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Archive for August, 2010

Helllo Hypno Moms

Alexandra Addison was born at 11pm on June 29th, she weighed 7#11oz and was 19 inches long.

Here are some brief details:

Baby was breech until 37 weeks (after doing lots of tricks from spinningbabies.com, she flipped)
At 39 weeks she flipped back to breech.

So, the doctors were very nervous about me walking around full term with a breech baby. With much persuasion they agreed to let me wait until 39 wks + 5 days before taking any action.

We scheduled an ECV to be followed by induction on 6/29. With help from a midwife, the dr was able to turn baby. I listened to “Turn Breech Baby” track the entire time and visualized baby in ideal position. It worked!

One hour later, pitocin was started. I had started having pressure waves that morning on my own but nothing very strong or consistent enough. One hour and a half after Pit started, my water broke on its own. After that, I had some very powerful pressure waves. Even though I was hooked up to IVs for antibiotics (group B strep) and pitocin, I was able to move around a bit and change positions. I rocked in a rocking chair, rested on a birthing ball, slow danced with my husband.

Only 5 hours later when I felt PWs increasing I lied on bed on my right side. I felt the urge to push but we needed to wait for the Dr.

My husband put in the pushing track, Dr arrived and Alexandra was out with 3 easy “Aahs”
I can’t say enough about how the Hypnobabies tracks helped.  The mind is a powerful thing. I listened to Hypnotic childbirth #1 and #2, birthing day affirmations and easy childbirth etc. I kept thinking “open, open” with every PW.

I am so happy I used Hypnobabies.

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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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Dear baby Roland has joined us!

He was born thursday, March 25 at 5:42 am. He was 8 lbs, 5 oz and 21 inches long with a 14 inch head.~

It was wednesday, March 24th when I started to worry that I wouldn’t get the home birth I had so dreamed of. At 41 weeks and 2 days, I could feel that 42 week cutoff for a home birth looming ahead. In my hypnosis practice and birthing visualizations, I had imagined birthing in the safety, silence and seclusion of our little home, and thoughts of a hospital seemed to be the opposite of that. So when I told my husband that we may not have our home birth if this babe didn’t decide to come soon, I knew I might as well make peace with that, as stress and frustration don’t help anything in birth. We decided to send a gentle message to our unborn child and the universe that we were ready to meet them that very night, if they were ready. We hunkered into bed for a movie around 8 and when my eyes started getting heavy half-way through it, something inside told me “sleep now”, and so I did.
I woke up around 10:45pm to a pressure wave that was more than the mild period-like cramps I had been feeling for a few days. This just had more power behind it, enough that when another one came about 10 minutes later, I realized how uncomfortable it was to lay down through them, so got up without disturbing my husband.
I know they say that if labor starts in the night, you should do your best to get rest, but my pressure waves were too strong to sleep through and getting steadily closer together. I got on my birth ball and leaned over the back of a chair while saying a silent “Ooopen” as each wave came through me. It felt wonderful to imagine my cervix gently opening (this soon turned into “Oooooh”, which I would chant in a low tone with every PW until my baby was born). During my pregnancy, I really learned to trust my body and the power of the mind, so I knew my cervix was opening more and more with each pressure wave, and had a hunch that this baby would be here by dawn even though this was my first baby.
My husband woke up around this time (midnight), and this is when things really picked up. Pressure waves were about 4 minutes apart, and getting more power behind them. I had put some water on for pasta because I knew I’d need the energy, but by the time it was boiling, pressure waves were so frequent that I didn’t think I’d have time to get out the pasta and pour it in between waves.
At this point, my husband filled the bathtub for me. I stayed there basking in delicious warm water while he filled the inflatable birthing pool with water. I ate pasta with my eyes closed and my mind calm between pressure waves. My faith in the safety and beauty of childbirth made my mental calmness unshakable.
Between two “Ooooh’s”, which were coming so close now, I didn’t bother to guess how many minutes apart they were, I puked over the side of the tub. I had the thought that this might be a sign that transition was close, but it had only been an hour or two since things really started getting going, so I didn’t think much more of it. With my wonderful husband toweling up the mess, I hoped into the half-filled birthing tub and adopted a frog-like squat to feel the warm water on my belly.
Time sort of warped and before we knew it, PWs seemed to be coming almost back to back. We really hadn’t wanted to call the midwife too early because we wanted it just the two of us as long as possible. But when I started to feel pressure in my bottom, I told DH to call the midwife. He asked if I was absolutely sure, because he didn’t want to wake her at 4am if we were just going to labor through till morning. I decided to hold off, mainly because I was really in a zone and didn’t want to talk much, and doubting that this could really be “it” so quickly. A few PWs with bottom pressure later, I said “call her NOW!”
I remember thinking how funny it was that our first call to the midwife was, “oh, her pressure waves are about a minute apart, and she’s feeling rectal pressure”. Needless to say, she said she was on her way.
The very next PW after my husband got off the phone with the midwife, I was surprised by an involuntary pushing sensation. It made my “Oooohh” sound very different indeed! It sort of sounded like I was dry-heaving. That was it, my body was pushing and the midwife wasn’t there yet! My husband and I both thought to ourselves that we just might be having this baby unassisted.
Pushing felt much different than I thought it would. This was the one thing that I feel could have shaken my mental focus. It felt like the power of the regular PWs had become more intense and focussed on my bottom. Not painful, I just was surprised at the sensation – truly like I was about to poop my baby out my bottom! To remain focussed through this, I just refused to entertain any thoughts of doubt.
The midwife soon arrived, and told me my sounds were wonderful and just encouraged me to keep doing what I was doing. A little later she said that I could take the power that I was releasing vocally, and redirect it through my bottom to give a little more oomph to my body’s pushes.
At one point I reached into myself to feel my baby’s head (amazing!). After a few more PWs she said the head was out. I decided not to touch it at this point because I was just so in a zone and didn’t want the shock and bliss of feeling that head to shake my focus because I knew at any moment I’d be holding my baby. With the next PW I got more upright so that I could deliver my baby in a squat through the front. I reached down and pulled him up and was immediately transformed forever. The bliss of that moment is forever imprinted on my mind, and I often relive those few seconds with more clarity than I can recall any other time in my life. I was surprised by how heavy he felt (you mean this full heavy baby just came out of me?!). After a few minutes I (very carefully, as I was feeling almost drunk on good hormones) stepped out of the pool and went to the bed to birth the placenta, which happened about half an hour later naturally. Then my husband cut the cord and my babe nursed contently.
I can’t believe he’s already been here a month! His birth just confirmed everything I had come to believe about natural childbirth and that it can be a joyful, beautiful and intimate experience without any fear.
I didn’t actually listen to any of the hypnobabies tracks while in my birthing time, as it just didn’t feel like what I wanted in the moment. I still see how all of the practice helped tremendously in my mental focus and confidence – in fact, I think I was so confident with everything I had learned from Hypnobabies and in reading tons of really inspirational birth stories, that I didn’t feel the need to listen to the tracks or actively “use” my hypnosis during my birthing time. That’s pretty powerful stuff!

Thanks for reading Roland’s birth story if you’ve made it to the end:)
All I can hope this contributes is yet another account of birth going beautifully and encouragement for all you Moms who are preparing for your own beautiful birth.
If I can give anyone any advice, I’d say KNOW THAT YOU CAN DO IT! All of the preparation you are doing now WILL come through for you in the moment in a way that’s perfect for you.

Sending you and your tucked-in babe’s love and good vibes,
Jenny (first-time Mom)

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There is an interesting post on the Unnecesarean about a Utah Lawmaker who may propose cutting the use of epidurals to save money.   It is creating some interesting comments.

Here is the basic idea from the Daily Herald:

Under the theory that perhaps thousands of Utah college students are having babies paid for by Medicaid that they could pay for themselves, one lawmaker has a plan: cut all elective epidurals and elective C-sections.

I think that in some ways this is a horrible idea, but in some ways it could change the birth climate!  I would prefer it was for ALL moms (instead of punishing the poor).  That even moms with insurance had to pay for their epidurals out of pocket.

What are some changes we may see if epidurals were not a paid option?

  • More Moms would prepare for an un-medicated birth.
  • Moms would educate themselves about their choices, which would lead to induction rates going down and then cesarean rates would drop.
  • Hospital staff would be educated on how to support un-medicated moms.  This would lead to moms getting more support.
  • More moms may choose homebirths.

What else could the legislators/insurance companies/hospitals look at to save money?

  • Cover midwifery care.  :)
  • Cover the cost of independent childbirth classes
  • Cover the cost of doulas.
  • Provide nitrous oxide as a comfort measure.

It is Cruel, unless they give them Tools!

In the comment section from Unnecessarean I read this:

Include me in the group of people who believe passionately that to deny pain medication to people in pain is grotesque. Imagine if your dentist said, you don’t really need novacaine for that filling! You don’t get to have it! I mean, there’s nothing *life-saving* about the use of anesthetic in many cases, including procedures like biopsies.

This is a great comment. If you don’t give people tools to handle the pain, then it can be cruel. However, what if people were given an alternative tool to stay comfortable, such as hypnosis?   This can help people with dental work AND birth!

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I was watching a program about how the brain works the other day on Discovery Health and a segment explored how the brain reacts to fear and pain.

They talked about how Navy Seals train their brains to deal with the extremely physically and emotionally stressful situations in which they will have to overcome their fear and pain.

Sound familiar?

Their training is based on basic 4 rules that I think will interest you:

1. Positive Self Talk
Navy Seal: I can do this.  I have trained for this. etc.
HypnoMom:  Pregnancy is natural, normal, healthy and safe.  My body knows exactly how to best have my baby.  etc.

2. Goal Setting
Navy Seal: I will make it to lunch.  I will make it through this mile.
HypnoMom:  I will make it through this wave.  Each wave brings me closer to holding my baby.

3. Mental Rehearsal
Navy Seal: Practices over and over in his mind how it should go.
HypnoMom:  Practices over and over in her mind how it should go.

4. Controlled Breathing
Navy Seal: Controlled inhale with a long, slow exhale to mimic how the body breathes while in sleep or times of deep relaxation.
HypnoMom:  I think you get the point.

All those tough guys out there had better hope that HypnoMoms never band together and go on a rampage!  ;)

Gina a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group sent this in and said I could share it!   I loved it!

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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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In the scripts it says the anesthesia is in my arms… can I move them?

While the anesthesia is in your arms and hands, you can still move them.  They are not in the limp/loose suggestion.  Also the anesthesia you are creating allows you to feel normal touch, just no pain.

This confuses some moms at first.  The reason why the arms are included in the anesthesia area is for IV’s etc.  But you CAN move them!
Maybe think of it as dental anesthesia. When the dentist numbs your mouth, you can still move your jaw and tongue, but it just has no feeling.

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