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Posted by on in Water Birth
This was my third baby, and my second natural birth, and my first hypnobaby and home birth.

Hypnobabies helped me to have a birth experience more wonderful than I hoped for.  I started at about 24 weeks and took two weeks for each section. There were a few days that I missed listening to a track, but I was pretty good at keeping on top of things. I didn't listen to joyful pregnancy affirmations every day, and I, quite honestly, struggled with practicing my light switch. Even with my lackadaisical preparation, my birthing time was very relaxed and enjoyable.

Thursday, July 22, just after midnight
I wake up a little after midnight with pressure waves that are quite regular and strong. I listen to the "Early First Stage" track, and soon after that was done I decide that this is it! I woke up Mark and convinced him it was absolutely necessary to get up and clean the bathroom and the loft, do some laundry, etc. This is it! So exciting! And only a day past my due date! I get back into bed and turn on my ipod and try to get a little sleep.

Thursday, July 22, morning
My pressure waves are farther apart and not as strong, but still coming. I call my mom and ask her to start driving up here. (She has to drive up from Utah, and is taking 2 days to do so. I planned on having her arrive after I had the baby.) I would be having the baby today!

Thursday, July 22, afternoon
Faint, irregular pressure waves. Quite discouraged, but still hopeful. Mark has spent the whole day with me, instead of working. The girls have been with Grandma all day. I'm starting to feel quite silly.

Thursday, July 22, late evening
Pressure waves are picking up, hurrah!

Friday, July 23, morning
Call my mom, sobbing. The pressure waves have almost completely stopped. I will never have the baby, and my mom has already driven half-way up to my house. I cry and complain and whine. After I get off the phone with her, Mark gives me a no-nonsense pep talk and I decide that life must go on. I take the girls to town and stop by a few garage sales. I feel better when we get back.

Friday, July 23, evening
Nothing. But my mom arrives, which is a welcome distraction.

Saturday, July 24, morning and afternoon
Pressure waves throughout the day, becoming stronger. I ignore them. Sort of.

Saturday, July 24, evening
I'm exhausted, hot, and completely break down because the apple berry crisp I made is too runny. Mark is working late, putting in the hay. I try to ignore the pressure waves that are coming more often.

Saturday, July 24, 11pm
Mark gets home and we watch an episode of Jim Henson's Storytellers on Netflix. I tell him, very hesitantly, that maybe my pressure waves just might be getting stronger. We head to bed. Mark is asleep in about 12 seconds, but it takes me a little longer.

Sunday, July 25, early, early morning
My pressure waves continue all night. They are 10-15 minutes apart, but growing stronger. I'm able to get quite a bit of rest/sleep by listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I'm pretty sure I would not have slept otherwise, but my after months of falling asleep listening to these tracks I found it so easy to relax and let any worries or stress go.

Sunday, July 25, 5 am-ish
I wake Mark up. My pressure waves have suddenly jumped from about 10 minutes apart to about 6 minutes apart. They are strong. I feel a lot of tightening and squeezing and a dull ache during the pressure waves. Mark times them for a little while, then calls the midwife to tell her that I think I'm really approaching my birthing time...

Sunday, July 25, around 6 am
When I talked to the midwife on the phone, I didn't have a contraction during the conversation. I told her I would call her back in about 20 minutes if I was ready for her to come.

After talking to the midwife, Mark filled our bathtub and I got in. There was one pressure wave when I was walking to the bathroom that I was unprepared for and it was probably the most uncomfortable one I had. I had been laying on my side in bed with my light switch off (meaning my body was completely limp and relaxed, no moving). I walked to the bathroom with my light switch on (not in hypnosis)(editors note: mom could have chosen to have her switch in center and that would have helped her feel more comfortable) and was caught off guard when the bathroom door was locked!

I started pounding on the door, panicked because I had planned on making it to the tub before the next contraction. Mark opened the door and I kind of collapsed onto him because the pressure wave had just hit. After it was over I got in the tub and it was so nice. So nice. I was able to lay on my side with my knees bent and a couple of towels as pillows. We timed some more contractions and decided it was time for the midwife to come. (She lives about 50 minutes away) They were 4 or 5 minutes apart and very strong.

I had Mark turn on the "Early First Stage" track on the computer, because I didn't want to worry about my ipod with the water. By this time my mom and the girls were up, and I could hear all the happy morning noises in the other rooms. My pressure waves felt quite powerful, but not in a negative way. During each wave I would relax completely and picture my muscles working to make way for my baby.

Sunday, July 25, around 7 am
My midwife arrived at 7:15. I can't remember exactly when we stopped timing waves, but they were about 3 or 4 minutes apart at this time. It felt like there was so much time between the waves, and I wished  they would come closer together because I felt like I was still so far from having the baby.

Before the midwife checked me she asked me how dilated I thought I was. I said "Oh a 3?" and secretly hoped for a 5 or 6. She laughed and said she thought I'd be farther along than that. She was right, I was almost an 8!

Almost an 8! I could hardly believe it. When I had Eden I was struggling at 6, but here I was, almost done! As I settled back into a comfortable position I tried to prepare mentally for "transformation."

When the Early First Stage track ended I had Mark put on the Deepening track. Everyone left me alone for awhile. As the intensity increased, I started to vocalize during the waves, saying words like "relax" and "open" and I don't remember what else. I know some people feel totally uninhibited when they are giving birth, but that's not me. I actually felt quite silly and self-conscious but vocalizing helped me so much. It seemed to override any discomfort that I might have otherwise felt.

During transformation I felt totally in control. I never had that "I can't take this for a moment longer" feeling. I still felt like I had plenty of time to rest between pressure waves. I did get a couple right on top of each other, but I was able to accept whatever came my way. If I felt discomfort at the beginning of a wave I would say "relax. relax. relax" and remind myself that it was just pressure and tightening and that's what it became. Transition was intense, but totally manageable.

Sunday, July 25, around 8am
Mark sat next to the tub and held my hand during this time. The midwife was in the bathroom too, and told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to push. Soon I felt things change, and during a pressure wave I felt the baby's head move down a bit, then slide back up after the wave ended. I told my midwife that I was ready to push. She knelt down next to the tub and with the next wave I started to push and felt the head move down, and then out it slid. I wasn't about to stop pushing though! A second later the baby's body slid right out and the baby was lifted up to my chest, all warm and pink and beautiful. It happened so fast I was shocked. One push and it was all done! Oh, and the feeling just after you have a baby. There are no words.

After a minute or two the midwife asked if we had seen what the baby was. Oh! I had totally forgotten. In those moments the whole boy or girl thing didn't matter at all. This was my baby, and my baby is healthy and beautiful. That's all that I thought. But of course, after she asked Mark checked and it was a girl! And no, we were not disappointed. Another girl is just perfect.

My mom had taken the girls outside to play, thinking it would be a while longer until I had the baby. She didn't believe Mark when he came out and announced it was another girl! They all came into to see the new baby. That was one of the best moments, being together as a family for the first time.

Lucy was born at 8:07 am, less than an hour after the midwife arrived. Amazingly, I pushed the baby out in one push without tearing at all. This was the first time I didn't have to worry about the dreaded stitches. After I got out of the tub and cleaned up we hopped into bed. Lucy was happy and calm and eager to eat. All I wanted to talk about that day was how amazing the experience was. Even my mom, who was terrified about me giving birth at home, is a bit of a convert.
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My daughter is six months already! I thought I'd have this posted earlier, but then I realized how much work a baby is :)

Going home from work on Tuesday, June 15th, I called my mom. I just felt this strong desire to tell her how much I appreciate her and how much I love her. My mom was a single mom for most of my childhood. She has been so supportive of me throughout my life. She even paid for my Hypnobabies course! When I cried on the phone (grateful tears for her sacrifices throughout my life and hopeful tears that I could be such a good mom), she asked, "Are you having symptoms of labor?" I had only been feeling a bit nauseated and uncomfortable while sitting but not felt like I'd any pressure waves yet. But my mom knew something was up.


Then my water broke at about 1am. I was asleep next to my husband and felt a gush all of a sudden. I hopped up to the bathroom…very excited. I brought a towel back to the bed. I knew we were in for a long day, so I tried to sleep but couldn't. Ben noticed and asked me if I was okay. "You're not going to work today," I told him, "my water broke." He said, "I think you should really try to sleep." I wasn't having pressure waves yet, so it should have been easier for me to sleep…but I was too excited. I sat in the living room for a while and read from a novel (American Gods by Neil Gaiman).


I dozed on and off until Ben woke up again soon after sunrise. We decided to go to the grocery store to get supplies before going to the hospital. By this time, I was having regular pressure waves (every 6 minutes or so). I was in "center" and still very comfortable.


When we got to the hospital, I was sure that they would be surprised at how far along I was. But triage was not a good place for me. You don't really need a bubble of peace for this part, since everything turned out alright. It was just a place of saying "no" to a lot of interventions.


First, the midwife in triage did not believe that my water had broken. So they did a swab test twice. And they called in a doctor to do an ultrasound to measure the fluid level. They saw that I was having pressure waves, but they measured me as only 1cm dilated. This doctor just happened to be the same doctor who saw me once at the midwife practice (because the midwives and doctors were "cross-training") and at that visit had tried to convince me that my baby was measuring too small (baby turned out to be 8lbs 10oz!) and that I should go back on the anti-anxiety drugs that I had weaned-off of early in the pregnancy because I wanted my daughter to be drug-free. She suggested this at 30-some weeks! At that point, I wouldn't see any benefit since the drug takes time to build to effective levels.  Needless to say, I didn't have a lot of confidence in her.


When they finally decided that my water had broken, they told me that I would be admitted. At this point, Ben and I just really wanted to get to the room so we could focus and be quiet together. Before we left triage, the midwife there told me that the doctor would want to start pitocin since my water had been broken for so long (about 8 hours at that point). A second midwife (the one who would be following us "on the floor") introduced herself and interjected, "but you want a water birth, and you can't have that with pitocin since because you have to be continuously monitored. Maybe you want to try another drug that will augment labor. It is inserted rather than put into an IV." She was talking about Cytotec. I was angry that they would be pushing this. I don't remember exactly what Ben said, but it was something about how we would want to hear the benefits and risks of that when the time came for us to decide but that the time wasn't now. We just really wanted to get back to the room to do the birth our way.


All this time, I had been receiving IV fluids because the baby's heart rate was elevated. I drained three bags of fluid in the time we were in triage, so it does seem like I was dehydrated. At the same time, I felt like the medical staff were using the baby's heart rate as emotional leverage to get us to consider interventions. I was definitely feeling the pressure to do what is right for the baby, and they kept pointing to the monitor when we discussed this. Because of my Hypnobabies training, I was confident that an intervention-free birth would be better for my baby, so I was able to resist this emotional blackmail. Having my husband there and informed about the issue made me feel more confident about this, too.  Finally, the baby's heart rate improved to the point that the medical staff were comfortable in getting us out of triage and to the room. The "floor midwife" told us that the doctor (not the triage doctor but the one on the floor) was willing to let us do our thing until 6pm. At that point, they would want to see significant progress.


We got back to the room and started our CD (the one that the partners listen to early on but that pregnant women aren't supposed to listen to until birthing day) Editors note: Easy First Stage. We walked around a lot. Ben got some lunch at one point. I was still very comfortable but feeling the pressure of time. Pressure waves got a lot stronger, and we tried to focus on the fact that this was bringing our baby closer. At one point, my mom arrived during a pressure wave, when my switch was off. I opened my eyes to see her sitting on the couch (at this point I was sitting on my side on the bed). I was so happy to see her. We walked the hall once with her, and she watched as Ben held me during my pressure waves. Later, she told Ben's mom how proud she was of the way we worked together and how much she appreciated Ben's support of me.


Mom didn't stay in the room long. She went out to the waiting room and sent Ben's folks back. I think it was at this point that I puked. It was sort of embarrassing. I had just eaten a little from a turkey sandwich, and I got kind of scared of eating for a few hours. However, I puked again (after not having any food for a while), and took this as a sign that it wasn't the food making me sick (something I knew already on an intellectual level).


I got in and out of the shower and kept walking. I found that I could receive visitors best when on the birth ball and leaning over the bed. I'm a very private person, and I felt uncomfortable letting people see my "pressure wave face." (It was a relaxed face, and having people see it made me feel vulnerable since only my husband and our teacher had been with me when I was that relaxed.) I vocalized a lot with deep hums. My older sister called from D.C. She encouraged me in my work for a natural birth.


At 6pm, I think I was at 3 or 4cm. This was satisfactory enough, since no one mentioned augmentation of labor after that. All of this time, our bedside nurse had been amazing. She kept bringing water and put the monitor on for brief moments periodically, but other than that she left us alone. The times when she arrived when I was "off", she waited until I opened my eyes back in center. She was quiet and so respectful of our practice.


Our midwife was also wonderful. We were sad to see her go at the end of the shift. She told us that she wished she could have spent more time in the room, but that her practice had many women giving birth that night and that the others were having more interventions and thus needed more monitoring. She said that she got into midwifery in order to assist the births that were like mine, but that she spent more time managing medical births. She wished that more women could be informed and prepared for natural birth like us. Such is the life of a Certified Nurse Midwife in a hospital-based practice.


I was nervous and asked if the oncoming midwife had read our birthplan. This midwife assured us that she had, and that the oncoming midwife valued natural birth and had given birth naturally twice herself.


We met the second midwife and continued our practice, knowing that we could get in the water birth tub at 5cm. She measured me after 9pm and found that I was at 5cm. They got the tub ready. At around 10pm, I got in the tub. Ben got in with me and held me for one powerful pressure wave. When I felt the second wave in the water, I leaned forward into a squatting position and started to make a very loud guttural noise. It wasn't like the quiet and smiling births I saw on YouTube, but it was something I felt I had to do. I think it scared Ben, since he hopped out of the tub and ran to call the midwife. She came in to check me and said, "You're going to have the baby soon. You can push with the next contraction." I had gone from 5cm to fully dilated in less than twenty minutes.


The midwife and the evening nurse stayed at the side of the tub. Ben stayed near my head, encouraging me and keeping the CD going. My pressure waves felt very powerful. I felt very tired. At this point, I had been awake for over twenty hours and had been feeling pressure waves all day. I was scared that I wouldn't be strong enough. It felt so good to hear Kerry's voice telling me that I and my baby are strong. I kept repeating this and became convinced that we could do this. My midwife also repeated to me that I and my baby are strong and that we were doing well.


Because the tub was not deep enough, I had to be in the position of lying back rather than squatting. I feel that I may have had less time in this phase if I had been able to squat. I spent more than two hours in this intense phase in the tub. My throat felt so raw the next day from the deep guttural noises I made during that time. They were like something primal…an energy pushing through me but not entirely "of" me.  I tend to be a quiet person and was initially embarrassed about this. But, thinking about it since then, I realize that not everyone has a quiet birth and that these vocalizations were natural for me at this powerful time.


I was getting frustrated because the pushes did not seem to be bringing my baby closer. My midwife said, "just two more pushes" more than once…maybe for more than an hour. Finally, Ben said, "She has so much hair! Can Sarah reach down and feel her hair?" And the midwife said, "Of course!" I reached down to feel my baby's hair and found more strength and patience. Ben said that her hair was just flowing in the tub.


At first, I regretted that my eyes were closed when my daughter was born. I felt her emerge, all the way from her head to her toes. It was 12:53am. I opened my eyes when they put her on my chest. She was so beautiful! Her eyes were open, and she seemed so alert. She didn't cry. When Ben touched our heads, it felt like we were the only people in the whole world. I knew at that moment that my husband and I could do anything together, since we had done this together. Our midwife and nurse waited for a while to clamp the cord, since this was in the birth plan. Ben cut the cord, and I said, "now your life apart from me begins." I was both sad and happy.

 

I wonder if my daughter took so long (almost 24hours from water breaking to birth) because I was such a happy pregnant woman and told everyone that I wouldn't mind carrying her for an extra week or two. I still miss having her safely tucked in my womb, but I'm so happy to see her and watch her grow and change. I don't regret anymore that I had my eyes closed. I think those last few moments were mostly between me and her, and that closing my eyes and vocalizing was my way of connecting to my daughter as she traveled the last bit of her birth journey.


My daughter chose her birth date to be almost on her expected date. She would have been born on the expected date if not for daylight savings time. Ben called his folks and found out that our mothers were still in the waiting room. We were surprised because we hadn't seen them for many hours. After I delivered the placenta and got into bed, Ben called our moms to come back. I got to hold and breastfeed our beautiful girl right away. The grandmas followed us to our post-partum room and helped us get settled.

Hypnobabies gave me the information I needed for the birth I wanted. It provided Ben and me with the practice time so that we were partners with the same goal in mind when the time came to make decisions. I am so grateful for this birth experience.
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I love this birth video. Mom is so calm and confident despite the fact she is pushing before the midwife gets there.

Here is the background.

  • 6th Baby

  • Liz used Hypnobabies.

  • Midwife Called around 1 AM

  • This video was taken around 2 AM a few minutes before midwife arrives.


[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AUAy-YiNw3U&fs=1&hl=en_US&rel=0&color1=0x006699&color2=0x54abd6]
It was so incredible, feeling his head after the water broke, then seeing his head when I pushed it out, then holding his whole body as it came out. What an incredible way to be totally and completely connected to my baby and my body, and doing it all completely by myself was so incredible! I just really can’t describe how it felt other than completely natural and right!

From the minute I stepped in the tub not a single fear or doubt even entered my mind, I was so assured and confident. It was like someone else stepped into my body, someone who had done this hundreds of times. It was so perfect, so amazing, truly such a miracle!

You can read Liz's complete birth story here.  It is inspirational!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Zane's birth story

  • 2 weeks comfortable Braxton-Hicks

  • 2 wks of comfortable Pressure Waves

  • Saw midwives after 2nd wk of PW for prenatal and asked for internal to see if anything was really happening (first internal of the pregnancy)

  • They said station=0, dilated 3cm…yeah!  Ripest cervix she ever felt.

  • Had very strong PWs on way home…figured better not drive from then on.


Had stronger PWs that night with bloody show which I had been having since internal (as told I might by the midwives).  I called the midwives to see if the quantity was significant (like light period) they said no.  I knew it wasn't time for them to come to my house but I was asking them for any idea on a time frame since my husband needed time to get home.  he works and stays 2.5 hrs away during the week.  I called DH to let him know my status but told him if the PWs picked up I would call him but otherwise for him to sleep.

 

I awoke that night with him home.  He said he would rather commute each day than be worried.  He stayed home two days with the PWs going back to their former intensity and still having light period type discharge.  Third day was Thursday, he went back to work but I told him to come home early on Friday so he didn't hit traffic which would turn his 2.5 hr commute into 4-5 hours…especially since Friday was our Guess Date.

 

Daily life on Thursday…everybody asking when baby was coming…I said well, our Guess Date is Friday so I guess tomorrow.
Thursday night went to bed and felt like I wet my pants.  I went to the bathroom and found my pad soaked but not my clothes…I always thought it would be obvious when my water broke but I thought that perhaps it was a high break and only some of the fluid leaked.  The midwives told me I had a lot of amniotic fluid so I was expecting a soaking.  I called them to let them know that I was pretty sure my water broke and that it was clear.  I asked if I needed to check for the cord and they said no since my baby was so low the cord would not have prolapsed.  I went back to bed to see what would happen that night.

 

PWs started and I timed them.  I was to call the midwives when they were consistently 10 min apart for 1 hour but they would come over when they were 5 min apart.  My waves bounced around and I finally felt they were close enough and I must be progressing because I wanted to focus rather than look at the clock, also I was too focused to use the phone and wanted my husband to call so I knew it was the real deal…finally.  DH called the midwives to let them know and they said they would come over and set up.

 

I had been planning a completely unassisted birth and a few months before my GD felt led to ask this midwife team to attend my birth.  They specialize in unassisted, midwife attended births.  Essentially they were my guardian angels making sure that I had the unassisted birth I wanted.  I realized that my birth team (DH and my Mom) was not getting comfortable with my unassisted plans as time progressed and I worried that they might call 911 in the heat of the moment.  I was glad the midwives attended for many reasons before, during, and after the birth.

 

Although I had envisioned staying in off for much of my birth, I actually was in center for almost the entire time so definitely practice center switch.  I listened to my scripts on the mp3 player and would occasionally take out one ear bud if I needed to hear or talk.

 

Here is what I listened too early on:  Birthing Day, Deepening, and Special Place.  Eventually my battery ran down and for some reason my husband was not able to charge it so we switched to his mp3 player which we don't know how to work and I listened to Birthing Day over and over until time to push when I asked for Pushing Baby Out.

 

I did not have a pain free birth but would call it manageable discomfort.  I used to get nervous when Hypnomoms would say manageable discomfort since it is so subjective.  So, here is what it felt like for those that want some perspective.  It felt like a moderate period cramp right above my pubic symphysis (the bone right in the front of your pelvis).  I don't usually get period cramps unless I have emotional baggage that I haven't dealt with (fight/grudge with DH, etc.) and unfortunately, I did go into this birth with unfinished business so I wonder, if I had dealt with my business early as I really should have, if my birth would have been completely pain free.  I will see next time.

 

Throughout the birth the discomfort level stayed at a moderate period cramp.  This is my second child.  The first I had all natural but without Hypnobabies and people told me it would be like a period and it wasn't so I am not downplaying the discomfort, it really was no more than a moderate cramp feeling for me and was decreased by about 1/3 if my husband pushed on my left sacroiliac joint.  The only time my discomfort increased was if I lay down during a wave or sat on the toilet (my baby was very, very low).  Therefore, I stayed in center during the waves and would lean on the changing table and rock, sway, or spiral my hips during the waves and it felt great.

 

Between waves I was completely pain free, able to talk, joke, visit, etc.  Even during transformation, between waves, I was talking and making jokes which was amazing for such an intense time.

 

So, the discomfort stayed the same but the intensity changed with the progression of the birth.  I was able to stay aware of the birth progressing and be positive about it because of Hypnobabies and that was priceless.  I felt the intensity increasing and by this I mean a strong power starting to flow through me (like an adrenalin rush) and the waves were coming closer together and between waves I was thinking "alright transformation here we come…let's do this!"

 

Suddenly though my birth slowed and the waves eventually stopped.  I asked the midwives for an internal (my second for the entire pregnancy).  They checked and confirmed that my water had broken, I was dilated 4-5 which gave me hope because I knew that was the "hump" in most births (was in my first) and I really was close to transformation, but baby was still ROA-in my right corner facing my left hip.  He hadn't turned into birthing position yet which meant he essentially wasn't hitting the doorway head-on so I wasn't dilating efficiently.

 

We did some work to get my hips loosened up (I knew I should have seen my Chiropractor that week….and I am a Chiropractor so I should know better than get too busy right before my birth to get adjusted). The midwives gave me some homeopathic remedies and their assistant come over and did some body work on me with essential oils.  It was awesome!  Finally, I had to address the emotional baggage that I hadn't taken care of before birthing time.  Once all of this was done the midwives told me to lie down and rest and they went home (they had been at my house since 4am and it was about 9:30am).  I rested and the rest of my birthing team (my Mom) finally arrived.  My Mom lives about 5 hours from me.

 

The waves finally picked up and I stood up again to rock and sway my hips.  The midwives called to check on me around 1:30 and my Mom told them I was talking about filling the water tub and they said they would be right over.  They had offered the tub earlier in the birth and when I asked them when I was supposed to use it they said it was for when nothing else was working.

 

Hypnobabies was working so well, I told them that I was feeling fine so I would save the water for transformation.  When they heard I was ready for the water, they knew it was finally time.  The nice part of this is that I was calm and focused during this time.  I made a conscious decision to start filling the tub because I felt that transformation was coming not because I was in too much pain to bear without the water.  At this point, my discomfort was still at the level of a moderate cramp but the energy had returned and I was not as able to relax all of my muscles during the waves (toes would curl but it wasn't from pain just intensity).  Once I was in the warm water I was able to relax and then the transformation really took off.

 

I used to wonder at the "intensity" that Hypnomoms would mention that wasn't pain so I will do my best to describe how it was for me for those that find it useful.  Please keep in mind that during the pw the discomfort still felt like a moderate menstrual cramp above my pubic symphysis and my DH sat behind the water tub and pushed on my left sacroiliac joint which helped with that too.  The intensity was like a rush of feeling and emotion. One of the midwives filmed the birth and the other sat nearby and during transformation fanned me with my file during the pws because I said that I couldn't get a full breath.

 

I yelled during the pws at this time from the intensity.  It is like if you are so excited about something that you just have to let it out in a shout or a song for those that sing or that extreme rush of adrenalin when you go down a ski slope or a rollercoaster ride .  A feeling of such intensity that it has to have an outlet.  It doesn't hurt but your body feels the feeling with such intensity that you have to let it out.

 

In between waves I was able to talk and joke and I mentioned a couple times that I wouldn't mind if this part ended really soon.  I kind of like it, looking back, but it is so intense that I wanted it to end.  I don't particularly like rollercoasters :).

 

It was disconcerting when I began to get the urge to push.  With my DD-age 9, I barely felt an urge to push, was told I was complete and to start pushing but I never felt an urge and in fact I felt like I wasn't even giving birth just pushing because I was supposed to.  With this birth I felt the intensity, the discomfort from the pw, and the beginning urge to push all at the same time and that was kind of overwhelming.  The pushing urge eventually became the strongest urge and my body began to bear down on its own.  It took me by surprise and I had to regain my calm since I had not known that the pushing stage could feel like this since it hadn't with my daughter.

 

In hindsight I wish I had listened to the Pushing Baby Out CD all the way through once before giving birth so that I would have known to start it earlier, it was slightly one step behind what I was feeling so I felt a sensation and then I heard ideas for how to handle them calmly which I would use.  I was able to use the script but I like to be prepared beforehand.

 

As Zane emerged I felt his head coming into my hand (these wonderful Midwives encourage Mom to catch her baby which was just what I had wanted all along).  We each gently rubbed his head and welcomed him:  my DD, my Mom, and my DH.  One of the Midwives was still videotaping and the other held a mirror and light into the birthing tub so I could see Zane emerging.

 

The pushing urge stopped and I watched him in the mirror as he rotated (babies do this naturally DON"T let the doctor do this for them unless it is an emergency.  The doctors don't know if the baby's shoulders are rotating clockwise or counterclockwise internally while the doctor is rotating their heads to "help").

 

After two more pushed Zane was born.  I held him and snuggled him as his big sister got into the tub (she had been waiting patiently to get in the tub and help).  DH was leaning over the edge of the tub looking at Zane over my shoulder (see pic in the file under Zane's birth).

 

My Mom asked "what do we have a girl or boy" so we peeked downward and made our long awaited announcement (we love being surprised!).  Shortly after Zane's birth the placenta came and the Midwives placed it in a dish that floated so we could keep the cord attached.  The Midwives don't cut the cord until the parents say they are ready.

 

They helped me out of the tub and I said "Wow, I could do that again…give me a week or two for my body to recuperate and I would definitely do that again".  It may sound crazy but it was like screaming to get off a rollercoaster and then once you are off it saying "what a rush, I am going to ride that again."

In summary here were my goals going into this birth:
1.  Be in control
2.  Be willing to do it again after the birth so that my decision about having more children is based on logic not on fear.

 

I thought a completely pain free birth would be nice but my focus was these two goals.  Hypnobabies definitely helped me attain these two goals and I am very grateful!

 

Moms, "catch" your babies!  If I had known how amazing, empowering, and beautiful it is I would have never given that honor to the doctor the first time.  Let the first hands to touch your little one be hands that have loved him/her from the beginning.
Molly
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After Camryn being born at 37 weeks, I was so paranoid with this pregnancy that I was going to go into labor before I was `homebirth legal' at 37 weeks.  Beyond that paranoia, I was just pretty much sure that I was going to go into labor around the same time….in the 37th week.  Maybe 38 weeks.  I could hardly even believe I made it to my 38 week midwife appointment.  When I was leaving, we didn't even make a 39 week appointment, figuring I would give birth before then.  Well…then we had to make a last minute 39 week appointment!  I had my appointment on Thursday, October 21.  I joked that with the full moon coming, and the Scorpio sign looming on the horizon, that I would just have to be having this baby soon.  My midwife said something about my face looking different and guessed I would have the baby in the next few days.  I thought she was joking.  We did make a 40-week appointment but turns out I wouldn't need it!

On that Thursday night, I went out for a mom's night with some friends.  It was around 7 PM and I couldn't stop yawning.  I was feeling way more tired than I should have been!  When I got home around 8:30, I couldn't wait to get Camryn to bed so I could go too!  Of course she took extra long that night and I wasn't able to get into bed until around 11:45.  Even though I was very tired, I figured it was a good time to listen to one of my Hypnobabies tracks since my husband was doing some work in another room.  The tracks ALWAYS put me to sleep so I figured I would sleep extra well.  But oddly I was lying there listening to the Hypnobabies and thinking, why am I not asleep yet?!  I am tired!  Well, shortly after that I must have fallen asleep because I never got to the end of the track.

Around 1:40 AM on Friday, my husband was coming to bed and as I heard him, I moved a little bit in the bed and thought I felt wet, like I was lying in a puddle.  I was afraid to move more so I asked him, "am I wet, is the bed wet?" and he felt it and said yes.  I said, "I don't think I peed myself so I'm guessing my water broke!"  He immediately `ran' into the bathroom and started hooking up the hose to fill the tub.  I said, "slow down, wait a minute, and get me a washcloth so I can get up!"  So he brought me one and I ran to the bathroom trying not to drip on the floor.  A flood of water gushed out then and would continue to do so for the rest of the morning.  Normally while I was sitting it was fine but when I would lay down in bed, it was like a cork was pulled and I would leak a bunch more fluid so I'm guessing he was not even fully engaged at that point.

At 1:50 AM, I called our midwife to let her know that my water had broken but nothing else was happening at the time.  When my water broke with Camryn, it was 14 hours before my contractions started so I wasn't sure how long it would be before things really started but I wanted her to be `aware.'  For the next little while, we did a few of the last minute things we had to do like set up the crockpot and set up some of the birth supplies.  It was around 3 AM that I started feeling contractions but they were mild—about 20-30 seconds long every 7-10 minutes.  I gave my husband a few more things to do and figured I should try to get some rest.  So I put on one of my Hypnobabies tracks and laid down to rest.  I was never able to get to sleep but it was nice to relax, not knowing for sure how much work would be ahead of me.  Shortly after that track ended, Camryn woke up wanting to nurse.  Normally she would nurse and fall back asleep but since there were lights on and `action' happening she woke up more than normal.  She had milk and then was ready to play!  We sat around in the bed for a little while and then decided to call my mom and grandma to let them know that `Munchie' would be arriving soon.  I decided that I was starting to get hungry and it was only going to get worse so I had some apples and cheese with Camryn.  I know that this was around 4-5 AM and after this I kind of lost track of the timing of everything.

Camryn asked to nurse again and fell asleep in our bed, I think around 6 or 6:30.  I rested in the bed for a little while longer, having contractions lasting about 30-45 seconds every 6 or 7 minutes.  I got up to go to the bathroom a few times and every time I sat on the toilet, I would immediately get a long contraction, no matter how long it had been since the last one.  I would also get another short one when I would stand up and then would have to lean on the sink to get through that one.  They weren't horribly awful, but very annoying and made me want to avoid the bathroom!

The whole time I was having contractions, I was trying to use the Hypbobabies, telling myself during contractions, "open, open, open" and `Peace."  And trying to keep my jaw and hands loose and open. At 7:50 I decided I wanted to get into the pool.  It was still filling but was almost full and it felt so good.

I was debating when I should call our midwife.  I didn't want her to be sitting around `watching' me for 4 hours, but I also didn't want her to have to race over, sans shoes, like she did with Camryn's birth!  With that birth, I was told she would head over when I had contractions 5 minutes apart, lasting a minute, for an hour but at that point last time, I started uncontrollably pushing!  I wanted to give her a little more time this time.  So after I had 3 or 4 contractions lasting around a minute (a few were a little shorter), I figured I'd better call.  I called at 8:10 and told her what was going on. She decided it was time to head over.

A few minutes after we hung up, they started getting a little more intense.  I was feeling just a tad nauseous.  Not quite `get me the bucket' sick but just a little `icky.'  I had a few contractions 4-5 minutes apart lasting a minute to a minute and a half.  And then they jumped to every 2-3 minutes.  At that point I knew I was in `transition.'  I was thinking of a line I read in a book saying most women only have 6-10 transition contractions.  I just kept telling myself that.  That I would only have a few more of those to get through.  I was continuing to think "open" and "peace" and would hold my mouth very open, all the while picturing my cervix opening just as big.  I think I was in denial that this was going to go super fast like Camryn's birth did.  I was wrong!

My husband had taken Camryn downstairs to get her some breakfast and turned on the TV…that ended up working out wonderfully.  I think it was around 8:30-8:40 he came back upstairs and was going to make up the bed with plastic and do a few other things.  And then I got one of those slight pushy contractions.  He asked if he should bring Camryn up and put her show on and suddenly I said, "no, leave her there, forget the bed, you need to call Jessica (our midwife) now!"  I knew she was probably getting close but she needed to hurry now!  I got another pushy contraction and could feel the baby's head coming down.  It did not feel anything like what I expected a head to feel like.  (With Camryn's birth, when I had that first pushy contraction, I felt what felt like a little wrinkly walnut and that was it…our midwife showed up soon after that and I didn't feel any more.)  This felt `big' and bumpy…like a head of cauliflower…well not quite that big but definitely not a little walnut!  Garry was telling Jessica that I was pushing and the head was still coming down very quickly.  She asked if he could see the head and I think he said no and asked if I could feel it and I yelled, "YESSSSSSS!"  She ended up being just a few streets away and would arrive soon.  After they hung up, I think that's when he asked if I wanted him to get Camryn.  I didn't think he even had time to get down and back up the stairs so I asked him to take a few quick pictures and then he jumped in the pool to catch our baby.

Pushing went SO fast.  It was 9 minutes from the first `urge' until he was out.  I did not even attempt to listen to the pushing track of my Hypnobabies CDs.  My babies don't seem to want to be `breathed out.'  They come out like a roaring freight train and all I can do is hang on for the ride.  I felt a strong urge this time to try to `slowly' guide his head out (I guess `slowly' is relative!).  My husband asked if I was holding him in but really I was just trying to protect myself. I just sort of cupped what was still feeling like a huge bumpy blob with my hand as it descended.  His head went from just reachable to all the way out within about 4 minutes.  After it was out, there was an odd period of a minute or two where nothing was happening.  I had no contractions, no urge to push or anything. Perhaps he was rotating.  I remembered to check for a cord this time and didn't feel anything.  Then just that suddenly, I said, "here it comes" and the rest of his body was born into my husband's hands at 8:56 AM.  He lifted him onto my chest and of course he was beautiful!

Jessica walked in, said, "Do you have a baby yet?  Of course you do!" and came over to check us out.  I said I wasn't sure if he was breathing or not so she sort of tipped him over a little and he started right away.  He recovered well and ended up with APGARs of 5 and 9.  I mentioned to Jessica that I hadn't had much `bloody show' and she said that was because my mucus plug was on his head…I was wondering what that was in his ear!

Camryn wanted to join the pool party so my husband brought her in while she checked out her new little brother.  A few minutes later I started having contractions again and was dreading delivering the placenta.  Not that it's really meant to be `fun' but I was unhappy with how I delivered Camryn's placenta so I was trying to do this one better!  We knew it was detached so I just kept kind of checking to see if I could feel it.  I stood up for a few minutes (at which point Camryn walked around  behind me…I asked what she was doing and she said, "looking at mama's booty!"  It was a definite cute moment!)  After a few minutes, I decided to try squatting and soon I could feel with my hand that it was coming down.  It had that same cauliflower feeling that his head had and it felt SO big that for a moment, I was afraid it was a twin!  With the next contraction, I gave a few little pushes and it came out gently…so much nicer this time!  I pulled it out of the water and was glad to find that it wasn't another baby, but just one of the thickest placentas my midwife has ever seen…no wonder it felt like another baby!

A few minutes later we all got out of the pool and onto the bed.  Camryn and Colson had their first tandem nursing session…he latched on wonderfully after just a few tries.  The next two hours was just a blur of post-baby homebirth bliss.  Talking and joking and having a snack…just relaxing!  After an hour or so, the cord was declared `empty' so we tied it off and Garry cut it.  Jessica then weighed Colson…8 lbs 12.5 oz!  I was shocked and amazed!  He was 22.75 inches long which also surprised me!  And the 14 inch head was a shocker as well, though it explained the feelings I was having while birthing him!  Jessica finished checking him out, declared that "he works," helped clean up, and left us in peace to nap!  Gotta love a homebirth!

Colson has taken wonderfully to nursing.  I didn't seem to get any of the yellow gold colostrum…it went straight from the watery milk I had the second half of pregnancy into `regular' milk, which I found a little unsettling, but he is loving it and hopefully he didn't miss out on too much `good stuff!'  We are now at almost 3 days post-partum and he is wonderful…a perfect little boy whose big sister is enthralled with him and whose parents adore him!


:)Erin
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It's incredible how much a woman has to fight to be in control of a child’s birth, to have a voice, to separate normal from abnormal, truth from standard medical practice, and most of all to diminish the fear that is the enemy of childbirth and trust her body.  This is the story of how Olivia, my first child, was born:

I had a wonderful and enjoyable pregnancy. But the weeks leading up to her "due date" were considerably tense. I'd planned to relax at home and be in peace and enjoy some last days of just me and my husband. My doctors (I chose to maintain dual care though would be attended by a homebirth midwife with a separate practice)were alarmed, knowing they weren't in control, and insisted that I come in up to 3 times per week for monitoring and testing (my blood pressure had been elevated my entire pregnancy, which can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, which should be taken very seriously. However, this wasn't the case for me, I had a higher baseline.) . The stress was unreal (probably doing much more damage to my blood pressure), as although both myself and the baby repeatedly proved to be doing excellently, the doctors pressured me to induce as a "precautionary measure". I knew this would be a dangerous thing to do for her and for me, and the slippery slope that would follow.

I started feeling the pressure to get things in motion, knowing that the messages from the doctors would intensify as I went past my due date (May 29th).

On Friday, the day before her due date, we decided it was time to start coaxing her out and after going through some of the natural ways to get labor started(wink), when I went to bed that night my Braxton-hicks contractions (painless practice contractions) became very regular and were accompanied by an ache in my lower back. Needless to say, I didn't sleep that night, as every10-15 minutes the waves of pressure returned.


I'd listened to my Hypnobabies tracks but only fell asleep to them and never managed to stay on schedule. It was still incredibly effective for me, particularly the "peace" and "release" cues as well as the constant affirmations. I learned that fear and tightening and adrenaline are the actual causes of pain, that your mind can be in complete control of how everything plays out.

And it was true. Saturday morning came and the contractions (still felt nothing in my uterus only at times very uncomfortable-- lower back pain) spaced out. I started panicking realizing that I wasn't even in labor yet and worried that when it did really start that I would have the dreaded back labor and lose control.  I knew my baby was left occiput posterior so the contractions in my lower back confused me. Every time I let my mind go there, my body would tighten and the pain would come alive and take over.  But then I chose to release. To just shut down and let myself float on the waves with my breathing.

Saturday night came and again there was no sleep. Same thing, now only 8 minutes apart. "Release" I commanded myself, and let every muscle of my body shut down and ride the wave. It was no picnic, but it passed.

Sunday we walked to church, and I smiled and chatted in between contractions (which slowed during the day) as friends commented "Hey, weren't you due yesterday!"  During the service, my husband Kevin hit the timer on his stop-watch each time I signaled a contraction.

Sunday night came, as much as I dreaded the evenings, and for a third night, no sleep. I couldn't believe how long I'd had this "pre-labor" and how much I had to concentrate to stay deeply relaxed through contractions. Plus hello, I was tired. In the corners of my mind I feared what real labor would be like and if I would really be able to handle it like I'd been telling myself all these months. I'd had some "bloody show" and so I knew I was at least effacing but my midwife told me it could still be days or a week away. In those moments of fear and anxiety I actually felt intense pain through my body. At one point I was jerking on the bed through a contraction, wishing everything would stop. Kevin encouraged me to believe and utilize the tools that I had used to prepare. It took a hot shower with water spraying down my back and major mind coaching to bring me back to a controlled state and I calmly went to bed with my Hypnobabies tracks playing on my ipod, knowing I would only rest for 10 minutes at a time.

But by Monday morning I was worried and tense. I had a doctor's appointment the following day with more testing and monitoring and I knew that it would mess with my head and with the process. I still hadn't gone into labor and was confused as to what was happening to my body. I was having these contractions, which I assumed were "Braxton-Hicks", since they were painless in my uterus, but was having back pressure (I'd learned to disassociate the word pain as much as possible from the process) that was requiring me to go limp and loose to relieve.

On Monday around mid-day Kevin and I went for a walk around the block, that took us about 45 minutes. The same contractions came closer together to about 6minutes apart and several times we'd stop and I'd turn into a deadweight and hang on Kevin with my eyes closed as people walked by perplexed and scared (ha, I think I scared the little boys at the lemonade stand on the corner). It was the only way I could make them not hurt, but just feel the pressure intensify and escape, by shutting down and mentally saying "release”.

When we got home, I finally called my mom. Up until now, I hadn't told anyone what was happening because frankly, I was fed up with everyone asking if I was in labor yet (there is something about being near the end that makes you want to hibernate). I'd also always planned to have a private birth with only Kevin and my midwives present. Suddenly I wanted my mom there, and arranged for my aunt to come and give me acupuncture to accelerate the labor process.

Well it did! When my aunt Gilda came several hours later, she found me in a chair with my body slumped on the table. I'd put a finger in the air whenever I felt a contraction coming, and that was everyone's cue to pretty much shut-up J. Otherwise they wouldn't have even known I was having one. After the acupuncture session, they started coming ever 3½ minutes. We figured we should call Joni, our midwife.

I still didn’t know that I had been in "labor" this whole time.  Even when we called the midwife, I was worried that we were bringing her over for no reason, and that I would be no more than 1 cm dilated. Kevin started filling the birth tub just in case, since it would take quite a bit of time to fill (and later I found out that when we ran out of hot water, they were boiling pots of it at a time to get it in there!).

By the time my midwife came and listened to the baby it had to be around 9 pm. I was doing what I’d been doing the whole time, shutting down with each contraction and staying calm by relinquishing control. What a mind game! Well imagine my surprise, when she said to me, "Angie, you are nine centimeters dilated." What?! I did all of that already (well, I mean technically it had been 3 days but I thought it was fake labor!!!)?! I think I remember croaking in response, "Holy crap that's so awesome."  I really wanted to shout in elation and jump up and down but figured it probably wasn’t the best idea.

That moment gave me so much confidence. I was really doing it! I’d been doing it all along without really realizing it. Still, although I’d believed I’d been in pre-labor these past 3 days, I was constantly replaying these affirmations in my head:

"Release.
My body knows exactly how to birth my baby.
Open.
I am safe and my baby is safe no matter how much power flows through me.
Peace.
I deserve an easy and comfortable childbirth
."

Shortly after, I got into tub and it felt amazing. Actually, my contraction slowed down, and I had quite a bit of a break, wondering if I’d reversed things. I was literally just chillin out in there waiting for something to happen. The apartment was quiet and dimly lit only with candles. My mom rubbed my shoulders with lavender essential oils and prayed over me, and in between listening to the baby on the Doppler, my midwife offered me vitamin water through a straw.  I kind of felt like a queen. Kevin came into the tub with me and put counter pressure on my back and supported my body. Temple Passmore's (hypnomom) sung version of Psalm 23 was playing on repeat in the background. I felt so loved and supported, and knew I was bringing Olivia into the world in the most gentle and peaceful way.

Eventually I recognized that squatting would bring on the involuntary pressure I needed to push and bring my baby out. We actually put a little stool for me to sit on in the tub. And so I just let it happen slowly and with time. Every so often a contraction would come and I just let my body do the work for me and stretch slowly. It was so interesting. I could feel everything happening, and could work and stretch my muscles purposefully, and yet if felt so different than I imagined it would. I wasn’t in pain, but at the end apparently was roaring like a lion (ness) with the intensity flowing out through me (I later learned that my neighbors from the house next door could hear the whole thing. Awesome.). My water broke in the tub 10minutes before she was born. At one point I felt a tightness and dull burn and knew she was crowning. Joni, my midwife, asked me to reach down and feel and there was Olivia's soft and very full head of hair starting to emerge. Oh my God, so much hair! I remember exclaiming, "Oh you beautiful girl!" I got to a point where I just pushed with all my might (and apparently, voice) and suddenly heard Joni say, "Kevin and Angie, reach down and meet your baby!" For some reason I was shocked and confused that she was out! And all in the same push! She came flying out with her hand on her face.  It was 11:19 pm.

There aren't even words to describe the bliss and elation and wonder and miracle of picking up your newborn baby and meeting her for the first time. It will never, ever get old. She had her eyes wide open and stared for a split second before spitting up water and then belting out the screams that she is now famous for. It was out of this world.

We all moved me over to the couch, baby in arms and cord still attached, so that I could deliver the placenta. The cord was kind of short so I couldn't really bring Olivia up higher than my belly. Kevin cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing. It seemed like the most normal thing in the world that I would be on my couch delivering my placenta. Ha, I bet it will make visitors think twice before sitting down to watch TV.

Joni examined Olivia while she was on me, and eventually weighed her at 7 lbs 5ounces and 19.5 inches tall. She was healthy and perfect. I felt on top of the world. (I had only a tiny tear that didn't even require stitches and healed on its own by two weeks). Kevin whipped up some pancakes and scrambled eggs and fed me while all this was going on (I’d worked up quite an appetite.) Afterward, I went to shower, the grandparents came inside to gush over the baby. Our midwives stayed until the wee hours of the morning, and left the three of us tucked into bed.

I really believe had I not been so anxious about what was going to happen, and especially about the pressure from my doctors, the process would've been much shorter. In spite of it all, it turned out to be exactly the beautiful birth that I wanted. I can't imagine doing it any other way. I'm so glad that I decided to go the Hypnobabies route, even if I didn't follow it to a tee. You can call it hypnosis, or deep relaxation or whatever you want, but whatever it is IT WORKS. And I will for sure be doing this again!
Tagged in: prodomal labor
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Dear baby Roland has joined us!

He was born thursday, March 25 at 5:42 am. He was 8 lbs, 5 oz and 21 inches long with a 14 inch head.~

It was wednesday, March 24th when I started to worry that I wouldn't get the home birth I had so dreamed of. At 41 weeks and 2 days, I could feel that 42 week cutoff for a home birth looming ahead. In my hypnosis practice and birthing visualizations, I had imagined birthing in the safety, silence and seclusion of our little home, and thoughts of a hospital seemed to be the opposite of that. So when I told my husband that we may not have our home birth if this babe didn't decide to come soon, I knew I might as well make peace with that, as stress and frustration don't help anything in birth. We decided to send a gentle message to our unborn child and the universe that we were ready to meet them that very night, if they were ready. We hunkered into bed for a movie around 8 and when my eyes started getting heavy half-way through it, something inside told me "sleep now", and so I did.
I woke up around 10:45pm to a pressure wave that was more than the mild period-like cramps I had been feeling for a few days. This just had more power behind it, enough that when another one came about 10 minutes later, I realized how uncomfortable it was to lay down through them, so got up without disturbing my husband.
I know they say that if labor starts in the night, you should do your best to get rest, but my pressure waves were too strong to sleep through and getting steadily closer together. I got on my birth ball and leaned over the back of a chair while saying a silent "Ooopen" as each wave came through me. It felt wonderful to imagine my cervix gently opening (this soon turned into "Oooooh", which I would chant in a low tone with every PW until my baby was born). During my pregnancy, I really learned to trust my body and the power of the mind, so I knew my cervix was opening more and more with each pressure wave, and had a hunch that this baby would be here by dawn even though this was my first baby.
My husband woke up around this time (midnight), and this is when things really picked up. Pressure waves were about 4 minutes apart, and getting more power behind them. I had put some water on for pasta because I knew I'd need the energy, but by the time it was boiling, pressure waves were so frequent that I didn't think I'd have time to get out the pasta and pour it in between waves.
At this point, my husband filled the bathtub for me. I stayed there basking in delicious warm water while he filled the inflatable birthing pool with water. I ate pasta with my eyes closed and my mind calm between pressure waves. My faith in the safety and beauty of childbirth made my mental calmness unshakable.
Between two "Ooooh's", which were coming so close now, I didn't bother to guess how many minutes apart they were, I puked over the side of the tub. I had the thought that this might be a sign that transition was close, but it had only been an hour or two since things really started getting going, so I didn't think much more of it. With my wonderful husband toweling up the mess, I hoped into the half-filled birthing tub and adopted a frog-like squat to feel the warm water on my belly.
Time sort of warped and before we knew it, PWs seemed to be coming almost back to back. We really hadn't wanted to call the midwife too early because we wanted it just the two of us as long as possible. But when I started to feel pressure in my bottom, I told DH to call the midwife. He asked if I was absolutely sure, because he didn't want to wake her at 4am if we were just going to labor through till morning. I decided to hold off, mainly because I was really in a zone and didn't want to talk much, and doubting that this could really be "it" so quickly. A few PWs with bottom pressure later, I said "call her NOW!"
I remember thinking how funny it was that our first call to the midwife was, "oh, her pressure waves are about a minute apart, and she's feeling rectal pressure". Needless to say, she said she was on her way.
The very next PW after my husband got off the phone with the midwife, I was surprised by an involuntary pushing sensation. It made my "Oooohh" sound very different indeed! It sort of sounded like I was dry-heaving. That was it, my body was pushing and the midwife wasn't there yet! My husband and I both thought to ourselves that we just might be having this baby unassisted.
Pushing felt much different than I thought it would. This was the one thing that I feel could have shaken my mental focus. It felt like the power of the regular PWs had become more intense and focussed on my bottom. Not painful, I just was surprised at the sensation - truly like I was about to poop my baby out my bottom! To remain focussed through this, I just refused to entertain any thoughts of doubt.
The midwife soon arrived, and told me my sounds were wonderful and just encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. A little later she said that I could take the power that I was releasing vocally, and redirect it through my bottom to give a little more oomph to my body's pushes.
At one point I reached into myself to feel my baby's head (amazing!). After a few more PWs she said the head was out. I decided not to touch it at this point because I was just so in a zone and didn't want the shock and bliss of feeling that head to shake my focus because I knew at any moment I'd be holding my baby. With the next PW I got more upright so that I could deliver my baby in a squat through the front. I reached down and pulled him up and was immediately transformed forever. The bliss of that moment is forever imprinted on my mind, and I often relive those few seconds with more clarity than I can recall any other time in my life. I was surprised by how heavy he felt (you mean this full heavy baby just came out of me?!). After a few minutes I (very carefully, as I was feeling almost drunk on good hormones) stepped out of the pool and went to the bed to birth the placenta, which happened about half an hour later naturally. Then my husband cut the cord and my babe nursed contently.
I can't believe he's already been here a month! His birth just confirmed everything I had come to believe about natural childbirth and that it can be a joyful, beautiful and intimate experience without any fear.
I didn't actually listen to any of the hypnobabies tracks while in my birthing time, as it just didn't feel like what I wanted in the moment. I still see how all of the practice helped tremendously in my mental focus and confidence - in fact, I think I was so confident with everything I had learned from Hypnobabies and in reading tons of really inspirational birth stories, that I didn't feel the need to listen to the tracks or actively "use" my hypnosis during my birthing time. That's pretty powerful stuff!

Thanks for reading Roland's birth story if you've made it to the end:)
All I can hope this contributes is yet another account of birth going beautifully and encouragement for all you Moms who are preparing for your own beautiful birth.
If I can give anyone any advice, I'd say KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO IT! All of the preparation you are doing now WILL come through for you in the moment in a way that's perfect for you.

Sending you and your tucked-in babe's love and good vibes,
Jenny (first-time Mom)
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I am so happy to announce Paloma was born on the 29th of Jan. It was a beautiful, powerful, magical experience. As many of you know, I spent the second half of my pregnancy exploring the idea that pain did not have to be part of a woman’s birth experience. And as I learned more about it, I decided to take the Hypnobabies home study course. I spent time everyday for the last two-and-a-half months of my pregnancy meditating, and listening to both the hypnosis and affirmations CD’s. As my due date drew closer, I spent more and more time preparing for her arrival mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Paloma’s due date came and passed. I was 41 weeks and 1 day. My patience was dwindling. It was my third day of having contractions, but they were so far apart (every 20 min) and very mild. I was able to sleep through most of them during the night and carried on as though everything was normal during the day.

As I grew more impatient, I called my midwife and asked her if I could start taking Cohosh to try and get things going. She told me she was down the street and would swing by to check my cervix and see where we were. She arrived, checked my cervix, and told me she was going to stay. She said I already was in labor. I laughed in disbelief, told her I felt great and that I didn’t think I was in labor. Little did I know, I would be holding my little Paloma less than 5 hours later.

My mother came over (she lives next door) along with my Aunt. We called the birth team and celebrated, getting last minute things together. Jo, my 3-year-old daughter, and I sang lullabies to the baby. I would pause to breathe through my contractions comfortably. My birth team arrived, and my home was filled with love and feminine wisdom. I was surrounded by the women of my family. Those that I grew up with, and those that raised me.

As things picked up, I drew inward during my contractions, still comfortable, just more focused. Soon, I was ready to get into the birth tub. Jo got into the tub with me and poured water over my back between contractions, which grew more powerful, but still comfortable.

Soon I was in transition. I hit that wall so many women hit, and I announced I was done. I was prepared to be pregnant forever, I just wanted to stop. My body was tired. When I said this, the midwife asked, “Are you done with the tub, or the whole show?” I told her I was done with the whole show, as she put it. From my statement, the midwives and my doula knew we were almost there. They got me out of the tub and into my bed. I am so glad they did. All snuggled up, my contractions stopped for a few minutes and I took a much needed nap.

I woke up refreshed, to the most powerful contractions. I labored on my hands and knees. At one moment, I felt an energy rush from my body that was so powerful, and so pure, I knew it was the energy of Mother Goddess. I roared like a lion. And at that moment, I felt the soul Paloma and I shared since her conception split into two, and I knew she was ready to be born. There was still a lip left on one side of my cervix, which the midwife pushed out of the way. This was the only uncomfortable part of my birth. But still not painful. Her birth was free of both pain and fear. And as soon as Paloma’s head was past the lip, the birth actually felt wonderful from that moment on. Pushing was so satisfying, and I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore. I only knew I was having one because my body would start pushing by itself. In fact, everything I did was involuntary at that point. I had surrendered to the power of birth and it took over. As she was crowning, my midwives and doula coached me through pushing her head out between contractions, to protect my perineum. I let her shoulders turn, and the rest of her body slipped out of me and the midwife put her on my chest. There she stayed until the placenta was also delivered. My father came in and cut her cord (he also cut Jo’s) and then she nursed.

A few hours later I found out that the moon was full. In fact, it was a Wolf Moon, which is the brightest full moon of the year. That must have been what she was waiting for. : ) The celebration continued through the night. And, eventually we got a little shut eye. Paloma’s birth was empowering, magical, peaceful. She came into this world at home, in our family bed, surrounded by the people that love her. I am eternally grateful for the experience.
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I had a really wonderful homebirth.  I am so glad that I used Hypnobabies again.  This is my second homebirth and my second time using Hypnobabies.

Amara's birth story

I went to a neighbor's house on Friday the 12th of March 2010 at about 6pm to play games are just relax.  At about 8:30 I stood up to go to the bathroom and felt a little gush.  I thought that I had peed myself so I went in to the bathroom and found so that the pad was stained pink and smelled differently.  I thought that I could stay at the party for a while but every time I stood up I was leaking so I went home and called the midwife.  I was not having any PW so I knew it would be a while.  Honestly, I was disappointed to have my water break early.  With my son, PW were much harder to deal with after my water was broken.  The midwife told me to lie down and get some sleep.  I tried to sleep but just ended up laying there until I began having a few PW at 2am.  They were coming close together but were not very strong.  Aaron (husband) insisted on timing them and then on calling the midwife.  She came by and checked me at 4 am but by then things had puttered out.  I was 3 centimeters when she checked.  She went home and we called my mom and sister to come over at 6am.

At this point I am not having very many PW and have been just laying down resting and listening to my Hypnobabies Early First Stage CD.  At 3 pm the midwife comes back and checks and I am still at a 3 with hardly any PW.  She gave me some homeopathic labor pills that dissolve under the tongue and I immediately begin to have strong regular PW.  During this time my family has made food for everyone, my husband has been entertaining our son and everyone comes to check on me every few minutes, alternating sitting with me.  My family and I all go for a walk around the block and I have lots of strong PW.  I begin to really have to focus on them and tell myself "Pressure, pressure, pressure" each time I have them, so I remember that it is not pain but just a lot of pressure.  I retire to my room and keep walking around the bed and continue to have PW.  The midwife leaves (she had another woman that was in labor too and was checking on her) and in a few hours comes back to check me.  I was just at a 4 and PW were slowing again so the midwife gave me more homeopathic pills.  This ramps up the waves again.  Feeling a little discouraged, I put on the Pushing baby out CD so that I would get my mind to start thinking about that.

I start to feel a little pushy almost immediately.  Remembering an article I read where the midwife was saying that giving little pushes, if the mom feels the need to, can open up the cervix more quickly, I begin to bear down a bit when I get a PW.  At 6 pm the midwife checks again and I am at a 6!  I am so happy to be moving along so I keep up with the bearing down.  At 8 pm I really start needing to bear down a lot and the PW are really strong.  I am at an 8 at this point.  I asked for oxygen because I was feeling light headed and nauseous.  That was a life saver.  As soon as they put it on, I felt much better.

At 8:41 pm my mom, sister and husband gathered around the bed and hold my hands when I start to push at each wave.  I remembered to push with my butt and not my tummy (something I had trouble with last time) and can really feel her moving down.  This is the only part of birth that was really hard.  Amara was coming down with the lip of my cervix.  The midwife kept trying to push it out of the way but it hurt so much I asked her to stop.  Then she did it really slowly and it finally worked.  When her head was coming out I was surprised at how much it hurt.  With my son it did not hurt much at all.  I asked for the hot wash cloths to be put on me and that really helped.  Later, my midwife told me that she was turning while she was coming out.

After three good pushes, she was out and on my tummy.  Born March 13th at 8:59 pm.  She was covered in vernex and cried a little bit.  She had her eyes wide open and black hair on her head.  We were all so excited to see her.  I cuddled her while the midwife rubbed her down with a warm towel.  I had no tearing at all.  A few minutes later the placenta came out and Aaron cut the cord.  Within 30 minutes, I put her to my breast and she nursed for an hour and a half.  She was 7 lbs ½ oz and 21 ½ inches long and two weeks early.  Then we all snuggled up in bed and went to sleep.
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I guess that is a little silly title.  But a mom from Cafe Mom group said I could share her birth story with everyone.

I had my 38 week prenatal visit Thursday, February 11th. My midwife checked me and reported that I was 80% effaced and 2-3 centimeters dilated.  I was super encouraged at the fact that all the pre-labor I had been having the past couple of weeks was not in vain.  She didn't schedule my next appointment because she didn't think I would make it another week.  Part of me was excited yet I didn't want to give my hopes up only to get discouraged if I went beyond that.

Friday night I was feeling especially moody and crampy so I went to bed early.  Knowing that my cervix was almost completely thinned out we did some things Saturday morning to help things along...wink, wink ;-)  After that we went to the mall and walked around since it was too cold outside for my liking.  When we got home we took a nap.  I think my body knew I would need all that rest!  When the evening came some pressure waves started coming every 10-20 minutes apart.  I took this as a sign that I better straighten things up around the house.  Once I finished I went to bed to try and get some rest.  A couple strong ones woke me up in the middle of the night.  From about 5 am to 9 am I was in and out of sleep since the pressure waves were coming closer together.

I got out of bed at 9 am and listened to my birthing affirmations while rocking on my birthing ball.  After that I went about my normal Sunday morning routine.  I made some breakfast and decided to time the contractions.  To my surprise they were coming every 4-5 minutes.  They were very mild so I found it hard to believe that my birthing time could be here.  They would start in my pelvic area as pressure and wrap around my uterus like a big hug.  To make sure I was relaxing during each one I would stop, close my eyes and say my "peace' cue to myself while swaying back and forth.

After timing them for about an hour I lost my mucus plug.  I decided that it was time to call the midwife (10 am).  We talked and she had a hard time believing they were coming so close since I sounded normal.  She called me back an hour later and let me know she was on her way to check on me.  When she got to our house (12 pm) she found that I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated.  She told me she would hang out for another hour to see how things went.  When she checked me again I was 6 cm.  Now it was my intentions all along to do minimal VE's, but I told her to proceed each time since I was having a hard time believing that I was actually in labor.

There came a point where the swaying and "peace" cue were not enough.  I decided it was time to get in the tub.  I turned on the "Easy First Stage" track from my Hypnobabies program and got comfy in the tub.  The buoyancy of the water helped to tone down the intensity of the pressure waves tremendously.  I even recall smiling between some of them.  I was probably in there for an hour when all of a sudden I got a very intense pressure wave that felt like it lasted forever.  This was the first point in my birthing time where I found it difficult to relax during a wave.  The midwife came in and checked me, and announced that I was near complete (9cm).  I could hardly believe it since things had gone so smoothly up to this point!

We headed to the birthing pool to find that it was still very cold!  We quickly changed route to the bedroom where I laid down on my side.  Danny turned on the "Pushing Baby Out" track so I could get in the right frame of mind.  Right at that moment Megan (my sister) and Lucy (my MIL) arrived.  They started boiling pots of water immediately to try and get the pool to a comfortable temperature.  They also kept an eye on Logan for us since I needed Danny's full attention at this point.

While in the bedroom the midwife broke my water and had me push the baby down a bit due to her being "sunny side up".  Once that was all done I found the bed to be very uncomfortable.  I sat on the birthing ball and rocked with each wave while moaning deeply.  The midwife and Danny were excellent in offering much needed encouragement while deeply massaging my lower back.  After a short bit Megan and Lucy announced that the pool was ready.  It was just in time too because I was starting to feel the urge to push.

The midwife and Danny helped me into the pool.  I got in there during a wave which made if difficult for me to get comfortable at first.  I leaned over the side, and then flopped onto my bottom leaning back on the pool wall for support with Danny right behind me.  I pushed with 2-3 contractions when all of a sudden I felt the pressure of the head coming out.  I could hardly believe it!  The midwife had me pant a bit before the next push since things were going a bit too quickly.  Once she gave me the go to push again the head was out.  With the next one her body was out (amazingly I had no tears)!  I helped her out of the water and made it a point to be the first one to find out the gender.  I quickly announced that it was a girl!  I was so surprised at this I had to check again!  Yes, a girl!!  The midwife announced her arrival time as 4:13 pm.  At that moment Megan and Lucy came into the room.  They were amazed at how quick and easy everything went.  They weren't expecting the baby to come until later that evening...lol!

Overall, the experience was everything I had expected and more.  I have been on an emotional high ever since she arrived.  It was very rewarding to be able to accomplish this feat being that I put so much preparation and thought into it.

The bonus is that my husband finally gets what all the fuss was about.  He was always supportive, but didn't quite understand why I was so intent on doing it this way.  His participation in the birth and reaction to it has definitely created an additional bond in our relationship that was not present before.

Weight; length:  8lbs 8oz; 19 inches long

If you want to see some beautiful pictures, visit her original post!
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Let me start with some background on how we arrived at this birth.

I had a very positive med-free hospital birth experience with our daughter M (now age 2.5), but really wanted to pursue homebirth for this pregnancy. DH said absolutely not. He had too many safety concerns. So I compromised, and found a group of midwives who deliver out of a natural-birth friendly hospital. As much as I loved them, I found that I kept returning to the idea of homebirth. Finally, I decided that we needed to at least meet with a homebirth midwife. If DH still had safety concerns after doing that, fine -- I had no problem staying in the hospital. But I needed to know whether or not homebirth was an option.

We met with C, a homebirth midwife, just before New Years. I was 35 weeks along. Afterwards, I was shocked when DH said he was open to switching. It was still a difficult decision to make, particularly that late in my pregnancy, but we finally decided to switch.

Fast forward about four weeks...

On Saturday, January 30, I was 39 weeks 4 days. Despite being close to my "due" date, I was fully expecting to have a few more weeks of being pregnant. M was born two weeks late, as was I. This baby's head was still high and I had not been experiencing any BH's or other signs that my birthing time might be drawing close.

At around 3 PM, I was standing in line to check out at a store when I felt two small gushes of fluid. I checked in with C as soon as I got home, and she said to keep an eye on it and call her in a few hours. I continued leaking throughout the evening, but had only sporadic PW's. Still, when I checked in with C, she said that the continued leaking meant my water was broken, and that my birthing time would likely start within 24 hours. I didn't really believe her :) But DH and I got the house cleaned up, checked in with our doula and our birth photographer, and lined up friends to help with M.

I went to bed around midnight, listening to the fear clearing session script, just in case any lingering fears were preventing me from really moving into my birthing time.

I woke up to pee at about 1:30 AM. I had lost my mucus plug, and I was bleeding. That's when I knew that C was right. This was it.

DH and I both panicked a bit. This was our first experience with spontaneous labor (M was induced), and we didn't know what to expect. We decided to call our doula, P. She had been at another birth, but agreed to come straight to our house. Meanwhile, I timed my PW's and they were roughly 7 mins apart, lasting around a minute.

P arrived around 3:30 AM and encouraged us to get some sleep. We got her set up in our guest bedroom, and we both felt better knowing she was right upstairs if we needed her. We were able to go to sleep. I put on the easy first stage script. Every now and then, a PW would wake me up, but I relaxed through it and went straight back to sleep.

We all got moving around 8 AM, except M, who chose a good day to sleep in! She woke up around 9:30 AM, and by that time, the PW's were definitely intensifying. We called over some friends to help with M. DH cooked breakfast for everyone, but I wasn't hungry by this time, so I just went into our bedroom, put on some more scripts (birthing day affirmations and easy first stage), and relaxed through contractions on my own. The scripts helped a lot. I particularly loved the affirmation, "I am safe, and my baby is safe, no matter how much power flows through my body." I could picture the power flowing through my body with every PW. It felt awesome! I also remember a couple of times when the scripts said to smile, and I did!

I also figured out that rocking on my hands and knees was the most comfortable position during PW's, so that's what I did through most of them.

Somewhere in there, I overheard P mention to DH that I was getting that serious look. One of them called C and our birth photographer, E, who arrived together at around 10:30 AM. C quickly checked my vitals, and everything sounded great. We mostly stayed in the bedroom, playing more Hypnobabies scripts to keep me focused, DH talking me through PW's and reminding me of my Hypnobabies cue words, P applying counterpressure and a warm rice sock to my back, C checking in on the baby with the doppler every so often.

The PW's flew by. My cat often wandered under my belly or rubbed her head against my face during them. M broke away from her Disney movies in the living room to come say hi a couple of times. At one point, C said I needed to eat something, so P fixed a plate of apples and peanut butter for me. M hopped up on the bed and started eating them with me, and drinking out of my water bottle! Everyone tried to tell her no, but I told them it was fine. It made me smile. Then she jumped all over our bed yelling, "No more monkeys jumping on the bed!" PW's are so easy to get through when you have adorable distractions like that :)

Around 12:30 PM, I started noticing that the PW's were getting really long, and more on top of one another. I knew I was probably in transformation.

Not too long after that, I had a PW where midway through, I stopped the low vocalization that I had been doing and started to grunt. I felt my body pushing and it felt good. When it was over, P asked, "Did that feel different?" and I said, "I think so. I couldn't tell if I needed to push or if I just wasn't doing a good job of relaxing through that one." P said, "Well, let's see what the next one feels like." The next one felt much the same. The second midwife, G, had arrived a little while earlier, and she got to work on filling up the tub in our bathroom, while I did some pushing on the bed with DH, P, and C.

With another PW, I pushed, and suddenly felt a pop and a huge gush of fluid -- my water had finally broken completely.

Soon, it was time to get in the tub. The water felt wonderful! Pushing itself didn't feel all that great, so I pushed hard to get it over with. I had a nice break in between PW's, and I held DH's hand and closed my eyes and just relaxed, knowing my baby would be here soon.

After a few PW's in the tub, the head popped out. That was somewhat surreal, seeing my baby's head underwater! But C assured me that the umbilical cord was still providing oxygen. With the next push, at 1:20 PM, I felt the entire body come sliding out.

I opened my eyes and saw my baby for the first time, and simultaneously heard DH yell out, "It's a boy!" The excitement and pride in his voice was so evident. It was amazing, hearing my husband say those words rather than an ultrasound tech, coming with all the emotion of seeing our baby -- OUR BABY! -- for the very first time. I cannot even put it into words. Hands down, one of the highlights of my life.

C put him right on my chest and we just started to laugh and cry. He picked his head right up and calmly looked at us with his deep blue eyes, like he was saying, "Hello, Mom! Hello, Dad!" There were a few concerns with his breathing initially, but after a lot of suctioning, he started crying heartily and pinked up nicely. We had someone bring M in to meet her new baby brother, and she was amazed by him! She kept touching his head and hands. So sweet. Someone asked her what she thought of him and she replied, "I have a big nose. He has a small nose." LOL!

I eventually moved out of the tub and onto our bed. The entire atmosphere was so relaxed and peaceful. I got W latched on and he nursed for a while, murmuring contentedly the entire time. My doula brought me a sandwich and some fruit to munch on. My photographer showed us how to put prefold diapers on a newborn.

The midwives examined my bottom. I did need a few stitches; I blame myself for pushing too darn hard, rather than remembering my Hypnobabies "Ahhhh" pushing! On the bright side, my midwives told me to use my hypnosis as they stitched me up, just as I'd done during my birthing time. I did, and that made the stitching a lot easier. They even commented on how relaxed I was! Yeah for Hypnobabies!

The midwives also did the newborn exam. W weighed in at 8 lbs 11 oz, and measured 21" long. A tiny little thing -- the first baby under 9 lbs in at least three generations of women in my family.

It all took around 3 hours, and then everyone started to clear out, leaving our new family of four plus my mom (who had flown in from Atlanta that morning to help with M) alone in the house. W and I spent the rest of the evening cuddling in bed. M came in often to visit with me and her new baby brother. She adores him!

That night, I slept with W and DH on one side, my cat on the other. I laid awake for about an hour after one of W's nursing sessions, staring at my two boys, reviewing the incredible events of that amazing day in my head. Totally blissed out. A perfect way to end one of the best days of my life.

Thanks to Hypnobabies for an amazing and very easy birth experience!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
My first son was born nearly 6 years prior to Abram’s birth.  He was exactly 14 days overdue by the time he was born.  I used Hypnobirth (Mongan method) during my pregnancy to prepare and also hired a Hypnobirthing doula.  My birthing time began in a freestanding birth center.  I stayed there for 24 hours.  By the time I transferred to the hospital I had been “birthing” for about 30 hours.  I was physically exhausted and desperately needed some rest.  I received pitocin and an epidural.  I was finally able to rest and sleep some.  My son was born after 46 hours of total labor.  It had been difficult due to the exhaustion, but was overall a very pleasant experience.  I really enjoyed the actual “pushing” and felt absolutely elated when he was finally born.  Although I really dreaded going to the hospital, the experience was still very wonderful.  My doctor did not insist that I have a c-section even though many other doctors would have at that point.  He gave me time and allowed me to rest and I was able to successfully push out a 9 lb. 4 oz. baby boy without even a tear or episiotomy.  My recovery was wonderful and easy.  I truly believed that without the hypnosis preparation I had my very long first birth would have been unbearable and probably ended in a c-section.  My ability to cope with the difficulty had definitely been improved by my relaxation practice throughout pregnancy.

My second birth was starting out much the same way as my first.  This time I had prepared with the Hypnobabies program since about the 20th week of pregnancy.  I used the homestudy course.  The preparation was much more thorough and I felt much more prepared and confident.  I hired a Hypnobabies instructor to come to my house and go through a “birth rehearsal” with my birth team.  It was really helpful for all of us.  I think it really helped my birth team feel comfortable and prepared.  My friend Kathleen served as my “doula”.  She had not ever had a homebirth or used hypnosis, but she was very willing to be supportive and help me however she could.  My husband served as my main support and helped throughout the pregnancy reading me scripts.  My friend Jason was also on my “birth team”.  My hypnosis sessions and visualization of the birth always focused on having a “comfortable and quick birth”.  I was especially focused on this because of the long first birth I had experienced with my first son.

My son was “due” on May 29th.  He did not arrive until 17 days later on June 15th.  We planned a homebirth with a CNM.  I was getting very tired of waiting and the pressure of needing to get the baby out due to him being so “overdue” was getting to be very emotionally difficult.  Our midwife said that on the 15th we would need to start encouraging him to come out.  We decided that a prostaglandin gel on the cervix would be the best way to do this.  Our midwife is also a Naturopathic physician so she was able to use the gel at her office and then send us home.  We had been trying any other means possible up to this point to encourage him to begin his birthing time.  However, I did absolutely refuse to use castor oil!  I am still very glad that I did.

At 1:15 p.m. she applied the prostaglandin gel on my cervix and told me to roll over on my side for 15 minutes to let it stay there for awhile.  As soon as I rolled over I saw my belly “drop” about six inches.  It was astonishing.  I saw my husband’s eyes get big and I asked, “Did you see that?”  He said yes and we both sat in wonder of what would happen next.  By the time I got off the table I was starting to feel pressure waves.  The waves were coming about every 2 minutes.  This was shocking and I got a little nervous about making it home.  The drive was about an hour to our house.  I listened to the hypnosis tracks on my MP3.  The car ride was slightly uncomfortable, but my hypnosis put me right into a relaxed state.  When we got home I relaxed in bed and listened to my MP3.  My husband had called our birth team and his parents. By the time I got in bed the pressure waves were already becoming more sparse and less intense.  I became a little discouraged and wondered if this was the beginning of another long birth.

My friend Kathleen arrived at 4:15.  She documented the birth and in her notes she wrote that when she arrived I was leaning over the exercise ball and my pressure waves were consistent, but she and my husband were having a hard time of knowing how intense they were.  I was very relaxed and my hypnosis practice seemed like second nature.  The pressure waves were easy and I sometimes talked right through them or just breathed through them.  I ate a little bit and about 5:30 we went for a walk.  The waves were about 2 minutes apart and 40 seconds long.  We kept in touch with my midwife regularly on the phone.

By 7:00 p.m. we went for a walk again.  The waves were becoming fewer and seemed weaker.  This was very discouraging.  My midwife suggested that I use the breast pump she had sent home with me in order to stimulate the oxytocin and encourage the pressure waves to come on stronger.  I ate some dinner and by 8:15 I started pumping.  By this time my mother-in-law was there too.  We all sat down and watched a movie while I sat on the couch and used the electric pump on my breasts.  I used the pump for 20 minutes and then rested for 20 minutes.  I had a little bit of “leaking” so I got some towels to sit on.  By 9:56 I felt a huge “pop” like a balloon had burst inside of me.  We called the midwife again.  I definitely felt the pressure waves become stronger.  This was the start of my “active” birthing time.

I went to the bathroom and checked the fluid.  My husband met me there and gave me my “relax” cues which cued my hypnosis.  I remember saying I felt a little pushy.  He told me, “No you’re not”…. “Just ‘relax’”.  I was a little confused because things seemed to be happening fast.  I asked to get the birth tub filled up at 10:24 p.m...  I leaned over my birth ball in the living room while my friend read my scripts and rubbed my back.  I used my “finger drops” and relaxed beautifully.  By 10:45 I was in the pool.  It was hastily filled up.  It wasn’t quite full enough with air or water, but I really wanted to get in and relax in the water.  I leaned over the sides and tried to relax, but the sides were so low and that position was just not comfortable.  I was feeling nauseous.  At 10:54 I asked my husband to get in behind me so I could sit and lean against him.  This position was lovely and really comfortable.  The midwife was on her way.  They said she’d be here in two minutes.  This helped me feel confident.  I knew my “lifeguard” would be here soon.  My husband faithfully repeated phrases which helped me in my hypnosis.  I stayed in “center switch” and kept repeating my “peace” cue to myself.  This really helped me stay calm and comfortable.  I could feel myself pushing.  It wasn’t something that I could stop.  My body knew exactly what to do. My husband could hear me pushing and was afraid it was too early.  Of course he was also afraid because the midwife had not arrived yet.  His calm and steady repetition of the word “relax” began to get more impatient and loud.  He was basically yelling at me to “relax”!!  It didn’t matter to me because my body was just doing what it had been trained to do.  I knew everything was okay and felt confident that I could trust my body.

At 11:00 Abram’s head was out.  The only way I knew that for sure was that my friend Kathleen had jumped into the pool to support his head with her hands.  She said something comforting to me and spoke in a really calm voice.  I’m not sure exactly what she said, but her eyes said everything I needed to know.  In a single instance Kathleen and I communicated something that will never be able to be articulated in words.  She passed on comfort, strength and confidence in a single eye to eye gaze.  That look is probably a look women have given to each other for millennia as they leaned on each other for support during those moments when a child’s birth was eminent.  It’s a look that is a cheer and a hug and a prayer all at once.  I can never adequately describe it nor will I ever forget it as long as I live. I wish every woman could have a moment like that.  That moment was transformative and healing.  It is one of the many gifts I received during this birth and I feel blessed that I could have that kind of experience.

Kathleen held the head until my midwife arrived.  She arrived at 11:01 p.m. and about two pushes later Abram was born at 11:05 p.m...  He was 9 lbs. 14 ozs. And 21 inches long.

The entire “active” portion of my birthing time was about one hour long.  I was very thankful that I planned a homebirth because I’m not sure I would have made it in time to deliver at a hospital.  I truly believe my hypnosis and my visualization made my birth very quick and easy.  I had an intact perineum and never felt any discomfort, only pressure.   Evidently it was so peaceful and calm that my birth team really had no idea how quickly my birth was progressing.  They were shocked when the head came out because I was so calm and relaxed.  It was the ideal birth.

I am such a believer in hypnosis.  I think the Hypnobabies program really prepared me for my ideal birth.  I had a safe, peaceful, and life changing birth that I will always remember.  I wish that every woman could have this kind of experience.  It is an experience that makes you thankful to be a woman.

I look forward to attending my friend Kathleen’s birth next May.  She is having a homebirth and using Hypnobabies. We will again get to experience the amazing journey of birth together.  What a gift!!
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No words are needed!

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uBlh1xbO3Qg]
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We had a planned home water birth. We had no ultrasounds. I was GBS+ but successfully used natural methods to become GBS-! It was nearly perfect! We had the baby 2 days after her "due" (guess) date...

(Please use your BOP...)

We were lazy on Sunday and watched a lot of TV. Paul (hubby) said he felt bad about being so lazy. I told him we were resting up for the baby. Little did I know it would be today. I wasn't at all nervous about the birth itself (though I had been early on, before HB!) but was anxious to meet her and get the pregnancy part over with. I thought today may be the day but I really wasn't sure. When we finally decided to go out to finish the horses' fence (I was just keeping my husband, Paul, company), I went to the bathroom and there was a tiny bit of mucus plug. I also had some fluid leaking on the way to the bathroom on a previous trip, just a very little bit. I  told Paul that today may be the day, but I don't think he believed me. He went on with the fence project plans as usual. I called my mom, then Marlene, our midwife, and I told them I had slight cramps w/ pressure waves and that today may be the day. I went down to the barn around 2:45 with my stopwatch and pad of paper. Paul thought I was making a "to-do" list. I told him I was timing PW's.

When I started timing them, they were consistently 5 min. apart and 45 sec. long! I timed maybe 2-3 of them in a row. They felt like mild menstrual cramps. Then suddenly, they were 3 min apart and 60 sec. long and getting stronger, though still pretty comfortable. I could still continue on with what I was doing easily. I told Paul that I was going to go start setting up the birthing supplies. We had everything ready, just not set out and we still had to blow up and fill the pool, which meant connecting the pool hose to the faucet in the shower, etc. I wanted to start my Hypnobabies relaxation so I would be nice and relaxed for the birth. Within a few minutes, Paul was up from the barn and was starting to help get things ready. He wanted to take a shower! I told him there was no time for that but he didn't think I was serious. I guess, because I didn't look like a typical woman in labor, as portrayed on TV and he thought it would still be several hours. He took a quick shower then started getting the birth pool ready. I decided to start listening to my HB CD's. I went upstairs to sit on my birthing ball and listen to my relaxation tracks while he got the pool ready. I started on the Fear Clearing Session, but after remembering all I had to get ready, I quit, knowing it was progressing very quickly and that there wasn't much time. I couldn't concentrate because of all that still had to be done. I decided to listen after we got things ready. So, I came back downstairs and he had the pool almost full! I did put my HB on in the background, Easy First Stage. Waves were getting very intense! Paul was hanging the Christmas lights for nighttime birthing and joking around. I was in no mood for joking and I was thinking, "we're not going to need those lights" but I didn't say anything. He was so relaxed and helpful, I didn't want to ruin the mood. I was lying on the bed trying to relax through the waves but they were getting so strong and close together that I had to quit helping get the supplies set up. He disappeared upstairs and I had a few more pressure waves and decided after this last one, that's it! I have to get in the pool! When Paul came back downstairs a few minutes later, he was surprised to find me in the pool, not thinking it was time yet. I asked him to call my mom and tell her I was definitely in labor and that she should come soon. I don't think I made it clear how close I thought it would be! (Of course, I wasn't SURE how long it would take, so I was second-guessing myself). I must have been much more calm on the outside than I felt on the inside because I had to yell a few times for him to come back down again when I felt definite pushing during a pressure wave! He had been straightening up for our birth team and my mom so they would have a place to sleep that night while waiting for the birth and/or afterward. (I thought that was cute!) I got a little scared when the pushing started b/ I didn't know if it was time yet. Was I dilated? My birth team wasn't there yet! We thought we may have to catch this baby ourselves. Paul called the midwife and she was about 15-20 minutes away.

I know people have different experiences and sensations during birthing but pushing to me was very intense! To me, I don't know how anyone could NOT push when a pressure wave came on! I couldn't NOT do it. So, when the pushing happened, it happened! It felt like dry heaves. My body just took over and I was surprised how powerful my body was! Of course, I had been having practice pressure waves since at least week 20 pretty regularly. I had said that as many as I had, the baby ought to just shoot out! I don't remember it being that painful, it just scared me a little how my body took over. When the pushing started, I was lying back in the pool. I just stayed in this position b/ it never occurred to me to move. Early on in the pushing, my water broke which, to me sounded like an explosion! Paul was still running around getting things ready or calling the midwife or something because he didn't know it had broken and I didn't ask him if he noticed until afterward. He hadn't. At some point, Holly, the midwife's apprentice, arrived. She looked shocked when she came in, not expecting us to be so far along. The look on her face was priceless. Marlene arrived soon after and they were busy setting up supplies they might need. I think she suggested I try a different position because I had been pushing for a little while and there was no head coming. (We think I probably pushed for about an hour??). Once I got on my hands and knees, it progressed much more quickly. A few more pushes and the head was crowning. A few pushes later, her head was out. Once her head was out, I was preparing for the same with the shoulders but I think one push and the shoulders were out. Then the rest of her slid out on its own. I thought someone was pulling her out but I found out later that that wasn't the case. Marlene said "sit back" and when I did, the baby came floating up into my arms. She cried once or twice then opened her eyes and looked around! She latched on and nursed very quickly and was alert and calm. She has been a very quiet baby and many people comment on how quiet and alert she is. I think it has a lot to do with her gentle entry into the world! We estimated her arrival to be 5:45, about 3 hours after the PWs were apparent to me.

I had a brief second of the "ring of fire" when her head was emerging but it quickly faded as her head came out and exerted more pressure. The only sharp what-I-considered "pain" was I could feel myself tearing in the front, but I didn't care. I just wanted to get the baby out! I didn't think of changing positions. (I hadn't done any perineal stretching on the front. All of the literature I had read on it said to stretch toward the back. Where I had stretched, I didn't tear. However, I didn't need stitches, fortunately.) Delivering the placenta was a piece of cake.

She is now 9 weeks old and worth it all a million times over! I don't feel I really got to fully use my HB because of the speed at which the birth progressed. It was hard to get "into the zone" because it happened in such a rush, but obviously, it helped keep me calm, which allowed for a quick, relatively painless (though intense) birth. I recommend it to everyone!

If I could do anything over, (you may want to consider this for your birth) I'd have had a deeper birthing pool (ours was 22", of course, water was probably about 16" high). I'd have it at least 6" higher next time. Would have been able to get into a better position(s), been more boyant, etc. I would have also been doing HB THAT DAY when I first suspected that it would be the day of birthing so I could get into my off switch and center switch better and could practice with them when PWs weren't intense. I would have also tried the exercise my natural healer gave me for menstrual cramps that works like magic to see if that helped lessen the pressure sensations of the PWs. And, I would have had everything set out weeks in advance, just in case.

More good news: I had symphysis pubis discomfort throughout much of pregnancy but it didn't bother me at all in labor or delivery!...
I wish all of you the best! It's been great having you on our "team". You can do it! Your baby will thank you one day for giving them the best start and being proacitve in their care! Remember to get your baby to a good chiro who is experienced in children. It keeps the nervous system functioning well which makes your baby healthier.
Tagged in: psd pubic symphis
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Finally have enough time to tell you wonderful hypno moms about Maia's birth, she's 7 weeks old now and is amazing everyday.

I'm 43 and Maia is my 5th baby, my other children are 20, 17, 11 and 10.  The first 2 births were in hospital on my back and were manageable but with hindsight, not the wonderful events they should have been.  My third was an unintentional homebirth with my holding DD3's head in while the midwife ran in the house.  My son's birth was meant to be a homebirth but we had a flu epidemic that year and there was 1 midwife to come out and assess me and escort me into hospital because there were simply not enough able staff.

Maia's father is not the father of my other children so she was a bit of an unknown quantity as far as my pregnancy went and therefore also the labour.  I had horrendous morning sickness for the first time and was not impressed.. Horrible PSD that got me a few appointments with the physio but not much relief.. and of course I am so much older than I was for the last birth with a new father to boot! He took some persuading but once I had shown him the stats for poor hospital experiences and had him read some of the horror stories, he came round to my way of thinking and we started to plan a homebirth with a birthing pool.

We would still have to use an NHS midwife because we couldn't afford an ndependant midwife but I managed to come up with the next best thing.  My son has a friend in his class, who's mother had not long qualified as a midwife and I phoned her to ask if she would be my midwife and she said yes, brilliant!!! All my ante natals were done in my own home, none of these rushed affairs in a sterile office :D

My guess date was 16th October and we had a 3D scan done because Daddy was working away and couldn't be here for either of the others, it's so weird seeing your baby as a black and white photo before she's born.

I have asymptomatically high BP and we had a few dodgy ante natals when the results were a little high for comfort but then I'd use my hypnobabies techniques and would get it right down, once I got it so low Paula, my midwife, was panicking about it being TOO low lol. I did, however, end up in hospital once for an hour for continous monitoring because it wouldn't come down but I just worked harder on my hypnobabies from then because I was determined to keep my home water birth.

Maia got into head down position when she was meant to but was really active and when I worked out which bit was which I realised she was posterior, my placenta was anterior and it turned out that her cord was quite short so all my attempts to turn her were in vain. I admit to worrying myself about back labour and  panicked when I read 'let birth be born again' by Jean Sutton.  Paula started to refuse to discuss the baby's position with me, I could tell from my shape that all my pelvic tilts were having no effect.  I borrowed a Rebozo but didn't get round to trying it.

I'm self employed as a driving instructor and finished working 2 weeks before Maia was born, by that time I was using my hypnobabies to help me sleep and to keep my BP down, the pregnancy affirmations was my favourite.  I never got round to doing a fear release until I was in labour but I knew that transition was the thing I was most concerned about.  I should tell you that I'd had no pain relief with any of my other births and fully expected to manage this birth in the same way but I always found transition so intense.  Added to that, I'd read somewhere older women labour for longer too, hypnobabies HAD to help me.

So we got to 14th and bearing in mind Maia's position and how posterior babies 'usually' go past guess dates, I was mildly surprised to see a tiny bit of the plug on the toilet tissue just before going to bed, I never did get into the habit of doing finger drops on those midnight runs...

Thursday 15th, my waters broke at 11am, just little dribbles when I moved about but no waves, I texted Paula to let her know and of course she wanted to be kept informed of any developements but said she'd come down later anyway to check my BP.  She came down at 1pm, still no waves and my BP was fine but now we have a time limit, she told me current protocols are 24 hours but we both knew I'd be doing my own monitoring if we went past 24 hours.

The pressure waves finally started a couple of hours later but were intermittent and more than manageable. I did my first fear clearing session and the birth day affirmations, and I think I listened to Deepening too. Paula came back at 4 and checked my BP and temperature again, both were fine but she said that she would have to let the hospital know what was going on and they would expect to see me at 11 the following morning.  She left telling me to take it easy to keep my BP down but to do what I could to get the PW's going.  I have to tell you that I was up and down our stairs more than I had been my whole pregnancy that evening, it worked to keep them going but would peter away when I stopped, needless to say I was fairly breathless.

My OH and my 2 youngest had a walk around to my dad's at about 7pm and by now I was having to stop walking and concentrate between each PW, still not anything other than pressure and tightening. I'd been rocking on all fours when I was on the phone to a friend and although I couldn't talk to her when I had a PW, I found that if I pushed my hips as far forward as I could, I could almost feel nothing!!!

We got home about 9pm and started baking brownies and cookies, as much to distract the kids as anything, and although I didn't help out, I was now it established labour and phoned Paula to tell her that.  The PW were still around 10 mins apart but were lasting for more than a minute.
Once the baking was done, I got in the bath to help relax me and to pass the time, the kids came in to say good night at 1130 and I put on birth day affirmations again I think, it's 50 mins long whichever 1 it was, then I resumed getting through each of the Pw's pushing my hips forward, yes I was lying on my front in the bath and it was all working great!!  My OH came in a couple of times and he took the only photos on Maia when she was still 'Bunny', so we have to look at my naked ass when looking at photo's of my bump lol, not nice BTW!! I was using nipple stimulation to keep the PW's going as I felt they were still not that well established.

So now it's nearly 1am and I decide I'd better get out of the bath, no idea how close the PW's are, but I do know that I have no problem dealing with them or using hypnobabies to deal with them.  However, as I stand to get out of the bath, my concentration slips and I have 3 PW's one after the other, no pain but now I realise we have very little time and the birth pool hasn't been filled yet!!

I shout at OH to get my phone so I can get Paula's number for him to call, 'how far apart are your contractions?' he asks, so much for keeping to the script.... 'every minute' I reply not wanting to panic him or her but in reality they are less than 30 seconds apart. And I shout that we need to get the pool filled NOW!

So I get a tank top on and some underwear to wait her arrival, she lives 2 min drive from me, and with me shouting at OH the kids have disappeared upstairs not really sure what to do with themselves.

The pool took me 45 mins to fill during the rehearsals and Im pretty damn sure that I'm not gonna get in there...but OH has other ideas and blasts water into it, unfortunately he doesn't put the tap adaptor on tight enough and it blows off, I remember walking into the kitchen and wondering why the ceiling is dripping lol.

Paula arrives about 1.10 and starts to take my BP and tries to take ,my temperature but I have to get on my knees to deal with the PW's and she loses the thermometer....and now I know I'm in transition, no position is comfortable and I'm starting to moan through each of them.

I still have my undies on and on the other side of the room the birth pool beckons, still not full but sooooo far away I don't think I'm gonna be able to get in, and now I'm feeling pushy which I tell Paula. So I turn and face the back of the sofa but the cushion slides as I brace for the next PW and I know that I HAVE to get in somehow.  As 1 PW dies away, I make my move and have my undies off and HOP into the birth pool before the next 1 starts.  The uncontrollable urge to push takes over and now I'm loud which feels great but which freaks the kids out so they stay upstairs, we hadn't made any definate plans about them being in attendance so if this is where they want to be then I'm wasn't going to force them.

I now gather my wits and know that I have to calm down to breath this baby out, I'd have stitches with each of my other babies and wasn't looking forward to having them again.  I reached under the water to her head and gave Paula a scare when she saw my finger tips in the dim light and thought they were toes, and she asked OH to get her a mirror so she could see better.  He disappears upstairs to try and get the shaving mirror off the wall and has to be shouted back down as Maia's head comes out, no ring of fire and the other midwife came in then and I actually said to her that it was nice to see her lol.  She's the supervisor of midwives at the hospital Paula works at and had put herself on call because there are so few home births in this area and she wasn't about to miss out!!

1 more push and I lift my baby to the surface and welcomed her to the world, her Daddy was just coming into the lounge as I lifted her up and so he did see her but didn't catch her which was what we had hoped for.     Within 10 seconds her brother and sisters greeted her and I sat back whilst gazing into the face of our new arrival. She was born at 0145 on her guess date with NO labour in my back, with no problems, with no pain, with no meds in our own home with our own family around us.

We waited till the cord stopped pulsing, Daddy cut it and we used a cord tie made by a doula friend instead of those plastic clamps, yuck. I had tried to lift her out of the water so that Paula could wrap her in in a dry towel because she was very blue but her cord was so short I was struggling to get her to my chest, so no wonder she hadn't turned!

Within 20 minutes Granny and Gramps had arrived and even my daughter's boyfriend came back to see Maia, all the while I'm still in the pool!

I had a physiological 3rd stage,  it took an hour and then we went through to my bedroom to be checked for tears and this was the only time that my under carriage was looked at, I had no internals at all :D as per my birthplan :)) I also needed no stitches yay!

Maia weighed 6lbs13oz, my smallest baby and was 50cm long, she's the apple of all our eyes and even the dog likes her, the smelliest springer spaniel on the planet.

I thoroughly recommend hypnobabies, if only to get you through your pregnancy, if you stay calm and choose to use your 'tools' then you will give yourself the best chance of getting the birth you want.

Good luck to all you moms to be, especially Kathy mommyryn, I have followed your situation through all it's twists and turns and hope you are holding your sweet baby soon.

Sorry this is sooo long but I wanted to make sure I remembered it all :D

Hugs

Debs xx
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Here is a mom relaxing in the tub at 9 cm during a pressure wave.  Look at how calm she is!  :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WtJCKpO92Jg]

You can read the moms experience at her blog!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Dear Skyla
You lie next to me, milkdrunk, your body limp with the rush of the milkhigh, and contentment washing over your being. The fact that you are here is miraculous, I still can't quite believe it, today is your actual 'due date', but as we know that means nothing, and you were going to come when you were ready, no sooner, no later. You have been in our world for five days now.
So here, my love is the story of your birth, written while still fresh in my mind, body and soul.
Your conception wasn't planned Sweet Skyla, and I don't really know how you came into being, it is a little miracle. However I could feel the winds of change as soon as you were conceived. I had no idea of your existence yet I felt all tingly inside, it felt like a premonition. I looked into my days with anticipation, nervousness and wonder, 'What was this feeling? What lay on the horizon?'. I kept saying to people, "Something is going to happen, I can feel it, I don't know what it is yet, but I know it".
So when my period was slow to arrive, and then I started feeling a little nauseous, your existence was discovered. It was a shock for me and your Daddy, but under the shock we were both happy, very happy.
And it was a beautiful ride my love, growing you inside me felt so magic and full of such wonder. We were blessed with an easy ride too, you and me, a few weeks of nausea, but that soon passed, a bit of tiredness, which I took as my body telling me to rest, and that was all. We blossomed.
And I began preparing for your birth day. I wanted to bring you into this world in the best possible way for the both of us. Your Daddy too wanted what was best for us. So we made some birth choices, and your Daddy was amazing at helping me to stay strong in them, and in defending our choices to people who questioned them. We declined routine scans, it felt intuitively wrong to expose you to that for no medical reason (of course my precious if at any time anything was medically indicated then we would!). And we decided to have a birth at home.
I read books, I researched, and I looked for tools to help us have the best possible birth. Sadly in our culture birth is medicalised, rather than normalized, and so I wanted to counter that programming in myself, I surrounded myself with positive books, ones that empower women on their birth journeys, I read, I wrote. I started a Hypnobabies program to give me tools for the day, to embrace the sensations of birthing. I believed in and wanted a beautiful fearless birth. Your Daddy read the bits I asked him to read, did my Hypnobabies with me, cooked us yummy food, and gave me back rubs when I needed it. He looked after us well Sweet Skyla. And we found a lovely independent midwife, Debs, who would attend the birth, and be there to help us if we needed it.
So, I thought you were going to be late, I thought I would end up fighting the induction police, so I planned on hair appointments and massages in my last few weeks, and started tying up loose ends. On Tuesday I went to Oxford to visit my Goddaughter and her brother, Anna is 4, Will is 6, Anna chatted to you, and patted my belly and spoke about 'the baby' almost non-stop. I felt a bit crampy and ill when I left there that evening. But I had been feeling a bit 'niggly' the past two weeks, period like cramps, teary, and tired, so I didn't think anything of it. The next day I felt a little ill, and my lower back was rather achy. And you were so so active, rolling and kicking all over the show. Your Daddy and I went out that afternoon, and had a massive argument in the street, I guess we were both feeling a bit hormonal! We got home that night, he went to bed around midnight, and I stayed up and cleaned the kitchen (which, my precious, is very unlike me, so perhaps I was nesting?). I had started to feel you do your head spins on my cervix, but the sensation had moved, and I was feeling it in my bottom, it felt a bit sharp and it rose and fell. Then I felt my first pressure wave, it was like a tightening from my lower back that radiated all round to the front of my belly. I hadn't felt any Braxton Hicks throughout the whole pregnancy, so this was a new feeling, exciting! I timed them and they seemed 7-10mins apart. I got in a bath, to see if that would change them, they increased to 5mins apart, lasting a minute. By 3am, I called Debs to let her know, I wasn't going to, as I was convinced this was just practice, but I thought I should call her 'just in case', she said get some sleep and call me back. I went to bed and woke your Daddy and told him what was happening, and asked him to get the tens machine, there was no way I was going to sleep through these waves! Don't worry Skyla they weren't painful, they were intense, and the best way to describe them is to say they are all consuming, they became everything and demanded all of my attention. I put my affirmations on, and the tens, and when a wave came I got on all fours and circled my hips like in yoga, and I said "ahhhhh" in a soft breath, and "open, open, open", and I thought of you my lovely, I sent you love and energy and reassurance.
Your Daddy timed these for an hour, not realizing how all consuming they were getting, he tried to talk to me during one, I couldn't answer and I think he realized then. During one, he put his hand on my belly (he often did this in bed at night). He said he felt the energy change completely, and he knew that this was it for real, he also said he knew you were a girl (I had had this feeling from this beginning, as did he, but then he changed and started thinking you were a boy).
There was a little show and we decided to call Debs back to see if we should start filling the pool.  She said 'Okay I am coming now', when Daddy described how things were, this surprised him he said later, as we must be further along than we thought. (We had plans of going for lunch, of hanging out watching dvds together during early birthing time). So he jumped up and got into action setting up the pool, I started helping, but got to the point where I needed to just focus on this. I returned to bed, on all fours, and put on my hypnobirthing "Easy First Stage" on and went within.
Debs arrived at 6ish, checked us, you were doing great, so was I, we didn't want any internals, which Debs was fine with. Daddy did a quick dash to the supermarket (we didn't have anything in the house!). Debs just left me to it, alone in the bedroom, which was what I wanted, to go within and let my body do it. I found myself covering my eyes during a pressure wave, and continued with the circling and 'ahhh's.  I also started saying "yes, yes yes", I found this really helped me to embrace and surrender to them.
Debs said when Daddy got back I could get in the pool if I wanted, this surprised me, I didn't think we were that far. I was only using the tens machine, putting it on 'boost' during a wave, and this really helped manage the sensation, I only had it on '2' (it goes up to 20) as I wanted to keep it back in case I really needed it. The waves were intense, and becoming more all encompassing, it was such a powerful feeling, I would go right into them, and then once they subsided, I would return to the world.
Daddy got back from shopping and continued getting everything ready, but now I wanted him with me during a wave, so I would call him every few minutes and he would come running. He tried some hypno cues, but I didn't want that, and told him to hush. He tried to give me some nice touch, but again, I didn't want that and shook my head. He said he felt a bit helpless, but having him there was All and Everything that I needed.
Then I felt sick, I asked Deb to get your nappy bucket from the bathroom, and up came all the raspberry leaf tea and porridge your Daddy had given me. And I started crying, I don't know why, it was like waves of emotion washing over me, I wasn't upset, just a little confused maybe or overwhelmed.
This passed and we moved into the living room, where your Daddy had done an amazing job! The blackout curtains were up, and candles everywhere and the most beautiful fresh flowers, pink roses, and a massive bunch of lovely yellows and reds and oranges. He put the Rumi poetry and music cd on, and I got in the pool. The temperature was amazing, so hot and delicious. And you, my lovely, began your descent.
I found it hard to let go as I felt you press against my bottom, this is just a natural taboo of letting go in that area. I had asked Deb not to 'coach' at all, and only to give direction if I asked for it, so I asked her here, she said 'just push through your bottom as if you are going to the toilet', and I tried. Then I felt sick again, I leant over the edge and threw up into your nappy bucket, it was a bit of a yucky feeling throwing up and trying to let go in my bottom at the same time, but it obviously did the trick, with the next wave I felt that letting go, and I relaxed into that. There was a show at some stage and I think Debs said something about it being a good sign that I was fully dilated, somewhere I registered this, although words were gibberish at this point, I was just following my body. With each wave I went right in, still on all fours, leaning over the pool, holding on to your daddy's hand, his presence meaning more than he will ever realize. The 'ahhhs' turned into a different noise, a really primal grunt/moan that I had no idea was in my vocab. I went with that, I could feel you moving down 'pressure' or 'pushy' or something I said to let Debs and Daddy know what was happening. It felt so good to surrender to this feeling, again hard to describe, still all encompassing and intense, but it felt a bit like throwing up in that my body just did it and I went with it. In between waves I rested, then circled and moved and said 'come on baby, come on', encouraging you on your journey down.  I could feel your head come a little further forward with each wave, but then slip back, this was hard and I felt impatient and wondered aloud if I could do this. Your bag of water hadn't broken yet. Debs said to reach down and feel your head, I did and it was squishy, you felt so close and yet so far. Debs suggested breaking your bag of waters to help you down, I agreed. She was listening to your heartbeat after every wave, and it was taking a little longer to recover each time, Daddy and I could hear it a bit slower (we were using the sonic aid now, after a whole pregnancy free of ultra sound, once we were in the water we decided for ease to let Debs use the sonic aid rather than fetalscope). So Debs suggested moving into a squat, and said to direct the energy that was coming out of my mouth in my amazing primal sounds downwards. Basically she meant actively 'push', which I hadn't wanted to do, rather I wanted to let my body doing the pushing, which it had been beautifully. But obviously, my precious, you were finding this part of the journey a little hard, and it would be better to get you out sooner. So I moved (Daddy was in the pool with me and you by now), and squatted and reclined, with Daddy next to me. The next wave came "here we go" I said to Debs and Daddy, and you moved into position, and I directed the energy down and I Pushed and Pushed and Pushed, and then there your little head was, I couldn't quite believe it! We looked at you and we waited for the next wave. It felt like an eternity in coming. When it did I pushed again, and Daddy held his hands out and out you came, turning as you did, I felt your body slip out and your little foot last of all, Daddy caught you, the cord was around your neck a couple of times (this was why your heartbeat was dipping so much) and you still had the membranes covering your head, Debs removed both and Daddy brought you slowly up out of the water and put you on my chest. Daddy bent down to look at your face, and you opened one eye and looked at him. You were floppy, we rubbed your back, 'hey, wake up baby' we said, you coughed and spluttered a bit and then you were here. During the whole birthing we had been referring to you as 'she'. Debs said, "Is it a girl?" and went to feel between your legs, but I lifted your leg so Daddy could look. He said, "Yes it's a little girl". We smiled and said "Hello Skyla". It was 11.36am on Thursday 12th March 2009.
You had arrived, you looked a little funny, but of course we thought you looked absolutely beautiful! Your colour started coming, and you were quiet and content and we had a timeless hour in the pool getting to know you, waiting for your placenta to come. I was getting lots of cramping as my womb clamped down and released your placenta, but no movement, I wondered if some gravity would help, so we decided to cut your cord so I could move and you could stay in the pool with Daddy. Debs clamped it and Daddy cut it.
I went to the bathroom, and your placenta slipped out easily. I showered and while Debs checked me, you and Daddy had a lovely time in the pool. Daddy talked to you and you just listened and gazed at him, when I came back Daddy said he had fallen completely in love with you.
And now, with you lying next to me lost in your milky dream world, I can say we have both fallen head over heels for you. We intend to do our best by you. We know it will be challenging at times, and we don't know all the answers, but we look forward to rising and growing with the challenges and exploring the questions with you Sweet Skyla.
With so much love, now and forever, to eternity and beyond, your Mama xx
Hypnobabies:
I loved my hypnobabies practice, I would say I was a B student, I practiced, mainly at night, and I did more of what I felt work for me.
As our birthing time happened a bit quickly, I found it hard to get into the hypno zone I thought I would be in, I didn't listen to all of easy first stage, or to second stage (I had intended to use both) as I was in that place where I just wanted to go within. This surprised me, also that I didn't want to 'listen' to words, I just wanted to know them.
My main birth goal was to have a really intuitive birth, to really listen and go into my body, so words (both the cds and Pete's - aka Daddy) felt kind of redundant. But also I felt like I had already embodied all the knowledge from all my hypno prep, so I didn't need to be listening to the cds during birthing.
This really worked for me, this embodying, it allowed me to feel confident enough to let go and go with in and 'let my monkey do it" (-Ina May!). I couldn't have done this without the confidence and calm that hypnobabies gave me.
In the few weeks before the hypno tool I used the most was painting my cervix, perineum and all my birthing muscles with my silver blue anesthesia paint (I knew how well this worked for me when I did the icecube test thing, I was Amazed that it worked so well!!!). So every time I thought of it, I would paint it on. Naturally this worked so well during birthing time too, there was no ring of fire, or any uncomfortable sensations there. Also when I had to push her out at the end I tore my perineum a little, I didn't feel this at all, and nothing when I was actually pushing!
When I visualsed the birthing I imagined it lasting 12 hours from start to birth, which it did, that it was mainly in the night with her born in the morning, which it was, and I saw myself surrendering to the sensations, which I did. The rest, being a first time mama, I wasn't sure really what would happen. But hypnobabies really helped me to Trust my body and Trust my baby.
Having this Embodied Knowledge really allowed me to let go, go within, get primal and intuitive.
I don't think I can get across how much Trust and Confidence Hypnobabies gave me, and that the three months of 'training' with it was SO important for Embodying it so it became something my body Knew, or rather ReMembered! As of course my body knows all of this, but to remember it, and to know it on all levels was vital to the Beautiful Birthing time of Skyla.
Thank you Kerry! Thank you Hypnobabies! Thank you Mamas and Mamasinthemaking on this forum for all your support! And thank you Sweet Skyla for coming into my world!
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Posted by on in Water Birth
Here is a Hypnobabies mom having a pressure wave.  I love her smile when it is over!  :)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fLJMi4QsjTc]
Tagged in: comfortable birth
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Posted by on in Water Birth
switz

First, I'd like to say that I used the hypnobabies home study course and was probably a C student. :-) I was very good during the first 5 weeks, but during maintenance, I rarely listened to affirmations and only did about 2-3 finger drops per day. This was my second child, first hypnobaby/first natural birth.

I was 5 days past my due date, but was still feeling pretty zen about waiting for baby. Weh ad just recieved a new computer in the mail since our old one had died, and the boxes arrived at around 11am. My two year old son went down for his nap at noon, an das soon as he was asleep, I began opening boxes, taking apart the old computer, and setting up the new one. I kept needing to stop because of  cramps in my back, which I at first assumed were just related to being overly-pregnant and crawling around under the desk, lifting up boxes, etc.

Around 1230, it dawned on me that the back pains were coming and going... sort of like waves! I timed a few, and they were 4 minutes apart. They were extremely mild and I was able to kep working through them. I went ahead and called my husband and told him not to come home, but to just get himself organized just in case. I then put on my birthing day affirmations and kept working. At 1245 I called him back, and told him to come on home because I wasn't 100% sure it was the real thing, but better safe than sorry. I then called my midwife, who said she'd come check me at home in 45 minutes. My husband got home around 1:15, and the midwife arrived around 1:45. She checked me out, and I was dilated to 2cm and the baby was still posterior but said my cervix was *like butter*. This was really cool to hear, as it's in some of the hypnobabies scripts. The PWs were still very bearable, and I natrurally assumed positions of leaning over- feet spread apart and bent at the waist with my hands on the bed or couch, or squatting whenever I felt a wave. I used the Peace cue with great success.

My midwife went to prepare the birthing place (Here in Switzerland, the birth center is like a studio apartment within a senior midwife's home) and we were to meet her there as soon as we were packed up and ready. Our son woke up at 2:30, and we headed out the door, down 12 flights of stairs in our building (my husband was petrified that the elevator would malfunction just at the moment where we needed to get tot he birth center, lol.). We dropped off our son, and headed in tot he birth center. As soon as he was out oft he car, I turned on Easy First Stage on my ipod and went to *off*. I remained in off until we arrived, and the car ride was not a problem at all.

We arrived at the birth center at 3:15, and I was really needing to  concentrate during the PWs. I stayed in center, as I felt a need to move during/between PWs and couldn't be bothered with my switch. I experienced about 8 PWs on my knees with my upper body supported by a birth ball while my husband applied counter pressure to my lower back. These were very intense, and yes, even painful, but I never felt out of control like I did wtih my son's birth. I continued to use Peace and Relax with great success, although my husband had completely forgotten that he could be giving me the Relax cue as well. It worked just fine with me saying it to myself.

My water broke at 3:45, and my midwife said something about how things might pick up a bit in intensity from now on. I decided to get into the birth tub, which she had filled for me. The feeling of my water breaking was a strange sensation, but not at all painful.

I got into the tub, and took off my ipod because it was annoying me with the cord and worrying about it getting wet. I had one PW while kneeling in the water with my arms resting on the side oft he pool, and it was downright painful. I felt immediately nauseous afterwards, which set off an alarm in my mind about transformation, but I thought I was being WAY too optimistic and so didn't believe I was in transformation. I asked that someone apply counter pressure to my back with the next wave, which my husband did, and it was better, but still VERY intense. My midwife asked if I felt pushy at all, which I thought was ridiculous, since I thought I was just beginning active labor. I said that I felt *something*, but that pushy wasn't the right word. And then, the next wave hit. I started out in the same position, but instictively straightened out my back so that I was kneeling but compeletely upright, then without having any ability to control it, I began making the craziest scream/cry/yell/moan that I'd ever heard.

Amazingly, a part of my brain was still able to think, gee, when  women make this noise in birth videos, it's because they are pushing the baby out.  Weird!" It was incredible- while I was making this noise, the pain disappeared, and it was just INTENSE... pressure isn't the right word.... Just INTENSE. I would make this noise until my lungs emptied, take a deep breath, and do it again.

I instinctively reached down, and felt my baby's head slide right out into my hand. The midwife then helped a tiny bit with the shoulders, and the baby was born... all within this one minute, one wave, and without me ever feeling like I was consciously pushing. My midwife hadn't even bothered to put gloves on yet! I brought the baby out oft he water and onto my chest and IT WAS A GIRL!!! So exciting. She was healthy and pink and cried after a minute but calmed right down.

She nursed within 15 minutes or so, and the placenta was born about 45 minutes after the birth.

My thoughts on Hypnobabies:


I honestly never believed in a pain free birth while practicing my Hypnobabies.

Perhaps because this was not my first baby, and I'd already been there and experienced the pain of birth. What I wanted from  Hypnobabies was control over my expereince, which I felt I didn't have with my son (hospital birth, malfunctioning epidural, panicking, etc).

Ultimately, I did experience some pain/discomfort, but it was only in the last 2-3 waves. My midwife guesses that I arrived at the birth center still dilated to only 2-3cm, but that my water breaking caused a dilation from 2-10 in just 2 waves. So I guess a little pain is a fair trade for such fast dilation!

The Easy First Stage was AWESOME in the car, but I found it  distracting once at the birth center.

The Peace and Relax cues were WONDERFUL for me, but once I got into center, I didn't continue to use my lightswitch tool.

I would highly recommend this program to anyone else, but think it is very useful to also read a book such as Active Birth to learn coping strategies in addition to hypnobabies to help speed labor along and remain comfortable. I believe Active Labor is recommended in the home study course as being very compatible.

I wish you all great births !!!
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