Jessica’s Smooth Hypnobabies Hospital Induction

“At the start of each wave, I would think “Peace” (Hypnobabies word for instant physical comfort) and then visually imagine orange hypno-anesthesia where I felt the tightening around my lower uterus. Through the wave, I would hold that image, then release once the wave had passed.”

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On Tuesday the 13th at 36 weeks + 4 days, my care team recommended I be induced within the next 24 hours for medical reasons. I saw my midwife, and after a cervical check (with my consent), she was fairly confident an induction could be smooth and successful. She asked if I would like a membrane sweep to help get things moving, and I agreed. I used my hypnosis and was completely comfortable.

I drove home so I could pack (had literally done everything else on my birth prep list but had procrastinated on this one thing), eat dinner, and put my 3-year-old to bed. Then my MIL came over, and my husband and I headed to the hospital.

We got to the hospital around 9 PM and checked in. The nurse on duty was very routine about everything, but I wasn’t comfortable with everything she wanted to do– at least not without further discussion. Thanks to Hypnobabies, I felt confident about asking for more information and ensuring that *I* was the one making the decision about what was best for me & and my baby!

At around 10:15 PM Tuesday, the nurse inserted the Cervidil. That had to stay in for the next 12 hours, to encourage my cervix to soften. Throughout the night, I had waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions), none of which were uncomfortable. I spent the night listening to my tracks and investing in my hypno-anesthesia. I alternated between “Easy First Stage” (Hypnobabies main birthing time track), “Birthing Day Affirmations”, “Your Birthing Time Begins” (Reminder of all the tools and cues for birthing) and sleeping. I also listened to “Fear Clearing” to help me feel confident about birthing via induction. And “Deepening Your Hypnosis” (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis), though for some reason that’s always been my least favorite track! By morning, I had not slept much, but thanks to my hypnosis, I still felt well-rested!

At around 10:30 AM Wednesday, my midwife returned and removed the Cervidil. She asked, and I agreed, to another cervical check. We began a low dose of Pitocin. Early on, I could feel waves, but I was able to stay in center switch (Hypnobabies tool for eyes-open hypnosis) through them. I had lunch and listened to my tracks. Around 1 pm, I listened to “Deepening Your Hypnosis” and fell fully asleep (as I always do). That rest served me well later on!

By this time the waves were getting stronger, enough that I was turning off during the waves. At the start of each wave, I would think “Peace” (Hypnobabies word for instant physical comfort) and then visually imagine orange hypno-anesthesia where I felt the tightening around my lower uterus. Through the wave, I would hold that image, then release once the wave had passed.

At around 3:30 PM, my midwife returned to check on me. My waves were in a good pattern, though not intense.

She said that at this point she would like to break my waters, in order to help move things along and also help baby move down. I asked for an opportunity to get fully into hypnosis. My waves quickly got quite intense, and I was doing everything- turning “off” during waves and listening to my tracks (can’t remember which one I was using at this moment). Imagining a big ball of orange hypno-anesthesia being sent deep and imagining everything relaxing and opening. I lay back in the bed but with my legs open lotus style, then rotated to my side and held the peanut ball between my legs.

In what felt like no time and also forever (objectively about an hour and a half), I told my husband we needed my midwife to come back now. I felt that pushing was close.

My midwife came back and told me we were getting closer, and we wanted to help baby drop more. She rubbed lavender oil on my chest (), and she helped to massage/apply pressure to my hips during waves to ease the discomfort.

She asked if I could get up, if I would like to get in the shower. Waves were super intense and close, so I could only move in a one-minute window immediately in between waves. After one, I stood up. I recognized that I was approaching transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition) (same feeling as with my first birth). After that, my care team helped me get into the shower. It was challenging to be vertical, but I leaned against the wall while my husband held the showerhead against my neck and shoulders. I stayed there for maybe 15 minutes, and then felt it was time to push.

I moved back to the bed and got on my side. I remember wishing that the pushing track was playing on my phone— but knew that it was too complicated and distracting to tell someone how to navigate to the right track on my phone. Oh well! Something else was playing, and I was still holding on to my hypnosis.

I started pushing. My instinct was still to push and push and push, but I knew this wouldn’t be effective. Thanks to the “Prep for Comfortable Pushing” track (my favorite one for homework!), I kept reminding myself to not to hold my breath while pushing, to exhale and imagine releasing and opening. I pushed in concert with my waves.

At one point, I asked if it was working, and my midwife said yes, and if I could reach down, I would feel his head. So, I did, but I didn’t think it felt like a head, it just felt slimy! But that gave me the motivation I was so close. So, I gave a big, long push, and his head came out and then the rest of him. All in all, pushing had taken about 15 minutes.

As the nurses checked on baby, my midwife was helping me birth the placenta, and then numbing and stitching me up from a 2nd degree tear. I kept using my hypnosis the whole time!

After, they put him back on my chest, and that was basically it!

After a 20.5 hours-long smooth birthing journey, baby boy arrived at 6:45 PM on 10/14 weighing 6 lbs. 5 oz.

I am so grateful for the tools my Hypnobabies practice gave me, for a much more comfortable birth AND pregnancy.

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