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Archive for January, 2011

LABORING AT HOME

 

I started losing pieces of the mucus plug Monday November 29. For the most part I had a normal day. I organized a bit and finalized my hospital overnight bags. We had a home-cooked dinner and went to run errands afterward. While shopping my pressure waves were getting stronger where I had to pause and work through them. They seemed about 15-20 minutes apart at the time.

 

Then we made another stop. As I waited in the car I realized this was getting real and regular which triggered an emotional breakdown when we got home. I felt overwhelmed by the things I still had left to do, and frustrated by this biological timer that would disable my efforts every 10 minutes. With DH’s help we did a thorough house cleaning from 10pm to 1am. Unfortunately all while releasing my frustrations on my husband. Then at 1AM I put on my Hypnobabies tracks while he studied the birth partner’s guide for the first time till 3AM.

 

He slept while I worked through the waves on my own for another hour but I increasingly felt pressure in my tailbone and rectum where it was becoming uncomfortable to sit on the birth ball. I loosely timed my contractions but enough to see that they were coming 3-4 minutes apart.

 

Around 3:30 in the morning I knew I needed my doula’s help. When DH stirred next I asked him to call her. He was now awake. He started applying counter pressure on my tailbone for each wave and using Hypnobabies lingo! He had suddenly stepped in as my birth partner.

 

We called our doula at 4AM and she sounded bright and cheerful as she was expecting our call. She assessed my condition over the phone after timing my contractions and stated there wasn’t time to drop off my firstborn at his grandparents house. I was going from cold to hot through each rush and they were getting closer together as we spoke. We had to head to the hospital, especially before LA traffic began. We agreed to meet our doula at the ER entrance. DH got our sleeping toddler in the car seat and all our bags in the car, and I waddled to the car as well, hoping not to hit a pressure wave on the short walk there.

 

The freeway was beautifully empty and lit with the yellow freeway lights. We called our parents to let them know we were on our way to the hospital. My inlaws were on their way to meet us there. DH left me in my doula’s care and he went to wait for his parents at the hospital to hand our son to them. (It turned out later they were all awake and dressed to go to an early morning church meeting- how fortunate)

 

THE HOSPITAL

 

Pre-registration and triage took about 30 minutes. The triage nurse took her time- perhaps thinking I wasn’t far along. But when she discovered I was 10cm and fully effaced she hustled to get us a room. So quickly in fact that when my in-laws came looking for us at the main front desk it took several phone calls to find which room we were in! At that time I also lost the rest of my mucus plug and ended up throwing all the bloody clothes away.

 

We met our nurse midwife in the room. I had never met her at any prenatal visits. She introduced herself to us and announced straight away that she had read our birth plan and would deliver this baby however I wished. Wow.

 

Our baby nurse however was trying to get an IV in me when I preferred to be without. I can’t remember much except there was some intensity in the conversation between the doula and the nurse. A few minutes later we had a wonderful new nurse! (We found out later that the nurse switch was owing to our doula’s tact and advocacy! She respectfully suggested to the angry nurse that perhaps *someone else* could read our birth plan- and the nurse got it and voluntarily switched with someone who was on board with our plan!)

 

All this time I was listening to my tracks lying in the hospital bed and vocalizing my “AAAAAAAH’s” at the peak of each wave. They meant a lot of different things. Sometimes it meant, “Please let this be over soooooon!” and sometimes they were courageous and calm, and sometimes they were self piteous “HELP ME’s” and sometimes they were embracing and surrendering to this powerful experience. All the while I hoped on the promise that if I kept doing this I would “breathe the baby down” and the baby would magically slide out as I had read in so many Hypnobabies stories. I found there was a difference in relaxation when I AAAAH’d from my throat and when I AAAAh’d from deep down. At one particular moment I felt the baby internally moving down. It was incredible.

 

I had been doing wonderfully up to this point. I was handling my pressure waves. But emotionally I was inhibited about pushing. There was still fear inside of me about the sensations I would feel and the shift in gear. I started to say self affirmations aloud, “I can do this. I am courageous. Jesus help me.” I knew it was up to me to assent with my body, mind and emotion in order to open up. My fear kept me from wanting to try other labor positions that might make the baby come any faster. I was in transition and I desperately wanted to hear that it would be okay. I was able to reach that peace quickly. Thankfully, it was because God had graced me with this wonderfully safe environment. I had a nurse midwife and baby nurse who had not left the room the entire time, and my husband and my doula beside me. I was in a private and dimly lit room that allowed me to feel dignified and focused. I just needed to say yes and surrender.

 

I agreed to try the suggested positions, such as forward leaning in the seated position. That was when I felt the need to pee. Once my bladder was emptied the baby descended still lower. My doula suggested we work through a few waves sitting on the toilet and then turn around on the toilet and face the wall. The rim of the seat provided very good pressure where I needed it and I would have loved to stay there but I felt if I did I would be birthing the baby into the toilet. We came back to the room and my midwife suggested I try kneeling on the bed facing the wall leaning over the back of the bed. This set the stage for the beginning of phase two.

 

PHASE TWO: PUSHING

 

The early blue light of morning was just beginning to show through the blinds. My headphones came back on with the Fear Clearing track. My husband began applying counter-pressure to my back once again. My doula came to the head of the bed giving me support and courage. And my midwife encouraged me to push if I felt any urge. With the next few contractions I engaged with some timidity. Then about the third one my body took over and I pushed and my water bag just exploded with that completely surprising “Pop” sound. All I heard at that moment was my husband exclaim enthusiastically, “WOW. That was good” I couldn’t see what he was seeing but he later shared he saw my water bag bulge out and the first glimpse of the crown of baby’s head. From here we count 4 pushes.

 

Push #1 The baby’s head emerged to about the forehead and retracted. I asked my doula, “How much of the head came out?” hoping it had been the widest part. She answered, “Only to about here (the top of the eyebrow)”

 

Push #2 Half the baby’s face appeared and stayed suspended between my legs. It felt like the longest minute of my life. I remember wailing “Help me get this baby out!!” I heard my doula and husband reminding me to relax and breathe. So I did some light breathing and panting.

 

Push #3 Baby’s head was stretching me open. I yelled with the effort till the baby’s head was out. I felt a warm compress and My doula said, “It’s okay to cry. Your hormones are in. It’s a happy day. Just cry” And I did. I sobbed till I was calm from that intense moment and then rested. I could feel the midwife gently shifting the baby’s head left and right. She said, “This is a great photo op!” And again I heard DH’s exclamations of awe. Then she said the magic words, “One more push and the body will be out!”

 

Push #4 Baby’s entire body slid out. The sensation was so strange. The body felt as large as the head but that pressure gave way very quickly to a slippery feeling. I screamed but really due to nervousness mixed with adrenaline.

 

Then the baby was here. I heard a momentary cry and then silence. I was still on my knees facing the wall. They all said, “Turn around and look at her!” I looked around and down and she was lying between my legs on the bed. Her eyes were open and she had such a calm countenance. She was a tiny, beautiful little girl! I took her in my arms and cried with gratitude for everyone in the room who had shared, created, and given me this beautiful, redemptive birth experience.

 

One of the things I was most grateful for was when my doula spoke to me about crying with happiness. She knew how important it was for me not to feel terror or to feel out of control due to my first horrible birth experience. She put the correct significance on that powerful emotion that could have easily been remembered as trauma, to what it truly was: Joy.

 

Our nurse midwife also thanked us afterward for a beautiful birth and mentioned the Hypnobabies was working well. She said she wished I had allowed residents and nurses in training to attend the birth so they could have seen an alternative birthing position!

 

Josephine Elise was born on November 30 at 7:11AM, 4 days before her guess date, weighing 6lbs 8oz at 18.5″ long. She arrived 2 hours after checking in to the hospital and 4 pushes after my water broke. I sustained a very small first degree tear and minor laceration. the placenta was birthed about 15 minutes later. She is our first hypnobaby, and our second unmedicated birth.

My Hypnobabies doula was Lysa Quealy! She was wonderful!

Sincerely,
Annie

 

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Hypnobabies Instructor Training – Registration for our St. Louis Training in March 2011 ENDS next Monday: 1-31-11.

Anyone who is interested in bringing Hypnobabies to your own community, please call now: 714-952-2229.

http://hypnobabies.com/mylink.php?id=3816

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Zane’s birth story

  • 2 weeks comfortable Braxton-Hicks
  • 2 wks of comfortable Pressure Waves
  • Saw midwives after 2nd wk of PW for prenatal and asked for internal to see if anything was really happening (first internal of the pregnancy)
  • They said station=0, dilated 3cm…yeah!  Ripest cervix she ever felt.
  • Had very strong PWs on way home…figured better not drive from then on.

Had stronger PWs that night with bloody show which I had been having since internal (as told I might by the midwives).  I called the midwives to see if the quantity was significant (like light period) they said no.  I knew it wasn’t time for them to come to my house but I was asking them for any idea on a time frame since my husband needed time to get home.  he works and stays 2.5 hrs away during the week.  I called DH to let him know my status but told him if the PWs picked up I would call him but otherwise for him to sleep.

 

I awoke that night with him home.  He said he would rather commute each day than be worried.  He stayed home two days with the PWs going back to their former intensity and still having light period type discharge.  Third day was Thursday, he went back to work but I told him to come home early on Friday so he didn’t hit traffic which would turn his 2.5 hr commute into 4-5 hours…especially since Friday was our Guess Date.

 

Daily life on Thursday…everybody asking when baby was coming…I said well, our Guess Date is Friday so I guess tomorrow.
Thursday night went to bed and felt like I wet my pants.  I went to the bathroom and found my pad soaked but not my clothes…I always thought it would be obvious when my water broke but I thought that perhaps it was a high break and only some of the fluid leaked.  The midwives told me I had a lot of amniotic fluid so I was expecting a soaking.  I called them to let them know that I was pretty sure my water broke and that it was clear.  I asked if I needed to check for the cord and they said no since my baby was so low the cord would not have prolapsed.  I went back to bed to see what would happen that night.

 

PWs started and I timed them.  I was to call the midwives when they were consistently 10 min apart for 1 hour but they would come over when they were 5 min apart.  My waves bounced around and I finally felt they were close enough and I must be progressing because I wanted to focus rather than look at the clock, also I was too focused to use the phone and wanted my husband to call so I knew it was the real deal…finally.  DH called the midwives to let them know and they said they would come over and set up.

 

I had been planning a completely unassisted birth and a few months before my GD felt led to ask this midwife team to attend my birth.  They specialize in unassisted, midwife attended births.  Essentially they were my guardian angels making sure that I had the unassisted birth I wanted.  I realized that my birth team (DH and my Mom) was not getting comfortable with my unassisted plans as time progressed and I worried that they might call 911 in the heat of the moment.  I was glad the midwives attended for many reasons before, during, and after the birth.

 

Although I had envisioned staying in off for much of my birth, I actually was in center for almost the entire time so definitely practice center switch.  I listened to my scripts on the mp3 player and would occasionally take out one ear bud if I needed to hear or talk.

 

Here is what I listened too early on:  Birthing Day, Deepening, and Special Place.  Eventually my battery ran down and for some reason my husband was not able to charge it so we switched to his mp3 player which we don’t know how to work and I listened to Birthing Day over and over until time to push when I asked for Pushing Baby Out.

 

I did not have a pain free birth but would call it manageable discomfort.  I used to get nervous when Hypnomoms would say manageable discomfort since it is so subjective.  So, here is what it felt like for those that want some perspective.  It felt like a moderate period cramp right above my pubic symphysis (the bone right in the front of your pelvis).  I don’t usually get period cramps unless I have emotional baggage that I haven’t dealt with (fight/grudge with DH, etc.) and unfortunately, I did go into this birth with unfinished business so I wonder, if I had dealt with my business early as I really should have, if my birth would have been completely pain free.  I will see next time.

 

Throughout the birth the discomfort level stayed at a moderate period cramp.  This is my second child.  The first I had all natural but without Hypnobabies and people told me it would be like a period and it wasn’t so I am not downplaying the discomfort, it really was no more than a moderate cramp feeling for me and was decreased by about 1/3 if my husband pushed on my left sacroiliac joint.  The only time my discomfort increased was if I lay down during a wave or sat on the toilet (my baby was very, very low).  Therefore, I stayed in center during the waves and would lean on the changing table and rock, sway, or spiral my hips during the waves and it felt great.

 

Between waves I was completely pain free, able to talk, joke, visit, etc.  Even during transformation, between waves, I was talking and making jokes which was amazing for such an intense time.

 

So, the discomfort stayed the same but the intensity changed with the progression of the birth.  I was able to stay aware of the birth progressing and be positive about it because of Hypnobabies and that was priceless.  I felt the intensity increasing and by this I mean a strong power starting to flow through me (like an adrenalin rush) and the waves were coming closer together and between waves I was thinking “alright transformation here we come…let’s do this!”

 

Suddenly though my birth slowed and the waves eventually stopped.  I asked the midwives for an internal (my second for the entire pregnancy).  They checked and confirmed that my water had broken, I was dilated 4-5 which gave me hope because I knew that was the “hump” in most births (was in my first) and I really was close to transformation, but baby was still ROA-in my right corner facing my left hip.  He hadn’t turned into birthing position yet which meant he essentially wasn’t hitting the doorway head-on so I wasn’t dilating efficiently.

 

We did some work to get my hips loosened up (I knew I should have seen my Chiropractor that week….and I am a Chiropractor so I should know better than get too busy right before my birth to get adjusted). The midwives gave me some homeopathic remedies and their assistant come over and did some body work on me with essential oils.  It was awesome!  Finally, I had to address the emotional baggage that I hadn’t taken care of before birthing time.  Once all of this was done the midwives told me to lie down and rest and they went home (they had been at my house since 4am and it was about 9:30am).  I rested and the rest of my birthing team (my Mom) finally arrived.  My Mom lives about 5 hours from me.

 

The waves finally picked up and I stood up again to rock and sway my hips.  The midwives called to check on me around 1:30 and my Mom told them I was talking about filling the water tub and they said they would be right over.  They had offered the tub earlier in the birth and when I asked them when I was supposed to use it they said it was for when nothing else was working.

 

Hypnobabies was working so well, I told them that I was feeling fine so I would save the water for transformation.  When they heard I was ready for the water, they knew it was finally time.  The nice part of this is that I was calm and focused during this time.  I made a conscious decision to start filling the tub because I felt that transformation was coming not because I was in too much pain to bear without the water.  At this point, my discomfort was still at the level of a moderate cramp but the energy had returned and I was not as able to relax all of my muscles during the waves (toes would curl but it wasn’t from pain just intensity).  Once I was in the warm water I was able to relax and then the transformation really took off.

 

I used to wonder at the “intensity” that Hypnomoms would mention that wasn’t pain so I will do my best to describe how it was for me for those that find it useful.  Please keep in mind that during the pw the discomfort still felt like a moderate menstrual cramp above my pubic symphysis and my DH sat behind the water tub and pushed on my left sacroiliac joint which helped with that too.  The intensity was like a rush of feeling and emotion. One of the midwives filmed the birth and the other sat nearby and during transformation fanned me with my file during the pws because I said that I couldn’t get a full breath.

 

I yelled during the pws at this time from the intensity.  It is like if you are so excited about something that you just have to let it out in a shout or a song for those that sing or that extreme rush of adrenalin when you go down a ski slope or a rollercoaster ride .  A feeling of such intensity that it has to have an outlet.  It doesn’t hurt but your body feels the feeling with such intensity that you have to let it out.

 

In between waves I was able to talk and joke and I mentioned a couple times that I wouldn’t mind if this part ended really soon.  I kind of like it, looking back, but it is so intense that I wanted it to end.  I don’t particularly like rollercoasters :).

 

It was disconcerting when I began to get the urge to push.  With my DD-age 9, I barely felt an urge to push, was told I was complete and to start pushing but I never felt an urge and in fact I felt like I wasn’t even giving birth just pushing because I was supposed to.  With this birth I felt the intensity, the discomfort from the pw, and the beginning urge to push all at the same time and that was kind of overwhelming.  The pushing urge eventually became the strongest urge and my body began to bear down on its own.  It took me by surprise and I had to regain my calm since I had not known that the pushing stage could feel like this since it hadn’t with my daughter.

 

In hindsight I wish I had listened to the Pushing Baby Out CD all the way through once before giving birth so that I would have known to start it earlier, it was slightly one step behind what I was feeling so I felt a sensation and then I heard ideas for how to handle them calmly which I would use.  I was able to use the script but I like to be prepared beforehand.

 

As Zane emerged I felt his head coming into my hand (these wonderful Midwives encourage Mom to catch her baby which was just what I had wanted all along).  We each gently rubbed his head and welcomed him:  my DD, my Mom, and my DH.  One of the Midwives was still videotaping and the other held a mirror and light into the birthing tub so I could see Zane emerging.

 

The pushing urge stopped and I watched him in the mirror as he rotated (babies do this naturally DON”T let the doctor do this for them unless it is an emergency.  The doctors don’t know if the baby’s shoulders are rotating clockwise or counterclockwise internally while the doctor is rotating their heads to “help”).

 

After two more pushed Zane was born.  I held him and snuggled him as his big sister got into the tub (she had been waiting patiently to get in the tub and help).  DH was leaning over the edge of the tub looking at Zane over my shoulder (see pic in the file under Zane’s birth).

 

My Mom asked “what do we have a girl or boy” so we peeked downward and made our long awaited announcement (we love being surprised!).  Shortly after Zane’s birth the placenta came and the Midwives placed it in a dish that floated so we could keep the cord attached.  The Midwives don’t cut the cord until the parents say they are ready.

 

They helped me out of the tub and I said “Wow, I could do that again…give me a week or two for my body to recuperate and I would definitely do that again”.  It may sound crazy but it was like screaming to get off a rollercoaster and then once you are off it saying “what a rush, I am going to ride that again.”

In summary here were my goals going into this birth:
1.  Be in control
2.  Be willing to do it again after the birth so that my decision about having more children is based on logic not on fear.

 

I thought a completely pain free birth would be nice but my focus was these two goals.  Hypnobabies definitely helped me attain these two goals and I am very grateful!

 

Moms, “catch” your babies!  If I had known how amazing, empowering, and beautiful it is I would have never given that honor to the doctor the first time.  Let the first hands to touch your little one be hands that have loved him/her from the beginning.
Molly

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My baby girl was born March 5 at 11:26pm in a natural, drug-free VBAC!

 

After dropping my son off at Montessori on Wednesday, I went walking at the mall with another Montessori mom. Just as we were finishing, I got a message that Ian was sick so I went to pick him up early. He had a gastrointestinal thing happening and slept most of the afternoon.

 

I went to the chiropractor for my final planned adjustment at 3:00pm and then I started feeling badly, like I was getting what my son had. All through the night, I had a kind of crampy feeling and had to go to the bathroom a lot,–every hour. The next day, my son was better, but I just wanted to lay around. I still had some crampy gastrointestinal feelings and they got worse over the day.

 

My husband decided to come to Erie, PA from DC that night instead of Friday night as planned since I wasn’t feeling well and thought something might be happening. He left DC at 4pm for the 7 hour drive to Erie. But, by about 5:45pm, I told my mom that I thought something was happening. She told me to time the “happenings” and they were three minutes apart. We decided to jump in the car and head to Pittsburgh (2 hours away). Unfortunately, my husband did not have a cell phone with him so we couldn’t contact him.

 

I laid in the back of the van on the floor and listened to my Hypnobabies. I called my doula and midwife, but my midwife didn’t call back. I called again and the nurses answered because he had left his phone at the hospital, but they said he was on his way to the hospital to pick up his phone. I told them to tell him I was coming.

 

We arrived at the hospital at 8:45pm or so. I was put in a triage room and checked a little after 9pm and was 8cm dialated!

 

We moved to a Labor and Delivery Room and I labored mostly on my hands and knees. I can’t imagine laboring or pushing on my back. My doula applied counterpressure and massage to my back and both she and my midwife offered encouragement through the tough contractions. I went to the bathroom and wanted to get in the shower, but my midwife wanted to check me first and then get the baby back on the monitor before I got in the shower. My water broke as he checked me. it was clear and warm and all over the bathroom floor. I was complete.

No time for the shower, we went back to the bed and waited for the pushing urge. I put on the Hypnobabies Pushing Baby Out track and I started pushing. I  pushed for about 20 minutes and she was born. I did not feel a ring of fire. I did have a second degree tear, but I didn’t feel it happen. I did mother-directed pushing and I pushed my placenta out by myself as well, without pitocin or traction. Hypnobabies definitely helped with the pushing. The nurses wanted to know what I was listening to on my ipod.

Everyone was impressed with how well I handled the contractions and that I went drug-free. The Hypnobabies did not make things pain-free, but did help keep me focused, to get through one contraction at a time. I was pain-free for quite a long time, though because I didn’t realize I was in labor.

 

Everything went perfectly, except that my husband missed the birth. He got to Erie at 11:00pm and was sent to Pittsburgh  (2 hours away) by my dad and brother. He arrived at the hospital at 12:50pm just in time for everything to be cleaned up and for him to meet our baby girl.

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I wrote this for broad consumption so I used colloquial terms, not Hypnobabies terms. I plan on sharing this story  far and wide as I advocate for the safety and beauty of natural VBAC deliveries.

This is a very long story, not because a lot happened, but because I experienced a lot while it was happening.

I want to note that I do not mention God in the course of this telling, not because He was absent from the event, but because His presence permeated the event. Conception is a prayer. Birth is a prayer. The closeness of my relationship with my husband is a prayer. I tend to pray physically and emotionally rather than verbally, so when I speak of calming, of embracing the power within myself, it is all rooted in my connection with God. I believe that God was and is present in all, and so I chose not to be redundant in the telling of this story.

First, I have outlined some of the events that took place before labor started:

Starting after week 20 when I’ve had an ultrasound to confirm a happy, healthy resident within my womb, I begin the Hypnobabies Home Study course. I am a firm believer in the power of a positive attitude, and that our state of mind has more to do with our physical well-being than we tend to give it credit for. While practicing the Hypnobabies course, almost without fail I slip into deep hypnosis and experience what is termed “hypnotic amnesia.” This means that I remember starting the session, going into the relaxed state, then can’t remember anything else until I spring awake to the sound of the instructor counting upwards from one to three. I have listened to each track while making myself stay conscious, so I know I wasn’t receiving any hypnotic suggestions that were out of line – to the contrary, it all made a great deal of logical sense to me.

Oct 11th: I arrive at my 36 week appointment. I have scheduled this appointment with an OB rather than my midwife because hospital policy requires two prenatal visits with an OB for mothers seeking a VBAC. The OB discovers that my baby has flipped to a breech presentation, which is the reason I had a C-Section with my first child. I leave the office feeling very upset but trying hard to remain positive about the baby flipping back head-down. I schedule a version (where the OB manipulates the baby from the outside to flip back head-down) for the next day.

Oct 12th: I’ve downloaded the Hypnobabies track for flipping a breech baby and listened to it once at home. I go in for my version and bring my iPod with the track loaded on it. As they are doing the non-stress-test for the baby before the version, I listen to the track a second time and slip into deep hypnosis. I wake up as the instructor counts from one to three, and within five minutes the OB arrives to begin the version. The entire process takes maybe a minute and, quite honestly, tickles. Women often speak of how painful a version is, but it was not in the -least- bit painful. The OB and nurse comment about how great my relaxation technique is.

Nov. 10th: I see my midwife, who informs me that I’ll need to make an appointment with the OB to discuss induction options in case I am still pregnant by the following monday. I’d like to note here that I had an amazing midwife for my prenatal care – very hands-off, very relaxed about the fact that I was a VBAC patient, and very encouraging that I could have the delivery I was hoping for. I chose the practice and the hospital based on their fabulous VBAC success rate and their low-intervention approach. However, I was going to be 41 weeks pregnant and they do have policy tied up in liability that would require they suggest induction after a certain point. I knew I had the right as a patient to refuse, but I also knew as a mother that I had to weigh risk and reward and make some tough decisions if my labor didn’t begin naturally.

And so begins the story…

I left the midwife’s office feeling frustrated. I knew that in order for labor to begin and succeed naturally, I needed to have some alone time with my baby to come to peace with a great many fears I was experiencing. My dear friends who were going to watch Morgan for us at the time of actual labor agreed to watch her for me that day, since they’d had a premonition that things would begin for me that day – I called them as they were walking to the phone to call me. Right before going to see my friends I spoke to the mother of another friend – the mother is a hypnotherapist and had guided her own daughter through a hypnobirth. She gave me a beautiful pep talk that really set the tone for my attitude the rest of that day.

I dropped Morgan off with our friends, then went straight to my chiropractor for an adjustment and another very good pep-talk. She had me speak out loud to my baby and ask him if he was ready to be born. I could feel that he was, and that it was definitely my fears that were keeping him inside. I knew that I needed to release those fears before anything productive could happen, so after leaving the chiropractor I called my husband and asked him to come home and spend the evening with me so we could both center and ready ourselves for the arrival of our new family member.

Over the course of the evening we discussed quite a bit about fear, and how it can impede success. As absolutely geeky as this sounds, I asked Chris if he had the Litany Against Fear from Dune memorized, because I might want – or need – him to recite it to me to help put me in the right frame of mind while laboring. Of course, he rattled it off without a moment’s hesitation –  I love my husband :).

I personally find this litany to be very powerful:

“I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing……Only I will remain.”

I firmly believe that fear stops progress in many ways. We build mental and emotional blocks, which can in turn become physical blocks. Fear can and does stop labor. It isn’t anything mystical – it is a natural safeguard against danger. When women were birthing in caves with wolves howling at the door, they needed a way to protect their offspring. If labor had begun and the wolves crept too close, a women had to be able to flee to safer ground to complete the delivery of her child out of harm’s way. It just makes sense. It happens to other species in the animal kingdom. It is how we survive. This, along with the anatomical structures within the muscles of the uterus, is something I learned about through the Hypnobabies Home Study Course. That is another reason I really loved the course – it wasn’t just about state of mind, it was very educational and taught me a lot about my body that I didn’t know before.

The difference for women today is that the wolves at the door are mostly of our own making and in our own heads. Escaping a fear that is born from within takes a little more mental control and faith. I needed to spiritually ground myself that night with my husband by my side in order to believe that I was truly safe and could deliver our baby into the world.

Our friends were kind enough to keep Morgan over night, and Chris and I had a close and beautiful evening together. The next morning I was awakened at 3 a.m. by a rather strong contraction. I got up and went to sit by the computer with my timer. I had a couple at 12-15 minutes apart, but nothing exciting. Eventually I found myself wandering to YouTube. There I searched for Hypnobabies Birth and found this beautiful video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlG1j2lNm6A). It apparently inspired me, because minutes after I finished watching it my contractions began to get closer together, until they were between 5-7 minutes apart. I timed them for about an hour, then decided to go back to bed to see if they persisted. They did, and I continued timing as long as I could. I dozed off between a couple, but would be wakened by the intensity, which I saw as a good sign.

After three hours of this, I decided to wake up Chris and let him know. I called the hospital to see if they wanted me to come in yet (yes, 5-7 isn’t very close, but I’d been sternly reminded time and again that for a VBAC they wanted me in sooner than with a “normal” labor, so anything strong and persistent under 10 minutes apart I was advised to call). The nurse on the phone’s response was, “Oh, we don’t like having VBAC moms laboring like that at home! You need to come in now!” So, we did.

On the drive to the hospital I kept worrying that I would get to the hospital and everything would stop. I didn’t want to be one of those that they “sent home.” After all, I’d been having contractions off and on since 36 weeks – I’d waited until they were intense enough to wake me from a deep sleep and close enough that the nurse on the phone wanted me at the hospital.

Well, to keep this portion of the story short: I was sent home. As soon as I walked into the triage room they went from 5-7 minutes to a half hour apart. I was only slightly more dilated than I’d been the day before. Nothing worth staying for.

Upon leaving the hospital, it dawned on me that the triage room was my last point of fear. That is where I’d been when they informed me that Morgan was breech and where the OB had so callously delivered the verdict of “You just bought yourself a C-Section.” (Yes, those were her exact words.) I needed to ball up that memory of triage and throw it away. It had nothing to do with the present.

Which brings me to another relevant movie quote. This is the exchange between Simba and Rafiki from The Lion King. Rafiki has just hit Simba on the head with his walking stick:

Simba: What was that for?
Rafiki: It doesn’t matter, it’s in the past.
Simba: Yeah, but it still hurts.
Rafiki: Yes, the past can hurt, but the way I see it, you either run from it, or learn from it.

My body was still running from the past. I needed to let that part of it go, and hold on to the lessons learned. I’d already acted on everything I’d learned from that experience – that I needed to be my own advocate, that I needed to listen closely to my body, and that I needed to be prepared to accept whatever may happen that was outside of my control. I hadn’t made my first child flip breech. I hadn’t made my water break before discovering this. I hadn’t chosen to go into labor on the night that the one OB in town who I didn’t trust was on-call. I had done the best I could in the situation at that time, and my beautiful baby girl was born to the world. That was then. This was now. I needed to separate the two events once and for all.

We went to see our friends who were caring for our daughter. When I exited the car at their house my contractions began again (right in the driveway!). They returned to the 7-10 minute range while we were there, because my body knew it was safe. Eventually we decided to go home so we could rest. We brought my daughter home with us because we missed her and wanted to have the evening with her, knowing that within the next 48 hours the baby would be here for sure.

We had a nice evening together. Chris did his best to keep Morgan from bothering me as I was having more and more intense contractions, so I could be left to center and calm myself, but quite honestly one of the most beautiful moments of the entire night happened while Morgan was with me. One of the physical and verbal cues taught in the Hypnobabies course to put the mother into a relaxed state is to have the birthing partner say the word “Peace” and place their hand on the mother’s shoulder.  In my case, I chose the physical cue of having Chris put his hand on top of my head – it’s a gesture he’s done from the beginning of our relationship to help put me into a calmer state of mind. Since Morgan wanted to cuddle with me in bed while I was trying to relax myself, I decided that she could help. I explained that when I asked her to, I needed her to put her hand on my head and say “Peace” because it made Mommy feel good. And she did, gently and proudly. It was really special to have with me and helping in her own small way to bring her baby brother into the world.

At around 7pm, we got Morgan into her jammies and put her to bed. We both read to her and tucked her in for the night. She was exhausted from all the fun she’d had with our friends and fell right to sleep.

Soon after putting Morgan to bed, I had two things happen that lead me to believe the show was very much on the road. Yuck warning: I lost my mucous plug and had quite a bit of bloody show, and my intestines decided to empty themselves. At that time my contractions had gotten close enough that they were erring on the side of 5 minutes, though with breaks as long as 7 minutes. I called the hospital again to check in, and this time the person who answered the phone was very nonchalant about it, even though I was a VBAC patient. She advised me to just labor at home as long as I was comfortable. I didn’t particularly want to go hang out at the hospital again, so I gladly followed her advice.

By about 8 my contractions were still floating between 5-7 minutes apart, but were intensified. I was having “back labor” (I guess – my lower back was hurting with each contraction), but I discovered that if I applied pressure to the two points above my hip bones in my lower back, it was like an “off” switch for the pain. At this point I didn’t feel the “pain” was really all that bad, and found it easy to manage using the pressure points and hot baths/showers.

At this time I also stumbled upon a really, really funny website – damnyouautocorrect.com. I could not keep from laughing out loud – really, really out loud – and kept reading through all the contractions because a friend of mine had advised that laughter, especially mouth-wide-open laughter, is good for dilating the cervix (that whole mind/body connection). I probably read the site off and on from 8 to 9. At one point Chris even came running into the bedroom to check on me because I was laughing so hard he thought I was sobbing.

Around 8:30 my friend who is a doula stopped by to check on us. She wasn’t able to be my doula for the birth due to some prior obligations but was nice enough to check in. Apparently the Hypnobabies calming and relaxing techniques were working because she took one look at me and said, “Oh, you’re nowhere near having this baby! You probably won’t need to go anywhere until tomorrow morning.” And after a visit of about ten minutes she left, with the promise to come check by again the next morning.

At around 9 I crawled into bed to rest for a bit and asked Chris to come be with me. I put on the Hypnobabies “Easy First Stages” track and we listened to that as the contractions got more and more intense. After listening to the track, we got back up and seriously discussed getting a hotel room in Waconia so we’d be closer to the hospital when the “real” deal started. It was about 9:30 when Chris began looking for a hotel room.

It was while Chris was in the living room on the phone with the hotel that I, alone in the bedroom, started having what seemed to be a never-ending contraction. It started, got very strong, then abated for maybe half a minute before intensifying again. I waited for it to end, then realized that it wasn’t one long contraction after all – my contractions had just suddenly jumped from 5-7 minutes apart to 30 seconds – 1 minute apart. I walked out to the living room just as Chris hung up with the hotel and informed him that we weren’t staying at the hotel after all, and we needed go NOW. (Note: the hotel was kind enough to refund our stay – it helped that we called them at 3am with a squawking newborn in the background!)

I called the downstairs neighbor who was kind enough to agree to stay at our place for the night so our friends (who only had one car, and that car was out for the evening) could come pick Morgan up in the morning. Chris ran to pull the carseat from the car and bring it inside, and I did my best to keep my wits about me as the contractions came rolling one on top of the other. In a flash of inspiration I grabbed the baby’s ring sling, wrapped it around my back and under my belly, and used it to apply pressure to my back whenever a contraction hit. That made things more tolerable. Chris calmly escorted me to the car and we got underway.

Now, between when the contractions made their magical jump and when we got to the car, I was not using any “calming” techniques. I was in, “Get the hell out of the house and to the hospital quickly!” mode. I was scared, anxious, and hurting. I was so oblivious to anything but “get to the car” that I was even groaning loudly through contractions in the elevator, not caring who might be there when the door opened (and generally I try to behave with some decorum in public areas!). When we got to the car, I called the hospital one more time, let them know what was going on and got instructions on what to do when we arrived (it was some time between 10 and 10:15 when we hit the road, so we had to enter the hospital through the Emergency Room). With that last “must-do” task out of the way, I figured it was time to start focusing on calming myself.

I found my iPod and put on my soothing music and just… relaxed. I don’t recall doing anything consciously, it just happened. I attribute that to the self-hypnosis training – all the tools I needed were in place, and I didn’t have to work for any of it. The music I selected was from a CD I’d owned since college (which, for some perspective, was over ten years ago). It’s the CD I listened to whenever I needed to zen myself into a state of peace for writing (which was my profession prior to motherhood). It was also the album that I added to my HypnoBabies playlists on my iPod – I’d listen to whatever track was relevant for the day, then the music would play. That way the music was closely tied to the hypnosis training.

It was truly amazing how quickly I found peace and centering on the drive to the hospital. When a contraction came along, I would apply pressure to my back, then let it roll through me. I found myself chanting “open, open, open…” – again, not a conscious decision, it just felt like the right thing to do, and it helped bring me to a more relaxed state.

After a good long drive through deer-infested wilderness (it’s about 30-45 minutes to the hospital from our apartment, depending on traffic and lights, through some beautiful countryside. A little part of my brain was actually set aside for looking out for deer – I have better night vision than my husband and the last thing I wanted to do was hit a deer on the way to the hospital! Funny how our minds work sometimes…), we arrived. I was wheeled up to the labor and delivery floor and put straight into triage. They hooked me up to the monitors and went to get the midwife. Chris supported me again through the wave of contractions. When the midwife checked me, I was dilated between a four and five. This was just after 11p.m.

Another side note here: the midwife on call that night was the other midwife (there are two at this practice) and, strangely enough, the very first time I saw her, I had a premonition that she would be the one to deliver my baby. I even told a friend about it at the time. I loved my prenatal midwife, and I loved the midwife who delivered my baby – both women are outstanding at what they do and I would recommend them to anyone!

Back to the story…

We were moved to our birthing suite. This whole time I’d kept my iPod going with an ear bud in one ear so I could hear my music but still interact with the hospital staff. The nurse was fabulous (I want to keep her forever!) and would acknowledge when I was having a contraction and sit quietly until it passed. Chris was also incredibly amazing through all of those contractions – without fail he was on the spot to apply pressure with one hand and place his other hand on top of my head, saying the “peace” cue along with other soothing words. There were many times when I would be so overwhelmed with love for him by the end of the contraction that I’d curl up against him or lean over for a kiss. The bond between us at those times was indescribably strong.

We hooked my iPod up to the docking station (our room had a built-in docking station with surround sound, so very nice!) and turned the lights down way low. It was incredibly relaxing and very calming to have the music play throughout the room – I think it really set the tone for everyone. The nurse and midwife both noted several times throughout the evening that we were doing an amazing job working together, and that my relaxation technique was really good. Again, I know that half the credit goes to my husband and how in-tune he is with my needs. I am a very, very lucky woman!

One of the first things the midwife did was to break my water and hook me up with internal monitors. Because I was a VBAC patient, this was required, and quite honestly I’d take internal monitors over external any day. I hate the feeling of anything strapped on my belly – I could hardly even stand pants or skirts with maternity panels because the pressure on my belly was annoying.

I’m not sure what time it was when she broke my water. For the next hour or so, the only way I marked time was by the music that was playing. I believe we listened through the playlist at least once and had started it over again before things once again changed up. There were times during this phase when – quite honestly – I had contractions that made me giggle. I’m not sure what it was, but they really did kind of tickle.

By the time it was nearing 1 a.m., the contractions I’d been having that compelled me to chant, “Open, open, open…” had changed to a chant of “Down, down, down…” I could feel the urge to push down and out, but until the midwife gave me the green light, I didn’t want to give in to the urges. This was the one time when things got really intense again – not painful, just intense. This is one of the least flattering descriptions, but one that will likely be universally understood: when I was fighting against the “push out” contractions, it felt very much like that body-wracking shakes you get from violent diarrhea. I had just gotten onto the birthing ball to try leaning forward against the bed and rocking my hips when these began. The midwife came back in and asked me what the contractions felt like. I described it to her, and she said it was time to do another check. This time when she checked, I was fully dilated and ready to push. It was just after 1 a.m.

Some of you may notice that something is missing in this narrative: transition. Having just read up on transition, I believe that the few minutes (really, it didn’t seem like a very long time) where I was having those body-wracking shakes might have been transition, but it wasn’t horrible at all. Like I said, it just made me shake more. It didn’t hurt. I can say that with absolute honesty. And once I was given the go-ahead to give into those urges and push, the shaking stopped.

In 99% of life you will NOT hear me use this phrase, but when it comes to laboring, I just have to say: ignorance is bliss. My contractions were not timed. I was not on the clock. I wasn’t told what “stage” I was going through. My midwife and my nurse simply said “let your body do what it knows to do” and that was it. THAT helped so much! Had I been told, “Those contractions are 90 seconds apart..” I would have been feeling every moment that passed. I was not placed under a microscope – rather, it felt very much like the tide washing in, rolling over me and through me, a completely natural occurrence that was nudging me toward the horizon of my child’s birth. Though I glanced at the clock a handful of times, no one ever called out the hour. It was a timeless transformation from mother to mother and child.

As I started pushing, I tried leaning backward against the back of the bed. It worked alright for a while, but it wasn’t quite right. I tried a couple different positions before we decided that – based on my pelvic shape and what felt good – I should lay completely flat on my back with my knees by my ears (well, not literally – I’m not that bendy!). The midwife agreed that it was a very counter-intuitive position, but that with how things we working for me, it might be our best option. And, quite honestly, it was by far the most comfortable position for me.

The pushing portion of labor went very smoothly. I don’t know how else to describe it. When I felt the urge to push, I’d push. Neither the nurse nor the midwife ever told me to hold my breath or started counting to ten for me. They encouraged me to breathe through the pushing but to keep my muscles engaged. At this point the little voice in my head kept repeating, “I’m a belly dancer! I can totally do this!” The big, masculine voice outside of my head was also saying beautiful, encouraging things to me the whole time. They had turned on the “spot light” (like the light at the dentist’s office, but shining elsewhere) and had told me to imagine pushing the baby in that direction.
I did request the mirror while pushing knowing that I’m the kind of person who performs better when I can see results taking place. I will admit that I didn’t have any starry, “Wow, that’s really my baby!” euphoria. I did have a, “Wow, that’s him” moment, but after that I went back into the mindset of, “I have a task to finish.” Well, watching the progress did help quite a bit. When I reached the point where I was crowning, I recall thinking, “Is this it? That’s not really so bad…” Again – I attribute that mainly to the fact that I wasn’t afraid. I had also been coaching myself that I wasn’t going to experience the “ring of fire” sensation because I’m a fire performer and I know how to deal with fire. Totally a mind-game, but it appears to have worked! Oh, and I was completely lax about “preparing” my perineum for birth, but the midwife did apply oil while I was pushing. I kept cracking up the nurse because I am very, very ticklish, and every time the midwife would put more oil on, I’d giggle. I’m assuming they don’t get many people giggling during labor.

Once he crowned I believe it took one more good push and he came all the way out. His left hand was tucked up by his face – I remember that. And I remember thinking, “Damn.. that’s a lot of baby!” (He was 9 pounds, 4 ounces and 20 inches long.) They placed him right up on my chest, just like I had wanted. I just remember feeling how warm and close he was. I looked at Chris and saw the joy beaming from his eyes. There was one itsy bitsy tear at the corner of his eye, and for Chris, that’s a lot. This is quite honestly the part of the delivery that is the most blurry – I remember everything in a haze, but mostly just remember how incredible it felt to be holding my baby. He was born at 1:41 a.m. – a mere four hours after the “OMG it’s time!” contractions started at home.

The midwife let the cord finish pulsing before she clamped it and let Chris cut it. The placenta delivered very soon after and everything was fine. Upon inspection it was found that I had one tiny nick on the inside, so she put in a single suture and that’s all I needed.

And that, more or less, is how Jameson came into the world. I was allowed to get up out of the bed after an hour and had no trouble at all walking. It felt good to have control of my body through the whole process, to feel and move my limbs as my body directed. Was it entirely pain-free? Not entirely – not until I got centered and was able to relax was I able to roll with the punches, so to speak. Was it painful? When taking that word to mean “full of pain,” then: No. I can say that for sure. Uncomfortable, odd, different – but certainly not agonizing! It was totally doable, incredibly empowering, and a truly beautiful experience.

There is no reason why a healthy mother giving birth to a healthy baby shouldn’t be able to have a successful VBAC, and even a beautiful natural VBAC should she so choose. Preparing to give birth helped me finish healing the emotional scars of the C-Section. Giving birth opened me to a whole new side of myself and helped me access wisdom, insight, and power that I never knew I had.

I would like to thank the staff of Ridgeview Medical Center in Waconia, MN, for the amazing experience, the grace and the respect shown toward my body and its natural abilities.

Please feel free to share this story far and wide.

Theresa M., Plymouth, MN
Age 30
C-Section performed 01 Jan 08, girl, 7 lbs 4 oz, 18″, 9/9 APGAR
VBAC delivery 12 Nov 10, boy, 9 lbs, 4 oz, 20″, 9/9 APGAR

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36 hours of labor!  That’s right 36 hours of labor and I would do it all over again!  With the help of the Hypnobabies program and my awesome husband, my birthing time was very manageable and even enjoyable.

So many people before I gave birth were asking me what I was planning for my birthing time.  When I told them about Hypnobabies they thought I was crazy because they had been through labor cursing their husbands and screaming for drugs; there was no way it could be a positive peaceful experience.  They also just didn’t think I could be mellow enough to accomplish self hypnosis.  My “Bubble of Peace” became the goal to prove them all wrong and I did!

On Friday March 12th I had my weekly checkup appointment scheduled for 11am.  At 10am, while putting my makeup on I noticed some mild contractions.  On the way to the doctors office I watched the clock as I drove and realized they were 7 to 10 minutes apart.  When I got to the office my doctor was running behind so I sat down and practiced my Hypnobabies.  At this point I wouldn’t allow myself to believe this was it!  When my doctor asked how I was feeling I told her about the pressure waves so she set me up on the monitors to make sure I was in active labor.  I was instructed to go right home and go to the hospital when the pressure waves were 5 minutes apart because I was already dilated 3 cm.

I’m not very good at following directions. I was listening to my body. I knew the process was going to take a while so I ran a few errands on my way home and baked a dessert for the nurses.  That evening the pressure waves had progressed to 5 minutes apart but I was reluctant to go to the hospital.  My family has a history of long labors and I didn’t want the doctor on duty to get antsy and suggest altering my labor or breaking my water.

I called my wonderful Hypnobabies instructor, who is also a Doula, at about 9 pm and asked for her advice.  She reminded me to listen to my body and go when I felt the time was right. Up to this point I had been using self deepening techniques for the contractions and taking long slow deep breaths.

My labor slowed down through the night.  I put on the deepening CD and listened to it while I slept between contractions. At around 3 am Saturday morning the contractions started to become regular again at 5 minutes apart.  I stayed in bed and tried to rest a bit more.  I got in the shower at 5 am and sat on my birthing ball while using my deepening techniques.

At this point the contractions were becoming more difficult to talk through and I had to concentrate on my techniques.  After getting breakfast we decided it was a good time for me to go to the hospital.

On the drive to the hospital I listened to the Birth Day track.  I loved it!  After I went through admissions I had to sit in triage until the doctor could check me out.  During my stay there I made sure I told the nurse I was using Hypnobabies to birth naturally.  She was happy to learn this and told me she would get me assigned to a nurse who was conducive to my birthing choice.  The doctor on duty, whom I had never met and I soon discovered I didn’t like her personality or lack there of, came to check me and I was 5cm.  She told me they were going to start me on an IV of fluids.  I told her I would like to wait and she reluctantly agreed.  Let me take this opportunity to say in my experience the doctor you have doesn’t matter, it is the nurses that add to your experience.

I was then lead to my birthing room and introduced to the first of my awesome nurses.  Much to my dismay she connected me to the monitor.  I was not allowed off of the monitor unless my doctor oked it.  My understanding was that it was hospital policy.  The good thing is I could sit on my birthing ball the bad part was the baby was moving constantly making monitoring difficult.

During my birthing time I was allowed off of the monitor for two half hour stints.  I walked the halls and listened to my tracks.  I would stop and lean on my husband during pressure waves.  At the end of my last walk I decided it was going to be my last.  I was having a difficult time standing and I was getting uncomfortable.  I went back to my birthing ball.

This was the point that I really had to focus on my deepening techniques.  If I didn’t the pain would take hold and I would feel overwhelmed.  My mantra became, “I’m in control.  It’s just pressure.  Control, control, control.”  All while my husband was talking in my ear telling me I was doing great. With the help of my mantra, my husband and my tracks I was able to turn the pain into pressure an not become overwhelmed.  It is amazing what your mind and body can accomplish when they work together.

Seven hours or so into being at the hospital, 31 hours into labor, I was bored.  I wanted my birthing time to be over just so I could do anything else!  This is when my birthing time kicked into high gear.  I was still listening to my Birth Day track and using my mantra.  The doctor came back to check on me when I was 8 cm.  She told me she would be back in about an hour to see how I had progressed.  This is when I started whining.  I wasn’t sure I could do it anymore.  I was tired and I just wanted to close my eyes for 5 minutes.  My nurse reassured me that I was doing an awesome job and I could do it.  It was the end of her shift and she saw to it that I got another nurse that was open to my birthing style.  The second nurse was just as good.  She was very positive and reassuring.
My water still had not broken but I was feeling the need to push.  I listened to my body and pushed.  The pushing track was on in the background but I don’t remember hearing it.  I was inside myself at this point and didn’t notice much around me.  The doctor came back in again to check on me and yet again said she would be back later.

Just after she left the room my water broke.  Pushing became a relief!  I was just doing what my body wanted and it felt great.  I felt three stages during each push and made a different noise for each stage.   The nurse put the mirror up for me to see my progress.  When I pushed she told me to look.  I could see the baby’s head crowning.  That was all the motivation I needed.  The doctor came back in and within 10 minutes.  I had a beautiful, peaceful baby girl in my arms.

Annalise was born on March 13th at 10:08 pm.  She entered the world calm, alert and wide eyed.  I didn’t curse my husband and I didn’t cry for drugs.  I had a positive peaceful experience that I hope to have for any other children I may be so blessed to give birth to.  The nurses both told me, after watching my birth, they will be using it for their next babies.

I’ve been asked why I thought Hypnobabies worked for me.  I think there are a few reasons.  I wasn’t fearful of giving birth.  I’ve known since I was a teenager that I wanted a drug free birth.  I trusted the program, did my homework and practiced.  I can’t say I kept 100% to the schedule but I kept practicing long after my classes were finished.  I visualized myself swimming in water and the feeling of weightlessness as I descended with each count during the tracks.  I was able to make the program my own.  Hypnobabies isn’t something to be scoffed at.  It’s legit.  Trust in the program and trust in yourself.

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On wed night, nov. 17th I went to bed close to midnight. I was feeling some practice waves( I thought) which wasn’t alarming because I had been having them for 6 weeks or more.

 

A little before 2:00 am I woke up feeling stronger waves. They were so strong and close that I couldn’t go back to sleep. I downloaded a contraction timer on my phone and started timing.

 

At 2:00, I went upstairs and woke my husband, Tony, up to have him fill up the bathtub. I got in the tub and started listening to my birth guide CD while timing my waves. They were close but irregular- 4min. apart, then 2, then 6….no consistency, but I knew that these waves were definitely different than the practice waves I had been having before.

 

At some point, Tony called the midwife, and she wanted to speak to me. He gave her the heads up on my hypnosis so she would know how to speak to me ( never say pain!). She asked about the irregularity of my waves and if I was ready to come to the birthing Inn. I remember telling her that we were an hour and twenty min drive away and that I didn’t want to make the trip just to be sent home! She assured me that there were hotels close by if needed.

 

I got out of the tub about 4:30am. Even though I was timing my waves ( most of the time), time really seemed to fly by. Every 20 min truly seemed like 5. It was incredible! Something else that really amazed me was how much Tony helped relieve the intensity of my waves. When I would hang on him through a wave, it was really less intense!!

 

By 5:00am we were pulling out of the driveway. I was listening to my deepening CD ( I listened to this the most through my birthing time). I had been worried about losing my focus during the drive to the birthing inn, so I told myself that the car was acting like a cradle, rocking me peacefully. This really worked because the last part of the drive I was sleeping between my waves!

 

I would wake up during the wave and then fall right back to sleep! When we arrived at the hospital, at 6:30am, my doula was wonderful to tell everyone in our path that I was using hypnosis. All of the staff was extremely respectful and supportive! The only mental pressure I felt at this point was that they wouldn’t keep me. I remember talking to the baby and encouraging another wave so the staff would see that I really was in labor ( I am sure I didn’t appear to be).

 

My midwife checked me and I was 8 cm and 100% effaced! At 8:30 the shift changed so the new midwife on call wanted to check me. Tony explained to her that I didn’t want to know of my progress. Tony explained why she wanted to check and asked if it was ok. She proceeded and what a good thing that Tony told her not to tell me because I was still at 8 cm. Had I known this I am sure I would have been disappointed.

 

While she was examining me, my water broke. I had rocked on my birthing ball some and after a trip to the bathroom I wanted to go back to this position. When I sat down I felt a lot of pressure and exclaimed that I needed to push! This was at about 10:00 am.

 

I leaned over the bed for a while then I sat on the bed. I was pushing but not too hard. I felt like I was doing what my body was telling me to do. After some time I went back to leaning over the bed. The nurse whispered in my ear that she knew it was important to me that Tony help deliver the baby and that in the position I was in, there was only room for the midwife. She told me crawl up onto the bed. They raised the back of the bed perpendicular to the floor and I held onto that while on my knees. At this point I really started pushing. I was ready to get my baby out.

 

Five pushes for the head and one for each shoulder and baby corinne slid out onto the bed. She was born at 11:09am. About 5 min after she was born she latched right on and nursed for over an hour!

 

My Hypnobabies birth was an incredible experience. My cue words and especially Tony placing his hand on my forehead during a wave really helped! I was actually shocked at what a difference it made.

 

The only thing I would have done differently was instead of listening to “pushing baby out” out loud in the room, I would have listened to it on my ipod with my earbuds. I think having Kari’s voice in my head for hours and then switching to the cd player, it caused me to feel a little disconnected from the script. Other than that I can say that I had a perfect birth experience.

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