Lindsey’s Positive Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“Around 4 the waves grew more intense, and I decided it was time to go to the hospital. I was in good spirits and kept talking to my little one telling her how excited I was to give birth and meet her and how we were in this together!”
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I began having very light pressure waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions)/cramping around 3 am on the morning of her guess date. I went to the bathroom and noticed blood on my underwear. When I stood up, I felt a little gush of water. I knew I was getting close to my birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor) and was absolutely thrilled! I tried my best to remain calm and go back to sleep. I did end up sleeping the rest of the night and when my husband woke up for work around 7, I told him he might want to call in sick cause this baby was coming soon!
Throughout the day my waves grew closer together and grew slightly in intensity. It was confusing because although they were just 4 minutes apart, they weren’t very strong yet, so I was having a hard time deciding when to go to the hospital. I listened to my early birthing time tracks throughout the day, made sure to rest up as best as I could and ate a big meal! (Note for next time: do NOT eat something spicy/strong flavors before your birthing time! Kimchi tofu soup did not sit well with me later!)
Around 4 the waves grew more intense, and I decided it was time to go. I was in good spirits and kept talking to my little one telling her how excited I was to meet her and how we were in this together! I remained focused on the car ride but had a little trouble during the check in process at the hospital! It was a confusing process and I had to talk to a lot of folks and sign all sorts of documents and show my id and insurance.
Finally, we were given a room and I texted my doula to come meet us in our room. The midwife asked if I wanted to be checked for dilation and I agreed. They put a hospital gown on the bed for me, but I had brought my own birthing robe/dress, so I didn’t change into it. When she checked I had dilated to 2 cm. This was a bit discouraging to me at first, but I remembered from this program and from others’ stories that dilation can change quickly, and it isn’t always the best indicator at how far along you are. The midwife confirmed that my waters had partially broken so she recommended I stay at the hospital, and I was more than happy to at that point. It was actually snowing and sleeting outside, so we didn’t want to risk driving home and back again.
Let me tell you! I was so glad we stayed because shortly after I was checked the rest of my waters broke and I progressed very quickly! My doula had just arrived when I heard and felt a “pop” and immediately my waves grew significantly in intensity. It took me some time to get back in the groove. I was listening to Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis) when it happened and in the chaos of trying to clean myself up my headphones kept falling off and I lost focus. With the help of my doula, I got changed and mostly regained my focus.
The midwife came back and checked me again (with my permission) and I was now 6 cm dilated. At this point it’s truly a blur. I can’t say how or why it happened, but I just couldn’t remain focused on my Hypnobabies tracks. It’s like I couldn’t hear it anymore. I removed the headphones and instead repeated mantras to myself. My doula and husband both spoke very encouraging words to me throughout that were very helpful. Honestly the counter pressure or any sort of back massaging wasn’t helpful to me. The most helpful was my doula telling me to focus on her and relax, breathe, and soften/open.
After a few hours of intense waves, they grew so close together that I didn’t have time to breathe between them. I assumed I was close to transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition). I also began to feel the urge to push during each wave. I told my midwife this and she checked me, but I was still at 6 cm. I grew very discouraged and truly lost focus at this point. I would have about 10 seconds between waves, if that, and they were so intense my entire body shook, and I purged each time. I couldn’t stop myself from pushing.
In retrospect, I do believe I was closer than I thought or than the midwife thought I was to pushing but because I knew I was at 6 cm I tried to hold myself back from pushing. I tried my best to relax, soften, and open. I don’t remember how long I was in this stage, but I asked to take a bath. Unfortunately, the hospital water was lukewarm at best so after about 5 min in the bath I began shivering from the cold. This caused my body to really tense up and I lost focus.
Another few hours went by with intense waves only seconds apart and I was still at 6 cm when I was checked. At this point I begged for the epidural! It took 2 hours for the anesthesiologist to get there. It was very difficult but something about the certainty that there would soon be relief gave me the will to get through the waves. I retrospect perhaps I could have had this mentality before knowing that the pushing stage was coming, and I would have relief right after that. Nevertheless, when the anesthesiologist arrived I had to remain absolutely still when he administered the medicine. This was tough but something about having to be focused on remaining still actually helped a lot with focusing back in on my hypnosis.
After I received the epidural, I took a 2-hour nap. When I woke up, I was at 9 cm. My blood pressure had dropped dangerously low, so they had to administer fluids. I had stopped having waves at this point so they gave me Pitocin (with my permission) but they didn’t start back up yet so they had to increase the dose. I asked them to lower the epidural dosage, so they did. I began feeling waves again and finally was able to push!
It took 3.5 hours of pushing to get her out and at one point my midwife told me I needed to push harder than I ever thought possible, and it gave me the motivation I needed to make it happen! They gave me a mirror so I could watch her come out.
It was the most surreal and challenging experience I had ever been through and the most rewarding! This program helped me to be more relaxed and positive during the whole process. However, I would say that as far as relief from discomfort it didn’t have the effect I was expecting. If I do have another, I think I will do Hypnobabies again but focus on having my doula and husband reading the script to me face to face as I enter into active birthing time. I will also not focus on dilation numbers and listen to my body’s natural needs. And I will birth somewhere with a good warm tub!
Overall, it was an amazing and positive experience!