Well, Matthew is here – born 10/16 at 1028 pm, 8.5 lbs, 21 inches.

Here is his very very long story – sorry, just kept writing.

This definitely needs a BOP at times, but thought I’d share anyway.  Also, occasionally a possible TMI.

I have had two previous inductions that were very good.  I had some IV meds with both, but no epidural which was my goal this time as well.  This time, we are in the UK where they don’t HAVE IV meds.  The only pain options are gas and air (laughing gas) and an epidural.  Again, I did not want to have the epidural, which is how I found the hypnobabies program – trying to find alternate pain management and stumbled across it.  I love the concept, so decided to give it a try.

Since I had two very successful inductions already, I was completely ready for my induction Monday morning, Oct 19th at 41+4.  Well, on the 16th at 530 pm he decided he was ready on his own and broke my inner bag of water which then started leaking.  I remember standing talking with my four year old and thinking “either my waters just started leaking or I have a bigger bladder problem than I thought.”  So, I called the midwife who said come in and we’ll check what is going on.  Meanwhile, I’m leaking every time I move so I’m pretty sure this is it.  Hubby got home, we had some dinner, said bye to our two girls and my parents who have been staying with us, and headed to the hospital.  At this point I still haven’t had a pressure wave – the entire pregnancy.  I think I had ONE practice pressure wave this pregnancy.

We got to the hospital at 630 pm.  While checking to see if it was my water, the OB accidentally ruptured the rest of it – guess that was the water.  I was at a 2, same as I had been that week at my 41 week appointment (the only time I was checked).  I had declined testing for Group B Strep – assuming that I had it since I have twice before, so we decided to induce so he wasn’t exposed to the bacteria for an extended period of time.  We could have waited to see if pressure waves started on their own, but there was no sign of any coming, so at 650 pm we started the drip and I got my antibiotics.

Well, I am now a firm believer that the drip meds in the UK are stronger than the drip meds in the US.  I was fully prepared for the induction, having had 2 very similar – one 17 hours, one 8 hours…..well, nothing had prepared me for this experience.  We turned on the CD and got situated.

About a half hour after the drip started I had the thought that I was going to need an epidural for this child – there was already no way I was going to make it through this without one, but I’d see how far I got.  I hadn’t had a BM all day and I needed to go.  It was still early, and I knew it wasn’t a push feeling, so they let me go.  I took a little longer than they would like, so they kept asking “are you ok” through the door.  About an hour later I had to go again – this time loose stools.  Again they were asking through the door.  Finally my midwife asked if I’d like her to come in – I said yes, told her what was going on – and she was ok with the fact baby wasn’t coming, but body was cleaning itself out, so she left and told my OB and hubby that everything was fine.

Listening to my CDs were helping, but things were becoming very intense, and I was definitely starting to feel pain.  About 9 I told my husband “they are just coming so fast” – I couldn’t see the monitor because it was on the other side of the bed, and it was just printing out on paper so he couldn’t see it either.  He was VERY helpful with my relax cues.  By his watch he figured that the pressure waves were coming every 30-45 seconds and were lasting 45-60 seconds, so they really were coming one on top of the other.  It was so intense that I was starting to be in my own world trying to manage that I wasn’t really hearing the CD, and definitely wasn’t able to concentrate on it.  About the time I said that to DH, my midwife decided it was time for a check.  I told hubby if I was a 6 or less, I was having that epidural.  We agreed that I would try the gas and air first, but then I would have the epidural.  Turns out I was a 7, so that was good – I figured I’d try and hold out a little longer.  My midwife also decided to stay there during a pressure wave and help stretch a little – that was quite painful, but I was not exactly in control.

At this point I decided that the gas and air was a really good idea, so I started using it, learning how to manage the pressure waves with it, and I gained control again.  I felt I had to go to the bathroom again a little later – but just wet.  They kept asking if I felt pressure in my rear – which I didn’t.  So, we were getting ready to walk across the hall to the bathroom again, but decided I couldn’t leave my gas and air that long.  So, they actually did something creative – made a toilet on the chair putting a waterproof pad, then a bowl so it was more comfortable than using a regular bedpan.  While there I was also having loose stools – which my midwife kept saying was a sign of clearing out and getting ready.  This was about 1015 when I got back in bed.  I was working on getting back on my side but found I could not put my knees back together – and was really struggling.  They were still asking about pressure in my rear, which I still wasn’t having.  However, after about a minute I realized that I couldn’t put my knees together because there was a head in the way.  My midwife was already planning to check me when I got back in to bed, and I knew exactly what she would find.  Sure enough, there he was.

So, we started pushing.  It was a midwife/self led pushing.  I wasn’t exactly using the breathing technique, but I was completely listening to my body.  Again I was at the point where I was out of control, even with the gas and air.  I could hear everything going on, comprehend most of it, but couldn’t respond to anything.  So, I was trying to focus on what my midwife was telling me.  She was FANTASTIC!!  She let me lead, and simply told me when I needed to stop pushing – I’m assuming to prevent tearing.  After three children, I have finally learned the definition of the ring of fire!  There were several pressure waves that she said I could push when I felt like it, but I could feel myself about to tear so I stopped.  After about 7 minutes his head was out.  Then I could feel the rest starting to come – but everyone (midwife, DH, OB) were all yelling at me to stop pushing.  Well….I couldn’t stop – my body had completely taken over.  I knew what they were saying, I was telling my body to stop, and it just was refusing.  So I am hearing “cut it now!” because they figured out that I wasn’t going to be able to stop.  Finally after about 90 seconds he started to cry.  Apparently he had been breathing, so no one else was worried, but I hadn’t heard him, so I was.  Come to find out they were yelling for me to stop because the cord was wrapped twice around his neck – so that was pretty scary.  Placenta delivery went great – apparently I have a very large placenta…no idea J  He was born at 1028 pm.

I did manage to make it without an epidural – which was my biggest goal.  Also, I had a VERY small tear that required no stitches – a first for me.  I was up and showering within 2 hours of the birth.  I feel absolutely incredible.  I understand now why people would want to leave the hospital within hours of birth, or have a homebirth.  I also understand why people are afraid of induction.  If this had been the experience with my first I’d never do it again.

******Hypnobabies assessment********
I told my husband later that night I felt like a hypnobaby drop out – it was definitely NOT a pain free birth.  However he made several very good points to me.  First, when I was listening to my CD and able to concentrate I was doing well.  Even as things spun out of control for me, whenever he would use the relax cues, I did so immediately.  He said it was amazing to watch me be completely tense and go to complete relaxation with that single action.  He had been very worried about the role he would play in the birth between the Hypnobabies CDs and my midwife – he was absolutely indispensable (as he has been at each birth).  So, those whose DH’s are worried – really, they are needed.

I definitely learned that listening to your body is amazing!  There really is a recovery period between when you are fully dilated and when your body is ready to push. Hypnobabies helped me to listen to my body, advocate for myself, and be willing to try something different.

I firmly believe that if circumstances were different, hypnobabies would have been a great success for me.  It was the speed and intensity of the experience that caused me to lose control and be unable to manage the pain without the gas and air.  Had I known about hypnobabies my last pregnancy, I truly believe I would have been able to have a pain-free birth with her, even with the induction.  This time I went from 2 to delivered in 3.5 hours.  The pushing stage was listed in the notes as 8 minutes.  It was definitely the most intense experience of my life.  I think if I had been able to go on my own, this program would be wonderfully successful.  I am very grateful for giving it a shot – it did help me during the labor many times, as my husband lovingly pointed out.  It was simply the circumstances that did not allow me to have the whole Hypnobabies experience I wanted, and that’s OK – it helped me with my biggest goal which was to avoid the epidural, which I definitely would not have been able to do without Hypnobabies.

Thanks to everyone for all your support, I’ve enjoyed being part of the group.