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Archive for July, 2011

Thanks to RaeAnna from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her inspirational birth story with us. 

I hope it’s an encouragement to anyone who has a disbelieving midwife or OB.  YOUR BIRTHING TIME CAN AND WILL HAPPEN!!!

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Nicholas “Christian”
Hypnobabies Birth
July 14th, 2009 2:50am

To start this story, here is a brief explanation of some “red flags” in my health during the last trimester of my pregnancy.  I put “red flags” in parentheses because those were the words from a midwife concerning my risks of a natural birth.  I was diagnosed with gestational diabetes and although I always controlled it well and had wonderful NSTs (measuring the baby’s heartrate) and BPPs (ultrasounds to make sure everything was ok) they still had to be on the cautious side of the risks in my pregnancy.

The midwives in the Vanderbilt practice are required to work under a board of doctors who usually recommend gestational diabetes patients to be induced at 38 weeks.  My midwife was able to approve a hold on any induction until 40 weeks since everything was well controlled and looked great.  I hoped all through my last  trimester that my baby would come early and we would never have to consider an induction. However, my due date of July 6th came and I felt it was the safest to oblige their recommendations and go in for an induction 2 days later.

(July 8th at 7:30pm.)

Induction Attempt #1

We arrived at the hospital that night and I was given an IV of Pitocin.  I had to spend several days preparing myself and   my fears of an induction because it really was going against everything I wanted for a natural childbirth.  After months of  preparing for a natural childbirth with Hypnobabies, I felt that I was letting myself down by going through with the  induction – but I also knew I needed to be responsible to my baby and listen to the advice of the midwives.

My Bishop’s score was between an 8 and 9 so I felt like I had a lot going for me and we would be able to work everything  out for a great birth – even if it meant I had to have Pitocin.  I was a good 5cm dilated and 70% effaced when we started the drugs.  For 10 hours I was hooked up to the medicine and the nurses were increasing the dosage every 30 minutes.

At 5:00am I was maxed out at 20mL and nothing was working. I was not in active labor although I was having a few  pressure waves (contractions.)  The advice from the midwife was to basically start from scratch and give me the Pitocin at smaller dosages again to see if something would happen.

Fast forward to 7:30am.  There was a shift change in midwives and my new midwife came in to talk about what we needed to do since NOTHING was working!!!  I never felt any strong pressure waves (contractions) the WHOLE NIGHT!  The midwife began talking about how sometimes this is common.  She recommended that we stay and continue to try other methods – breaking my water, continuing the Pitocin – but that realistically that would probably lead to a C-section since I was no more dilated or effaced.  She also talked about how she had a patient try an induction 3 times before the Pitocin worked.

When she mentioned that patient I perked up and said “so you let her go home all those times?????”  I knew right then I would NOT stay at the hospital and that we would all go home and wait for my little man to come on his own time!!!!

Heading Home To Wait

We were discharged from the hospital as a “failed induction” against
the board of doctor’s recommendations to stay.  I just knew I was not
putting my baby at any high risk by waiting a few days to see what
would happen.  To please the doctor’s and midwives, I scheduled follow
up appointments to keep monitoring the baby’s well being.  This was
Thursday morning, July 9th – my next appointment would be Monday, July
13th to check on the baby.  I did kick counts every day to make sure
the baby was still active.  (Of course he was!!!)

Now it’s Monday afternoon – I’m 41 weeks pregnant.  I went to my
ultrasound to check on the baby.  The ultrasound did pick up some
calcification of the placenta and low amniotic fluid.  These are
pretty big concerns in the health of the baby.  The technician also
said my baby was weighing in at 9lbs 14oz although measurements can be
off a pound or so.  The midwife that discharged me from the hospital
last week called several hours later very concerned about the reports
on the ultrasound so I decided that it would be best to go back in
that night for another induction.

We left our house at 8:00pm Monday, July 13th – this time we would
come back home with a baby……..but in my mind I felt that it probably
would be by a C-section.  My heart was broken.  The only consolation I
had was that my pressure waves were getting stronger over the weekend.
I was taking a homeopathic to help bring the pressure waves on
stronger and I also took a dose of castor oil earlier in the day to
try to help things along on their own.  I thought maybe there was a
chance I could still have a natural childbirth – I just felt like I
was running out of time! :)

Refusing a Cesarean – Trying Induction 1 More Time

The midwife on call that night was pretty doubtful that I would go
into labor on my own – or even that I could have my baby naturally.
She highly recommended we go ahead and schedule the C-section but I
refused.  She agreed to let us wait a little while before starting
Pitocin and allowed me to try nipple stimulation while hooked up to an
NST since I was having pressure waves at 6-7 minutes apart.

Awesome Hypno-Doula Heather

Fortunately, there was another couple in their birthing time down the hall that needed the midwives more than I did so we didn’t see the midwife for 4 hours!!!  The nurse with us was wonderful at keeping track of my pressure waves and allowing me just to focus on my own.  I had my mom, husband and doula in the room with me and everything was very quiet and peaceful.  I was able to remain mostly “off” (a hypnosis term) during those 4 hours.  Since things were progressing, no one ever came in to start Pitocin!  I was finally in my birthing time on my own!!!!

The last part of those 4 hours were the most intense.  The pressure waves were coming one right after the other.  I didn’t realize, but I was actually in the transformation stage (transition) at that  time!
The nurse helped me into the shower to let the hot water help relax
and calm me.  The only position that allowed me to remain “off” was on
the toilet, in the shower or walking around.  At one point, my doula
came into the bathroom when she heard me grunt.  I thought I was
pooping from the castor oil, but she could tell it was more than just
a bowel movement!  She called the midwife in to check me.

Having to lay on the bed was very difficult – laying down was NOT comfortable!
When she checked me, my husband said she had a very puzzled look on
her face!  She didn’t say anything until my doula called out “what is
she??????”

The midwife looked around and said, “well, she’s complete!  She’s
dilated to 10, all the way effaced and thin, the baby is at a +3
position and I can feel the bag of waters!”

That’s all I needed to hear – I immediately said “I need to turn
around!!!”  I got on all 4s to be comfortable and the pushing urges
started!  It took only 40 minutes to push my baby out!  All the while
we had the Pushing Your Baby Out CD track playing.

Everyone was ASTOUNDED!!!

My mom said it became like a circus in the room.
Several different nurses and doctors were standing at the back of the
room watching everything happen.  They were very respectful and quiet
– I never heard a sound.  I think my mom was able to help keep the
atmosphere calm and relaxed to match the music and talking on the CD.

I loved being able to listen to the cues while I was pushing out my
baby.  I never felt any pain or discomfort.  It was actually a feeling
of relief to push out my baby!!!  I was the first to touch his head as
it came out!  The student midwife kept warm compresses on my perineum
and the midwife helped coach me if I was pushing too hard.  They never
had to tell me to push because my body knew instinctively when it
needed to happen.

To the astonishment of the whole room (and later to find out – pretty much the whole hospital) was that my baby boy was 10lbs, 10oz and 21 and ½ inches long!!!

I credit Hypnobabies to the incredible success of my birthing story!!!

The best part was being able to relax myself during the difficult
transformation stage and allow my body to go limp and loose.  When I
did, I could feel him drop down farther into my birthing canal.  It
was not a pleasant feeling, but it was empowering!  

I just can’t believe I was able to have the birth I’ve dreamed of when there was so
much stacked against me with the gestational diabetes complications
and previous failed induction!

This was the best experience of my whole life!!!  I truly believe that
the Lord answered the many prayers that we prayed over the past week.
I also think my little boy’s guardian angel must have been working
extra hours to make sure the doctor’s didn’t mess up his entrance into
this world!!! :-)

The student midwife that was attending my birth came to me the next
day to check how everything was going.  She told me that the she and
the midwife thought the other couple they were attending to would
certainly have their baby a lot sooner than I would – which is why
they never came back into my room until my doula called on them!!!  I
think this experience was great for her as she enters her field of
midwifery practice.  Now she can recommend the program after seeing
such a successful Hypnobabies experience!

THANK YOU HYPNOBABIES for the education and empowerment to have an easy, comfortable, safe and fast childbirth!  I can’t wait to do it again!

We now have a beautiful, healthy little boy!

Nicholas “Christian”
10lbs, 10oz, 21 ½ inches long
Born: 2:50am at Vanderbilt Hospital
NO DRUGS OF ANY KIND!!!!!  PRAISE GOD!


RaeAnna

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I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. on January 16, two days after our
estimated “due date” (according to my own calculations based on my
knowledge of when Baby was conceived, not the LMP date which would
have been a bit earlier). I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for
several more days, since I had gone 11 days past my “due date” with my
older daughter and then induced her with cohosh (black and blue, one
in herbal and one in homeopathic form) due to pressures from the
medical system. Also, I had experienced no pressure waves yet other
than very mild cramps occasionally (not more than once or twice a day,
and only if the day was busy) over the past 6 weeks or so. However,
when I woke up that night I was experiencing distinct and somewhat
uncomfortable pressure waves. My first thought was, “Oh, no! I do NOT
want to start working on this baby in the middle of the night!” My
ideal birth visualization had always included a daytime birthing time,
although I never could decide how long I wanted it to be. I waited to
see if the pressure waves would go away so I could go back to sleep,
but they kept coming regularly, so I put my Deepening track on, hoping
that would be put me back to sleep. It worked like a charm, and I
slept soundly until about 6:30 a.m. when I woke up to regular pressure
waves again. My 3 ½ year old daughter woke up then too, and my husband
got up with her while I stayed in bed and adjusted myself to the idea
that this just might be the day.

The pressure waves were mild but very regular, so after I got up and
dressed I timed them for a little while. The whole experience was new
to me, since during my birthing time with my daughter I experienced
continuous pressure with no pause between “waves.” (I have wondered
since if this was my body’s reaction to the cohosh.) Anyway, I found
that the waves were pretty consistently around 5 minutes apart,
lasting 30-45 seconds. I didn’t know whether to expect things to pick
up or fade away, but when the waves stayed consistent through
breakfast and my daughter’s bath we decided to stay home from church
and prepare just in case. I did a fear clearing session and then began
to listen to the birthing day affirmations, which were wonderful. In
the mid-morning we went to a nearby state park for a peaceful hike,
and stopped at the local grocery on the way back to pick up a few last
things. (I stayed in the car listen to my affirmation CD while my
husband and daughter went in to the store.) Throughout the morning the
waves came consistently between about 5-10 minutes apart, lasting
usually around 40 seconds. I noticed that the waves were longer and
more intense after a bigger gap, and shorter and milder after a short
gap. I wondered whether I should be trying to use my finger drop and
lightswitch cues more than I was, but since the waves weren’t getting
longer or closer together I kept assuming that this was a false alarm.
I called our midwife several times throughout the day to keep her
updated, since she lived 1 ½ hours away.

We ate several snacks throughout the morning, and had a good lunch
around noon. After that I sat on my birthing ball and leaned on the
table with pillows while I listened to the Easy First Stage CD and the
Deepening CD. I had a hard time going into hypnosis because the waves
were uncomfortable but far enough apart that they kept startling me
when they came. At around 2:00 I started to feel discomfort in my
lower back during the pressure waves, and asked my husband to press on
my back while I sat on the ball during a wave. That felt just right. I
started pacing around in between waves and sitting or lying over the
ball during a wave, and since things seemed to have moved up a notch
in terms of intensity, even though the waves weren’t getting closer
together, we decided to blow up our “fishy pool” and start filling it.
The whole time I was carrying around my little CD player and listening
to the Easy First Stage CD. I was using my “peace” cue but not really
going into hypnosis. The discomfort in my back was greater than I
expected, and combined with the long space between waves I found it
hard to concentrate on letting go into hypnosis. I also found my
daughter quite distracting, although I really wanted her to be there
at the same time.

After the pool started filling, my husband and I decided to make
bagels (which were apparently originally made for midwives and women
present during birthing). About halfway through the process the
intensity moved up a notch again (this was around 4:30), and I left my
husband to finish while I got in the pool. I knew from my daughter’s
birthing time that I like to be in water during a birthing time, but I
hadn’t decided either way whether I wanted to actually have the baby
in water. I continued to eat throughout the afternoon and right up
until pushing; the warm bagels tasted great. I think when I got in the
pool was when I finally accepted that this was indeed my baby’s
birthday. The water felt great, although the pressure waves were still
uncomfortable. I tried different positions, saying “open, open, open”
and listening to the Easy First Stage CD. The intensity was gradually
increasing, and I started finding it hard to cope. I asked my husband
to come help me. This is where I experienced the wonder of
Hypnobabies. I relaxed against the side of the pool with my legs
spread out in front of me and asked my husband to support my head and
use phrases from the birth partner practice, which we had practiced
regularly every other night. Since the pressure waves remained
relatively far apart, he was finishing up making the bagels in
between, and I would tell him when a wave was coming so he could come
support me. When he made it to me early enough, I really did feel the
waves as pressure and was able to relax into hypnosis. When I had to
start into a wave myself I found the discomfort hard to handle. I’m
glad I was able to experience the effect of hypnosis a little bit—
especially during this intense part of the birthing time—since I
didn’t use it during most of the day. I do think listening to the CDs
did keep me more clear-headed and able to easily communicate with my
husband. He commented on this afterward. I feel like Hypnobabies
provided the context for my birthing time.

The intensity continued to increase, and I could tell that we were
getting closer to the end. I started to vocalize more and more during
waves, shifting from the “open, open, open” to more of an “ahhhhh” or
“ohhhhhh”. Our midwife arrived at around 6:00, and right after she
came in I felt the bag of waters break and the baby move down a bit.
When she heard the sounds I was making, the midwife said, “Is this
baby coming soon?” and I said, “I think it’s coming soon!” (This is
what I had wanted during my visualizations—to have most of my birthing
time just with my husband and daughter, and have the midwife come at
the end once I was past being distractible.) Somewhere around here I
asked my husband to switch my CD to the Pushing Baby Out track, and I
started repeating the phrases I was hearing and talking to my baby
with them, saying things like “Gently, baby, gently” and “Gently
sliding out”.
(During my daughter’s birthing time, the midwives had directed the
pushing stage—ugh!—and I totally forgot that I was having a baby at
the time.) I was so eager for that feeling of relief when the baby
comes out. One of the main things in my head at this time was, “I
easily use my voice during my birthing time,” and I babbled away
whatever I was feeling  in between repeating phrases from the
CD. It was intense, but also kind of fun. I was so detached during the
pushing stage with my older daughter that I never felt
the desire to make any noise at all. So I was surprised that I enjoyed
“easily using my voice during my birthing time,” even roaring a little
bit as I let my body push toward the end. This is something I always
thought would be embarrassing, but quite the opposite—I still feel
happy about it now.

I took off my headphones just at the end as I was getting ready to
push Baby out so I could focus more on exactly what my body was
telling me. I shifted around into different positions as I felt like
it, mostly shifting between hands and knees and leaning forward
against the side of the pool while squatting (being in water made me
feel quite able to move—by this time I had totally forgotten that I
might not want to have a waterbirth!). My husband was using “birth
partner” phrases, which I really appreciated. My midwife said a couple
of times, “Go with what your body wants to do” or something like that.

 

It felt really helpful at the time, although at one of our postpartum
appointments we talked about it and it turned out that she was
actually concerned that I wasn’t letting myself push because of the
phrases I was using about the baby sliding out! I took it slowly as Baby’s head crowned.   I
ended up squatting when I felt that he was ready to come out. It was
wonderful just to let my body do its thing with no one telling me what
to do. Suddenly his head was out, there was the briefest of pauses—and
then out came his shoulders and all the rest of him.

I scooped him up onto my stomach and heard the midwife say “Watch the cord!” It was so
short that I couldn’t lift him higher than my stomach. I saw right
away that he was a boy, which I had been secretly hoping for! The
midwife did a preliminary cut on the cord pretty soon so I could lift
him up higher, and then tied it off and did the final cut while I
snuggled him. He was really peaceful and pinked up rapidly. He coughed
and that made him cry a little bit, but mostly he just looked around
quietly. Although no one was looking at the clock at the time, we
looked at it about 5 minutes later and estimated his arrival as 6:43
p.m.

 

The whole thing had taken just over 12 hours from the beginning,
and only two hours since I had really needed to start focusing. I
wanted to move to the bed pretty quickly, and he wanted to look around
for awhile before nursing. The midwife weighed and measured him: 9 lb
4 oz and 22 ½ inches long. I was hoping for a baby between 8-10 pounds
this time, so that was just right! He demonstrated soon enough that he
was a champion nurser, and I have been grateful for such an easy
breastfeeding journey this time around. My body wasn’t ready for more
pushing for a bit, but after an hour or so I felt ready and knelt over
a big bowl to push the placenta out. Our midwife said it was one of
the biggest placentas she’s every seen!

Although I didn’t use my Hypnobabies practice in exactly the way I
expected to, it was a wonderful part of my birthing time, and it would
have all been worth it anyway for the relaxation and positive
affirmations during pregnancy. In so many ways it was an ideal
birthing time, and I’m so glad Hypnobabies was a part of it. The
“recovery” has been so nice; my nether regions felt pretty much totally normal right
away. Very different from recovery after forced pushing, and so much
better! I’m also very happy to have gone through a whole pregnancy and
birthing time with no internal exams. This really helped me trust
myself and listen to my body. And it felt so right to catch him
myself, too. (During this pregnancy I have developed a pet peeve about
people saying that someone other than the mother “delivered” the
baby.) Three cheers for mother-directed birthing!

Tricia

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Well, things didn’t go quite as planned but thanks to Hypnobabies and a bit of concentration and focus, my new baby and I had a wonderful birth experience.
I came into hospital 12 days overdue on Tuesday evening and my birthing time began almost as soon as the first dose of prostaglandin gel went in (about 8pm) with birthing waves coming every 7 mins. I put on easy first stage and deepening and slept between waves  until 1am when i woke to the pop of my waters breaking and waves at 2 mins apart, lasting 40-50 seconds each.

 

The midwife came and checked me and I had gone from nothing to 4cm in 4 hours so I thought he was going to arrive soon! Waves stayed close together, increasing in intensity from then on.

At 6am I was up to 6cm, OB came in at 10am and I was 8cm.   Still completely in control although i was experiencing quite manageable discomfort, no worse than diarrhea type cramps i didn’t think, although much more intense. My 2 midwives (and 2 medical students) were amazed that I was laughing and joking in between waves and even asked for a copy of my birth video to show “how it can be done” and if I could speak to their antenatal classes! They were all very interested in Hypnobabies all of a sudden and said I was so focused and in the zone and 98% of women they’ve seen could not do what I was doing. All of this was making me even more confident.

I managed 22 hours active labour without medication very well, ahh-ing through contractions and leaning on my husband, but when I had stayed at 8cm for 7 hours we knew something was wrong and a quick ultrasound showed his 36cm head was flexed backwards and posterior and not going to come out of my pelvis the way it was. I’d been feeling intense downwards pressure with my waves which it turns out was his head pressing down on my ishcial spines but he would then go back up and couldn’t engage even with my 7 hours of powerful pressure waves. So it was decided after all this that a c-section was necessary to save both our lives.

I had previously been quite worried about a cesarian but when it all happened I was completely at peace that that was the way my birthing had to go for us and it was ok. I had a pressure wave while they were putting the spinal block in and the anesthesiologist could not believe I had been at 8cm for 7 hours and could just breathe the pressure out. I had also essentially been in transition for alot of that time too (shaking/shivering and vomiting) because my body was trying so hard to push baby down.

When he was born, he cried straight away, they bought him right over for skin to skin after they let my husband cut the cord and he latched onto the breast straight away. His name is Charlie and was born 8 pound 10 ounces at 6.40pm

Thanks to Hypnobabies, Charlie and I had a wonderful birth. I can almost guarantee that if we hadn’t done Hypnobabies, we both would have got distressed during the labour and I would not have been able to make such calm, informed decisions even in the event of an emergency.
Thanks Hypnobabies! Our birth video will be on YouTube in the next weeks and I’ll post the link here. I think I’ll be the only first-baby, induction, cesarian birth video on the web! :)

Thanks to Cindy from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her story with us!

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I am hoping to finally get a few minutes to post my wonderful birth story.  Sunday night during a wonderful winter rain, thunder and lightening storm I had my second home birth using Hypnobabies which just happened to turn out to be a breech birth.

Sunday night at 2:32 am we welcomed our daughter Elliana Daisy Grace.  She happened to be born on her due date too.Let me start by saying about a week and a half before my due date I had a full day of pretty regular pressure waves but then they stopped so I was a little disappointed.  Then this past Saturday I also had pretty regular pressure waves but didn’t think much of it since I had already had them stop on me once.  Sunday I had a few pressure waves but not many.

Sunday evening around 8 they started getting more regular.  I laid down and tried to go to sleep but by 10 they were getting stronger and I thought I had leaking fluid so I got up to check and realized I was bleeding.  I called my midwife and had her come to check me since I was concerned.  At this point I was very upset at the thought of having to go to a hospital.  I had a hard time trying to stay calm and packed a bag to go the hospital while she was on her way.  I also called to have my doula come too.

 

My midwife arrived around 12 or 12:30ish.  By this time the pressure waves were getting much stronger.  She checked me and decided the bleeding was more of a mucous plug and she wasn’t concerned so we made the decision to stay at home. She said the baby was head down and we just sat around chatting and waiting for awhile.  The thought of having a baby in a hospital was terrifying to me.  My doula arrived as the midwife was checking me.  At this point I was able to relax again.  For about the next two hours the waves became stronger.  The pressure waves were definately managable.

 

A little after 2ish my fluids released.  I felt very pushy immediately.  After a push or two my midwife informed me that the baby was breech.  After three pushes out she came. I have to say that even though she ended up breech this delivery was much easier than the birth of my son.  I did not tear this time and I felt the whole thing just went easier.

 

There were many small things I did differently the second time around that made the experience much easier.  My first birth I was not able to relax.  This time around I had made the decision to stay calm and I believe it made a big difference. With my first birth I had no energy for over a week.  This time I was a little tired the next day but day two I felt great and yesterday I went grocery shopping.  I also had started taking iron extract a few weeks before my daughter was born because I had felt run down.  I believe this may have helped also.  I did not have a doula the first time around and this time I had decided it was necessary.  I believe the extra support also helped to keep my calm and comfortable.

 

The little one is waking up so I must go now.  I wanted to post this to encourage others that may have a breech baby that you can still do it at home.

Thanks to Gen from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her story with us!

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I have not posted here since my first pregnancy when my 1st daughter was born in 2009 and I was using Hypnobabies but wanted to share the birth story of my second daughter because I found the power of Hypnobabies so helpful both times and especially with this birth.  And hope that it encourages all of you mamas in waiting to stick with the Hypnobabies program.

I was due on February 26th but towards the end of my pregnancy I was feeling like this baby might be coming sooner than that- I was having regular contractions during the night most nights from 37 weeks on- nothing painful or even very uncomfortable but definately noticeable.

 

This inspired me to focus on my Hypnobabies scripts even more.  I started listening to at least two per day and also listening to all the affirmations.  I even listened to the “Easy First Stage”  and “Birthing Day Affirmations” from 38 weeks on so that I had those ideas in my head.  I might say that I became a little obsessed with having a easy, fast and comfortable birthing.  I am thinking that this is my last pregnancy and birth and while the first hypnobirth with my older daughter was a really wonderful, fairly comfortable and natural, I knew I could be even MORE comfortable, relaxed etc.

One thing about my first birth was that when I had pressure waves I HAD TO be on my hands and knees.  My body just wanted to be in that position.  This was fine and I think it helped me dilate faster but I couldn’t be limp and loose as the scripts recommend so I had a harder time fully relaxing at the beginning of my birthing time.  Therefore this time I really focused on telling myself that when I felt pressure sensations I would turn my light switch off and go limp.  This ended up being a HUGE help.

On the night on Feb. 21st my husband had a cold and I suggested he take some nighttime cold medicine to help him sleep.  He wasn’t sure if he should because he didn’t want to be out of it if I went into labor.  I told him it was fine- I wasn’t really feeling anything and I had been swimming and walking that day in hopes of encouraging baby to make an appearance but really wasn’t feeling anything.  So he made the medicine, drank it and as soon as the last drop went down I felt my first pressure wave.  NOT painful or intense at all but just enough to let me know that this might be real- oops.

It was about 9 pm so I thought he should just go right to sleep and I would try to as well.  We both laid down and I started listening to the Hypnotic Childbirth Script #1 and #2, then I put on the “Easy First Stage”  My pressure waves were at least ten minutes apart but they were definately real.  I focused on Kerry’s suggestion that each wave was like a big warm hug and I pictured my 18 month old daughter hugging my belly tight with each one and I was actually smiling through these because it did feel loving and exciting.

Sometime around midnight I fell asleep- truly a testament to how relaxed I felt while listening to the scripts.  I woke up sometime around 4 am and had to go to the bathroom several times in between pressure waves that was a strange feeling because I thought about pushing later.  By now I knew this was real but I kept listening to the “Easy First Satge” and waiting to wake up my husband because I figured we still had a long time.  I wasn’t timing the pressure waves but thought they were fairly short despite being intense.  Eventually the pressure waves were only very low in my abdomen and started feeling strong in my lower back as well- but I still thought they were short- maybe too short for me to far along but I decided to use an online contraction calculator.  I was surprised to see that it was already after 6am at this point and after timing four pressure waves in a row I realized that they were lasting 1 minutes and 30 seconds at least and were consistently three minutes apart.

I woke up my husband to say that we needed to go the hospital.  He immediately started getting everything ready.  Including calling our friend to babysit our daughter and calling the doctors answering service to say we were on the way.  I made him call back and tell them to page my doctor specifically because the baby was coming soon- I suddenly felt- and we wouldn’t have time for them to page her once we got there.  By the time we got everything together and our friend showed up I was getting a little worried about actually getting down the stairs and into the car- the pressure waves were very low in my pelvis and back and I thought that I might be in transition already.

We made it into the car with me stopping four times along the way to lay on the floor on the pillow I brought from my bed.  The ride to the hospital was about ten minutes and by the time we got there I was already feeling like I wanted to push.  We got into labor and delivery- I was already 7cm and they started setting up the table for delivery.  My doctor got there and I told her how much I wanted to push.  She suggested that they break my water bag, so I agreed.  She did and within a minute or so I was complete.

4 contractions/pushes later I was holding my baby girl!!!  Less than an hour after arriving at the hospital.  Two days later I feel great- I haven’t been very sore at all and I still can’t believe how wonderfully that went.  The last hour was intense but to think I slept through half of my labor is amazing!

Thank you Hypnobabies and best of luck to all you mamas.

Thanks to Meghan from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.

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Birth Story – Zuriel

Born Friday, January 28 at 4:17 a.m.

6lbs, 7oz, 20.25in

Zuriel means “God is my rock” in Hebrew.  We call him Zuri for short, which means “Beautiful” in Swahili.

 

The calm before the storm

 

I had been having practice pressure waves on Sunday, January 23 and Monday, January 24.  They were close together and very frequent.  We (husband, mom and I) believed that our little sweet pea would be coming soon.  I timed the pressure waves and they weren’t consistent.  By Monday afternoon, everything stopped.  The rest of the week I felt no practice pressure waves and I became concerned that sweet pea was not going to come out.  He was getting heavier and deeper into my pelvis and I started to feel uncomfortable.

 

Is this the real thing?

 

Thursday, January 27 there was nothing new to report.  Sweet pea was comfortably resting in my pelvis like he was not interested in coming anytime soon.  My day was normal and I felt no different.  I spoke to sweet pea that morning and said “Will you come out?  We all want to meet you.  We’ve been waiting for you.”  Well, like a good son, he was listening.  That evening I was preparing for bed and I felt a lot of pressure in my pelvis.  Just thought I was tired and had been on my feet all day carrying the little load.  My husband looked at me and asked if I were okay and I said that I just felt some pressure.

 

About 30 minutes later, I felt as if I were having menstrual cramps.  This was different from what I had been feeling earlier in the week.  I heard that pressure waves could feel like this, so I began to time the waves and turn off my switch with each wave.

 

The waves were about four minutes apart for about 45 minutes, so I decided to call my midwife.  In the meantime, I asked experienced Hypnomoms about what their waves felt like and folks were kind enough to respond as I was waiting to hear back from the midwife.  My midwife finally called and apologized for the delay (she was just attending another birth).  She told me that I could come into the hospital to get checked out and if I am not five centimeters, I would have to go home.  I really didn’t want to waste my time (or anyone else’s for that matter), but my husband said we’d better go.  I began to squat with each wave, which was a new behavior and we thought this could be it.  Since I was under hypnosis, I could have been closer to birth than I could tell  . . . we were right. (Later during the birth, my midwife told my husband that she didn’t think it was my birthing time when I called her because I was so calm :o)

 

I listened to the Easy First Stage track on my headphones and boy, it was a bumpy ride.  It snowed the night before and there was leftover snow bumps filling the notorious potholes in Philadelphia.  My husband apologized and slowed down.  I was still turning off my switch with each wave and felt comfortable.

 

We arrived at the hospital at midnight.  The guard came out with a wheelchair and I declined using it.  I told the guard that I wasn’t sick.  I stopped by the restroom before heading upstairs to evaluation.  At this point, I would squat and do the finger drop with each wave, then turn back on, stand up and continue walking.  I got to the evaluation unit and the nurse began to ask me questions.  Can you believe she asked me, “On a scale of 1 to 10, what is your pain level?”  I was squatting the moment she asked me this; I turned and looked at my mom with a very confused look and responded, “I don’t know, I’m under hypnosis.”  I said that it was a seven based on intensity.  (editors note – this mom did great changing the question in her mind to intensity and responding that way.)

 

They hooked me up to the fetal monitor and my pressure waves came closer and stronger; I kept my headphones on and listed to the Easy First Stage track.  After 20 minutes, the midwife came to check me and said that I was six centimeters.   I tested positive for Group B Strep, so they inserted a heplock with antibiotics and helped me to the birthing suite.

 

Time to birth my son!

 

This is where things get fuzzy.  Although my birth only took four hours (arrival at hospital to birth at 4:17 a.m.), it really felt as if only one hour had passed.  The birthing suite was cozy.  It had a sitting area and a shower.   I asked my husband to set the Easy First Stage on repeat on a portable CD player and I continued to do the finger drop technique on a birthing ball.  Time seemed to stand still and I felt like things were progressing quickly.

 

**BOP – As the waves became more intense, I felt like the wind was being knocked out of me.  I am asthmatic (it’s controlled – just use an inhaler before running/exercise), so I am not sure if that had anything to do with it.  This feeling of not being able to breathe during the very intense waves caused me to lose focus (that, along with doppler interruptions and a heplock that took longer than it was supposed to).  I took one puff of my inhaler, but I still felt breathless with each wave as I approached transformation. **

 

Things got more intense and I felt like I was losing it, although everyone else in the room was amazed by how calm I was.  I don’t think I was the perfect example of a Hypnobabies student, but I tend to be hard on myself.

 

I studied the belly lift and I planned to use it and do AAHHH pushing.  I finally got to the point where I said that I was ready to birth my baby, so I begun doing the belly lift, which made things progress even faster.  I started to grunt with each wave.  A loud, guttural grunt came from deep within me as I was experiencing involuntary pushing.  This was so unexpected, but it felt so right.  By this time I was also completely butt naked, which was also unexpected because I am very conservative.  It just felt right.

 

My midwife said I was 8.5 centimeters and suggested I sit on a birthing stool for a while.  I told my husband to put on the Pushing Baby Out CD.  I grunted long and hard with each wave, all the while lifting my belly to give my son a better line of sight.  I told my midwife that I didn’t think he was coming out and she said, “Yes, he is.  He’s right there.  Go ahead and feel his head.”  I was so surprised to find that his head was in my birth canal coming close to crowning.  She then suggested I get on all fours in the bed, so I can be more comfortable and she can catch my son.

 

I did so and she placed a birthing ball in front of me and I squeezed it with each wave.   I decided to dig deeper, so I held on to the bed rails and grunted and pushed.  I felt my son’s head crown and I slowed for a moment to make sure that I was being too vigorous in my pushing—I didn’t want to tear.  I felt good and my midwife said “It’s okay. Don’t be afraid.”  At this time I heard the voice on the CD say “Open . . .” and I said out loud “Open” and pushed my son out.  The crowning of his head and pushing him out did not cause me any discomfort.  I felt just pressure and stretching.  Zuri came out with arms stretched; hands open, screaming with an enraged look on his face.  A first mental picture of him that I’ll never forget!

 

A marvelous birth—a healthy postpartum

 

After examining me and ensuring that I birthed the placenta, the midwife congratulated me and said, “You wanted to do it your way and you did it.”  She must have read my birth plan.  Nice to know they actually read those things.  She hugged me and my family before moving on to her next birth.

 

Afterward I had a surge of energy that lasted through that Sunday.  I was riding on oxytocin and adrenaline until the body aches came on Sunday.  As a runner, I am very familiar with the runner’s high and the muscle soreness that follows.  It happens with every endurance sport—why would natural birth be any different?  I felt—and still feel—great.

 

One nurse who came in to cover for the wonderful nurse that assisted my birth, looked shell shocked.  She stayed at my birth even when the other nurse returned.  She stared at me in disbelief, or maybe it was confusion.  It was as if she’d never seen a woman, butt naked and grunting, who remained calm during an unmedicated birth.

 

I brought a bag full of snacks, oil for perineal massage, etc and never used anything.  I don’t regret the preparation, just noting how things progressed so quickly that I didn’t have an opportunity to use anything.

 

This birth exceeded my expectations because of Hypnobabies, along with exercise, diet, red raspberry tea, perineal massages, and the belly lift.

 

Thanks to LaRonda from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us!

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I cannot thank you enough for Hypnobabies!  Ever since I was a child I knew I wanted to be a mom, but was terrified of an epidural.  My mom had all 3 of us naturally, but I did not think I was strong enough as I have never really had to deal with pain.  Growing up I always hoped there would be a “better or new way” by the time I got pregnant, and there was!  It feels like an out of body experience and I cannot believe that the same person who used to be unable to get a shot or blood test without almost passing out, gave birth naturally and peacefully.  The techniques work, end of story.  We now have a neighbor planning a home water birth and going to our instructor Carole’s Hypnobabies class as well.

Read Jennifer’s whole birth story, along with pictures here.

 

 

 

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