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How excited I am to share my wonderful birth story. Sorry if this is a little long but this is my first birth and I am not sure where to start since I am not sure when “labor” actually began so I will first say that around Sunday the 2nd of November I started having what felt to be like pms cramps. I called my Doula and she asked that I just keep her informed if anything progresses. They subsided and then would come and go till Tuesday the 4th.

I had a doctors appt. that morning and when he checked me he said that I was at 0-1 dialated. No problem since my 40 week mark was that Thursday anyways and I wasn’t worried or rushing it. I let him know about the “cramps” and that I had started just a little bit of bloody show. Went home and just hung out around the house with DH.

The cramps got a little more intense as the day progressed and around 10:00 pm I joked to my DH that he might not be going into work tomorrow. Around 10:30 he fell asleep but I was unable to get comfortable. They were getting stronger and to be honest I was getting a little scared because I kept thinking that if this is just signs of upcoming birthing time I can’t imagine what that is going to be like. I debated waking my DH and just kinda walked around the house doing my peace cues and trying different positions.

At 2:00am I suddenly got really sick and threw up. I called my doula and told her what what was going on so she said to get dressed and that she and her doula partner (I got two doulas for the price of one!) would meet me at the hospital. I was really worried that I was waking everyone up for no reason and that I would get sent back home. We arrive there and get checked in. The nurse asked if she could check my progress ( the staff was awesome andtotally respected my Birth plan ) and I said yes. She checked and I was at 5cm : )

I couldn’t believe it. Just that morning I wasn’t even fully at 1 and I didn’t even think that I had truly begun my birthing time and yet here I was at 5cm. They get me into my room and by this time it is about 3:00am. My DH and doulas were incredible. When my PW would start my DH would do the release cue and my Doula would press on my back and hips. That extra pressure plus release cues made me think that the waves were over until I would move or they would let go of my hips and I would realize that I was actually peaking at that time.

Pretty soon the PW were right on top of each other with no breaks in between but I just relaxed and let my body do what it needed to do. I really started to go in myself and not focus on anything. I could hear them talking to me and giving me my cues but it all kinda sounded muted or muffled. I didn’t really have a concept of time.

By 8:30 I was at 10cm. Pushed for 2 hours and at 10:25am I gave birth to a beautiful 8lb 19in boy with lots of brown hair!!

My DH said he overheard the nurses talking about how they couldn’t believe how calm I was and my doulas said it was inspirational the way my body and baby was working together. My Dh is so proud of me and I am so thrilled I took this chance on Hypnobabies. No drugs were needed and I would say that I was only in “labor” for about 10-12 hours. BTW my water broke minutes before I started pushing.

Thank you to all the women on this site, when I had doubts just reading the posts made me feel better and more focused. I couldn’t have done it without my DH,my doulas and the strength and wisdom I got from the women in this group*. Keep having faith in yourselves because you can do it!!

*Hypnobabies Yahoo Group is a great place to interact with other moms using hypnosis for birth

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My daughter Avani was born on Sept 23 (7 lbs, 8 oz) … easily and beautifully … and I have Hypnobabies to thank! My water broke at 3:00 a.m. I called the midwife and the doula, and they advised me to sleep unless I did not feel the baby moving.

I did feel the baby moving, but of course, I could not go back to sleep with such excitement, so I started packing up my stuff and laid down for a while. I started noticing very minor birthing waves about 20 minutes apart.

The doula arrived at the house at 10 a.m. We left for the birthing center at 11 a.m. When we arrived, I was 3 cm dilated so the midwife recommended I walk around, which I did for a couple of hours, as the birthing waves intensified and lasted longer and longer.

At 2 p.m. I was officially admitted to the birthing center, and Avani was born at 4:43 p.m. The 13 hrs went by extremely quickly, even the pushing part.

My experience was that there were many physical sensations that could be characterized with a variety of different
words; however, I was able to more or less simultaneously calmly accept and disassociate from these sensations. I was actually surprised at how relatively easy and natural the birthing process was … I listened to the pushing track for a little while, but that’s it; I was pretty zoned out / tuned in … I am VERY pleased with my daughter’s natural, drug-free, epidural-free, IV-free, tear-free, episiotomy-free birth … and am 100% sure that the repetitive conditioning/programming from Hypnobabies was key in enabling it!

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My birthing time started on Monday night, 2/02/09 around 9:20. I went to bed with my tailbone hurting so I turned on my heating pad and lay down to read. After a little while I wanted to change positions so I moved and I felt a bubble pop and my water broke. So I got up and changed my pajama bottoms and let my husband and my mom know. My mom had come in from out of town just in case I started my birthing time on my guess date, which was 2/2/09.  After laying back down I started feeling some pressure waves that were more intense than any Braxton Hicks I had previously had. So I tried to time a few on my own and thought they seemed very close, 1 to 2 minutes apart. I decided to be sure I would have my husband start writing them down to be sure I was right. After about an hour of pressure waves being 1 or 2 minutes apart, I called my doctors office who said to go ahead into the hospital to be checked out. The ride to the hospital took a great deal of focus for me to stay relaxed, every bump in the road was tough!!

Once we arrived at the ER, they wheeled me in because I just couldn’t walk very well at that point. Once I was checked in completely they took me to a room where an internal exam was done, I was 5 centimeters! The week previously I had been to the doctor and she had told me I was 3 centimeters and 50% effaced. My doula Kristin arrived at the hospital and helped me with position changes and when I started feeling sick she had some good smelling peppermint oil to ease the feeling some. The whole time I listened to my Birthing Day track and was able to remain relaxed. Occasionally it was difficult when my legs started aching, which was surprising to me. Kristin massage my legs with oil to help ease the ache.

Not long after my legs acting up, I ended up vomiting my dinner (never again will I want Italian food!). I then started feeling a lot more pushy, so I sat on my birthing ball to help bring the baby down more. During all of this I continued listening to different tracks of hypnobabies. When the nurse came back around I asked if she could check me to see if it would be ok to push. Once checked she said I was fully dilated but there was a little bit of my cervix that was still slightly in the way. So we waiting for maybe 30 more minutes (I don’t really remember the time) and I told the nurse I was ready to push and she said ok, the cervix might move on its own if I went ahead with pushing.

Pushing was difficult and I felt like I wasn’t making a whole lot of progress until I asked my doctor if she had any suggestions for me. She told me to hold my breath with the pressure wave and push hard at that point. I had not wanted to do any holding of my breath, but if I had not I think the birthing would have been at least another hour longer. I pushed for a total of 2 and half hours and then my little Bryce Violet entered the world!!

My experience was almost exactly like I had visualized it! I had visualized a 7 to 8 hour birthing and it really happened! I can honestly say I never felt P***, just intense pressure. All of the nurses and my doctor were so impressed with my birthing time! The hospital is actually going to interview me for their monthly magazine as well as the local newspaper regarding my birthing time and the methods I used for a natural birth experience!

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Hypnobabies rocks!  Keep practicing and I know you all will be amazed on your baby’s beautiful birth day.  I’ll post Danielle’s complete birth story soon but here are the highlights in a nutshell:

Danielle Nicole was born on  January 12 at 8:39 pm (guess date was Jan 21st).  She was 6 pounds 15 ounces and 19 1/2 inches long at birth.

She is doing very well – eating like a champ and her mom, dad and brother are just in awe.  I was able to convince the doctors to discharge us just shy of 24 hours after she was born and we have been much more comfortable getting to know each other at home!

I was able to use all my Hypnobabies skills to “labor” at home for most of Monday.  We arrived at the hospital just in time on Monday evening – around 6 pm – and she was born about 2 1/2 hours later.

That is not to say that it was a short labor.  I had prodromal labor that began on Saturday.  The regular 5 minutes apart pressure waves began on Monday morning and I was able to stay at home for most of Monday until my water broke around 5 pm and the pressure waves were about 2 minutes apart.

We packed up the car and headed off to the hospital at around 5:30 or so.  Before we knew it the baby was on her way and nothing could have stopped her ;-).  The doctor didn’t get there in time and it was the nurse and Daddy who “caught” her.  I’ll save the details for later.

The humorous part is that when the nurse realized she was coming RIGHT THEN she ran out to get some help.  My poor husband could see that she was coming out and he was all by himself.  I heard him yell “She’s coming NOW!” and then say “Where is the call button?”.   For a brief moment I thought he might be leaving to go find the nurse and I begged him not to leave.  Five seconds later three nurses rushed in just as she was born – one nurse helped to guide her out as my husband caught her while the other nurses started frantically grabbing supplies.  My husband said it looked like a comedy routine down to the baby just about flying across the room.

It was everything I had hoped Hypnobabies would help me with –

  • the ability to stay at home as long as possible
  • a quick birth once we arrived at the hospital
  • an alert, healthy, beautiful baby
  • who was able to nurse immediately.

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Elliott’s Wonderful Hypnobabies Home Water Birth (First Baby)

A bit of background: Before I had Elliott, I had been a doula for about 5 years and a Hypnobabies instructor for about 3 years. We struggled with infertility that whole time so there was such mystery to me surrounding childbirth, even though I worked in the field and loved my job.  I always hoped I would be able to experience pregnancy and childbirth but didn’t know for sure if I would get the opportunity.  When we finally got pregnant on our 5th attempt at IVF, the first thing I remember thinking was, “I’m going to finally give birth to a baby.” I had a perfectly healthy, although physically difficult pregnancy, dealing with nausea the entire 40 weeks.

I was due on January 28th, the day before my 35th birthday and on Feb 1st, I still had no signs of my birthing time beginning. My brother and his wife called to see if there was anything going on and I told them there was nothing – not a single birthing wave. But I was fine waiting for the baby to come whenever he or she was ready.  I was 40 weeks and 4 days and agreed to a non-stress test at 41 weeks so that’s the only thing I was dreading a little. Otherwise, I was completely fine waiting.

I remember looking at the clock when I got off the phone with them and it was 9:30pm. I felt my pelvis ache when I got off the phone but it passed. I asked my husband if he would read me a Hypnobabies script. I had been mostly listening to the scripts on CD during the maintenance phase of the program. But I loved hearing him read the scripts to me more than listening to them on CD so I was glad he agreed to read me one. It had been a while since we had done that. We probably finished the script at about 10:30 pm. I remember feeling my pelvis ache twice during the script. After the script was over, we turned out the lights and I had another ache in my pelvis that came and went.

I didn’t think anything of these aches because they felt nothing like how anyone had ever described birthing waves to me. To me, it felt like someone was tightening a vice on my pelvic bones. I just figured it was pregnancy discomfort, as I was pretty miserable towards the end of my pregnancy. Then I had another sensation and decided to look at the clock, just to see if there was a pattern. It was 10:59pm.  Another one at 11:09pm. Then around 11:25pm. Then 11:34pm. I got up to use the bathroom and had some bloody show. I hadn’t had any spotting throughout my pregnancy so that was definitely different.

I came back to bed and told DH that I thought someone might be starting.  He went back to sleep and I spent the next half-hour or so just sending my anesthesia to my pelvis and relaxing through the waves. I got up a little after midnight to call the midwife and give her a head’s up, even though I felt silly for calling her so soon. I went back to bed and relaxed through the waves and got up a few times to use the bathroom, only to see more bloody show. I called the midwife back around 3:00am to tell her the waves were still coming and seemed stronger and closer together.  I tried to wait as long as I could to wake up DH but after I called the midwife, I woke him up and told him I thought I needed some help.

The midwife said to try a bath so DH ran a bath for me. I got in and laid on my side and he put the CD player in the bathroom so that I could listen to my Birthing Day Affirmations while he rubbed my lower back, as I was starting to feel discomfort in that area along with my pelvis. Then I would turn on my other side for a while and do the same thing. I felt like I was relaxing very well and just saying, “Ahhhh,” during every wave. At that point, I was making noise because it felt good.  I decided to get out of the bath after an hour or so and tried a few birthing waves leaning over the side of our bed and on my hands and knees.

Around 5:00am, we called the midwife again. She asked if I wanted someone to come be with me but I told her I could call her back in an hour. I called her back in 45 minutes! I told her I probably needed someone to come check on me, as things weren’t slowing down at all. I realized now that I was making noise because I HAD to. I had DH call my mom and tell her to come (she had about an hour drive) and to call my fellow Hypnobabies instructor, Susan, who was going to be at the birth.  I wondered before the birth how I would feel about having people around me while I was in my birthing time but in that moment, all I knew is that I wanted all the help I could get!

My mom thought we were going to call her back later to tell her to definitely come but when DH told me this, I told him  to call her back and tell her to definitely come now!  It seems like everyone got to the house around 7 or 7:30am. I can’t remember who got there first but by that time, the midwife’ assistant and Susan were there, faces smiling knowingly at me! The midwife’s assistant asked it I wanted to be checked and I told her I wasn’t sure because I was worried I wouldn’t be very far along. I asked her what she thought and she said she thought it would be a good idea to see where I was.

So she checked me around 7:45am or so and I was 6cm!  I had never been as happy as I was to hear that!  My birth team started getting the birth pool set up and DH rubbed my back and butt through each birthing wave. Susan ran back and forth to give me physical and verbal cues during birthing waves and work on filling up the birth pool in between. I finally got in around 8:30am. I hung over the edge of the pool and the  water felt so good. I had little bites of bagel and cream cheese in between birthing waves and plenty of water. DH, Susan, and my mom were all surrounding me.

The physical and verbal cues were really helpful because I had practiced them so often and was able to relax instantly when I heard or felt them. I was still breathing deeply and Ahhh’ing through the birthing waves. I felt like I got louder and louder as the intensity of the waves built up. But I was focused on relaxing and it felt good to keep leaning over the edge of the pool. Pretty soon, I started to feel my body bear down and I let the midwife’s assistant know. She called the midwife to give her an update.  They were trying to figure out if she should leave the third-time mom she was currently with or stay with her.

So the midwife’s assistant asked me to get out of the tub to get checked, so they could make a decision. I was fully dilated and it was about 9:00am. I got back in the tub and they called the backup midwife, who was about 45 minutes away.  Susan put the Pushing Baby Out track on in the kitchen where I was. The midwife’s assistant told me to still try not to push but let my body do the pushing. I think that was partly because she wanted the backup midwife to get there but mainly to just allow for a gentle second stage.

I was a little confused about what I should be doing so I tried not to add to my pushing but my body was definitely pushing. It was getting harder to try and relax but I felt where the baby was inside of me and I could feel that he or she was making progress downward so that was inspiring! At one point, I felt a little pop inside and I think that was the hindwaters releasing because I could still feel the forewaters very taut around the baby’s head. The was so much pressure that I thought about asking the midwife’s assistant to break the forewaters but right when I was thinking that, she said how good it was that they were there to protect the baby’s head. The midwife’s assistant let me know that the baby would be crowing in the next few birthing waves.

I remember feeling intense pressure as he or she crowned and I let out my only shriek as the baby’s head came out, although I had to be told that that’s what had just happened. The baby didn’t wait for the next birthing wave but came out all at once instead. It was 10:58am. The midwife said, “There’s the baby,” and nudged him or her between my legs. I turned around quickly and brought the baby up out of the water as I sat down. I looked and said, “Oh!  It’s a boy!”  He was making noises and had a great heart rate. DH laughed and said, “You caught him yourself!”  The back up midwife walked through the door right after he was born. We couldn’t believe we were holding our baby boy after waiting so long for him and that everything had gone so smoothly!

 

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This is the story of how Blake chose to enter into the world on August 22nd at 12:50 pm. I begin at the beginning of my pregnancy so that others will see the journey my husband and I went on. How the choices we made and did not make affected us. I hope that other women will learn from my experience to listen to their inner self. I was blessed that I ended up with the birth that I desired (even though it was not planned this way) but for many others I know that this does not happen. They settle for something less than what they desire. I want other women to know that they are powerful, strong, and know how to follow the best choices for themselves no matter what others think or say.

Blake’s story begins in December 2009, when I found that we were pregnant. This after a few years of not preventing it. I soon found that there were many decisions about the care we wanted to receive and how we wanted Blake to enter into the world. I met with Julie Byers, a doula, to discuss options. Before meeting with Julie, I had joined the AnMed hospital practice in order to start receiving the prenatal care I needed. I met with Julie at a coffee shop and we began to discuss what I wanted, felt I needed for my care, and what I wanted in a birth. Speaking with Julie and having her listen to me “ramble on” allowed me to realized the kind of care I wanted and the type of birth I wanted. She suggested that I speak with her friend Carey Collins who is a midwife and learn more about homebirths.

I e-mailed Carey and left it at that. For many months I continued my care with AnMed but each time we went for a check-up, I felt rushed, not heard, and not pleased with my care. After going to AnMed to have blood drawn, Brandon and I stayed to tour the birthing unit of the hospital. We left the tour unimpressed and knowing that we were going to change practices. This was solidified in our minds when we asked the nurse if laboring mother’s could move around and her response was “No, you have to stay in the bed because the baby could just slip out if you were moving around”. All the way home I said “I will not be delivering there“.

We then started to look at birthing at Oconee hospital. That way we would be closer to home. We set up a tour of their birthing floor and was impressed with the attention, the one-on-one time the floor’s supervisor spent with us, and the answers we were given to the questions we had. We then asked for recommendations of doctors who delivered there. We were given names. I soon made an appointment and switched care providers.

Still unsure of what kind of birth I wanted I decided in April that I would meet with Carey, a midwife. By the time this meeting came to pass I had done much research on home births and discussed home birth with many different individuals. All with their own opinion of whether it was safe, appropriate, and all with their own opinion of what I should do. Brandon and I knew we wanted a home birth deep inside but we wanted to please those around us, so I discussed with Carey the possibility of her being our monitrice and laboring as much as possible at home and then going to the hospital to deliver. After meeting with Carey, and discussing the options, I decided that laboring at home and birthing at the hospital would make everyone happy. (Did I put much stock into how I felt about this? If you asked me then I would say yes. If you ask me today I would say I was the only person I did not listen to.) From this meeting with Carey, I loved the bond that quickly formed between the two of us and the knowledge she provided into understanding how I was feeling and the knowledge she had of birth itself. We decided that day to work with Carey, a decision I will never regret!

We soon went for our first visit with our new care provider and were impressed with the time she spent with us discussing our pregnancy. We were happy with our care until a visit in June when I went one time by myself and gave the doctor my birth plan. As I sat with her in the office the doctor began to write on my birth plan and marked out parts of my plan. Asking me questions that were formed in medical lingo that I didn’t understand. I left that day feeling bullied and beat up. At this point, I knew again deep inside that I really wanted a homebirth but I still didn’t listen to my inner self and continued care with this provider.

The visit in July was no better. From the urine specimen I gave when I first went in for that appointment they found protein. I was called into the doctors office and was told that I had to do a 24 hour catch and that they would probably have to take the baby early because I was showing one symptom of preclampsia. Even though I had no other symptoms they assumed this all this from one small dipstick. The doctor spent no time discussing with me what was going on and again I felt bullied and rushed. While in her office I asked her questions and questioned what she was doing. She would give no answers in terms that I could understand. I left completely panicked and immediately called Brandon and Carey. Carey was calm and reassuring that it was nothing and the doctors reacted that way to cover themselves. It turned out that it was nothing when the results came back from the lab. Again at this point I should have listened to myself when I KNEW I wanted to switch to midwife care but yet again I did not. I continued care with the providers and now had to go to appointments once a week.

Through the rest of the months I continued to meet with Carey and continued to wish for a home birth. But I kept telling myself at least with doula I could labor the way I wanted at home before having to give birth at the hospital. Brandon and I also began a Hypnobabies class with Julie. Each Thursday through the months of May and June we met with Julie and three other couples to share stories, excitement, and learned a way to control what our bodies felt during our child’s birthing day. We practiced everyday, listening to the scripts, doing prenatal exercises, eating healthy, and dreaming and talking about the birth we wanted. Through out the class, I often wondered to myself if this is really working, will I be able to do this when the time comes, and will I remember how to control my mind and body because Blake’s birthing day was so far way. Other important information we learned through this class was about birth and the process a women’s body, the baby, and the mind goes through during this special time and how our bodies were designed when we let them, to give birth in a natural way without help. Little did I know how important all the things we learned from this class would be!

Jump forward to the month of August. At the last visit to the doctor before Blake arrived, I was told that I would probably go full term and then some. This meant another two weeks. I was excited because it would give me a few weeks with my kids at school before Blake arrived. The first week of school when kids were back was a difficult week. There was a lot of stress and excitement all in one for me. I came home the Friday before Blake’s birth tired and worn out. My long term substitute backed out at the last minute and I was stressed. The next day was Saturday. That night I looked at my belly and told my son “Blake I am ready when you are, you come when you are ready, I love you”. Little did I know that this would began the process of Sunday becoming Blake’s birthing day. I believe that by giving Blake permission to come I honored him, my body, and what was to come.

Sunday I woke up with small cramps and a small, tiny, amount of discharge. Nothing that alarmed me or made me think Blake was coming anytime soon. I was busy planning on being at school the next day and seeing my kids for the second week of school. Brandon asked me around 8:45 if I was up to going grocery shopping because the cramps were a little stronger (Let me say here none of the cramps I experienced during my birthing time were anything close to what I have experienced during my period).

I told Brandon sure we must continue on with our day. Before we went to Bi-Lo I asked Brandon to take a picture of my belly. We had been meaning to for quite a while because I finally “looked” pregnant. I am so glad we did this. In the back of my mind I think I knew that Blake might be coming in the next few days. At 8:45 we left for Bi-Lo. As we shopped through Bi-Lo I had to stop every now and then because of the cramps and I would “look at the shelf” and made comments jokingly that if these cramps are pressure waves than this is nothing. I also looked at Brandon after one of them and said jokingly “I smile and feel happy after my pressure waves.” This came from one of the Hypnobabies scripts that I had ingrained into my brain. I really could recite many of the scripts by heart. After making these comments Brandon and I would bust out laughing at each other!!

 

We didn’t even consider that those really were pressure waves, I thought my body is just getting started and I had a few more days to prepare. On the way home, I mentioned to Brandon that I thought Blake had dropped because I had a huge gap between him and my ribs. Blake was always in my ribs during the pregnancy. I should have taken this as a clue but since I was not experiencing anything I thought of as “labor” I choose to continue to ignore what I was experiencing and dismissed it.

When we returned from the store, I started to have diarrhea on top of the cramps. I asked Brandon to call Carey just to ask if this was normal. This was around 10:00. Carey reassured both of us that all was normal. This was the normal way for the body to get ready for the birth that was to come and it could be another couple of days. She reminded us just to continue with our normal routine and ignore it.

 

After speaking with Carey, we decided to watch a movie that we had rented the night before. I tried laying down and watching but the cramps were uncomfortable and I kept having to go the bathroom. This continued for a while. I would lay down to watch the movie, watch about minute or two and then I would be up and going to the bathroom. I soon claimed the toilet as my throne. During my time on the throne, Brandon was busy gathering items for the hospital. Later I asked him if he knew it was going to happen and he said he thought he should be ready in case.

 

After being on my throne for a while, I found some comfort on the birthing ball by bouncing up and down and rolling my hips back and forth while sitting on it. I told Brandon just to turn the movie off because I couldn’t remember what was happening during each time I cam back from the bathroom. The comfort from sitting on the birthing ball only lasted a few minutes and it was back to my throne in the bathroom, where I felt most comfortable. Again I should have started putting the signs together because Julie told us in the class some women spend lots of time on the toilet during their pressure waves because it is most comfortable.

 

I still didn’t realize what was going on because I was waiting on the “labor pains” that many women speak of. I was only having pressure and they were not even like the Braxton Hicks I had experienced in the months and weeks before.

Wanting to get off my throne and try something else I remembered how much water was a comfort to me during pregnancy. I asked Brandon to run a bath for me. He soon joined me at the side of the tub as I took a bath. During the short time in the tub, Brandon poured cups of water over me and spoke words of encouragement and peace. He tried to comfort me through the cramps, pressure, and the many feelings I was experiencing. Quickly the bath became uncomfortable and I moved to the bed. I was there for no longer than 5 minutes. I had just enough time there to put my I-Pod on for only a few seconds and found a Hypnobabies script. The only words I heard on the script were the words “open, open, open”. I then threw off the I-Pod and ran to the master bath to claim my throne once again. At this point I still did not realize that I was experiencing pressure waves and dilation.

This time I called for Brandon to come to the bathroom because every time I tried to use the bathroom I now felt as if I was going to throw up as well. Brandon’s job became to hold the trashcan and allow me to lean over his arm that he held in front of me during the cramps and sensations of pressure. During these moments he spoke words of affirmation and words of comfort that he learned in our Hypnobabies class. He helped me to relax and remember that my body knew what it was doing and that my body was made for this. Soon I began to move back and forth between the floor and my throne.

 

I asked Brandon to call Carey around 12:26 and tell her to head this way because I no longer felt comfortable being without her. I needed her reassurance that everything was normal. At this point we still did not know that Blake would be entering the world in a few minutes.

Soon I asked Brandon to help me to move to the floor and that is when my water broke. It felt to me as if it was gushing everywhere and flooding the floor. I told Brandon I think my water broke and said he was not so sure because it really was not very much. Worrying it was going everywhere Brandon reassured me that it was ok and that the water was no problem to deal with. I soon asked Brandon to move me back up to my throne.

As I sat on my throne, I felt the need to use bathroom but nothing was happening each time I tried. I began to feel a greater amount of pressure down below and moved my hands to see if I could feel what was happening. I could not. Through each intense set of pressure waves, Brandon gently held me up and to told me to relax, breath deeply and slowly (which is hard to do), and to allow my body to be loose and limp. Again all these affirmations and prompts came from our Hypnobabies class. Looking back I was surprised at how quickly all the scripts came back to me and how my body was using them without me knowing.

After being on the throne for a few minutes I then felt the need to move back to the floor. This is where I felt the most comfort while I experienced the pressure waves from where Blake was at inside of me. I still didn’t realize at this point what was happening. I was waiting for the intense p**n of labor that I grew up hearing about. When Brandon got me to the floor I began to push as if I was using the bathroom. My body wanted me to push and so I did. It was the only comfort to the pressure I was feeling and as I pushed I thought that I felt something coming out.

 

Yet again I felt below and this time I thought I felt hair. Brandon at this point saw Blake’s head and hair. He said it would peek out and then go back in. I really thought I felt it too but Brandon told me it was “nothing, don’t worry about it” when I asked him what it was. Later we laughed about this and how he choose to tell me a little white lie. He said he told me it was nothing because he was doing his best to keep me from freaking out. My husband knows me well because we were all by ourselves and Blake was on his way and had I realized this I probably would have freaked out.

At this point I don’t remember much because of the way my mind and body were working together. Brandon said very quickly Blake’s head peeked back out and that he told me not to push. Then Blake’s head come all the way out and Brandon told me to give a little push. Brandon was able to see Blake turn as he slid all the way out at 12:50. This was something Brandon was expecting because during our hypno class we saw pictures of how the baby turns in order to leave the body.

 

When Blake came out, Brandon quickly laid him on my chest and covered him with a towel. I was in shock and kept asking Brandon if it was a dream and if Blake was really here. I then kept shouting at him what time is it, what time is it. I wanted to know the time of our precious baby’s birth.

Brandon called Carey back to tell her Blake had arrived (it had only been 24 minutes since our last call to Carey to head this way) and she to could not believe that Blake was already here. She was still 15-20 minutes away from the house. During this time on the phone Carey assured Brandon that everything was fine. However Brandon had a hard time hearing her because I was so consumed with excitement and joy (meaning I was loud). Brandon handed me the phone and said “Carey wants to talk to you”.

Carey quickly got me calmed down as I began to experience the euphoria of holding my son that my husband caught and gazing into my son’s eyes. I still had a hard time believing that this was not just a pregnancy dream. Brandon propped me up and continued to speak words of love and told me how impressed and in awe he was of what I had just done. I in turn told him how proud of him I was for catching our son! Did I mentioned that smoke detector went off and Blake christened me while we were cuddling on the floor all before Carey arrived?

Carey finally arrived to the house as I laid in the bathroom floor. She came in wheeling a suitcase full of midwife stuff and said to Brandon “boil a big pot of water” as she passed straight through the house to get to Blake and I. Brandon later said to my mom, “yes you really do boil a pot of water like in all the old movies.”

Carey came in the bathroom and checked Blake and I over and began to step into action. She helped me to birth the placenta and showed Brandon and I the ‘tree of life’ that is on it. I wish I had Brandon take a picture. She also helped me to nurse Blake for the first time on my chest while he was still attached to his umbilical chord. She checked over Blake and I before moving us to the bed.

 

While I was in the bed coming down from the adrenaline, Carey clamped and cut the chord and she had Brandon cook me some eggs and toast. Carey began to feed me and Brandon said I kept falling asleep between bites. While Carey was looking after me, Blake was being held by his father. After eating, Carey put Blake in the bed with me and helped me to nurse again. Then Brandon weighed and helped measure Blake. He was 7lbs 9oz and 21 inches long. Soon Brandon crawled into the bed and spent time with me and Blake while Carey cleaned up the bathroom and started a load of towels in the wash.

 

At this point no one but Carey, Brandon, and I knew Blake was here. It was wonderful to enjoy our son in the peace and quiet of our own home, in our own bed, in our own way. Carey respected us and our wishes in a way I will never forget.

That is the story of how Blake chose to enter into the world on August 22nd at 12:50 pm. Again let me remind you that I begin at the beginning of my pregnancy so that others will see the journey my husband and I went on. How the choices we made and did not make affected us and our child.

I truly believe that during this pregnancy and birth even though I did not listen to myself, that my son Blake, my body, my mind, and God knew that deep down I desired:

  • - a birth that was not at a hospital
  • -a birth where the mother’s body was the guide
  • -a birth where only love and affirmations was given to the mother
  • -a birth that was comfortable with no fear or p**n
  • -a birth where the mother’s wishes were followed and space respected
  • -a birth where Dad was active and allowed to experience all the joy and excitement of birth

I am blessed because in the end I did experience the birth of my son in the most intimate and perfect way.

Would I had experienced all that with the birth that I had planned at the hospital?

Being completely honest I would have to loudly say No I would not have.

To end Blake’s story I want to quote my mother law from her post on Facebook:

“Brandon and Jenni brought Blake into this world with only God present……what a special time and a special blessing! Praise God !!”

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My daughter is six months already! I thought I’d have this posted earlier, but then I realized how much work a baby is :)

Going home from work on Tuesday, June 15th, I called my mom. I just felt this strong desire to tell her how much I appreciate her and how much I love her. My mom was a single mom for most of my childhood. She has been so supportive of me throughout my life. She even paid for my Hypnobabies course! When I cried on the phone (grateful tears for her sacrifices throughout my life and hopeful tears that I could be such a good mom), she asked, “Are you having symptoms of labor?” I had only been feeling a bit nauseated and uncomfortable while sitting but not felt like I’d any pressure waves yet. But my mom knew something was up.

Then my water broke at about 1am. I was asleep next to my husband and felt a gush all of a sudden. I hopped up to the bathroom…very excited. I brought a towel back to the bed. I knew we were in for a long day, so I tried to sleep but couldn’t. Ben noticed and asked me if I was okay. “You’re not going to work today,” I told him, “my water broke.” He said, “I think you should really try to sleep.” I wasn’t having pressure waves yet, so it should have been easier for me to sleep…but I was too excited. I sat in the living room for a while and read from a novel (American Gods by Neil Gaiman).

I dozed on and off until Ben woke up again soon after sunrise. We decided to go to the grocery store to get supplies before going to the hospital. By this time, I was having regular pressure waves (every 6 minutes or so). I was in “center” and still very comfortable.

When we got to the hospital, I was sure that they would be surprised at how far along I was. But triage was not a good place for me. You don’t really need a bubble of peace for this part, since everything turned out alright. It was just a place of saying “no” to a lot of interventions.

First, the midwife in triage did not believe that my water had broken. So they did a swab test twice. And they called in a doctor to do an ultrasound to measure the fluid level. They saw that I was having pressure waves, but they measured me as only 1cm dilated. This doctor just happened to be the same doctor who saw me once at the midwife practice (because the midwives and doctors were “cross-training”) and at that visit had tried to convince me that my baby was measuring too small (baby turned out to be 8lbs 10oz!) and that I should go back on the anti-anxiety drugs that I had weaned-off of early in the pregnancy because I wanted my daughter to be drug-free. She suggested this at 30-some weeks! At that point, I wouldn’t see any benefit since the drug takes time to build to effective levels.  Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in her.

When they finally decided that my water had broken, they told me that I would be admitted. At this point, Ben and I just really wanted to get to the room so we could focus and be quiet together. Before we left triage, the midwife there told me that the doctor would want to start pitocin since my water had been broken for so long (about 8 hours at that point). A second midwife (the one who would be following us “on the floor”) introduced herself and interjected, “but you want a water birth, and you can’t have that with pitocin since because you have to be continuously monitored. Maybe you want to try another drug that will augment labor. It is inserted rather than put into an IV.” She was talking about Cytotec. I was angry that they would be pushing this. I don’t remember exactly what Ben said, but it was something about how we would want to hear the benefits and risks of that when the time came for us to decide but that the time wasn’t now. We just really wanted to get back to the room to do the birth our way.

All this time, I had been receiving IV fluids because the baby’s heart rate was elevated. I drained three bags of fluid in the time we were in triage, so it does seem like I was dehydrated. At the same time, I felt like the medical staff were using the baby’s heart rate as emotional leverage to get us to consider interventions. I was definitely feeling the pressure to do what is right for the baby, and they kept pointing to the monitor when we discussed this. Because of my Hypnobabies training, I was confident that an intervention-free birth would be better for my baby, so I was able to resist this emotional blackmail. Having my husband there and informed about the issue made me feel more confident about this, too.  Finally, the baby’s heart rate improved to the point that the medical staff were comfortable in getting us out of triage and to the room. The “floor midwife” told us that the doctor (not the triage doctor but the one on the floor) was willing to let us do our thing until 6pm. At that point, they would want to see significant progress.

We got back to the room and started our CD (the one that the partners listen to early on but that pregnant women aren’t supposed to listen to until birthing day) Editors note: Easy First Stage. We walked around a lot. Ben got some lunch at one point. I was still very comfortable but feeling the pressure of time. Pressure waves got a lot stronger, and we tried to focus on the fact that this was bringing our baby closer. At one point, my mom arrived during a pressure wave, when my switch was off. I opened my eyes to see her sitting on the couch (at this point I was sitting on my side on the bed). I was so happy to see her. We walked the hall once with her, and she watched as Ben held me during my pressure waves. Later, she told Ben’s mom how proud she was of the way we worked together and how much she appreciated Ben’s support of me.

Mom didn’t stay in the room long. She went out to the waiting room and sent Ben’s folks back. I think it was at this point that I puked. It was sort of embarrassing. I had just eaten a little from a turkey sandwich, and I got kind of scared of eating for a few hours. However, I puked again (after not having any food for a while), and took this as a sign that it wasn’t the food making me sick (something I knew already on an intellectual level).

I got in and out of the shower and kept walking. I found that I could receive visitors best when on the birth ball and leaning over the bed. I’m a very private person, and I felt uncomfortable letting people see my “pressure wave face.” (It was a relaxed face, and having people see it made me feel vulnerable since only my husband and our teacher had been with me when I was that relaxed.) I vocalized a lot with deep hums. My older sister called from D.C. She encouraged me in my work for a natural birth.

At 6pm, I think I was at 3 or 4cm. This was satisfactory enough, since no one mentioned augmentation of labor after that. All of this time, our bedside nurse had been amazing. She kept bringing water and put the monitor on for brief moments periodically, but other than that she left us alone. The times when she arrived when I was “off”, she waited until I opened my eyes back in center. She was quiet and so respectful of our practice.

Our midwife was also wonderful. We were sad to see her go at the end of the shift. She told us that she wished she could have spent more time in the room, but that her practice had many women giving birth that night and that the others were having more interventions and thus needed more monitoring. She said that she got into midwifery in order to assist the births that were like mine, but that she spent more time managing medical births. She wished that more women could be informed and prepared for natural birth like us. Such is the life of a Certified Nurse Midwife in a hospital-based practice.

I was nervous and asked if the oncoming midwife had read our birthplan. This midwife assured us that she had, and that the oncoming midwife valued natural birth and had given birth naturally twice herself.

We met the second midwife and continued our practice, knowing that we could get in the water birth tub at 5cm. She measured me after 9pm and found that I was at 5cm. They got the tub ready. At around 10pm, I got in the tub. Ben got in with me and held me for one powerful pressure wave. When I felt the second wave in the water, I leaned forward into a squatting position and started to make a very loud guttural noise. It wasn’t like the quiet and smiling births I saw on YouTube, but it was something I felt I had to do. I think it scared Ben, since he hopped out of the tub and ran to call the midwife. She came in to check me and said, “You’re going to have the baby soon. You can push with the next contraction.” I had gone from 5cm to fully dilated in less than twenty minutes.

The midwife and the evening nurse stayed at the side of the tub. Ben stayed near my head, encouraging me and keeping the CD going. My pressure waves felt very powerful. I felt very tired. At this point, I had been awake for over twenty hours and had been feeling pressure waves all day. I was scared that I wouldn’t be strong enough. It felt so good to hear Kerry’s voice telling me that I and my baby are strong. I kept repeating this and became convinced that we could do this. My midwife also repeated to me that I and my baby are strong and that we were doing well.

Because the tub was not deep enough, I had to be in the position of lying back rather than squatting. I feel that I may have had less time in this phase if I had been able to squat. I spent more than two hours in this intense phase in the tub. My throat felt so raw the next day from the deep guttural noises I made during that time. They were like something primal…an energy pushing through me but not entirely “of” me.  I tend to be a quiet person and was initially embarrassed about this. But, thinking about it since then, I realize that not everyone has a quiet birth and that these vocalizations were natural for me at this powerful time.

I was getting frustrated because the pushes did not seem to be bringing my baby closer. My midwife said, “just two more pushes” more than once…maybe for more than an hour. Finally, Ben said, “She has so much hair! Can Sarah reach down and feel her hair?” And the midwife said, “Of course!” I reached down to feel my baby’s hair and found more strength and patience. Ben said that her hair was just flowing in the tub.

At first, I regretted that my eyes were closed when my daughter was born. I felt her emerge, all the way from her head to her toes. It was 12:53am. I opened my eyes when they put her on my chest. She was so beautiful! Her eyes were open, and she seemed so alert. She didn’t cry. When Ben touched our heads, it felt like we were the only people in the whole world. I knew at that moment that my husband and I could do anything together, since we had done this together. Our midwife and nurse waited for a while to clamp the cord, since this was in the birth plan. Ben cut the cord, and I said, “now your life apart from me begins.” I was both sad and happy.

 

I wonder if my daughter took so long (almost 24hours from water breaking to birth) because I was such a happy pregnant woman and told everyone that I wouldn’t mind carrying her for an extra week or two. I still miss having her safely tucked in my womb, but I’m so happy to see her and watch her grow and change. I don’t regret anymore that I had my eyes closed. I think those last few moments were mostly between me and her, and that closing my eyes and vocalizing was my way of connecting to my daughter as she traveled the last bit of her birth journey.

My daughter chose her birth date to be almost on her expected date. She would have been born on the expected date if not for daylight savings time. Ben called his folks and found out that our mothers were still in the waiting room. We were surprised because we hadn’t seen them for many hours. After I delivered the placenta and got into bed, Ben called our moms to come back. I got to hold and breastfeed our beautiful girl right away. The grandmas followed us to our post-partum room and helped us get settled.

Hypnobabies gave me the information I needed for the birth I wanted. It provided Ben and me with the practice time so that we were partners with the same goal in mind when the time came to make decisions. I am so grateful for this birth experience.

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