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Archive for the ‘Hospital’ Category

Lizzie was born on January 28 at 6:34 a.m.  This is her birth story: I was having pws for a long time before I actually gave birth. I did things a little bit different this pregnancy because I really wanted to go natural. So I really focused on increasing my protein (which is really hard for me) to strengthen the placenta I also rubbed basil (DoTerra Essential oil) on my right ankle every night to help strengthen the placenta. Both of my previous pregnancies have ended with me being induced because of placenta problems. About 3 weeks before my due date (so when I was 37 weeks) I started listening to birthing day affirmations. I also had a massage where my massage therapist focused on pressure points that encourage labor and she used clary sage, which is a labor inducing oil. About that time I would get pws, but they weren’t anything big.  At 38 1/2 weeks I started drinking raspberry tea and started rubbing clary sage on my ankles (both sides) and my little toes. I also started listening to my “Come out Baby” track.

On the 26 (Thursday night) I was having pretty strong pws and I thought this might be it, but nothing. On Friday (27) I went for my weekly checkup with my midwife and I had her strip my membranes. That was about 11 that morning and I was dilated to a 3 and 80% effaced. I came home and was feeling pretty good, I was having pws, but nothing major. My doula texted me and told me that I needed to get into hypnosis early and that she was going to Las Vegas for her daughter’s gymnastics meet, so if she didn’t make it to the birth, then that was how it was meant to be. After lunch I listened to my deepening track and started having some really good pws. My husband put the girls down for nap/quiet time and I told him we needed to start getting things ready and that I thought the girls should go over to a neighbor’s house when they got up. I started walking up and down the stairs, listening to my birthing day affirmations and my pws stopped. So we didn’t end up taking the girls to a neighbor’s house. We played a game and then the girls got up. We made dinner and while we were making dinner my pws started up again, so this time I listened to my fear clearing session while dinner was in the oven. I had several pws during dinner and we started timing them, I think they were 5-7 minutes apart.
After dinner I listened to another track (I think it was come out baby). My husband started putting the girls to bed and my pws stopped again. I called my mom and gave her an update and then checked the news and then took a shower. While I was in the shower I was doing belly lifts to encourage the pws and help the baby turn if she was posterior. After my shower I decided we should probably go to bed, so we went to bed about 9:30 (normally we don’t go to bed until around 11). Both of us had a hard time falling asleep, but I think my husband finally fell asleep around 10:30. Usually listening to my tracks helps me fall asleep, and I was drifting in and out, but the pws started up again and they were getting more intense, so around midnight I asked for my husband’s help and I went out to our living room, he got the Easy First stage cd out and put that on and I was leaning against the ball and rolling it around etc. I think this was also helpful in getting Lizzie into the right position. They seemed to stop again, so we went back to bed. For the next hour I was having really intense pws, but they were only like 15 minutes apart. At the end of the hour I had 4 in about 24 minutes so about 6 minutes apart. So I woke up my husband and I told him, “these pws are as intense as right before I got the epidural with Jenna.” During her labor I was at about a 6 or 7 when they gave me the epidural (and I only got it because they were telling me I would need pitocin, and I didn’t think I could handle the contractions with pitocin, however, she was born 1/2 hour after they gave me the epidural!). So my husband decides that we should go in and calls our neighbor down the street and my midwife. I hop into the shower and continue to do belly lifts. I get out of the shower and talk to my midwife who tells me she has had another long night (she was inducing a patient that night and had been up the night before delivering a baby) and so she is going to lie down to rest and wait until I am all checked in to come.
Our neighbor gets there and my husband has all the stuff in the car, so we go out to the car. We drove to the hospital. I had a couple of pws on the way in. They decide to put me in a triage room (first time that’s ever happened:) and check me. They knew that my midwife liked to check her own patients, but I told them that she was sleeping and not to bother her, so they checked me. I was at a 4 1/2 and that really discouraged me. They told me that I could walk around for an hour and they would recheck and if I had progressed they would definitely keep me. So my husband and I walked around, I was walking using wide hips and was listening to easy, first stage. I also put some clary sage on my belly and ankles and made plenty of trips to the bathroom. Right before they checked me again I told my husband that I didn’t think that I could go home at this point. When they checked me I was at a 6, so they got me all checked in and into a room.
My midwife comes along and checks to see how I am doing. She left for a little bit and I started to feel pushy. When she came back I told her this and so she checked me. I was at an 8 1/2 and my bag of waters was in front of the head. She told me that my waters would probably break soon and I would feel a big pop. At this point I was definitely “ahing” during my contractions. I had to go to the bathroom and she told me if I felt the baby coming we would have to go back to the bed, however I made it back to bed before anything happened. However my “ahing” changed to a much deeper gutteral sound. At this point my midwife is telling the nurses, she’s having this baby. My nurse was actually helping with another delivery and so I guess the nurses weren’t really around, my midwife said this was great because then she didn’t have to check me etc. She was constantly telling me to listen to my body and if I felt like pushing to push (even when she checked me and I was only an 8 1/2)! She was also rubbing my shoulders and neck and my head. My husband was putting counter pressure on my back. I was leaning against the bed on my knees with my hands over it — kind of like a chair. However, I switched to my hands and knees as I started pushing. At one point I was kind of kneeling down so that the baby wouldn’t be able to come out, and my midwife said that I would have to open up more so they could get the baby. I know I had the pushing baby out track playing, but I wasn’t listening to it. Interestingly enough, my pws still weren’t regular. I remember having like a 5 minute pause between one and then the next one was like 90 seconds. My midwife asked if I wanted her to break my waters so the baby would just come out, and I agreed, so she broke my water. At this point I just felt a constant need to push. I know I took breaks, but I just felt like I had to keep pushing to get her out. It seemed like it took a really long time, but I’m sure that it didn’t. She finally came out and my husband announced, “it’s a girl” and I got to hold her.  I definitely feel like this birth left me so empowered and I am so glad that I finally got my all natural birth!!!:)

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Thanks to Brenda from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.

Here is the full birth story for Eric. I included some things that happened leading up to when my labor started. I am not sure if I needed to or not, but since they played into the birth story – I included them.
Last Monday, I ended up getting a stomach bug that completely wiped me out. I was in bed from Sunday night, until Tuesday morning. I felt better when I woke up Tuesday morning and spent the day eating small meals and resting and trying to get back my energy level back up. Wednesday morning, I decided we were all going to follow the schedule and get some work done! The week before I thought I was in labor, and so we hadn’t really done any homeschool, thinking that I was having the baby ‘any day’ now. Anyways, I got the kids all up and working on thier school. As the morning progressed I noticed I was having some pressure waves. Just for fun, like I always do, we started writing them down on the white board in the kitchen. I would let the kids know, and they would write them down for me. They were averaging about an hour apart, and were very mild.
As the day wore on, they got a little closer together, but still mild. My husband took the older kids to their Church Activities on Wed night, but left his cell phone at home by accident, so he kept calling me to check on me. (I think he had a ‘feeling’). By the time he called around 830, I told him that he didnt need to rush home, but that he should delay any errands on the way home, just in case – as he didnt have his cell phone with him. They were averaging about 20 minutes at that point, but still mild. (I keep pointing out that the waves were ‘averaging’ a certain time, as I would have one, then another one would be ten, then another one would be a half hour, then a few would actually be 20. This is how it went all day, I would have a few spaced evenly mixed in with some half the time and some double the time – which led to the perpetual question “is this it?”)
My husband got home around 9:30, and we stayed up and chatted for awhile, eventually going to sleep around 1130. I fell asleep, but think I was worried about waking up so far into labor that we would have another ‘almost parking lot” baby, so I woke up around 1:30 am. It took about 15 minutes to have one wave, but then they were averaging about 9 minutes apart. I chatted online with a doula friend of mine, and as we chatted they dropped down to about 6 minutes. They were getting a little stronger, so as we chatted we decided that it would be good to call my midwife and let her know that something might be up. I still wasnt sure that it was it, but I called. The week before I had been sick, I had had about an hours worth of 5 minutes apart, called my hubby home from work, and then they stopped – so I was nervous about another false alarm. I talked with the midwife, and let her know that we might be coming in. She said to call her back when we decided to head in, and she would meet us there. After I hung up the phone, they increased in intensity, and I needed to stop and focus. At this point, I decided it really was time, and called the midwife back less than twenty minutes later, and said we were heading in.
As we got ready to leave, they were getting stronger so I grabbed my ipod and turned on the tracks. I am not sure if this is how you are supposed to do it or not, but I would pop the ear buds in my ear during the contraction to help me focus, and then when it was over, I would pull them out, and resume getting ready to leave. We woke up the older kids to let them know we were leaving. We headed out to the hospital which was about a 12 minute drive. I had a few on the way, but they were completely manageable. It was a much more relaxing ride than last time. Not wanting the walk into the hospital to get things going faster like last time, my hubby parked right outside the ER ( where you check in) and brought me right in. A nurse met us and said the midwife had called ahead, and due to my last delivery being so fast when I got there, I was not allowed to walk anywhere, that they had strict instructions to put me in a wheelchair and bring me right up to maternity!! LOL!!! :-)
So they brought me up, while my hubby parked the car, and got me a room. I got hooked up to the monitors for about 15 minutes while they did all thier questions. The waves were getting more intense, so I would answer in between, but then, as I had at home, I would pop the ear bud in, and listen to the Birthing affirmations while I was in the middle of the waves, and then when they ended, I would go back to answering questions. It didn’t bother me to switch back and forth, or I could have had hubby answer them for me. At that point I think I was at about 4 to 5 minutes apart. The midwife came in, and took the monitors off, and then checked me. I was curious, as I am familiar with how I usually progress so I wanted to know, about where I was. I was dilated to about a 6. (I usually go from 7 to 10 in one fell 5 minute swoop, so a 6 meant it would not be long!!!!
The tub had been filled for me, and was waiting. It was a tad bit on the warm side, but it was SO relaxing. I turned the jets on, and angled myself so that they hit right where I needed them too. As I sat in the tub, I put on the easy first stage, and at that point kept it on. I no longer took them out, but fully turned myself over to it. I would grab my hubbys hand when I had a wave, but other than that, there was no sign that I was even in labor! I just laid in the tub, listening and focusing on the words in the track. As the easy first stage track ended, I felt prompted to put on the Creating Anesthesia track. This helped immensely!! As the waves progressed, I was starting to feel more pressure, than I was comfortable with, but after putting the Creating Anesthesia on, I was able to handle it no problem. I noticed while listening to the track that my waves were now a couple of minutes apart, lasting a minute and a half or so. Toward the end of the track, I started getting  to the point, that although I was handiling it, I was getting nervous if I would be able to continue to handle it. I switched over to the Pushing Track  (or whatever the name is of the one that comes after First Stage). and started listening to that. It helped, but I was still feeling slightly edgy, and I did not want that negativity to enter into what so far was an amazing experience, so I diffused it by talking back to the track. I know this is probably not the ideal thing to do, but it helped me, and the humor it created as my hubby laughed at me talking back to the track, was enough to help me refocus. At this point, my husband recommended me getting out of the tub so I could get to the bed. (At the hospital we go to, the tubs are only for labor, not for birthing), I told him okay, and that I would get out, I just needed to get through one more wave.
All of a sudden, in the middle of that contraction, my water exploded. Not just broke, exploded. I was in the tub, and this forceful wave of water shot out!! The next thing I knew, I had sat all the way up, and turned around, and was on my knees. My hubby pulled the red cord that they have in case you need them, and the midwife and like 5 nurses all came running in, The midwife tried to tell me to breath through it, and we would get to the bed, but the head had already started coming out. Realizing this, she said, “You are not breathing through it!!” Then I pushed again, and he was born!!! Since I was on my knees, he was kind of born behind me, so they had to spin me around, and hold him while I walked to the bed, where he was laid on top of me. Then we were left alone for the next hour, before they even asked if we wanted to weigh him and measure him. My hospital stay was great, as they changed everything to in room, rather than half in the room, and half in the nursery. They also would come back if the baby, or I were sleeping, so they didnt bother us. This is all ‘policy’ too, so I didnt have to argue for any of this!!!!
I also want to add, that I bought this course to try to get through the last few minutes of labor without ‘losing it’ like I usually do – yelling I cant do this anymore, etc.  I really was worried it wouldn’t work. But you know what?? It did.
With the Hypnobabies, I was able to relax enough and to tell the difference between pain and pressure. In past births, I would get the two confused, so I had no idea where in labor I was. I would get near the end, and not knowing it was, I would get freaked out and think there was no way I could make it much longer. This time though, there was no pain. I knew what the pressure was. I knew it was the baby moving down. I knew that labor was near the end, and that when the pressure got to a certain point, I would be pushing. I welcomed it, and I imagined opening like it said. The water jets helped soften up the area, along with the water being really warm. I think I needed the Creating Anesthesia track since I hadn’t practiced enough, but just listening to it, reminded me enough that it worked for me!!!  When my water broke, and the pressure following was really intense, my body instinctively took over and knew it was time to push – I did not need to be told!!!

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Thanks to RaeAnna from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.

I am sitting here with my precious baby girl on my chest and I’m
giving thanks again to a God who answers prayer! I was hoping to go
into spontaneous labor with Eva Mae but as 41 weeks came closer and
closer I began to lose hope and knew that I would be heading to the

hospital on Monday night, Dec 5. I prayed that if I had to go in at a

certain time, the Lord would make a way for the birth to go the same
as my son’s 2 years ago.

 

At 9:00am on December 5th I drank a mixture of castor oil/juice/almond

butter and champagne to try to stimulate my uterus into contracting

and labor. It started working around 3pm and we enjoyed a relaxing day
at home getting ready to head to the hospital. My mom came over around

5:30 and we went to dinner and shopping before heading up to the

hospital for the induction. I was having contractions but they were
really easy to work through. Just pressure and a tightening sensation.

At 9:00pm we checked into Vanderbilt and met our nurse, Sylvia. She is

a wonderful lady and I’m really glad we were put in her care!!!
Melissa (the midwife) came in to check me and talk about our options.
I had done a lot of progressing over the past few days and was at a

good 6cm and -1 station. Effacement was only 50% but she said that

subsequent pregnancies are typical to not efface as quickly as first

pregnancies. She allowed us to spend a few hours walking around and

using the breast pump to stimulate stronger contractions and I could

tell that they were getting stronger! Whenever I was hooked up to the

contraction monitor they saw some great progress – Melissa even
mentioned that with the progress of the contractions there was no need

to worry at all about having pitocin. My body was doing what it needed
to do!!! Yay! (In fact, I was also allowed to decline a Heplock IV so
I had NOTHING in my arms!!!!! I was so glad to have that freedom to

move around without distraction!!!)

At around 11:30 or 12:00 Melissa came in again and asked if I wanted

to be checked. I am so glad that she continued to let me labor on my

own without the constant “hovering” and checking that I know some

women have experienced in labor situations. I knew it wasn’t time to

push so I asked if we could just keep doing what we were doing and

check on dilation later on. She was happy to work with me and my
wishes! Throughout all this time I was in such a great place mentally.

I had my CD playing my Hypnobaby tracks and when we were walking

outside the room I played my tracks on my iPod. The most helpful
tracks to listen to were “Easy First Stage,” “Birthing Day
Affirmations,” and “Visualize Your Birth.” I love the relaxing

background music and the soothing voice of Terri, the founder of
Hypnobabies!

At 2:00am Melissa came back in and between a contraction she checked

on progress. I had a very bulging bag of water and progressed to a 7
but I was still 50% effaced. She asked if I wanted her to break my

water and ever since I arrived at the hospital I was open to having my
water broken as long as the baby’s head was engaged low enough to

eliminate a risk of cord prolapse. I think I was a -2 station at the

time and Melissa was confident labor would be quick after breaking my

water so I agreed. It was a weird sensation to feel all the water gush

- Nick said Melissa’s face was priceless when she saw how much water

there was!!! I was really happy to hear that there was so much

amniotic fluid because low fluid is a side effect of gestational
diabetes at 40-41 weeks gestation.

The contractions were a lot stronger after my water broke and I had to

really concentrate through them. Fortunately not many were right on

top of each other so I was able to walk around and keep my mind off of

the discomfort. I also spent time in and out of the shower with the
hot water spraying on my back and that helped a lot! Throughout the

contractions I kept myself in a deep state of hypnosis using the words
“Peace” “Relax” “Release” and “Open” – all those reminders helped me
keep my body loose and limp throughout a contraction so that Eva Mae
could descend quicker and I would dialate faster.

At 3:30ish I had several really hard contractions that were more

intense but not as long. I could also tell that they were a little
different – like they were lower than the others. All of a sudden
during one of the contractions I knew it was time to push!!!! Sylvia

and Nick were the only ones in the room and Sylvia called her team of
helpers to the room while Nick tried to find Melissa.

I jumped up on the bed and yelled “She’s coming!!!” and started

pushing! I couldn’t wait and my body knew exactly what to do! Sylvia

told Nick to put on his gloves and they were still waiting for Melissa

but Eva Mae’s head started coming out before Melissa got there! When

she came in the room I could hear her laugh and say “I thought I was

just coming in to check her!!!” She came over and guided Eva Mae’s

head and shoulders out and right then Eva Mae started crying and shot

out! She came out so quickly that she completely slid past Sylvia’s
hands into Nick’s hands! From the time I got on the bed to push to the

time she was out was 4 minutes!!!!

Melissa helped me position myself on the bed to hold Eva Mae and I was
able to bond with her for 45min to an hour before they took her to

weigh and get her footprints! She latched on to breast feed quickly
and has been a champion feeder ever since!!! When they took her to
weigh I couldn’t believe she was 10 pounds! She seemed so much lighter

than Christian but she ended up being longer and only a half a pound

lighter!!! (10lb 1oz, 22in)

We were able to go home after 24 hours and we’ve been so blessed with

her sweet nature and easy disposition!!! I am so in love with my baby

girl and so thankful that the Lord answered my prayer for an easy,

safe and comfortable childbirth!!! Just like Christian’s birth in

2009, I can’t thank the Hypnobaby program enough for the education and

support of natural childbirth! Nick says I’m the “poster child” for
Hypnobabies!!! The Vanderbilt Midwives are so supportive and

encouraging and I’m thankful that the opportunity is here in Nashville

to have a hospital birth with a midwife! Melissa was amazing and my
primary care under Linda was such a wonderful experience!!! I pray

that the Lord will allow us to have more children in the future with

awesome birth stories!

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Thanks to Barb from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.

She lives in Brazil so it was interesting to hear how her birth went!

It’s long, but it was beautiful and completely amazing. I am so confident in myself and my body. Even the way I see my body has changed through this birth. I am completely blown away and grateful for the experience. It has been almost two weeks and I still squeel like a little girl when I think about how exciting and wonderful it was. SHE IS HERE!!! My Julie is so adorable. We couldn’t have asked for more :)

Go to her blog to read the whole story!

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Thanks to Megan from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story with us.

Emily Jean’s Birth Story

*BOP* I had a very traditional hospital birth with my first daughter back in ’09.  I had wanted a natural birth, but aside from reading some birth stories and crossing my fingers and hoping for the best, I was really unprepared. I went into it thinking “I sure hope it happens this way, but if not, there’s always the epidural!” I had had some “well meaning” friends laugh at me when I told them I was going for a natural birth. Thanks a lot. Anyway, the whole thing was 54 hours. I went to the hospital too early and was sent home. My water broke the next day after lots of what I now know were not real contractions. It got really intense really fast and I totally panicked. We raced to the hospital, begged for drugs, stayed there for another 24 hours with pitocin, heart decels, C-section threats, and finally 2 and a half hours of “purple pushing” and several tears. Not ideal, but I think ultimately it was because of fear and unpreparedness on my part. *End BOP*

This time, I started the Hypnobabies Home Study course at around 20 weeks at the recommendation of two friends, one of whom used it twice for her 2 kids with great success. Right away I appreciated how relaxed the tracks made me when I listened to them. I looked forward to that time every day! I did fall asleep almost every time, but I’m a believer in the subconscious mind that works when you sleep, so I wasn’t terribly worried about that. At one point, I did have pretty bad sciatica, and I was able to erase the pain while listening to the tracks. Cool!! I’ll use that in the future.

Birthing Time Begins, 1 week before guess date

I accidentally played the entire Hypnobabies playlist on Saturday night, so instead of just playing the Fear Clearing Session like I intended, I fell asleep and listened to all 3 Birthing Time tracks. I woke up at the end of Pushing Baby Out! Oops. I don’t know if my birthing time would have started anyway, but I got up to pee right at that moment and had blood tinged mucous. I had been having pretty steady Braxton Hicks for a long time that I had been practicing my finger drop technique with, with varying success. These intensified on Sunday. Then, I think early Monday morning, I began to have real pressure waves that kept waking me up. I had kicked my husband out of the bedroom for snoring, so I went into the other room around 6 AM to tell him I thought this was it! I took a shower and puked all over the bathroom, projectile style.  I’ve learned this is an early labor sign for me, as I did the same thing with DD1.

My Pressure Waves

The pressure waves I felt stayed the exact same from beginning to end, only varying in intensity. I felt a number of things: Cramping right around the bikini line, vaginal pressure, rectal  pain and back pain. I had learned from working on my Braxton Hicks, that were actually pretty painful all the way through my pregnancy, that if I caught a PW early enough, I could bypass the pain and literally turn it into pressure, by using my  Hypnobabies tools. I did that with my actual PWs, focusing on the pressure I was feeling in my vagina. I felt the pressure go downward and imagined it opening my cervix. Some waves I really could feel my cervix dilating! It felt like a cervical exam. I learned to welcome that sensation.   I just imagined “pressure” and “open”.

The whole time I was in my birthing time I was chanting “whoooooohh”. I sounded like a very slow owl! I made different noises too, but I found it really helpful to make the “whhh” and “hhh” sounds.  I didn’t use as many positions as I thought I would. I loved the tub at home and stayed there for hours!   The birth ball was somewhat useful, but I found out after the birth that my dad and DD1 had been bouncing on it the day before, so that might expain why it was suddenly so low to the ground. :/  So the way I dealt with the PWs was: low vocalizations with every out-breath, visualizing my cervix opening (and later, baby descending), focusing on the pressure feeling, relaxing my pelvic floor (like an anti-Kegel), and staying as close to “off” as possible between waves. I wasn’t always successful, but it really worked.

Possibly the coolest thing I noticed, something I haven’t read anywhere before, and certainly something I did not notice in my previous labor, is that after a particularly intense PW I would experience this euphoric feeling. It was like I had endorphins flooding my body. This I noticed more towards the end, but it was amazing.

I was really apprehensive about when to leave to go to the hospital. On one hand, I really didn’t want to show up too early and stay at the hospital, and I was envisioning being stuck with all kinds of  interventions if I did end up going too early. But at the same time, I’ve read enough Hypnobabies stories where the mom barely knew she was in labor before the baby started coming that I was afraid of waiting too long. Finally, I decided that even though my PWs were totally manageable, we would go in anyway, and I just made peace with the idea that I would go home if I wasn’t far enough along. The trip to the hospital in the car….what a difference from the first time!! The car ride for my first birth was excruciating! But this one was quite pleasant!! At this point we had long since stopped listening to my tracks and instead were listening to this incredible a capella singing group called The King’s Singers. They have this amazing Christmas album. I recommend it. It was the perfect accompaniment to my tracks when I didn’t want to listen to them. I barely wanted to get out of the car! But my husband dropped me off in the lobby so he could park the car and I just sat there “whoohh”ing and listening to my music. It was quite pleasant.

Then we went up to triage and even though it took forever, I was totally fine with it. I had it in my head that it didn’t matter where I was, I was going to do the same thing, so they could take as long as they wanted. My husband was an angel and did all the talking for me. When he got some piece of information wrong, I would just wait until the PW was over and then talk to the nurse.  When they finally checked me, I was a 6! I was hoping for 8, but that was much better than the 3 I was the first birth! So, yay! They admitted me around 10:30 PM.

I really lucked out with the people attending the birth with me. Everyone I encountered had read my birth plan and was on board with it. They really tried their best to follow it!

At that point, we got situated in our room. I had brought Christmas lights (which I found out much later on, after the birth, that they weren’t allowed…but the nurses and midwives that night didn’t know it!!) and an oil warmer for a pine-y essential oil blend. We put on the Christmas music, put on the scents, turned the lights off and zoned out. I didn’t use the ball or the tub, but just sat in this chair the whole time.  I did have to have an IV for fluids because the baby’s heart rate was getting a little high. I was not a good girl about drinking because I still felt pretty nauseous. They did delay that as long as they felt comfortable.  After a long while, I felt like getting into the bed.  I stayed there for a while, and again, time seemed to be suspended.

After who knows how long, I started to feel like pushing felt good.  I told the nurse the next time she came in, and she said “yeah, we could tell by your chart which ones were pushy ones!” The midwife checked me and I was an 8. I wasn’t thrilled about this, but they were. She said she was starting to really want to break my waters because baby’s heart rate was still high.  They were worried that I had an infection. They kept taking my temperature after PWs and it was always high, but I believe this is because I would have hot flashes right after intense PWs.

I was very afraid of having my water broken, especially only being 8. *BOP* My first birth, my water broke at 4 cm.  It was another 18 hours after that that my daughter was finally born, so my water breaking didn’t speed things up in that particular birth. I was worried that if my water broke before I was complete that I would lose control. I also found myself oddly afraid of the pushing phase, which really surprised me because during pregnancy I wasn’t afraid at all and was looking forward to it! I don’t know where that came from. *End BOP*

My midwife said she would leave the room so my husband and I could discuss the water breaking. They also started some more fluids. We decided that even though I was afraid, we should probably go ahead and do it. My wonderful husband at this point said that I should start listening to my Hypnobabies recordings again. He, of course, was right. Then the midwife came in and, bless her heart, she checked the baby one last time before breaking my water. She declared that baby looked OK after all and she was comfortable letting me continue laboring on my own. I love her.

Not very many PWs later, I felt a huge POP and even though nothing came out, I knew my bag of water had broken.  A few PWs later and I had confirmation with some gushes of fluid. Things did indeed get more intense at this point, but I kept my focus and kept saying “whoooohh”.  Some of the vocalizations were pretty loud, but I had read enough ladies’ birth stories to know that if I kept my voice low in pitch it would keep me relaxed. That was awesome.  I started to feel very pushy a few PWs later, so the next time the nurse came in I told her about the water breaking. The midwife checked me and said I was complete and could push anytime I liked. Not that I could stop if I wanted to!!

Pushing

Maybe the next contraction after they told me I could push, the urge to push became completely overwhelming .  It seemed at this point that my PWs joined together to become one big PW and one long push. I really tried to “Aaaah” baby out, but in reality it was more a primal animal growl/scream. If I had to spell it, it would probably be “aaaah”, but it was incredibly intense. Baby did not just “slide out”, but was expelled by this uncontrollable force inside me that I was powerless against. The urge to push did diminish when she crowned, so I had some more dignified pushes to get her out from that point.  I only pushed for 4 minutes!!

After birth

They put my baby on my chest right away and the cord stopped pulsing almost immediately. My husband cut it. The midwife tried to convince me to have a shot of pitocin as a preventative measure to control bleeding, but I declined. I’m glad I did,  because I hardly bled at all! The placenta came out easily. I got the shakes really badly, but they eventually went away.

They did have to take Emily to the warmer (in the same room) because even though she cried right away, she wasn’t pinking up like they wanted and she was making these grunting cries. They gave her oxygen and suctioned out a ton of fluid and then she was fine. They laid her back down on my chest and said I should wait a few minutes before nursing her to get her oxygen levels up. The poor thing kept trying to latch onto my non-breast skin! Finally we tried nursing and she caught on after a few tries, unlike my first daughter who struggled with it for a good month (before continuing to nurse for 2 more years!)

The after pains were not fun at first. They gave me ibuprofen, which did nothing, and brought me a “heating pad” which was this ridiculously complicated machine that pumped hot water into channels into a pad, except the water never heated up at all. Useless.  Silly me, it didn’t even occur to me to use my Hypnobabies techniques until many hours later. Then I had an “a-ha” moment and breathed through them, visualizing my uterus as a blue rubber ball and imagining it shrinking, thinking “smaller, smaller.”  It worked!  Fortunately, these after pains became hardly noticeable by the time I left the hospital.

My birth partner

I was concerned that my husband wasn’t going to get around to reading the scripts or practicing with me. He was very supportive and positive, and I knew he wanted to, but he was seriously procrastinating. In the end, he really stepped up to the plate. We practiced every other night from 37 weeks on. He kept telling me he knew I could do it.

During my birthing time, he would do the shoulder cue (I preferred that to the forehead) and “relax” cue until I found it to be more distracting than helpful. He kept telling me how great I was doing. He was right there the whole time, getting me things, arranging the room, whatever I needed. At the end, when the back labor got really intense, he tried to massage my lower back, but it broke my concentration, so after a few PWs I asked him to stop. The best part was when he pushed me to listen to my Hypnobabies tracks at the end.
He was awesome, and I don’t know if I could have done it as easily without him. I feel closer to him than ever as a result.

My whole experience

While I don’t think I was totally successful in doing all the techniques perfectly, this birth was incredibly empowering. I can’t truthfully say it was pain-free, but I never felt out of control and it never got to the point where I even considered asking for drugs. I really never needed them! Some things I wish I had done differently are:

Really mastered the finger drop technique
Really mastered the anesthesia
Done much more fear-clearing sessions, particularly about my water breaking.  I would add a fear clearing session about pushing, but I didn’t know I was afraid of that!

Other than that, though, Hypnobabies worked beautifully for me! The memory gets rosier the more time passes…I’m sure that’s mainly post-partum hormones! But if I were going to have more children (probably not) I would certainly do it again! Bonding with baby was easier, recovery was a breeze, and because I was so relaxed, I felt rested all day!  Thank you!

Emily Jean, born November 29, 2011
24 hours birthing time, 4 minutes of pushing
7 pounds 1.1 oz, 19 inches long

Thanks for reading if you made it this far!

Megan

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Liam’s birth was planned to be a waterbirth, but as it turned out there wasn’t even enough time to fill the tub! Throughout my birthing time, we made the choice to “proceed with caution,” knowing that as long as the answers to “is mom doing well?” and “is baby doing well?” were “yes,” we could proceed with our birth plan.

For those of you wondering, waterbirth really isn’t as mysterious as it sounds. It’s simply natural childbirth’s version of an epidural, and I saw it as one more tool available to me to help aid the process. Especially because I’d had a prolonged pushing phase with our daughter (also a Hypnobaby), I was looking forward to the soothing nature of the water which would help Liam to be born more gently. I did a lot of research about what happens in a waterbirth, making sure that it would be safe for him. Essentially he is unable to take his first breath until he is gently lifted above the water. It’s quite fascinating to read about the way it works.

Liam’s “guess date” was Friday, October 8th. I had started having a few pressure waves Monday, October 3rd indicating he might be thinking about making his arrival, but then they stopped. The next time I remember noticing some mild pressure waves was Friday, October 13th. They stopped again.

Liam scored an 8 out of a possible 8 on the biophysical profile at my visit on Monday, October 10th. It was also revealed that he was facing out (posterior) but at the time I didn’t think much of it. Looking back I realized that using a wait and see approach was not the way to go.

It was clear by the time the following week had nearly come and gone that Liam wasn’t planning on exiting any time soon. I was doing kick counts and knew he was happy as a clam in there, which generally means he needs a bit more time to cook. We even walked around the entire zoo Sunday the 9th, and it felt awesome to be out in the sunshine.

Friday, October 14th, things finally started happening! We were so excited to meet Liam, but he was going to make us wait a little longer still.I awoke at 7 AM to a small gush of fluid, which quickly turned into more gushes and lots of trickling. At my 10:30 AM appointment the midwife used a speculum to see that my water had indeed broken.

Since I wasn’t yet having any consistent pressure waves (the ones I’d had throughout the night had barely been enough to keep me awake), we decided we’d request to go home, relax, and try getting things going naturally with brief walks, bouncing on the yoga ball, and just resting up. The midwife was cool with that, and said to call her that afternoon to check in, but indicated without saying it outright that we might be admitted that night if nothing had changed.

The good thing about her role in my birth is that she used her experience regarding infection to guide her advice to us. Knowing me as a patient told her that it wasn’t very likely that I would get an infection, especially if I was declining cervical checks, which I did have to do once with the nurse upon arriving at the hospital, not having sex, etc. Sure, infections are still possible, however the good thing is the baby’s head had created a seal which eventually stopped the fluid from leaking and created a protective barrier. I was still leaking some fluid though, which was causing me anxiety.

Our decision to go the hospital was the right one. But it could have very easily taken another direction if the waterbirth midwife had not been on call at the time. As I review the details of everything that happened, I truly believe she was a God-send.

We called the on-call staff at the hospital on Saturday night, approaching 24 hours since my water had broken. I spoke to the doctor who was on duty, who explained that typical hospital policy calls for induction 18 hours after the water breaks. She knew having spoken with my regular midwife, that as someone who wanted a natural childbirth, this wouldn’t be my preference, but she informed me of the policy which gave me more anxiety. She also said, “you should talk to the midwife on call.”

Although I would have appreciated a little more reassurance from her over the phone, I am grateful to the doctor for respecting our plan and not pressuring us to come in for an induction right away. This is an example of doctors and midwives working well together. Job well done.We knew that the decision to be admitted probably meant the dreaded Pitocin.

However, entering the scene is now our wonderful care provider who I had never met before because she sees patients in the other office. She has a wonderful, supportive philosophy which is completely no-pressure. The patient’s body is their own, and she is just there to advise. She is highly skilled and competent in her job, and immediately we know we’re in good hands. When the doctor handed over the phone, the midwife said, “Darn! I wish they had sent you to me earlier!” She started me on a breast pumping regimen, once every hour for 15 minutes. This was 10 PM. Our doula reminded us to REST in between. The pump allows your body to produce more oxytocin naturally, as opposed to Pitocin which is the synthetic form.

Pressure waves are still sporadic and not intense. We rested some until 6 AM, but not well. Trying to stay aware of Liam’s movements kept me pretty anxious and awake.

October 15, 2011 at 8 AM we arrived at hospital with Chick-fil-A chicken biscuits. I was in tears, feeling like we were walking into prison. But when we got admitted, I knew that things were going to be alright. Much to our delight and surprise, the midwife recommended continuing on the pumping regimen for awhile, and if it didn’t work, then we could talk about starting a low dose of Pitocin with the goal of getting my body in a pattern and then turning the Pitocin back off. She also recommended an antibiotic as a precaution. I felt good about the decision to have that administered, and it was given every 6 hours and didn’t take very long so that I could be up and about as I wished in between. (I have a suspicion it might be causing us a case of thrush right now though, since an antibiotic can upset your natural balance.)

Even though I hadn’t slept well the night before, I had gotten fantastic sleep the week before being off work, so I was really ready for this with plenty of sleep in my “bank.” Really grateful for that.

We also ate (peanut butter sandwiches) much to the surprise of our nurse (who would later play a crucial role in this story). She was supportive, but I sensed not very used to patients breaking the rules so brazenly. :-)

Our doula and I walked the L&D floor for about 30-40 minutes and it was way boring. We actually thought about checking ourselves back out. (Basically signing a form saying “against medical advice,” we’re outta here.) Looking back, I’m glad that we didn’t do that. Really glad. The midwife checked in again at 1:30 PM and suggested more breast pump stimulation. With intermittent monitoring we were still confident Liam was doing great.

Our nurse had been watching us from afar, and must have seen me gazing longingly at the sunshine outside. Bless her soul, she suggested to the midwife that we be released for a walk outside. (YAY!!!!) Best news EVER. I honestly didn’t believe they were serious when they came in to tell us. And I gave her the biggest hug and was nearly in tears. We had a great time on our walk, went across the street for a milkshake and walked until it got REALLY warm out. I felt like a freak in my PJ pants and IV lock, but whatever. We were outside enjoying the day!

We came back to the hospital for an afternoon nap. Liam still looks great on the monitor. His heartrate dipped momentarily as I was on the breast pump, because I’d started having pressure waves one on top of the other, which we attributed to the calzones we ate for dinner. The body’s natural response to fuel and yet another reason to eat.

As our doula and I discussed the events of the week, it dawned on me that the biophysical profile had shown that Liam was posterior. Thankfully she had some tricks up her sleeve to try to turn him. We did “figure 8s” on the yoga ball, pelvic rocks, and Rebozo sifting which is a gentle scarf shimmy under the belly while the mother is on all fours (which felt great)! I felt a little ridiculous during all of this but I’ll try anything at this point to get this party started! I just want to meet him! It’s things like this that make a doula worth her weight in gold!

Also worth noting that a nurse shift change occurred at 7 PM. Time to bid farewell to our heroine nurse and little sad that we could not yet introduce her to our new baby. Enter nurse 2, who immediately said she had read our birth plan and had a very positive, “let’s do this” attitude. Honestly I think these nurses were excited to be seeing something a little different. The midwife would later thank me for doing a birth plan and giving them the chance to support it. That made me feel so good!

When my pressure waves stopped yet AGAIN, I knew it was my body telling me to rest. So we talked with the midwife and I was about to fall asleep as she was saying that she would check in again at 5 AM and that we’d get serious about the low-dose Pit at that point, approaching 48 hours since my water had broken! In another hospital, this scenario would NEVER have happened. Major props to the care providers for their confidence and knowledge in what the body can do. She was completely trusting that since I had no fever, Liam was getting antibiotics and was looking great on the monitor, that there wasn’t a need to rush it. Again, cannot stress enough what a blessing this was!

I went to sleep with the thought in my mind that Pitocin was probably not going to be necessary, but that if it did, I would be fine with the decision. Boy was I right! Enough already.

At 1 AM I got up to pee, and was feeling intense pressure in my back and saw some bloody show. I relied on our doula for counter pressure and double hip squeeze which felt awesome, and rocked on the ball which was bringing the baby down very quickly. I could now feel him making direct contact with my pubic bone. This baby was finally coming and coming fast!  When your baby says it’s “go time,” there is very little that can be done to slow it down. And heck, we’d been waiting ALL weekend for this moment, so most of what I felt was joy and excitement!

Our doula suggested side lying as a way that I could start to use my tools. That worked for about 2.5 seconds when I began vocalizing loudly. “Ahhhhh” nd blowing air out my lips like a horse. I was completely surprised by my involuntary ability to make these sounds and how awesome they felt.

However I was so excited that with Liam’s birth, I was really able to tune into my body in a way that I hadn’t with my first birth. I used hypnosis very successfully with our first birth. Almost so much, that at times I wasn’t listening to my body because I was so relaxed and felt as though I was in a dream-like state.

With Liam’s birth, I experienced it to the fullest, knowing the whole time that my body was doing what it needed to do, and that gave me so much confidence and was so empowering! And I was able to choose my own positions which helped not only to relieve discomfort, but to give me even more confidence that I was doing this correctly.

At 1:50 AM after a brief time lying on my side, I exclaimed “I have to poop!” And truly I did. To the potty I go. TMI, sorry. Our doula reminded me while I was on the potty that I should use my uterine muscles to push Liam out rather than go with the pressure I was feeling in my bottom. Babies don’t come out of bottoms, in case you hadn’t noticed. :-)

Miraculously I was able to achieve both efforts nearly simultaneously. LOL. But the important thing is that I immediately felt a difference when she reminded me to push Liam out by pretending to “push the seat belt” away from me. When I said “do you think I could get in the tub?” I needed some relief. I thought surely I’m at least at 6 cm. They want you at a 6 before you can get in the tub. I believe that is to avoid having to get in and out, if it relaxes you so much that your birthing time stops, which has been known to happen. Kinda silly if you ask me.

The nurse came in to check me on the potty (how rockin’ is that?!) and said I was NINE centimeters! I cannot tell you what a moment this was and how grateful we were to her for not requiring me to get on the bed for the exam. I knew that Liamwould be here soon!

After getting cleaned up I moved to the foot of the bed, desiring to get up on all fours. The nurses were hurriedly changing the sheets and getting the bed set up for me to get into, while the other folks in the room were scrambling to fill up the tub. The hot water was BROKEN!

I swayed and rocked through the next several pressure waves which was a nice little break from the inevitable, while the nurse came and checked Liam’s heartbeat. Still perfect. The midwife was still not here; she had been resting at home and had just gotten the call. She was rushing into the parking deck by about 2:20 AM.

As soon as they finished changing the sheets I moved up on the bed on all fours which felt so great, and Baby Liam was beginning to crown! My doula whispered to me to remember the pushing technique (push as though you are pushing away your seat belt. Do NOT bear down like you are having to poop) and that it was not important to ‘resist’ or wait for the midwife or the nurses to deliver Liam, but to relax into it and gently guide Liam out. His head was gently born at 2:35, so quietly that we hardly knew what had happened. But we heard his first cry and that was an AWESOME moment, especially for me because I couldn’t see him yet. But I could hear him! At 2:36, just as the midwife ran in the door, Liam was born into Daddy’s arms!!! Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

He weighed 6.74 oz, 19 inches long and his head was 13 inches. He was born anterior, facing my back, with his hand up by his face.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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