Hello from Manila!
Victor Emilio (“Vito”), our 5th child, arrived at 3:58 am on May 31. Interestingly enough, when I would visualize my birthing time while listening to the Affirmations track, I always saw myself as birthing at 4 am. The power of the mind is amazing!
My pregnancy, despite my age (41) went very well. I was active and working throughout. I exercised 5 days a week, doing spinning, dance and Pilates classes up to a couple of days before birth day. My husband and I have 4 other children, ages 22 to 13, so my last birthing prior to this was almost 14 years ago.
This was our 5th drug-free delivery and our first to consciously use hypnosis during birth. As I mentioned in my Introduction to the e-group, I apparently went into an altered mental state during my other births but was not aware how I entered it or what it was until later. This time, with the understanding that it was self-hypnosis that helped me manage my previous births, I consulted a hypnotherapist for 3 practice sessions and listened to the Hypnobabies scripts for 6 weeks before baby’s arrival.
That week I was very busy attending to last minute arrangements for work and home before taking my official leave. I even scheduled a belly photo shoot on Thursday, the 29th, and I asked my baby just to let me have the photos taken before he/she decided to be born. (The photo shoot went great, I am so glad to have done it!)
Baby cooperated. On the morning of the 30th, I noticed bloody mucous in my underwear. This would go on the whole day along with sporadic pressure waves that felt different from Braxton Hicks in that they would radiate towards my back. Nothing regular though. But I went to bed at 11 pm that night knowing that I would definitely be in the delivery room in a few hours.
Shortly before 1 am I had been observing my PWs become more intense and around 10 minutes apart. Although they were not that close together, because of the intensity of the sensations I was feeling I decided we should get going so that I would be nice and settled in the delivery room and well into hypnosis. So I woke up my husband, we got dressed and out the door. Our 2 teenage daughters who were still awake heard us and wanted to come along. So the four of us drove to the hospital which was 10 minutes away. On the way there the girls and my husband were very excited and chatty and I was quiet and concentrating on relaxing. My girls even commented, “Wow, Mom, we are so excited…but you are so cool!” (All throughout birthing I heard them chatting away excitedly in the waiting room next door.)
We arrived at the ER and I walked with my daughters to the Delivery Room, pausing a couple of times to relax during PWs. My husband followed after parking the car. When we got to the Labor Room, the resident did an IE and said I was only 3 cm. I said, I sure don’t feel like 3 cm and I would like to go into the Delivery Room now, because I didn’t want to be moved when things started getting intense. Since it was around 2 am by this time, and the 4 DRs were empty, they agreed. My OB (who I just met that moment, because my regular OB was abroad) arrived around 2:30, and I was deep into relaxation by then but definitely feeling strong PWs. She checked me and to everyone’s surprise I was at 6 cm! My husband relayed this via text message to my girls in the waiting room, and I could hear them getting really excited. I put my iPod on then and kept it on the whole time.
I asked for hot compresses to put on my back. They gave me warm towels. The PWs were coming on strong by then. I would call it a cross between p**n and a really strong muscle contraction, similar to what you would feel during an intense weightlifting session. The warm towels and counterpressure massage applied by my husband were wonderful in helping manage the PWs. I remember feeling that this had better be over soon, because I didn’t know how much more I had in me, and then realizing that feeling this meant that the birthing time was near!
The OB, who was waiting patiently at the foot of the birthing bed, checked me again, around 3 am and I was at 8 cm. I knew then that this was the time for the hypnosis to get going! I repeated to myself the Bible verse I had saved for the occasion, “I can do all things through Christ Who gives me strength”. I concentrated even more on opening and relaxing, and felt myself very deeply in hypnosis.
Amazingly, the eyes-open technique which I had been unsure would be effective–only because I didn’t feel deeply hypnotized during my practice sessions–really worked…although, my eyes were closed. I could hear everyone in the room, I was aware of what was going on, I could change positions, yet I was so concentrated on opening my body during PWs. In between PWs, even at 8 cm and with the waves coming on fast, I actually felt myself nod off to sleep!
This went on for another 30 minutes, but when the OB checked me again I was still at 8 cm. At this time I told her I was starting to feel pushy (all while still in VERY DEEP hypnosis!–I knew because while talking to her I was kind of semi-asleep and experiencing Rapid Eye Movement, like when you are dreaming). So she said she would break my bag, which up to that point was still intact, to speed things along. That’s when the mood in the room changed from waiting to activity. I could hear everyone bustling around getting the birthing bed into the right position, preparing instruments and whatever else (remember, my eyes were closed).
She broke my bag and I felt a huge gush of warm water from my body. I sat up in bed with my husband at my back, his arms around me. I switched to the Pushing Baby Out track on my iPod. I felt really intense pushing sensations. Really hard work! It it took about 20 minutes to push the baby out (my other births took only about 10 minutes or less). I think it was because this was my biggest baby (8lbs 1 oz) and I have a small frame. I could feel baby moving down the birth canal, could feel the head turning and the crowning…a very intense stretching sensation and an incredible urge to push…like my whole body, mind and soul was directed toward that purpose. I was grunting and making earthy “hard work” noises. The doctor was so encouraging, telling me to push one more time, and then came the sensation of the head being born and a sudden feeling of relief as the shoulders and body followed! And it was over. I had a baby boy.
My other reward was to have my two girls welcome their little brother into the world, and to see their mom happy and relaxed immediately after delivery. I hope they will carry this memory with them when the time comes for them to become mothers.
Afterwards, the pediatrician who attended my birth came up to me to tell me that he was amazed watching my husband and me and wanted to know what was on my iPod! Since then I’ve learned he’s told his other patients about my baby’s birth.
I just want to let everyone know that the power of the mind is incredible. I didn’t expect an easy birth experience… I always felt birthing was a deeply transformative, empowering, and spiritual experience and that it had to be somewhat intense to be so. I had moments of doubt during my practice hypnosis sessions because I didn’t feel I was “deep” enough, and that I was easily distracted when I shouldn’t be…but come showtime, everything came together perfectly and I experienced an incredibly deep hypnotic state that helped me manage birthing what for me was a big baby. At 41 years old, I am just so happy that my birthing was safe, natural, and that my healthy baby was finally born!
I wish everyone who is still awaiting their birthing time a wonderful birth experience. Keep practicing and know that it will work perfectly for you when the time comes! I miss listening to my scripts already.