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Mom Says About Her Baby's Birthing, "It was intense, but also kind of fun".

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I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. on January 16, two days after our
estimated “due date” (according to my own calculations based on my
knowledge of when Baby was conceived, not the LMP date which would
have been a bit earlier). I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for
several more days, since I had gone 11 days past my “due date” with my
older daughter and then induced her with cohosh (black and blue, one
in herbal and one in homeopathic form) due to pressures from the
medical system. Also, I had experienced no pressure waves yet other
than very mild cramps occasionally (not more than once or twice a day,
and only if the day was busy) over the past 6 weeks or so. However,
when I woke up that night I was experiencing distinct and somewhat
uncomfortable pressure waves. My first thought was, “Oh, no! I do NOT
want to start working on this baby in the middle of the night!” My
ideal birth visualization had always included a daytime birthing time,
although I never could decide how long I wanted it to be. I waited to
see if the pressure waves would go away so I could go back to sleep,
but they kept coming regularly, so I put my Deepening track on, hoping
that would be put me back to sleep. It worked like a charm, and I
slept soundly until about 6:30 a.m. when I woke up to regular pressure
waves again. My 3 ½ year old daughter woke up then too, and my husband
got up with her while I stayed in bed and adjusted myself to the idea
that this just might be the day.



The pressure waves were mild but very regular, so after I got up and
dressed I timed them for a little while. The whole experience was new
to me, since during my birthing time with my daughter I experienced
continuous pressure with no pause between “waves.” (I have wondered
since if this was my body’s reaction to the cohosh.) Anyway, I found
that the waves were pretty consistently around 5 minutes apart,
lasting 30-45 seconds. I didn’t know whether to expect things to pick
up or fade away, but when the waves stayed consistent through
breakfast and my daughter’s bath we decided to stay home from church
and prepare just in case. I did a fear clearing session and then began
to listen to the birthing day affirmations, which were wonderful. In
the mid-morning we went to a nearby state park for a peaceful hike,
and stopped at the local grocery on the way back to pick up a few last
things. (I stayed in the car listen to my affirmation CD while my
husband and daughter went in to the store.) Throughout the morning the
waves came consistently between about 5-10 minutes apart, lasting
usually around 40 seconds. I noticed that the waves were longer and
more intense after a bigger gap, and shorter and milder after a short
gap. I wondered whether I should be trying to use my finger drop and
lightswitch cues more than I was, but since the waves weren’t getting
longer or closer together I kept assuming that this was a false alarm.
I called our midwife several times throughout the day to keep her
updated, since she lived 1 ½ hours away.



We ate several snacks throughout the morning, and had a good lunch
around noon. After that I sat on my birthing ball and leaned on the
table with pillows while I listened to the Easy First Stage CD and the
Deepening CD. I had a hard time going into hypnosis because the waves
were uncomfortable but far enough apart that they kept startling me
when they came. At around 2:00 I started to feel discomfort in my
lower back during the pressure waves, and asked my husband to press on
my back while I sat on the ball during a wave. That felt just right. I
started pacing around in between waves and sitting or lying over the
ball during a wave, and since things seemed to have moved up a notch
in terms of intensity, even though the waves weren’t getting closer
together, we decided to blow up our “fishy pool” and start filling it.
The whole time I was carrying around my little CD player and listening
to the Easy First Stage CD. I was using my “peace” cue but not really
going into hypnosis. The discomfort in my back was greater than I
expected, and combined with the long space between waves I found it
hard to concentrate on letting go into hypnosis. I also found my
daughter quite distracting, although I really wanted her to be there
at the same time.



After the pool started filling, my husband and I decided to make
bagels (which were apparently originally made for midwives and women
present during birthing). About halfway through the process the
intensity moved up a notch again (this was around 4:30), and I left my
husband to finish while I got in the pool. I knew from my daughter’s
birthing time that I like to be in water during a birthing time, but I
hadn’t decided either way whether I wanted to actually have the baby
in water. I continued to eat throughout the afternoon and right up
until pushing; the warm bagels tasted great. I think when I got in the
pool was when I finally accepted that this was indeed my baby’s
birthday. The water felt great, although the pressure waves were still
uncomfortable. I tried different positions, saying “open, open, open”
and listening to the Easy First Stage CD. The intensity was gradually
increasing, and I started finding it hard to cope. I asked my husband
to come help me. This is where I experienced the wonder of
Hypnobabies. I relaxed against the side of the pool with my legs
spread out in front of me and asked my husband to support my head and
use phrases from the birth partner practice, which we had practiced
regularly every other night. Since the pressure waves remained
relatively far apart, he was finishing up making the bagels in
between, and I would tell him when a wave was coming so he could come
support me. When he made it to me early enough, I really did feel the
waves as pressure and was able to relax into hypnosis. When I had to
start into a wave myself I found the discomfort hard to handle. I’m
glad I was able to experience the effect of hypnosis a little bit—
especially during this intense part of the birthing time—since I
didn’t use it during most of the day. I do think listening to the CDs
did keep me more clear-headed and able to easily communicate with my
husband. He commented on this afterward. I feel like Hypnobabies
provided the context for my birthing time.



The intensity continued to increase, and I could tell that we were
getting closer to the end. I started to vocalize more and more during
waves, shifting from the “open, open, open” to more of an “ahhhhh” or
“ohhhhhh”. Our midwife arrived at around 6:00, and right after she
came in I felt the bag of waters break and the baby move down a bit.
When she heard the sounds I was making, the midwife said, “Is this
baby coming soon?” and I said, “I think it’s coming soon!” (This is
what I had wanted during my visualizations—to have most of my birthing
time just with my husband and daughter, and have the midwife come at
the end once I was past being distractible.) Somewhere around here I
asked my husband to switch my CD to the Pushing Baby Out track, and I
started repeating the phrases I was hearing and talking to my baby
with them, saying things like “Gently, baby, gently” and “Gently
sliding out”.
(During my daughter’s birthing time, the midwives had directed the
pushing stage—ugh!—and I totally forgot that I was having a baby at
the time.) I was so eager for that feeling of relief when the baby
comes out. One of the main things in my head at this time was, “I
easily use my voice during my birthing time,” and I babbled away
whatever I was feeling  in between repeating phrases from the
CD. It was intense, but also kind of fun. I was so detached during the
pushing stage with my older daughter that I never felt
the desire to make any noise at all. So I was surprised that I enjoyed
“easily using my voice during my birthing time,” even roaring a little
bit as I let my body push toward the end. This is something I always
thought would be embarrassing, but quite the opposite—I still feel
happy about it now.



I took off my headphones just at the end as I was getting ready to
push Baby out so I could focus more on exactly what my body was
telling me. I shifted around into different positions as I felt like
it, mostly shifting between hands and knees and leaning forward
against the side of the pool while squatting (being in water made me
feel quite able to move—by this time I had totally forgotten that I
might not want to have a waterbirth!). My husband was using “birth
partner” phrases, which I really appreciated. My midwife said a couple
of times, “Go with what your body wants to do” or something like that.

 

It felt really helpful at the time, although at one of our postpartum
appointments we talked about it and it turned out that she was
actually concerned that I wasn’t letting myself push because of the
phrases I was using about the baby sliding out! I took it slowly as Baby’s head crowned.   I
ended up squatting when I felt that he was ready to come out. It was
wonderful just to let my body do its thing with no one telling me what
to do. Suddenly his head was out, there was the briefest of pauses—and
then out came his shoulders and all the rest of him.

I scooped him up onto my stomach and heard the midwife say “Watch the cord!” It was so
short that I couldn’t lift him higher than my stomach. I saw right
away that he was a boy, which I had been secretly hoping for! The
midwife did a preliminary cut on the cord pretty soon so I could lift
him up higher, and then tied it off and did the final cut while I
snuggled him. He was really peaceful and pinked up rapidly. He coughed
and that made him cry a little bit, but mostly he just looked around
quietly. Although no one was looking at the clock at the time, we
looked at it about 5 minutes later and estimated his arrival as 6:43
p.m.

 

The whole thing had taken just over 12 hours from the beginning,
and only two hours since I had really needed to start focusing. I
wanted to move to the bed pretty quickly, and he wanted to look around
for awhile before nursing. The midwife weighed and measured him: 9 lb
4 oz and 22 ½ inches long. I was hoping for a baby between 8-10 pounds
this time, so that was just right! He demonstrated soon enough that he
was a champion nurser, and I have been grateful for such an easy
breastfeeding journey this time around. My body wasn’t ready for more
pushing for a bit, but after an hour or so I felt ready and knelt over
a big bowl to push the placenta out. Our midwife said it was one of
the biggest placentas she’s every seen!



Although I didn’t use my Hypnobabies practice in exactly the way I
expected to, it was a wonderful part of my birthing time, and it would
have all been worth it anyway for the relaxation and positive
affirmations during pregnancy. In so many ways it was an ideal
birthing time, and I’m so glad Hypnobabies was a part of it. The
“recovery” has been so nice; my nether regions felt pretty much totally normal right
away. Very different from recovery after forced pushing, and so much
better! I’m also very happy to have gone through a whole pregnancy and
birthing time with no internal exams. This really helped me trust
myself and listen to my body. And it felt so right to catch him
myself, too. (During this pregnancy I have developed a pet peeve about
people saying that someone other than the mother “delivered” the
baby.) Three cheers for mother-directed birthing!



Tricia
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