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Gabriel's Birth--Wonderful Water VBAC!

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So, here i am, hopefully able to post the whole story today. I think i'll add a BOP just in case about the pushing stage, which was nonetheless amazing, and a section after that, as i had a little trouble with my pressure going down. but still, i hope despite the slight hitches, it'll encourage those of you going for a VBAC, and maybe even help you stay on track with your hypnobabies practice.  i should say i wasn't very constant with the finger drops, although i did listen to my scripts--3 or 4 at a time--religiously every night as i fell asleep. if nothing else, it helped me sleep well and stay relaxed throughout my pregnancy. i had none of the emotional ups and downs i experienced before.

I would also like to mention that my first son was born by unnecessary c-section, due to dr's impatience and our lack of information, other than thinking that there wasn't much to birth than arrive in the hospital, lie on your back, and push a baby out with or without an epidural.

A year later, i began my journey to find something better, something more humane, for myself and my next baby, and also in a way for DH and our firstborn, and after encountering ICAN and another support group, and finding out about hypnobirthing, i decided Hypnobabies was the way to go. I found a new dr. (recommended by a friend who'd had a slightly complicated but natural birth), a wonderful doula, with whom dh and i clicked from the first meeting, and the dream of a water birth.

So, fast forward to now:  I guess the story begins last tuesday, dec. 1st, when i awoke to regular waves … about 3.5 min. apart from 2 to 7 am. I was pretty sure (and hopeful) that that was it, as my guess date was only 2 days away and i'd started natural induction methods, as per my ob's suggestion, around 38 weeks. But when i got up that morning, the waves spaced out to like 10-20 min. apart with no aparent pattern. We decided to go get checked that afternoon (my 1st check, and so wonderfully brief, after having my membranes stripped the last time--without my consent OR knowledge!) and found that i was at 3-4 cm. Dr. asked if i wanted to get checked in or go home, but we decided on the latter, as i knew this could go on for a long time and i didn't want to be in the hospital more than was necessary.

So home we went and had nothing at all that night or the next day. on thursday night, the pattern started again, but this time at about 2-3 min. apart, and again i was sure it must be it. That afternoon i also started acupuncture to help things along, and i thought it must surely be working. Well, long story short, the waves petered out again after a few hours. I went in to get checked on friday morning and was still at 3-4, so dr. said he wanted to see me on tue. Dec. 8.  His assistant, however, refused to give me an appointment, certain that i wouldn't make it!!!

That afternoon and again on saturday, i had two more acupuncture sessions, and again i would have steady waves for a while that would come to nothing. I was actually quite calm over the weekend, listening to my birthing day affirmations and easy first stage every night, in addition to my VBAC cd, hoping that they would help my birthing time start.

Monday afternoon the acupunturist called to ask if i'd had the baby yet, and offered another session. I said yes, but then thought better of it and said i'd wait one more day. Then, i did a lot of nipple stimulation throughout the day, every chance i got (DH was at work, of course, so not many choices), i rocked on all fours, telling Gabriel to come out and my cervix to open, open, open. I also told GAbriel that he needed to come out soon for his sake and mine, because i didn't want any interventions of any sort, and much less another c-section.

(Both DH and i had been telling him to come so we could hold him and love him, and meet him, but that didn't seem to do the trick!)  The waves i got, although still without a pattern, were getting stronger now, and i knew they must be leading somewhere, even if my birthing day was not there yet...

That night, DH and i watched a movie and i timed a few waves, but they were still like 7-20 min. apart without a clear pattern, although they would all last over a minute now and made me breathe deeply and sometimes even use my peace cue (which, by the way, I loved throughout my pregnancy and birthing!!).
We went to bed, and as soon as i lay down and turned on my ipod, the waves stopped, as i knew they would... I had made up my mind Gabriel would wait till after the tenth, so i just tried to take it easy.

Later that night--4 am in fact--i awoke to a pretty strong wave, stronger than any i had felt so far, and i assumed it was just time to go pee, as every night i would wake like that. but as soon as i turned over to get out of bed, i felt a trickle and said "uh-oh!" aloud, thinking it must be my water breaking. sure enough, when i got to the bathroom and sat on the toilet, a little squirt of water came out. uh-oh! i said again. i did my business and by the time i got back to bed, my waves were there, steady. i woke DH gently with the cliche my water broke!, which had him wide awake in a second!

i told him i couldn't remember what the dr. had said if my water broke:  did i have time to go back to sleep? should i call right away? dh went on the internet to try and find something, but by 4:30 i had gone to off and center to move through my waves. every time one hit, i would go on all fours or lean on the ball or bed, swaying and saying peace aloud. soon, i needed dh to apply counterpressure to my back, really hard--so hard, that i ended up with bruises!!

in between waves, he tried to reach the dr., but couldn't (turns out his cell was at a setting where it would neither ring nor vibrate!!!). i got in the shower to try and ease the discomfort, but although the water felt nice, the waves were getting stronger, and i did end up having to go on all fours in there to make it through them.

i think i said in my previous post that it wasn't p**n-free, but that's not exactly right:  what happened was that if i was alone, once the waves were this strong, i felt i was close to losing control and actually giving in to p**n. as it was, it took all of my concentration to keep hold of myself through each wave, and by now they felt like they were 1 min. apart, although dh says they stayed at 3 min. the whole time. come to think of it, it was probably that they were lasting so long that even if from start to start they were 3 min. apart, from finish to start they were under 1 min!

so anyway, getting out of the shower and dressed was quite an ordeal at this frequency! in the meantime, dh got my mom and told her to come over right away, then got my doula who told us to head to the hospital, as she could tell from the sounds i was making that i was in transformation (BTW, i knew when i got in the shower because i was shaking!), and she finally managed to contact my dr. also, at the end of one of those waves, i had two dry heaves, and remembering so many birth stories i read before, i thought, "great! what if this baby decides to be born here, and we are unprepared for this!!" fortunately, i didn't have an urge to push yet, but i knew it wouldn't be long.

it was around 5:30 by then, and my mom still hadn't arrived to babysit my 2 yo., so we decided to leave the keys with the security guard of the building and head out, as it was obvious that i was quite far along and moving fast, even to our inexperienced selves!

in the car, DH driving as fast as was safe at that hour, i put on my ipod to early first stage, stayed in center, and would repeat cues aloud as we went, even closing my eyes practically the whole way to the hospital, ten min. away. i made a bigger effort to focus because i couldn't go on all fours, so i tried to stay limp and loose through the two or three waves i got on the way.
finally, we made it to the hospital even as the dr. was parking his car. dh went to check us in and i went up with the dr. he checked me and checked the baby's heart and said to the nurse to fill the tub because i was at 8-9 cm!!! that's when i thought "too late to back down or chicken out and ask for an epidural!!" so there i was, on my way to my planned and cherished birth!

i had another wave before i could get off the bed and turned on all fours, my bottom in the air, i guess,but i coulnd't care less at the time. my doula walked in then and held me, then helped me down. she gathered my stuff and off we went to the l&d room with the most wonderful pool.

as soon as i got there, i felt the need to pee, so i went, but had another wave and had to go down on all fours in the bathroom--again, couldn't care less!--peed, then went down on all fours again. i think i spent more time on the floor than i did upright by then!

just before i got in the tub, dh walked in to find me on all fours, butt naked except for a top i had managed to slip on before everyone, which told him i was too far along to care.

he and my doula helped me into the tub where i immediately knew that was the place for me. i stayed on all fours, lowering my head on the edge of the tub for each wave while dh massaged my sacrum or lower back to my chant "harder, harder!", and my doula poured warm water over me. (as i moved along, i became more and more vocal, and when i started pushing, i almost laughed aloud hearing myself because i reminded myself so much of a cat we had when i was about 8 when she was giving birth for the first time!! they were not sounds of p**n but of power, much like martial arts like kung-fu use).

****BOP****
she asked me to feel inside and see if i could feel the head yet. i couldn't quite, but it was getting close. a couple of waves later, i started pushing involuntarily indeed, and the dr. came over to check on baby's heartrate, and i could feel some concern. he let me go another wave, then said if i didn't get baby out soon, he would have to get me out of the water. that was not in my plans, so i pushed as hard as i could. he actually let me push two or three more times, then had me change to a squat, holding onto a bar on the side of the tub, and finally baby started crowning. but his heartrate wasn't what it should be, i guess, because instead of letting me push on my own, everyone started urging me to push as hard and long as i could. we needed to get him out NOW. so i did. i pushed because his life depended on it, and felt like i was ripping open in every direction. still, i can't say that what i felt was p**n, now that i think of it. i have very low tolerance and i would have been crying if it had been p**n. i wasn't. i was determined. i actually put my hand down between waves and felt his little head right there.

after that, i pushed with and without waves--purple pushing, i'm afraid, but the situation required it--and finally, he came out. Why was he so hard to push out? oh, just because he had one hand by his face and the cord around his neck!!! he was born at 6:40 am, only about 40 min. after i got in the water--or less, i really don't know!

well, as he wasn't breathing--or not properly--the dr. cut the cord right away, even though he advocates waiting, and handed him to the pediatrician who started rubbing him and giving him oxygen. I kept asking is he ok? and when i finally heard him cry, softly at first, then more strongly, i relaxed.

****end of BOP****

dh and my doula helped me out of the tub and onto the bed, then i was handed my little Gabriel for the first time, and it felt awesome. in fact, i feel like a runner who has just won a marathon!

i tried to nurse him, but he was too tired and wouldn't latch on. we kept giving him oxygen--i had oxygen too, by the way, to help my baby through the pushing stage. meanwhile, the dr. was checking me--that WAS quite uncomfortable, as i had completely let go of my focus and swithced it to my baby--and said i only had a tiny tear that didn't require stitching. all that pushing and no tears worth mentioning!!!

THen, i was asked to push again, to get the placenta out. i don't know if i pushed too hard or what, but it shot out and startled the dr. "you said push," i told him.

they had brought GAbriel down by then, but he was fast asleep and didn't nurse till that night! poor thing was exhausted...anyway, Gabriel stayed with me from then on, as they only took him for a little while the next morning to bathe him and have the ped. check him, and before noon we were on our way home. since then, my recovery has been great--nothing compared to recovering from my previous c-section--and it's wonderful to be able to care for both my sons as if nothing. The only downside is my eyes are all bloodshot from all that purple pushing, but even that is fading fast, and i would do it all again if only to have my healthy, beautiful baby! (my sons' ped. asked if i would do it all natural again, and i said, even now, yes, if i were planning to have more kids!)

so, i got my vbac, much faster than i expected, but pretty much as i visualized in that it started in the middle of the night and baby was born in water without interventions, after arriving in the hospital at a 7 or up.

i believe hypnobabies helped me stay in control the whole time, even though i hardly had time to use the tools, other than my peace cue--my lifeline--and i also believe it was responsible for my baby being in the right position, albeit with a hand and cord in the way.

i loved it so much throughout my pregnancy that it feels weird now not to be listening to the scripts every night as i fall asleep. btw, i had a dream of my baby's birth some months ago, and i remember i said i never got to listen to the pushing baby out script... well, i really didn't! so i do believe that our subconcious has a big part in what we experience in life. i believe i brought my c-section upon myself before, and this is why i believe so strongly now that i programmed myself for this wonderful vbac, even with details such as the script thing.

so, for those who are still waiting, make sure you program positive thoughts into your mind and keep the negative what ifs out.

If you got this far, thank you for reading, and thank you hypnobabies for helping me achieve my dream. I recommend this method to everyone i think would follow through with it, as it does require commitment that not everyone has.

I wish all of you who are still expecting a most wonderful birthing, with as few hitches as possible, if any.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all!!

Nuriyah, mom to Leo (unnecesarean 7/11/07) and Gabriel (water VBAC 12/8/09)
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