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I did the home study Hypnobabies course and had a great birthing experience that I thought others might find helpful. I should probably say that I am about the least likely person in the world to do natural childbirth. I have a degree in clinical pharmacy and am usually all about adequate pain relief! But after the birth of my first 2 children with epidurals that really didn’t help, I knew there must be a better way. So here goes…..
Pressure waves started at 12:45 a.m. after I’d been asleep for about 2 hours. They were approximately 10 min. apart. I stayed very comfortable and relaxed. Sat on my birth ball, listened to birthing day affirmations. Got up about an hour or so later and started to pick up the family room and kitchen (I wanted the house to be clean since I was pretty sure this was the real deal, and my husband had had football party the night before leaving out dirty dishes, etc.:) I’d turn my light switch to off when I had a wave, but felt totally fine and comfortable in between. Around 3:30 I had my husband call our babysitter who came right over. I laid on the bed giving her the final instructions on getting our daughter on the bus, what to feed the kids for breakfast, etc. while my husband finished packing the hospital bag. I would stop talking during a wave, focus, and breathe very deeply. She was amazed to watch how relaxed I could go!
We arrived at the hospital around 4:30 a.m. I was dilated to 6-7 and still remaining quite comfortable in between waves. We gave the staff our birthing plan and they were very respectful. I put in the Early First Stage CD and it was extremely helpful! I spent another half hour or so with the waves intensifying and then my doctor came in and I was an 8-9 cm. …
She was getting ready to break my water, when I had to speak up and say, “I really don’t want my water broken right now.” I was handling the waves just fine but had no desire to intensify things at that point. She was supportive and the staff dimmed the lights while I listened again to the Early First Stage CD. I started to feel the pressure really increase and thought I was feeling the urge to push- my first thought was “Wow, this is incredible– even easier than I thought it was going to be!” After 2 really strong birthing waves, the next ones started to lessen in intensity. They seemed to be getting a little farther apart. I switched back to Birthing Day affirmations and tried to get some rest between the waves.
They checked me again around 6:45 a.m. and I was an 8. This was the point of discouragement. I felt like my body had done all that work in the past 2 hours with not much to show for it. I decided I needed to get up and change positions to see if we could get some more pressure on my cervix and get it dilating again. At this point a new nurse came on shift and she was wonderful!!! Extremely supportive and very calm. She seemed to know just what to say (and not say) to help keep me comfortable. She suggested that we move me to the shower or tub. (I had previously been lying on my side in the hospital bed because that is what felt most comfortable to me.) The tub sounded good so my husband ran a nice hot bath. The bubbles felt great and I was physically more comfortable, however I lost focus because I didn’t have a waterproof Ipod or CD player and couldn’t listen to the scripts anymore. After about 20 minutes in the tub, I knew I had to get out. (Note to others: Make sure you have an alternative way to listen to your scripts if you’re going to be in water!!!) I was amazed at how much listening to Kerry’s voice could keep me in hypnosis.
After I got out of the tub, I had a couple of waves while standing and realized that I needed to lie back on my side in the hospital bed. This definitely wasn’t the way I had planned to labor, but at the time it was the most comfortable position for me. I quickly put back in my Early First stage CD and started to relax better.
It was probably around 8 a.m. by then and the waves were definitely increasing in intensity. I asked the nurse to tell me the pros and cons of breaking my water at this point, (which she did very objectively, showing that she was totally committed to me having the birth I wanted.) I decided to have my doctor called and felt like it was the right time to have him (new doctor was on call- my favorite OB!) break my water. It was a good thing we had him called right then, because before I knew it my body started to go through transformation. This was a very different experience from when I had my previous 2 children and hadn’t even noticed that I was going through transition. Let’s just say it was kind of reminiscent of having the stomach flu- only 10 times more intense. With each wave, my temperature would rise and I felt I was going to throw up. But pretty soon, my body just started to take over, like it knew exactly what to do to give birth.
My doctor arrived and could tell I was totally ready to have that baby. He ruptured my membranes and I quickly switched to the Pushing CD. From then on my body just automatically pushed with the contractions. This was probably the best part of the whole birth. There was no one telling me when or how to push, it was just automatic. Since I was most comfortable on my side, my doctor had my husband hold my leg up to widen the pelvic opening and within just a few minutes the baby’s head was emerging. It was totally pain free! Yes, pain free. I was almost in shock that it wasn’t hurting more. Yes, I could feel a lot of pressure in the birth canal but the baby came out as slick as butter within 3 pushes. My first words were, “I did it!!!”
I was ecstatic to hold this new baby in my arms and to not be pregnant anymore! The doctor had me roll onto my back so he could deliver the placenta and put in a couple of stitches (I had a very small tear- but again, no pain with it.) The baby was calm as could be and very alert.
The whole experience was amazing. Thank you Hypnobabies for all the practice in relaxation and staying focused! I don’t think I could have done it without all the great resources and Kerry’s soft soothing voice in the background helping me stay in hypnosis during the birthing time.