range. Ryan and I decided together that we would not induce labor with levels in the healthy range, particularly given the known inaccuracy of those readings by ultrasound. We knew our baby was thriving and healthy. We wanted her and my body to be as ready as possible before trying to force it into labor. We stepped up the natural induction techniques as much as possible, trying spicy foods, talking to Kay about coming out, the Hypnobabies "Come Out Baby" and fear clearing sessions, raspberry leaf, acupressure and more.

On December 22nd, we had a very low fluid reading and we knew this meant we would proceed with the induction.  Fortunately my body was much more ready than it was a few weeks prior and on that Monday evening I was at 1cm and 50% effaced. At least we weren't starting completely from scratch (and I do believe our efforts helped!).

That evening, a foley catheter balloon was inserted into my cervix to assist it opening to 3cm overnight. We were very nervous about how my body might react (or not!) to artificial labor induction. I listened to positive birthing affirmations and Ryan led me through the Hypnobabies "change of plans" script. That was very helpful as I visualized all of my fears and concerns, put them all in boxes and away in a closet marked "later" – then sent it away. I was so appreciative of the friends and family who called to check on me.

By morning, I was at 3cm and 70% effaced. Ryan and I took showers and got some good breakfast. The midwives and nurses were so respectful of our birth plans and no one ever offered me medication that day or even used the "p-word", but just let us do our work.

About 8:30 a.m. I was started on Pitocin. Again, I tried to relax and keep positive messages in my mind with the birthing day affirmations. I had no choice but to believe that this could still go very well. I couldn't help but feel robbed of an experience – of going into labor spontaneously, laboring at home, the trip to the hospital… but, we were going to meet Baby Kay and all would be well.

During the morning, I felt very mild contractions, mostly in my back. Ryan, Erin and I watched TV, talked, and laughed. Erin gave me a wonderful foot rub with aromatherapy, and worked some acupressure points to help contractions come. Erin went for some lunch and after that Ryan left for a lunch break as well. During Ryan's  absence, things got more serious. I got on the birth ball and Erin began rubbing my back with a massager.

At this point I looked up at the TV and saw that Home Improvement was on. I said, "I really hate this show!!" and asked the nurse to please turn it off right NOW! It just hit me that I hated that show so we had a good laugh about it. I had an intense longing for Ryan to return, and he did a few minutes later thankfully. I was starting to do some real work. With each contraction, I would try to breathe and relax my body. I did not have a desire to listen to my
hypnosis CD's but I always had the messages in mind, to relax as much as possible and let my body do the work.

My breathing triggered Erin to aid me with each contraction – she would press on my lower back or squeeze my hips. It felt very good and seemed to contain each contraction so it did not get too far away from me, too far outside of myself. Erin reminded me to take one at a time, and use my breaks to rest and relax, which was really key to my success. For some reason I wanted Ryan to press on my forehead with each contraction too. About 1 or 1:30 p.m., I felt a pop inside, which was a really interesting sensation! My water had broken – great progress!

At about 2:30 p.m. I was at 4-5cm. I felt a little discouraged because I thought I was progressing so well and had done so much work, but that sounded like I was only halfway there!. But my "team" got me focused again. I got back on the birth ball and continued to work. I was leaning over into Ryan's lap as he sat on the bed. He held me and
pressed on my forehead with each contraction. At one point I got emotional and started talking about our first anniversary and trip. We had just found out we were expecting and had not told anyone yet. Then I asked Ryan "Do you remember that steak I had with the chocolate? That was awesome…I want that right now". Erin and Ryan started talking about it, but by that time it was making me feel queasy and I quickly insisted that they stop talking about food!

My breathing turned into moaning through each wave. I cannot describe the feeling of the contractions but it certainly wasn't "p***". I suppose I would describe it as really intense rhythmic pressure but I really cannot find the words.

Contractions were coming pretty quickly now and I was really feeling like I wanted a break. I was okay with each one but they came so quickly now, I felt like I could barely breathe in between! Then I started wondering aloud how many more of these I was going to have to do. Erin focused me and reminded me that I only have to do this one. Just one at a time. I didn't realize it at the time but I was entering transition. I wanted a break, I was daydreaming about what an epidural might be like right now, and I might have said something about wanting to go home. I vomited, although I must say that felt pretty awesome. It felt cleansing, and also distracted me momentarily.

I remember clearly when we were returning from the bathroom (a mandated trip which I was not at all happy about!), Erin said "look at what the nurses are doing." I looked and they were putting out all of the instruments and getting ready for delivery. I gasped and said "Really?" as I looked at this happening in disbelief – I really thought it was going to be a long haul ahead. Erin said to me, "They are getting ready for you to have your baby!" This was an exciting moment. I knew Kay was coming very soon and that I was going to make it through.

At this point I got in bed to take a little "rest." After a few contractions I started to feel the overwhelming urge to push. This must have been about 4:30 p.m. now. I had to wait for the midwife to check my progress. This was by far the most difficult part of the labor, because I was fighting against what my body needed to do. It did not hurt, it
was just nearly impossible to fight off the pushing. The nurse kept encouraging me to just breathe through it, try not to push. The midwife checked and said I was almost fully dilated but not quite there. Erin told me to visualize my cervix opening up and Kay's head sliding out easily. Fighting the pushing was so hard – my whole being wanted to push and I couldn't even fight it entirely. They just kept telling me to wait a little longer. I must have had at least 15 of these contractions, trying not to push.

Once the midwife said to go ahead and push, it felt truly amazing!! I would never use the "p-word" to describe this. Pushing honestly felt GREAT. All that energy had a channel now. I was feeling great and accomplished and thinking about how the baby was almost here. Then my mind turned against me for a moment and it hit me that the pushing stage can last several hours, and that I might not even get the baby out this way. I couldn't get this thought out of my
mind but again my support team kicked in and kept me focused. Eventually Erin encouraged me to get up and let gravity help, so I stood and leaned over the bed. At this point things get fuzzy but I remember they got a bar so I could squat/sit down. Baby Kay was really on her way now, I started to feel stretching and burning. Now the midwife was down on the floor, but at this point again it was fuzzy. I was excited, elated, scared, everything all at once! I remember saying "She's coming! She's coming! What do I do?!" :) I was told to slow down and not push too hard, so she could ease out. Then they decided they really wanted me in the bed. This was a crazy moment... I just kept thinking, she is coming! I can't move!, but I had to climb into bed. The crowning really burned, but I was just so happy she was almost here that I didn't care one bit. Another push and suddenly thd midwife had Kay in her hands and I saw her face!! She was born at 5:49 p.m. I'd only had to push for about an hour!

The moment Kay came out was sheer relief. I gasped and couldn't believe there was our baby!! I knew there was a baby in there, but when I saw her it was still just such an amazing surprise. She was beautiful. They handed Kay to me and I said hi and I think I commented on how she had hair! I remember telling her that she was named after two very
special women (our late mothers). Then I looked over at Ryan who was next to me and saw his face, which was filled with both shock and love! We kissed, and exchanged words that I really don't remember now, and probably wouldn't do justice to what we were feeling in that moment. I let Kay near my chest for a while to root around and become familiar.

All I remember now was lots of commotion and that my legs would not stop shaking. I was in such a state of physical and emotional excitement – what a high!! Out of nowhere Kay just latched right on to my breast and it even startled me. She was drinking away! Erin commented on how amazing it is that they know just what to do, and I agreed. It felt incredible. Kay continued to feed for about 15-20 minutes. Ryan went out to tell his parents that Kay had been born, and when he came back he said he had lost it out there with them and they were all crying. I wish I could have seen that moment!

While Ryan's parents came in to meet the baby, I called my family and tearfully shared the news of her birth.  After his parents left, Ryan was sitting on the couch with Kay just holding her tight and looking at her with such amazement and love. He was softly talking to her and called her "Kay bear", and it has really stuck as our sweet pet name for her.

What follows is a whirlwind of nurses, doctors, instructions and information. We never imagined how many people  would be in and out of our room. That night we called or texted a lot of friends and family and just enjoyed this beautiful sleepy little bundle. I was on such a high that I wasn't even thinking about sleeping or eating nor did I notice any discomfort. I had just given birth to this baby!! After all of the thought, preparation, worrying... I had done it. What else mattered? Eventually I realized my body and muscles were very tired and sore, and that I needed to slow down and rest. We could have been released from the hospital on Christmas Eve but we did not feel ready. We wanted all the help of the nurses and lactation consultants while we had the opportunity.

We brought Kay home on Christmas Day. As we were getting all of our things together and ready to leave the hospital that afternoon, Ryan and I were both emotional. It was sinking in that we were really taking our baby home. We packed up all of our things and got this baby in the car, and just as many friends had told us we would, we felt a sense of disbelief that they were letting us leave with her! It was a very surreal but exciting moment. Let the adventures begin…
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Oliver was born on the 2nd of Jan using Hypnobabies and no medication in a hospital setting!

It was an extremely wonderful and empowering experience and very fast. I started having pressure waves at 5:30am and he was born at 6:30pm with my husband and a midwife that I had never met before in an Italian hospital!!!

The whole morning I knew that I was having some discomfort but I never thought that we were going to have the baby that same day! We kept track and I just said that I wanted to stay at home as long as I could so when they were about 2-3 minutes apart we decided to head to the hospital.

We arrived at the hospital at 3:30pm and like many hypno moms the nurses had to ask why we were there because I was so calm. Whenever the pressure wave would begin I would just turn towards my husband and lean into him until it passed. The nurses hooked us up to a external heart monitor and left us. Finally they came in and checked me and were amazed that I was at 6cm. They had me go into a room with another couple of people (in Italy there are 4 beds in a room!) and I was not sure if I was going to have to continue going through pressure waves with other people.

Finally around 4:30 a midwife came in and escorted us to the delivery room. She complimented me on how calm I was and within minutes of her saying that, the pressure waves became closer and more intense. She encouraged me to use any position that felt comfortable so I went from standing/leaning into my husband/ squatting/kneeling on all 4's, and they even had this cool toilet seat type thing that I ended up using during the pushing phase.

I really surprised myself because I am generally a very quiet person and I ended up being very verbal using my voice to help push the baby out. After an hour of pushing, Oliver was born while I sat on the "toilet seat" and my husband supported me from behind!!! I have to say that I have no idea how anyone has had a baby while lying on their back!!!

I was able to use the strategies from Hypnobabies during the beginning but never actually listened to the cd's during the birthing time because it just went so fast and I had to use all my concentration to work with the pressure waves. Next time I will definitely have a hypno doula there to assist but I have to say that it was a very positive first birthing experience and I would definitely recommend Hypnobabies to EVERYONE!!!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth

Malcolm


December 30th, 2008



We live in France and so this story speaks of midwives rather than OB's because it is they who are in contact with pregnant women in this country... in the case where all goes well the midwife handles births and pregnancies from A to Z and for any complications the doc jumps in.

So, at 34 weeks the midwife at the local hospital alerted me to take bed rest at least 4 hours every day because the baby was "low".  I did.

At 38 weeks a "monitoring" done showed a very high heart rate for the baby and they nearly kept me over night at the hospital to observe...I finally convinced them to leave me alone in the boiling hot room for about 20 minutes so that I could calm down (I have a hard time with monitoring machines...I worry excessively about the baby due to my daughters' previous births which were both stressful and nearly ended in emergency c-sections each time).  I put on my iPod and listened to pregnancy affirmations and calmed myself down.  It worked and they let me go home.  It was a wakeup call for me...reminding me that even though I had spent all these months working hard on hypnobabies and listening to the tracks faithfully...that I still had work to do eliminating fear  and tension related to past births.  So I cried and talked things over with my husband...I took some herbal remedies and sure enough the letting go helped immensely. 

At 40 weeks I went in for an appointment...All was well, and I was not dilated or effaced at all... after all those weeks lying down I began to worry this baby was never going to come out!

The night before my 41 week appointment I started having pressure waves...gentle at first and then stronger...all this after I settled down to try to get some sleep.  I put on my iPod and listened to birth day affirmations over and over.  The pressure waves got to being about 6 minutes apart and I thought that perhaps this was it...and then at midnight my daughter woke me up and I went to her bed to calm her back down...after she fell asleep I realized that the pressure waves had tapered off.   I finally fell asleep and woke up the next day feeling exhausted (I think I remember several good pressure waves waking me up slightly that night, but not enough to get up.) 

The next morning the pressure waves had disappeared.  My husband and I went to the hospital for our the non stress test, Monday the 29th of December...I was overwhelmed with joy when I heard the voice of my favorite midwife coming down the hall to get us.  Her name is Clothilde and she is widely respected in this region for being a midwife who is so gentle and helps women who want natural births.  She set me up on the monitors and left me to relax...I listened to birth day affirmations and then decided that I needed to concentrate on inviting this baby into the world...so I put on "baby come out"...it was perfect.  If Clothilde was on call for the next 24 hours I wanted to give birth in that time frame!  She told me that I was at 1 cm and fairly well effaced and that all was perfect with the baby...she sent us home but told me that she thought I would be back before the night was through. 

My husband and I took our time and had a nice leisurely lunch in town before driving back up to our village to spend the rest of the day with our girls.  It was peaceful and lovely.   I had a few random pressure waves throughout the day, more as the day went on, but nothing that made me feel like the birth was just around the bend. 

We put the girls to bed and then sprawled out on the couch to relax...my husband put on a film and I put on my iPod...beginning with "baby come out" and then the "birth day affirmations"...as soon as I lay down the pressure waves became much stronger...I was not at all uncomfortable, they were just getting a bit more intense...eventually I was having to breathe through them and then I began walking around ...sitting on the birthing ball, or leaning over the counter (all this with IPod on...love that thing!)  I was so happy to feel them getting stronger and encouraged them along...at one point I began trembling a bit and thought "that's weird".  I told my husband and he encouraged me to think about going to the hospital...ok, why not...I was optimistic that things would most likely pick up from here, but not sure and didn't want to risk being sent home because the pressure waves stopped or because I was only at 2 to 3 cm. 

My mom came over to watch the girls and we drove the 15min to the local hospital.  Along the way I listened to "easy first stage" and felt very relaxed...it was nice.  A few pressure waves in the car on the way there...nothing unmanageable.

We arrived and slipped in the back door of the maternity ward where Clothilde was waiting for us with her warm smile...it was just before 2 am.  She hooked me up to the heart monitors and I was so relieved to learn that all was still perfect for the baby.  She then did a check of dilation, but did not inform me of the progress (because I had asked her not to tell me for fear that I would get so discouraged)...BUT...behind my back she motioned to my husband that I was already at 9 cm!  He was so happy and upbeat that it really encouraged me.  Soon Clothilde asked me if I was ready to go to the birthing room and I said "already?"  Don't you think we should wait a little?  That was how unaware I was that I was in transition!  Thank you hypnobabies! 

The last CM was long...there was an assistant helping the midwife who showed my husband how to massage my sacrum on specific acupressure points and it was AMAZING how this relieved the intensity.  She and my husband took turns massaging me until the very end...I am so grateful.  Eventually Clothilde asked if she could break my waters.  Of course...I had been walking the halls with my husband for an hour with no progress and so it was logical.  Things got more intense and I also began to feel very tired...to my surprise she offered me a banana and juice which I ate and enjoyed immensely.  This is of course not usual practice seeing as the anesthesiologist really doesn't want us eating at all, but she is smart and knows we need energy!  And as natural as this midwife is she did finally encourage me to put in an IV with sugar water and also to start a very small pitocin drip...I was falling asleep and tired and she was worried that the birth would take a very long time if I didn't get a little extra umph.  I agreed and that was when my husband went to go rest on a bed for a while...things got really intense at this point, but nothing I couldn't use my relaxation techniques and breath to help me through.  

A very short time after the pitocin drip set in, I felt pushy...and so without even checking me she told me to push if I felt like it.  Ok!  I was on my knees leaning forward over a birthing ball and then up on all fours leaning on the ball (love the ball)...in my own world pushing away.  Then on my side some and finally in traditional gynecological position (don't ask me why this was what I chose...she didn't ask me to, it was my own doing!)  Pushing took quite a while and was very intense (I was surprised because for my girls it had been the fastest part of the birth)...the midwife kept encouraging me to reach down and try to feel for the baby's head...although there was a ways to go the thought that the head was nearing encouraged me along.  I tried to use exhale pushing as much as possible and was not able to keep the headphones on throughout...at some point I just began purple pushing and the midwife kept telling me to guide the head out with my breath...it helped!  Down and out.  Finally the head was VERY near and so I used the pushing when there wasn't a pressure wave technique...they all let me do what I felt was best.  It worked!  I was purple in the face...but it worked! 

The head crowned and came out and I really must admit that I did not experience a ring of fire...at this point so close to the finish line it is the last thing on your mind...I just felt huge excitement thinking that I was soon to meet my baby and hold him in my arms!  They undid the one loop the cord made around his neck, and then turned him...they had to do some maneuvering to get the shoulders out, but all was well...and he soon slithered all the way out.  They immediately put him on my chest and I dried him...crying with joy and relief of course!  I immediately knew it was a boy just by looking at the face...but of course I verified by looking under the little towel!  Our first boy!  My husband was teary and overjoyed beside me and we both rubbed him as he began to make his first cries.  What an amazing experience.

Clothilde, who had carefully read my birth plan, let the cord stop pulsing before cutting and then let me hold him on my chest for about an hour before then took him to measure and weigh.  I was so happy to have taken the time to do it and translate it into French!  He began nursing a bit not long after and it was so amazing after having been separated from my girls just after their births.  The placenta came out easily and Clothilde walked me through all the steps and reassured me that all was intact.  Bless her heart for understanding how anxious some couples can be.  We had done it...a natural birth after two epidural stressful births! 

Malcolm, as we named him, was born at 6 AM only 4 hours after we arrived at the hospital.  And even though he was big (9 lbs)... I had only superficial tearing requiring only a few little stitches! 

I am so grateful to the universe for sending me this midwife...and especially to Hypnobabies for preparing my mind and body over the past months for this peaceful birth!  I will highly recommend it to all expecting mothers that I cross paths with.  I have a newfound respect for the power of the human mind and belief in our ability to create our reality...
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I 1st read Hypnobirthing, then came across Hypnobabies.  I found Hypnobabies was much more in depth, so my husband and I took the Hypnobabies class AND we had a Hypnodoula (our class instructor).

Our birth (1st baby) could NOT have been any better!  I found the Affirmations cd to be wonderful in erasing ALL FEAR, I would listen to that cd ever day to/from work.  Having a doula was a great help to us especially being our 1st birth experience and not know exactly what to expect.

I went into labor at 35 wks, went to the hospital bcs I just felt really horrible and everything ached badly.....  Come to find out I was having contractions, so I got an iv, later a shot to stop labor.  I was 3 cm & 80-90% effaced for the next 3 wks.

At 38 wks, my Dr. asked if I wanted her to "strip my membranes" (allows the bag of water to put more pressure on the cervix). After some questions I decided to go for it..... 3 days later Owen was born :)

I started having stronger pressure waves around 9pm.....waited until 11pm to tell my husband (since I had PW's for over 3 wks...)  Then he timed, they would go from 5 min apart to 1 to 7 etc.  Never established a "pattern".  Around 1am I started bleeding so I called our doula, she said that was normal/ok.  So I stayed at home a few more hours.  We went to the hospital at 3:15 am - I was 6 cm.  After admission/1,000 questions we were checked into our room around 5:15 am.

I put on my ipod/headphones and was able to really "zone out" very well with the support of my husband/brother & doula.  They were a great SUPPORT.  The lights stayed off, the nurses never bothered me, they would quietly enter the room and quietly leave.  It was SO PEACEFUL !

The next thing I remember was my Dr. saying "OK you are at 10, you can push when YOU are ready".  I pushed for only 10-15 minutes!  Owen was born 6-30-08 at 7:53 am, 7 lbs 10 oz.  It was the best experience of my life.  Total labor was 9 hours for our 1st child!  The hospital staff was great & so supportive of our wishes to have no interventions.

I had to have 3 stitches, as soon as that was done, the nurse cleaned me up and I was up going to the restroom.  I felt WONDERFUL.  I'm ready for Hypnobaby #2 but DH isn't quite there yet.

Anyway - we absolutely LOVED Hypnobabies - the class, our instructor, the CD's the other couples we met in class and online......fantastic experience.

Owen is so happy and peaceful.
Debbie, Jeff & Owen - now 6 months old :)
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I decided when I was pregnant this time I would get a bit more educated. I really wanted to avoid the meds I felt had caused me so many problems the first time around.  I heard about hypnobabies on one of the forums I'm on and decided that was the way to go. I listened to the scripts almost every night, but wasn't very good about doing the practice (5 finger drops each day, etc) they talk about.  Well, I have to say, it still worked.

My labor story is actually quite long. I began having some contractions on November 7. My mucous plug started coming out and I thought things were really getting going. I called my mom to drive up (2 hours) to take care of DS1 so we could go have a baby . I made cupcakes for the nurses and just got myself ready to go. Well, things petered out. I was 3 cm dilated on Monday when I went to my OB appointment.  Let me tell you what a joy I was to be around over the next week as I continued to have to go to work and have contractions but nothing really progressed into real labor. By the end of the week, I had resigned myself to never having the baby.

I fell asleep early on Friday the 15th with my first son. I woke up about 1:30 and the baby was doing some really weird movement that hurt. After I got done pushing on him and telling him to stop, I felt some liquid. I still had to pee so I decided my water must have broken. DH was still up playing his game and I've never seen him shut down his laptop so fast. I was like it's no big deal. I'm not even having contractions. We watched an episode of 30 Rock on the DVR during which I had 1 or 2 contractions and then I decided to go downstairs and make some brownies for the nurses. I called my sister and she insisted on coming over to be with DS. I was still in denial I was really in labor but told her to do what she wanted. While the brownies were baking, I took a shower, washed my hair, and shaved my legs. I then got the load of diaper laundry out of the dryer and got my DS1's trainers all set for use while I was in the hospital. Then, I went back and french braided my hair. At this point, my sister had gotten to my house and kept telling me to go to the hospital as my contractions were like 3 minutes apart.

We got to the hospital at around 4:30 and had to go to triage where the nurses had me in a wheelchair and were ignoring me. I kept telling them I needed to get in, that my contractions were 2 minutes apart and my water had already broken. They finally got me in a room and 2 nurses had to check me as the first nurse couldn't believe I was complete. I did ask for drugs about this time.  I think the baby must have been posterior because the sensations in my back were pretty intense.  I wasn't able to get up on all 4s or do any of the different positions to turn him.  I also wasn't totally in hypnosis right then since I had gotten so agitated trying to get seen.  The journey up to L&D wasn't my favorite time, but it was bearable.

The doctor came in very shortly after I got to L&D and suggested I try to move to my back for pushing since I have babies with big heads and that would give him some more room to pass through my pelvis.  That didn't seem like a bad idea to me at the time so I gave it a try.  My nurses were wonderful. They just stood back and watched. The one nurse applied a little pressure to my one knee once in awhile to remind me to keep my legs spread to give the baby plenty of room, but she never made any comments. I pushed for probably 20 minutes. It was the coolest thing ever feeling the baby moving down slowly and just breathing him out. I can't even describe how amazing that was to me.  It truly was a relief after making it through transition :).  The nurses were all in awe of how I didn't make any noise. I was just doing really deep breaths.

Baby arrived at 5:45 am. He weighed 8 lb 6 oz and was 20.75" long.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I like that this mom is patient with her body and baby.  I like that she talked to her OB and really made her expectations and desires clear.  I love that when she gets to the hospital her DH helps get a supportive nurse (after 2 grumpy ones) 

I love that she prepared so much for a great birth and she had one!

You can read Michelle's Birth Story of Lilah on her blog.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Nate's Birth Story

Nate has been in our hearts forever but made his appearance in flesh early on a Monday morning after about 8.5 hours of birthing time.  He is our third son.

During the preceding weeks, I had many practice pressure waves, some of which felt like they could be the real thing, but they always ended up fading away after a few hours.  I started to lose my mucous plug so I knew that these waves were beginning to dilate and efface my cervix to prepare for the big day.  Our guess date was January 18th.

Our second son Sean was born almost 2 weeks before his guess date and had a very fast birthing time.  This set up the expectation, or at least the possibility, for my husband and I (and our families) that this third little guy would come early and fast.  It is January in the northeast and we've already had our fair share of snowstorms.  Additionally, my husband works a distance away with a commute time of up to 1.5 hours each way during rush hour.  I had a real concern that my husband wouldn't make it home in time to see his third son be born - and this really stressed me out!  I had to work on releasing this fear and trusting that our little guy would be born at the perfect time and under the circumstances that were right for us.

Sunday January 11th was unremarkable, except that we spent some extra time doing nesting activities (laundry, taking down Christmas decorations finally(!), organizing baby's things, etc).  We were still a week away from our guess date and I resigned myself to the fact that this baby might come after his guess date like his oldest brother, and that was okay.  In the meantime, we might as well have a clean and organized house, which was a rarity with two toddlers running around!  After the boys went to bed that evening, I put the Golden Globes on TV to watch while my husband started dozing off next to me.  I noticed at around 9:30pm that I started having some pressure waves.  They were definitely stronger than BH, but not unlike the others I had been having before this.  They seemed to be coming every 10-13 min or so.  By 11pm I noticed one that felt like "whoa, I think this could be it".  With that I had to run to the bathroom and saw the bloody show (a lot of it!).  This was confirmation for me that it was definitely my birthing time as I had not seen bloody show until well into my first two birthing times.  Almost immediately, the pressure waves started coming closer together, maybe every 4 or 5 min, but they were very short (30-45 sec) and not so intense.  I didn't have to concentrate through them.  Because my second son was born only 3 hours after my first pressure wave, we decided it was best to head to the hospital now and get settled in, even if it was very early in the birthing time.  We called my mom over to watch our boys while we were gone.

We got to the hospital around 12:30am and checked in.  I was still extremely comfortable and guessed that I was at about 3cm.  The nurse checked me and I was about 2-3cm but still pretty thick.  She could feel something "fleshy" so wanted the doc to check to make sure the baby was in the right position.  About 10 min later when the doc checked me, she confirmed that baby was head down and it was a bulging bag of waters that felt fleshy and that I was now 5-6cm.  They expected things to move quickly, but I had a feeling otherwise.  These pressure waves were still very comfortable and still pretty short (less than a minute).  It was okay with me to continue on at this pace!  I could do this all night and day!  I hung out on my birthing ball in between the 20 min fetal monitoring we had to do every hour and the waves were still not increasing in intensity.  When they checked me around 2am, I was 6-7cm but very thin.  I was pretty happy to hear that progress because this was easy!!!  I kept thinking that slow and steady wins the race. 

By 4am I started to feel some rectal pressure, not like I had to push, but just more pressure.  I also started to feel shaky and nauseous so I thought I might be entering transformation.  My water hadn't broken yet.  The doc came in around 4:45am to check me and I was still only 7cm.  She did a very aggressive cervical exam (it was painful, the only pain I had experienced so far!) and my water "spontaneously" broke.  Can you sense my sarcasm?  She called it a spontaneous rupture of membranes because she didn't use a needle to break the water.  My husband, the nurse, and I all agreed that it wasn't spontaneous! 

I knew I was in for it now, and I was.  Things got much more intense and they now wanted me on continuous monitoring because my water was broken.  I hated being stuck in the bed!  Gratefully I was able to change position as much as I wanted to, so I was either on my hands and knees or squatting and holding on to the top of the bed with my husband rubbing or applying pressure to my lower back and hips - at this point I had a ton of back and pelvic pressure.  

I started getting very vocal but was able to make it through each wave fairly comfortably.  I never felt like I needed drugs.  I eventually started a deep moaning which prompted the nurse to ask me if I was involuntarily pushing.  I told her yes!  It certainly wasn't intentional.  It wasn't an overwhelming urge (like I had with my second very speedy delivery) but it was happening.  She told me I could start pushing but I wanted her to check my cervix first since I felt like I wasn't quite complete.  My intuition was right - I still had a lip left but she told me I could push past it and I did.  I later learned from my husband that the two nurses thought the doc wouldn't make it in the room in time for the birth since she was stuck at a delivery next door.  But she did come running in and made it just as the baby started crowning.  This pushing phase was tough for me!  It didn't happen as quick and effortlessly as it had with my second son and that made me nervous and made me question my ability.  But my husband was holding my hand telling me what a great job I was doing and that the baby is almost here. 

I reached down to feel his head and there he was!  That gave me the motivation to kick it into high gear and get him out.  I gave it a strong push and out came his head but they told me to stop pushing while they unwrapped his cord which was around his neck.  They told me to continue and I pushed the rest of him out, and he had the cord wrapped around his arm and his torso too!  He was blue but as soon as they untangled him he pinked up and had apgars of 8 and 9.  They had to cut the cord quickly to untangle him so my husband wasn't able to do that.  We were ok with it since we just wanted a healthy baby!  Anyway, what was the little bugger doing in my belly to get himself all tangled up like that?! I had a sense that we may have issues with the cord but I didn't let that consume my thinking or make me fear the delivery.  I'm happy that I was able to let it go because everything worked out fine.  He was 7lb 12oz, 20 in long.  He nursed immediately!

I couldn't be happier with the way this birth went, and I have to thank Hypnobabies.  The program was so valuable to me in my second and third pregnancies and birthing times.  I had three unique experiences each teaching me lessons, and producing three very different but very beautiful babies!  Thank you Hypnobabies!!!
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Hello everyone!  I have finally found some time to sit down and write my birth story.  It was an incredible day!  But first let me tell you a little about my pregnancy.

At 33 weeks, I started having some strong contractions.  I went into the doctors office and I was dilated to 2 cm and 50% effaced.  They also did a fetal fibronectin test that came back positive.  Because of that test, they had me go up to labor and delivery to get medication to stop contractions and they wanted me to get the steroid shots for his lungs.  I did both of these things.  Contractions continued but mostly when I was active so the nurse told me to stay off my feet.  I was on a modified bed rest for 3 weeks and that helped a lot.  After I was taken off bedrest, I thought for sure he would come any day.  It caused a lot of emotional ups and downs, as I'm sure those with false alarms can attest.  It continued like this for 4 weeks!  The week before he was due, I started having very regular contractions.  I went in to labor and delivery and after a couple of hours of monitoring, they said that because these contractions were dilating me (slowly) that I could choose to stay.  The nurse explained that with "regular" or "normal" patients, they would start an iv and pitocin along with an epidural.  But because I was going natural, I had the choice to stay or go because it could mean a long labor.  I decided to wait one more hour to see how much I progressed and when she said there was no more change after that hour, we decided to go home and hope it progressed there.  I thought for sure we'd be heading back in the middle of the night and I'd be waking up to labor pains.  Well, I woke up the next morning with nothing and was disappointed.  I decided to just continue on and wait until he was ready.  So when he decided it was time, I was very ready.

On Oct. 11th (my due date) my husband and I were getting ready to go to church.  I was standing in the bathroom when I felt a little trickle.  I thought for a second that my water broke but because of all the emotional ups and downs and being in and out of the hospital, I didn't fully believe it.  The last thing I wanted was to go to the hospital only to be sent home again.  My worry wart DH kept telling me he wanted to go to the hospital.  I said even if it was my water, we could wait a while.  He didn't feel comfortable with that, since the doctors said if my water breaks to go right to the hospital.  So he convinced me and we got ready to go to the hospital.

We got checked in and set up in a room.  I was about 4.5 cm when I arrived.  The nurse checked the fluid coming out and it was indeed amniotic fluid.  So this was it!  I was very excited.  But nothing was happening!  No hard contractions or anything!  We waited and waited and walked and walked.  Because labor stalled with my first baby, they decided to start a pitocin drip.  I asked if we could start it very low and turn it off if things started to progress because I still wanted a natural birth if I could.  The continuously upped my pitocin level little by little, hoping it would start something.  I walked the halls and tried everything but I was moving so slowly.  After hours and hours, I had only dilated to a 5.  (half a cm!).  After about 10 hours, the doctor said he would like to change my plan.  He wanted to start an epidural to calm me down and insert an internal monitor to make sure the pitocin level was enough to change my cervix.  He also said they needed to start antibiotics because it had almost been 12 hours since my water broke.  I read this on the monitor before my nurse came in.  I looked at my husband and said "I don't need an epidural.  I'm calm."  My nurse overheard me and understood my concern.  She sat down and calmly talked to me about my options.  She also said that if I didn't start to change by 24 hours, they would do a C-Section.  I asked if we could start with the internal monitor and then up my pitocin and if that didn't work, I would have the epidural, if it was what was best for my baby.  She okayed that with the charge nurse and so we started on that path.  The charge nurse placed the internal monitor and immediately I started to feel the pressure waves.  I concentrated through them but they were incredibly intense.  I looked at my husband and said if the contractions are going to continue to get stronger and closer together, I didn't think I could do this without an epidural.  My nurse came in to check me 30 min to an hour later and I had dilated to a 6+.  The plan was working!  I told her my concerns.  I was not prepared to deal with these contractions just lying in a bed.  I had wanted to use the jacuzzi and birth ball and if they were going to get any stronger, I wanted an epidural.  She looked at me with a concerned look and said, "I know how much you want to have this baby unmedicated."  She then looked at my pitocin levels and said they were actually stronger than they needed to be.  She lowered my pitocin and got permission from the charge nurse to allow me to sit on the birthing ball.  That helped TREMENDOUSLY!  I was able to sit on the ball and relaxed through each wave for about another hour or 2.  My husband would apply counter pressure on my lower back and that helped a lot too.  I would just listen to the scripts and try to relax.  It felt so intense inside my head during the waves.  I thought I was moaning through them very loudly but when my husband captured a couple on camera, I looked completely calm and relaxed, my face even looked serene.  My nurse came in to check me and said I was a 7+.  She also said that one side of my cervix was dilating faster than the other.  She said if I lay down on my right side, that would help to dilate the other side of my cervix.  I layed down and immediately had an INTENSE wave.  I almost lost control at this point.  The nurse said to try and get through 3 more and then she'd check me.  She left the room and during the very next contraction, I shouted "I need to push!!"  My body couldn't stop.  This might sound weird but it felt like when you dry heave, you can't really control your body.  I couldn't control the urge to push.  My body just took over.  The nurses must have heard me from down the hall because they all came running in and started getting things set up.  My nurse checked me and said, "its time to push".  I looked at my husband and was so relieved.  Betsy, my nurse, took my hand and helped me breath through a wave or two until the Nurse Midwife arrived to deliver the baby.  I had never met this nurse midwife before, she was the one on call.  But she was great.  She allowed me to direct my pushing and didn't do the counting thing (thank goodness).  She told me when to stop (to avoid tearing) and just basically sat back and watched.  My sister arrived in the nick of time.  She held my hand (my DH had the other) and maybe 5 minutes later, she looked at me and said "The head is out." I was so happy because I understand what people mean when they say "Ring of Fire".  It was intense!  After another good push or two, his body came out and he was finally here!  They layed him on my tummy and he was so warm.  I just kept saying "I did it." and "I love you baby, thanks for coming out."  I felt an immediate bond with him.

Afterward, my husband asked if I would do it again.  At that time, when the **pressure/pain** was so apparent in my mind, I said I didn't know, probably not.  But 2 days later, I was sure I would.  The only part that was almost too much was 3-4 contractions before I could push.  But I did it and I am sure I can do it again.  I know what to expect now and I think if I prepare even better next time, it will be an even better experience, which is hard to say because this one was incredibly amazing!!

Asher Alexander was born 12:32 AM weighing in at 8 lbs 1 oz and 20 in long.  He scored a 9/9 on the apgar and is doing so well!  To be honest, I am excited to do it all over again!
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