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My last minute c-section with Hypnobabies

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Hypnobabies helped keep this mom calm and relaxed even when there was a change of plans!

Hypnobabies® – Natural Childbirth at its best!

My last minute c-section with Hypnobabies

“Once we were back in our room, my doula told me the anesthesiologist told her our surgery was the most peaceful c-section she had witnesses in 27 years. A few minutes later the anesthesiologist herself came in to tell us how it was the calmest operating room she had ever been in and told us “more people should know about this!”

For the last month of pregnancy I had to go in for twice weekly NST monitoring. My doctor was worried that Elijah’s growth seem to be stagnating due to a quickly aging placenta and wanted to make sure his heart rate was staying consistent.

Baby 1 Hand Covering it From Left
At week 38 I went in for an ultrasound to check growth, during my doctor’s appointment the next morning, she told me and my husband that he wasn’t growing and we needed to be induced immediately, especially if we wanted a chance at the natural birth we planned and prepared for. His heart rate was still steady in the 140s so we were extremely apprehensive about starting the birthing process early but our doctor made it clear that if we waited we were putting him at increased risk. We said a prayer in the doctor’s office and felt like it was time so we went home, got my hospital bag and the car seat and headed back to the hospital around 4:00 pm.

 
Once we arrived they started me on Cytotec right away which was my first opportunity to use the hypnoanesthesia for an actual part of my birthing time. The nurse we had at the time was a student so we also had a more seasoned nurse to supervise. Knowing that I was the first person the student nurse would do this procedure on made me a little nervous so I immediately turned “off” and then to “center” in case I needed to talk, thankfully I did because as soon as she started the procedure I asked my husband to give me the “peace” and “relax” cues over and over, I felt completely loose and limp and didn’t feel any pain or even much pressure, before I knew it she was done!
 
The veteran nurse said, “wow”, and told the student nurse she was lucky to have us as her first couple. She told us she was looking forward to seeing our natural birth and that we were “obviously very prepared”. I didn’t know until later that the administration of Cytotec was supposed to be painful and was SO grateful all the nurses followed our wishes and never told me what I would feel and never used the word “pain”.
 
As part of the Hypnobabies training, I wasn’t made aware of the time or my progress during my birthing time, but afterward I found out that the Cytotec only dilated my cervix 1 cm and didn’t start pressure waves (contractions), unfortunately Elijah’s heart rate did decelerate 4 times throughout the night during the treatment and in the morning the doctor rushed in to tell me she wanted to break my water. Since Cytotec was already an intervention we didn’t want we really questioned our doctor on if it was necessary. Our doctor was very patient with us and explained that because of the heart rate decelerations we needed to get birthing time started right away to avoid an emergency c-section. At that point we didn’t realize how serious the situation was, and my doula, nurse and husband were all asking the doctor if I could walk around or try other things to get birthing started naturally. That’s when I found out that our doctor had been so worried that before she came into my room that morning she had Elijah’s heart rate monitor displayed in her own office and was planning on rushing over for an emergency c-section if she saw another heart rate deceleration. When we realized we were one heart rate deceleration away from an emergency c-section (did I mention I was hooked up to constant monitoring and oxygen at this point?) I asked what the difference would be from and emergency c-section to planning to do one right then which turns out was HUGE. 
 
Our doctor hadn’t suggested a planned c-section since she knew our desire to have Elijah naturally, but once we brought it up she explained that by planning to do one right then, I could have my husband and doula with me the entire time and that if we tried to birth naturally and had any problems at all, I would be rushed back to surgery alone and neither my husband or my doula could come with me. We asked for a minute to discuss our options and prayed again about what to do. We felt that a planned c-section would be the safest path and my wonderful doula did the “Change of Plans” Hypnobabies script with me which I HIGHLY suggest if you’re in the same situation. I should add that the first time we mentioned a “planned c-section” I burst into tears as I realized the birth we planned was nothing like the birth that was going to happen, but the “Change of Plans” script was essential for helping me clear my fears and focus on getting Elijah here safely. It also reminded me to be happy and excited that I was about to meet my son!
 
Once we told the doctor we agreed to the planned c-section, everything moved really quickly. During our decision making process his heart rate actually decelerated again but because we had told our doctor we would do the planned c-section they let us stick to the non-emergency plan. Our nurse at the time was on the phone with the operating room to plan a time and our doctor said, “No, we’re going NOW”. Thankfully my doula was already by my side helping me stay in “center” and focused on being calm and peaceful. I walked to the OR and the first thing I heard the other doctor/surgeon say was “I thought she’d be in a wheel chair!”, my awesome nurse said, “Why? She can walk!” (I had a very encouraging birthing team). 
 
They had to give me an epidural and the anesthesiologist gave me a brief summary of what to expect but I was so focused on staying calm and peaceful I didn’t hear much of what she said. My doula helped me focus on going to my “Special Place” (side note: when I started the Hypnobabies class, I thought the “Special Place” script was the cheesiest thing ever and couldn’t figure out how it would be helpful but I loved practicing it because mine is in the countryside of France). I completely blocked out all the staff in scrubs and masks and saw in perfect detail the peaceful countryside I had practiced imagining and relaxing in so many times. I immediately felt even more calm and finally realized why that script was so valuable. 
 
While the anesthesiologist was giving me the three shots in my back for the epidural I heard her tell my doula that she needed me to be able to talk and my doula answer back, “She can talk.” I had been so quite and calm the anesthesiologist assumed I wasn’t able to make a sound. The anesthesiologist asked me to tell her where I felt the anesthesia and when I told her hearing the calmness in my own voice surprised even me! I didn’t feel any pain from the shots and was still visualizing myself in my “Special Place.” 
 
They helped me on the operating table and allowed me to play the Hypnobabies relaxation music the entire time which really helped me stay in my “Special Place”. Once they started the process, my doula stood beside me and gave me constant “relax” and “peace” cues since those always helped me relax the most. The time went by very fast and before I knew it I could hear Elijah’s cries and burst into tears of joy myself. They had to do his newborn procedures right away and I was so grateful that my husband was able to stay with him while my doula was comforting me. Once they were done they placed him on my chest and he immediately latched and started to nurse which amazed me. Once we were back in our room, my doula told me the anesthesiologist told her our surgery was the most peaceful c-section she had witnesses in 27 years. A few minutes later the anesthesiologist herself came in to tell us how it was the calmest operating room she had ever been in and told us “more people should know about this!”
 
Seeing my son and holding him in my arms filled me with so much love I thought I’d never stop crying tears of joy. 
 
All in all, it was not the birth we were expecting but it was a wonderful experience and despite having to do the one operation I truly wanted to avoid, I can say that because of Hypnobabies, during the majority of my birthing time I was completely happy, calm and peaceful. While I can’t say I wouldn’t change a thing, I will say that having a joyful birthing experience has made me much more confident and excited for future pregnancies than I think I would be had we not used Hypnobabies.

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  • Kerry Tuschhoff, Director says:

    Hi Christian! I am SO proud of you for choosing Hypnobabies and using it so well! Your post and birth story are inspiring to us all and shows how using your Hypnobabies techniques allowed you to remain calm and continue to experience joy in your baby’s birthing! You are such a smart mom and I appreciate your willingness to help others learn how different childbirth can be for each mom and when changes are necessary, the resolve to stay relaxed and happy are in our own hands!

    We would love to feature your post on our public blog with a photo of you maybe? : )
    ~ Kerry Tuschhoff
    Founder/Director of Hypnobabies

  • Christian Bennin says:

    Hi Kerry! Of course, I wanted to share my story so others who might end up in a similar situation know that they can still use the Hypnobabies’ tools to have a great birthing experience!

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