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Archive for February, 2011

I am so happy to announce the births of Alexandra and Sophia (identical twins). They were born on Nov. 23 at 10:00 am and 10:03 am using Hypnobabies of course!

So here is a little background…

In May 2010 we learned that we were pregnant, which was already a shock but looking at the U/S we saw TWO hearts beating, which was even more of a shock… So having had quite p**nful births in the past (my 3 other beautiful daughters :))I decided to do some research on birth under hypnosis and that’s how I found Hypnobabies (SUCH A BLESSING!!).

So about 3 months prior to my guess date I decided to order the program and started it about 9 wks before my guess date. I was already listening to the “Twins tracks” and just needed to do the 5 week course. I had such a great time listening to my tracks every night!! (I miss that now!!), not sure if it would work as I always fell asleep listening to them… But I tried to listen to each track at least once while staying “awake”.

On Nov. 15 (34 wks pregnant) I went to my OB and I was already dilated to 2… On Nov. 22 I was 3 so one of my OB (Doc A) told me that we would just wait until the following week and see what would happen while the other (Doc B) wanted to admit me the following day and start the induction because she felt better knowing that I would already be at the hospital would things really start moving (I have a history of fast labor and I’m “very high risk” plus this time it was twins) So we agreed to come the following day at 5:00 am. I have to specify here that Doc A was not on board with Hypnosis while Doc B was totally for it! So I really wanted Doc B to be there for the birth!!

Well that day (still the 22nd) I was having pressure waves that I could feel were making things move, I knew I was getting close. So around 6:00 pm my DH and I decided to head to the hospital and I got admitted right away to a L&D room, I was 5 cm at that point. They decided to just let my body do his work until the morning because Doc B was not on call that evening, which is exactly what I wanted anyway(I had visualized the birth coming on its own when the babies decided, and that’s what happened). BOP We had to deal with the anesthesiologist who really wanted me to have an epidural because Twin B (Sophia) was transverse/breech at that point(end BOP). My DH was really my advocate and while I was in my BOP he was the one making clear that this was not an option, we were so confident that Sophia would turn the right way when she would have the room… My DH kept telling the docs the babies will be born one after the other, you’ll see!

So I spent a peaceful night with my pressure waves continuing to do what they were suppose to do but I was able to sleep through them! I just felt pressure really, no p**n!!

Tuesday morning was there and at 9:15 I was a good 6 to 7 cm and that’s when they decided to break my bag of water, no pitocin (a first for me :)) I was so relief to know that we would not use pitocin!! And well of course the transformation phase began pretty much right away and my DH was helping me with his hand on my forehead, repeating all the wonderful things that are written on the script for the transformation phase. I felt the pressure but again NO P**N!! This is truly amazing to me because believe me with my other births, this phase was not pretty!! I spare you the details but I was not smiling! Doc A (the skeptic one) was in the room at that point and he could not believe that I was still smiling between my pressure waves, he said that he really liked being in the room with us because it was so peaceful compare to the hectic world outside our room ;) that made me smile even more!

After probably 15 min of transformation, just when Doc A decided to leave the room (thinking it would still be a while), I told my DH:”GO get him, I’m ready!” (As Sophia may have stayed breech they wanted to move me to the OR…) So my DH told the doc:”Doc, it’s now or never, babies are coming!” So Doc A came and checked me and said:”Well, that’s what the perfect patient would tell you! She is complete and baby is at a station 2″ He did not believe how I went through the transformation!

Well, I lost my concentration at that point because I knew I had to wait to be in the OR before pushing, so I breathed out and tried to not push, which is so hard… Finally we were in the room where I would welcome my babies, so I started to push and 2 min later Alexandra was there, breathing right away! They put the U/S probe on my belly to see how Sophia was and just as I visualized all those months she was vertex and ready to come! So I gave another push and there she was, breathing right away too! Just 3 minutes after her sister!

 

They both had an apgar score of 9/9, weighed 4# 4oz and measuring 16.5″. Tiny but super healthy and alert and so peaceful after the birth, you could really tell that they did not have much stress during the birth, all that thanks to Hypnobabies!! I cannot tell you the excitement in that room, everybody in there was amazed about this birth (and there were quite a few people in there!! About 10 all ready for an emergency that never came).

My placenta was delivered a few minutes afterwards and I did not have any tear :) I know they were small but still 2 went through… Super fast recovery :)

Doc A was sold, he said, “That’s it, I’m going to use hypnosis to lose weight” :)

 

I was the first vaginal twin birth for a lot of those folks in that OR room… and actually that day I was the only vaginal birth of the whole postpartum floor! Scary when you think of it!!

We had to stay one week in the NICU because they could not regulate their temperature but we are all home now and enjoying our little miracles, our 5 girls!

I just have to add that I chose to use Hypnobabies and make it work! Just like Kerry says in her article “why hypnosis works for some and not for others”. That is very important I think, choose to make it work and it will!
I tell everyone about how wonderful the birth of my girls was and my DH and I recommend Hypnobabies whenever we can, I love how my DH speaks about Hypnobabies, it’s just like if he had gone through it himself, adorable!! I’m so thankful to have such a great husband!!

Thank you again to all of you who supported me during these challenging times and thank you Kerry for making such a wonderful program! The only thing is that I loved it so much that I may want to use it again…

Mag

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My 40 week visit with my midwife was on Thursday 9-24, at 40 weeks 4 days. We were doing bloodwork and a 24 hour protein as I had had continued high BP since 32 weeks and we wanted to rule out pre-eclampsia. I had my midwife check me and asked her to do a membrane sweep if she could. It’s not something I normally would have asked for but with my BP so high and the potential to risk out if I was indeed pre-eclamptic and our home induction methods failed, I felt it was worth it. Initially I was found to be 1.5 CM and 90% effaced. When she went to do a stretch and sweep, a small thin band of cervix let loose and I was suddenly 4CM. She said she thought it would stay at 4CM since it stretched on it’s own. She also moved my cervix over so it was completely midline and not slightly off to the side as it had been. This wasn’t a fun feeling, let me just say.

Later that night, I was crampy and was getting brown mucus on the TP but thought nothing of it because I’d had a pretty good exam and figured it was all from that. I got brown on the TP all night and most of the morning. I was feeling a lot of braxton hicks with no real timing to them so I thought nothing of it… Another day, another chiro visit, etc.

That morning, I piled the kids into the van and went to the chiropractor. She assured me my pelvis and hips had spread nicely and everything was even. I asked her to work on the acupressure points for me again (she had done so Monday and Wednesday) as I’d had contractions after she did it Monday and I was willing to take all the help I could get. I left the chiropractor at 11am, the whole time having what I thought were braxton hicks (I’d been having them all morning). I stopped by Popeyes for lunch and noticed while sitting in the drive thru line that the braxton hicks were timeable… Every 5 min, lasting nearly a min! I didn’t want to get too excited because they didn’t feel ‘real’… They really felt like BH!!

 

I came home and unloaded the food and settled the kiddos in… Scott noticed me looking at the clock and pausing and asked me what was wrong … I originally said ‘nothing’ because I didn’t want to get him into birthing gear and have it not be time…. He said ‘no, that’s the contraction timing face’ or something along those lines. I said yes and of course got questioned with ‘how long, how far apart, you should call Joey’… I didn’t want to call her yet… It’d only been an hour and I wasn’t sure it was labor… They were just braxton hicks with cervical pressure (which I’d been having since 30 weeks).

 

I went to lay down in the bedroom after eating, talking with a good friend on the phone who was sort of timing my contractions for me and making me laugh (OUCH) through them. I called my midwife at nearly 3pm, when the contractions had moved into a more steady 2-3 min apart pattern. She said it was a good thing I was in labor because my labs weren’t good and she was actually going to call me and suggest I start some cohoshes and try to move baby along.

 

She suggested I get in the shower and start the cohoshes around 5-6 if things seemed to peter off… I debated starting the cohosh before getting in the shower but I’m very glad I didn’t… The shower intensified things greatly. I tried bouncing on the ball but it made things intense in a way I couldn’t manage so I stopped… In hindsight, it probably would have sped my labor up had I continued to bounce on the ball but I was not able to manage the contractions that way and a manageable labor was more important to me than a fast one.

 

My friend Micah got here around 7 or so and we went for a walk around the neighborhood. I talked to the midwife again, let her know things had intensified and she said she was going to go home and put her kids to bed and then head up. Around 8:30/9pm I called her back because I was getting to the ‘unable to talk during’ contractions and I really wanted to get in the birth pool. She was concerned the water would stall my labor but said to get in and if I felt labor stalling to get back out. The water, just like the shower, intensified things but it was very manageable. Hydrotherapy really works!

 

My contractions spaced a bit and did take a weird pattern but were lasting 2 plus min so I continued to stay in the pool and work through each contraction as it came. My husband was very aware of how I wanted to birth and lit several candles and kept the room dark and quiet. I laughed., joked and talked through much of my labor… sipping on lemonaid viatmin water and trying to eat watermelon between contractions.

 

I started to get a little panicky just after 11pm.. I blurted out ‘Joey isn’t going to make it’ which freaked my husband out. I then started to feel the urge to push… Micah said ‘you don’t sound like women do when they get the urge to push’ and as soon as she finished that statement, I let out a huge pushy grunt that was completely beyond my control. Micah called Joey for an ETA and let her know that I was getting pushy. They were still 30 min away so Micah cut the legs off her yoga pants to turn them into shorts, in case she needed to jump in and help me birth the baby.

 

The midwife, doula/birth assistant in training and the birth assistant walked in the door at 11:30, moments after my bag of waters exploded. It was like a torpedo through the water, it broke with such gusto. I looked back at Micah and Scott and asked ‘what the heck was that?!’…  They came in, started to get set up and kind of watched and waited a bit. I felt more urges to push and so I asked for a cervical check because my fear was that I would not be far enough dilated for pushing and I didn’t want to push against an undilated cervix.

 

With Bella, I felt the urge to push at 6CM and was told not to push, to fight it. There was no fighting this but I wanted to be sure, for my own peace of mind. I was found to be complete with baby at 0 station…. I settled into a semi-recline position, balanced on my husbands legs. It took me a bit to get the hang of pushing and how it felt… It was an incredibly intense, uncontrollable feeling I was unprepared for and I think I was afraid. My coping mechanism during pushing was saying I couldn’t do it, lol. Picture a hugely pregnant woman saying loudly ‘I can’t do this!’ as she’s pushing along with her body. It was a bit comical, I’m sure.

 

I remember telling DH it was his turn to push for a while and he responded with ‘OK, I’ll do the next one’… to which I whacked him (playfully) upside the head. The doula and birth assistant were wonderful during this time, giving me sips of drink and putting cool rags on my head. During the pushing stage, Scott, who had been up since 11pm Thursday night (it was now midnight Friday night/Saturday morning) started to have a panic attack. I kept telling him to get out of the pool before he passed out but he wouldn’t get out. The doula fed him some gatorade and wiped his face down with a cool rag and gave him an ice pack to cool down. He worked through it because he knew he couldn’t leave me… He knew I needed him that much. He put forth a lot of effort physically to help me through pushing.

 

As the baby crowned, I reached down and felt the head… I rubbed the head, touching the soft hair. It was inspiring for me to know that yes, this baby is right there and no one is going to take it from me like they did with Bella! As we waited for his shoulders to be born, my midwife checked to make sure the cord wasn’t wrapped around his neck. I pushed out his shoulders.   My midwife said ‘Felicia, reach down and pull out your baby’ and I tried but couldn’t reach around my still huge belly to get him. I kind of panicked because I couldn’t reach the baby. My husband lifted me up more so I could reach and my midwife helped guide him to my chest. The most euphoric feeling is catching your own baby… I think especially in a VBAC or in my case, a VBAMC.

He didn’t cry, in fact his eyes were closed. It kind of scared me that he wasn’t OK but he was pinking up so they assured me he was fine. I counted his toes and fingers and checked to see what we had been blessed with… A boy! A bit surprised as I had felt girl for a while, up until the end. I called my mom at 12:45, just 15 min after he was born, while we were still sitting in the birth pool. She came right over and was a bit upset I didn’t call. I meant to call after my water broke but I was so far into laborland that I thought it but didn’t speak it. I woke Caleb when I yelled during my final push and so he came in to meet the baby… He was a little shy at first with so many people there but he warmed up quickly to his new baby brother.

Shortly after, we cut the cord and I got out of the pool to deliver the placenta. I did bleed a lot and needed a shot of pitocin. The baby was weighed and measured. 8lbs 1 oz and 21 inches long… with a 14 1/4 inch head…  They really wanted me to go to the bathroom but I couldn’t…. It took me a bit to convince them I’d be OK even though I hadn’t pee’d for them.

I snuggled up into my bed with my new baby on my chest and just nursed him all night… Caleb came charging in the bedroom around 6am wanting to see the baby… Bella trailed behind him and saw the baby, gave him a kiss and then ran away to play. I felt bruised and sore but it was an amazing feeling knowing that it was all worth pushing that baby out, in my home, in my bedroom, the way I wanted it.

Jameson was born via VBA2C at home on September 25th, 2010. He came 5 days after his due date and the day we found out I did have pre-eclampsia. He was my largest baby at 8lbs 1 oz, 21 inches long and 14 1/4 inch head.

 

So many people told me I couldn’t have a baby vaginally, that I was crazy stupid to even attempt to do it at home.. And that I was nuts for wanting to go natural. My birth was amazing, nearly pain-free aside from pushing (which I believe is because I was unprepared for how it would feel)  I wouldn’t change a thing. I was incredibly well supported by my husband and my friend Micah as well as my birth team…

And that’s the story of my amazing, empowering HBA2C…

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I have to say for a pitocin induction and not having the time to really practice this time (this is my second hypnobaby) I had a pretty decent birthing time.  There are a few point you may want to use a BOP, but for me it was just how my labor decided to progress.  I do have to credit all of my nurses for helping me have a natural childbirth that could of easily taken a different course without them.
I had been having problems during this pregnancy with swelling of the face, hands, and feet and towards the end started having higher blood pressure so we decided to schedule an induction for 41 weeks.  I was scheduled to go in Monday night for cervidel and start pitocin on Tuesday morning.  I get to the hospital Monday evening, after stopping for a bite to eat, and after several attempts finally got an IV started and got all of the paperwork done.  I was going to have a hep lock, but decided that it would be better to have an IV that way we knew that the line would stay open or we would know if it stopped working.
At my last appointment, a week before, I hadn’t had any cervical changes and the head wasn’t engaged when they checked be before starting the cervidel we found out I was 3cm and 50% and she could feel the head.  So they call my doctor to find out what to do.  He told time to just let me rest for the night and we would start the pit in the morning.  So they ordered me up a supper tray, with a snack for later, and then I did a few laps around the floor to see if we could encourage things to progress.  Didn’t really change anything, but it was worth a try.
Then next morning we start the pit on the lowest dose and only bumped it up every 30 minutes.  The nurses weren’t really supposed to let me off the monitors while the pit was going, but they would let me walk as long as I would be monitored every once in a while.  So I would be monitored for about 10 or 15 minutes for every increase to make sure that we was tolerating the increase and then I would walk the halls.  While I was monitored I could stand by the bed or sit up, but I didn’t have to lay down.  At this point I didn’t feel any contractions as long as I was laying flat, sitting straight up, or walking, but I couldn’t sit in a semi-reclined position.  So a few hours later I get checked and there is a little progress, but not much and they can’t feel the head anymore.  So more walking and still slowing increasing the pit.
Everything was fine until we hit level 13 on the pit, which was increase number 7, at that point we started losing the heartbeat during contractions.  Everybody stayed calm and we just shifted gears a little bit.  We just figured that the cord was getting squished a little, and that she had the cord wrapped.  They had me lay down on my side with oxygen going to see if that would help, and we still were having trouble with the heartbeat.  So they turned off the pit completely and let my body recover for a while.
At that point my doctor came and tried to break my water and get the pit started back up again.  Well, we didn’t get my water broke after a few attempts but we started the pit again with increases every 15 minutes this time.  I didn’t get to be off of the monitors this time because of what happened last time, but I could stand or sit or whatever I wanted to do.  My doc came back a couple of hours later and finally got my water to break with a bit of effort.
At this point I don’t really remember much because I put in my mp3 player and fell asleep for the next hour.  I guess they still came in and turned up the pit because I sort of remember Kent talking to the nurses and I remember the contractions getting stronger, but still not much pain.  Kent says that I was relaxed enough that I started snoring and he got bored and watched two game shows on TV.  He would still pay enough attention to help me relax through the contractions if he could tell I was tensing up.
After I woke up I lost control a bit, but I was in transition.  When the nurse came in to check on me I begged her to turn down the pit and after checking my progress, she did but not by much.  After a while my body just took over and started pushing on it’s own, which sent everybody scrambling (I had warned them ahead of time that this would happen).  So everybody came running in and got everything setup and paged my doctor.
This whole time I am pushing and nobody is telling me to stop or wait (last baby they tried to get me to stop).  They do lay me flat on my back but I tell them that I am not pushing laying down so they help me setup while pushing after they get my legs in the stirrups.  Of course by this time I am completely focused and not hearing a word that they are telling me.  Next thing I know my doctor is there and I am at station 0 and everybody can see the baby coming.  So my husband and my mom grab my legs and pull them back while I am pushing.  Three good pushes later she was here and she had the cord wrapped once around her neck.
The nurses put her directly on my chest after all initial observation was done, but they waited on all non-crucial procedures.  They helped me take off my hospital gown and get her latched on for the first time within a few minutes of birth.  Then after a while I gave her back and they did the eye drops and stuff.
The whole induction and birth lasted about 10 hours and my water was broke about 2 hours before the birth.  Lizzy was my biggest baby at 7lbs 3oz and was 20 1/4 inches long.

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My daughter is six months already! I thought I’d have this posted earlier, but then I realized how much work a baby is :)

Going home from work on Tuesday, June 15th, I called my mom. I just felt this strong desire to tell her how much I appreciate her and how much I love her. My mom was a single mom for most of my childhood. She has been so supportive of me throughout my life. She even paid for my Hypnobabies course! When I cried on the phone (grateful tears for her sacrifices throughout my life and hopeful tears that I could be such a good mom), she asked, “Are you having symptoms of labor?” I had only been feeling a bit nauseated and uncomfortable while sitting but not felt like I’d any pressure waves yet. But my mom knew something was up.

Then my water broke at about 1am. I was asleep next to my husband and felt a gush all of a sudden. I hopped up to the bathroom…very excited. I brought a towel back to the bed. I knew we were in for a long day, so I tried to sleep but couldn’t. Ben noticed and asked me if I was okay. “You’re not going to work today,” I told him, “my water broke.” He said, “I think you should really try to sleep.” I wasn’t having pressure waves yet, so it should have been easier for me to sleep…but I was too excited. I sat in the living room for a while and read from a novel (American Gods by Neil Gaiman).

I dozed on and off until Ben woke up again soon after sunrise. We decided to go to the grocery store to get supplies before going to the hospital. By this time, I was having regular pressure waves (every 6 minutes or so). I was in “center” and still very comfortable.

When we got to the hospital, I was sure that they would be surprised at how far along I was. But triage was not a good place for me. You don’t really need a bubble of peace for this part, since everything turned out alright. It was just a place of saying “no” to a lot of interventions.

First, the midwife in triage did not believe that my water had broken. So they did a swab test twice. And they called in a doctor to do an ultrasound to measure the fluid level. They saw that I was having pressure waves, but they measured me as only 1cm dilated. This doctor just happened to be the same doctor who saw me once at the midwife practice (because the midwives and doctors were “cross-training”) and at that visit had tried to convince me that my baby was measuring too small (baby turned out to be 8lbs 10oz!) and that I should go back on the anti-anxiety drugs that I had weaned-off of early in the pregnancy because I wanted my daughter to be drug-free. She suggested this at 30-some weeks! At that point, I wouldn’t see any benefit since the drug takes time to build to effective levels.  Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in her.

When they finally decided that my water had broken, they told me that I would be admitted. At this point, Ben and I just really wanted to get to the room so we could focus and be quiet together. Before we left triage, the midwife there told me that the doctor would want to start pitocin since my water had been broken for so long (about 8 hours at that point). A second midwife (the one who would be following us “on the floor”) introduced herself and interjected, “but you want a water birth, and you can’t have that with pitocin since because you have to be continuously monitored. Maybe you want to try another drug that will augment labor. It is inserted rather than put into an IV.” She was talking about Cytotec. I was angry that they would be pushing this. I don’t remember exactly what Ben said, but it was something about how we would want to hear the benefits and risks of that when the time came for us to decide but that the time wasn’t now. We just really wanted to get back to the room to do the birth our way.

All this time, I had been receiving IV fluids because the baby’s heart rate was elevated. I drained three bags of fluid in the time we were in triage, so it does seem like I was dehydrated. At the same time, I felt like the medical staff were using the baby’s heart rate as emotional leverage to get us to consider interventions. I was definitely feeling the pressure to do what is right for the baby, and they kept pointing to the monitor when we discussed this. Because of my Hypnobabies training, I was confident that an intervention-free birth would be better for my baby, so I was able to resist this emotional blackmail. Having my husband there and informed about the issue made me feel more confident about this, too.  Finally, the baby’s heart rate improved to the point that the medical staff were comfortable in getting us out of triage and to the room. The “floor midwife” told us that the doctor (not the triage doctor but the one on the floor) was willing to let us do our thing until 6pm. At that point, they would want to see significant progress.

We got back to the room and started our CD (the one that the partners listen to early on but that pregnant women aren’t supposed to listen to until birthing day) Editors note: Easy First Stage. We walked around a lot. Ben got some lunch at one point. I was still very comfortable but feeling the pressure of time. Pressure waves got a lot stronger, and we tried to focus on the fact that this was bringing our baby closer. At one point, my mom arrived during a pressure wave, when my switch was off. I opened my eyes to see her sitting on the couch (at this point I was sitting on my side on the bed). I was so happy to see her. We walked the hall once with her, and she watched as Ben held me during my pressure waves. Later, she told Ben’s mom how proud she was of the way we worked together and how much she appreciated Ben’s support of me.

Mom didn’t stay in the room long. She went out to the waiting room and sent Ben’s folks back. I think it was at this point that I puked. It was sort of embarrassing. I had just eaten a little from a turkey sandwich, and I got kind of scared of eating for a few hours. However, I puked again (after not having any food for a while), and took this as a sign that it wasn’t the food making me sick (something I knew already on an intellectual level).

I got in and out of the shower and kept walking. I found that I could receive visitors best when on the birth ball and leaning over the bed. I’m a very private person, and I felt uncomfortable letting people see my “pressure wave face.” (It was a relaxed face, and having people see it made me feel vulnerable since only my husband and our teacher had been with me when I was that relaxed.) I vocalized a lot with deep hums. My older sister called from D.C. She encouraged me in my work for a natural birth.

At 6pm, I think I was at 3 or 4cm. This was satisfactory enough, since no one mentioned augmentation of labor after that. All of this time, our bedside nurse had been amazing. She kept bringing water and put the monitor on for brief moments periodically, but other than that she left us alone. The times when she arrived when I was “off”, she waited until I opened my eyes back in center. She was quiet and so respectful of our practice.

Our midwife was also wonderful. We were sad to see her go at the end of the shift. She told us that she wished she could have spent more time in the room, but that her practice had many women giving birth that night and that the others were having more interventions and thus needed more monitoring. She said that she got into midwifery in order to assist the births that were like mine, but that she spent more time managing medical births. She wished that more women could be informed and prepared for natural birth like us. Such is the life of a Certified Nurse Midwife in a hospital-based practice.

I was nervous and asked if the oncoming midwife had read our birthplan. This midwife assured us that she had, and that the oncoming midwife valued natural birth and had given birth naturally twice herself.

We met the second midwife and continued our practice, knowing that we could get in the water birth tub at 5cm. She measured me after 9pm and found that I was at 5cm. They got the tub ready. At around 10pm, I got in the tub. Ben got in with me and held me for one powerful pressure wave. When I felt the second wave in the water, I leaned forward into a squatting position and started to make a very loud guttural noise. It wasn’t like the quiet and smiling births I saw on YouTube, but it was something I felt I had to do. I think it scared Ben, since he hopped out of the tub and ran to call the midwife. She came in to check me and said, “You’re going to have the baby soon. You can push with the next contraction.” I had gone from 5cm to fully dilated in less than twenty minutes.

The midwife and the evening nurse stayed at the side of the tub. Ben stayed near my head, encouraging me and keeping the CD going. My pressure waves felt very powerful. I felt very tired. At this point, I had been awake for over twenty hours and had been feeling pressure waves all day. I was scared that I wouldn’t be strong enough. It felt so good to hear Kerry’s voice telling me that I and my baby are strong. I kept repeating this and became convinced that we could do this. My midwife also repeated to me that I and my baby are strong and that we were doing well.

Because the tub was not deep enough, I had to be in the position of lying back rather than squatting. I feel that I may have had less time in this phase if I had been able to squat. I spent more than two hours in this intense phase in the tub. My throat felt so raw the next day from the deep guttural noises I made during that time. They were like something primal…an energy pushing through me but not entirely “of” me.  I tend to be a quiet person and was initially embarrassed about this. But, thinking about it since then, I realize that not everyone has a quiet birth and that these vocalizations were natural for me at this powerful time.

I was getting frustrated because the pushes did not seem to be bringing my baby closer. My midwife said, “just two more pushes” more than once…maybe for more than an hour. Finally, Ben said, “She has so much hair! Can Sarah reach down and feel her hair?” And the midwife said, “Of course!” I reached down to feel my baby’s hair and found more strength and patience. Ben said that her hair was just flowing in the tub.

At first, I regretted that my eyes were closed when my daughter was born. I felt her emerge, all the way from her head to her toes. It was 12:53am. I opened my eyes when they put her on my chest. She was so beautiful! Her eyes were open, and she seemed so alert. She didn’t cry. When Ben touched our heads, it felt like we were the only people in the whole world. I knew at that moment that my husband and I could do anything together, since we had done this together. Our midwife and nurse waited for a while to clamp the cord, since this was in the birth plan. Ben cut the cord, and I said, “now your life apart from me begins.” I was both sad and happy.

 

I wonder if my daughter took so long (almost 24hours from water breaking to birth) because I was such a happy pregnant woman and told everyone that I wouldn’t mind carrying her for an extra week or two. I still miss having her safely tucked in my womb, but I’m so happy to see her and watch her grow and change. I don’t regret anymore that I had my eyes closed. I think those last few moments were mostly between me and her, and that closing my eyes and vocalizing was my way of connecting to my daughter as she traveled the last bit of her birth journey.

My daughter chose her birth date to be almost on her expected date. She would have been born on the expected date if not for daylight savings time. Ben called his folks and found out that our mothers were still in the waiting room. We were surprised because we hadn’t seen them for many hours. After I delivered the placenta and got into bed, Ben called our moms to come back. I got to hold and breastfeed our beautiful girl right away. The grandmas followed us to our post-partum room and helped us get settled.

Hypnobabies gave me the information I needed for the birth I wanted. It provided Ben and me with the practice time so that we were partners with the same goal in mind when the time came to make decisions. I am so grateful for this birth experience.

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Thursday November 4, 2010
I woke up Thursday morning around 2:30am again with some light contractions and decided to move downstairs to lay on the couch and listen to my Hypnobabies tracks.  At 5:00am my water broke with a gush.  It turns out that it was more likely just a tear higher up in the amniotic sac because labor did not get started right away and I continued to leak fluid all the way through delivery.  At that point I called Peg, the midwife and she thought things might get going in the next couple of hours.  Tony had to do some urgent tasks at work, so he headed out around 5:30am.

I had sporadic and mild contractions for the rest of the day–they increased in intensity only when I was walking.  At 6:30pm we went into the hospital to meet Peg and start IV antibiotics because I had tested positive for Group B Strep.  At this time I was still only 1 cm dilated and so we decided to start Pitocin.  Peg felt that this was less likely to lead to a C-Section and feared if we waited until morning to decide, and labor did not pick up on its own, I would be too tired to push the baby out.

I was on Pitocin through the night with some improvement in the regularity of my contractions, but little increase in the intensity.  The external contraction monitor indicated strong contractions, but I was rating them only a 2-3 on the pain scale and so Peg and the Nurse were not sure what to do.  They were hesitant about increasing the Pit because the contractions looked so strong on the monitor.

Friday November 5, 2010
Friday morning around 6:30am we decided to put an internal contraction monitor into the uterus to get a better read on how strong my contractions were by directly measuring internal uterine pressure.  While inserting the lead, Peg discovered I had a “bag” above my cervix.  I was still only 1.5 cm dilated, but the cervix was more effaced and very soft–Yay!  The stage was at least set for dilation!  She broke the bag, hoping that would also help move things along.  At this time, they also cut the Pitocin in half hoping my body would kick in better.  This is when labor got going a little more regularly.

Around 12noon I would say I  went into more active labor, where I used my Hypnobabies tracks and tools.  During each contraction I would turn my light switch off, breath deeply and close my eyes.  Peg was finally happy to see me actually laboring!  Hypnobabies worked very well–no one could believe how well I was managing the contractions–they couldn’t even tell when I was having one except for by looking at the monitor.

Around 2:30 I started feeling pushy and so Peg checked me again.  She later said she was crossing her fingers that I was at 5cm.  I was 9.5 cm and ready to push!!  Finally!  We were going to have a baby!
My contractions slowed down to about 5 minutes apart, but they were reluctant to increase the Pitocin.  I pushed using the squat bar—my husband and a couple of nurses would help me get my arms over the bar for each contraction and then I would sit back down to rest between contractions–often falling asleep.  I also pushed some on the toilet, which was the most comfortable and productive for me.  Eventually both of these positions caused a drop in the baby’s heartbeat, and so I ended up delivering in a semi-reclined seated position.

 

I tried using the “Pushing Baby Out” track and had it playing out loud two times through (it’s only about 30 minutes) but then I got too frustrated because it says you don’t really have to push, just breath the baby out.  This was not my experience at all—I had to push long and hard!  I ended up pushing until 5:53 when little Lane Anthony was born.  (Editors Note:   It doesn’t say you don’t have to push.  Instead it says to follow your body.)

Overall, I was extremely pleased with Hypnobabies–I enjoyed the preparation ahead of birth and really believe that it helped me to experience the entire labor and delivery process in the most positive way possible.  My midwife said of the thousands of births she’s attended, in very few have the women been as calm and relaxed as I was.  Thanks to Hypnobabies!

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Zia’s  Hypnobabies Birth

About a month and a half before giving birth to my then genderless child, I wrote a note that I called my Manifest List which I slept with in my pillow case. This list covered all of the characteristics that I hoped for my child to have, and also what I hoped my birthing experience would be. The latter list included such things as easy, natural, and FUN (in capital letters with an exclamation mark!).

My Guess Date was to be the first day of the Vancouver Olympics, Feb. 12th, 2010, but I knew that my baby would be ready on it’s own time. The night before the birth of miss Zia, I sat on the bed and stroked my belly. I told my baby that I was finally ready, and that I trusted that it would come whenever was good for itself. I told my baby that I would follow it’s lead and that I was proud of the epic journey that it would soon embark upon.

The next morning I awoke for my regular 5 am pee. After returning to my bed I felt a little leak, so I went back to the washroom to check it out. It looked like perhaps I had leaked a little amniotic fluid, but I didn’t want to get too excited so I put myself back to bed. I figured that if it was indeed the day, I would need my rest. On my way back to my bed, I stepped on something crunchy. Upon examining what was underfoot, I discovered that my Manifest List had magically found it’s way out of my pillow case and onto the floor.

I had been getting Braxton Hicks with a little cramping for a few weeks already, so I didn’t register them as `pressure waves’ when they began at around 7:30am. They were about every hour, so I successfully ignored them until I got up around 10:00am. Even then, I found them to be like mild period cramping.

This being my first pregnancy, I had no idea that I was indeed in early labour, so I didn’t take it too seriously at all. My sister and I decided to go on a long walk in Burns Bog around noon. When we were less than half way, I realized that my pressure waves were becoming more frequent and I chose to shorten our walk distance to less than half. Although we were laughing and joking, totally enjoying our walk, what should have taken us just over 30 min took us about 1 ½ hours. This was because my way of dealing with my pressure waves was to stop and bend over with my hands on my thighs and wave my bum side to side. This must have looked hilarious to any onlookers!

My sister and I were still laughing and enjoying ourselves when we arrived back home around 1:30/2:00pm. It was around then that my labour was seeming established, but I was still in denial that I may have a child that evening. In fact, I thought that perhaps it may be another day or longer since it was anything but painful! I chose to listen to my `Birth Day Affirmations’ and take a bath, after which I found a little blood. It wasn’t until this time that I was certain that I would soon meet my baby!

Zia’s father arrived around 2:30, and he, my sister and myself all enjoyed some good laughs and popsicles while we began calling the people who needed to be informed. I’d just pass off the phone for the minute durations when a pressure wave would come over. We called the midwives to give them the heads-up, and realized that my pressure waves were about a minute long and between 4 or 5 minutes apart. Since I was still pretty convinced that it was going to be a long process, I told them that I would call them when I felt that I needed them.

It was around then that I began using my light switch, but I should have been more diligent about turning it on and off during my pressure waves to ensure that I obtained a deeper and deeper hypnosis. Instead, I turned it to the center and kind of forgot about it. It also didn’t help that Zia’s father had to leave to get the birthing pool and left me to my own devices. I realize now that my partner should have been helping me with my hypnosis from earlier on in order to also deepen my hypnosis.

My sister and I called my mom with the news and began arranging our living room for the homebirth until my mother arrived to help take over. Shortly after my mother, my Doula also arrived. I had her run me another bath and put on my `Fear Clearing Session’. She then brought me some pineapple and water while everyone else bustled around finishing the room preparations and filling the pool.

It was during this second bath that my labour progressed in leaps and bounds. Zia’s father was rubbing my back, pressing on my hips and using our `relax’ cue with his hand on my shoulder. I tried to use more of my relaxation techniques, breathing deep and using my lightswitch, but because I hadn’t already been using them I was not quite deep enough.

Some time near the end of this bath I had my sister call the midwives to ask them to come. They said that they would be about 30min, but because we weren’t anxious and were casual about my labour they took their time.

When the birth pool was ready I left my bath tub with the intention of getting into the pool. By this point my labour was much farther than I realized. I was unable to make it to the pool, and only made it to the mattress on the ground where I laboured for the next 30-45 min. It was on this mattress that my water broke and my pressure waves began to change their intensity. About 30 min after my water broke, my mother called the midwives to inquire about their location as she realized that the baby might come before they arrived.

Somehow I was still in denial about how far along I was. I realize now that I was in transition when I thought I was only about 4 or 5 cm dialated. My pressure waves changed to more of a pushing and my vocalizations became more primal sounding. I even had a moment of feeling nauseous, but because I was such a birthing novice I didn’t see all of the signs that I was so close to the end. I realize now that my body had begun pushing out my baby and I was fighting the urge thinking that I wasn’t far enough in my labour and my midwives were still not present.

When I found myself getting lost in my contractions, I would tell myself to relax, stop clenching my face and body, and breath deep. My pressure waves were about 1 ½ min long with very short breaks in between, but it was only the first 15-20 sec at the beginning of each wave that I would find myself getting lost in their intensity. My Doula was holding cold cloths on my head and keeping me focused on remaining calm and breathing deep.

Some time during the extremely intense waves my Doula suggested that I change positions. I shook my head no, but when she left to get me another cold cloth for my forehead I changed my mind and rolled off the mattress and stood up. I’d decided to give in to the inevitable and get it over with. I began to stomp around the birth pool like a sumo wrestler, rubbing my hips, and stopping to hold onto the side of the pool to let a wave pass.

I must have made about 10 laps before I knelt down on the side of the pool and draped my arm into the water. I found that at least having my hand in the water kept me relaxed. I came to the realization that I was just going to have the baby right there. As though with perfect timing, my midwives walked up the stairs. The midwives heard one of my vocalizations during a pressure wave and told me that it sounded very much like a `pushy contraction’. I must have been so relieved to see them and hear that, that I just let go and out came the amniotic sac like a tear drop filled with fluid.

They told me that the baby was very close and that I might find it’s head if I looked for it. Indeed, Zia’s head was about 1 inch from crowning. I was amazed that I was so much farther along than I’d realized.

My body was in complete control of my birth and I was just along for the ride. In fact, I didn’t ever push myself, my body did all the work on it’s own. The only time that I pushed was in between contractions when her head was crowning.

The midwives didn’t touch our baby until 20 min after she was born. At 6:27pm I supported her head with my hand as she crowned, and her father caught her and passed her to me. I was so elated that it wasn’t until my sister’s inquiring that I looked at her sex.

I honestly believe that it was my support network and relaxation techniques that allowed my labour to progress in just over 5 hours. I remained composed and in charge despite my midwives absence. The birth of my daughter Zia May was indeed the most liberating, empowering, and proud moment of my life.

Zia is an amazingly aware and healthy baby. I healed up in just days and was out and about with her right away. Although we weren’t strict with our Hypnobabies training, I believe that it was an amazing success!

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Audio testimonials needed! Hypnobabies Moms and Birth Professionals: we will soon be launching our new website and will be putting “audio testimonials” on it. If you love Hypnobabies, please call our toll-free testimonial line at 1-800-350-2204 and share your experiences. (1-3 minutes, please) Please pass this along to Hypnobabies fans. Thanks!

Thanks,

Kerry

Kerry Tuschhoff, HCHI, CHt, CI

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