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It is an absolute joy to share the birth story of my daughter Eliana who came into this world on Friday June 18th. This is a LONG birth story. I am SO happy that I did the supplemental Hypnobabies home study course after completing hypnobirthing. I strongly    believe that the preparation ahead of time helped us birth as naturally as possible.

My husband and I had been planning a home birth here in England. We are Americans and I have trained as a doula. When we arrived in the fall and found out that we were pregnant I knew that I wanted to have a beautiful birth as naturally as possible. I was an avid fan of Ina May Gaskin and had heard that hypnosis for childbirth was extremely helpful in accomplishing a natural birth pain free. So we signed up for HypnoBirthing at 20 weeks pregnant.

After completing the HypnoBirthing course and progressing in the pregnancy I found I wanted more to prepare and that the take home work for after the course was completed was not enough to settle my need for preparing for the birth. I heard about Hypnobabies and signed up. I really enjoyed the cds and visualizations and felt that they helped me bond with our baby more.

In any case, my EDD was June 7th. Although we prepared for the home birth there was something that was not sitting right for me with it. There is an excellent public home birth team where we live in England and we had hired a well experienced doula but as the date approached I felt myself having a difficult time visualizing the birth at home. So we decided that when it was the birthing time and I wanted to go to the birth center we'd go there instead of staying at home. On June 15th I started to become nervous about having the baby before an induction date a week later. So the day before I went into labour, I went on a huge walk, had a very relaxing acupuncture session, and we had some friends over for dinner. The next day I rested and that night on June 16th at 11:35 pm my waters broke while we were in bed reading. My husband and I were really excited! We called the homebirth midwives and our doula. I had no pressure waves at that point. At 1 am the midwife came over and said that as long as I gave birth within 32 hours after the waters breaking, I'd be able to have the baby at home. She suggested I go back to bed and call again when the pressure waves became more regular and intense.  By the time she left I started to feel minor pressure waves and went back to bed.

Of course my husband and I didn't sleep much at all! We watched Curb Your Enthusiasm for a few hours and then tried to sleep a bit. I think maybe I slept 2 hours. By the morning I was feeling the pressure waves more often and they felt like they were picking up a bit in intensity. Our doula came over (she herself is actually a private midwife but offered to be our doula at no cost--such an angel!) and so did one of the city's midwives. Since my waters broke I was not checked b/c of risk of infection. The midwife took my BP and it was a bit high. She had me rest for a while took it again and thankfully it was fine. She said it didn't seem like the pressure waves were intense enough yet ( I wasn't sure if this was b/c of hypnobabies or if it really was because they weren't that intense)and that I should contact her team again in a few hours. I tried to rest for a while at that point and our doula said she'd be back later. My husband and i tried to nap and when I got out of bed the PWs went away entirely. It was now late afternoon on Wednesday and was over 18 hours since the waters broke. I called the midwifery team again and my husband and i went on a long walk in a beautiful meadow near our house. (The meadow is actually my special place!)

In any case, I called the team and they said that since my waters had been broken for so long and that the labour was not "advancing" enough I would not be able to birth at home anymore. They told me about the risk of strep b--the first midwife who'd come to our house had swabbed me but the results weren't back yet and in general in England they don't automatically test you while pregnant--and that I would need antibiotic. I called the birth center and they told me that I would not be able to go there either b/c of the waters having been broken for so long as well and that once I reached "active labour" ie, 4 cm dilated I'd be transferred to the hospital to start the antibiotic. I was very sad and felt like all the preparation I had done was going down the hill. But I knew that the most important thing to me was to have a healthy baby and so during the walk I felt like I mourned the loss of having a natural birth. I called the hospital and they told me that since the labour was not advancing so fast I'd need augmentation, ie, pitocin, as well and that I could come in the morning.

I called the acupuncturist who I had just seen and she came to our house to help me relax for the night. During the night (It's wednesday night now into early Thursday morning) the PWs started to come back and I told my husband that I wanted to go to the hospital at that point. We went and did our best to advocate for ourselves. I asked if they had the results of my strep B test yet and they told me they don't come back for 48 hours! (Seems silly that they even test at all but that's another topic!) Anyhow, at this point it had been over 30 hours of labour. Luckily, the baby was doing really well and my BP and vitals were also good. I was on the EFM for an hour and they told me I could either get admitted now and begin the antibiotic or come back after getting more strength to be able to "handle" the pitocin. Although they weren't so happy, my husband and I decided after a long time to return at 12:30. BTW, while at the hopsital in the middle of the night my PWS went away entirely. (Throughout our time at the hospital we consulted with friends who are pediatricians and our doula who is also a midwife. Our doula told us as long as I didn't have a fever and the baby's heart beat was fine the risk of infection would stay very low. In fact other hospitals in England give the cut off time to 72 hours when your waters brake unless you have a fever etc!)

In any case, I finally was able to sleep when we got home for four hours and eat a meal although I did throw up right after and we returned at 1pm. We got a room at 2:30 and they started administering the antiobiotic. Throughout my birthing time , I was listening to fear release and the birth guides as well as birth affirmations and rainbow relaxtion. In any case, when they finally checked me at around 3:30ish, I was only a 1/2 cm dilated!! I CRIED! I was so disappointed and sad. The midwife was very nice and told me that I was almost fully effaced and that who knows what would happen once I got the pitocin. I felt exhausted and sad--I was afraid that once I got the pitocin it would lead to one intervention after another. They finished giving me the first round of antibiotic and my doula came.

When I got the pitocin things began to change. After only an hour of having the pitocin I was 2 cm dilated. I got on the birth ball and my doula massaged my lower back and my husband massaged my shoulders. I listened to my cds over and over again as well as Stevie Wonder and Beyonce! We shut the light off in the room and I imagined my special place. Throughout my pregnancy I had visualized elephants in my special place. I started to think about the elephants as well as special prayers I wanted to say during the birthing. As the PWS became more regular I vocalized more and enjoyed the breaks b/w pws.  Luckily the EFM I was on was a portable one: i could use the shower and move around in the room! Every 1/2 hour the midwife would come in and up the pitocin; about two or 3 hours into it she noticed our baby's heart beat dropping. We consulted with the OB who said that before going into a C-section, they'd drop the Pitocin down a level and see how the baby does. Thank God! she was fine. They'd switch off b/w the antibiotic and the pitocin. Meanwhile this whole time I was not being checked. The first midwife who we'd been with left her shift and told me while leaving that she believed I could do this! I also tried to hold onto what one of our friends had said which was just b/c you need pitocin does not mean you will have one intervention after another.

Sure enough after only 7 hours of the pitocin--they had not kept checking me--I felt like I was in transformation! I wanted to begin birthing the baby but thought to myself that this must be premature. The intensity of the PWS was getting more uncomfortable. I told my doula that I was scared and that I wanted to push! SHe got the midwife and ob and they checked me and she said I could push!!! I couldn't believe it. It was now 51 hours since my waters had broken and I was going to be able to push out my baby! I felt so HAPPY! I got on all fours on the bed and birthed her for 45 minutes. It was amazing! And out came this beautiful baby girl! My husband and I were elated!

I just feel so grateful for this experience and for the way everything turned out. For me the pitocin ended up being a godsend and that the combination of my preparation beforehand and having a supportive husband and doula all led for me to be able to have as natural a birth as possible. What is so so funny to me too is that in the end my active labour was only 8 hours! I had visualized an 8 hour active labour! (not a 44 hour early labour but still!) Eliana is a beautiful baby very calm and chill and alert. I did end up tearing but after over two weeks of having had her I feel like my body is recovering well. I am so grateful!
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Hello fellow Hypno-mamas!  Since my son will be three months old tomorrow, I thought it was about time to share his birth story with all of you.  The story I wrote up after his birth is five pages single-spaced, so I've trimmed out lots of details to make this version readable.  This is still a long one, so I divided it with headings.  I hope some of you will take the time to read this.  Enjoy!

IT BEGINS…
I awoke at 4 AM on March 4 with my very first real pressure wave.  I was 10 days passed my EDD, and had been having practice waves for weeks.  All I can say is that I knew for sure this was it.  I woke my husband to tell him we might meet our son that day.  We slept a bit longer, then got up to eat and prepare our house for guests and our new baby.

BIRTHING CONTINUES
Later than afternoon, waves got more intense.  I spent a lot of time on my birth ball.  My parents and sister came over that evening.  I watched the Phillies game between waves – we are huge fans.  It was kind of fun… like a mini family party!  Everyone ate dinner, and although I tried to eat too, I wasn't really hungry or keeping anything down anyway.  After dinner, I tried to get some rest, but I realized quickly that lying in bed was not an option.  I was completely uncomfortable in the supine position, so back to the birth ball I went.  My mom and hubby alternated staying up with me that night.  I handled the waves really well, alternating positions from birth ball, to hands and knees on my bed, to rocking in the rocking chair.

THE LONG NIGHT AHEAD
BEGIN BOP – At about 24 hours into my birthing time, I was extremely tired.  My waves were coming more frequently and lasting longer.  I did have some p**n, but I was able to handle it and relax.  Having no sleep was the tough part.  This was the one and only time I mentioned needing some relief.  My husband and mom were so awesome.  They said if we stayed home a bit longer, I might progress more, without thinking "I'm only 4 centimeters, so I am going to need some p**n medicine."  They were totally right!  Not knowing the number associated with my progress was really tough, but it was also the reason I was able to handle the long nighttime hours.  My husband called our doula, and she came to our home at about 5 AM.  END BOP

GOING TO THE HOSPITAL
Our caravan of people – me, my husband, mom, dad, sister, and doula – arrived at the hospital at about 9:30 AM.  I was evaluated and told I was 6 centimeters dilated and 100% effaced.  I was proud of myself!  All those long hours had paid off!  I was assigned to a low-intervention room and a natural-birth-friendly nurse.  Unfortunately, my progress slowed with all the commotion at the hospital.  I showered, and tried to get things moving again, which eventually worked.  My midwife was awesome.  She had such a great manner about her.  She presented options as exactly that – options.  I was never once offered pain meds, and I really felt like my care providers followed my birth wishes.

BIRTHING IN THE HOSPITAL
My midwife offered to break the bag of waters, and although my doula suggested that I take a couple more waves standing and lunging with the waters cushioning baby, I was just ready.  (My doula and I later talked about this, and we both laughed, as it was the first time I didn't take one of her suggestions in all my pregnancy and birth!)  The midwife broke my water at about 3 PM.  BOP NEEDED – The water was slightly tinted with meconium, which really worried me, but again, my wonderful nurse and midwife explained that it was very light and the baby was probably fine.  They explained how things might be a little different if he didn't start crying right away, but they were very reassuring, and told me that his heart rate was great, and they were pretty confident all would be fine.  They simply wanted to have the pediatric team available if needed.  END BOP

RIDING THE WAVES IN THE JACUZZI
When the waves started to come one after another with little time between, I got in the Jacuzzi tub.  I believe it helped, but this was the most intense part of my birthing time.  I spent about an hour in the tub, and once I got out, my doula asked if my body was telling me to do anything different.  I honestly didn't know what she meant, so she asked outright if I was ready to push.  After all my Hypnobabies practice and everything I read about birth, I thought I would know when I was ready to push, and I also thought I would know how to do it.  Neither was true for me!  I guess I'm a little quirky that way!

PUSHING OUT MY BABY
I gave a push or two, the midwife checked me and said I was doing well, so I kept going.  I pushed on thebirth chair, the stool, the toilet, the floor, the bed – I did it everywhere!  In the end, I was very surprised that the most comfortable pushing position for me was on my back.  Towards the end, I gave strong, hard pushes and that just felt so good, that I kept going.

WELCOME TO THE WORLD!
Four-and-a-half hours after I started pushing, and 42 hours after my first wave, I delivered a totally healthy, crying, 9-pound, 10-ounce baby boy.  No pediatric team.  No drugs.  No interventions beyond breaking my waters.  I reached for him and pulled him to my chest myself.  It was magical.  Luke Christopher Kelly was born on March 5, 2010, at 10:26 PM.  He was bright-eyed and alert, which made us even more thrilled that we went through with a truly natural birth.

SOME NOTES
The hospital had a 3-hour pushing limit.  I don't know exactly how I managed to "get away with" 4+ hours, except that Luke's heart rate great, and that our second-shift midwife (who mentioned a vacuum if I went past three hours) was busy assisting in another birth when I reached the three hour mark.  The resident doctor who ended up assisting in my birth was very hands-off, and more liberal with the policy than the midwife.  Go figure!

The midwife who evaluated me in triage visited me on her rounds the next day in the hospital.  She looked at my chart for a while before she said, "You didn't have a c-section?"  I said no, that I had delivered vaginally with no drugs.  She was floored.  She said she could tell my baby was big and that she was sure I would end up with a c-section.  She said she NEVER would have told me that in triage, but that now that we were both healthy and the birth was over, she shared this with me.  I was pretty amazed.  While the hospital where I delivered has a large practice of midwives, there is a 40% c-section rate, and very, very few women labor without epidurals.  My postpartum nurse was shocked when I declined her offer for Tylenol.  She said I was the first patient she had in months who left the hospital completely unmedicated during my stay.

When I think back on the experience, I am proud of myself, but I also need to say, it wasn't bad.  People look at me like I am insane when I say that.  Labor is not this crazy, hard experience people expect it to be.  At least for me, it wasn't.  I credit Hypnobabies with helping me learn about natural birthing methods and the intense relaxation that helped me through a long birthing time.

My husband and I are thinking about baby number two at some point, and we are considering a home birth.  You can bet that I will be back on the message board reading and posting about home birth experience.

Thanks for reading, ladies!  I wish you all happy and safe births like mine.

Nancy (hypno-mom, delivered happy and healthy 9 pound, 10 ounce baby boy at 41 weeks, 5 days)

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I had pressure waves around noon about 4 min apart.  I put a batch of cookies in the oven (for the nurses!).  The PW started getting stronger and a little closer so we dropped my toddler off at his daycare lady's house at 1245.

We left the house for the hospital at 1pm, I listened to the birthing day track in the car on my iPOD.  I never finished the track because we arrived to the hospital at 1:20 and things moved very quickly from there.

My triage nurse was supportive of natural childbirth.  She gently checked me and I was already 7cm, 100% effaced - which i attribute to the Hypnobabies helping me relax and let my cervix open easily.

Still in triage, my PW got stronger and after about 4 of them my body automatically pushed at the end of one.  When that happened I realized that my labor was going to be very fast, so I told the nurse about the pushing.  She was surprised, so she checked me again, i was 9.

They'd called my dr but he wasn't going to make it.   The nurses poked their heads out of the room to get the on call dr.  At this time my hands felt tingly so I knew I was in transition/transformation.  The urges to push were overwhelming and I couldn't stop them.

According to my husband, the nurses asked each other if there was time to get me to a real room, since I was still in triage.  I was clutching the side of the gurney and moaning during the PW and saying I felt burning.  They were moving my bed down the hallway and I could feel the baby's head descend lower until it crowned as my bed was entering a room.  They had barely parked the gurney in my "labor and delivery" room when the head came out, and the rest of the body came out a few seconds later, at 1:54pm.

The on call dr barely made it and I commented to him that he didn't even get his gloves dirty.   My doula was out of town, and the backup doula didn't make it in time either.

Patrick James is 7lbs 6oz and 20 inches long, apgars of 9 and 9.  He took to the breast immediately.  I had no tearing.  My husband says it is thanks to his excellent Perineal Massage techniques :).

They were going to give me a shot of pitocin after the birth and i declined.  I was not expecting it because I did not have an IV or heplock and had to block the nurse from administering the shot.  My doula had arrived at that point and helped emphasize to them that I didn't need or want it.

I love what this mom says next, and it demonstrates that you don't have to have a completely comfortable birth experience.  That with Hypnobabies tools you can enjoy your birth even if you have some discomfort!

****BOP warning*****

I didn't feel like I had anesthesia during the PW, BUT I was able to relax and handle each one at a time without getting all anxious and shaky, which was my ultimate goal. I had an awful time with anxiety during my first birth and got an epidural before I experienced any significant pain.  I always thought the actually pushing of the baby out would be the painful part, but it was easy to do and felt like relief. I have no memory of pain during that part.

Additionally, I think Hypnobabies really did help me progress as quickly as I did, and I don't know if I could have held on and done the drug free thing had it not gone as quickly/intense as it happened.   I did have a few moments of doubt that I could "do it" and having the nurse say encouraging things to me while I was breathing through the contractions helped me out so much!

I'm really glad I chose Hypnobabies to prepare for my birth and would recommend it to anyone!
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I love how her birthing time slowed down on the hour long car ride to the hospital.

Writing a birth story is always bittersweet for me: I love to tell about my amazing, life-changing experiences, but it seems that by putting it in writing the beautiful, magical event is truly over. This was my 6th (and last) baby, and my first using hypnosis. The other births had been unmedicated, but each was longer than the last and the birthing time of my 5th baby had been somewhat traumatic. I started Hypnobabies at home around 32 weeks and was very faithful with listening to the tracks, as well as my fingerdrops. I really loved the affirmations!

I was due on June 12th. On the 9th I had a couple hours of somewhat regular contractions that reminded me exactly how labor feels. I went to the midwife on the 10th and had my one vaginal exam of the entire pregnancy. I was 1.5 cm dilated, 50% effaced, and very soft. Baby was ballotable, or not engaged at all. I was excited to lose my mucus plug on the 11th and 12th and felt like thing were starting to happen! Of course, another week went by without any noticeable change and I tried not to let myself think that I would never go into labor.

Saturday the 19th I took my kids to the library and while there kept getting sharp groin cramps that I was unable to stand through. I soon realized that these cramps were coming along with contractions! When I got home I tried to get the baby into a better position by leaning over the birth ball. It must have helped because while the mild contractions continued, the groin cramping stopped. I timed the contractions at about 10 minutes apart for about five hours. Even though they were mild, they were tiring and I started to get discouraged. I decided that I was in prodromal labor, and that these contractions were preparing my body and moving my baby into a good position. That night I had just enough contractions to keep me out on the couch, unable to sleep well. Around midnight I put on Easy First Stage, and that relaxed me enough to sleep for awhile. I didn't watch the clock, but I'd guess that the contractions were only coming every 20 or 30 minutes, but gaining in intensity.

Sunday the 20th I was happy to have the occasional contraction as an excuse not to go to church. I'd been overdue the previous Sunday and had had my limit of people wondering when I was going to pop. Throughout the morning and early afternoon my contractions were very infrequent.
Around 3 o'clock I noticed the contractions picking up in frequency, although the intensity remained fairly low. I timed them using Contractionmaster.com for an hour or so and found that they moved from 10 minutes apart to roughly 5 minutes apart. We decided to call our babysitter, my mom, who would have to drive an hour to reach our house. We would then have an hour drive to reach the hospital, so I didn't want to delay too long. By the time Mom arrived at 5:20 or so, the contractions were still around 5 minutes apart, occasionally 3 minutes, and a few took a lot of concentration to manage. I would switch to "off" on the birth ball for each one, thinking "Open." We rounded up our things, wedging the birth ball into the trunk because I knew I would want it, and we were off!

The hour drive to the hospital passed very quickly for me (remember the suggestion that 20 minutes would feel like 5? It really did!) My contractions actually slowed down to about 10 minutes apart, and I figured we had a long time to go before the birth. I kept my switch off and listened to Easy First Stage, occasionally going to center to talk to my husband. I had two very intense contractions where I needed him to squeeze my hand- hard. This helped to somehow lessen my perception of the intensity in my abdomen.

We arrived at the hospital around 6:30 pm. As soon as we got out of the car my contractions started to come every two minutes. I had one on the way up to the doors, and several while my husband was filling out paperwork in admitting. These were extremely intense, being felt all over my back and thighs. My husband did the "double hip squeeze" for me, which eased the intensity.

We got out of admitting and met my midwife, who had just arrived and was carrying her dinner. I had a very intense contraction and I bent over while my husband did the hip squeeze. I was thinking that the hip squeeze wasn't going to cut it much longer. We walked a bit further and I bent over for another contraction. When I pushed just a tiny bit to relieve the pressure my water broke with a pop and the baby descended rapidly. I said, "The baby is coming!" and held my hand capped over the birth canal, as if to hold him in. A nurse tried to get me to sit in a wheel chair, but I said, "I can't- I'll sit on his head!" Somehow my midwife and husband each took one of my arms and hauled me to my birthing room.

I saw a bed prepared with chux pads so I took off my pants and underwear and climbed on. Once there, I threw off my shirt and bra and hunkered down in a really low hands-and-knees position. Someone wanted to take my blood pressure, but there was no time. I pushed a little with the next contraction, I think, and felt him descend even more. I reached my middle finger into the birth canal and felt his head about 2 inches in. It was such a neat feeling! My midwife, redundantly, did an internal exam and pronounced me complete. On the next contraction I pushed very strongly and his head came out. I couldn't believe it! I gave another long push and he was born at 6:44! I was just in complete amazement at how fast it had all happened, how actually very easy it had been. So overjoyed at not once being strapped to the monitors! I kind of kept waiting to "wake up!"

I stayed in my position while they suctioned the baby and his cord was cut (which had already stopped pulsating.) Then I sat back and they handed my wonderfully peaceful little boy to me. My perineum was completely intact and my blood pressure remained perfect (hypotension has always been a huge post-birth issue for me.) Since I have a history of bleeding, and my uterus was a little boggy, I readily consented to two bags of IV fluid with Pitocin.

Joziah James was 7 pounds .5 ounce and 19.5 inches long. He has been the most peaceful little Hypnobaby, hardly crying at all. He just squeaks to make his needs known!
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After 18 months of trying to conceive our third child, including two losses and a diagnosis of ovarian cysts, we concluded that a third baby wasn't meant to be and stopped trying.  Less than a month after giving away all of our baby gear, we found out I was pregnant.

I delivered my oldest kids in the hospital, with an epidural both times.  Both of those deliveries were textbook, no complications, but I really wanted to try to have this baby without an epidural.  I ordered the Hypnobabies materials and hired a doula.  I listened to the HB tracks almost every night starting at around 26 weeks.  Once I got to the maintenance phase, I mostly listened while I slept. I never practiced the finger-drop technique.  My husband read the birth partner's guide, but didn't do anything else and we didn't plan for him to be an active birth partner—that's why we had a doula.  My doula was great.  She wasn't trained in HB, but had seen several HB births and was very supportive.

My water broke on May 8th (39w0d) at about 9:30pm.  Patrick and I scurried around a little frantically at first until we realized nothing was really happening, so we didn't need to be in a hurry.  We called my parents to get them en route from their home three hours away.  I also called the nurse and my doula, Hannah, but because I wasn't having any P Ws, I told the nurse I wasn't coming in right away and told Hannah to stay at home until I called her back.

We packed our bags and I laid down to listen to my Easy First Stage track.  I listened to the whole thing, but still no P Ws.  At about midnight, I got out of bed and watched TV while leaning over my exercise ball.  My parents arrived at 1am. We visited for a little while and then went to bed at 1:30.  At about 1:45, I had another big gush of water, and that's when things got interesting.

I put on my Easy First Stage track on repeat and kept it on until we got to the hospital room.  My P Ws started within about 10 minutes and were pretty erratic and hard to time, but each one was more intense than the last.  I called Hannah at 3am and asked her to come over.  At this point, the P Ws were getting more intense, but were so manageable that I tidied up the bathroom after we got off the phone because I expected to be spending a good bit of time in there over the next few hours.

In the 20 minutes it took Hannah to get to our house, the waves got much more intense, but were totally manageable.  During a wave, I'd kneel over our couch and say, "peace" over and over.  When the wave ended, I'd lay on the floor and rest.  I didn't conscientiously use my light switch.  Hannah said that as soon as she saw me, she knew I was deep in my birthing time.

At 4am, Hannah said it was time to wake up Patrick and get to the hospital.  He sprung into action and we were pulling out of the driveway at 4:22.  It was about a 20 minute drive to the hospital.

Patrick said later that he was trying to time my waves and was thinking to himself, "Shouldn't there be a gap between them?"  I said "peace" or "oh" through the waves.  Patrick loves to tell people that I didn't sound very peaceful when I was growling "peace, peace."  But it worked like a charm.  It gave me something to focus on.

At Hannah's suggestion, we parked in the parking lot and walked to the hospital instead of Patrick dropping me off at the entrance.  Patrick went ahead of us to tell them we were there.  It took Hannah and me 20 minutes to walk the short walk from the car because I kept stopping to lean on something and work through a wave.  But in between waves, I was totally relaxed and we'd make good progress toward the hospital.

Once in the hospital, I stopped to go to the bathroom.  I leaned over the grab bar when a wave came and I felt my body pushing.  It was the most incredible feeling.  I couldn't have stopped it if I'd wanted to.

We left the bathroom and headed toward the elevators.  We were intercepted by a couple of nurses.  One of them was holding the elevator door open and I grumbled, "Why isn't the car moving?" and she said the other nurse was coming with a wheelchair because it was a long walk and she didn't think I'd make it.  Wow!  Really?

The wheelchair arrived and I didn't think I'd be able to sit in it, but when the nurse was running down the hall with me, I was glad for the ride.

We rolled into the room and Patrick was gone because he was out looking for me, but he came back right away.

I laid across the bed, still oh-ing and peace-ing through the waves, when the nurse came over with the consent form and a pen.  I thought she must be crazy!  I started thinking of the speech I had planned for why I wasn't going to consent in advance to all of the possible procedures, then I thought to myself, "If I ignore her, she'll go away."  And she did!  I heard Patrick answering all her questions.  He could have consented to giving our baby to Rumpelstiltskin.  It wouldn't have mattered.

I thought I needed to go to the bathroom again, so Hannah and I went in together.  I couldn't sit on the toilet so I leaned forward, hands-on-knees.  And then I felt myself push again.  I shouted, "The baby's coming now! The baby's coming now!  I'm not kidding!  The baby's coming now!"  Patrick said the nurses looked at each other like, "We've heard that before."  As I was shouting, I felt myself push  twice and my baby's head came out while I was standing in the bathroom.  Hannah put her hand on his head and opened the bathroom door.  A very surprised nurse shouted, "Get Dr. Nash!  Run!" and put her arm around me and helped me to the bed.  I laid down on my side and the rest of the baby just slide right out.

I felt intense pressure as he was born, but no pain and no ring of fire.

Our son Wesley was born on Mother's Day at 5:17am (about 3.5 hours after the second gush of water, less than an hour after we left our house and after being in the room only about 10 minutes).

No one said, "It's a boy!"  We found out his gender when one of the nurses used a male pronoun.

The HB suggestion that every 20 minutes would feel like 5 minutes really worked on me.  Even though I know the times in this story are right, it's hard for me to believe it was over 2 hours from the time I called Hannah to the time Wesley was born.  It seems much shorter.

HB really, really worked for me. If we were having more kids, I would definitely do it again.  My only suggestion for the program is that it focus more on the after-birth procedures.  Birthing the placenta and having my 2nd degree tear sown up were the worst parts by far and once the excitement of the birth was over, I couldn't really get back into the HB zone to deal with the pain.
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My sweet baby, Samuel, is a month old today! On May 23, I was getting ready for church in the morning when my water broke. I started having some pressure waves a while after, but they weren't very regular yet. We called my in-laws to come stay with my 2 older kids, and my husband and I headed to the hospital. When we got there, the pressure waves were coming more frequently, but didn't feel very strong. I was admitted to L&D, and when the nurse checked, I was 6 cm dilated, which was a lot more than I was expecting to be!

Our nurse was really awesome. She carefully read my birthing preferences, and followed them as much as possible, and was very supportive of my choice to do a natural birth. My husband and I walked the hospital, and did nipple stimulation for several hours to try and get the waves stronger, but they would not pick up any more, and I was not dilating any more, so the OB suggested we start a very low dose of pitocin. I was wary of this and was worried that I wouldn't be able to deal with the increased intensity that people talk about with pitocin pressure waves, but I was pleasantly surprised that things went really well. I was put on a low dose, and that got things going right away, and the dose was never turned up. In about an hour and a half, I was almost fully dilated ready to push.

BOP - The last two pressure waves before pushing were hard for me because I felt so much pressure, and such a strong urge to push, but there was just a little cervix left, so the nurse told me to try and hold on. It reminded me of the feeling of really, really having to go to the bathroom, but having to hold it.

It was such a relief when I was given the ok to start pushing. I started out pushing on my side, but after a couple waves, switched to a supported squat/semi-upright position. Things got pretty darn intense during crowning, and I lost focus and just pushed like crazy until he was out. I didn't realize it until he was out and the OB commented on it, but I had pushed him out posterior. Doh - if I had known that I might have tried hands and knees, and done more beforehand to try and get him to turn. I was actually surprised because the pressure waves didn't feel like they did with my first baby, who was also posterior. This was really the only thing I wish had gone differently, but at least pushing only took about 10 minutes.

I had a small tear, but otherwise felt really great afterward! It is such an amazing feeling to have that precious, new baby placed on your chest and being able cuddle them in your arms for the first time!

All in all, I was really happy with my birthing experience, and really glad that I did the Hypnobabies program. My husband thought it was pretty weird when I first told him this is what I wanted to do, but said he was willing to give it a try. He listened to the CDs with me and read the birth partner guide, and during my birthing time he really got into it and was a great support person!
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Gwendolen Eve was born in February 11 days past her EDD. She weighed 9 pounds, 1 ounce, and I think she was 20 inches long. She was born with dark hair that has since lightened somewhat, and she has deep blue eyes that everyone comments on, they're so beautiful. She has long toes and a long torso and chubby cheeks. She's a beautiful baby, and she was very kind to me in the womb.

My first baby, born in September of 2005, was a very good, typical hospital birth. Great doctor, no effacement before labor started, relatively easy labor that was a full 24 hours from first menstral-like cramp to birth, epidural at 8 cm, no complications. I wish every medicated birth went as smoothly as that one did. I wanted to go natural, but I realized I didn't have the tools to manage it just yet.

My second baby was a hypnobaby. I had effaced and was at 3 cm two weeks before he was born, then I had an accidental home birth. That birth story is on the Hypnobabies website. Look for August's birth. Basically, it was just 2 hours long, intense, comfortable, and exhiliarating. I wanted any future births of mine to go just like that one did, and I fully expected them to.

Of course, life changes. When I got pregnant with baby #3, I was in a different state far away from all of my family, and my husband was a student in the Navy.

For no good reason, I had a lot of anxiety throughout this pregnancy. I kept worrying that there would be something wrong with the baby. I was scared of giving birth in the car during a snowstorm, I worried that my husband wouldn't be there because I'd give birth before he came home from school at the Navy base, I worried about not having support, I worried about toxic-whatever it is that my baby could get because we adopted a stray cat in November, etc.

Just a few weeks before my baby was born, I had my husband, Danel, give me a blessing. In it, I was told 1) that my baby loves me, 2) every birth is different and 3) that Heavenly Father is pleased with how much I appreciate motherhood and how much I've worked on bringing my child into the world with peace and safety. Though that blessing didn't tell me what I wanted to hear (I wanted a "your child is healthy and will be born alive and well"), I treasure hearing how much my unborn child loves me. That blessing put the rest of my pregnancy in perspective. Up until the day she decided to come, there were important things I needed to do, such as making sure all 3 carseats could fit in our little sedan, cleaning and organizing the house, setting up the cosleeper and baby clothes, making sure I had batteries for the walkman, making sure I *had* a walkman, etc. I think that is why Gwen waited so long to come; she was giving me the time I needed to get everything done. In the meantime, it was very easy to feel Gwen move because she was posterior. I think that because she was posterior, it was easy to feel her move without her having to punch and kick at my innards, and so in that way she never hurt me, and I was constantly reassured that she was doing just fine. She was so very kind to me.

My mother-in-law came to visit 5 days after my EDD. She was staying for a week. We had all thought that my baby would be born by then. My mother-in-law was a wonderful help, but as each day passed, she worried more and more that she'd have to leave without holding her newest grandchild. I wasn't effacing or anything to indicate that I'd be going into labor anytime soon. I listened to the Easy First Stage track several times and occationally went on a walk, but I really didn't do much to jump-start birthing time. I really wanted my baby to come, but I also wanted her to pick her own birthday. It wasn't easy trying to find the right balance, especially not when I had so little energy, anyway.

My birthing time started Sunday morning. Any little birthing wave I felt, I felt it in my back. They were uncomfortable, but I went through all 3 hours of church (from 11:00 to 2:00) without anyone knowing I was having them. I had always wanted to do that, labor through church and no one notice.

Both to and from church, I had to drive. Danel was in the back seat with the other two kids because he was the only grown-up who fit, while my MIL sat next to me in front. I was pretty distracted on the way home, but I had angels watching over me, and we somehow got home safely.

I didn't tell anyone I was having pressure waves until I got home, and even then I only told Danel in the privacy of our bedroom. I timed the pressure waves, but they were pretty irregular. I hopped into the bath in hopes that I'd be more comfortable, but I wasn't. Our bath was just too shallow. I had three quick, strong pressure waves once I stepped out of the bath.

By dinnertime, my dear MIL could tell I was in labor. I'm sure it was unmistakable when I laid my forehead on my arm on the table and stopped talking for the duration of the wave. I'm glad my MIL was right there: we didn't have to worry about transporting my other two children, or calling in a babysitter. At about 6 or so, I had Danel and a friend of the family give me another blessing (in which I was told, again, that every birth is different), and then Danel and I went to the hospital. The waves were still irregular, but I felt that it was time to go, so we did.

It was eitehr snowing or raining when we got outside. We brought a large blanket, a pillow, the walkman, and a few other things. On the way to the hospital, I piled the blanket and pillow on me, and leaned on them. I continually turned my switch to Off and I used the Peace cue. I couldn't get as comfortable as I had during August's birth, though, because it was all back labor. By the time I was in the hospital and admitted, I was starting to feel pretty discouraged.

I got the heplock pin (and came to detest the thing), got monitored the required amount of time, got checked (I was at about a 6) and got an unpleasant surprise: apparently, it was indeed hospital policy that once a woman is in active labor, that she be continually monitored. Thanks to the fact that my preference sheet that was with my profile specifically requested for natural-childbirth-friendly nurses as well as intermittent monitoring, the nurse I got decided to do things this way: leave me free to move as I need, and every 10 minutes put a dopplar thing on my tummy to measure things for a full minute. I will forever love those nurses for giving me the freedom I needed to handle the pressure waves the way I needed to, while still technically "continually monitoring" me.

I changed position between almost every birth wave. I was on the birthing ball, I was on the toilet, I was standing up, I was laying down, I was on all fours. I also constantly listened to the Easy First Stage track, used the Peace cue and the Off cue, and had Danel push on my back with every wave. I just couldn't get comfortable the way I was comfortable with August's birth. After I was at the hospital for another hour and got measured again and was still at a 6, I felt discouraged. I worried that this could go on for a long, long time, and I feared that I would just give up. I had Danel give me one more blessing, this one for courage, and then I went back to giving birth. After that blessing, the waves became more intense, but I no longer worried about the hours ahead of me. Instead, I continually focused on what I needed to do next. The more intense they got, the more primal I became, more focused on "now". I got more verbal, too. I eventually did settle on the all-fours position on the bed, with a warm, wet rag pressed hard onto my back. The batteries in my walkman ran out, but I was so focused and I knew it wouldn't be too much longer, so I just took the headphones off.

Then I realized that I was pushing with the waves. I waited through anotehr wave, just to be sure, then had Danel call a nurse, and she checked me. I was complete. She called for the doctor (who had arrived at the hospital early because of the storm and because he knew I had fast births), but it was too late. The urge to push through the next two waves was too much. I was completely primal, and pushing with power, and I wasn't going to hold back to wait for anybody. I felt the nurses hands on my bottom, and looking back I'm sure that they were just giving my bottom support, but at the time I felt that they were pushing my baby's head back in, and I told them not to, and with roars of power I pushed her out right then and there. The nurse and Danel caught her (the OB wasn't going to let Danel catch her) and announced that she was a girl. Poor dutiful doctor arrived in time to help deliver the placenta and stitch me up.

She was such an unhappy baby, but she nursed all right. After she was in my arms for a while, she settled down. We all loved her.

Later that day, my MIL got to hold her granddaughter, the only grandbaby she got to hold "fresh from the oven." Two days later, she had to fly back home.

The next day, my son's birthday, I felt good enough that I went home.



Though this birth wasn't as comfortable as August's birth was, I consider the Hypnobabies program a success here. The cues gave me something to actively do during the pressure waves, the Easy First Stage track reminded me to be thankful for my nurses and for their concern for me, the Fear Release sessions helped me deal with my fears before the birth, I connected with my baby, and the birth preferences sheet helped the hospital cooperate with me so that I could have the best birth possible. I would definite recommend this program to anyone, and I plan on using it again in the future. I do wonder if the Peace cues would've been more successful if I didn't have "back labor is difficult even for hypnomoms" running through my head, but oh well. I'll work on getting that out of me. I look forward to an even better experience next time.

(Some moms do fine with back labor with Hypnobabies, so this is something this mom had in her own mind.)
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Just wanted to share the Hypnobirth of my little girl, Quinn Marie, who was born April 6 :)  BOP: It was not entirely pain-free, but I would still consider this experience a success, as I was able to go intervention and pain-med free and had a quick birth for a first child.

I had lots of BH waves throughout my third trimester and was always wondering when they might get closer together and become actual birthing waves.  At 38 weeks exactly, they went from 10 min apart in the morning to 6 min apart in the afternoon and 4 min apart in the evening, but never got more intense or turned into anything.  At 39 weeks, I was told at my appointment that the baby was really low and in great birthing position, but I was hesitant to get my hopes up.  I expected to go late because this was my first baby and because my mom was about a week late with me.

At 39 weeks and 4 days, I was at work (to my coworkers' chagrin, who kept looking at me like I was a ticking time bomb) and felt crampy all day.  By the end of the day, I was feeling it in my lower back as well.  After so many weeks of BH waves, I didn't take it too seriously.  I went for a walk with my husband after work just like we had done the previous two days.  After the walk, I felt the waves more strongly, though they weren't painful or uncomfortable.  I did go ahead and do 2 Hypnobabies tracks that night (Deepening and Easy First Stage), and something also told me to set up my short term disability benefits, too!  The waves continued but I was able to sleep comfortably all night.

The next morning (39 weeks and 5 days) I awoke an hour early because of birds chirping outside the window.  The waves were still present, and I got on my hands and knees and wiggled my rear in the air, which was really comfortable.  At that point, I started thinking that something might be up.  I was discussing with my husband that we should possibly go into work early, pick up our laptops, and work from home when I heard a POP! at 7am.  My water had broken!

I called the on-call midwife at the birth center.  She said that because this was my first child, I should probably go through several hours of active birth waves (3-4 min apart) before coming in because they wouldn't admit me until 4-5cm.  She suggested I have breakfast, take a shower, and relax as much as possible.  I told her that my waves were already about 3 min apart but I don't think she took it too seriously.

My husband got me breakfast and water and I used my hypnobabies tracks.  The waves got much stronger after my water broke, but I was still just fine.  I watched some comedy tracks on Youtube (Eddie Izzard) to stay relaxed.  After about an hour or so, I needed to lie down.  My husband squeezed my ankle during waves and timed them on his ipod.  The waves were still 3 minutes apart consistently.

At about 9, my regular midwife called and asked how things were going.  I told her that I had been having waves 3 minutes apart for several hours now.  She sounded surprised and said "this isn't usually how it goes [for a first timer]!" and suggested I leave in half an hour for the birth center.  Well, by the time 9:30 rolled around, I was in transition.  I was shaking uncontrollably and I couldn't sit down to use the toilet because the baby was really low.  This is where the BOP should be used before proceeding.

The car ride was pretty difficult, being so far along and not being able to get into a comfortable position.  I tried to stay relaxed and use hypnosis, but it was just too much.  The trip was 45 minutes and we kept getting stuck behind cars/big trucks, which was incredibly frustrating!  As we got to the birth center, I was thinking, "If I'm only 3cm, I'm going to have to do a hospital transfer for some relief."

Well, it turns out I was already 10cm and ready to push.  They had me move back and forth from the bed to a birthing stool to help the baby down.  I resisted pushing for some reason...I think because I felt unprepared and scared.  I also didn't feel the natural urge to push for quite awhile.  Ultimately it took 2 hours to push our baby out because of my resistance, and I wish I had prepared myself better for this stage of labor.  I had a 2nd degree tear.  Anyways, we found out we had a little girl, and things were great :)  I did need a pitocin shot to help with my bleeding, which I was okay with.  Baby girl Quinn was born at 12:23, about 5.5 hours after my water broke, and was 8lb1oz and 20.5" long.  She took to nursing immediately and had APGARs of 8/9.

I feel that Hypnobabies allowed me to have a very calm and confident pregnancy, defend myself against negative people and horror stories, and have a fast labor for a first timer.  Next time around, I'm going to listen to myself to determine when to leave for the birth locale (I think I would have been much better off NOT in the car during transition) and practice relaxation for the pushing stage ahead of time (though now I know what to expect!)

Thanks for listening :)

Lauren
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Alexander was born on May 18.  It was an easy birth, and I am so grateful for Hypnobabies to help me stay relaxed and calm even though things didn't go exactly as I had planned.

I went to see my OB on Monday the 17th, 6 days past my guess date of May 11.  I had an ultrasound and an exam, and my OB told me that my amniotic fluid level was very low and that I needed to go into the hospital that night to be induced.  I was dilated to a 3, but not fully effaced.  She knew of my desire for a natural birth and use of Hypnobabies, so she said that she would start me on a low dose of pitocin and then come into the hospital in the morning to check me and break my water.  I was really disappointed to have to be induced again (this was my 3rd birth, first hypnobabies, second time going natural), and I cried on the way home from the doctor's office.  I had all afternoon to calm myself down and just accept that this was my situation and to make the best of it that I could.

I went into the hospital around 9:30 pm that night.  The nurses already had a copy of my birth plan that I had included with my preadmission paperwork, but we had to make some adjustments with the induction (mainly I would need an IV and have to be put on continous monitoring since I was being induced and due to the low amniotic fluid).

They hooked me up to the pitocin around 11:30 pm or so.  They offered me Ambien to help me sleep, which I took, especially since my DH forgot his headphones and "borrowed" mine. I slept soundly and woke up refreshed around 6 am.  The nurse told me baby was doing great and that my OB would be in around 8 am to break my water.  I was still completely comfortable and the pressure waves were barely noticeable.

After a breakfast of broth and jello, my OB came in to check me and break my water.  She said I was dilated to 5 cm and my cervix was nice and soft.  She then broke my water, and barely anything came out.  They weren't kidding when they said my fluid was low.

Shortly after, my pressure waves started to increase in intensity, so I got on the birth ball and started listening to "easy first stage" on my ipod.  I got about halfway through, when I could hear my DH and nurse behind me talking.  I tried to focus and block them out, but after hearing them debate whether or not I was asleep, I turned my switch to center, sat up and asked, "is there something you need?", and the nurse told me when I leaned forward on the bed, the monitor slipped off and she needed to adjust it.  So, I sat up through the next wave while she held the monitor in place to check baby's heartbeat.

Then I felt like I needed to use the bathroom, so I got up and went in and started to feel sick and started to sweat and shake at the same time.  I was in there what felt like forever leaning over the sink resting on my arms.  Finally, the sensation of feeling ill passed, and I got back up and went and sat on the birth ball.

After a few more pressure waves, I told the nurse that I would need to push soon and to call my OB.  She asked if I wanted her to check me first and I agreed, so she checked me and said I was at an 8 and had a small lip left.  Once I got on the bed, I had an overwhelming urge to push.  The nurse told me not to, but I couldn't help it, so I ignored her and pushed anyway.

At this point, I remember I lost focus a bit and couldn't relax.  I remember lying on my side clutching the bed rail and was very tense.  I regained my focus, though, and even though I wasn't relaxed, I concentrated very hard on visualizing the baby moving down the birth canal.  After about 2 or 3 more pressure waves, my OB arrived and said the baby's head was right there and I could push him out with the next wave.  So during the next wave, I really focused and pushed him out in 3 pushes. I was trying to concentrate so hard that even after he was out, my OB finally said, "um...you can open your eyes now!"

Alexander was born at 10:03 am, about 2 hours after my OB broke my water.  I was completely comfortable until I hit transformation, and even then I felt that things were totally manageable. I had some clots that they had to push out after the baby was born, and what I remember as being excruciating with my second birth was no more than mild discomfort this time around.

It was such an amazing birth, and went much more smoothly than my last birth without Hypnobabies.  The nurses and staff were really impressed, and before I was transferred to the postpartum room, my nurse came in to thank me for letting her be a part of it,
which I thought was kind of funny, since she was such a great help to us.  If we decide to have any more babies, I will definitely use Hypnobabies again.  Not only did I have a great birth experience, this was by far my most comfortable pregnancy, and I feel that is because of all the relaxation techniques and positive affirmations used in the program.  My entire pregnancy and birth experience was better than I thought possible.

Rebecca
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I LOVE this birth story, because it shows how moms can be so powerful during their births!   Mom was induced at 42 weeks, but insisted that the pitocin was turned up slowly and refused to have her water broken.

First off I have to thank all the wonderful women in this group. (Hypnobabies Yahoo Group) Without you and your wonderful stories I don't think I would have had the confidence to go to the hospital to be induced with pit, and have a beautiful birth.  I was so nervous and upset the few nights before. Your stories gave me the reassurance that I could do this, and I did. Here is our story.

I think overall I let myself be pushed into inducing. We were at the 42wks the Dr. had guessed. My family was all becoming quite impatient and there was a lot of pressure to have her out.  I agreed to be induced and get things started.

The night before I kissed my first child goodnight and tucked him in, in tears. I left him at my MIL's so we didn't have to get him up so early the next morning. Friday the 21st at 6 am we were at the hospital. I took a ton of food in with me, because I was not going to do this with no fuel. We got settled, the first nurse got us all checked in did all the paperwork and started the IV. They had a change of shift, so the next nurse, Anna, come-on and she was wonderful.

Anna spoke with us and I told her how things were going to go. To call the doctor if she needed but I was the one birthing a healthy baby, and unless the stats of baby changed, this is what I wanted. She was so cool! I told her we would be doing the pit slowly. I only wanted an increase every 45 min to an hour, not the every 15 the Dr. had ordered. She called the Dr and it was agreed. So off we set.  We had a cervical check and I was barely dilated 2 and my cervix was very posterior.

I had no idea how the pit would work on me and baby so we just waited. Annabella was so squirmy, they couldn't keep her on the monitors, Anna had to hold them on and move with her. Around 10am my sister arrived. A few hours past and not much was going on. They wanted me to wear O2 for a while, and said baby was accelerating better when it was on. It didn't bother me so we did.

After awhile the Dr came in and wanted to look for Annabella and when she couldn't find her well stated the baby was breach and we needed to go have a c-section. I looked at this woman and told her no, baby had not flipped I would have felt it, and I was not getting a c-section today. That if baby had turned, then we would turn off the pit, and I would go see my Chiropractor to help move her around again. I don't think the Dr liked me. I didn't care. So she ordered an ultrasound just to see, and I was later told she knew baby was breach and had started the paperwork to send us on.

Annabella was in fact not breech. She was head down just not really engaged. I felt so good knowing I was right. All this happened about 11am. There had been no increase in the pit for awhile, because of the ultrasound, I still wasn't doing much that I felt anyway. We started upping it again.

During these times since Annabella wasn't staying on the monitor anyway, I was up. I walked and rolled on the ball. I leaned over the ball to do pelvic tilts. Pretty much anything I wanted. I really enjoyed that.  I was eating and drinking. I was joking and laughing with my sister and husband. At 2pm I declined another cervical check, but was starting to feel some steady waves we started using Hypnobabies. We called my Doula and told her to come on in.

I was standing and rocking my hips back and forth during the waves, and they were nice. Just these waves, they never were uncomfortable. I didn't feel I needed to go in to off during them so I just stayed in center moving as I felt I needed to. Anna would come in and check baby with a Doppler, and the let us do our thing.

About 4 the Dr was back, she wanted to see where we were so we checked. I was 4cm, and my cervix was no longer posterior, about 70% effaced.

  • The Dr. said I was not where she would like to see me by now. She wanted to break my waters and move things along.

  • I told her no thanks; I felt we were doing fine. Baby was fine, so was I.

  • She didn't look surprised. She did get quite nasty though, and told me if I didn't do things the right way this will land in a c-section and was putting myself and child at risk. That she was going off shift and there would be someone else.

  • I came up out of Hypnosis, and the bed, looked her square in the eye and told her that my child in fine.

  • I am not having a c-section to please her that if she had not noticed this was MY birth. I was the one doing things, until someone can show me that my child was unsafe I would do this all night if needed.  That was the RIGHT way.

  • Also that it was a good thing that she was going off shift, because she was fired. I didn't want her back in my room. I didn't need any one in there being negative. I was sure there were other people around who could catch this child, and if not I would do it myself.

  • She left the room in a quick hurry, and as I turned around again, my husband and everyone including the nurse were all just kind of staring at me.


My husband was stunned, and asked if I could do that, firing the Dr. I told him I didn't care if I could or not, she wasn't coming back to my room. Anna asked to get baby back on the monitor for a few, and as I lay down and got all adjusted, she said she had not liked the Dr. either.  I don't know how things happened from there, but another Dr. came in and introduced himself about 45 min. later and was way more respectful than that woman had been.

We continued, at 7pm the waves were more intense and almost on top of one another. My Doula suggested I get in the shower to help, we did, and it didn't really help much. I started to shake and shiver but I wasn't cold. I vomited all over, and then with the next wave I felt pushy. soon there after my waters broke during one of the pushy waves.

**BOP** I have read other people say that it was pushing that was most intense and they were unprepared for. I agree. At some point I stopped using Hypnobabies, and it hurt. My body had taken over, I had no choice but to push. I was on my hands and knees, but that wasn't working for me. I rolled to my back, someone held my legs, and she came.  I now know what the ring of fire is. **BOP**

Annabella was born at 8:06pm 7lbs 10oz. 21 inches long.  She cried for a bit but was so awake and alert. She is just perfect. She latched on and nursed minutes after birth. I am so happy with this birth. I did it the way I wanted even if it didn't start the way I choose. I wish the dr had been more supportive. But you can't have it all.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I was induced due to complications of HELLP Syndrome which caused my liver enzymes to become elevated. My wonderful OB in Germany caught it early enough that we were able to form a game plan that would still allow me the hypnotic natural childbirth I so desperatly wanted.
I was admitted Wednesday April 7th for observation and to begin the induction processes. I was to collect urine for a 24hr period to make sure that my kidneys were not also being affected by the HELLP. ( Boy did I shock the doc when I managed to fill 5 Liters full! He said I win the `PISSING CONTEST") And had my blood levels checked again, which came back low enough that he felt we could be successful in a natural birth with the mildest of induction processes. We started with a Caster Oil Cocktail ( Caster Oil, Champange (yippy) and Apricot Juice)

I had semi regular pressure waves though out the day  and when I was checked my dialiton had gone from 2cm to 2.6cm, which I thought for caster oil given two and a half weeks pre term was quite good! (Considering it only works part of the time even in post term pregnacies) the contractions stopped that eveing and I had no further progress.  Wednesday, I felt a little panic because the doctor said he would speak to me about our further options when my husband was available. I paniced a bit thinking that my blood levels were worse and that a c section was eminint.

It turned out he was giving me a break before moving on to Cyctotec because it is much more intense and he felt we could still be successful with minimumly invacive induction.  Now I know a lot of you are not fans of Cyctotec because it is an ulcer medication not FDA approved for induction but it is well documented in Germany as having successful results with little to no side affects. We started with a 25mg dose (a quarter of a pill) dissolved in water which produced mild results, slightly higher than the Caster Oil, then three hours later my cervix was checked and I was at 3 cm and was given a 50mg dose (half of a pill) and was sent on my way.

That evening my husband and I attened the first of 2 Birthing classes we had been signed up for at the hospital in order to get a better grip on german  procedures  (what we could deny and what to expect from the staff and so on). My pressure waves were steady at this point, but with my Hypnobabies cues I was able to complete the class without anyone knowing what was going on. I sent my husband home thinking he should get some rest "in case". However one of the midwives had said I don't think you will go this week, it is too early and most early inductions  do not produce progressive pressure waves… boy was she wrong about me! I believe the cues from my birthing day script are what kept me in an active first stage. At 11pm I needed a hot shower on my hips and lower back to releive the intense pressure I was feeling there ( I do not believe I was having back labor, I feel this was a result of the Cytotec, as I was also feeling pressure in my groin and in my full uterus)

After the shower I had a rest (still regularly contracting but was able to be calm using my deepening script and My Easy First Stage Scripts) I even put them on out loud with my roomate who had never heard of Hypnobabies  but was also being induced and I had hoped the suggestions might help her along also (she is actually 2 weeks over due)  She enjoyed the relaxation from them but her PW stopped that evening while mine continued on.

At 1.45am I decided I needed a bath and made my way to the birthing ward. Before the bath my midwife Veronique wanted to check the fetal heart rate and my cervix. Alexanders heartrate was elevated so she asked me to move to the bed (I had been having the fetal monitoring while rolling on a birthiing ball) I moved to the bed and the PW were more intense, she checked my cervix and I was at 4.5cm, excellent progress! She asked me if I would like to call my husband and I said no it was not time and I was still managing well on my own, however when I asked for a bath she said I could not because she was the only one on the ward that evening and she had another mother with complications and could not be there to watch over me if I needed help, but if I wished to call my husband in he could watch over me in the tub so we chose to have him come in when I reached 5cm which was at 3.30am.

All throughtout this tiime  I was listening to my Easy first stage script and was managing my pressure waves very well. I was amazed at how wonderful I felt between pressure waves, smiling and laughing and feeling on top of the world. Every time I was checked I remembered to say thank you, even when cervical checks were uncomfertable.

My husband arrived and it was suggested that we walk a bit while the bath tub was filled (not the birthing tub, that is in a separate room and we were not near our time.
We went to my room and picked up the camera and my nursing bra and a few water bottles and some yogurt and cheese sticks for some protien power! Then  walked the halls for twenty minutes or so. My husband said later that people in their rooms probably think the Hospital is haunted because during my pressure waves I would turn to the nearest wall with a ralling, lean my head against the wall and brace myself on the raills, and would low moan... peace over and over again while truning my hips in circles or figure 8s as my husband applied pressure to my outer hips. ( I had made a `cheat sheet for my husband letting him know that during this time I may make sounds and noises that he has only ever heard from me in bed ;)  and maybe even like moo ing and not to be embarassed or alarmed because I wouldn't be and I would be doing whatever my body needed me to do to get our baby out)

When we returned from our walk I was able to have a bath and relax my whole body for quite some time. It was just what I needed, again all the while using my relax and peace cues that my husband lovingly began low moaning chants of these with me to keep me from getting to high pitched and not focusing low enough, his low voice helped me come out of my head and into my uterus so to speak!

There was a shift change at some point and the midwife who was with me for the rest of the birthing time was Susanne. She checked my cervix and verified 7cm. My water had not broken at this point and my pressure waves were beging to slow, I was enjoying the break in the waves, it gave me a chance to rest. She said the bag was heavy and when it would burst it would gush! She gave us also the option to have her break the waters and I told her I was enjoying the break and to ask again later, as I knew it would bring on more intense waves that I was not sure I was prepared for. I also knew that I was desperate for a water birth and that they were having a busy morning in the ward (one other birth and two inductions that needed attending with only one midwiife!) and I felt the longer I could hold out on pushing the better chance I had of being able to use the tub, although I had prepared my mind also for the birthing stool which was made available to me as an alternative.

I felt a gushing sensation soon after the midwife left the room and I said to my husband I believe my water just broke! He went to get the midwife and when he returned to say she would be in  any minute I felt a second gush and asked my husband to take a look (I was still gushing and he was like WHOA!)  When Susanne returned she examined me and said… umm I think it is not your waters, as the bag is still full and heavy… I believe it was urine! All I could do was laugh! She asked me again if I would like for her to break the waters for us and I asked again for a little more time.  She returned in thirty minutes and I had not made dialtion progress and we went ahead and let her break the water.

I was still unsure if I could have my water birth as I had been told they were so busy that day. I was amazed at the power the next waves became and I really "let my monkey do it" I used birthing ropes to get my balance and tried several different positions  all while remaining very focused on what felt right for my body. My husband played an excellent birth partner roll, he kissed and carressed me when I needed, he kept me focuses and told me over and over what good job I was doing, he remined me to use my peace cues and moaned them with me thought each pressure wave, he used relax and release any time I seemed to be  loosing my focus. He even spoon feed me yogurt and held up water bottles to drink.  I am so blessed to have had him there to support me ( and I was  also worried he would not  step up when I needed him to in the way that I needed at the time, as he did little if any Hypnobabies preperation…. I was fighting him tooth and nail to just read the Birthing Partner guide!) He really stepped up to the plate and I am more in love with him now than ever before! It was such and amazing bonding experience for both of us!

After about twenty waves I began to feel the urge to push, I called for the midwife and the doctor came in and checked my cervix, I was at 9, she said try not to push just yet a few more waves and it would be time. I went to the bathroom, peed and felt again the urge to push, tried to fight it , they set up the birthing stool for me. I was disappointed that I was not in the tub but ok with our Plan B. I was checked again for full dialation and postion of the baby's head. The doctor then left me and my husband on the birthing stool and changed the CD script to AHHH Pushing Baby Out. I pushed a few times and the midwife returned and informed us that if we still wanted the water birth it was now possible to fill the tub. I was thrilled beyond belief! I had come this far and now I was getting everything I had hoped for!

BOP may be needed here - however it is an improtant part of my story as it explains about un-addressed fears and how it affected my final stage… the pushing.

We moved into the Water Birthing  Room where they filled the birthing tub and I was submerged and releif flew through me. In my visualization of my birth I could never make it to the pushing part, so I was completley unprepared for the shear force of it all.  I  believed that I  could simply breath my baby out. After 3 hours of `breathing' my baby boy down and repeating OPEN OPEN OPEN, I was beginning to get exaughsted and discouraged. I realized I had a deep inbedded intense fear of tearing…. I had never addressed this fear in any fear clearing session, so I annouced my fear outloud to the midwife, my doctor and my husband.  Acknowlaging that fear and saying it aloud helped me move past it and get down to business of pushing my baby out. The doctor said, tearing is usually minimal in water births which helped ease my mind. I decieded I needed more directive pushing than just my Hypnobabies, I wanted to meet my son. So with the help of the midwife and some perineal S T R E T C H I N G she helped me focus where I needed to push too. This was by no means pain free, I was just not prepared for the shear power  and I lost my focus several times here, but everyone in the room was so positve and helpful ( I found out later that when I was deep in my pushing waves  my husband was searching for answers in my doctors and midwives faces… he was conserned that it was taking to long and that I was losing focus, the doctor would then give him the thumbs up or a smile to let him know we were on the right track, this in turn gave my husband the ability to tell me what a fantastic amazing job I was doing and that soon we would be meeting our son, the doctor continued to say over and over the baby's heartrate was wonderful and all was  ok, I think at this point it was more for him than for me but I did not know it at the time, I just kept saying, he likes the baths, we have been practicing them every night at home, my baby and I  that is)

Finally they asked me to reach down and feel for his head, they  knew that would be the inspiration I needed to finish the job, and give me an idea of how far we had come and that success was only an inch way, I could feel my baby's hair! I  changed a few positions and began to bear down,  deep grunting groaning noises, sounds I had never heard anyone make in my life began coming from me ( I think I even damaged something in my thoat because the whole rest of the day every time I had a drink of anything it stung the back of my throat) my midwife put pressure on the perineum and said just a few more pushes and his head will be out. I pushed like hell!  Crowning was so intense I had to close my eyes, his head was out and they said push again and I did, one more time, and he was out. They put my son on my chest and he just looked at us, so alert and peaceful, he didn't even cry or wimper, he just stared at all of us. I requested they wait to clamp the cord until it stopped pulsing, and they complied. I just stared at my newborn son and fell deeply  head over heals in love.  Once the cord was cut they moved me to the bed to deliver the placenta.
We handed my son to my husband who had taken off his shirt to provide skin to skin daddy and baby time while I was tended to. The doctor inspected the damage, I had second degree tearing ( I believed this happened when I lost focus and needed more `purple pushing' to finish the job, but after discusing it with my husband he explained that I had no problems with his head it was in fact his shoulders that his elbows were bent up as if he was using his arms to pull himself out of the birth canal .  So it seams even with breathing him down, the position of his body made tearing unavoidable, again leaving me feeling if I had adressed the fear sooner his position would have been more favorable. Once I delivered the placenta there was some repair work to be done)
I asked for some time before having to push again and the doctor and midwife left the room gibbering to eachother in German. I had a pressure wave and a strong urge to push, the placenta was delivered in two pushes just as the doctor and midwife returned, I said, "IT IS OUT, IT IS OUT!!" They laughed and said they had made a bet that I  would do it on my own, and I had!  They showed us the placenta and how it had kept our beautiful boy nursished and growing for the last 9 ½ months, then they asked if we wanted to keep it, and I laughted saying
"I know I went all natural on this one but I was not "THAT NATURAL" LOL"  What the heck  would I do with the placenta? Bronze it? LOL anyways. It took about an hour for my stitches and we were able to bond with Alexander for an hour and a half before he was weighed or cleaned or checked over in any way, he never left our arms for that whole time, just me my husband and our beautiful child.
Alexander  Arrived Friday April 9th 2010 (almost one year to the day after losing our first baby to miscarrige at 9 weeks)  @ 10:55am. He was 2 weeks early and weighed  in @ 7lbs 14oz. 21inches long. I had a 12hr (3 1/2hrs of that was pushing) birthing time in which I was completely unmedicated, using only childbirth hypnosis to manage discomfort. With Ben as my excellent birthing partner we sailed through it, all smiles! I was able to give birth to Xander in the comfort of a wonderful birthing tub. Big thank you's (Danke) go to Dr. Wetzker and Midwives Veronique and Susanne who made my dream birth experince possible by being present and only intervining when absolutely nessessary. Their exact words to me following Xander's birth were "Thank you for allowing us to be spectators, proving to us that giving birth is truely mind over matter" Oh yeah and they also said for my next baby I could go to the woods and give birth on my own because I clearly didn't need them!

Side note, The staff was so impressed by the Hypnobabies scripts they were offering it to be piped into the other english speaking mothers birthing rooms!! We were the talk of the hospital and the doctor said it is so rare to see a completely un-medicated birth (German or American). The fact that it was so calm and peaceful they said it was a joy to witness. In the end they were thanking me for the experience!
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My little one Warrick was born on March 2.  He weighed 8lb 3oz, and was 18.9 inches long--just perfect size!  Even though our birth plan was changed a bit at the end, I am happy to say that I gave birth to him naturally and owe it all to Hypnobabies and my supporters, hubby Scott and doula/instructor Katherine.
Our original plan was to have everything be as natural as possible, staying at home for the early birthing time, no drugs at the hospital, etc.  As I approached my due date I started to have issues with high blood pressure that would only go down when I laid on my side, so I was put on bed rest.  Then a few days before the due date, my midwives and I decided that the best option would be to induce, since the blood pressure problems were not resolving themselves, and I was already dilated to a 3 with mild pressure waves.  (Anticipating this, I had been listening to the Come Out script, doing fear clearing sessions, talking to my baby about coming out, and taking EPO capsules).  So we checked into the hospital (wonderful Baylor All Saints in Fort Worth) on a Monday evening to start some cervidil.

I was able to get some sleep that night, and in the morning realized that I was leaking fluid!  Throughout the day my pressure waves got stronger and more intense.  We played the cds out loud in the room all day, while I alternated between the birth ball and a hot shower.  My wonderful doula and husband also rubbed my back for hours on end with lavender oil--it works great and makes the room smell awesome!
That evening, my midwife broke my water the rest of the way (it had not fully released on its own, just leaked a little) and things picked up even more!  Unfortunately I stalled a little bit at 8 centimeters, and so I had a dose of Pitocen in the evening, and soon after was ready to push!  It is amazing how your body just knows what to do and does it.  I found that making low moaning noises during this time really helped me to focus and breathe out during the waves.  My helpers continued to give me the peace and relax cues, and put wet washcloths on my face and neck.  Even the nurses got into the Hypnobabies vibe, repeating the cues and parts of the scripts to me (they later told me I seemed very calm and composed, and that they couldn't get the scripts out of their heads!)

We hit another snag when, as my little guy crowned, he got stuck.  After about half an hour in that position, we opted for a small episiotomy to get him out--very rare for a midwife to perform, but he needed to come out and I simply wasn't stretching any more.
And the rest was wonderful!  Warrick came out alert and healthy, with just a little bruising on his head from being stuck for so long.  He was placed immediately on my chest, and nursed within half an hour like a champ.  The midwife and hospital staff were wonderful, allowing us plenty of time with him and following our birth plan and baby plan perfectly--he was able to stay in our room all the time.  Looking back on the birth now, I remember it as very intense at times, but I was so happy with the experience overall that I wouldn't change a thing!  My little Hypnobaby is now a month old, and we are all happy and healthy.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I feel like I had a very positive experience, however you might want to use your BOP for good measure :)

Okay, so here it goes...

My water broke 24-hours before I started activly birthing. I had some mild pressure waves (pw) throughout the night, and listened to Easy First Stage on the couch with my dog, but things slowed down once morning came. We kept my doula (J) updated throughout the day, but by mid-afternoon I was thinking about going to the hospital. I even called my doc, but J thought that things would progress as night fell, and they did.

She suggested that my husband (who had stayed home from work) and I get out and walk to speed things along, so we decided to go to Target, but she recommended that I first do 45 min of knee-chest position to ensure that the baby was in the correct position. That was tough!  While we were in Target the pw started getting more intense. I had to stop several times in the store to relax through them. We went home and ate some delicious Chinese take out.

My husband called J around 8:00pm to let her know that things had really picked up, but I still wanted/needed privacy so she didn't come until he called her again (around 9 PM).  J was a big help for my husband, even though she was very calming and supportive for me, as well. I was having intense feelings during the pw, but they were manageable. J helped me remember my "peace" cues and I listened to my Hypnobabies CD tracks - both helped me remain calm and relaxed.

About an hour after J arrived, the waves got really intense and were relentless. I was in the bathroom standing over the sink, and I was not getting any breaks in between. There was no relief and I could find no comfort in any position. I threw up twice and then we left for the hospital. Surprisingly, the car ride was very pleasant. I felt like I was not even a part of this world. I went to a very primal place, and do not remember much about the rest of the labor.

I do remember that when the nurse checked my cervix it was VERY uncofortable, but I was already 10 cm which made me happy. I labored for several more hours – side lying, hands and knees, and kneeling while holding on to my husband,. I also remember counting down from 5 to 1 over and over and over. I practiced that a lot as part of my Hypnobabies program, and it served me well "in the moment".

However, I was so content to be "in the moment", that pushing was not even on my radar. I never felt the "urge" to push and pushing was the most challenging part of my whole experience. ::BOP:: I felt totally unprepared for the sensations of stretching and burning. The sensations were so powerful that I began to feel afraid. Instead of embracing the pain and pushing through it, I tried to stall mentally and physically…. I could have saved myself a lot of effort, if my head had been in a good place. I actually asked for a mirror, thinking that if I could see what I was working for I would be more motivated.

Eventually my blood pressure was an issue and Bowen’s heart rate dropped very low.  The nurses gave me oxygen, and my doctor told me that I had to push my baby out - now. I doug in deep and I pushed his head out. It was so amazing and surreal to see his head in the mirror. The cord was wrapped around his neck once. It easily slipped over his head, but his shoulders were "stuck". After a couple of minutes (probably mere seconds) I was able to push as my doc maneuvered, and Bowen was finally here! (Feb 12) They immediately placed him on my chest and did not take him for stats foruntil we asked them to - 6 hours later!

I was on an endorphin high. I just held my baby, and looked at his beautiful little face, amazed and proud of the work we had done. I was only in active labor for 12 hours and went into labor on the day that I visualized during my hypnobabies practice!! I laugh now that I channeled Zena: Warrior Princess because I sounded like a primal warrior.  Birthing was work and it was challenging, but it was not impossible; and the reward is immeasurable!

- Melissa in SC
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When I was pregnant, I used to love reading people's birthing stories on Hypnobabies. It would level up all the crap (sorry!) that everybody else tried to throw, and I know they were ladies just like me. The best ones were the ones that told me the whole story - I loved those, and felt like I was there with them, so this is what I'm going to do now...

My baby girl Bronte-Elizabeth just turned 8mths a few days ago (23rd March), and I thought it was time to let you all know how the birth went... because it was fabulous... and not because it was easy, or because I find birth easy - in fact, the complete opposite. I hadn't had a child since my first daughter was born, and she is now 16! The experience was so very harrowing, that I didn't have any more... until I decided to try with hypnobirthing - yes hypno 'birthing'. I only found hypnobabies quite a few months in with not enough time to really complete the course, so I pretty much just dove in with faith that it was for me, because (apart from my finding the vocals difficult to listen to often, due to feeling patronised - SORRY!!!! but I did, and it's important that any other ladies out there having the same problem knows that it still worked!) it was just about myself and my body. And over the years, especially with my first daughter, I learnt that it was important that I felt ok, and it wasn't so important what others thought or felt.

Now most or even all of you might not remember me, but I had lots of problems during the pregnancy. I was 37, and suffered with hypothyroidism. I had suffered a miscarriage 3 years ago, and then my periods were barely there, and even though no precautions had been taken, it seemed I could no longer become pregnant - WRONG! My baby had also already turned by month five, so they suggested a preemie, and was engaged by month six (by 2/5).

So. I was not allowed to have the baby outside of the hospital as i wished, as none of the homebirthing midwives or birthing centres would take me on. I even had my MOTHER tell me that it was not normal for women to have vaginal births nowadays, and especially concidering my age & condition, I should be open to induction and cesarian!??

My sister too, in fact, eventually, after the hospital called me in the day after my 'due' date, and pulled in 2 other doctors to tell me that if I didn't let them induce me then and there, I would likely be responsible for the death of my baby, I simply went home and took the phone off the hook! (After spewing out statistics about induction/cesarian v vaginal complications first of course!).

So, on Monday night (20th July 2009), at two weeks 'overdue' and my little bun still cooking nicely, I was driving home, with my eldest & partner in the car, when I looked up & saw three boys with their "things"  hanging over the flyover! "They're not going to!" I exclaimed. Yep they did - three streams of wee spattered onto the windsheild, and I promptly, screached up the next exit and back on myself, to find the little b*stards still standing there waiting for the next car. I jumped out of my car, and with my hormones raging, promptly chased them for nearly a quarter of a mile, screaming at the top of my lungs.... "you could've killed us.... you ****'s!... wait till I get my hands on you!" etc.

Well, to cut a long story short... I DID catch them! And made them clean my car with their hoodies! Then, feeling a bit worn out, I got back in the car and drove home. When we got there I told DD (my daughter) & Bal (my partner) that the tightening that had come on during my rage & pregnant marathon had still not abaited. "They've probably set me into birthing now!" I said jokingly.

Well, I was right. On Tuesday morning at about 8am, I awoke thinking... I think this is it. The birthing waves continued for about an hour or so, but then subsided. Hmmm. That night, I was really uncomfortable, and couldn't sleep again. I spent hours on the hypnobabies website whilst swigging my red rasberry leaf tea, reading birthing stories and Q&A, and then eventually zonked out (after taking my evening primrose oil both orally and topically of course!), wondering if she was ever going to be born... I was actually, I beleive, in the latent stage all of this time.

Wednesday I again awoke around 8am with stomach cramps and period pain type feelings, and again I wondered if the birthing time was iminent. Again I was wrong, and spent the day rolling around from one overburdened side of my whale-esque body to the other. Groaning and generally feeling sorry for myself as I did. Then Wednesday night, I had a sudden burst of energy. Did I save it? Did I relax and conserve my stores? No. I sat up all night; added some tunes to my ipod to accompany the hypnobabies tracks; looked on hmv and wrote down a list of cd's on offer at £2.99 with free p&p; searched for the term 'bloody show', as I reackoned I had just had mine but wasn't definate & wanted to make sure... then I stumbled accross a GREAT blog... which you all HAVE to read... I really did laugh until I pissed myself (which I know isn't difficult at 42 wks, but still!)... I just checked, and it's still there - along with the comment I left at the bottom (about pissing myself!) so check it out:

http://www.hisboyscanswim.com/2383/bloody-show-mucus-plug-lightning-crotch-pregnancy-and-labor-terms

Anyway, a little after this extreme laughing state (which lasted pretty much for the whole blog!), I then found a game where you get to make choices at each stage of birthing, and kind of practice making choices you may come accross. I can't find the exact site now, which is annoying, as it was great fun and I played it for ages! (but if you can ignore the unhelpful un-hypnobabies vocabulary, here is similar one...

http://www.parents.com/pregnancy/giving-birth/preparing-for-labor/choose-your-own-birth-adventure/

Anyway, I went to bed... at about 5.30/6am eventually! Then at 8am I awoke again, third day in a row. I began to wonder if this was my doing, as I had in my birthing visions, envisaged waking up at 8am with mild contractions, and wanted to have the baby at midday, and then enjoy her for the day (rather that having a horrid long evening - night - morning experience in a dark hospital as I did with my first, and then being so tired all day).

I kissed Bal goodbye as he left for work, and lay there for a while. After about ten minutes, I called my, then 15yr old daughter in and asked her if she would get me a drink. She did. I waited a little while longer, and asked her if she would get my ipod. She did. Then after another ten minutes, I asked her to time my 'period pains'. She did.... they were not particularly regular, but seemed to be roughly about every 10 minutes (about 7 -12 minutes apart).

I stay laying down in bed, and called all my cats in (we have rescue cats), lay with my hypnobabies on my ipod, and my drink in my hand for a little while. I thought I must be preparing for birth now, but after the two previous stalls the days before, and at the same time, I wasn't sure, so i just kept on breathing slow and relaxing - to be honest, almost enjoying it. I kind of saw it like an exersize, preparing me for when I really did begin the birthing time... I was having pretty strong period like pains, but I was also feeling very relaxed as well.

At 9am I called my daughter in again to time the waves. The first one was 7 minutes, the second one was five minutes... then we were chatting and she forgot to watch the clock! Then it was more like three minutes apart and pretty regular. I asked her to make my special drink that was ready on the side for birthing - with my bach rescue remedy, and telephone Bal to say he'd better come back home. Again, she did exactly as she had been asked, and then returned to sit with me and the cats.

At about 10am, Bal arrived home, and walked around the bed. He kicked of his shoes and was just about to get in with me, so I said "I don't think there's time, you'd better call the hospital". My daughter was timing my contractions at about two minutes appart, and pretty regular. He was shocked, he is my eldest's adopted father, and none of his sibling have children... this was a pretty new experience (as it was for me - COMPLETELY different from the first time!).

Bal called the hospital from by my bedside, and passed the phone over. I had a short chat with the midwife, who didn't seem to bothered, but I insisted that my waves were regular, and I was ready... I had even had two waves during which I felt - not the need to push - but something like it... Bal took a picture of me (See note below)to show how calm I was with my cats, ipod & drink, and then we picked up our bags (which had been packed for nearly three months due to my health and age likely producing a preemie) and yet another lot of cakes for the staff (they kept going off, and we had to keep relplacing them!), and of course not forgetting the stand-up copy, and additional copies of the birthing plan... ie: don't even offer me anything unless it's a medical emergency (with a page of papers and supporting evidence attatched for good measure), and got it the car.

NB: The photo & more are on the photos section of the Hypnobabies site.

My, what an uncomfortable journey. And of course, stopping and starting. Eeegh! "Barry, I really need to be there now" I was saying - very unhelpful I know. "Barry.... I need to get there ten minutes ago!", etc. Well, it only took a little while to get there, and we arrived at 11am.

I sat... well, leaned on a table, in the lobby area, whilst DD went to reception to sign me in, and Bal parked up the car and carried in DD's bag (her food/drink/snacks/magazines/phone/and... a copy of the birthing plan just in case, plus the LIST OF PEOPLE TO CALL!!!); his own bag... pretty much the same, but much more cola, and the cakes; and my bag (ditto); the birthing ball; my lavender heat up pack; my fluffy cussion which the cat's hairs still stuck on it; towels; three flannels; change of clothes; hospital stay bag; baby bag; bits bag (ipod/batteries/cd walkman/camera/etc); HUGE oversized beanbag; blanket from home; washbag; etc.... lol!

Of course, Bal was still lugging around bags, balls and sheets of paper when a nurse wandered up to me with a wheelchair. Hmmm I thought... I'm not ill? Still, I got in it, and she wheeled me into the maternity ward, and along the corridors to the little room that would be mine for as long as it took. DD went outside to make the phone calls, and then returned and waited outside on a chair - as close to the door as she could get it - and Bal trundled in, looking like he'd just birthed tripplets!

The nurse started talking to me, so I raised my hand as I was having a wave and couldn't really talk. She waited, and then said "I'll put your details up, and a midwife will be in to talk to you in a little while". I said OK, and she exited.... only to return again to say "I also wanted to ask if..... oh..... are you having another Con****tion?". I nodded. "Another one, since I walked out the door?". I grimmaced... She suddenly looked a little alarmed, and flurried out of the door this time. I turned to my partner and said "I told them I was ready... maybe I should scream a little?"

Then an older midwife came in, and as she began to talk to me - and I began with another wave - the first nurse was also present, the door was open, and then another two heads poked around the door!... "What are you looking at?" I snapped. The two heads dissapeared, and the nurse left. "I just want you here" I said to the older midwife. "I don't want to talk about any meds, I want a natural birth". She confirmed that she understood, and then we began.

At some point Bal gave the nurses the cakes, etc, but I'm not sure when. Everything happened very fast. The birthplans were'nt even taken out. Annoyingly, the midwife kept asking if she could check dilation. Eventually I said yes to keep her quiet. "Well, you're only at 5cm" she said "It'll be a while yet"... oh thanks I thought... now I feel better. As by now, I was not able to stay still, and the waves were on top of each other, and I was having to concentrate on breathing. She left the room, and when she returned, she wanted to strap me up to a monitor to check the babies heart. Again she pushed, and again I said yes to shut her up... "oh dear, the baby's heart rate is dropping" she said... "no" I managed to say "My first did this, and it's always been slow - so has mine"... a couple of minutes later, she said " I'm really sorry, I know you wanted a natural birth, but I'm going to have to go and get the doctor, the baby's heart rate is just too low".

It came as a surprise to Bal, but I just said "O.K". The when she left the room I said... "the baby will be here by the time a doctor gets here"... then ooompf! A deep-throated growling, loud long gutteral moaning sound escaped from my mouth... my daughter had said later, that she thought there was a wild animal in the room, and it sounded like a horror film - frightening! Well, she was right, I was letting my body take over and trusting it to do what it would do if I were in the wild, and the more I relaxed, the deeper and more gutteral the groans became... The midwife came running back in and exclaimed "we don't have time for the doctor... this baby's coming now". Then I got to the point of transition, and felt like I simply couldn't do it... but thankfully, I had told Bal that this WOULD happen. When it had happened in my 1st birth, I wasn't educated, and I honestly thought I was dying, so I had said to him: When I get to the point when I don't think I can do it... remind me that this must therefore be transition, and that meant that I had already done it, and the baby was now comming. He did, and it worked! One push, out came the head.... but only half way... then the second push, and there she was.

My partner helped make sure she was put straight to the breast and said to leave the umbillical cord until it had stopped pulsating to allow all the goodness to reach the baby, and the midwife followed his direction. Wow - perfect!

Annoyingly, when I was getting ready to pass the placenta a little later, she pulled it against my instruction, and some was left in there which saw me having birthing waves for another 16hrs whilst my body tried to get the rest of it out, but NONE of these things were down to my body... the "we need the doctor" and "oh your only 5cm's" and pulling the placenta, was all a show of the hospitals mistrust of my capabilities as a woman... but my body did exactly what it was designed to do, and Bronte was born at 12.05 (noon)... I even had nurses and midwives coming up to me after to ask if it were true that I had had her so quickly... and no tearing! Whoopie!

Now I'm NOT saying it was easy - Bal showed me bite marks on his chest and his neck from being my birthing partner (I didn't remember this!), but I did it all myself... I felt it all myself, and my body controlled the pace... not a pile of drugs. I am so very proud, especially after the first experience being so truely awful. My daughter apparently cried for the full hour outside, and my partner said it was the most wonderful, and most terrifying experience of his life... mmm... mine too... and I'm planning to do it again ASAP!

I'd like to add, that my partner was WONDERFUL throughout this whole experience, which I wasn't expecting, as I'd had an arguement with him only the week before, as he still hadn't read the Hypnobabies literature, and we had still not read anything together, nor practiced anything by the time birthing began. But obviously at some point he did read it, and pulled out the trump card on the day.

When my mum got to the hospital, she didn't speak - at all - it later transpired, that when my daughter had called her at 11am to say I was now in active labour, and then again an hour later, she assumed, when seeing the number that the call was to say that I'd died!!!

For the next week, all she said was... "these natural things really work don't they?"... they're natural - why wouldn't they work??? Well, that's my glorious Hypnobabies Birth story of how Bronte-Elizabeth came into the world, I hope you enjoyed it as much as I did, and wish you all an equally wonderful birth... and it will be wonderful... naturally! xxxxxxxxxx
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
My EDD for this little girl, baby #5, was 3/25. All day 3/20, I contracted irregularly but steadily. At noon we went to a family picnic/bingo perty the kids had been looking forward to.  Then around 4pm, we headed 40 miles up to the city where I'd planned on birthing for a b-day party for my nephew.  Everyone kept asking me how I was feeling & I said "fine," not wanting to make a big deal about the waves I was still feeling. I was a bit concerned because the baby had felt posterior since I woke up & I wanted to go home & crawl around or spend some time leaning over a chair to encourage her to turn, as I had been doing for weeks.  By 8pm we left & I said I just wanted to get home to lay down & see if the waves were going to go away & to better time them.  On the drive, my waves were 10-12 min apart.  They still were completely comfortable, but were longer-lasting than in previous days.

Back at home, my husband put the kids to bed, showered, & packed a bag.  Bags for me & the kids had been in the van for a couple of weeks.  I listened to the Hypnobabies Deepening track while sitting on my birth ball, leaning over the arm of the couch.  Waves were still coming about every 10 min. It was almost 10pm, so before it got too late I thought I'd better called my midwife & my MIL, who would be watching the kids, to let them know this probably was "it."  Then I leaned forward over some pillows on the coffee table & watched some tv while sipping red raspberry leaf tea & timing my waves.  They became 5-7 min apart.  My 10-yr-old son said he was too excited to sleep, so I had him arrange the "nurse cookies" I had in the freezer onto a tray.  My husband came downstairs to check on me & I said "let's go." We put the birth ball & the sleepy kids in the van & headed the 40 miles back into town, me with my Ipod on the Birthing Affirmations.

I called my MW again & my in-laws, who met us in the hospital parking lot & hopped in our van to take the kids to their house.  We checked-in at midnite, with my Ipod still on.  My husband dimmed the room lights.  I gave the nurse my birth plan & she just said, "ok, no IV," like it was no big deal & didn't even place a heplock, though I'd offered.  She did a 20-min monitoring strip then only monitored intermittently after that. My MW, Donna, arrived around 1am, & said I was "a stretchy 4, and thin" & offered to break my water, but I said I'd rather wait a bit.  I knew things would get more intense once it was broken, & I wanted to be further dilated first.  She asked if I was hungry then brought me chicken soup & left us alone for a bit.  I knew I should try to sleep, but I was too excited.

At 2:30, 6cm, Donna broke a small trickle in my bag & waves very gradually began to increase in intensity & frequency.  I put the ball in bed with a pillowcase draped over it & knelt, leaning my upper body on the ball. During each wave I would use my peace cue, focus on relaxing my hands & listening to Kerry's voice on my ipod, & I would drop my hips limp & low & wide, envisioning, not the baby moving down, but just a general idea of downward motion, of a sort of a tidal pull.  I was still generally comfortable—the waves feeling about like strong menstrual cramps.  In between waves my husband, Donna, & I basically chatted.  I remember hearing my husband "warn" Donna that I'd birthed our last baby on all-4s, so she'd expect I'd be staying in the position I was in. Donna asked if I'd want to get in the tub or shower & I mumbled "too late."

After 2 or 3 stronger waves that came very close together, I suddenly said I felt pushy & heard Donna push the call alarm for the nurses.  With the next wave the baby's head started crowning & I remember saying "here she comes" & automatically pushing.  Donna said "wait, don't push yet" & I said "I'll try" but it was hard to hold back.  I pushed anyway & my husband said Donna had barely reached the end of the bed when the head was out.  I heard her saying "easy, easy" as I instinctively pushed along with 2 or 3 fast waves, & at 3:36am Julia Kathleen was born.  8lbs 4oz.  From feeling "pushy" to the baby in my arms could barely have been 3 minutes.

They lay the baby on the bed underneath me & helped raise her up to my belly/chest & slipped a blanket under her.  They rolled me over to my back so I could hold her on my chest.  She nursed & snuggled for an hour while I delivered the placenta.  Then my husband cut the cord & they took Julia to the warmer next to me & bathed her & did the newborn stuff.

Donna was happy with my birth position & said she's sure it helped the baby turn to a good LOA birth presentation herself.  My husband kept saying for days how amazing the birth was—how calm and quiet and fast.  I think my calmness is why Donna was so surprised when the baby suddenly appeared.  I was surprised myself. I mean, I could feel the intensity increasing, but I kept thinking, "ok, it's going to get bad soon," but instead it was like I just snapped my fingers & Julia was here.  The actual pushing-out was not p***less, exactly, but totally manageable & gentle.  I barely broke a sweat.  No stitches, no tearing, no hemorrhoids, barely even swollen-feeling afterwards.  Couldn't have asked for much better than that!

--Kerry Beth
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
I want to start by saying I am 45 years old and this is my first child.  My pregnancy went perfectly and I only gained 30 pounds.  I ate healthy and continued to exercise through out my pregnancy.  I began using Hypnobabies at 18 weeks.  I have always been a big believer in the power of suggestion and positive affirmations so I was sure that this was going to work for me.

I was just 2 days short of 37 weeks along.  It was a Saturday morning around 3AM when my water started leaking.  At 3PM I called my midwife to speak to her about the best course of action (if any) since I had not really had any pressure waves yet and was still 3 weeks before my guess date.  She recommended I go to the hospital to get tested to ensure that it was in fact my water that had broken because it seemed like such a slow leak.

I arrived at the hospital around 5:30PM.  I was tested; my water was leaking and I was only 1cm dilated!  I was checked in to the hospital to monitor the baby to ensure he was OK.  He was doing great.  I didn't want an IV and originally agreed to a heplock but I consented to the IV with an antibiotic only because the results of my GBS test had not come back yet and my water had ruptured.

I didn't want to be induced so I requested that we wait to see if my body would begin pressure waves on their own before attempting any induction.  I put my headphones on and began listening to hypnobabies to try to get things going.  By 9:30PM there was still no change and no pressure waves.  My midwife and I decided to try cervidil to help my body move things along.

I got hardly any sleep on Saturday night because the LDR bed was really uncomfortable; I was hooked up to the monitors and had an IV in my arm.  In addition, I really don't like hospitals.  The next morning at 9:30AM I was checked again and I was still only 1cm dilated.  There was no change.  I was so disappointed that there was no natural progression even with all my attempts at relaxation.  Although my baby was still doing well my midwife was concerned because my water had naturally ruptured over 30 hours ago so we decided to induce with pitocin.

Immediately my headphones were glued to my ears as I listened to all my Hypnbabies tracks.  Pressure waves began slowly around 10AM.  At first they felt like I was doing a crunch without moving and as time passed they progressed.  Around 2PM the nurse told my husband to go get something to eat because "it was going to be a while".  I thought my pressure waves were progressing nicely but I was so exhausted after not sleeping for the last 2 nights that I needed a break.  So I pulled off my headphones and the pressure waves slowed a little to give me a break but shortly afterward they came on so fast and furious it was like a freight train barreling through my body.

20 minutes later I told my midwife I didn't think I could do this.  She said "lets just wait until your husband gets back from lunch and we'll check how far along you are".  I don't think they had any idea how far along I was.  I replied "I don't think I can wait".  She agreed to check me right away.  As she was checking me I recall her turning to the nurse and saying "Get her husband back in here NOW..SHE'S GOING TO HAVE THE BABY".  I was already 9.5cm dilated.  They called my husband, he dropped his lunch and ran back to the hospital and arrived just in time.  I was squatting at the edge of the delivery table hanging on to the bar.

I remember the nurse saying "Do you feel pressure like you have to move your bowels and I replied "it's time for me to push".  In 2 pushes the baby crowned…I don't think I was comfortable anymore as I was tired and cranky and just wanted to see my baby.  At this point I said to my midwife "just pull him out" and she replied "I can't grab his ears yet" (she's certainly has a sense of humor).  2 more pushes and my precious little munchkin was in my arms.  It was 2:44PM on Sunday.

It was the most amazing experience I've ever had and my baby was exactly as I had envisioned.  I believe that Hypnobabies was instrumental in a quick and comfortable birthing.  From the first contraction to the birth of my baby boy was 4 hours and 44 minutes.  I was calm and comfortable until just before the baby crowned. At which point I was still calm but I don't think I can say I was comfortable any more.

I hope my story is as inspiring to everyone that reads it as their stories were to me.  I am so thankful for having hypnobabies and an awesome midwife with a sense of humor.

New Mommy, Cheryl and little Austin James (aka AJ)
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Annabelle, my first baby and hypnobaby was born on Friday, March 12th.  I'm sorry, but my story is long!  I'm just not good at condensing these things!

I was feeling some cramping off and on Wednesday, which was my guess date, and I began to feel extremely excited.  Andrew and I made a spicy dinner and went walking afterward to see if we could help baby move down.  I had read something about "curb walking" (walking with one foot on the curb and one in the gutter), so I figured I would give that a try.  I don't think I'll ever do that pregnant again - my calves were still killing me during and days after the birth!  That night, I was having a hard time sleeping as I had begun having some more intense pressure feelings in my lower back, especially.  Sometime around 4am, I decided there was a definite pattern to them, and decided I would pay closer attention.  I picked up my ipod and put on the Easy First Stage script, using that as a timer.  My waves were consistently 6 or so minutes apart throughout the script, so afterward I decided to relax in the bath.  I soaked and got all freshened up, still timing my pressure waves at roughly 6 minutes apart - some coming as close as 5.  There had been a power outage in the night, so I knew Andrew's alarm wouldn't go off.  I woke him at his usual 6:45 and told him it was time to get up, but that maybe he should just stay home today.  He called and let his shop know he wouldn't be in and we had a bit of cuddle time.  We decided to get up and have some breakfast and take a walk.  I was starting to have discomfort in my lower back with each wave, so we stopped and Andrew applied counter pressure with each one, which was helpful.  We went back inside and I timed a few more waves.  By now they were closer to 3-4 minutes apart.  I decided to call the hospital to let them know I would probably be in sometime that day and to find out which doctor was on call so that I could mentally prepare for that.  No such luck - they wouldn't tell me over the phone.  My plan was to stay home as long as possible, so Andrew and I just hung around the house and prepared things all morning.  He had a quick 11:30 dentist appointment and things with me seemed to be moving along at a slow, easy pace so we decided he should keep it and I rode along just incase things should speed up.  I hung out in the car listening to my headphones and trying to stay relaxed.  Afterward, we headed home, had some lunch, and walked a bit more.  Things seemed to be speeding up, so we started getting excited.  I decided to clean the floors and get the house ready to come home to, so I set to work on that, with pressure waves 3-4 minutes apart the whole time.  By the time I got ready to mop, Andrew had tired of watching me stop to breathe through waves, so he told me it was time to stop.  We decided to head in the direction of the hospital and if things hadn't picked up any more, we would walk on the beach for awhile before heading all the way up.

*BOP* During the car ride, I started to lose focus.  I was really feeling intense pressure, which I had to admit was not at all comfortable, in my back.  I started to cry, feeling like I was failing.  Between waves, I put my headphones back on and tried to get back to a relaxed state.  When we neared the hospital, Andrew realized he had left all of my snacks at home, and I knew I would want some things to keep my energy up during the rest of my birthing time, so we changed our plan and went to the store across the street from the hospital to stock up on vegetable broth, juice, and Lara Bars : )  Instead of heading back down to the beach, we decided to go on base (military hospital) and just walk around the track for awhile.  After two laps, I was tired and hot, so we decided to head over and find out how things were progressing.

It was an incredibly, uncharacteristically busy time in the hospital, so the nurse I had spoken with in the morning had not prepared my chart and the staff did not seem happy to see me.  We waited awhile while they prepared a place for me in triage.  The nurse took us back and immediately handed me a gown (my birth plan said I would not wear a hospital gown) and gave hurried orders for me to change and give a urine sample.  When she walked out, I hugged my husband and cried.  I felt so frustrated.  They put me on the monitors to see how things were going and my pressure waves started to slow down - quite possibly as a result of the terrible feeling the hospital experience had given me so far.  They monitored for awhile and then checked my cervix to find me at barely 3cm.  They recommended that we take a walk and then come back in two hours, but after that experience and 12 hours with so little change, I just wanted to go home.  I was almost completely effaced and baby was at zero station, so I knew it wouldn't be long, but I needed some rest.

Back at home, I took another bath and then tried to sleep between waves while listening again to easy first stage.  Andrew made a heat compress for my back and that, too, helped me to relax.  We slept a bit together and at some point during the night I decided that I was, in fact, in pain, and that it was a signal from my body to do something.  I got out of bed and alternated between sitting on my birthing ball and laying my upper body across the couch between waves and actually getting up on the couch on all fours and doing pelvic tilts during them.  After awhile, I really began to sense some change and went back to bed to try to time a few more.  They seemed to be coming at 2-3 minutes apart by now and I felt things intensify.  I went to the bathroom, where I had my "bloody show", which gave me some reassurance that I was right - things were moving along.  I continued with my pelvic tilts while Andrew called the hospital and again got the car ready.  *End BOP*

This time, I intended to arrive relaxed and focused, so I started a script before getting in the car, where I curled up with a blanket, closed my eyes, and just focused on my relaxation.  Once there, I kept listening while my husband talked with the nurses and they readied triage for me.  This time, when directed to put on the gown, I smiled and let them know that I wasn't planning to wear one.  They seemed a little surprised, but informed me when they came back in again that they saw I had a birth plan and had read it.  From that point on, everything I had asked for was noted by every person who came into contact with me.  It was amazing.  I didn't even have to use the extra copies I had brought of my birthing preferences, because everyone made a point of reading the copy the doctors had put in my chart.

Once hooked up to the fetal monitors, my waves slowed down again, but I tried to stay calm, confident, and excited as I waited, and listened to Easy First Stage.  When the doctor came in to check my cervix this time, I was pleased to hear that I was 6cm and fully effaced.  I wasn't at the 8 or 9 I was hoping for, but that was okay.  *BOP* Upon confirmation that this was the real deal, the nurse who had been working with us wanted to insert my heparin lock.  I never wanted one in the first place, but this was an area where I agreed to compromise because it was very important to the doctors.  So, I didn't have an IV, but I did agree to have a hep lock in place.  I was feeling very uncomfortable, strapped to the chair and monitors in triage and really wanted to wait until I was a bit more comfortable to have the hep lock inserted.  The nurse, however, had a different plan.  Suddenly, she was sitting next to me, prepping my arm.  I asked if she could wait and she completely and totally ignored me and stuck the needle in.  I was furious.  The only other difficult part in triage was when the doctor came in to go over consent forms with me.  I had pre-registered, so I thought I was done with paperwork and was glad I hadn't been asked  to sign anything okaying the full range of interventions.  Apparently they save all that for when you're admitted.  The doctor started in with a statement about how childbirth is one of the most dangerous things a woman can do today, which I thought was completely inappropriate, and then went on to carefully go over everything he needed me to consent to.  I sat and listened as he explained the circumstances in which I might need a blood transfusion, a C Section, and so on.  He went into the risks of each, all things I knew and all things I really didn't need to be hearing right then.  If I birth in a hospital again, I will make every effort to take care of paperwork like this ahead of time, and to shush the doctors if a similar situation arises.  At least he paused when I was having pressure waves!  *End BOP*

The hospital was more full than it had ever been so I had to wait awhile in triage while they moved a mom from one of the birthing rooms to a postpartum room and cleaned it for me.  I was absolutely thrilled when change of shift came and a nurse who I know came on and asked for me.  She worked at the local birthing center prior to coming on at the hospital so she's very respectful of natural birth and is just extremely warm and caring.  When she came in and let me know she was going to be my nurse, I knew immediately that things were going to be so much better during the rest of my stay : )  Soon the doctors changed shifts as well, and I learned one of my favorites, a doctor who trained along with midwives, came on.  Everything was working out beautifully.

I was finally in my room sometime around 8:00am.  *BOP* Once there, I spent 20 minutes out of each hour on the fetal monitors and these were the most challenging times.  It was hard for me to work with the pain in my back when I was stuck in bed. *End BOP*  When the monitors were off, everything was wonderful.  It was just me and my husband in the room and he was so good.  He applied heat and pressure to my back, let me lean on him as needed, and reminded me to relax and breathe with every wave.  I can truly say that each hour felt like much less.  The time went very, very quickly.  I used the windowsill to squat, bounced on the birthing ball, stood and swayed back and forth, and also worked through quite a few intense waves in the ... restroom.  That turned out to be one of the most comfortable positions - I wish I could have pushed there!  I vocalized more than I expected I would, with rather loud mms and aahs as my waves peaked.  That and the breathing gave me something to focus on and was quite helpful.  I am so glad that I had the practice with deep breathing from each script, because that was really what got me through and helped me to stay relaxed and focused through the more intense waves.  My nurse commented a few times that I was "so relaxed and zen."

At around 2:30 or 3:00 in the afternoon, the doctor came in and checked my cervix again.  She said that I had only a slight anterior lip of cervix and could gently bear down at any time, but that I should let them know when I really felt the urge to push.  My membranes were still intact at this point, and the doctor explained that she didn't feel it was a good idea for a full term baby to be born en caul.  I had in my birthing preferences that I did not want my membranes ruptured artificially, because I did not want my pressure waves to intensify before it was time.  However, I had never heard of any concerns over the baby being born in the bag of waters.  I didn't have any background knowledge on the issue, and I was becoming quite tired, still with no urge to push, so I decided to trust the doctor on that one and sometime around 3:30 I had the nurse bring her in to break my water.  Either my waves didn't intensify all that much, or I had successfully brought myself deeper into relaxation, but the next bit was just very exciting.  I knew that the time was near.  I began feeling the urge to push several waves later, so the nurse checked my cervix and said she didn't think I'd be pushing for long.  She went to notify the doctor and the corpsman who would take care of everything for the baby came in as well.  Then, the nurse and my husband went about setting up the squat bar.  I started out trying to use that, but couldn't quite get the hang of it.  Instead, my husband sat on the edge of the bed and I squatted on the ground in front of him, using him as support.  Pushing was wonderful.  I just loved knowing that I was that close to holding my baby.  When it got close enough that I could feel her head, I decided to move to a side lying position, as it felt best to push hard, and I didn't want to push her out faster than my body could stretch.  I moved up to the bed and Andrew stayed right beside me while the OB literally sat on the end of the bed and waited.  She was totally hands-off, which I really appreciated.  The nurse held my foot up during pressure waves so I had something to press against.  At one point, I guess my leg got very near the doc, because she said I could feel free to prop my foot on her shoulder!  Such a wonderful doctor!  Up to this point, the baby's heart rate had been beautiful, but toward the end, the doctor grew concerned over how deeply it was decelerating and said that I needed to get her out with the next couple of pushes.  At this point, I really started pushing long and hard.  She was coming, but it took more than a couple of pushes.  Finally, the doctor calmly said I could either push really hard now, or we could cut an episiotomy.  I think she knew that was the motivation I needed.  My response was an exhausted, "Let's do the not episiotomy one!" and my beautiful daughter was out in the next two pushes.

It happened so fast that I didn't even fully realize she'd been born until she was on my chest.  She was perfect.  I was surprised to see a full head of dark hair.  She looked just exactly like her daddy.  I just enjoyed holding her skin to skin while the corpsman came over and started rubbing her vigorously with a very coarse towel. That part broke my heart and I got a bit protective.  I told him she was fine and he said she had to get dry or she'd get cold.  I told him to put blankets over her and she'd be fine.  I was too busy staring my baby to tell which, but either the doctor or the nurse backed me up on that one and soon I was snuggling my sweet girl without any other unwanted hands disturbing us.  We bonded while the doctor gave me a few stitches.  I gave the baby a few minutes to see if she would go to the breast on her own.  She inched toward it, but didn't show an interest in latching just yet.  Eventually, I handed her over to her daddy so he could take her over for her measurements.  I just stared - he looked so comfortable holding her.  She was a tiny 6lbs and 15oz and 19.25 inches long.  When I got her back, she nursed a bit and the three of us were left alone to bond.

I had to be moved to another room for the night as my room was needed for another birthing mom.  Unfortunately, because the hospital was so full, Andrew was not allowed to stay the night with us.  Around 10pm, he headed home to get some rest.  I kept my bed in a semi-reclining position, so that I could sleep with my sweet girl in my arms.  The next morning, we were both doing well enough that I was able to convince the pediatrician and the OB to send us home early.  Their general rule is to keep first time moms for 48 hours, so we were happy to be heading out the door immediately after Annabelle's 24 hour screening.

I believe I really could have practiced my hypno-tools more.  I never felt that I could really visualize my birth, and I very seldom practiced my finger drops.  I could have prepared myself better, but I'm so glad that I used the program.  I truly felt confident and relaxed most of the time and I was able to accept everything that my birthing time brought.
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Lily's birth was amazing!  I was dilated to a 4 for at least a month before my birthing time began with a lot of irregular, but strong practice waves, so I was very ready.  I had been planning on having this baby on the 26th.  I was pretty relaxed all Christmas day, but come evening I really started nesting and getting my home in an acceptable condition.  I got showered and did my hair, just in case.  I think subconsciously I sensed it coming.

I got a good strong wave at 10:30 Christmas night and they kept coming, but they weren't regular and some seemed to never end.  It was weird.  I thought, there is no way this is real.  But my doula came anyway about 11:30 or something and she was totally patient and supportive.  Matt was great, too.  The minute he saw me get down on the floor at 10:30 he was right by my side.  That’s when I really began to focus on my hypnosis.  Then I went in to the bedroom and got my birthing day cd going in head phones and sat on my birthing ball leaning on the bed.  This was my favorite position.

I was worried about being too tired since I hadn’t really napped that day and we were getting into night time.  I think it was about 1 when I decided to try resting in bed.  The deal was I would either get some sleep or if that wasn’t working I’d do what I needed to to  get things really going.  I couldn’t sleep.  So I hopped in the shower to regroup and Matt got in with me because I didn’t want to be alone.  We tried some nipple stimulation and it seemed to help and I was able to lean on him during my birthing waves.  It was a really special bonding time for us and probably one of my favorite parts of my birthing time—just to be all alone with him, trusting my body to do it’s wonderful magic.  We didn’t need anyone but each other in that moment.  It was really neat.

Then I got back on my trusted birth ball.  ( I had done a lot of my finger drop practice like this so it was very familiar and comfortable for me.)  At about 2:30 I decided I needed to go to the hospital because I didn't want to be in the car when things were even more intense.  So we left at about 3.  Turns out the car was the most relaxing place for me during the entire birthing time.  I was really able to focus on my hypnosis (which worked quite well and kept me very calm).

We got to the hospital about 3:30.  They almost didn't even admit me to the Labor and Delivery unit because the monitor wasn't showing any contractions.  Weird.  Plus I was so calm.  I just listened to my birthing day cd with headphones and totally ignored everyone.  Matt answered all the questions.  The nurse was totally annoyed, but I didn’t care, I was having my baby and she was just getting in my way.  J  Anyway, they almost didn’t admit me, but the midwife on call (I saw 6 midwives who rotated being on call) took me anyway.

I thought I had to stay on the bed for the initial monitoring and it was torture to sit reclined in the bed---I just couldn’t focus very well and it was so uncomfortable.  Finally, I’m like, can I get off this bed?  The midwife was like, sure.  So I get on the birth ball again leaning against the bed.  Minutes later my water broke and there was blood.  I go in to use the bathroom and there was tons of blood in the toilet.  Not exactly normal.  So they watched things closely.

I sat on the toilet a while and leaned on Matt during waves, still listening to my cd.  Then my doula asked if I wanted to get in the tub.  It sounded like heaven.  I just ripped off my clothes and head phones and climbed in.  It felt so good.  The water in the tub was so relaxing.  Until I hit transformation.  My comment at this point was, I can’t get comfortable.  No screaming just uncomfortable.  I was getting really unsettled and couldn't find a comfortable position.

Soon after, I said, I think I'm pushing.  Then the next wave I said, I'm pushing!!  It was like I couldn't help it and really I wasn't consciously pushing.  My body was doing all the work.  My doula said I had to get out of the tub, because when she checked me she could feel the head.  I think I just knew, cause I got right out and over to the bed.  My doula said she was amazed at how fast I got out of the tub.  I never did get my headphones back on.  It was all too fast.  But I had imagined this part, visualizing my body just opening with ease, totally relaxed.

Pushing was amazing.  I laid on my side.  It just seemed like the thing to do.  My body did all the work and it was only 5 minutes of pushing.  It didn't hurt, I just felt stretching and then I never even tore!  Even though Lily was 1 pound bigger than Dianna and I did tear with Dianna.  So cool.   I never could bring myself to do perineal massage either, so I felt very good about this.  I did the aaaahhh breathing and imagined opening and that’s all I needed.

Lily Anne was born at 5:35, about 2 hours from the time we got to the hospital.  They placed her right on my tummy.  I was in heaven.  Lily didn't breath immediately, which isn’t normally a big deal with the cord still attached, but since there was so much blood when she came out, I think they were a little concerned and she wasn’t pinking up, so they took her for just a minute to get her some oxygen and stuff, then brought her right back to me.  Yay!

I was able to stay with Lily at all times.  They let me keep her until it was time to go to the nursery for a bath and then I went with her and Matt, and she stayed in my room the rest of the time we were there.  I went with her the one time she needed to go to the nursery to have her hearing tested. So perfect!

When we got to the room after her bath they were a little concerned about the amount of bleeding plus my heart rate was fast and my blood pressure was low.  They said they may need to check into it more if it didn’t change when they checked me next.  For the next hour or so I sat and used hypnosis telling myself that my bleeding was minimal and my blood pressure normal.  When they checked me next they were no longer concerned.  I really believe that my body just did what I told it to.

I feel so good after having Lily naturally, too.  The recovery has been way better than it was after Dianna (epidural, then pitocin and a1st degree tear).  I wouldn’t say the birth was painless, but it was fast, easy and very manageable.  And I can’t stop daydreaming about it.  I felt so calm and confident.  It was such a positive experience.  I am so excited to do it again.  But I would love a home birth, I think.  The transition from home to the hospital was the worst part of.

Another amazing thing about having Lily naturally is the intense attachment I have to her.  It’s just different than last time.  And she’s very attached too.  When we are asleep in bed sometimes I scoot away to giver her more room, and the next thing I know she’s smack next to me all cuddled up again.  I love it!

Anyway, I have to say, natural is the way to go and Hypnobabies is the best way to have an amazing birth experience!

Sarah
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You may have read Trillian's birth story a few weeks ago.  If not, go read it!  I love it, because mom made the best choices along the way even though it was definitely not the birth she had planned, it was still empowering!   Induction at 35 weeks, epidural after 36 hours with pitocin.

Here is the video of when she was breathing her baby out.  YES, you can breathe out your baby, even with an epidural.  Mom even helped catch her own baby.

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ukPcRJWdDYA]
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Posted by on in Hospital Birth
Some background:  For my first birth, I had hoped to have a natural birth, but because I made this decision late in my pregnancy, I didn't have time to do a lot of preparation, and the birth was a little difficult—a pitocin induction due to ruptured membranes after I had been awake all night with contractions that only got me to 2 centimeters.  It was not necessarily a bad experience, but with my second pregnancy I wanted to try again.  I believe that childbirth usually goes more smoothly when you don't interfere with the natural process unless something is going wrong.  I been interested in studying hypnosis for my first birth, and I had read a book about it, but didn't have time to really learn it.  This time, I did the homestudy program from Hypnobabies.

I really enjoyed Hypnobaies during my pregnancy.  It includes daily relaxation practice, which I often used to help me relax and fall asleep.  It helped me bond with my baby, look forward to my hiss birth, had tools for helping me get rid of my fears, and helped me have more confidence in myself.

For those reading this who are unfamiliar with Hypnobabies, one of the concepts taught in it is that words have power.  Many words commonly used in pregnancy and birth have negative associations in many people's minds.  Hypnobababies replaces these words with other words, in an effort to help you be more positive.  I will be using these words during my story.  Instead of "contraction," I use "pressure waves."  I also avoid using the words "labor" and "delivery," calling it "birthing" instead, and I try to avoid using the word "pain" when talking about birth.

For those reading who are studying Hypnobabies, you may or may not need to use your bubble of peace.  I would label my birth "mostly comfortable."  Hypnobabies definitely worked for me, but there were times when I got off track and had discomfort, and I really struggled a lot during the pushing phase.  Honestly, there were times during my birthing when if someone asked at the time if I was having "pain," I probably would have said yes, but most of the time I was comfortable and felt very calm and relaxed.

On Friday, March 5, I woke up around 4:00 am having pressure waves.  I tried listening to my Hypnobabies tracks to see if I could fall back asleep, but after about an hour, I decided to get up because if the baby was going to come today, I was going to need to get a few last minute things together for my hospital bag.  I found the charger for my digital camera battery, and I sat on my birth ball at the computer, printed out some extra copies of my birth preferences, and plugged in my ipod.  I got on the internet and did some stuff and tried to time the pressure waves with the contraction master website, but they seemed to weaken while I was on the ball and were sort of hard to time.

A couple hours later, my husband Tiatia got up to go to work, and then my 2 year old Tehani got up.  My pressure waves had pretty much stopped by this point.   Tehani and I had breakfast.  I think we ate some of the blueberry muffins we had made as a project the day before.  I put on a few shows for her on the DVR and I did some cleaning.  I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, including mopping the floor.  Then I felt tired, so I sat down and folded a load of laundry that I'd washed the day before.  Tehani and I had some chicken noodle soup for lunch.

Around 1:00 pm, after starting a load of laundry, I read Tehani some books and then I put a Hypnobabies  track on out loud and I laid down with her and we both had a nap.  I woke once during the nap to a pressure wave but went back to sleep and then had another one when I woke up around 2:30 and I think one or two more while I was lying down.  My pre-birth waves mostly came at night, so having waves during the day was unusual for me.  They were also strong enough that I was wondering if hypnosis was going to work.  I used my lightswitch and peace cue and it really helped me feel more comfortable during them.   I suspected that it would soon be time to meet my baby.  I got up and put on my headphones and listened to Birthing Day affirmations while I did some more cleaning and preparing.  I moved the load of laundry to the dryer, straightened up the living room, and got together Tehani's clothes and things she would need for staying with friends while we were at the hospital.

Tehani woke up and I think she played with toys for a little while.  I hadn't had any cervical checks from my doctor, but I had tried to feel my cervix myself.  It had felt soft and slightly open about a week before.  I decided to check it again and it felt softer and more open now, if I had to guess, I'd say about 3 cm, and I could feel how Teio's head was now against it.  I had noticed that he felt lower on Thursday morning, and at my appointment that day, Dr. I. felt my belly and said that his head was engaged.  A piece of brown-tinged mucus plug came out on my fingers when I checked myself.  I started to finish packing my hospital bag, but all the stuff I needed would not fit in the bag I had already started to pack.  I tried transferring it to another bag, but it wouldn't all fit in that one either.

I realized the waves were coming pretty frequently, so I decided to time them.  I got on the computer on the birth ball.  Pressure waves were about every 6 minutes apart.  I knew it was the real thing now.  My phone rang during a pressure wave and I wasn't able to answer it.  I was Tiatia.  He was probably calling to tell me he was getting off work and would be home soon.  I called him back, but he didn't answer.  I sent him a text saying I thought we'd be going to the hospital tonight, but I don't think he got it.

The idea of getting in the bath sounded really good to me.  I put on a DVD for Tehani (I normally try to limit her TV viewing, but I made an exception that day), and  I filled the tub and put in a few drops of lavender oil, which I had been putting in my scent diffuser during my Hypnobabies practice to help with relaxation.  I put my laptop in the bathroom so I could play my Hypnobabies tracks while I was in the tub.  I put on "Painless Childbirth" (which I think is called "Comfortable Childbirth" in the 6th edition) and lied down in the tub and relaxed.

I'd brought my phone in the bathroom and Tiatia called again.  He could tell I sounded different and I told him I was having pressure waves that were pretty intense.  He asked when I thought the baby was coming, and I told him either late that night or early the next morning.  I told him I was in the tub.  It turns out he had stopped at the Redbox on his way home and picked up a movie for us to watch that night.  Yeah, that didn't end up happening.  He got home a few minutes later and came in the bathroom to check on me and I told him I was coping fine.  He watched Tehani for a while and I guess he fed her macaroni and cheese and he also got together a bag with clothes and toiletries for himself and packed phone chargers, the video camera, the laptop, and the digital camera with it's now fully charged battery.

I listened to "Deepening" next, and continued to handle the pressure waves very well.  I really wouldn't describe what I was experiencing as painful, and I felt really in-control.  Doing the deep slow breathing and using the "peace" cue while imagining anesthesia going to my lower belly (where I felt the majority of the sensation of the waves) really helped.  I got into some different positions in the tub.  I sat cross-legged and I also kneeled .  After "Deepening" I listened to "Special Place" and Teio moved around during it, just like he did the first time I listened to it when I felt so connected to him that I got tears in my eyes.

Towards the end of the track, I lost my focus during a few waves and they started feeling really uncomfortable.  I called out that I needed help and Tiatia came in.  I told him it was really intense and I didn't know if I could do it.  I almost started crying.  I was scared.  He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I said I did.  He started making phone calls to get Tehani taken care of.  I got out of the tub and got dressed.  I divided the stuff I needed to take to the hospital between my two bags and put my lavender oil and my phone in one of them.  Then I got my ipod and my headphones, and realizing that I needed something more than the regular tracks, I put on the Birth Guide.  I regained my focus and was once again able to handle the waves.  I sat on the birth ball in the living room and leaned forward on the arm of the couch.  I told Tiatia I needed a drink, so he gave me a little bottle of apple juice and I took sips of it between waves.

Michelle came to get Tehani and she was crying and really did not want to go.  I went over to her and gave her a hug and told her it would be okay, but she didn't believe me.  Michelle asked if my water had broken and I told her it hadn't yet, then a pressure wave started, while I was still kneeling on the kitchen floor, and I had to close my eyes and do my deep breathing.  She asked, "How far apart are they?" and I couldn't answer her, both because I was still having the wave and because I didn't know, I hadn't been timing them.  Somehow Tiatia got Tehani into Michelle's car.  He came back and asked me how I was doing and I said I was feeling more in-control now.  I told him I wanted him to help me time the waves.

We went in the bedroom and I turned on a lamp instead of the light so that it wouldn't be too bright.  I sat on the birth ball and put pillows on the bed and leaned forward on the pillows.  Tiatia timed the waves with the stopwatch on his phone.  I told him I also wanted him to use the "relax" cue on my shoulder.  I once again lost focus during a few of the waves and made some noise, but the "relax" helped me relax and focus and I got back to feeling like the waves were only pressure and my anesthesia was working.  We discovered that the waves were between 2 and 3 minutes apart and were all lasting over a minute.  I was still able to talk calmly between the waves.  We decided it was probably a good time to head to the hospital.  I said we needed to call Dr. I. and told Tiatia where her number was.  At first, he wanted me to call her, but I told him to do it.  He called and told her we were going in and how close together the waves were.  She said she'd meet us there.

Tiatia loaded everything into the car, and I made sure we got the extra pillows and the birth ball. I also brought my apple juice.   I got in the back seat of our mini SUV and we took the headrest off the front seat put a pillow on top of it and leaned forward.  I continued listening to the "Easy First Stage" track.  I was actually quite comfortable during the 25 minute car ride, which was amazing because I remembered being very uncomfortable in the car last time.  When we left the house it was around 9:00 pm.

We parked and Tiatia carried a bunch of our stuff in.  We walked in and Tiatia told the receptionist at the ER admitting desk who we were.  She called the maternity center and told us they'd be coming to get us.  She asked if I wanted to walk or ride in the wheelchair, and I said I thought I'd be fine walking.  She put a hospital bracelet on me, during a wave, of course.  While we waited for them to come get us, I was standing there, drinking sips of juice between waves, and during them I'd lean on Tiatia and he'd say "relax" to me.  It felt wonderful to feel so relaxed and in control.  I remember telling Tiatia that they felt like they were coming right on top of each other now, since they were so close together and lasting so long, but I didn't say it like I was afraid, it was just an observation.  It seemed like it was taking a long time for them to come and we started to wonder what the hold up was.  The receptionist called them again.

When they finally came for us, they asked again if I wanted the wheelchair and I decided to get it because I remembered from when we came to preregister that it was a pretty long way and the waves were so close together I'd have to stop a lot.  Riding in the chair, I was able to keep doing what I had been doing.  We got to the LDRP room (not a triage room like I went to first at the hospital where I had my daughter, which I was glad of), and they already had the lights dimmed for us and Dr. I. was there.  Once the pressure wave I was having was over, I got out of the chair and was given instructions on giving a urine sample and how to wear the hospital gown.  I had another pressure wave and leaned forward on the cabinet that contained the fetal monitor machine.  Then I said I brought my own nightgown to wear, and they said that said was fine.  I told Tiatia which bag it was in, and he gave the bag to me.  I took the cup and my bag and gave the sample and got changed.

Dr. I. had me get in the bed so they could put the monitors on me and she could check me.  She said that if I needed to move during waves, I could.  It turned out I was able to use my hypnosis to stay comfortable in the bed (with the head of it raised) during pressure waves, which is something I couldn't do during the unmedicated part of my first birthing.  Dr. I. checked me and, drum roll, please…I was 8 centimeters!  I looked at Tiatia and said how happy I was to be so far along.  He had a big smile on his face.  Dr. I. showed me how big that was on the dilation chart.  She asked Dianne to get a birth ball (we'd left mine in the car—one man can only carry so much) so I could sit on it, which sounded great to me.  I sat on the ball and leaned forward on the bed.

Dr. I. asked what the results of my GBS culture had been and I said she'd never told me, so I'd assumed negative.  Someone came to take my blood, and I barely felt it.  Then Dr. I. said they were going to need to give me an IV for antibiotics because it turns out I tested positive for GBS .  At first I said "okay," but then I said I wasn't sure if I wanted the antibiotics because I'd done reading on it and there are risks to the antibiotic use, too.  Dr. I. said that the antibiotic they use is mild and that it would be to protect the baby.  I agreed to get it, and now I do think that was the right decision because had I known I was positive beforehand, I would have done natural remedies to make it less likely for the baby to be infected.  Dr. I. said that it was good that my water hadn't broken yet, since the membranes being intact for longer reduces the risk of infection, and she said it would be best to (as I'd requested) wait until it broke on its own.

It took at least 4 tries and 3 different people to get an IV in me.  Apparently the veins in my hands are deceptive—they look great, but when you try to put the needle in, it doesn't work.  They ended up putting it on my left forearm.  Getting stuck multiple times was really uncomfortable and quite frustrating, so I was relieved when they got it in.

After that, the memories are not completely clear.  I remember Dr. I. suggested some different positions.  I know I stood leaning forward for a few waves.  Someone was behind me with their hands on my hips, but I have no idea who it was.  I think after that she wanted me to try kneeling, so she adjusted the bed so that I could kneel on the foot of it and rest my head and arms on the middle part.  I think that when I went to get into that position is when I vomited all over the floor, but I knew that was a good sign, a sign that I was nearing full dilation, and I also had read that the act of throwing up can help your body open up faster.  I remember saying that I felt better after throwing up.  I also remember saying I felt shaky, and Dianne said that meant I might be in transition.  The kneeling position was comfortable, and I was still very focused and relaxed, using my hypnosis, restarting the "Easy First Stage" track on my ipod whenever it ended.  I think Dr. I. checked me in this position and I was 9 cm.

Soon I started to say "Ah" at the peaks of the pressure waves, and Dr. I. asked if I was feeling rectal pressure and I wasn't yet.  Then a few waves later I said I was starting to feel it.  Sometime around this time, "Easy First Stage" ended again and I let "Pushing Baby Out" start playing.  Dr. I. had me get back in the semi-seated position and checked me again, and she said there was a lip on my cervix and the baby's head needed to rotate a little more.  I continued to "Ah" all through the waves, and that felt good.  I think Dr. I. had me get on my side.  She told me that if I really felt I needed to push at the peaks of the waves, I could.

After a while, she checked again, and the lip was still there, so she tried having me push while she held back the lip.  That was very uncomfortable and it didn't work.  It was during this that my water finally broke.  She told me to try not to push for a while.  Now that I had pushed, I felt like I needed to keep pushing.  From this point on, I was never able to really get back in the peaceful place I had been before.  It also didn't help that I had never actually listened to "Pushing Baby Out" all the way through to make sure it was okay and it turns out the track on my iPod was incomplete, so it would just stop in the middle of something.  I felt panicked and very out of control and was not comfortable at all.  As the waves would peak, I'd yell "I CAN'T NOT PUSH!" and would try to push only as much as I absolutely had to.  Dianne had to tell me to slow down my breathing so I wouldn't hyperventilate.  At one point, Tiatia kissed me (if you're unfamiliar with why this is helpful, read Ina May's Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin), and that did help me relax some. I was touched that he thought to do that, that he actually had paid attention to some of the stuff I'd shared with him from my reading.  I also switched from "Pushing Baby Out" to "Deepening" because I wasn't supposed to push yet, and then I never went back to "Pushing Baby Out."

Somehow I got past the really intense part of not being able to push and moved on to the really intense part of trying to push.  Dr. I. said I could change positions if I wanted (I was now back to semi-seated), but I didn't want to move.   Dianne pulled some handles up from underneath the bed and told me I could hold on to them while I pushed.  I started pushing, but the way I was pushing wasn't working.  Dr. I. noticed I was tightening my pelvic floor, so she and Dianne had to tell me to relax that area and focus on pushing with my abdominal muscles.  Not everyone has to push like that, but apparently I do, or at least did with this baby.  Dianne got right in my face and Dr. I. told me to look at her.  She told me to hold my breath and push.  She did count to 10 during some of the pushes, but for most of them she didn't count and I only pushed as long as I felt I could, and for some of them I did breathe out instead of holding my breath.  Dianne also told me not to start pushing when the wave started, but to wait until it built.  I was not able to relax the rest of my body while pushing, and as a result, I was very sore the next day.  I also burst a blood vessel in my eye.

At some point during the pushing phase, Dr. I. said something about wanting to put in an internal fetal monitor because the external one wasn't doing a good job of tracking his heart rate.  At first I said "okay," but then my inner advocate kicked in and I said I didn't want the monitor screwed on my baby's head.  Dr. I. told Dianne to adjust the external monitor and it picked his heart rate up better.  I was glad I stood up for my baby.

Once I got pushing figured out, it wasn't too long before I felt him in the birth canal.  The feeling when he crowned was very, very intense.  It didn't feel like burning to me, though, it felt like the gentle version of  perineal  massage I had done a few times, only about 10 times more intense.  Looking back on it, the feeling was kind of cool, but at the moment I really wanted it to be over.  I wanted to keep pushing, but Dr. I. told me that my perineum would stretch better if I waited for the next pressure wave.  His head was out with the next wave and I had to keep pushing his body.  I remember Tiatia reminding me to breath in, because I just wanted to keep pushing.

Teio was born at 1:47 am.  I reached down and pulled him up onto my own belly, which is something I had wanted to do ever since I'd seen it on a video.  They put a towel on him and I talked to him and rubbed is back.  He was a little purple and not crying.  The other nurse, whose name I didn't get, told me she was going to have to take him.  Dr. I. clamped the cord and Tiatia cut it.  Tiatia took a video of Teio getting deep suctioned and being given oxygen.

Dr. I. had me push out the placenta.  Then, she and Dianne started doing uterine massage ,and my uterus wasn't firming up and I was bleeding too much.  Teio wasn't ready to breastfeed yet, so they put pitocin in my IV.  A little while later, I was still bleeding more than they like to see, so Dianne gave me a shot of methergine in my thigh.

When Teio was ready, the nurse brought him back to me before dressing him or anything so I could hold him skin-to-skin.  He latched right on and has done a great job nursing ever since.  After we had some time to nurse and bond, the nurse weighed him and he was 7 lbs 10 oz—7 oz bigger than his sister was.  She diapered and dressed him.  Dr. I. showed me the placenta, which was really cool.  She showed the maternal side and the membranes that held Teio as he grew.  This was really interesting to me.

I felt amazing after the birth.  The hormone rush was really awesome feeling.  I was so proud of myself for doing it unmedicated and for feeling so in control for much of the time.  I really believe I couldn't have done it without Hynobabies.  Dr. I. told me that she thought I should get certified to teach the program like I had told her I was considering doing if I found it helpful during my birth.  I was up taking a shower soon after.  It felt really good to be able to shower.  It was a little difficult still having the IV attached because I wasn't wearing a hospital gown, so I had to leave one strap of my nightgown around the IV line, and when I tried to put the nightgown back on, it got all tangled around the line and Dianne had to help me fix it.

Because of my positive GBS status and only getting one dose of antibiotics (you're supposed to get 2 doses, 4 hours apart, but I wasn't at the hospital long enough), they wanted to keep Teio in the hospital for 48 hours to watch him for signs of infection, since about 80 percent of newborn GBS infections show up during that time period.  I loved that I didn't have to switch rooms at all during my hospital stay and that, because the same nurses who help with the births also do postpartum care, on our last night we got to see Dianne again.

Dianne said she had read my birth preferences and I could tell she really made an effort to follow them.  She told us that the reason she left us in the ER so long was because my birth preferences said I didn't want it loud and she wanted to do all the noisy room set up before they brought me in.  She also said how surprised she was when Dr. I. said I was 8 centimeters, because I wasn't acting like it.  We talked about how difficult my pushing phase was, and Dianne said that it looked like I was actually pushing right, and Teio just wasn't coming down.  She said normally women don't need to push with their abdominal muscles.  She said she was actually thinking they were going to need to use the vacuum extractor, but she hadn't suggested it because she knew I wanted minimal intervention.  Tiatia mentioned that he'd actually yelled "relax" at me when I was panicking, and Dianne said that caused me to suddenly focus.  I don't even remember that, but I guess my subconscious recognized the cue, so my hypnosis training did help more than I thought it did during pushing.

Teio is a very cute and so far is a good baby.  His birth was an amazing experience that taught me so much about the capabilities of my mind and body.
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