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Archive for the ‘Home Birth’ Category

I am so happy to announce Paloma was born on the 29th of Jan. It was a beautiful, powerful, magical experience. As many of you know, I spent the second half of my pregnancy exploring the idea that pain did not have to be part of a woman’s birth experience. And as I learned more about it, I decided to take the Hypnobabies home study course. I spent time everyday for the last two-and-a-half months of my pregnancy meditating, and listening to both the hypnosis and affirmations CD’s. As my due date drew closer, I spent more and more time preparing for her arrival mentally, physically, and spiritually.

Paloma’s due date came and passed. I was 41 weeks and 1 day. My patience was dwindling. It was my third day of having contractions, but they were so far apart (every 20 min) and very mild. I was able to sleep through most of them during the night and carried on as though everything was normal during the day.

As I grew more impatient, I called my midwife and asked her if I could start taking Cohosh to try and get things going. She told me she was down the street and would swing by to check my cervix and see where we were. She arrived, checked my cervix, and told me she was going to stay. She said I already was in labor. I laughed in disbelief, told her I felt great and that I didn’t think I was in labor. Little did I know, I would be holding my little Paloma less than 5 hours later.

My mother came over (she lives next door) along with my Aunt. We called the birth team and celebrated, getting last minute things together. Jo, my 3-year-old daughter, and I sang lullabies to the baby. I would pause to breathe through my contractions comfortably. My birth team arrived, and my home was filled with love and feminine wisdom. I was surrounded by the women of my family. Those that I grew up with, and those that raised me.

As things picked up, I drew inward during my contractions, still comfortable, just more focused. Soon, I was ready to get into the birth tub. Jo got into the tub with me and poured water over my back between contractions, which grew more powerful, but still comfortable.

Soon I was in transition. I hit that wall so many women hit, and I announced I was done. I was prepared to be pregnant forever, I just wanted to stop. My body was tired. When I said this, the midwife asked, “Are you done with the tub, or the whole show?” I told her I was done with the whole show, as she put it. From my statement, the midwives and my doula knew we were almost there. They got me out of the tub and into my bed. I am so glad they did. All snuggled up, my contractions stopped for a few minutes and I took a much needed nap.

I woke up refreshed, to the most powerful contractions. I labored on my hands and knees. At one moment, I felt an energy rush from my body that was so powerful, and so pure, I knew it was the energy of Mother Goddess. I roared like a lion. And at that moment, I felt the soul Paloma and I shared since her conception split into two, and I knew she was ready to be born. There was still a lip left on one side of my cervix, which the midwife pushed out of the way. This was the only uncomfortable part of my birth. But still not painful. Her birth was free of both pain and fear. And as soon as Paloma’s head was past the lip, the birth actually felt wonderful from that moment on. Pushing was so satisfying, and I couldn’t feel the contractions anymore. I only knew I was having one because my body would start pushing by itself. In fact, everything I did was involuntary at that point. I had surrendered to the power of birth and it took over. As she was crowning, my midwives and doula coached me through pushing her head out between contractions, to protect my perineum. I let her shoulders turn, and the rest of her body slipped out of me and the midwife put her on my chest. There she stayed until the placenta was also delivered. My father came in and cut her cord (he also cut Jo’s) and then she nursed.

A few hours later I found out that the moon was full. In fact, it was a Wolf Moon, which is the brightest full moon of the year. That must have been what she was waiting for. : ) The celebration continued through the night. And, eventually we got a little shut eye. Paloma’s birth was empowering, magical, peaceful. She came into this world at home, in our family bed, surrounded by the people that love her. I am eternally grateful for the experience.

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I have posted many, many Hypnobabies Birth Stories here.  I think this is the first one I have posted from the Midwife’s point of view.

Visit Nurtured Hearts Birthing Services Blog to read this amazing birth story!

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We welcomed our second Hypnobaby, Miriam Dawn, on June 23rd. She was born at home in the water after a fast and easy birthing time. She was also breech and her delivery could not have gone more perfectly. She came out so fast my husband almost missed it!

If you want to see photos, check out my blog: http://redheadmusings.blogspot.com/2010/06/story-of-miriams-breech-homebirth.html
Now for the long version…

With my first baby (born July 2008) I did the Hypnobabies homestudy course. I had a drug free delivery in a hospital. Everything went smoothly but I ended up pushing for 3 hours!

When I got pregnant this time I decided to do a live class. I wanted my husband to be more involved and understand everything better. We had a great class and my husband Jared really got on board with everything. I had a very uneventful pregnancy until the third trimester. I felt great, and with the exception of some round ligament pain, never even got that uncomfortable. However, Baby Miriam decided we needed some more drama in our lives when she turned breech around the start of the third trimester and stubbornly refused to go head down. We spent weeks trying all the normal tricks–breech tilt, inversion, chiropractor, acupuncture, massage, Turn Your Breech Baby cd, music, ice, flashlight, headstands, homeopathics, and of course lots and lots of prayers.

Finally, when I was almost 38 weeks my midwife referred me to an OB for a version. I had an ultrasound done first where it was discovered that my amniotic fluid levels were quite low. Too low to attempt a version, and low enough to cause concern that something else could be wrong. The OB said that most of his colleagues would recommend I get a c-section that night since my baby was full term and breech. He realized that was obviously something we wanted to avoid, so he recommended a non-stress test to see how the baby was doing first. Fortunately, my midwife could do this at her office, so we didn’t have to stay in the hospital. Baby was doing great so the orders were to “hydrate like hell” and hope to get my fluids up enough to attempt the version in a couple days. I drank liters and liters of water but when I went back for another ultrasound my fluid levels were barely higher. A version was no longer an option. Time to prepare for plan B.

We did another non-stress test (baby still doing great) and talked things over with our midwife. Here in Utah it is illegal for liscensed midwives to attend breech births at home. This meant our wonderful midwife, Rebecca, could not attend our birth alone. So she contacted a very experienced and well respected lay midwife in our area and asked her if she’d be willing to come to our birth. Chris agreed to come. We decided it was probably best for Miriam to come pretty soon since my fluid levels were so low. We decided to give her a few more days but made plans to encourage things along the following Wednesday. We continued to do non stress tests every other day, which Miriam always passed with flying colors.

Wednesday came and that morning Rebecca stripped my membranes and gave me cohosh in the hopes of getting labor started. I’m not usually a fan of even these types of intervention but with my low fluid levels and a breech baby we thought it was best to encourage things along. We did another nonstress test that morning too and she was happy as always. When Rebecca stripped my membranes I was 4 cm dilated and 50% effaced with a bulging bag of waters quite low. Not a bad start.

We left Rebecca’s office just before 10 and headed to Costco to get a few last minute things. I started having a few mild cramps. By the time we left Costco they had picked up a bit. We stopped at one more store to get diapers and pads and then headed home. It was just after 11 am when we got home. I was having mild and crampy waves pretty close together but still didn’t know if they would go anywhere. I had several things I wanted to get done around the house and thought I would have plenty of time. I got on the computer to do a quick post on my blog. By the time I was done with that I was having to really concentrate on the waves to relax. They were getting more intense and were VERY close together. Rebecca called around noon and said that was the cohosh at work.

I laid on my bed and listened to Easy First Stage. The waves were so close together I hardly got a chance to regroup between them. Time gets a little fuzzy from here on out, but I spent a few waves on the toilet and then on the floor of the bathroom on my hands and knees. Then I went back to my bed. Rebecca called again and said she would come right over as soon as her last appointment left. I was back in the bathroom when she got to our house about 1:45. She checked me and I was 7 cm and 80% effaced. And bless her she said I could get in the birth pool!

I was so happy to be in the water. It really helped me relax more. The waves had spaced out a tiny bit so I was getting a bit more of a break between them, but they were also getting super intense. I knelt and leaned against the side of the pool and started vocalizing through them. In the mean time, Jared was working out arrangements for our son Asher who had just woken up from his nap, and we were still waiting on Chris, the other midwife to get there. Right around when she arrived I started feeling pushy and felt a pop–my water broke. This is also about the time Jared left to take Asher around the corner to a friend’s house. I started pushing involuntarily and pretty soon her bottom was out and then her legs. And Jared wasn’t back yet! Rebecca ran out the door to see if she could catch him but didn’t see him. He got back when Miriam was half way out. Chris told me to reach down and touch her so I was rubbing her back before her head was out. She got still for a moment while she got her arms out and then I pushed again and her head came right out super easy.  I just lifted her between my legs and turned around. No one else even touched her. I think the whole pushing phase was less than 5 minutes. (Unfortunately, it was so fast that we didn’t get a chance to get out the video camera. I really wanted to get the birth on video since a breech homebirth is so unusual. That is my only regret for the day.)

She was born at 2:41 pm. So I had roughly 3- 3 1/2 hours of active labor. I think because of the cohosh and membrane stripping, everything was more intense. My waves were always super close together. It was definitely a fast ride. But I remained very calm and peaceful during the whole thing. Thank you, Hypnobabies! I really trusted my body and my baby and it could not have gone more smoothly.

When I lifted Miriam out of the water her eyes were wide open and she was quiet. My first thought was that her eyes were huge and she looked so different than Asher did right after he was born. (He was all swollen and bruised.) I rubbed her back and we put a towel on her and she started pinking up and making some noise. We hung out in the water until the cord stopped pulsing and then Rebecca clamped it and Jared cut it. Jared took Miriam and held her skin to skin while I got out of the water and went over to the couch. I wasn’t even bleeding that much thank goodness. A few minutes later I pushed out the placenta. We just hung out on the couch and Miriam eventually started nursing while Rebecca and Chris cleaned up and then checked me out. I didn’t tear! I just have a little “skid mark” that will heal up fine. I’m not even sore. I only used one ice pack that day and have felt fine since. Much different than how I felt after Asher when it seemed like my bottom wasn’t even attached to by body anymore! Three hours of pushing can do that I guess!

My grandma thoughtfully had some pizza sent to our house so thats what we ate for a late lunch. Then I had to go pee so Rebecca helped me up and I got all cleaned and padded up. :-) I seriously felt SO good. I didn’t feel like I had just had a baby. I put on some clothes and then we weighed and measured Miriam. 6 pounds 10 ounces, 19 1/2 inches long, 13 inch head. Absolutely perfect.

This birth was pretty much exactly as I had been visualizing it my entire pregnancy. The only difference is that it was faster and she was breech. I really wanted to go into labor in the morning after a good night’s sleep and then have her in the afternoon sometime. I imagined being in the water, kneeling and catching her myself. That is exactly what I did. Although labor was very fast and intense, I was always calm and never afraid. I always felt really peaceful about everything. Pushing was SO easy and painless and she came right out fast and perfectly. The mind is so powerful. During waves I imagined myself opening really big to allow her body and head to come through easily. After she was born I also imagined everything closing up so that I wouldn’t bleed very much. (Redheads are notorious for being bleeders.)

I feel like the stars really aligned to give us the perfect peaceful home birth we had prepared for. I will be forever grateful to our midwives for their confidence in the birth process. I’m still amazed at how easy and beautiful this birth was when probably 99.9% of people in our situation would have had a c-section. I feel so blessed that I had this experience.

And let me also add that being at home right after is SO great! I’ve loved it. I hope I never have to birth in a hospital again!

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Hypnobabies disclaimer: This birth story has non-Hypnobabies language in it, so use your BOP of peace if you feel the need. It was intense, a wild ride, but not what I would call painful. (I have chronic migraines, now THOSE I consider painful!).

This was my 4th Hypnobabies birth and 3rd homebirth. I’ve never given birth without Hypnobabies, so I don’t have anything to compare it to. I didn’t listen to my Birth Guide tracks (my home study course is from 2004, I know these tracks are a little different now) and didn’t feel the need to use my lightswitch. But after 4 times, the hypnoanesthesia and other hypnotechniques (“release” and “peace” cues) are so automatically integrated into the birthing process for me that it’s not something I consciously think about. Saying “open, open, open” was the only thing I remember consciously choosing to do.

I did a lot of envisioning my birth this time around, and this was pretty much exactly like I had pictured. I know it’s not to everyone’s taste ;) but for me it was exactly what I wanted.

~Sonja

*****

I wasn’t getting much sleep on Monday night, the night of the 14th. I went to bed around 10 pm but between waking up to pee every 45 minutes (love having a bladder the size of a walnut) and my 22 month old repeatedly waking up and needing me (2 year molars suck), there wasn’t a great deal of sleeping going on. I was large and uncomfortable, felt like I needed the assistance of heavy machinery to help get me out of bed. But thanks to this I know that I was not having any contractions throughout the night, everything was calm in uterus-land.

Just after 4 am I got up to tend to DD2 again. Got her some more water, settled her back down and made yet another trip to the bathroom. Started to go back to sleep and then…. hmmm, was that a contraction? Involuntarily I was out of bed, kneeling on the floor and leaning over the side of the bed.

I glanced at the clock and it was 4:15 am. I woke up DH who asked if I was in labor and I said I didn’t know, maybe? He snorted and said “this is no maybe – last time you had the kid 2 hours later” and went downstairs to get things going. I called my midwife to let her know that I had a contraction and had the 2nd contraction while I was on the phone with her, she left as soon as we hung up. Then I grabbed my computer and sent a Facebook message to the chiropractor I was going to see later that morning, letting her know that something might be getting started so I might not make it to see her that morning.

The birth tub heater was broken and it was only maintaining about 92 degrees, so DH started the big stock pots of water boiling. After my last two 2 hour labors we knew we might be pressed for time. I brought down my iPod to listen to my Hypnobabies Birth Guide tracks but don’t remember where I set it down. We spread out a shower curtain on the floor in front of the birth tub, put the waterproof sheet and spare sheet on the futon, then DH went upstairs to make some coffee.

When a contraction would hit I would lean on my hands and knees over the futon, moving my hips and making really low vocalizations to keep myself relaxed and saying “open, open, open” (like on my Hypnobabies tracks). DH came and asked how I was doing and I looked at him and joked “stop the ride, please, I want off now!”

This was probably about 4:30 am. I remember thinking that I couldn’t really be in labor yet because I was still wearing my nightgown – I can’t stand to have any clothes on when I’m laboring. ;)

I went into the bathroom and thought about sitting down, but realized that if I sat down on the toilet then I probably wouldn’t be able to get back up and didn’t want to spend the rest of the time stuck on the toilet. I walked back into the family room and the tub looked so inviting – off came the nightgown and in I went. I was hot and sweating and the water was warm enough to feel comforting but not overheat me. The feeling of relief and support when I sank down into the water was amazing.

DH came down with the first pot of boiling and poured it into the other side of the tub, I was acutely aware of the feeling of the hot water swirling around in the cooler water of the tub and the coolness of the edge of the birth tub against my forehead as I knelt down, focusing on the physical sensations. DH went back upstairs to refill the pot and check on the others and I leaned over the side of the tub, enjoying the warm waters swirling around my legs.

I felt a bit of pressure, reached down and felt the baby’s head & amniotic sac right at the opening, then my water broke. I yelled upstairs “hon, turn the stove off!”. He yelled back “why, is it warm enough?” It was difficult to talk (I tend to be non-verbal in labor) but managed to say “baby!” as my body started to push with me half- kneeling, half-squatting.

The head emerged as he ran down the half- flight of stairs saying “holy sh*t, you’re kidding me!” and then the entire baby flew out into the tub. DH scooped the baby out of the water to hand to me as I turned over. I caught a glimpse between the legs as I cuddled him up and said “we have another little boy!”. I kept his body down in the water to keep him warm and had DH hand me a chux pad to cover him up with.

I told DH to open my computer and check the time, it was 4:39 am. 24 minutes after the very first contraction and, as DH said, “I didn’t even have time to brew my coffee!”.

Ian Grainger B.

9 lb 8 oz, 21.5″

My longest pregnancy (40+4 by ovulation), shortest labor (24 minutes) and next-to-smallest baby.

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I had a really wonderful homebirth.  I am so glad that I used Hypnobabies again.  This is my second homebirth and my second time using Hypnobabies.

Amara’s birth story

I went to a neighbor’s house on Friday the 12th of March 2010 at about 6pm to play games are just relax.  At about 8:30 I stood up to go to the bathroom and felt a little gush.  I thought that I had peed myself so I went in to the bathroom and found so that the pad was stained pink and smelled differently.  I thought that I could stay at the party for a while but every time I stood up I was leaking so I went home and called the midwife.  I was not having any PW so I knew it would be a while.  Honestly, I was disappointed to have my water break early.  With my son, PW were much harder to deal with after my water was broken.  The midwife told me to lie down and get some sleep.  I tried to sleep but just ended up laying there until I began having a few PW at 2am.  They were coming close together but were not very strong.  Aaron (husband) insisted on timing them and then on calling the midwife.  She came by and checked me at 4 am but by then things had puttered out.  I was 3 centimeters when she checked.  She went home and we called my mom and sister to come over at 6am.

At this point I am not having very many PW and have been just laying down resting and listening to my Hypnobabies Early First Stage CD.  At 3 pm the midwife comes back and checks and I am still at a 3 with hardly any PW.  She gave me some homeopathic labor pills that dissolve under the tongue and I immediately begin to have strong regular PW.  During this time my family has made food for everyone, my husband has been entertaining our son and everyone comes to check on me every few minutes, alternating sitting with me.  My family and I all go for a walk around the block and I have lots of strong PW.  I begin to really have to focus on them and tell myself “Pressure, pressure, pressure” each time I have them, so I remember that it is not pain but just a lot of pressure.  I retire to my room and keep walking around the bed and continue to have PW.  The midwife leaves (she had another woman that was in labor too and was checking on her) and in a few hours comes back to check me.  I was just at a 4 and PW were slowing again so the midwife gave me more homeopathic pills.  This ramps up the waves again.  Feeling a little discouraged, I put on the Pushing baby out CD so that I would get my mind to start thinking about that.

I start to feel a little pushy almost immediately.  Remembering an article I read where the midwife was saying that giving little pushes, if the mom feels the need to, can open up the cervix more quickly, I begin to bear down a bit when I get a PW.  At 6 pm the midwife checks again and I am at a 6!  I am so happy to be moving along so I keep up with the bearing down.  At 8 pm I really start needing to bear down a lot and the PW are really strong.  I am at an 8 at this point.  I asked for oxygen because I was feeling light headed and nauseous.  That was a life saver.  As soon as they put it on, I felt much better.

At 8:41 pm my mom, sister and husband gathered around the bed and hold my hands when I start to push at each wave.  I remembered to push with my butt and not my tummy (something I had trouble with last time) and can really feel her moving down.  This is the only part of birth that was really hard.  Amara was coming down with the lip of my cervix.  The midwife kept trying to push it out of the way but it hurt so much I asked her to stop.  Then she did it really slowly and it finally worked.  When her head was coming out I was surprised at how much it hurt.  With my son it did not hurt much at all.  I asked for the hot wash cloths to be put on me and that really helped.  Later, my midwife told me that she was turning while she was coming out.

After three good pushes, she was out and on my tummy.  Born March 13th at 8:59 pm.  She was covered in vernex and cried a little bit.  She had her eyes wide open and black hair on her head.  We were all so excited to see her.  I cuddled her while the midwife rubbed her down with a warm towel.  I had no tearing at all.  A few minutes later the placenta came out and Aaron cut the cord.  Within 30 minutes, I put her to my breast and she nursed for an hour and a half.  She was 7 lbs ½ oz and 21 ½ inches long and two weeks early.  Then we all snuggled up in bed and went to sleep.

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Drives herself home from work and has the baby 2 hours later!

Part 1:

http://confessionsofamisplacedalaskan.wordpress.com/2010/04/19/baby-hancock-has-arrived/

Part 2:

http://confessionsofamisplacedalaskan.wordpress.com/2010/04/21/im-a-babycatcher/

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With my first child, I planned to have an out-of-hospital birth at a birth center. At 41w 5d, the midwives decided that my blood pressure was too high (160s/90s) to be out of hospital and referred me to a practice of midwives in a hospital for an induction that night.  Cervadil was followed by magnesium sulfate (given to prevent siezures if I developed eclampsia – but also used to stop preterm labor) and then pitocin.  Though I was treated well by the midwives and nurses, I ended up with virtually every intervention, including a c-section 36 hours after they started the cervadil after being stalled at 7 cm for 6 hours.  My baby was healthy, though suctioned a lot and I didn’t hold him during that “magic” first hour as I was waiting to regain enough feeling in my breasts to feed him.  He was 8lbs 4oz with a 95th percentile head that showed signs that he was asynclitic and posterior.

My second was a planned VBAC. I needed a change, and ended up with new everything – new doula, new hospital, new midwives.  There was a lot of monitoring of my blood pressure and after one very high reading (which I lowered with the help of hypnosis) I ended up having 3 biophyiscal profiles.  Going to my appointments was no longer fun as was always worried that they’d find some reason to tell me that I needed to go in for a repeat c-section.  But this baby came on his own, either 2 days after his due date or on his due date, starting with my water breaking.  My response was to go downstairs to bake a birthday cake for the baby, and then sleep for a few hours.  After about 5 hours, we arrived at the hospital to find I was 5 cm – so exciting since I was only 1 cm when I arrived for the induction of my first.

Hypnobabies was great for me and helped me to be present during my birthing time, even as I contemplated the fact that it seemed like it would have been easier if I’d scheduled a repeat c-section.  During pushing (guided, not mother directed), there were concerns about decels, and the midwife administered a pudendal block because she’d called her ob backup believing that they’d perform an episiotomy and then use the vacuum.  The ob asked why she was called, looked at the monitor and said, “Looks fine now.  Keep going.”  I was so grateful that she just sat at the end of the bed and adjusted the mirror, so I could see my son emerge – it was the most helpful thing as seeing that little head get larger let me know that I was really “doing it right.”

My second was born in a room full of doctors and pediatricians – we believe he wanted the audience as he is a social little bug.  He was immediately placed on my stomach and stayed with me for at least the next 90 minutes.  (My husband was incredibly patient, allowing me this time to hold the baby.)  He nursed well after 40 minutes (and then continued to nurse for an hour) and weighed 9lb and had a 50th percentile head.

I’d always wanted a girl…so we went for number 3.  The midwife I saw for my VBAC had moved to a different office with stricter policies (such as showing up late for your appointment could result in losing the privilege of scheduling an appointment for the next 6 months during which time you’d have to be a walk in patient and have to wait up to 3 hours to be seen.)  They were also often running late – by 30 to 60 minutes.  I also asked if the hospital rules would be different (I was “required” to have a heplock, continuous monitoring – they did have wireless monitors – and could not birth in the tub.)  I was told that the rules would be the same, but they’d be “more relaxed.”

I started to look at my options. No birth center would take me because of my previous c-section.  So, I contacted my doula from my VBAC , also a 3rd year midwifery student, and asked her about home birth.  (I knew I she’d had a home birth VBA2C.)  She told me about two midwives she was working with, one who’d attended her during her home birth.  My husband and I clicked with this midwife and so I made the switch.  I got to go back to what I loved about midwifery care – the time you spend with your care provider talking about things that are important, just getting to know her and trust her, establishing a relationship and being with her during your whole appointment.  We also found out the gender, something we hadn’t done with the boys and learned we’d be having a girl.  (I must admit that I wasn’t totally convinced until she was born and I could see for myself.)

I was more able to stop worrying about my blood pressure being too high, and though it did rise as I progressed through the weeks, it didn’t get as high as before.  I had a “practice” run just before my birthing time (39w 5d by my original midwife’s dating, 39w 3d by mine), where I had waves from 7:40 pm to 11:30 am, but then the waves stopped.  I listened to “Come OUT, Baby.”  I went back to my usual activities and worked hard to finish the baby blanket I’d started 5 weeks before.  I was down to the final casting off when I went to bed on Sunday night.

On Monday morning (40w by my dating), I woke up with stronger waves.  I laid in bed and wondered if I’d take my boys to the craft at the mall or not.  After 40 minutes, I called my husband and told him I thought I needed him to come home.  I called the midwife and told her that things seemed to be happening again and she asked me to time them.  I called my friend to come and take my boys.  As I tried to get the boys fed and dressed and ready to go, the waves came more frequently.  My husband got a ride with a co-worker (he’d carpooled that morning) and got home just before my friend arrived for the boys.  At one point we were talking in the driveway and I kind of nodded in answer to her question, probably looking a bit faraway as well.  She asked if I was having a wave then and I just nodded.  They were off a few minutes later.

My husband and I returned and he put on a movie, “Airplane” which we’d both seen many times.  I decided that I wanted to finish the blanket, so instead of grabbing my iPod, I sat on the floor facing our futon (my back to the movie) listening as I worked to bind off the border.  Every ten minutes or so, I’d click the button on the online “contraction” timer, lean over the seat of the futon and breath, repeating “Open, open open” in my head.  (I was inspired by reading it in birth stories.)  My husband would put his hand on my back and I used it to help me relax (as if he’d given me the cue with just the touch.)  After 60 to 90 seconds, I’d click the timer again and go back to my knitting.  I could tell the baby was still posterior (she’d flipped nearly weekly, so I hadn’t bothered to try to hard to keep her anywhere.)  At 1 pm after the movie ended, I called the midwife to give her a report.  She was torn because she wanted to check in with me, but had clinic appointments that afternoon which she didn’t want to have to cancel if it was a false alrm.  She asked if I’d be up to coming in so she could check to see if it was really time.  So, we went in at 2 – I had 3 waves during the drive over – these were worse because I was sitting instead of being on my hands and knees.  She asked me where I was feeling pressure and I said that I was feeling some in my back and also a lot in front – I’d describe it as the “bikini area.”  She told me that a lot of cervical dilation is felt there.

She found that baby was posterior I was 5 cm and fully effaced.  (I could tell things were different immediately by watching her face.  The two times she’d checked before – once to verify that the baby was head down – and once during the “practice,” she’d felt around because the baby was high and my cervix would move around.  This time she kind of got a surprised look on her face as she found what she was looking for right away.)  She said that they’d finish their current appointment and then come over to our house.  On our way home, I had 3 more waves and told my husband that I thought he should inflate the birthing pool when we got home.  I got on the bed, and tried to lie on my side, but was very uncomfortable.  I ended up on my knees, leaning over a folded body pillow, listening to easy first stage.  I almost cried at the part about letting go of your baby.  My back started to hurt a bit from my head being so low, so I asked my husband to bring me my exercise ball.  I hugged the ball on my knees and that felt better.  The baby felt lower and I started to have little pushes along with my waves.  I told my husband that even though the midwives didn’t want me to be in the pool until they got there, he should start filling it so it would be ready when they got there.  (When he wasn’t off doing my bidding, he would put his hand on me.  Just that quiet presence really helped me feel supported and calm.)

The midwives arrived and asked where I was feeling pressure.  I said that it was low and sort of pointed to my back.  I’m not sure why I was avoiding saying that I thought the baby was low.  She asked if I wanted some counter pressure, and I said no.  After listening and watching the next wave as I kind of pushed a bit during it and was now vocal, she simply said, “Let’s get you out of those pants.”  Not too long after my former doula (as she was acting as a student midwife this time) told me that the water was a little cool, but I could get in if I wanted and they would put in some boiling water when it was ready.  I edged across my bed and into the pool, and submerged my belly while resting my arms and head on the side.  I was happy with the temperature as I was sweating anyway and was grateful that the hot water never materialized…because things went fairly quickly then.

Aside from occasional monitoring and the offer of a drink, it was just quiet.  My husband sat on the bed next to me and happily didn’t touch.  (I was really annoyed by the touch of the doppler, but tolerated it because I knew they were just checking on the baby.  I think they only did so about 3 times.)  It was totally different to be the only one who knew when a wave was coming, and to just do what I felt I need to do without anyone suggesting I hold my breath or change positions.  At some point, I adjusted myself so that I was on hands and knees in the water.  (The only downside to this was that I had minor pregnancy induced carpal tunnel syndrome and my hands started to go numb as I pushed.)

It was amazing. I fought the concern about pooping, just reminding myself that it was totally normal and fine to feel that way and was no big deal if it happened.  At one point, I felt her head push down as I pushed and then pull back a bit as the wave and my effort dissapated.  And then I felt her head lower, felt the pressure as I kept trying to remind myself that my anesthesia was just ahead of her head.  I felt a pop, like the snapping of a rubber band (but unlike with my sons with whom this sensation was high in my belly) low down in my pelvis.  The midwives noticed the change in the water and surmised that my water had broken, which I confirmed.  I wondered if I could feel her head, and thought it was interesting that no one said anything.  I tried reaching back and felt her not very far in.  My husband asked if she had hair, and we (the midwives and I) said yes.

A few more pushes and the midwives coached me to go slow so I wouldn’t tear.  As her head bulged, I reached down to feel it and had the amazing sense of having her hair float around my outstretched fingers.  I’d wanted to pull her out of the water, but I couldn’t help guide her out, so I just tried to be very aware of what was happening and they handed the baby to me between my legs and I sat back and lifted her head out of the water at the same time.  My husband took a picture of me holding her and after that they draped her with a thin blanket to help keep her warm in the tub.

She was so mellow, that they ended up listening to her breath with a stethoscope to make sure she was okay.  The baby honestly appeared to go back to sleep for a few minutes.She was also coated with vernix.  (That first picture shows it in the water and coating her back.)  After a few minutes, I delivered the placenta and it was put in a bowl floating in the water.  She was left attached to her placenta until her cord stopped pulsing, which actually took a long time (around 10 or so minutes.)  In fact, it was decided that the water was too cold for her and so she was handed off to dad who was followed by the midwife carrying the placenta bowl. She rested on me and then nursed as we got to examine the placenta.  We were left alone to coo over her for a while before the midwives came back to do her newborn exam.  She was 8lbs 14.5oz, and had a 50th percentile head.

In some ways, I feel like I’ve come full circle, back to what I’d originally tried to have. And yes, she and this birth were worth the wait.

Carson
Daniel, 4
Riley, 2
Audrey, 8 days

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Shared by one of our Hypnobabies Instructors Carole (with permission from the parents)  This is a great example of how even if a birth does not go as planned Hypnobabies can still help every step of the way!

HI Carole!
I have been meaning to write to you for some time but as you can imagine, I have had my hands quite full! I wanted to tell you about our birth experience since you played such a significant role in our preparation. I can’t imagine what we would have done without you and our Hypnobabies course!
Our birthing time turned out very different than we imagined. A few weeks before my guess date, some physical complications arose. I think [my husband] called you when we were having a hard time getting the baby to move away from my right side. I was baffled that he could be over there because I had been pretty diligent about my pelvic rocks and sleep/ sitting positions. Well, it turns out he couldn’t go over to the left even if he tried! After getting checked out, we found that my sacrum was rotated and my pelvis tilted at a funny angle, making the room in my pelvis mostly on the right side.
We didn’t know it, but this had also been restricting growth for our baby and the placenta. I suppose there was a reason why everyone said I looked so small. Indeed, [our baby] was born at 7.2 lbs, with a placenta the size of something that would have grown a 4 lb. baby. But the tissue itself was very healthy, thanks to my diet; it was just not allowed to get very big.
Anyway, I went to a chiropractor who is very gifted with pregnancy/ pediatrics and within a week of her working to move my sacrum and pelvis, my belly popped out and I gained several stomach centimeters and a few pounds. He was able to move over to the left and center very easily after a week and a half of steady treatment. As you know, two weeks passed after our guess date. I started birthing waves one afternoon and we excitedly started getting ready for that much anticipated time. We never imagined that our sweet boy would be born 36 hours later! I listened to my birthing time CDs and [my husband] was with me, helping me move and keeping me focused the whole time. I will never forget the way he supported me.
I wrestled emotionally during the birthing time after it was apparent that we were not in for a ‘fast and easy’ birthing time. After a while I knew I just had to focus and forget about it being what I thought. I felt a bit like I failed at Hypnobabies because it was not quick or easy. My back was not ‘fixed’ and it was physically more intense than I imagined. [Our son] was born after the greatest physical feat I have ever been through! We both felt confused and overwhelmed, to tell you the truth (add to that the shock of thinking we were having a girl and it ending up being a boy!). At the end of the day, when the midwives were finally going home, they repeatedly remarked what a pleasure our birthing time was to be a part of AND how peaceful and joyful it was. I was a little shocked, to tell you the truth. I remembered being more focused than I have ever been during the birthing time, but it was so intense for me, I did not know it looked so peaceful. A few days went by and we decided to watch the video we recorded of the birthing time. I was amazed! We both cried through it. If you didn’t know I was giving birth to a baby you might miss it on the video until he was lifted out of the water and started crying. I was that calm. We realized that in the intensity and length, the Hypnobabies prepared us more than we knew. I don’t know how I would have handled such an long and physically intense time without such wonderful emotional and mental preparation. I know now that I did not fail at all; Hypnobabies prepared me to deal with my unique situation.  We plan on doing a natural birth again for sure.
Anyway, thanks a million times over for your care and support. We feel that God sent us the BEST support and preparation we could have ever asked for!
All the best, [Mom]

P.S. Our Little One has been smiling responsively (no, its not gas) from the beginning. People are shocked!!

OHMIGOSH!
What an amazing birthing you had. Thank you for sharing with such candor. I appreciate hearing of your experience of your birthing. I am so glad you practiced as well as you did, and were able to surmount all the ‘speed bumps’ that your birthing presented you (including your anticipated daughter, Hailey, being born with a penis!?). Shows how deadly accurate those ultrasounds are. How crazy that must have been for you. Were  you completely prepared with everything PINK?!  : )


I bet your midwives will agree that if you hadn’t been in such good control and so relaxed, you might have fatigued and needed transport…or a cesarean. You not only avoided that possibility but managed an unmedicated, non-interventive birthing for your little guy. You should be beyond proud of yourself. I am very pleased for you. 36 long, challenging hours is incredible, and pretty much impossible for moms who are not calm, confident, and ready for what comes. Congratulations you two. Well done. Your little guy certainly is reaping the rewards of his birthing…smiling as he came out I’ll bet!


Thanks huge lots for the pictures. Your [surprise son] is beautiful. He’d even make a cute girl if he had been so endowed. Hah!


May I share your story? Everyone would be so inspired and delighted to hear that in spite of some very real challenges, Hypnobabies managed to help you birth your baby naturally. If you’d like, I can change names to ‘mom’ & ‘dad’ and ‘baby’ to protect your privacy. And, if you’d really rather not, please say so, and I will be grateful that you shared with me.


In friendship and awe of the power of birthing women like you!


Carole

Yes Carole,
Our son has a lot of dresses! We are slowly catching up with boy clothes and have packed away the pink with hopes that perhaps a little sister will be able to use it someday.
Our midwives definitely agree that our birth would have been VERY different had we not been prepared in the manner we were. Other Moms I talk to are shocked as well at how things actually turned out with such a long birthing time and my pelvis/back being in the state it was in. There were so many little things I was able to do, such as our midwife telling me I needed to sleep for several hours, right in the middle of the intensity. Because of Hypnobabies I knew how to enter that state effectively. I had my CDs on and was able to ‘sleep’ for a few minutes between birthing waves for several hours.
It is the deepest connection I have ever had with my own mind and body. Pretty empowering! At the end of one of the CDs she says, “through birth I find healing.” That phrase has always struck me. Indeed, it was very healing and liberating to so fully connect to my experience and baby and overcome some challenges in such a natural, beautiful and calm way. My sense of self has been impacted very deeply. On a funnier note, [Dad] says he will never forget the hours and hours of our trio: the CD would say “Ahhhh…” then I would say “Ahhh…” and then our midwife would echo “Ahhh….”. After hours and hours of this, he was going crazy! : )
Of course you can share the story! We would rather our names and pics not be posted, but would love people to know that Hypnobabies makes all the difference in ANY given situation.

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I guess that is a little silly title.  But a mom from Cafe Mom group said I could share her birth story with everyone.

I had my 38 week prenatal visit Thursday, February 11th. My midwife checked me and reported that I was 80% effaced and 2-3 centimeters dilated.  I was super encouraged at the fact that all the pre-labor I had been having the past couple of weeks was not in vain.  She didn’t schedule my next appointment because she didn’t think I would make it another week.  Part of me was excited yet I didn’t want to give my hopes up only to get discouraged if I went beyond that.

Friday night I was feeling especially moody and crampy so I went to bed early.  Knowing that my cervix was almost completely thinned out we did some things Saturday morning to help things along…wink, wink ;-)  After that we went to the mall and walked around since it was too cold outside for my liking.  When we got home we took a nap.  I think my body knew I would need all that rest!  When the evening came some pressure waves started coming every 10-20 minutes apart.  I took this as a sign that I better straighten things up around the house.  Once I finished I went to bed to try and get some rest.  A couple strong ones woke me up in the middle of the night.  From about 5 am to 9 am I was in and out of sleep since the pressure waves were coming closer together.

I got out of bed at 9 am and listened to my birthing affirmations while rocking on my birthing ball.  After that I went about my normal Sunday morning routine.  I made some breakfast and decided to time the contractions.  To my surprise they were coming every 4-5 minutes.  They were very mild so I found it hard to believe that my birthing time could be here.  They would start in my pelvic area as pressure and wrap around my uterus like a big hug.  To make sure I was relaxing during each one I would stop, close my eyes and say my “peace’ cue to myself while swaying back and forth.

After timing them for about an hour I lost my mucus plug.  I decided that it was time to call the midwife (10 am).  We talked and she had a hard time believing they were coming so close since I sounded normal.  She called me back an hour later and let me know she was on her way to check on me.  When she got to our house (12 pm) she found that I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated.  She told me she would hang out for another hour to see how things went.  When she checked me again I was 6 cm.  Now it was my intentions all along to do minimal VE’s, but I told her to proceed each time since I was having a hard time believing that I was actually in labor.

There came a point where the swaying and “peace” cue were not enough.  I decided it was time to get in the tub.  I turned on the “Easy First Stage” track from my Hypnobabies program and got comfy in the tub.  The buoyancy of the water helped to tone down the intensity of the pressure waves tremendously.  I even recall smiling between some of them.  I was probably in there for an hour when all of a sudden I got a very intense pressure wave that felt like it lasted forever.  This was the first point in my birthing time where I found it difficult to relax during a wave.  The midwife came in and checked me, and announced that I was near complete (9cm).  I could hardly believe it since things had gone so smoothly up to this point!

We headed to the birthing pool to find that it was still very cold!  We quickly changed route to the bedroom where I laid down on my side.  Danny turned on the “Pushing Baby Out” track so I could get in the right frame of mind.  Right at that moment Megan (my sister) and Lucy (my MIL) arrived.  They started boiling pots of water immediately to try and get the pool to a comfortable temperature.  They also kept an eye on Logan for us since I needed Danny’s full attention at this point.

While in the bedroom the midwife broke my water and had me push the baby down a bit due to her being “sunny side up”.  Once that was all done I found the bed to be very uncomfortable.  I sat on the birthing ball and rocked with each wave while moaning deeply.  The midwife and Danny were excellent in offering much needed encouragement while deeply massaging my lower back.  After a short bit Megan and Lucy announced that the pool was ready.  It was just in time too because I was starting to feel the urge to push.

The midwife and Danny helped me into the pool.  I got in there during a wave which made if difficult for me to get comfortable at first.  I leaned over the side, and then flopped onto my bottom leaning back on the pool wall for support with Danny right behind me.  I pushed with 2-3 contractions when all of a sudden I felt the pressure of the head coming out.  I could hardly believe it!  The midwife had me pant a bit before the next push since things were going a bit too quickly.  Once she gave me the go to push again the head was out.  With the next one her body was out (amazingly I had no tears)!  I helped her out of the water and made it a point to be the first one to find out the gender.  I quickly announced that it was a girl!  I was so surprised at this I had to check again!  Yes, a girl!!  The midwife announced her arrival time as 4:13 pm.  At that moment Megan and Lucy came into the room.  They were amazed at how quick and easy everything went.  They weren’t expecting the baby to come until later that evening…lol!

Overall, the experience was everything I had expected and more.  I have been on an emotional high ever since she arrived.  It was very rewarding to be able to accomplish this feat being that I put so much preparation and thought into it.

The bonus is that my husband finally gets what all the fuss was about.  He was always supportive, but didn’t quite understand why I was so intent on doing it this way.  His participation in the birth and reaction to it has definitely created an additional bond in our relationship that was not present before.

Weight; length:  8lbs 8oz; 19 inches long

If you want to see some beautiful pictures, visit her original post!

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Our second son, Harvey “Boone” was born on August 22, weighing in at 10lbs and measuring 24″, a beautiful healthy boy born at home in the water. I’ve not posted often, but have enjoyed all the birth stories and practiced hypnobabies semi-faithfully (listened to tracks according to schedule, did all the reading, but was pretty lazy about practicing and did not work w/my husband on it at all) since about 21 weeks, so thought I’d share my story, it may be long!

My first son was born in the hospital after I naively allowed induction at 41 wks basically due to my own apathy about the importance of how a baby comes into the world and the OBs recommendation – I assume as my family has a history of big babies, but really we were both quite healthy and there was no GOOD reason for it. I planned on going w/out the epidural but that plan changed quickly after contractions set in so I had nubain and the epidural and delivered my 9lb 8oz boy after approx 6 hours of labor I didn’t really feel. I tore badly and nursing was a nightmare and I resolved to not visit the hospital again with my next pregnancy.

Fear of tearing again and many recommendations from natural birthing forums led me to Hypnobabies. As I mentioned above I was faithful about some parts and not so faithful about other parts but in general really enjoyed the positivity and confidence boost I gained from listening to the affirmations, and the self hypnosis helped me be calm through some crazy work hours in my third trimester. I felt like it was helping but was fairly skeptical as to how “painless” my birth would actually be.

I came to my hometown in CA on the first day of August, my guess date was August 13th and I wanted to settle in with  my 3 year old before that day rolled around. When I got here the adjustment for my son was more than I had expected and I really didn’t get to do my HB practice as much as I’d expected, but I got in some tracks here and there. the 13th came and went with only some mild practice waves, which was still exciting as I hadn’t had any before in the pregnancy. I was feeling great and doing lots of walking and enjoying the beach and reuniting with old friends, so I was OK with going late.  A full week later though and I began to get nervous as things got more tricky with my husband getting work off to come and be with us and I was nervous about him missing out on the labor. Also I felt bigger by the day and started to have some shivers thinking about delivering baby shamu naturally ;-) In the end, my husband got time off from Thursday the 20th til Thursday the 27th and that was that, if I went later I’d just have to call when the time came and hope he could make the 7 hour drive in time.

We (my husband, me, my parents, midwife, other family members and friends) came to the consensus that Saturday the 22nd would be a perfect birthing day for me and winked at our Thursday appt as we decided to reunite on Saturday to welcome the baby. Friday me,  my husband and son had a GORGEOUS day on the coast, went for a long walk down to the beach, to the toy store where my son got some beautiful blocks, to the seafood restaurant for some food I was craving, home for a relaxing evening. I scanned the HB binder to see what track it was I wasn’t supposed to listen to til after 40 wks and decided that was the one to listen to that night – the birthing day affirmations. Well, by the time it was done I was having some more practice contractions that carried a hint of period-like cramping, but no biggie at all.

I went to bed about 9pm and slept pretty well, but woke up at 12:30a with more distinct cramping that kept me awake and drove me to fix some RRL tea and call the midwife who was encouraged but told me to try to get some sleep and see how things went. I did and slept fitfully til 4:30 at which time I felt that there were definitely contractions that I could time at this point and I woke my husband to go get the computer so I could time them at contraction master. They were about  5min apart and lasting just over a minute – I timed four of them and my water broke all over the bed. I was pretty shocked and hollered at DH to fill the tub and get me the phone – I called the midwive and then there was flurry of activity as lights were thrown on, my son woken up, grandma and grandpa woken up and I headed for the bathroom as contractions intensified.

It gets a tad blurry here, I know I had a BM and was very happy that I would not be pooping during labor, I remember clinging to DH and starting to get pissy when he would touch me wrong (“don’t RUB my back!  PUSH on it) I had him lifting my belly a la “back labor no more” which helped a lot. I had some contractions on the toilet and some leaning on the wall and some on all fours. The midwife arrived and the pool was filled and I remember wanting nothing more than to get in it, though I’d never felt strongly about it before – I think I just didn’t want to support my own weight anymore.

I got in and started to feel the panic set in – I can’t say I was in hypnosis at this point, I’d listened to a fear release and again to the birthing day affirmations after my first call to the midwife, but no finger drop or anything like that. Anyway the distinct thought that I could not do this went through my head and out my lips though everybody says it didn’t sound like i believed it at all. I was saying “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH” over and over and over to get me through contractions, as well as squeezing DHs hand and biting the side of the pool.

I despaired that I was losing my cool so EARLY in labor as I’d only had my water break just about an hour ago! But all of a sudden my body tensed and bore down – I could not believe it but I was PUSHING! Things changed drastically as far as my outlook – I was almost there! I couldn’t believe it and I just went with it, going slow as directed by my wonderful midwife and my son was delivered peacefully (aside from some very primal sounding grunts on my part) into the water at 6:21am on the day we had designated two days earlier as his ideal birthday!

I had a 2nd degree tear which was completely painless when it happened and just a pinch here and there to have repaired and has barely slowed me down. I also lost a lot of blood when I delivered the placenta and got shocky for a bit but recovered extremely well and all in all the experience was beautiful and peaceful and not nearly as uncomfortable as my hospital birth with my first son.

As far as HB goes, I have to say I was not sure how I felt about it at first. I felt like I did experience a good amount of p**n after my water broke and that perhaps painless childbirth is a cruel thing to suggest as being possible.

(Note from Sheridan ****Hypnobabies doesn’t say birth will be painless.  While some moms do have a completely comfortable birthing experience, that isn’t the main goal. )

Looking back on it though, it has dawned on me that I would in no way describe anything leading up to that point as p**nful. And that was a good 8.5 hours of labor I was in – I would love to know how far dilated I was when my water broke, that would be a good indication of how well HB worked for me – had I been checking into a hospital they probably would not have believed I was in labor, but in reality I was probably at a very advanced stage of labor!

So I really didn’t get myself in hypnosis during that time b/c I didn’t know that he would be coming so soon – my time line in my head figured I’d be delivering later on that afternoon or evening. But he came just about and hour and twenty minutes later, so I really have to say that HB was a resounding success for me and had I been less skeptical I probably would have realized that those kind of crampy waved were true labor and that I should have been working on a deepening track or something. As it is, I really do not regret the time I spent in p**n as it has given me a certain degree of awe at what I can do and how well I did and I can now say I have truly EXPERIENCED the wonder of a natural birth.

I will always highly recommend Hypnobabies and do credit it with the speed and my amazing experience and the confidence I had throughout this whole time, even some complications following delivery, that everything was fine and me and my baby were healthy and allowed me to welcome and embrace my waves. My midwife also noted later that during pushing my butt was completely relaxed and loose, something I was surprised to find out and totally credit to Hypnobabies as I do faintly remember telling myself that the baby was pushing anesthesia ahead of it and mentally telling myself to “release”.

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