Loren’s Sensational Hypnobabies Hospital Birth
“My husband went ahead of me to let them know I was coming but he says that by the time that he came back, I hadn’t moved very much. He gently encouraged me to keep moving and about 10 steps from the door, I felt the baby engage my pelvis. I felt only warmth and fullness – no more squeezing or discomfort. It felt amazing and I knew it was time for baby to be born. I quickly shuffled inside, and my body started pushing.”
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My first birth had been very long with intense waves (Hypnobabies term for contractions) and I didn’t feel like I had the tools I needed to relax effectively which led to a series of medical interventions after a long and challenging birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor). With Hypnobabies, I had visualized a birth where I was in control, had tools to relax, and was informed and confident in my decisions. I fell asleep in most of my tracks – practiced maintenance techniques for about 3-4 weeks.
On Thanksgiving, I started to lose part of my mucus plug. I took it as nothing since this happened for my last birth a week or two beforehand. I did go ahead and write a quick to-do list for my husband in case things were to happen over the weekend, but we went about our day as usual. After a delicious Thanksgiving dinner, I was feeling tired, sore, and irritable so I told my husband that I was going to bed early so I could listen to my tracks. I told him that the type of achy feeling that I was having made me feel like the baby was coming this weekend and potentially sooner.
No less than 30 min later – At 9:30 pm, my water broke while I was lying on my side. Many people had told me that there was very little chance that my waters would rupture again like they had with my first but here I was in the exact same situation at the same gestation (38w4d). My birthing time had started. We rushed around to get a few final things done and called our pandemic pod so they could come watch our son if things progressed quickly. Then we decided to try and rest for a while since no waves had started – I wanted to start listening to my birthing time tracks so I stayed in bed while I had very infrequent and mild waves. I listened through all the beginning audio tracks but when I got to Deepening Your Hypnosis (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis), I realized that my waves were feeling more intense but still infrequent. I was still lying on my side and resting while they came and went as my husband and toddler slept.
Birthing affirmation – I trust my body to give birth smoothly and efficiently. I felt confident in what my body and baby needed – and felt I needed to be in eyes open hypnosis at this time so I could get up and be on the toilet for a little while (reclining opposite) to help things continue to progress. So, I moved to Easy First Stage track (Hypnobabies main birthing time track). This was around 12:30-1 am. I moved between the toilet and my birthing ball during waves and they grew more intense – I used my Peace (Cue for instant physical comfort) and Release (Cue to instantly enter hypnosis) cue as each wave came and went.
Around 1:30 am, I started to sweat, get a little shaky, and feel nauseous (I don’t throw up, so I was just burping a lot). I really needed to focus on the waves as they came and was saying Peace louder than before. After checking in with my body, I thought that I might be in transformation (Hypnobabies term for transition) and knew that if things were happening this quickly that I wanted to be at the hospital (our goal was an unmedicated hospital birth). I woke my birth partner and said I needed to be at the hospital – I started to get on the bed and kneel into a pillow for each wave which allowed me to relax and use my release cue while he packed the car. Our childcare arrived around 2:15 am and we headed to the hospital shortly after (about 15 min away).
While I waited for the car to be packed, I stood outside as each wave came and went. The cold air felt really nice and I gave myself counter pressure while standing. I also put a heat pad on my lower back which helped me visualize directing the orange hypno-anesthesia where I needed it most. I began to doubt myself at this point (whether I was actually in transformation, whether I knew what I was doing) and Easy First Stage kept playing in my ears – telling me that each wave was like a blood pressure cuff, each wave was a strong squeezing sensation, and as each wave grew more intense that it was bringing my baby closer to me. I clung to that and used my special safe place to guide this thinking.
The car ride was odd but uneventful – I didn’t want to sit on my bottom – so I sat on my knees holding the back of the chair, with a pillow to lean into. I did have a couple of intense waves on the way to the hospital, but I was able to use my cues and remain calm and fairly comfortable in my special safe place. My husband said I didn’t utter a word except peace a couple of times. I think I must have been in a sort of resting phase at this point or in deep hypnosis or both.
As soon as I arrived at the hospital, things had definitely changed. I had a difficult time walking. My waves felt different, my pelvis/birth canal felt fuller. I continued to give myself counter pressure as I walked into the hospital. The main entrance was closed so we had to walk to the ER entrance. My husband went ahead of me to let them know I was coming but he says that by the time that he came back, I hadn’t moved very much. He gently encouraged me to keep moving and about 10 steps from the door, I felt the baby engage my pelvis. I felt only warmth and fullness – no more squeezing or discomfort. It felt amazing and I knew it was time for baby to be born. I quickly shuffled inside, and my body started pushing.
The ER attendant said he could get me a wheelchair, but I said no, thanks, that the baby was coming now, and I couldn’t sit. So, they called the labor and delivery nurse downstairs. I asked the nurse to check me since I was having such strong urges to push, they pulled my pants down right there (it was a quiet ER that night thankfully!). She said I was at 9 cm and if I wanted to birth baby upstairs that they would need to take me up on the hospital bed. So, I hopped on the bed on my hands and knees and pushed in the elevator and until I got into the room. After arriving in the room, I wanted to push on my knees. But one of the nurses strongly insisted that I lay on my back (this was my least favorite part of my birth but in no way took away my joy or feeling of control – I knew baby would arrive any minute so I went along with it). So, for the 3 pushes in the room, I was on my back and baby Milo was born within 5 minutes (~3:30 am). I was still listening to Easy First Stage since I didn’t have time to switch to Pushing Baby Out (Hypnobabies track for pushing). My active birthing time was about 2.5 hours.
I was in a little bit of shock after having such a quick birthing time, so it took some time to process the reality of what had happened. But now that we’ve had that time, my husband called me Xena princess warrior. I felt so empowered as a woman and mother. It was an amazing birthing time, and I am very thankful to Hypnobabies for giving me the tools that I needed to have the birth that I deserved. I felt that the nurses were extremely supportive and excited about the precipitous birth (they had another 1 hour before me).
A couple of things worth mentioning: Two or three times during my birthing time, I felt my body getting tense, so I quickly used my Release cue and immediately felt that when my body relaxed that my body and baby were able to continue progressing in the birthing time. I kept my eyes closed for most of my birth – even if I was in center, because I felt it helped me focus and relax in between waves. I don’t think I “lost hypnosis” at any point and I remained calm and collected even during the very urgent phases (like not wanting to have the baby in the parking lot so waddling quickly inside). We didn’t have time to share my birth preferences and my husband didn’t have a chance to use any of his cues with me, but I really didn’t need his help. He held my hand during pushing and was a great advocate for me since hospital staff asked us questions as things happened (e.g., when to clamp the cord).