Tichina’s C-Section Birthing Experience
“I’m pretty confident that it was my state of hypnosis that I was able to remain calm and peacefully come to accept a completely different (and unexpected) birthing experience and a C-Section.”
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I had been reluctant to share my birth story publicly but as I prepare to celebrate my son’s 1st birthday next week, I can’t help but think back on where we were about this same time last year, so I thought I’d honor the celebration of his life by finally sharing my full birthing time (Hypnobabies term for labor) experience. A very lengthy read so bear with me as some details may be muddied by my lack of recall but here’s the gist…
– Change of plans
– Interrupted BOP
– Emergency cesarean
I am a first time mom and I had never heard of Hypnobabies until after meeting my Hypno-doula Rachel Whigham (who I believe was divinely referred to me by a family member). Prior to beginning the program, I knew that I wanted an unmedicated and peaceful natural birth so when Rachel and I connected, she enthusiastically shared her recent Hypnobabies birthing experiences with me during the birth of her sons and her plans for the Hypno-babe that was on the way at the time. It was a no brainer…I was all in!
I started the course when I was about 30-31 weeks along. I was so empowered by the teaching material and really appreciated how the course gave me the tools I needed as a first-time mom that prepared me to advocate for myself (creating a birth plan, understanding my child birthing rights, etc) and to wholeheartedly believe in the autonomy of making the best decisions for me and my baby. I especially enjoyed the hypnosis tracks! This easily became my favorite part of the day and what I looked forward to each night. Even though I rarely got the chance to practice the guided techniques because I was usually in deep hypnosis/sleep within minutes of listening Lol…I knew my subconscious was always turned on, so I felt “prepared” for the birthing experience I envisioned.
My guess date (Hypnobabies term for due date) was July 17, 2021. The week leading up to that day, I had my weekly routine appointment and because I was nearing 40 weeks, my OB/GYN of course wanted to have “the talk” (induction) and what the plan should be moving forward. With the support of my Hypno-doula and taking everything I learned in the course into consideration, I was able to advocate for myself and opt to try for a natural induction at least until I reached 42 weeks, since I had not presented any challenges that justified being induced sooner; thankfully she obliged. In those moments, I instinctively went into my BOP and repeated the affirmation: My baby knows when to be born and began listening to the “Come out baby” track (Hypnobabies track to encourage birthing time to begin) a few times a day.
*BOP* I had my first cervix check at about 40+2 and discovered I was only about 1cm dilated and 0% effaced (insert more affirmations, fear clearing, deepening hypnosis and come out baby tracks ). I was determined that week to try as many natural induction methods as possible (“Midwives brew”, Evening primrose oil, Curb walking, etc.). The next day, I started experiencing what I learned to be were practice waves but weren’t consistent enough to head to the hospital. The following day, I went for a pretty lengthy walk and towards the end of the walk, there was a rush of fluid (as if I were peeing my pants) that I couldn’t stop/control, so I suspected that my water broke. Even though I wasn’t experiencing intense waves, I chose to admit myself to the hospital that evening on July 22nd for assurance that the fluid was indeed from the amniotic sac (which it was confirmed!). I was encouraged to stay overnight for monitoring, and I agreed in hope that I would progress. I immediately went into Birthing Day Affirmations and Easier First Stage (Hypnobabies main birthing day track) in preparation for birthing time. I started experiencing more intense waves, but they would subside. After an overnight observation and a few cervix checks later (I opted not to hear “how far along I was” to help me stay in my BOP), I was cleared to return home since I had not moved into the active birthing stage. I was advised to try to get things to progress in a “more comfortable place” and return later that night regardless if there was progress or not for further evaluation and possible intervention.
*BOP* A little dismayed (but remaining calm and maintaining my BOP), I returned home and sat on the exercise ball. The waves presented with some mild pelvic pressure and during one of the waves I did an abdominal lift/tuck, and another surge of fluid came out, this time with a feeling of “relief”. I updated my Hypno-doula and she insisted that I rest until it was absolutely time to head back to the hospital. While resting and listening to the hypnosis tracks, the waves were picking up in intensity and timing. I felt things had progressed enough that I was ready to be admitted again so with my light switch in center, I made my way back to the hospital. That night things went similar to the previous night where waves would come and go in intensity and timing. The morning of July 24th, my cervix was checked again, and the nurses communicated with my Hypno-doula that it was time to prepare for intervention/change of plans since it was going on day 2 since I first presented with loss of amniotic fluid and I had not progressed enough on my own. Rachel led me through the Change of Plans script (Hypnobabies track/script specifically for a change in birthing plans) as I maintained my Bubble of Peace and welcomed a different birthing journey.
*BOP* I was given increasing regiments of Pitocin and a vaginal monitor to assess the strength of the waves. Even though it was a change of plans, I still envisioned having an unmedicated birth. My waves had started to become more intense and coming closer together as the doses increased. I utilized the finger drop method with each wave and my Relax cue (Hypnobabies cue to deepen hypnosis) and “PEACE” cue (Hypnobabies cue for instant physical comfort). There were times when I was in the middle of responding to the care team, as needed, and was able to go in and out of hypnosis with the finger drop method comfortably until the wave was finished. I remained open to cervix checks as needed (at this point still not wanting to know “how far along”). The entire care team was so impressed with how calm and peaceful I was as the waves increased. This went on for about 10 hours or so and the waves became so intense that it started to become challenging to stay in my BOP. After another cervix check, I was ready to know what progress, if any, I made with the Pitocin and I learned I had only reached 4cm and maybe a little over 50% effaced.
*BOP* Feeling exhausted and a bit defeated at this point, I decided that an epidural was the next best path forward for my birthing journey so that I could remain calm and maintain my Bubble of Peace. After receiving the epidural, I was able to move into different birthing positions and listened to tracks to deepen hypnosis as I patiently waited for my birthing time. Fast forward a few hours late into the night, I was greeted by the OB/GYN with news that my body temperature was starting to spike, and the baby appeared to be in distress and strongly recommended moving forward with an immediate intervention of an emergency cesarean to prevent further complications. I’m pretty confident that it was my state of hypnosis that I was able to remain calm and peacefully come to accept a completely different (and unexpected) birthing experience.
At 41+1 on July 25, 2021 at 1:01am I welcomed the most precious 8lb 1oz baby boy. In spite of various changes in my birthing plan, I ultimately felt confident that I made the best decision for myself and baby boy because shortly after his birth, I soon learned that I had developed chorioamnionitis. I am grateful for the aspects of my birthing plan I was still able to experience such as immediate skin to skin, delayed cord clamping, baby boy never left the room and I’m sure there’s others I’m unable to recall at the moment.
In full transparency, I struggled with accepting and sharing my birthing journey for quite some time because I didn’t feel that it “fit into the mold” but I could not imagine having the birth experience that I did without Hypnobabies as the anchor. If you’ve made it this far, thank you for reading and wherever you may be in your journey, I hope you know that you are powerful beyond measure!