Hello fellow Hypno-mamas! Since my son will be three months old tomorrow, I thought it was about time to share his birth story with all of you. The story I wrote up after his birth is five pages single-spaced, so I’ve trimmed out lots of details to make this version readable. This is still a long one, so I divided it with headings. I hope some of you will take the time to read this. Enjoy!
I awoke at 4 AM on March 4 with my very first real pressure wave. I was 10 days passed my EDD, and had been having practice waves for weeks. All I can say is that I knew for sure this was it. I woke my husband to tell him we might meet our son that day. We slept a bit longer, then got up to eat and prepare our house for guests and our new baby.
Later than afternoon, waves got more intense. I spent a lot of time on my birth ball. My parents and sister came over that evening. I watched the Phillies game between waves – we are huge fans. It was kind of fun… like a mini family party! Everyone ate dinner, and although I tried to eat too, I wasn’t really hungry or keeping anything down anyway. After dinner, I tried to get some rest, but I realized quickly that lying in bed was not an option. I was completely uncomfortable in the supine position, so back to the birth ball I went. My mom and hubby alternated staying up with me that night. I handled the waves really well, alternating positions from birth ball, to hands and knees on my bed, to rocking in the rocking chair.
THE LONG NIGHT AHEAD
BEGIN BOP – At about 24 hours into my birthing time, I was extremely tired. My waves were coming more frequently and lasting longer. I did have some p**n, but I was able to handle it and relax. Having no sleep was the tough part. This was the one and only time I mentioned needing some relief. My husband and mom were so awesome. They said if we stayed home a bit longer, I might progress more, without thinking “I’m only 4 centimeters, so I am going to need some p**n medicine.” They were totally right! Not knowing the number associated with my progress was really tough, but it was also the reason I was able to handle the long nighttime hours. My husband called our doula, and she came to our home at about 5 AM. END BOP
GOING TO THE HOSPITAL
Our caravan of people – me, my husband, mom, dad, sister, and doula – arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 AM. I was evaluated and told I was 6 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced. I was proud of myself! All those long hours had paid off! I was assigned to a low-intervention room and a natural-birth-friendly nurse. Unfortunately, my progress slowed with all the commotion at the hospital. I showered, and tried to get things moving again, which eventually worked. My midwife was awesome. She had such a great manner about her. She presented options as exactly that – options. I was never once offered pain meds, and I really felt like my care providers followed my birth wishes.
BIRTHING IN THE HOSPITAL
My midwife offered to break the bag of waters, and although my doula suggested that I take a couple more waves standing and lunging with the waters cushioning baby, I was just ready. (My doula and I later talked about this, and we both laughed, as it was the first time I didn’t take one of her suggestions in all my pregnancy and birth!) The midwife broke my water at about 3 PM. BOP NEEDED – The water was slightly tinted with meconium, which really worried me, but again, my wonderful nurse and midwife explained that it was very light and the baby was probably fine. They explained how things might be a little different if he didn’t start crying right away, but they were very reassuring, and told me that his heart rate was great, and they were pretty confident all would be fine. They simply wanted to have the pediatric team available if needed. END BOP
RIDING THE WAVES IN THE JACUZZI
When the waves started to come one after another with little time between, I got in the Jacuzzi tub. I believe it helped, but this was the most intense part of my birthing time. I spent about an hour in the tub, and once I got out, my doula asked if my body was telling me to do anything different. I honestly didn’t know what she meant, so she asked outright if I was ready to push. After all my Hypnobabies practice and everything I read about birth, I thought I would know when I was ready to push, and I also thought I would know how to do it. Neither was true for me! I guess I’m a little quirky that way!
PUSHING OUT MY BABY
I gave a push or two, the midwife checked me and said I was doing well, so I kept going. I pushed on thebirth chair, the stool, the toilet, the floor, the bed – I did it everywhere! In the end, I was very surprised that the most comfortable pushing position for me was on my back. Towards the end, I gave strong, hard pushes and that just felt so good, that I kept going.
WELCOME TO THE WORLD!
Four-and-a-half hours after I started pushing, and 42 hours after my first wave, I delivered a totally healthy, crying, 9-pound, 10-ounce baby boy. No pediatric team. No drugs. No interventions beyond breaking my waters. I reached for him and pulled him to my chest myself. It was magical. Luke Christopher Kelly was born on March 5, 2010, at 10:26 PM. He was bright-eyed and alert, which made us even more thrilled that we went through with a truly natural birth.
The hospital had a 3-hour pushing limit. I don’t know exactly how I managed to “get away with” 4+ hours, except that Luke’s heart rate great, and that our second-shift midwife (who mentioned a vacuum if I went past three hours) was busy assisting in another birth when I reached the three hour mark. The resident doctor who ended up assisting in my birth was very hands-off, and more liberal with the policy than the midwife. Go figure!
The midwife who evaluated me in triage visited me on her rounds the next day in the hospital. She looked at my chart for a while before she said, “You didn’t have a c-section?” I said no, that I had delivered vaginally with no drugs. She was floored. She said she could tell my baby was big and that she was sure I would end up with a c-section. She said she NEVER would have told me that in triage, but that now that we were both healthy and the birth was over, she shared this with me. I was pretty amazed. While the hospital where I delivered has a large practice of midwives, there is a 40% c-section rate, and very, very few women labor without epidurals. My postpartum nurse was shocked when I declined her offer for Tylenol. She said I was the first patient she had in months who left the hospital completely unmedicated during my stay.
When I think back on the experience, I am proud of myself, but I also need to say, it wasn’t bad. People look at me like I am insane when I say that. Labor is not this crazy, hard experience people expect it to be. At least for me, it wasn’t. I credit Hypnobabies with helping me learn about natural birthing methods and the intense relaxation that helped me through a long birthing time.
My husband and I are thinking about baby number two at some point, and we are considering a home birth. You can bet that I will be back on the message board reading and posting about home birth experience.
Thanks for reading, ladies! I wish you all happy and safe births like mine.
Nancy (hypno-mom, delivered happy and healthy 9 pound, 10 ounce baby boy at 41 weeks, 5 days)