I had been having some issues with my blood pressure going up. I went to my appointment with my midwife on Tuesday April 8 at 9:30 a.m. and my blood pressure was 156/94 – still creeping up. My guess date was Thursday April 10, and I was really trying to avoid an induction. We discussed our options and decided to strip my membranes (something I was also wanting to avoid) and decided that we would talk about inducing on Monday morning if I hadn’t had the baby by then. Note that we didn’t actually schedule the induction, my midwife was really trying to help me have the birth I wanted! I agreed to go on bed rest as well until Monday to see if that would bring my BP back down.
After my membranes were stripped, I had a lot of pressure which didn’t really bother me too much. DH and I stopped at a couple of stores on the way home, and I walked around without too much trouble at all. When we got home around noon, I soaked in a nice warm bath and relaxed and deepened my state of hypnosis with the Deepening CD.
Around 3 pm I started having sporadic pressure waves, anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes apart and lasting abut a minute. They were very manageable with the Birth Guide CD, and I relaxed on our sofa. After about an hour and a half, the PWs started getting stronger, and I was leaning over the back of the sofa on my knees to alleviate pressure. It worked GREAT! I found I wanted to stay in CENTER, even though when I practiced, I always liked OFF better.
For just about 10 minutes, my confidence slipped (even though this was natural birth #5 for me!). I told DH that I was worried that I couldn’t do it. I actually cried at this point – NOT from p**n, as I still wasn’t having what I would call p**n, but from uncertainty and a lack of confidence in myself. DH was great and reassured me that I COULD do it, and *if* I couldn’t, he would still be there. That was all it took to reinstate my BOP and my confidence. I was ready to do this!
Pretty soon, I found I was needing help from DH to stay focused. I called my birth support team to let them know that we would probably be leaving for the hospital within the next hour. Then I spent about another hour at home so I wouldn’t get to the hospital too soon. I found that when I verbalized (or had DH say) that the waves were “just pressure” it really kept me focused. So there I was, leaning over the back of the sofa on my knees with DH’s hand on my forehead, chanting “just pressure” and “peace” and “relax”. DH kept saying “You are numb from the waist down, you are relaxed, you are only feeling pressure” and it really helped me SO much!!
We left for the hospital at about 6 pm, after I vomited. Yep, I have never thrown up in labor, but I did with this one. It was not traumatic for me, though, I think my body was just trying to empty my stomach. For just a minute or two, I was worried that I had waited too long to leave, but I immediately put the thought out of my mind, as I didn’t want any stress.
It takes about an hour to get to the hospital where I would have the baby. When we got in the car, my PW’s picked up to about 4 – 5 minutes apart. DH was alternating putting his hand on my shoulder, and on my forehead while driving and talking me through each wave.
When we got to the hospital, they had NO ROOMS AVAILABLE! What a surprise! I was in a wheelchair in the hallway with my birth support team having all the usual signs of being in transformation – a bit of nausea, and I was shaking some. I was also hot, and then cold. I am sure we were a sight to see in the hallway, and I really do not think that the staff realized how close I was to birth. I finally got admitted at 9:05 pm after my midwife came in and told them to get me in a room within 5 minutes (in a very firm voice!). There was a room that had just been vacated, it just hadn’t been cleaned. Also, we had a little difficulty out of our nurses about the number of people in my support team. I had 2 of my sisters, my husband, and a doula. Fortunately, I had already cleared all this with the hospital administration ahead of time, and he had given me his pager number. After a quick page to him, we got an apology from the charge nurse and were left alone!
I got into a gown and let my midwife monitor the heartbeat for about 10 minutes. No IV, no nurses bothering me! My midwife did a quick exam and said I was 8 cm, and that the baby was at about a zero station. Then she said I could get up. (I had requested that they not break my water.) I got right on my birthing ball – having waves and sipping ice water and stayed there until I began to feel the urge to push.
I have to say here that I really HATE pushing. I have never enjoyed it with any of my other births either! Some women find that it feels good, or empowering, or feels like a type of release, but I really don’t enjoy the feelings associated with it. So I asked my midwife to just let me push when I felt like it, and she agreed. She says she doesn’t like pushing either!
I stayed on the ball until I felt the bag of waters bulging out on my perineum a bit. It was harder to remain focused at this point, although everyone I talked to later said it looked like I really had it together. Then I decided to move to the bed, with the back all the way up so that I was in a sitting position. This was pretty comfortable for me. At that point, I was making low pitched groaning noises (unfortunately, I had to have a BM at the same time I was pushing and I hadn’t had one all day – yuck!). I pushed rather hard about a half dozen times, and his head was out! I said, “Get him out! Get HIM OUT!”, and that was the first time I felt like I really lost control for just a minute. I really pushed too hard, and got a small tear, but I was really wanting to get it over with, since I do hate pushing! The membranes were still around him and hadn’t ruptured, and all the water was behind him. It also had meconium in it, so they quickly got the membranes off him, handed d him to me for a quick minute, cut the cord, and then handed him to the nurses. Respiratory services had to use a tube to clear his passages, but they did all that right in the room and then gave him back to me. He was born at 10:07 pm, just about t 1 hour after I got a room!
He nursed like a champ! He weighed 7 lb 9 oz and was 19.5 inches long. His head was a whopping 14 inches around, and I ended up with 3 small stitches – my first stitches ever. They aren’t bad at all, and I am not in any p**n now either.
We got lots of nice compliments from our midwife and a few of the nicer nurses about how peaceful and calm our birth was.
I had already told the hospital staff that I didn’t want my baby going to the nursery at all, so he stayed with me the whole time and got his first bath from his mommy! I wouldn’t have even bathed him at all until we got home, but he did have meconium on him everywhere! We were discharged at 14 hours after birth, and the hospital staff had me sign waivers for the procedures that we declined (including vit. k shot, eye goop, etc) with NO arguments. THAT was nice for me not to have to argue!
A few things I highly recommend:
For hospital births, contact hospital administration to discuss your desires and get a plan in place to be sure those are met. This saved us SO much stress!
Stand firm with your desires – you are paying them!
Get a birthing ball – wow, what a difference it makes!
Make sure your support team is in place – mine was invaluable for keeping me focused
Don’t get the membranes ruptured artificially unless you really have to – they really do help cushion you! I had it done with all the others, and this one was definitely a gentler birth.
Do all your CDs regularly – it really does help!
I am on a post baby high right now – feel free to email if you have questions!! I feel like a Hypnobabies PRO!!
Originally posted on July 11, 2008