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!