Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for September, 2010

(I started using the Hypnobabies CDs at home around 24 weeks pregnant.  I used them nearly every single day, usually at night before going to bed. I never did get good at using all the Hypnobabies terms, so this contains all the ‘traditional’ birth language.)

To start off with, a brief recap of my past births.

My first daughter came on her due date, I arrived at the hospital at noon with some mild contractions coming semi-regularly.  Looking back, I obviously went in too early, but my family has a history of lightening quick labors, and my Mom was freaked out I’d have the baby in the car if I didn’t get in there soon.  Triage determined I was dilated to a 4, and had a ‘bulging bag of waters’ that was going to break any second.  So, I was checked in and immediately a nurse came in and said I needed to get the epidural now.  I had planned on getting one, but was surprised they were pushing it now, as my contractions were basically just uncomfortable cramping, and I wasn’t having to ‘do’ anything to get through them.  But, the nurse told me if I didn’t get it now, there was no guarantee the anesthesiologist, who had time right now, would have time for me later.  Scare tactic worked, and I got the epidural, and they broke my water right after.  (I remember being surprised by that, because they hadn’t mentioned they were going to do it, and all I could think of was “I thought it was going to break any second . . . why did you have to do it?”)  Despite that though, with the epidural, my labor basically stopped.  So, on came the pitocin.  Within minutes my baby’s heart rate was freaking out, and they shut off the pit and several nurses were working to turn me and move me into a favorable position to ease the stress to my baby.  I had never felt so helpless . . . my baby was in trouble, they were talking emergency c-section, and I felt like a beached whale who couldn’t even roll on to my side on my own.  Finally, the baby’s heart rate normalized, and they checked me again, told me I was at an 8, but the baby was really high so I’d ‘be pushing for hours.’  Thirty minutes later, the nurse checked, the baby was coming, and I pushed her out in three contractions.  Once things got going, I did end up going really fast, but I hadn’t felt a thing.

With my second pregnancy, I wondered a lot about how things would’ve been different if I hadn’t gotten that epidural so early.  With further study, I determined that natural labor was the way to go.  I was also very terrified of ever needing to use pitocin again, almost to the point of mild PTSD (I’d wake up with nightmares of being frozen in the bed, unable to move while I watched the monitor show ever decreasing heart rates.)  I took a Lamaze class (unfortunately, just one offered though the hospital though), and ‘prepared’ for natural childbirth.  Two weeks before my due date, my water broke and we headed into the hospital at my doctor’s request.  All night I walked the halls trying to bring on contractions, but nothing worked.  In the morning, my doctor was ‘no longer comfortable waiting’ and started pitocin.  I was terrified of the pitocin.  I sat, frozen, in my bed hooked up to all the monitors.  A contraction would come, and rather than relax or breathe, I’d end up so tight and stiff that my muscles were starting to hurt.  I was terrified of the pitocin causing horrible problems for my baby.  Of course, fear is rather unhelpful in these kinds of situations, so I soon agreed to an epidural when I was dilated to a five.  (In retrospect, it hadn’t even been ‘painful’ yet, I was just so fearful of the whole situation.)  Fortunately things went smoothly, and less than 2 hours later I was pushing out another baby girl.  Again, in three contractions, and again, I didn’t feel a thing.

My third pregnancy I knew was going to be different.

  • I was going to actually educate myself this time.
  • And not just about birth practices and the politics of birth.
  • I was determined to study and research actual coping methods beyond just breathing.
  • One thing that kept coming to mind was the fact that with both of my labors, I’d gotten to 4 and 5 dilated before receiving the epidural, and I hadn’t ever been in ‘pain’ at that point.
  • Maybe, just maybe, I could cope with labor more than I thought I could.
  • And maybe, just maybe, labor wouldn’t be as bad for me as it looked on TV.
  • Also, with a family history of fast labors, and my last only lasting 2 hours from when they got contractions going, I wasn’t expecting a very long labor.

I came across Hypnobabies and decided to give it a try. I started listening to it nightly at around 24 weeks pregnant.  First thing I noticed was I was falling asleep, and sleeping better, than I ever have during pregnancy.  My husband and I often joked that even if labor was a horribly painful experience, the program had been worth EVERY cent just in good sleep!

My experience with the CDs, besides loving how they totally relaxed me and put me to sleep each night, was my nightly ritual of putting on my headphones and falling asleep.  Usually within minutes.  My husband teased me that when I went into labor I wouldn’t know anything past the ‘don’t operate a vehicle’ portion of the CDs!  :-)

I practiced my finger drop technique for weeks, but never did do the ‘center’ thing . . . for whatever reason, it just never ‘clicked’ with me.

I worried I wasn’t getting enough from the CDs, because I was sleeping through most of them.  On rare occasions, I’d listen to the CDs during the day (difficult with a 2 and 4 year old running around), but even then they usually put me right to sleep.  I remember the first time I listened all the way through a track that used the ‘release’ cue.  I was shocked when I heard the word ‘release’ and my entire body suddenly just melted into the bed!  Apparently even fast asleep my mind and body were picking this stuff up!

Anyway, moving on to the actual birth.

I was five days overdue, and two days away from an induction my midwife was pushing when I started having really, really mild contractions for a few hours around 6PM.  They were so mild that my husband (who excitedly insisted on trying to time them) finally gave up timing them when I kept forgetting to mention when they’d start or stop.

But they started to fade away after 10PM, as I knew they would, since I felt strongly we’d have the baby the next day ,so we went to bed.

When my water broke around 11PM we decided to go straight to the hospital — I put on my headphones for the first time at this point to start focusing on relaxing, since I was nervous about the water breaking bringing on intense contractions.  When we got to the hospital I was having the same very minor contractions I’d had earlier.

The nurses there had no idea I was contracting, and were pretty surprised when I was almost 6 centimeters dilated.  They moved me to my room, where I found out my midwife was out of town, but was excited to meet the other midwife in the practice, who I’d heard a lot about.  She told the nurses I didn’t need an IV, so she became my hero (my midwife had pretty much insisted on a hep lock).  I’d been more fearful of an IV than almost anything about labor, so this was a huge relief!  Except that after a half hour they decided to give me fluids (’cause they were concerned about the baby’s  heart rate and lack of amniotic fluid — still ironic to me that I couldn’t drink any water though!).  :-)  So, I ended up with an IV.  Oh well.  The nurse was actually really sweet and amazing doing the IV, since she knew I had a phobia about them.

And it didn’t end up bugging me, because I found that once I was in my room the only thing I wanted to do was curl up on my side and block out everything else and focus on the tracks on my iPod . . . to the point that I made my husband go lay down on the couch and get some rest and just leave me to myself.

What amazed me at this point, is that the contractions had started to become more intense . . . but not much.  They had my attention, and I couldn’t always relax through them anymore, but I could relax between them.  I don’t think they were showing up much on the monitors.

I had my husband come rub my back through one, and that felt great.  Then I had him do it during the next one, and it was distracting and made the contraction feel more intense, so I had him go lay back down!  :-)   At this point, I was starting to get a little worried about how I would deal when labor really got going.  I was still doing great through them, I was barely even changing my breathing or anything for them, but they had my attention. I wouldn’t describe them as painful though.  I kept thinking that the contractions were so ‘small’ (I was only feeling any pressure in a fist sized area above my cervix) and they didn’t feel that strong or like they were coming that often, so I was worried I had a long road in front of me.

I suddenly felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and had the nurse come in and help me get unhooked from everything so I could go in and pee. I went in and had few more contractions sitting up on the toilet, which convinced me I wanted to get back to bed!  Having my headphones off, and sitting, seemed to make the contractions more intense, so I wanted to get back in bed and curl up on my left side again where I was more comfortable.

Once I got back too bed I paged the nurse to come in and hook me back up, but suddenly turned to my husband and said, “I think I need to go to the bathroom again.”  While in the bathroom I had one contraction that was fairly uncomfortable, and thinking back, I realize there was blood that came with that contraction.  I came back into the room, where my nurse and husband were waiting.

I didn’t put my headphones back on, as we were talking with the nurse. She mentioned that they felt like maybe I needed to get up and walk around, the get these contractions coming stronger and more often.  Seems I wasn’t the only one thinking I had a ways to go.  I politely declined though, saying with it being the middle of the night, I’d rather get some rest for a little bit.  (It was 1:30AM at this point).  I had one contraction while we were talking about the privacy/safety policies of the hospital.  I had a second one just a few seconds later, this time I could hear her and follow the conversation, but the contraction had the majority of my attention.  Then I had a third one right after.  I remember she was talking about making sure I filled out the menu/meal request forms while we were thinking about it. :-)  This one made me whimper a little, and change positions.

She suddenly looked at me and said, “I wasn’t going to check you yet, but maybe I should . . . ”  I agreed, and as she came towards me I suddenly cried out, “I think I’m pushing!” Sure enough, she checked and he was crowning.  I couldn’t believe it, she hit the nurse call button and was calling for anyone who could come, but there wasn’t even time for her to drop down the bed or anything . . . and for all my stressing about what position to push in, turns out all I could do in that case was just lay back on the bed and push, it happened so fast — he came all the way out the next contraction.  Right onto the bed, with the nurse just sitting at the foot of the bed.

He was born right onto the sheets in front of me (no pads or anything down), and I sat up immediately and the nurse helped me pick him up and I held my beautiful new baby against me.  It was amazing. She had said there’d be a lot of pressure and then burning — the pressure was definitely there — I screamed out for a few seconds, (out of effort and surprise though, not pain), but there was no real burning. It was literally over in a minute or so, it was crazy.  I was immediately hit with this realization of, “that was it . . . I did it and it was so much easier than I thought it would be.”

It was intense there at the end (but really like the last 20 minutes was all I had that felt even uncomfortable, and it was just those few contractions in the bathroom, then those three back to back that turned out to be transition that were intense.)  It was over so quick and it had never gotten anywhere near what I thought it would be like.  It was suddenly just over and it had actually been painless.  And the second he was out, I couldn’t even remember it being uncomfortable.  It was just an amazing thing to experience.

It was intense for a few minutes, sure, but never really anything I’d describe as painful.  But then we were there and it was over with and I was struck by the idea that I could do that again, (I actually turned to my husband within 20-30 seconds of pushing the baby out and said, “Wow, I could do that again!  Like, right now!”) And I felt almost silly for having had two epidurals in the past when it was that ‘easy’ for me to give birth!  I had to have a few stitches (old episiotomy scar tore a little), but other than that, everything was great.
My baby boy was 8 lbs. 1 oz., with a 80th percentile head.  He was a full two pounds heavier than my last baby, and a pound and a half bigger than his oldest sister.  And yet he just slid out in one contraction.
The nurses who all gathered were shocked by our birth.  My baby and I were kinda ‘famous’ during our hospital stay — we were the ones who’d had no doctor in the room for delivery.  Many of the nurses had wrongly assumed it was a natural birth on accident, but I proudly corrected them that we had planned and prepared for that natural birth, and it had been amazingly easy.

It still amazes me that a labor and delivery nurse with more than a decade of experience was chatting with me literally minutes before my baby was in my arms and she had no idea I was nearing the end, and didn’t seem to think I was really even in active labor (remember that ‘get up and get these contractions coming’ suggestion?  That was seconds before my last three contractions that apparently were transition.)  I’m still curious about how those last several minutes, when I was in the bathroom and then talking to the nurse, would’ve felt different if I’d still been doing my Hypnobabies and listening to the tracks.  Those several minutes were the ‘intense’ portions of labor, but they were also almost the only time I didn’t have my headphones on.  Who knows, it could’ve been even easier, if that’s possible, if I’d still been focusing on relaxing and my cues!
As much as I put into preparing myself for this birth, I never, in a million years, would’ve ever even hoped for such an easy, quick or comfortable birth!

Read Full Post »

It’s been a month since my babies arrived. I have been a little sad about my hypno-journey being over, as I did not get to experience a natural birth, and that really disappoints me.  We do not plan to have more children.  It has been a little difficult for me to even look at the Hypnobabies yahoo group online. I get a little emotional seeing everyone having great birth experiences. I am happy for them, but feel left out. :(

I definitely got to use my Hypnobabies training however. The anesthesiologist had a difficult time administering my spinal. After much time poking and prodding, I was beginning to feel the needle, so they had to give me another local and try some more. They did finally get it, but before they did I was mentally starting to freak out…but then I took control, put myself in hypnosis, (I kept saying “Release” to get me to go deeper.) I was able to relax until they got it. I guess the problem was my belly was so large, I couldn’t hunch over well enough for them.

For a while after c-section you’re obviously in discomfort. I used my peace cue countless times. One specific time was when my pain meds in the hospital were wearing off, and I was having some very intense gas pains. My stomach was moving so much it looked like there was still a baby in there! It was very weird to see, and no fun to feel. Much worse than the pressure waves w/ my first child. While the hypnosis didn’t make the pain go away, I was able to relax thru it until I could get my meds, and it made it bearable, as they were quite awful.

Even though I ended up with a scheduled c-section. I know Hypnobabies played a large part in me going to 38 weeks (I STILL was not dilated or effaced!!!) My diet was key, and the wonderful sleep I got was so invaluable! The course was worth every penny, even if I didn’t get to listen to those last tracks. My doctor suggested me to deliver at 37 weeks. My blood pressure was rising (not pre-e), and the fluid was virtually non-existent in the boy. I asked for another week, because of “wimpy white boy syndrome.” My husband and I really did not want our children going to the NICU if we could help it.  

My doctor agreed, but requested to see me twice the last week to do non-stress tests and BPPs. That week proved to be so important. Our boy ALMOST had to go to the NICU. My husband said while the nurse was working on him (pounding on his back, etc.) Someone asked, “Does he have to go?” The nurse responded, “I’m not sure yet.”

So had we delivered at 37 weeks, he probably would have gone, and that would have been devastating to me. Hypnobabies gave me the confidence to challenge respectfully w/ good reasons to back my decision up. And really, my OB had no problems w/ my decision.

The reason for my c/s was I had breech/breech twins, and there were no providers in our area willing to deliver a breech Baby A. I had the best possible c/s though. No arms tied down. No separation from babies. Babies had their bath in the recovery room. I held the babies as I was being wheeled back to recovery, and they breastfed as soon as we got there!

I so wish I had known about Hypnobabies for my first, because I KNOW I could have done it. I could have done it with the breech/breech twins given the opportunity, I have no doubt.  But, I will keep saying my life’s motto: Control what you can…let go what you can’t.

Read Full Post »

This is baby #5 for me, my second all natural birth, and my first Hypnobaby.  I had started the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program around 22 weeks, I wanted to  be fully prepared this time, since my last birth was anything but calm and natural.

I had a guess date of July 27th, but in my mind July 16th stuck out. Thursday July 15th, about 10 pm I started having pressure waves but panicked because my mom, who was suppose to watch my kids, was still on vacation and wouldn’t be home until Friday afternoon. I had been achy all day and the waves meant something was happening!

My Hypnobabies training helped so much, I felt tightening, hardness, but no discomfort. I knew this was the start of my birthing time and had my bags ready. For hours I was on my birthing ball- rocking, swaying, bouncing, laying. It was the best $13 I’ve ever spent!!

My waves were 5-6 minutes apart, getting really intense, but with my peace cue were totally manageable. I could feel changes, the baby was getting lower and pressing back, causing a bit of discomfort in my lower back. I listened to Easy First Stage and Deepening until 4am.

Then everything stopped. Totally and completely stopped. I went to bed totally frustrated, but slept.

Friday morning my husband stayed home from work, thinking I’d start back up and we’d have our baby. Nope. I walked, rocked, did laundry and housework. Not a pressure wave all day. My mom called to tell me she was home and ready when I needed her. I relaxed a bit after that, knowing my little ones would be taken care of by grandma.

About 8pm I convinced my husband what got us into this would get us out and I had a few pressure waves, but not enough get labor going. About 11 I went to bed.

I woke up about 4am to intense waves, 3 to 4 minutes apart. These were low and really hard. I was using the release/relax cue which helped, but I was surprised how hard and fast these were coming. I called my mom about 6am and jumped into a hot shower which felt so good I swear I didn’t have any waves at all, and that made me think that maybe I was wrong and labor would stop again.

After I got out it hit me that I needed to get to the hospital- NOW!! Thankfully my mom was there and hubby and I were off. We got to the hospital about 7am, where he went to admitting (even though we’d done all the paperwork and had already delivered three babies there) I went to L&D.

I knew I was close to delivering, but no one seemed to take me seriously. I was told to “give a sample and then we’ll see where you are.” I told the nurse for the second time I was close to having my baby. She just looked at me. I went into the bathroom, stunned, knowing there was no way I was peeing in a cup, then went back to the desk and said again that I needed a room, I was close.

Instead I was taken to triage. I was told to get undressed and lay down, and was hooked up to a monitor. I started getting a bit mad when 2 interns came in asking stupid questions. I told them again- not very nicely- that I have had 4 babies, I know when I’m close, and I needed a room so I could get back into my hypno-groove. The first one asked me when I had my first menstrual period. It was like the Twilight Zone, no one was listening. I was having hard waves that I probably could have controlled better if I was listening to the CD’s, but by that time I was just doing my best not to rip off the intern’s head.

Then she asked how far apart my waves were. I remember yelling that I didn’t have a clock, they were on top of each other and I could feel his head getting lower. The intern did a internal check and her eyes popped. She said I was 9-10 cm, the baby’s head was really low and I was ready to deliver. Gee, I told them that 20 minutes ago.

After being wheeled into a room, I got my angel, dressed as a nurse. She was pro-natural birth, having done it 3 times herself, and knew that I needed the squat bar, she rubbed my back, she told me I could do it, my body was made for birth. All that time I was swearing like a sailor, yelling ‘peace’ , and trying to breathe. My waves were more like one long wave with many peaks, and after 3 peaks everything changed.

My body was pushing, and while the intern was yelling ‘don’t push- your doctor’s not here!’  my angel-nurse calmly told me to do what my body wanted. There was no stopping, and honestly it felt good to push. After 2 or 3 hard waves/pushes my water broke. The nervous little intern was freaking out, calling the resident OB and making all kinds of noise.

In walks my doctor ordering everyone out, dimming lights, and telling me to relax and just do it. By now my legs were done so I sat back and for the first time I was in a position to see my son’s head come out, he was crowning and I pushed between waves- worked like a charm! This was the first time I didn’t need an episiotomy, didn’t tear.

His body slid out and he was placed on my chest with a warm blanket over us. Everyone stepped back and let my husband and I get to know our little man, who let out a few cries, looked up at me, then stuck his hand in his mouth and sucked on his fingers. There was no rush, everything was calm.

After about 10 minutes, my husband cut his cord, and he took him to be weighed, I delivered the placenta and was cleaned up. Braxton was 6lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, and born at 8:08 am, about an hour after getting to the hospital.

Every nurse that came into my room knew I was the one who “came in complete and went natural.” I was told that 1 or 2 women a month actually have a non-medicated birth, and the nurses all brag about the ones that accomplish it. My hubby did a bit of bragging himself!

I felt that I could have had more control if I had gotten to the hospital sooner, but all that matters is that I did it. No interventions, no IV, no meds. And I felt great. My recovery has been a breeze!

Read Full Post »

It’s incredible how much a woman has to fight to be in control of a child’s birth, to have a voice, to separate normal from abnormal, truth from standard medical practice, and most of all to diminish the fear that is the enemy of childbirth and trust her body.  This is the story of how Olivia, my first child, was born:

I had a wonderful and enjoyable pregnancy. But the weeks leading up to her “due date” were considerably tense. I’d planned to relax at home and be in peace and enjoy some last days of just me and my husband. My doctors (I chose to maintain dual care though would be attended by a homebirth midwife with a separate practice)were alarmed, knowing they weren’t in control, and insisted that I come in up to 3 times per week for monitoring and testing (my blood pressure had been elevated my entire pregnancy, which can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, which should be taken very seriously. However, this wasn’t the case for me, I had a higher baseline.) . The stress was unreal (probably doing much more damage to my blood pressure), as although both myself and the baby repeatedly proved to be doing excellently, the doctors pressured me to induce as a “precautionary measure”. I knew this would be a dangerous thing to do for her and for me, and the slippery slope that would follow.

I started feeling the pressure to get things in motion, knowing that the messages from the doctors would intensify as I went past my due date (May 29th).

On Friday, the day before her due date, we decided it was time to start coaxing her out and after going through some of the natural ways to get labor started(wink), when I went to bed that night my Braxton-hicks contractions (painless practice contractions) became very regular and were accompanied by an ache in my lower back. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night, as every10-15 minutes the waves of pressure returned.

I’d listened to my Hypnobabies tracks but only fell asleep to them and never managed to stay on schedule. It was still incredibly effective for me, particularly the “peace” and “release” cues as well as the constant affirmations. I learned that fear and tightening and adrenaline are the actual causes of pain, that your mind can be in complete control of how everything plays out.

And it was true. Saturday morning came and the contractions (still felt nothing in my uterus only at times very uncomfortable– lower back pain) spaced out. I started panicking realizing that I wasn’t even in labor yet and worried that when it did really start that I would have the dreaded back labor and lose control.  I knew my baby was left occiput posterior so the contractions in my lower back confused me. Every time I let my mind go there, my body would tighten and the pain would come alive and take over.  But then I chose to release. To just shut down and let myself float on the waves with my breathing.

Saturday night came and again there was no sleep. Same thing, now only 8 minutes apart. “Release” I commanded myself, and let every muscle of my body shut down and ride the wave. It was no picnic, but it passed.

Sunday we walked to church, and I smiled and chatted in between contractions (which slowed during the day) as friends commented “Hey, weren’t you due yesterday!”  During the service, my husband Kevin hit the timer on his stop-watch each time I signaled a contraction.

Sunday night came, as much as I dreaded the evenings, and for a third night, no sleep. I couldn’t believe how long I’d had this “pre-labor” and how much I had to concentrate to stay deeply relaxed through contractions. Plus hello, I was tired. In the corners of my mind I feared what real labor would be like and if I would really be able to handle it like I’d been telling myself all these months. I’d had some “bloody show” and so I knew I was at least effacing but my midwife told me it could still be days or a week away. In those moments of fear and anxiety I actually felt intense pain through my body. At one point I was jerking on the bed through a contraction, wishing everything would stop. Kevin encouraged me to believe and utilize the tools that I had used to prepare. It took a hot shower with water spraying down my back and major mind coaching to bring me back to a controlled state and I calmly went to bed with my Hypnobabies tracks playing on my ipod, knowing I would only rest for 10 minutes at a time.

But by Monday morning I was worried and tense. I had a doctor’s appointment the following day with more testing and monitoring and I knew that it would mess with my head and with the process. I still hadn’t gone into labor and was confused as to what was happening to my body. I was having these contractions, which I assumed were “Braxton-Hicks”, since they were painless in my uterus, but was having back pressure (I’d learned to disassociate the word pain as much as possible from the process) that was requiring me to go limp and loose to relieve.

On Monday around mid-day Kevin and I went for a walk around the block, that took us about 45 minutes. The same contractions came closer together to about 6minutes apart and several times we’d stop and I’d turn into a deadweight and hang on Kevin with my eyes closed as people walked by perplexed and scared (ha, I think I scared the little boys at the lemonade stand on the corner). It was the only way I could make them not hurt, but just feel the pressure intensify and escape, by shutting down and mentally saying “release”.

When we got home, I finally called my mom. Up until now, I hadn’t told anyone what was happening because frankly, I was fed up with everyone asking if I was in labor yet (there is something about being near the end that makes you want to hibernate). I’d also always planned to have a private birth with only Kevin and my midwives present. Suddenly I wanted my mom there, and arranged for my aunt to come and give me acupuncture to accelerate the labor process.

Well it did! When my aunt Gilda came several hours later, she found me in a chair with my body slumped on the table. I’d put a finger in the air whenever I felt a contraction coming, and that was everyone’s cue to pretty much shut-up J. Otherwise they wouldn’t have even known I was having one. After the acupuncture session, they started coming ever 3½ minutes. We figured we should call Joni, our midwife.

I still didn’t know that I had been in “labor” this whole time.  Even when we called the midwife, I was worried that we were bringing her over for no reason, and that I would be no more than 1 cm dilated. Kevin started filling the birth tub just in case, since it would take quite a bit of time to fill (and later I found out that when we ran out of hot water, they were boiling pots of it at a time to get it in there!).

By the time my midwife came and listened to the baby it had to be around 9 pm. I was doing what I’d been doing the whole time, shutting down with each contraction and staying calm by relinquishing control. What a mind game! Well imagine my surprise, when she said to me, “Angie, you are nine centimeters dilated.” What?! I did all of that already (well, I mean technically it had been 3 days but I thought it was fake labor!!!)?! I think I remember croaking in response, “Holy crap that’s so awesome.”  I really wanted to shout in elation and jump up and down but figured it probably wasn’t the best idea.

That moment gave me so much confidence. I was really doing it! I’d been doing it all along without really realizing it. Still, although I’d believed I’d been in pre-labor these past 3 days, I was constantly replaying these affirmations in my head:

Release.
My body knows exactly how to birth my baby.
Open.
I am safe and my baby is safe no matter how much power flows through me.
Peace.
I deserve an easy and comfortable childbirth
.”

Shortly after, I got into tub and it felt amazing. Actually, my contraction slowed down, and I had quite a bit of a break, wondering if I’d reversed things. I was literally just chillin out in there waiting for something to happen. The apartment was quiet and dimly lit only with candles. My mom rubbed my shoulders with lavender essential oils and prayed over me, and in between listening to the baby on the Doppler, my midwife offered me vitamin water through a straw.  I kind of felt like a queen. Kevin came into the tub with me and put counter pressure on my back and supported my body. Temple Passmore’s (hypnomom) sung version of Psalm 23 was playing on repeat in the background. I felt so loved and supported, and knew I was bringing Olivia into the world in the most gentle and peaceful way.

Eventually I recognized that squatting would bring on the involuntary pressure I needed to push and bring my baby out. We actually put a little stool for me to sit on in the tub. And so I just let it happen slowly and with time. Every so often a contraction would come and I just let my body do the work for me and stretch slowly. It was so interesting. I could feel everything happening, and could work and stretch my muscles purposefully, and yet if felt so different than I imagined it would. I wasn’t in pain, but at the end apparently was roaring like a lion (ness) with the intensity flowing out through me (I later learned that my neighbors from the house next door could hear the whole thing. Awesome.). My water broke in the tub 10minutes before she was born. At one point I felt a tightness and dull burn and knew she was crowning. Joni, my midwife, asked me to reach down and feel and there was Olivia’s soft and very full head of hair starting to emerge. Oh my God, so much hair! I remember exclaiming, “Oh you beautiful girl!” I got to a point where I just pushed with all my might (and apparently, voice) and suddenly heard Joni say, “Kevin and Angie, reach down and meet your baby!” For some reason I was shocked and confused that she was out! And all in the same push! She came flying out with her hand on her face.  It was 11:19 pm.

There aren’t even words to describe the bliss and elation and wonder and miracle of picking up your newborn baby and meeting her for the first time. It will never, ever get old. She had her eyes wide open and stared for a split second before spitting up water and then belting out the screams that she is now famous for. It was out of this world.

We all moved me over to the couch, baby in arms and cord still attached, so that I could deliver the placenta. The cord was kind of short so I couldn’t really bring Olivia up higher than my belly. Kevin cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing. It seemed like the most normal thing in the world that I would be on my couch delivering my placenta. Ha, I bet it will make visitors think twice before sitting down to watch TV.

Joni examined Olivia while she was on me, and eventually weighed her at 7 lbs 5ounces and 19.5 inches tall. She was healthy and perfect. I felt on top of the world. (I had only a tiny tear that didn’t even require stitches and healed on its own by two weeks). Kevin whipped up some pancakes and scrambled eggs and fed me while all this was going on (I’d worked up quite an appetite.) Afterward, I went to shower, the grandparents came inside to gush over the baby. Our midwives stayed until the wee hours of the morning, and left the three of us tucked into bed.

I really believe had I not been so anxious about what was going to happen, and especially about the pressure from my doctors, the process would’ve been much shorter. In spite of it all, it turned out to be exactly the beautiful birth that I wanted. I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I’m so glad that I decided to go the Hypnobabies route, even if I didn’t follow it to a tee. You can call it hypnosis, or deep relaxation or whatever you want, but whatever it is IT WORKS. And I will for sure be doing this again!

Read Full Post »

Hypnosis instead of pain killers?

There is a great article in ODE magazine about Replacing Pain Killers with Hypnosis.  They look specifically at a person having a tooth removed with only hypnosis.  They then go on to explain how hypnosis works for people to stay comfortable without medication.

Increasingly, dentists, physicians and surgeons are using hypnosis to replace, or at least reduce, the use of painkillers as well as general and local anesthetics. Hypnosis may not be the method of choice for major operations, but for a growing number of procedures ranging from kidney stone fragmentation to minor surgery to childbirth it has proved an effective alternative to conventional sedatives and analgesics. Hypnosis is real, says psychiatrist David Spiegel, a professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. It’s no less palpable an analgesic than medication.

Read Full Post »

I’ve been meaning to write in and tell you about my successful use of the Hypnobabies Home Study course to prepare for my first birth in the summer of 2007. The techniques were so successful that I delivered my son breech at home with a smile on my face the whole time.

Here’s my story:

Around 7 PM the night before my actual due date, I started having early “waves.” We tried to sleep, though I couldn’t, and then around 2 AM, we called the midwife to say that we thought things were moving along. The midwife told us to call her when the pain became “too much to handle” or the time between contractions very short.

So while my husband got things ready, I lay in a bed and did my focused relaxation; it felt mostly like I was having short spurts of menstruation cramps every so often. It was really manageable.

We finally called in the midwife around 5 AM, and when she checked me, I was already 8 cm dilated! I hadn’t realized it, but it seemed I’d been in “active labor” for hours. She quickly got the tub ready, as I had planned to at least labor in a tub to help with the pain I assumed I’d have. But there wasn’t really any pain and things were going so quickly and smoothly that there seemed no need for the tub.

We listened to a harp music CD and my husband used the “peace” cue with a hand on my shoulder whenever I felt a wave. I became aware and was told afterward that I was smiling (yes, smiling) the whole time! I just kept thinking, birth is natural and wonderful, and I couldn’t wait to see my baby. It’s hard to describe the blissful scene in our bedroom that early morning. We had candles around, soft music playing, and my husband and I held onto each other with so much love. It was so peaceful and moving, nothing at all like those horrible scenes one sees in the movies.

At 5:40 AM, my body just started to push naturally. It was amazing just to leave everything up to my body and to feel the push taking over. I pictured my baby moving lower and lower with every surge. Between pushes at some point, the midwifes told my husband the surprising news that my son was breech, presenting bottom first. He decided that it would be best not to tell me, as things were going so well, and he thought it would scare me. He was right.

I continued to push believing everything was fine. “Are those the shoulders coming out?” I’d ask. They kept reassuring me that things were going great and to keep doing what I was doing. Although I’d been laboring on my side for almost the whole time, I decided to get on my knees in hopes of having gravity work for me. I held onto my husband for support.

At the last moment, the midwives said that I would need to put everything I had into the next push. I felt a very intense stretching that was as close to pain as I’d gotten but still quite manageable and out came my son at 7 AM, after only about an hour of pushing.

He took a minute to revive fully but after a puff of room air and a spray of Bach’s rescue remedy, he was alert and wide-eyed. I delivered the placenta with ease 20 minutes later, with my beautiful baby boy in my arms and still attached via the umbilical chord.

I can’t say the next weeks were easy, but the birth itself could not have been more fluid. My husband and I still get teary eyed when we think back to that peaceful, incredible day. And my midwives, who had attended hundreds and hundreds of natural childbirths but had never taken part in a Hypnobabies birth, were stunned. It was, they concurred, one of the most beautiful births they had ever witnessed.

Read Full Post »

It is so wonderful to see moms enjoying their births so much, they laugh while pushing their baby out!   The mom was using Hypnobabies.

Read Full Post »

Older Posts »

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 32 other followers