Maia Eloise born in the caul (45 min. after mom was told she wasn’t “in labor”)
My baby girl was born on Monday night 3/12/12 at 7lb2oz. I still can’t believe what an incredible experience we had! One minute, no one thought I was in labor and 45 minutes later, we met our beautiful baby girl!
My last baby’s birth was long and included a lot of back pain. Each contraction felt like a matter of survival and I felt panicked and crazy out of control. This time, I wanted a different experience so I started the Hypnobabies home study course early in my pregnancy but at first I did not practice much or take it very seriously. Then I watched a bunch of Hypnobabies birth videos and became very inspired! I listened to my tracks often, especially in the middle of the night when I had pregnancy-induced insomnia and couldn’t sleep anyway. And I did a thorough reading of all the materials to make sure I had it all covered.
On March 12, I was 10 days past my due date and feeling discouraged that my birthing time hadn’t started yet. At 10am, I went in for NST/AFI testing and the amniotic fluid level was very low (5) so they wanted to induce that day. Then suddenly the baby’s heartbeat decelerated… several people rushed in with a wheelchair and whisked me off to a birth room. I was very upset and tried to wrap my mind around what was happening. It turned out that the decelerated heartbeat may have been a fluke because it didn’t happen again. Though I understood it was for the baby’s safety, I didn’t want to be medically induced. I had wanted it to happen spontaneously. I felt that I was quickly losing out on the birth that I had hoped for and envisioned.
Things were moving much too fast and I asked for time to process. I called my parents and had them bring my bags. I took a shower, discussed induction options with my husband, called my doula, and listened to my Hypnobabies birthing day track. After listening to Hypnobabies, I was so relaxed and in a really good mental space. I was going to meet my baby soon! We decided to move forward with pitocin since they assured me it could be regulated in tiny doses, very slowly.
At 2:30 they started administering pitocin at 1mL per hour. At that point I was 3cm dilated. I knew it would take at least a couple hours or more for the pitocin to kick in. The nurses and midwife checked in periodically to monitor the pressure waves. They didn’t feel any different from Braxton Hicks, just more frequent. After waiting around for awhile, my husband and I decided to watch a movie to pass the time.
About an hour into the movie, I needed to start focusing on the pressure waves, closing my eyes and going into hypnosis. I was really enjoying the pressure waves. They felt like more tightening and more importantly, they felt productive! I imagined and felt my cervix opening and getting soft. The nurse kept coming to check if the pressure waves were feeling “crampy” yet and I kept saying “no, absolutely not.”
Around 7:15pm, the midwife came in to check on my progress. I said I guessed I thought they were feeling a little “crampy”. But I was still lying in the bed watching the movie and breathing through them easily. Each time I had a pressure wave, I would close my eyes and go into hypnosis very easily. I really wanted and *needed* to go to into hypnosis. If I didn’t, the pressure waves were much more intense and not as comfortable. Each time I had a wave, the midwife would stop talking and wait for me to finish and open my eyes again. At that point, they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting 60 to 90 seconds. I said, “Wow isn’t that a lot, kind of close together?” The midwife said “Yes, but until you tell us they are intense, then they don’t really count. They have to be pretty uncomfortable to really work!” I remember thinking: “No! Bubble of peace!! I deserve an easy, comfortable birthing time!!” (an oft-repeated mantra of Hypnobabies) She wrote in the chart: Not in labor.
At 7:30pm I called my doula and said it’s probably a good time to head over, but that she didn’t have to rush (ha!).
After the midwife and nurse left the room, we turned the movie off and I lay on my side and started focusing more deeply on each pressure wave. Soon I needed to “ahhh” through each one. In hindsight this must have been the transition stage but I was still lying very comfortably on my side. I listened to the Easy First Stage Hypnobabies track and focused very deeply. The pressure waves began getting very intense but completely manageable as long as I was deeply relaxed and using Hypnobabies tools. I was hanging on every word of Hypnobabies, imagining my cervix opening and thinking “peace peace peace.” After intense peaks with each pressure wave, soon enough they would end and I would feel relaxed and completely fine. The waves were feeling very low at this point but I still didn’t think I was as far along as I was.
At one point my husband said he was going to the bathroom and I shrugged and said OK. Then I suddenly felt the unmistakable urge to push. A mixture between needing to poop and something much, much stronger. I fumbled around trying to find the call button and yelled “I feel pushy!!!” The midwife and nurses came rushing in and Brian came out of the bathroom, with a look on his face like “what the heck is going on?” I was dilated to 9cm and already crowning!
I was still lying on my side letting my body do the pushing. The CD player was broken but thankfully I had the Hypnobabies Pushing track on my iPhone. I heard some of it, though not much. But just enough to help me feel incredibly reassured and comforted like she knew exactly what I needed to hear. I was quiet except for moaning “Ahhh” with each push. Occasionally I smiled at my husband between pushes.
8:18pm — after about 4 or 5 pushes, she was born in the caul (very rare and lucky!) with both hands up by her face! I pulled her up onto my chest and saw her beautiful face! I could not believe she was out! And I didn’t have any perineal tearing despite how fast it went. I exclaimed, “Wow, that was awesome! So *not* hard! I feel like I could get up and run down the hallway!”
Unfortunately, my doula walked in five minutes after the baby was born! I was clearly not aware of where I was in the birth process and hadn’t given her enough time!
Everyone was shocked how quickly it happened! The midwife said in 15 years she had never seen anything like it. She said she enjoyed seeing someone use self-hypnosis tools so effectively. And she had only seen 5 babies born in the caul! It is considered a sign of good luck. And she was born in 2012, the year of the dragon, which is also good luck! We also discovered a true knot in her cord. It was a loose knot, but nonetheless we are so amazed at our lucky little miracle who came out with both fists in the air!