Hello, I’d like to take a minute to thank the Hypnobabies team for helping me have the best birth experience of my three children.
I live overseas in France and had to go through my first pregnancy without the help of my mom, sister or good friends. I was learning lots of pregnancy related vocabulary in French, trying to navigate through the medical system here, and in retrospect, I was like a little girl who did what everyone said without really thinking about what kind of birth I wanted to have. I had an epidural (after having been stuck 4 times with the needle) and my son was born early in the morning.
I never thought that the birth of my next child would be much different, but my water broke first and we arrived at the hospital to wait while the anesthesiologist was busy with an emergency c-section. I hadn’t taken any birthing classes since my first pregnancy and wasn’t mentally prepared to handle a natural birth. I panicked and didn’t know how to breath or focus. By they came for the epidural, I felt like my body was going to be ripped in half. They tried 16 times to put the needle in my spine before I told them to stop and examine me – my daughter basically came flying out as soon as I lied down on the table. I had less pain the next day than with my first birth, but the 16 holes in my back made me promise myself that for the next children, I would do things my own way.
When I found out I was pregnant last November, I decided that I wanted a natural, home birth. I called all the midwives in my area, but unfortunately in France, there are few midwives who agree to this because they are not insured for home births. I next looked into birthing clinics but they only exist in the larger metropolitan areas. The midwife that agreed to do my birthing classes gave me the alternative – have the baby at the hospital and leave the next day if both the baby and I were healthy. The midwives then do the check-ups at your home for the next 4 days. In order to really prepare for the birth, I started looking into more methods for a pain free birth that I could do at home. That’s when I stumbled on to the Hypnobabies website. I really enjoyed the testimonies from other moms and when I started listening to the CD’s, I really felt at peace with my choice.
So on August 18th I woke around 7:30 with a contraction that was slightly painful…since I was just 4 days from term I had a feeling that this was going to be the day. Throughout the morning, I prepared breakfast for my two older children, husband and parents-in-law and did some cleaning around the house. At lunch I told my husband that the contractions were getting stronger and that if they continued then the baby would certainly come that night. He was very glad that the birth happened while he was on vacation! After lunch, I dropped my kids off at a friend’s house and she said that she could bring them home if I had to leave for the hospital. All this time, the contractions were coming about every 20 minutes and I kept using the Hypnobabies technique that minimizes the pain but lets you move about and talk to others.
I returned home and decided to take a bath around 4:30 and listen to my favorite Hypnobabies CD track. My husband had left to help a neighbor get a load of firewood, so I told him to keep his phone on and to hurry! At 5:00, I called my husband and told him he had better hurry home…then I called the hospital and told them I would be arriving in the next 30 minutes. My contractions started speeding up and I was using the Hypnobabies techniques, walking, and a gym ball during each contraction. Then my husband took a quick shower, but our friend called and couldn’t bring the kids home so my husband went to get them and I started panicking because I felt something like the head. I checked myself and wasn’t sure what it was, but later the midwife told me it was the water bag. She said I was very lucky that it didn’t break or I would have had the home birth I so wanted! So I was finally able to leave for the hospital at 6:00 and the whole time I kept praying there would be no traffic jams and I held on the handle in the car to keep from sitting completely down.
We arrived at the hospital 20 minutes later, directly at the emergency room when I felt my water start to break. The nurse wheeled me to the maternity level and directly into the delivery room, where I barely had time to get undressed before my water starting trickling even more. The midwife examined me and said that I was fully dilated, so she had me lie down and said not to do anything so she could get ready. Well, my baby didn’t agree with that…he was ready! The water bag had completely descended and burst and three pushes later, my second son was born. My husband arrived on the second push…he had to park the car. I asked the midwife to let the cord continue to beat until she cut it, which she did.
My son barely made a sound when he came out – a small cry and then he snuggled up to me. I do like this hospital because they leave you, the baby, and the father to bond for about 30 minutes until they come back to deliver the placenta and clean up. Our little Owen was so calm that I had to ask if he was even breathing! I believe that my birthing choice and the fact that I was able to stay calm, focused and in a hypnotic state had an enormously positive influence on my son. I honestly feel like I was in charge of this birth. I was able to keep it natural with no epidural, no perfusions, no exams every 30 minutes. The choices were mine and I was able to leave the next day. Owen is a wonderful addition to our family and we can’t wait to complete it with a fourth baby in the next year or two.
My midwife asked if there were any plans to translate the CD’s – she enjoys learning about new techniques to include in her birthing classes. If you ever are interested in that, I do translation work here in France and would be happy to discuss that option.