Just wanted to share my story. I was due July 10th with our 4th baby (3rd Hypnobaby). We were planning a home birth and while I’ve always had premature labor that caused me to efface and dilate, each of my babies has come progessively later (3 days+, 7 days+ and 10 days+). And yes judging by the pruniness and lack of vernix with our last two they really were post dates. Not sure why I carried that way but I did so it wasn’t too much of a worry when I started to have my premature pressure waves with this one. However I did notice that on days that I shouldn’t have had any (ie I wasn’t overdoing it) that I would get them but with relaxation and hypnosis and hydration they would slow down and stop.
This last Saturday (35 weeks gestation) I wasn’t having any more particularly than before but when I bent over to do some weeding I noticed a little extra leaking down below. I went to the bathroom but was still squirting a tiny bit of fluid out. Stood up and drip, drip, drip. I have to say that I ate eggs literally almost daily and was taking vit c daily so I’m not sure why my bag was weakened but it was. I called my midwife who came by to check and confirmed that it was amniotic fluid. Very odd for me whose bag stays intact until the baby’s crowning. I was *devestated* b/c I knew in my gut that this was not a high leak that would reseal. I spent the next 45 min.s sobbing.
We went to the hospital (one of the few “baby friendly” certified hospitals in the country) and they confirmed it as well. I was very nervous about how I would be treated as a homebirth transfer but they were respectful from beginning to end with only one exception.
The oncall OB came in and explained that at 35 weeks they feel that it’s better for baby to go ahead and come out vs trying to stop it due to infection and how well late-term babies do. He suggested starting pitocin however he was respectful of my wishes and let me know that I was in charge and they would honor my choice. His recommendation was to start it immediately but the next best would be to wait 4-6 hrs or possibly to the morning but his opinion was that the longer I waited that the higher the rate of c/s. I told him that I would like to get things going naturally that I use hypnosis for childbirth and felt confident that I could get things started on my own naturally. He was kind about it but let me know that studies “have shown that walking the halls didn’t increase birth time just helped with pain management.” That’s when I just smiled and nodded and said thanks. Then he left me alone. The nurse pretty much left me alone as well other than to periodically monitor handheld without any belts thank goodness (gotta love being in CO, they’re so used to us natural mamas). Incidentally my midwife said that she was so impressed at the way I advocated for myself and that I did it in such a “nice” way. That was nice to hear b/c it worked. We discussed each thing and everyone from the OB to the nurses were on board with my impromptu birth plan.
I spent the next few hours wrapping my head around the situation and adapting to the new plans. I had my dh run home and grab all of my Hypnobabies CDs including Baby Come Out, an impromptu birthing skirt and sports bra and some FOOD. I hadn’t eaten that much that a.m.. I snuck his burger and a subway sandwich later when the nurse wasn’t in the room :), you’ve gotta have some energy to birth a baby for heavens sake! After the NICU nurse came in and explained that only 10% of 35 week old babies need to go to the NICU I felt so much better. I knew I could totally release myself to have this baby. I told dh that my goal was to have the baby between 2-3 am. I had set a mental goal of a 5 hour birthing time and I was getting 4 hr doses of antibiotics for potential GBS/broken bag which I was fine with but I didn’t want too much of it in my system for the baby and I knew I was on the clock for pitocin which I didn’t want.
I began listening to my CDs, everything from Fear Release to Come Out Baby to Visualize Your Birth and Deepening and Affirmations. By 9 pm I began to have some more consistent pressure waves. I sent my midwife home for awhile before that so I could do my thing and told her I would call her when I needed her. I walked the halls and as soon as I stepped out my pressure waves increased with intensity. I only had 4 when I walked back into the room. Apparently for me just leaving the room brought them on ;).
They slowed down for the 10 pm hour and it was a nice rest and then by 11 pm I decided to do some active belly lifts which helped to bring things back into regulation. By 11:30 pm I decided to call my midwife who wonderfully was waiting in the lobby, good woman. She and my dh did the hand on shoulder cue for a little while alternately. I never time my pressure wave b/c by #4 I know what each stage feels like and I knew I was in active birthing time. By 2:15 am I knew I was heading into transformation. Admittedly I had not been practicing my scripts as consistently as I should have been so while I was able to completely relax I was definitely feeling more than pressure but having the words on the Visualize Your Birth CD were *invaluable*. I believe that there’s something on there about you and your baby being healthy that I hung onto every word and truly made such a positive difference so thank you thank you Kerry!!
I knew I had a couple more intense pressure waves before I would start to feel like pushing. So I told the nurse to call the Dr and assemble the team (there needed to be the NICU nurse and some other folks for his preterm state which I was more than fine with). It took her awhile so I held off and after about 5-6 pushes baby Nate was out at 2:48 am.
The next day the first OB on call who I think, thought I was a bit crazy for thinking I could start “labor” without pitocin but he humored me came over to the Recovery wing just to congratulate me. The OB who was there for the birth briefed him and he was genuinely surprised and happy. I think my story circulated around the floor both on the L&D side as well as recovery. I was the “doula/childbirth educator” who had her baby.
I even used my hypnosis and relaxation to help Nate afterwards when they were wanting to supplement him as an automatic protocol b/c he was 35 weeks. His blood sugar was initially low and then I nursed him and it came back up but my first 12 hours there was spent arguing and delaying supplementation. The first time I pumped just hours after birth I pumped 8 oz of colostrum! (that shut them up for awhile). He never needed any supplementing. I did need to pump and feed him with an SNS tube or syringe a couple of times b/c of his preemie nursing pattern but it only lasted a day and then he’s been off and running ever since.
Thanks Hypnobabies for a wonderful program. While this birth was not pain-free it was *wonderful*. I knew that working with my body to relax and visualize my cervix opening really made things go quickly. The information that is provided helps couple navigate the hospital route so beautifully.
Kristen Jorgensen, HCHI