Katie’s Beautiful Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“I went about the rest of my day normally, alternating between activity and resting, and I practiced my finger-drop technique during waves. I also went for a walk with our dog in the rain, which caused the pressure waves to come closer together.”
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For the week leading up to Lela’s birthday, I had been experiencing pressure waves starting in the evening and stopping in the early morning. Each night I wondered if I was entering my birthing time. During the day, I would do what I could to encourage my birthing time to start, including taking long walks. On one of these walks I saw a rainbow in the sky, and I felt that God was telling me my prayer for a healthy, joyful birthing of my rainbow baby would be answered.
After a few nights of thinking my birthing time was starting but then it stopping, I posted in the Hypnobabies Support Group asking for suggestions, and many fellow hypno-moms commented with helpful advice, including to see a Webster-certified chiropractor. I had not tried this yet, so I went to a chiropractor on Saturday, September 8th at noon for an adjustment. Afterward, my husband Scott, 22-month-old daughter Scarlet, and I went out for lunch, and on the way home I noticed pressure waves coming at regular intervals.
I went about the rest of my day normally, alternating between activity and resting, and I practiced my finger-drop technique (Hypnobabies cue for entering deep hypnosis) during waves. I also went for a walk with our dog in the rain, which caused the pressure waves to come closer together. I called my midwife, Kelly, after that to see when we should go to the hospital, and she advised me to stay in the comfort of my own home as long as I could.
By the time we were eating dinner, the pressure waves were occurring closer together and felt stronger. My husband and I put our daughter to bed that evening, put our hospital bags by the door, and then I was listening to Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks and just really relaxing through the pressure waves. Around midnight, we had my mom come over to stay with our daughter, and we drove to the hospital. I had my earphones in and the birthing day tracks (Hypnobabies hypnosis tracks to keep me comfortable) playing as we went through triage and were checked into a room. I was about 4 cm dilated at this point. My husband was such a great birth partner, asking for a room with a tub and for a nurse who likes working with natural childbirth couples. The nurses there were very helpful and were able to accommodate our requests.
Once settled into our hospital room, I alternated between relaxing in the tub, on the birthing ball, and on the bed. I was listening to my Hypnobabies birthing tracks the whole time and turning my light switch to the off position (Hypnobabies technique for hypno-anesthesia) during pressure waves. I ate a light snack to give me energy and sipped water. I encouraged my husband to rest as much as possible until I would need him to more actively support me.
The birthing tub was right next to a window, and I was happy when the sun came up and the morning light shone in on me in the tub, letting me know that time had passed, and I was that much closer to holding my baby in my arms. I felt a surge of energy and like I had renewed focus. I started having nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea at this time, which made me think I was progressing. Also, my pressure waves became stronger and closer together. I found that I didn’t like timing them but preferred to just experience them as they came, letting them happen. At this point whenever I would feel a pressure wave coming on, I would relax and close my eyes, and I would imagine that God’s arms were lovingly embracing my baby in my womb.
Throughout my entire birthing time, I frequently prayed, and I asked my baby who is in heaven, whom I call Grace, to pray for strength for me and that this baby would remain healthy. About once an hour, my friendly nurse would come in and hold the fetal Doppler to my belly to monitor my baby’s heart rate through a pressure wave, and it was always good. My midwife came into my room every now and then to check on me, and she was always supportive and encouraging.
Around midday, I felt like my baby had descended, and I felt a lot of pressure down low. I asked the nurse to have my midwife come in and check me. I was 8 cm dilated at this point and the baby was in a good position, so I asked her to break my bag of water to relieve pressure and help things progress. I felt some relief after this, and after a short time of continually stronger and closer together pressure waves, and using my hypnosis, I started feeling pushy. I asked my midwife to come and check me again, and she found that I was mostly dilated.
Once I was completely dilated and ready to push, I listened to my body and went with the strong pushy feeling I would get each time a pressure wave was coming on, giving two or three strong pushes with each wave, and I would make a very low sound with my voice – my midwife would count to 8 for me, and I found that this helped me focus all of my power and energy toward pushing my baby down and out.
I tried a few different positions for pushing and found that my legs were too exhausted for any upright squatting positions. My most comfortable positions were on my back or left side, holding my legs back during pushing, and I would lean back and relax between waves. My husband and midwife were at the foot of the bed. My husband was wearing gloves, ready to catch the baby. My sister was standing next to the bed, giving me ice chips between waves.
I was excited when everyone said they could see the baby’s head, and I was ready to push my baby out. I tried several times, continuing to push when I felt the urge, but I felt discouraged when the head seemed to still be in the same position. Each time I felt like I didn’t have what it takes to birth my baby, I would look at Kelly, and she would give me an encouraging smile, which made me feel like everything was just fine and I could do this.
Someone asked if I would like a mirror to see the baby’s head, and I said yes. One of the nurses brought in a large mirror and set it up so I could see my baby’s head. I was so excited that I could see it, and I felt renewed energy and encouragement. Each time I would push, I could see even more of the baby’s head, but then when I would stop pushing the head would go back in a little bit. I experienced this several times and felt discouraged.
At this time, I noticed the crucifix on the wall far across the room. Each time I felt a pressure wave coming on, I would let my birthing team know, and then I would look up and focus on the crucifix, knowing that Jesus was with me, and I would ask him for the strength I needed to push this baby out. One of these times, I silently asked him to bring the baby out for me. My midwife then asked if I would like her to have the doctor bring in the vacuum. After briefly considering this and discussing it with my husband, I decided that might be exactly the boost I needed. I felt disappointed that I would be using this tool to help me birth my baby, but I felt my energy quickly fading and knew I would not be able to keep pushing like this for much longer. In retrospect, I think this was the answer to my prayer.
Dr. Green came in and watched as I tried again to push the baby out on my own. She joined the energetic chorus of caregivers in my room, telling me I was so close and encouraging me. I still did not push the baby’s head out, so she prepared to use the vacuum on my next push. Between pressure waves, the nurse strapped a fetal monitor around my belly, and the NICU team appeared in the room (after I birthed my baby, they just as quickly and quietly slipped out of the room). When my next pressure wave came, Dr. Green secured the vacuum onto my baby’s head during the first push, and she assisted in pulling during my second push.
That little bit of pull paired with my push was enough to bring my baby’s head out. During this time, I was repeating in my mind that I was perfectly stretchy, and I imagined myself opening as I felt myself stretching to allow my baby’s head through. I was able to push the body of my baby out without the assistance of the vacuum. At 2:40 pm on Sunday, September 9th, my rainbow baby was born! Kelly caught the baby with Dr. Green behind her. Unfortunately, my husband was unable to catch the baby because there wasn’t room for him now that I had the doctor there beside my midwife, but that’s okay.
Kelly held my baby up for me to see, and I could see my big, healthy baby with a bluish, cone-shaped head. I heard my husband say, “It’s a girl!” and then she was placed in my arms. I snuggled her against my chest, in disbelief that I had been able to birth a baby this big and feeling more exhausted and sorer than ever before in my life. After a few minutes of enjoying snuggles, I had a quiet side conversation with my husband to confirm the name, and we happily announced that our beautiful rainbow baby’s name is Lela Marie. We turned to my sister, whose birthday it was, and we asked her to be Lela’s godmother. With a smile and tears in her eyes, she said yes.
After a few minutes of snuggles and pictures, Scott cut the cord. I handed Lela over to him, then Kelly guided me to push the placenta out. I felt like I was too tired to possibly push it out at this point, but she encouraged me and said this would be nothing compared to pushing my baby out, and she was right. Once I had passed the placenta, I breastfed my baby while Kelly checked me for tearing. She double checked and then surprisingly said I had no tearing!
Kelly then gave Scott and me a “tour” of the placenta, showing us its two different sides and explaining how it worked in the womb, and she showed us the torn amniotic sac attached to it. I liked that she took the time to show us that. The mood in the room was joyful as the caregivers each completed their tasks and cleaned up. The hospital newborn hat was too small for Lela’s head, so a nurse brought a knit rainbow hat for my rainbow baby, saying it had been donated by a local church group.
My parents came in to see us, and then my in-laws came in. While they were in the room, I had the nurse finish Lela’s newborn exam. She weighed 8 lb 7 oz and measured 20 3/4 in long.