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Archive for December, 2011

I started having close and strongish pressure waves that woke me up at about 4am on my baby’s guess date. Not really anything before that. I decided to start timing them and see if they continued. During the weekend I was having a lot of what I thought were early birthing waves about every 10 minutes, but they kept going away. But these didn’t stop and were a bit more intense. I started listening to by birthing day tracks and trying to relax and use my peace cues through the PWs. They were intense enough that it was sorta difficult to do. During every PW while I was sitting/reclining the pressure on my ribs bothered me the most. After about 4 PWs in 15 minutes I woke up my husband to get him to help time them so I could still relax. They were about 2 minutes apart at this point and I had been awake for about 30 minutes.

So we started getting ready to go. I was anxious to not jump the gun too early. I didn’t want to hang around triage too long if I hadn’t progressed much. Also thinking, that since they just started and they were strong but not terribly I felt that we had some time. So I took a shower and got ready, he packed up. By the end of the shower I was needing to stop what I was doing more and bend over and lean against a counter or wall to relax and breathe through the pressure waves. So I started feeling a little more anxious to get on our way. We got out the of the house eventually at about 5ish. Luckily my Mother was there already and to watch the other kids.

The hospital is only about 5 minutes away, luckily. So we got there a little after 5 and they put me in the triage room to get checked and monitor me. At about 5:30 I was at a 6 and they didn’t take took long after that to put me in a room, while we were getting settled the pressure waves started getting stronger where I felt like I needed my husband for support. I liked to bend over a lean into him with my arms around him while he supported me by my arms.

I started needing to make noises as I breathed and soon I started having little pushy urges once or twice.  I asked the girl helping us (not a RN, but really helpful as a few times she pressed in on my hips during a wave and that felt nice) to have our nurse come and check me again since I was feeling a little pushy. She finally made it back in (I guess a lot of other women showed up around the same time) and checked me and I was at an 8. This was about 6:30. She tried to put in a saline lock, but I wouldn’t hold still for long as I didn’t want to be on the bed during a pressure wave. A PW or two later, my water broke while I was standing. Then the next one I really started pushing and felt like she was going to come out very soon. The nurse really urged me to get on the bed at this time and I did, the next one I pushed out her head and the next the rest of her. It felt so good to get her out. It was very intense and I know I was fairly vocal and cried out when she crowned.

Cara was born straight out onto the bed at 6:37. It was basically just the nurse and my husband who helped me deliver her, the doctor was on his way.  He showed up about 10 minutes later. She was a healthy 8 lbs 3 oz and 20 inches long with a full head of hair.

It was an interesting/cool experience and I’m really glad I planned to go natural/unmedicated. If I hadn’t I wouldn’t have had time anyways to have an epidural and I would have probably had a much harder time dealing with the pressure waves.

I wouldn’t say it was pain-free or comfortable, but I wouldn’t say that it was painful either. It was “intense”. I felt prepared to deal with the PWs knowing that they’d come and go and eventually end.   I had expected to be more sedate and of course having more time to relax and turn off my lightswitch like I’d seen in a lot of videos. I am really glad I used the Hynobabies home study course to prepare myself.

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Jenna and Chris contacted me while they were still living in Boston. They were planning the move to Birmingham (for Chris’ residency at UAB) and were wanting to go ahead and interview a doula for their upcoming birth. Thankfully, they hired me and the waiting began. Jenna also decided that she wanted to do aHypnobabies birth. I went to their last class (taught by fellow doula, Kaleigh Naylor) so that I could learn how support them in that effort (since I was new to Hypnobabies). It all seemed pretty interesting and I was excited to see it in action. **there is a lot of “reframing” in Hypnobabies, so in honor of that, I will refer to contractions as pressure waves (pw’s) for this birth story** ;-)

Click here to read the rest of the story.

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I have 5 minutes, so I’m gonna post my basic birth story. I would like to say that Hypnobabies really helped my birth to go quickly. First stage was incredibly easy for me.
Pressure Waves started on 9/4 at night. They were typical like the ones I have been having throughout my pregnancy. These seemed to wake me up a few times, but I didn’t think much of them. Next morning (labor day) they were still coming, so DH and DS went alone to a Labor Day party. AT 5pm, the pressure waves started getting stronger and lasting longer, so I called the midwife to give her a heads up. I watched a TV show and then headed to bed to listen to my Hypnobabies track. It was nice to get time to myself – even if I was in my birthing time!

8pm is when the pressure waves started lasting a minute or longer and they were 3 minutes apart. I remained calm, imagining my cervix like a gold ring and listening the Hypnobabies “Easy first stage” through my earphone. Pretty soon, the midwife told me she was on her way!

DH still wasn’t back from the party, and the birthing tub hadn’t been set up yet. Also, DS had to be put to sleep and I was wondering if he would be able to go to sleep, knowing his little brother might be coming soon. The midwife waited outside until DS was asleep (9:30) and that’s when I also told DH that I didn’t want to be bothered by anyone. This whole time I had been laying in bed listening to the tracks. When the midwife checked me, she seemed surprised that I was already at 4cm.

Pressure Waves went on until about 1:00am. They were easy to handle. At 1 they picked up and I started feeling them a little more. They started coming faster, and with a pain in my back. I got into the tub which was heaven!  I was coping well, but the babys heart rate was accelerated in the tub, so the midwife had me come out.

The midwife checked me and I was 9cm. Everyone there was so surprised!

MW told me it was time to push and those pressure waves I was having for the last hour are “pushing” contractions. I had no idea or believe me, I would have been pushing lol!

I didn’t think I could do it, and told the midwife that I didn’t want to go on. She said “well, this baby has to come out some way, so you might as well push!” I knew she was right and with all my strength I pushed with the next 3 pressure waves. The following 3 pressure waves, my body was pushing by itself.

I told myself I’m not waiting another minute to get this baby born and I pushed the head out. I knew the hard work was done and like I had seen in videos, the body would come wriggling out soon enough. I gave myself a chance to relax and then a minute later DG was here at 3:03 am on Sept 6!

The midwife said she was expecting the baby to be born around 7am. There were 2 other midwives there who told me it was a beautiful, quick birth. I’m so glad I finally got my homebirth. Thank you Hypnobabies!

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Here are two great posts discussing why due dates are not set in stone.  Why really it should be a guess month…. a Five Week Window when baby is safe to arrive.

When the Due Date is Wrong:  Part 1

When the Due Date is Wrong:  Part 2

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The Birth Story of Liliana

Well I should begin by saying that due to the fact that my mom had all of her (6) children at least one-two weeks overdue, I was assuming that this my first baby would be as overdue! Thus, despite being very close to my guess date I had no anxiety about wanting our little one to hurry up and be born, but instead was finding it quite easy to be “lovingly patient” as I had heard every day on the Hypnobabies tracks! My husband and I live in Australia, despite being from Canada/USA and thus were super excited to welcome my mom and little sister to Melbourne when I was 39 weeks 3 days. On the night of 39 weeks 5 days, we went to one of my husband’s basketball games which was very intense. I was experiencing super strong braxton hicks throughout the game, but attributed it to the intensity of the game! I had been having lots of braxton hicks anyhow since about 36 weeks, and so thought nothing of it.

I woke up at 5:00 am on the dot the next day with pressure waves that felt slightly different to the braxton hicks, as they wrapped around my back. Immediately upon awakening I knew that I wouldn’t be able to sleep through these ones, so I told my husband that I couldn’t sleep and was going to have a cup of tea (I didn’t want to raise a false alarm!). I got up and lay on my left side on the couch with my tea. I read through some birth stories and watched my favorite birth videos on YouTube. I also talked to our little girl and told her that if she wanted to be born today it was ok, that she was very safe and we were going to be a good team. I started to time the pressure waves and they were 5-8 minutes apart and lasting 30-45 seconds.  I practiced my finger drop, as well as listened to the deepening hypnosis CD and the hypnotic childbirth 1 and 2 CDs. This continued until about 8:30. During that time I also had a shower, and watched the most gorgeous sunrise reveal a beautiful clear blue sky. I knew it was a perfect day for a birthday!

I woke up my husband at 8:30, telling him that he probably wasn’t playing his final basketball game that day, because we might be meeting our baby. Then I told him to keep sleeping as I was doing fine J A few minutes later he emerged, commenting that it was a little hard to go back to sleep after something like that! We called my mom and told her that my husband would come get her and my little sister, but of course not to get their hopes up; it might not be the real thing! However, at this point I preferred to move through my pressure waves and was listening to the birthing day affirmations, switching with easy first stage, pressure waves were staying consistent and some were lasting up to 55 seconds.

At about 10:00 I started to make brownies to bring to our midwives but I never got to frosting them because I quickly lost all interest in my brownie project and really could care less! Also, around this time I lost part of my mucous plug. Things seemed more and more real!

Things continued like this until 3:00 pm. Pressure waves got longer and more intense. Never at any point did they feel unmanageable, and I felt totally peaceful and safe. My dearest husband was just THERE for anything. I was very active, moving from the fit ball, to all fours, to swaying in his arms, to standing and rocking.  I had placed myself in center very early in the day though. It seemed like no time at all until my pressure waves were consistently 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute, and I think it was at this point that I started sighing through them very lightly. We decided to call the birth center and give them a heads up that we may be in within the next hour or so, and they were shocked by how calm both my husband and I were considering how close together the pressure waves were!

Things started changing. I was feeling a lot of pressure in my bottom and I was also starting to feel tired. We decided I’d try lying on my side while my husband got together our last minute things. Lying down didn’t feel very good, and the pressure was continuing. So, we decided to go, it was close to 3:00 pm. I felt totally calm, and while intense the pressure waves felt totally manageable, and I think it was because I was so trusting of my body’s ability to do what it knew how to do. I felt no concern to evaluate what I was experiencing, or control it. Also, I found myself smiling after every wave, I felt so hopeful!

Even though we live a 5 minute drive from the hospital I had a pressure wave in the car and another in the parking lot! Amazingly, we were still calm entering the birth center and the midwives seemed surprised. They have a policy of not checking progress for a while, so I didn’t need to worry about that, and they just got us settled into a room. Things get a little fuzzy here. I was still totally active: standing, on the ball, or on all fours. I felt immense pressure in my bottom and kept trying to go the bathroom. You would have thought I’d figure out there was nothing there!  I remember feeling that this wasn’t really very fun anymore and that I was very tired. Later my mom told me that she knew things were getting serious, as pressure waves were about 2 minutes apart and 90 seconds long. I hadn’t stopped moving the entire birthing time, so my husband and mom strongly encouraged me to lie down. Laying there on my left side I went through what I now know was transformation. I was shaking almost uncontrollably; my husband was using the peace cue and stroking my head lightly while my mom was applying a gloriously warm rice pack to my back. I counted backwards from ten in my head over and over, as well as visualized myself in a boat with no oars riding the waves up and down. I was still only lightly sighing through the pressure waves and felt calm.

All of a sudden I had huge amounts of rest time in between the pressure waves. I just kept my eyes closed and enjoyed my husband stroking my head and my mom rubbing my back. A little while later there was this “oh my goodness” physical push that had nothing to do with my mind and everything to do with my body just doing its thing. That involuntarily pushing continued for 3 more pressure waves, and when the midwife finally arrived, my water burst with what felt like a tremendous force. She quickly scurried out of the room to get the warm things for the baby (EXCLAMATION POINTS WENT OFF IN MY HEAD WHEN I HEARD THAT!), and when she came back asked if I’d like to move to a different position. We moved me to a kneeling position, leaning over the back of the bed. I will admit, at this point I felt a little panicky…and I expressed verbally that I felt frightened. I think saying it out loud allowed me to address that I felt afraid and then perhaps move forward from the fear. I was consistently reminding myself that the more relaxed I remained the easier it would be for my body to work. I was amazed how easy it was to convince myself to relax.

Pushing was not hard for me at all, in the sense that it came very naturally to me and my body was working so powerfully. Also, I had so effectively breathed our baby down through the pressure waves that I really only started pushing involuntarily when her head was literally right there. I will never forget how happy I felt when someone said, “Your baby has hair!” At the same time, I totally underestimated how hard work it was! I was sooo sweaty hot, and I kept asking if I was doing anything. Everyone kept saying, “oh yes, you are doing something!” My husband was there, kissing my head, holding my hand, and just being someone to look at when I was feeling overwhelmed. He was an incredible rock.

The midwife (who was applying wonderful hot compresses!) said that in a few minutes she’d let me know to switch to short breath pushes. However, I got it in my mind that I was all in and bore down powerfully. Out SHOT her head. The moment her head popped out was probably the most vocal I got because I was so shocked! I gave a little yell. Then, before I knew it her shoulders were out and then her body…and all I had to do was breath. In that moment, I forgot everything and immediately just wanted to hold our baby. I don’t remember, but apparently I was saying, “Hi baby, I’m your mama, I’m your mama!” Those were the words I’d uttered to her so many times as I practiced Hypnobabies and met her in our special safe place. It was perfect, I cannot describe the relief. I was bloody, exposed, sweaty, flabby…and I didn’t care! I was in my husbands arms and my arms cradled our baby. Everything else was forgotten.

Three things:

Firstly, the last 3 or so weeks of my pregnancy I’d visualized my birth and in it I awoke with pressure waves early in the morning so that I could labor in the quiet and dark for a while, arrived at the birth center 7 or 8 centimeters dilated, and had our baby before 8 pm. In real life, I awoke at 5:00 am with pressure waves, labored at home for ten hours, arriving at the birth center only three hours before our baby was born. I never had a single internal exam because I progressed so steadily and our baby was right there when my body started pushing. I only pushed for 45 minutes. By 8 pm I had birthed our beautiful baby and was enjoying a glass of champagne! It was simply incredible.

Secondly: I took the posterior challenge very seriously and spent weeks ensuring that our little one was anterior. This meant hardly ever reclining and lots of hands and knees time but it was SO WORTH IT!

Thirdly,  the biggest thing Hypnobabies gave me was the mental conditioning to allow my body to do what it knew how to do and to be unafraid. Moreover, it taught me how to relax so effectively, and direct that relaxation through breathing, that I almost didn’t need to actively use the tools as it came naturally to me after so many months of practice. I fully believe that my body worked so efficiently because I knew how to take my mind out of the process and surrender control through relaxation.

I am looking forward to using Hypnobabies if we are so blessed to have more than one child! I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect birthday for our sweet Liliana.

~Emily

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