Monica’s Calm and Focused Hypnobabies Birth
“We went outside and spent some time on the porch, trying different positions and focusing on the super moon, which became my glowing orange hypno-anesthesia. My waves picked up as the night went on and I began saying “Peace” (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) out loud through each wave – it helped keep me focused and calm.”
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I began Hypnobabies at 28 weeks and feel it was the best thing I’ve done for myself in a long time. I loved my hypnosis tracks and made them part of my daily routine. I went into pregnancy terrified of the unknowns of birthing time (Hypnobabies word for labor) but I felt completely mentally prepared for it after the Hypnobabies program. I visualized a quick and easy birthing time for weeks in preparation.
My birthing time began promptly at 2 am on my guess date (Hypnobabies word for due date), March 9, the day of the super moon. I had a dream that my grandmother was handing me my baby and woke up to my first pressure waves (Hypnobabies word for contractions) and bloody show.
I knew at that point I would be too excited to sleep but I listened to my Deepening Your Hypnosis track (Hypnobabies track to deepen the level of hypnosis) to try to get some rest. I texted my hypno-doula and her partner awhile later and kept in touch with them during my early birthing time.
Shortly after 11 am we headed to the doctor’s office for a check – waves were every 3-4 minutes apart. I used my birthing day affirmations and Easy First Stage (Hypnobabies’ main birthing time track) to manage at home and on the bumpy car ride to the doctor. The doctor confirmed it was my birthing time (3 cm, 90% effaced) and sent me to the birthing center. It was an unseasonably warm day for upstate NY (70 degrees) so we sat on the porch at the birthing center and enjoyed the beautiful day. This was when the first unexpected change happened – we found out my hypno-doula was unable to attend the birth and was sending her partner (non-hypno-doula) in her place.
When my pressure waves started to pick up I moved inside and tried to get comfortable, alternating between listening to tracks, music, or just focusing on my breath. I took a shower when the waves felt like too much. When my doula arrived, I lost all track of time and just had her guide me through everything – even though she’s not an HB doula, she has attended a number of HB births and knows the cues. She encouraged me to move more since my waves had been steadily at 2-3 mins apart for hours, so we went outside and spent some time on the porch, trying different positions and focusing on the super moon, which became my glowing orange hypno-anesthesia. My waves picked up as the night went on and I began saying “Peace” (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort) out loud through each wave – it helped keep me focused and calm.
By 2 am, 24 hours into it, I was exhausted and requested an intervention. I was progressing slowly and felt too tired to endure hours more unassisted, but we did a cervical check in preparation for an epidural and I was 9 cm. – decided to keep going without intervention, even though other options were still available. We moved to the tub shortly after and I stayed in the tub for hours. I started pushing in my tub using HB cue words, like Peace, and Relax (Hypnobabies cue to deepen hypnosis), with the physical cues, but I completely forgot about the track. I listened to my body and pushed when and how I needed to.
After over 3 hours of pushing and no progress, the midwife suggested using the vacuum. My body couldn’t handle much more and we talked about options and why this would be best. I moved back into the birthing room and with some vacuum assistance for a few pushes (just to get baby close enough to the edge), I pushed/roared her out myself in just under 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, she had swallowed her meconium and they whisked her away to suction and clean her off. I got to hold her for about 10 seconds. We didn’t get to do our delayed cord clamping or skin to skin. I didn’t get to birth the placenta as it was pulled out of me. It was over two and a half hours before I got to see my baby girl, and I continued to use my hypnosis cues to keep me calm. I tried to find peace in the moment and use that time to eat and drink and replenish so I was strong enough to hold her after a 31-hour birthing time.
Although the birth was not what I had planned or visualized, I feel proud of myself for getting through this marathon without medication and with minimal intervention. I know I could not have done it without Hypnobabies to keep me calm and focused. I can’t imagine how much more scared and anxious I would have been without it. The nurses said I was even cracking jokes in between waves and pushing, though I don’t remember it.
Photos of my birthing time under the super moon, some time with my husband, and my beautiful girl Nora. Thank you, Hypnobabies!