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Archive for the ‘First Time Mom’ Category

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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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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Summary of my fast easy birth:

I have to start out by saying I feel elated! Giving birth was one of the most amazing experiences of my life :o) I can honestly write a birth story without mentioning a lot of pain, because I didn’t feel much discomfort. My labor was fast, easy and enjoyable. I used Hypnobabies to prepare for labor. It’s medical grade hypnosis for childbirth.

Sunday night I made spicy eggplant Parmesan to try and jump-start labor. It worked and my water broke at 11:45PM that night! 15 mins later contractions were 3 mins apart. I labored at home for the next 5 hrs. Around 5am Todd and I left for the hospital. We arrived at labor and delivery and I pushed for 55 mins. At  6:55AM Grayson was born!

Early Labor at Home:

Contractions came on so fast after my water broke. I thought I’d be able to sleep for a few hours; instead Todd did the sleeping for the both of us. I labored downstairs for 2 1/2 hrs on my own.

I had a funny conversation with my sister over the phone in early labor. She asked if I’d wanted my Doula to be at home with me during these strong, early contractions and I said no. I was spending most of my time in the bathroom. I didn’t care that I spent hundreds of dollars for the Doula service; I did not want an audience in the bathroom!

As labor progressed I felt most comfortable on all fours in the family room and was handling labor really well using my hypnosis queues. The one thing that was really bothering me was my feet, they were freezing! It was cold downstairs! Contractions were coming closer together and I couldn’t stand up to get a sweater or socks. I was amazed how immobile I became in such a short time.

Todd woke up to my hollering for socks and half asleep ran downstairs to help. He got one long black sock on my foot when another contraction hit. I had a feeling things were progressing fast. I told him to start packing the van, call the Doula and get my Binsi skirt. The Binsi skirt is an article of clothing that’s hospital friendly and easy to labor in. It’s comfy and a lot prettier than the hospital gowns. I wanted to look good while in labor lol.

As he raced around the house collecting our bags, the most intense pressure wave hit and I felt this incredible urge to push. I lost my hypnosis focus and screamed. My body took over and I began involuntarily pushing with all my strength. I yelled, “We waited too long, I’m pushing, I can’t move!” I continued to push and feel panicked. Interestingly the more scared I got the more discomfort I felt.  Todd rushed to my side and calmly said “relax” placing his hand on my shoulder. This put me back into a calm state of mind and I could handle the pressure waves again. Todd then instructed that I had to get up. We attempted shoes until I started to push again and Todd said, “Screw the shoes!” we forced myself onto my feet and hurried to the minivan.

Drive to the Hospital:

On our way to the hospital, I continued to handle the contractions really well with Todd’s help. He’d repeat my hypnosis queues and labor was surprisingly tolerable. Pressure waves felt like a stomach ache.

I remember a car slowing us down. It wouldn’t let us pass. I could sense Todd’s panic and I remember saying, “Todd it’s ok, this is only labor, we’ll be ok”. I was thinking my recent Google search would come in handy on how to deliver a baby in the car. Looking back I’m amazed how calm I was! I definitely feel Hypnobabies had something to do with it.

While we drove to the hospital, each pressure wave made water gush out of me, soaking my Binsi skirt! I was a mess, dripping wet, shoeless, with one black sock on and freezing by the time I got to the hospital. The skirt was quickly dumped into the corner of the hospital room. I could care less on how I looked. The hospital gown was a welcomed comfort because it was dry! My entire body continued shaking. I thought I was still cold but the shaking was from all the hormones. I was in transition.

Hospital:

Once I was situated on the bed in my dry hospital gown, the Midwife checked me and I was already 9 cm!  I felt so much relief and excitement.  Nurses came in and set up the baby warmer. I couldn’t believe how wonderfully fast everything was happening. They didn’t even give me an IV or heplock.

After hearing how far along I was, Todd was smiling ear to ear. I was beaming and he said, “Great job honey, we’re going to have our baby soon!”

I was relieved to see my Doula (Annette) show up in the nick of time. The Midwife gave me the ok to continue pushing. I kept raising my shoulders up to my ears with each contraction and Annette would remind me to relax them. This made the contraction even more powerful and effective. We played the Hypnobabies scripts out loud on my iPod and everyone in the room listened. Annette said, “You’re so calm and controlled”. It was great hearing how well I was doing. The Midwife said, “You look like you had an epidural”.

The Doula was incredible. She not only is a Doula but a Hypnobabies instructor. Annette was very familiar with all the hypnotic queues and easily made any pressure I felt, melt away by pushing on my hips and reminding me to use my Hypnosis techniques. She gave great tips on effective breathing and pushing; I can’t stress how awesome it was to have her there.

Sweet moments, it was so helpful hearing Todd say that we’re going to be great parents and I am going to be an incredible Mom. Todd was so helpful and read me positive affirmations between pushes. I was scared I was going to have a huge baby. Todd would repeat that this baby is the perfect size for my body and the contractions are giving him a warm hug.

I remember how funny it was that pressure waves spaced out to 7 or 8 mins apart. While waiting for a pressure wave everyone would just sit there and relax. I even told my body “Ok I’m ready for another pressure wave?!” I thought how bizarre this all is, so relaxed and quiet.

My hair done up in a mess, teeth not brushed, I had envisioned that I’d be laboring for hours at home. I thought I’d get a shower in and brush my teeth before heading to the hospital. How wrong I was! While laboring at the hospital I asked for mints. The nurse thought that was funny and assured me I didn’t have morning breath. I wasn’t convinced and ate mints between contractions.

I rested my eyes between pushes and sometimes talked. My way of dealing with the pressure wave was to just breath through it. Before the final few pushes, it was mostly peaceful and calm.

The baby started crowning and I reached down with my hand and felt the top of my baby’s head. I remember saying, “wow it feels squishy” and everyone laughed.
To help prevent tears, the midwife placed warm washcloths on me and I was surprised to feel nothing. She also did some perineal massage, using baby shampoo. Todd helped by applying the shampoo to her gloves. That entire area was numb! With another strong pressure wave I pushed baby out. I felt a warm, slippery, wet, 7lb 8oz body pulled out of me and placed on my tummy. Grayson was wiggling around and screaming! Todd cut the cord after it stopped pulsing and Grayson scooted up my stomach, past my chest and started to latch onto my chin lol! I couldn’t stop laughing, I felt amazing!
Nurses were all impressed and continued to tell me how great of a job I did. Shortly everyone left and Todd, Grayson and I were alone. For the next hour and half, I held Grayson skin-to-skin and nursed. We ordered a big breakfast of scrambled eggs, bacon and toast while streaming music from my iPad. It was a really sweet moment in time. We spent one night at the hospital and went home the next day.

Todd and I are ecstatic on how well everything went. Grayson is an adorable sweet baby and is bringing us so much joy! We can’t stop staring at him and loving every second of being his Momma and Daddy. :o)

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My “guess date” (not due date – it’s always more of a guess anyway ;-) ) was Tuesday, July 20th. Come Monday, July 26th, we’d had a few pre-birthing time starts where I’d have pressure waves for about 3-4 hours but they never did they continue past that. We went in for a sonogram to make sure Jack and my placenta looked okay. Jack scored an 8 out of 8 but my placenta was getting “ripe” which was to be expected at 41 weeks.

The midwives said if I wasn’t in active birthing time by Wednesday, we’d have to get things going with medical intervention (rather than natural). So, after a power walk at the mall and an awesome chiropractor adjustment, my husband and I came home, prayed, and continued doing all the natural labor starts we knew to do (nipple stem, walking, etc).

Finally on Tuesday afternoon around 4, I was having regular pressure waves 5 minutes apart but they weren’t a minute long nor were they growing in intensity. The pressure waves continued throughout the night but would come and go every couple hours. I was able to sleep about 4 hours that night but by Wednesday morning we knew we would have to go in to the birthing center and might eventually have to do medicinal intervention. We packed the car (just in case and glad we did ;-) ) and headed to the birth center around 9:30 am. Once we arrived, we hit our first hurdle – the head midwife wanted Jack and me to be monitored to make sure Jack was responding well to the contractions.

At this point, we realized just how much our birth center involved the local hospital and their doctors which was annoying. I know it’s important when there’s a medical emergency but we did not realize just how often they consulted with the doctors and allowed the doctors to give input. We chose a birth center for a reason and felt like how involved the hospital was was not clearly communicated in our initial tour. Anyway, I digress.  (editors note:  maybe a good question for moms to ask their midwives!)

After a couple hours of pressure waves, they were still not seeing the response from Jack that they wanted to see. He was healthy…he was just being too chill during the contractions so they had me drink some juice we bought but they still weren’t seeing his numbers move like they wanted. We went upstairs for a consult with the midwife and if we didn’t start seeing more active numbers from Jack, we’d have to be transferred to the hospital. She then said she wanted to check me but when she did, she also started to sweep my membranes more which is not what we said we could do. I asked her to stop then pretty much broke down crying. Not only did we not really have the money to transfer to the hospital, we felt the natural birth we so badly wanted for Jack and I was continuing to slip more and more out of our fingers. The midwife told us to go back downstairs and continue getting monitored for a while longer. I drank some sugar-infused grape juice but still nothing (The juice we brought was too naturally sweetened I guess).  Enter the only “drugs” I used that day – a Coke. That’s right, a Coca Cola. Our birth assistant walked in with a Coke in one hand and a Dr. Pepper in the other and said, “Which one do you want?”. I replied, “Oh no, I don’t drink sodas. Like ever.”  “Well, it’s this or a transfer.” I resigned, “I’ll take the Coke.” After many shudders and bleh faces, I downed the Coke and that’s what gave Jack the zippadeedoodah we needed to get some good numbers on the monitors. Phew. Hurdle #1 was crossed. (And a good friend commented today at what a blessing it was that since I never do drink soda, my body responded dramatically which is how we needed it to. Had I been a soda drinker that might not have been the case…so true.)

It was around 12 or so by this time and my awesomely amazing doula, Katherine, arrived to assist Jon and I through the pressure waves. I walked around the room doing laps and hanging on Jon through the pressure waves. One of my favorite ways to relax through the waves was to sit on the birthing ball and lean back on Jon so I could fully relax my body from my shoulders down. As each wave would come on, I would say different things like, “Relaaaaaaxxxxx” or “Releeeeeease” which helped a lot. Although I was now in my active birthing time, the pressure waves were not enough to get me to dilate more than 5.

We needed to see me progress more and get my pressure waves to get more intense. Beverly, our birth assistant, knowing we wanted to go as natural as possible, suggested a Foley catheter induction which is a small balloon that is inflated with saline water so as to put pressure on the cervix so it will continue to open. This helped but only for a while. I continued to have pressure waves “leisurely” for a couple more hours. By leisurely, I mean I rested on the bed or on the birthing ball in between waves. However, although it was more restful for me to be that way, I was not really allowing for stronger pressure waves to build.

By 8 pm, I was still at 5 cm and Beverly sat Jon and I down. “It’s time to dig in now and get this labor going.” I remember thinking, “Haven’t I been laboring already?!” Her main concern was that I would just continue progressing slowly which is fine but then I’d be too tired once we really got to the end and wouldn’t be able to push. Her suggestion: more nipple stim and power walking. I laid back down on the bed while we did nipple stim but the pressure waves were getting too intense for me to just lay there. I found that it took me a few pressure waves to figure out how to fully relax through each so I didn’t like changing activities or positions but at this point laying down was too much. So, outside we went. Fortunately, it was 8 pm so it was a little cooler (and the 100+ degree days had not yet come upon us here in Texas).  As people were playing with their dogs in the dog park across the way, I would waddle along holding hands with Jon with my sweet doula walking behind coaching us along. When a wave would come on, I’d either walk through it saying “Ahhhhhhh” or “Reeelllaaaaxxxxx” or I blew raspberries with my mouth. (<–weird thing but helped a lot); other times I’d stop and sway back and forth while leaning on Jon. I’m sure I was a sight but I didn’t care. It was like a switch turned on in my body.

After about 45 minutes, we went back inside and as much as I wanted to get into the tub, they wouldn’t let me. I think they were worried I’d get too relaxed so my husband and I got in the shower instead. My Hypnobabies had been helping me all day but here’s the key – it worked best when I would really relax my mind and allow it to.

I now know I was in transformation during that hour and 15 minutes and by 9:15 I said, “I’m ready to push!” Afterwards, my birth assistant and doula had said they were worried it was more my brain saying I wanted to push even if my body wasn’t saying it. And, in a way, they were right. I was wishfully saying I wanted to push and, thank the Lord, I was far along enough that I could start pushing. I had gone from 5 to 8 cm in just a little over an hour!
It took me a good 15-20 minutes to learn how to push and work with the pressure waves instead of against them. Around 9:40 or so, Jack’s heart rate was getting a little low so they put me on a saline IV in like 5 seconds.

After 20 more minutes, at 10:02 pm, Jack was here! Jon, still in his bathing suit trunks from holding me in the shower, helped pull Jack out and up onto my chest. He was 7 lb 4 oz, 20.5 inches long and so alert. I’ve always thought I would just start bawling but I didn’t. I just said “Oh my God, oh my God, oh my God” about a million times and just held him. He latched on pretty quickly and I got to hold him for about 45 minutes.

I was definitely in shock…a good kind of shock. Even after a couple hours I would just look at him and think, “Is he really ours? Am I really allowed to take him?”. I had known him in my belly for so long and to see him out was, I don’t know, just so different. I felt like a bad mother at first because although I knew I loved him, I didn’t feel like I knew him. I told Jon that on the way home and he said he felt the same way which made me feel better. Now, we get to learn who he really is which is great. :) We left the birth center around 4:30 am and were back in our own bed by 5. It was just so surreal but awesome! My family was in such shock at the photos of him and how alert he was at that time and still even now. We were so glad to have been able to birth him naturally.

We learned later that the pushing probably would’ve gone even faster if Jack’s hands hadn’t been up.  Overall, my birthing time was 12 hours with about 40 minutes of pushing. It was quite the experience but a beautiful one. I am so thankful for my awesome birth team, my amazing husband, and Hypnobabies.

My main advice would be to listen to your track in a lot of different positions. I mainly listened at night on my left side and found that during my birthing time, laying on my left side was the most uncomfortable. So I think going into center then walking while listening to a track would’ve been good as well as on a birthing ball more, etc. I also wish I had practiced my “going into center” at diff times of day more often. I was good at listening to my tracks every day but not at practicing my switch at other times. Oh and I highly, highly recommend getting chiropractor adjustments towards the end. He was born on Wed and I went Mon, Tues, and Wed and she realigned my hips to where they needed to be for him to pass through. Who knows if I hadn’t been adjusted. Anyway, that’s my two cents. :)

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Saturday April 23rd after our 40W+ doctor’s visit where we got to know her heart beat was strong, amniotic fluid ok, that she was still super low in my pelvis (as she had been for several weeks already) and that some braxton hicks were going on (though most times I wouldn’t notice them), we had lunch in the neighborhood with an insurance lady to discuss Leona’s future insurance plan. During lunch I suddenly noticed I was having noticeable PWs, and after timing them for half an hour they were consistently around 3-4 min apart. By this time I was done dessert, and mentioned to Judge that perhaps we should wrap things up and get going, just in case (shocked looks on both Judge and insurance lady’s faces).

I got up to use the restroom – and the PWs slowed apart to about 6-7 min as they had been during the monitoring at the doctor’s office. We decided to head back to the birthing center anyhow, as the doctor had asked us to go do a penicillin skin test (I was GBS positive and would need antibiotics during labor for the safety of Leona). [Turned out I was a bit allergic~ Never knew before]. And then we headed home.

There was no further birthing-time action that afternoon, evening, night, or next morning, so we decided to go mountain cruising. ‘Just in case’ we kicked into gear we did the cruising in the car (which, by the way, is not even a fraction as wonderful as scooter cruising – but still invigorating and refreshing to see all the lush greenness). During the drive home I felt some kicks towards the left-front of my stomach and I was worried she had moved further around (she had previously been left posterior forever, then the day before switched to right posterior).

We ended up going to bed a bit late – 12:30am (so technically April 25th), and I decided to do two hypnobabies tracks – two I had been doing regularly for a while: ‘Baby come OUT’ and ‘Visualize your birth’. In the visualization track I always envisioned the birthing time to start at night, with a lot of dilating PWs going on during my sleep, and waking up around 5am or so and then us heading out around 6am, arriving at the birthing center at 6 or so cm dilated (but not having any internal exams done), would walk along the stone path with stone-wall waterfall and gazebo with Judge and when a PW occurred would ‘slow dance’ through it with him, after a while would head in and jump in the tub, and a total of 4 hours after arriving (so that the antibiotics could kick in) Leona would be born.

During the ‘baby come OUT’ track we are asked to feel that baby is ready to be born. During the previous couple weeks of doing the track I had never really felt this one fully, but that night I truly felt it.

So, at around 2am I finally went to sleep for reals. 3am I woke up because of PWs that were giving me discomfort in my back. After a couple of these that were not so far apart I decided to get up and go downstairs to track them on the computer. After about 45 min they were consistently about 7 min apart, and the intensity was strong all along. I texted my doula [BOP] “Pressure waves every 7 min or so, the kind I have to concentrate for. Powerful back cramping…kind of toe curling.” [END BOP]. She called me a bit later and asked if we wanted to head up to the birthing center to beat morning traffic. I thought that sounded like a good idea, and woke Judge up.

We were in the car around 4:20 am, and the PWs got closer together (around 4-5 min apart) during the 40 min drive – where we got to enjoy the sky-lightening that comes with day-break.

When we arrived at the birth center around 5 am I was first monitored (flat on back with bands around belly). PWs were not as strong for most of them except one which felt like the ones I’d been having up until then – and that was off the chart (the chart only goes up to 100…). I also ended up having an internal exam as it was a choice between that and more frequent ‘band’ monitoring. Using Hypnobabies skills the internal wasn’t uncomfortable at all. Pleasantly surprised. Also measured at 3 cm dilation – not the 6 I had visualized, but enough that they felt I was in my birthing time and let me check in.

Then a marathon of PWs started, where the majority of them were off-the-charters and other than powerful cramping in my back (not the sacrum area but rather in a band between the top of my hip-bones) I didn’t feel any discomfort. The back cramping kind of immobilized me though, and instead of being able to walk around and change positions a lot I was on the birthing ball, with Angie (my doula) providing counter pressure on my back and Judge helping me with my hypnobabies’ cues, and them switching places once in a while. Unfortunately I wasn’t in a fully supported position so wasn’t able to go into full relaxation, which I believe would have helped. In any event, without Angie, Judge and Hypnobabies I believe I would have quickly lost it.

After a couple of hours of these powerful PWs I felt like I wanted to get in the tub. The birthing center has a rule you have to be 4 cm dilated to get in, so we did another internal and I was sure I’d be at 6 cm by then. [BOP] But alas, I was still at 3! This is why internals can be bad…quite disheartening. [END BOP] A while later we did another one and I was finally at 4 cm, and so they took 10 min to sterilize the tub, and then we had to monitor Leona’s heartbeat through PWs to ensure it didn’t dip. Unfortunately it did dip a few times (though I’m not sure if it was because I moved or whatnot) and so there was no tub action for me. Instead Angie took out her TENS machine and hooked me up to that to help with the back-pressure.

At one point I threw up and when got back on the birth-ball had the shakes. Judge was super worried, and asked if this was normal, and I told him if we were lucky this was me going through transformation and things would get busy soon and baby girl would be born. Angie said she had been thinking the same thing. But alas, the nurse came in and we asked her to do an internal (I think we asked for one – a lot of things are fuzzy for me) and I was only at 5 cm. Hrm.

It went on like this for a long time. With just Angie and Judge and I as I had requested limited coming and goings and so the nurses would only come in to check Leona’s heart-beat once in a while – sometimes hooked up kind, sometimes with a hand-held doppler. At one point my doctor came in to check on me, and we did an ultrasound and found that Leona had moved back to left posterior. Somehow this knowledge helped with the back cramping (shows a lot of it is in our heads~~) but didn’t eliminate it.

Finally at one point when I was 7 cm dilated I decided to lay propped on the the bed as Angie said she thought I was far enough along that Leona wouldn’t slip to anterior. This allowed me to finally use the ‘release’ cue and go fully and deeply into relaxation, hypnosis and hypnoanesthesia. It helped immensely with reducing the power of the back cramping that was still there – but I still needed Judge or Angie, as I needed one of my legs propped up as I had it bent in order to be in a better birthing position.

Throughout the birthing process I went through three ‘transformations’ – vomiting and the shakes – but didn’t mind them as I knew they were helping me dilate.

Then, finally, I was in the last few cm of dilation. By this time it must have been around 7 pm or so. Having only had 1 hour sleep the night before, off the chart PWs for about 16 hours, no food, and most of my liquids coming up again, one can safely say I was exhausted. Judge no less so, as he had only eaten a small thing, and had stood by my side the whole time very worried about me – and Angie as exhausted as well as she had not left my side either. So I got into a self-supported position on the bed, Judge lay down on the couch, and Angie rested a bit while keeping a watchful eye on me, and Judge and I both napped. I actually woke up during most of the powerful PWs but was so peaceful that Angie thought I slept through them all.

When I got ‘stuck’ at 9.5 cm, I decided to have the nurse manually rupture my membranes to see if we could finish this journey up sooner rather than later. When the nurse came in to check my dilation, I think she must have touched the amniotic sack and intentionally or accidentally ruptured the membranes as she had said she was first going to just check, but in any event my waters finally broke. This may have been around 9 pm.
Up until this point I had had “Easy first stage” playing out loud almost the whole time. Both Angie and Judge got a bit hypnotized/sleepy because of it (the birthing room lighting was low and comfortable as well) ;P  Once I was at 10 cm I put on the pushing baby out track.

I had planned to just ‘breath’ Leona down and out, but I got powerful bearing down urges, and so – well, still breathed her down, but also pushed with my breaths, kneeling on the floor supporting myself on the bed and tub, using the positions I had learned helped relax the perinium and lower muscles the most (learned from the Pink Kit – quite interesting information in there!). There was no discomfort or pain, just a lot of effort.

For the bearing down two nurses joined my little team, and they would check her progress once in a while, as well as often check her heart-rate. When she had about 3 cm to go I got on the toilet to work through some PWs, and I felt her head with my fingers. I couldn’t believe it was my little baby!

Finally it was time to call in my doctor for the catching of the bebe. I removed the gown as I felt it was just in the way, and found the best position was kneeling on the floor on both knees, supporting myself on the bed (so I was still as vertical as possible) [later Angie asked the doctor if she had assisted in this type of birthing position before - she had never]. I decided this had gone on long enough and it was time for Leona to come out, so I pushed both during the bearing down PWs and between them. My doctor tried to help a couple times (stretch my perinium or something) and I quickly told her ‘no’ and she thankfully backed off. Angie kept encouraging me with my progress (‘silver dollar’, egg sized – shown with fingers) but I was instead rather “what? that’s it!?” :P

Finally I felt if I just pushed a few more times strongly she’d come out, so I did. There was a bit of stinging, but nothing terrible, and suddenly out she slipped. It was 11:01pm and she later measured at 3400g and 51cm long.

The nurses passed her through my legs so I could hold her, and then I was to climb back on the bed to birth the placenta. A nurse held Leona so I could climb up, but wasn’t used to the umbilical cord still being uncut so I had to quickly remind her that Leona was still attached to me and couldn’t move that far away from me! She then slowed her movement so I could catch up, and once I was on the bed Leona was placed on my chest.

The doctor then started to make like she was going to help with my placenta, so I reminded her that I wanted it to come out naturally. After Leona was suctioned more thoroughly she started the breast-crawl as I birthed the placenta.

Throughout the 20 hours of labor I have to admit there were a few times where I felt it was just taking too long. I was too exhausted. Not to a point I wanted to give up, but frustrated and perhaps on the verge of break-down.   I know Judge was worried and thinking I was in a lot of p**n sometimes as I would become a little stressed when I felt a PW starting, needing them to help me through it using the cues. Without them (and Hypnobabies) I know I would not have been able to handle it, but with them it was just strong, manageable discomfort.

So though the birth did not go exactly as planned – I consider it to have been the right birth for us.

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I decided to use Hypnobabies because I knew I wanted as LITTLE medical intervention as possible.

I gave birth to my 1st child 6/30/08, after only 9 hrs birthing time !  I was completely FEAR FREE !  We got into our hospital room (after triage) at around 5:15 am and Owen was born at 7:53 am.  Our 1st nurse even stayed past her shift to see Owen’s birth (nurses don’t get to witness natural births that often……..not to mention a quiet/PEACEFUL hypnobirth).

I only pushed for about 10 minutes.  As soon as I was cleaned up I was up going to the restroom.  Nobody could believe how quickly I was up & moving around, I felt fantastic.

The hospital staff fully supported our Hypnobabies birth.  Each nurse whispered and none of the staff spoke to me (after the initial questions upon admittance).  Our doula (and Hypnobabies instructor) was a true BLESSING, her support was priceless.

Our Dr. was supportive from the beginning of my OB visits.  She stayed by our side (although she didn’t have to wait long), applied hot packs to my perineum, spoke in a very quite/re-assuring voice etc.

AMAZING   AMAZING   AMAZING  experience.

I would NOT CHANGE A SINGLE THING !

Debbie

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