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Archive for the ‘Hypnobabies Birth Stories’ Category

Lyla was born on April 16th 4:13am weighing 7 lbs 10 oz and was 20 inches long! I would definitely call this a Hypnobabies success story!

A lot of people have been curious about Lyla’s birth story especially since I used hypnosis to have a completely natural birth. I hope that in sharing, this will encourage more women to trust in their body’s ability to give birth naturally and not be so quick to accept interventions that are unnecessary (and which lead to more interventions and c-sections). Also, I wanted to add to all the other positive stories out there of successful VBACs- and for everyone to know that a VBAC after 2 c-sections is not only possible but can be such a great experience! Those who know me know I tend to be wordy, so yes, this is long and detailed. Also it is a birth story- so expect it to be just that!

To tell the story of the birth Lyla, a little bit needs to be said about the births of our first two children. Having a natural birth has always been important to me. My mother had 5 kids and it wasn’t until her last baby that she experienced the rewards of a completely natural birth in Japan with the help of some amazing midwives. That was enough for me to want it. However, my first birth ended in a c-section. From the very moment I walked into the hospital, nothing was going my way. Although I didn’t want an IV or to be monitored constantly I was told I had to and I eventually gave in- and I ended up laboring uncomfortably in a hospital bed. By 8cm it was just too much to handle and I asked for an epidural. When I hit 10cm I was immediately told to push (unnaturally) and pushed for 3 hours with no progress. Never once did I feel an actual urge to push. My tired doctor finally convinced me I needed a c-section and I gave in. With my second baby, I approached the same doctor about a VBAC. He told me my pelvis was too narrow for natural birth and that I would need a scheduled c-section. He was very convincing and I trusted him again.

When I got pregnant with my third, I knew I had to do what it took to get my natural birth. A birth where I was alert, aware and in complete control of my body. From the very start odds seemed to be against us. I was worried that after 2 c-sections it would be impossible to find a care provider who supported my wish. But with encouragement from my husband and close friends, I started searching, and my search led me to Melissa Courtney- a midwife who had just started her own practice at Womankind Midwives. I remember feeling so nervous walking into her building to talk to her- and I RARELY get nervous over things like that! But the moment I met her I felt at ease. She was kind and sweet and took a lot of time to listen to my story and the reasons why a natural birth was so important to me. She calmed any fears I had about uterine rupture and other complications. Even as I got really emotional she was so sweet and understanding. I knew immediately that I wanted her to deliver my baby. BUT. There was a catch- she had to get a doctor who would back her up just in case. Thankfully that was Dr. Campbell- a high risk OB who supported midwives and their cause. I had to wait for Melissa’s call that day that he had agreed to give it a go. I was so nervous. Then the call came. He was on board! There were a lot of “what if’s” but at that point I didn’t care. I had faith that things would work out and I wasn’t going to give up.

In our quest for a natural birth, we decided to take a Hypnobabies class. My best friend had used Hypnobabies with her VBAC and raved about it. That led my sister-in-law to use it for her birth and she also had a great experience. The class was taught by Julie Six, who was also my sister-in-law’s doula. I decided to contact her to see if she would be a good fit for us. In talking to her, she was very experienced and passionate about what she did. After texting back and forth we also discovered that we knew each other already! From high school! Small world… no wonder she felt like an old friend! We decided to hire her as our doula and I had every bit of confidence she would help me in every way possible to get the birth that I wanted. I also learned early on that finding the right people to support you during birth is so important!

As my due date got closer and closer there were a few concerns. My first 2 babies were apparently considered close to the “large” side at 8 pounds (Joselyn) and 8 pounds 10 oz. (Landen) The policies at the hospital don’t allow for VBACS of babies looking to weigh more than 8 pounds 14 oz. (let alone a VBA2C!) So Dr. Campbell wanted to make sure that my little Lyla wasn’t going to be close to that number. At 37 weeks she was already calculated at weighing 7 pounds 3 oz and with babies growing about half a pound a week, we would be cutting it close. At this point I should also mention that apparently there were 2 due dates floating around. Dr. Campbell had been going by my April 6th due date (calculated according to the first day of my last period)… but according to an early ultrasound, her due date was actually projected to be April 11th. The latter was the date my midwife had been going by. We went back for another ultrasound 2 weeks later and were relieved to find out that she had only gained 4 oz!! This was such a blessing!! With that, Dr. Campbell pretty much said we were good to go!! My only concern after that was that she would come fast so there would be no more questioning her size.

So then we just waited. And waited. April 6th came and went, nothing. Easter came and went. I was for sure she was going to be an Easter baby. April 11th came and went and nothing. I was starting to get a little concerned… but Melissa was reassuring as was Julie. Babies come when they are good and ready- and Melissa didn’t seem too concerned over the weight of the baby. I was a little anxious so I had Melissa strip my membranes twice, both pretty much only causing a few pressure waves here and there with some minimal cramping.  Over the course of the 5 days leading up to Lyla’s birth I would get periods of pressure waves that were getting closer together and stronger. I would think “this is it!!” but then they would stop. That was so frustrating to me!! Not to mention a little embarrassing since I felt like the boy who cried wolf every time I called Julie or Melissa. On Saturday night April 14th, I just had a feeling I would be going into labor the next day. It was approaching 4 days past my latter due date which is when I went into labor with Joselyn. I knew for sure I wouldn’t feel up to going to church so I called for a sub. At 1 am in the morning the pressure waves started. They were 5 minutes apart. I wasn’t going to cry wolf this time, so I timed them for 2 hours, I took a nice warm bath and listened to my hypnosis tracks to relax myself. When they didn’t stop, I finally called Julie and Melissa to give them a heads up- but told them I would call them later on in the morning.  I tried to get a little sleep in between pressure waves and at this point everything was very manageable. Nothing painful at all- I wouldn’t even call it discomfort.  I was actually enjoying them! Really! I knew it meant that I would finally be getting the birth that I wanted and that I would finally get to meet my little Lyla Jane. When everyone woke up at around 8am, pressure waves were still coming 4-5 minutes apart lasting about 1 minute long. Melissa had told me that’s when I would want to be going to the hospital- but when I called her she wanted me to wait a little longer. The more I labored at home the better.

Julie came over around 9:30am and we took the kids over to my in-laws. I got out my trusty birthing ball and did a lot of my laboring right there in my living room. I listened to just about every hypnosis track in my possession. We went for lots and lots of walks. I have fond memories of these walks. It was incredibly beautiful outside- a light cool breeze and sunny skies. It was the kind of day I had imagined in my head when I thought about Lyla’s birthday. We talked and laughed in between pressure waves- I was so excited things were happening!! We were going to do this!

By around 4:30pm things hadn’t really progressed much- pressure waves were still about the same or ranged from every 2-3 minutes apart to 4-5 minutes apart.  We decided to go meet Melissa at her office just to check on things. I had said early on that I didn’t want to know my progress in numbers- I was afraid knowing would discourage me if I hadn’t made much progress even though I had been taught in my classes that those numbers could mean anything. Well, it really was a good thing I didn’t know. After laboring all morning and afternoon, I was apparently only 4cm. I was 100% effaced though and the baby was at 0 station so at least that was all in place! We were sent back to labor at home some more. We tried to all get a little nap in when the evening came and even took another nice long walk just as the sun was setting. I really was starting to get a little discouraged. I kept on waiting for Julie to say “ok! let’s head to the hospital! It’s time!” but she never did. I personally felt like things were going SOMEWHERE because I felt different.  I went through a period of chills and shook for a little bit as I was laying down and at one point couldn’t stop crying I was just so emotional. I was laughing through the tears because I honestly had no idea why I was crying. Of course it was the hormones- things were progressing- but still not enough for Julie to think I was ready to head to the hospital. I was afraid that if something were to happen fast we wouldn’t get to the hospital in time, but Julie reassured me that everything would be ok since we lived only about 5 minutes from the hospital. As far as “pain” or discomfort goes, everything was still manageable. Intensity had definitely picked up though especially in my lower back. Julie and Adam both took turns with massages and hip squeezes (took a lot of muscle on their part!) that relieved a lot of the pressure I was feeling. By midnight I was just ready to have the baby. It had almost been 24 hours since I started my labor and I would be lying if I said I didn’t feel discouraged. I felt that by staying home I was somehow keeping Lyla from coming- that I needed to be where I was going to give birth. In a lot of cases, going to the hospital can slow things down though- so really we had no clue what was going to happen once we got there. But I wanted to be at the hospital. So we went.

When I first walked in to the room, the nurse immediately told me she supported what I was doing 100%. Not only was that a confidence booster, but it made me feel a lot more comfortable. Because it was a VBA2C, I was supposed to immediately get a heplock and be monitored the whole time. I was also supposed to get a dose of antibiotics because I had tested positive for Group B Strep. But Melissa still felt I had a way to go and that I would possibly want to go back home if I didn’t make any progress so they held off on the IV. I was checked- and once again, it’s a good thing no one told me. I was only 5cm!!! After laboring ALL DAY LONG!!! But as you will see, you really can’t birth by numbers!

The nurses were so wonderful. They respected my wishes to labor on the birthing ball where I was most comfortable and tried really hard to get the monitor to work for me on the ball. It was difficult- they weren’t picking up much. So finally they said if I would lay in the bed for 10 minutes and let them monitor the baby they would let me back on the ball without the monitor.  I will say trying to labor at the hospital WAS a lot more difficult. It was a lot harder for me to get into that relaxed state of mind that I needed to be in. Nevertheless, I know that the hypnosis was working because every time I heard certain cue words such as “relax” I would immediately feel more relaxed and my breathing would slow down. Things were getting pretty intense. Still manageable but definitely got me wondering if I could do it- especially when everyone around me seemed to think I wasn’t really close. I felt like the pressure waves were coming back to back at that point. I think it’s at that point when women think “I can’t do it” that things are actually happening. It was right about then that I felt a pop- and I said “I think my water just broke…”  I stood up to “confirm” and sure enough my water had broke. They took me to sit down on the toilet- and I felt like I had to pee- and the nurse checked me again. I was an 8. Then all of the sudden I had an urge to push. I had never felt it before but it was very powerful. I remember it being really intense but I loved that my body was doing what it was supposed to be doing! It almost made me giddy inside. They moved me to the bed. I had told myself I would never push on my back again (which is what I did with Joselyn)  but it was strange that it was what felt right and most comfortable. Things moved pretty fast from there. I couldn’t hold back my urge to push- and Melissa was called. An IV was put in quickly so I could get my dose of antibiotics as well. I must say I felt pretty silly- I was trying to breathe her out as much as I could but sometimes what came out of my mouth was making me laugh inside. With each push I could feel Lyla making progress. It was incredible! I would get a small rest in between the pressure waves and those were relaxing. I would get enough energy to push again. I was glad at this point that I had labored mostly at home- eating and drinking as much as I wanted so I would have energy for that moment.

Things kind of get complicated from here. I was really focused on what I was doing so although I was completely aware, there’s apparently a lot I missed. We had learned earlier on that Dr. Campbell was on vacation. Melissa wasn’t there yet so a laborist (on call Doctor) was called up to deliver my baby. Although I was having the urges to push, I was apparently not “complete” and the nurses were trying everything to get me to that perfect 10 to “avoid interventions”. I later learned the laborist was completely against VBACS and was telling the nurses I needed to have a c-section. Thankfully, the nurses were successful in getting me where I needed to be before the Dr. had come up to deliver the baby. I pushed for about 15 minutes- and then she was here at 4:13am! Words can’t describe the feelings I felt at that moment. I couldn’t believe I had done it! It was exhilarating! Adam and I were both very emotional as they pulled Lyla onto my chest. She cried for a minute, then with her big dark blue eyes just started looking around taking in the new world around her. She was so sweet and I was so in love. I just got to cuddle with her there as Adam helped clean her off.

About 5 minutes after the delivery, Melissa walked in. I am so sad she missed it- she was the reason I had been able to do this in the first place. I had a 2nd degree tear- nothing major at all- but the doctor apparently wanted to take me to the OR for better lighting to give me stitches. That seemed odd to everyone in the room, but I initially consented. When it was apparent that was an odd thing, I asked Melissa if it was necessary and she said it wasn’t. It wasn’t a bad tear, I didn’t have bleeding… so I decided not to get stitches. That apparently made the DR pretty upset. After talking to Melissa, he came back into the delivery room and said I would have to sign a waiver. I told him I would calmly and thanked him for all that he did. I could tell he was upset. I later learned he was not a huge fan of midwives or VBACs. He told Melissa she hadn’t followed protocol and was trying to write her up. The nurses would not consent. She had done everything she was supposed to. To me, this was a blessing in disguise. Even though I would not have consented to a c-section, I can imagine things would have been tense and stressful had I not progressed the way I had and he had walked in even saying the C word.

I’m so glad we didn’t give up along the way. I got exactly what I had wanted. Even looking back- knowing things did get hard at one point, I can’t remember being in pain at all. All I remember are the overwhelming feelings of joy when Lyla was born. And the feeling of accomplishment. And gratitude for the experience and to all that sacrificed their sleep and time with their families to help me. I’m amazed with what our bodies can do- really- even after 2 c-sections my body still knew what to do when it came time to giving birth. It was all a miracle! In the hospital, the day I gave birth, a nurse walked in and asked if I was the patient. She couldn’t believe I was up walking around doing things so shortly after my birth. The day we got home from the hospital I took a short walk- it felt nice to be able to move around freely.

Again, choosing Melissa as my midwife and Julie as my doula was essential to my success. I am a big believer that choosing the right care provider during a VBAC or VBA2C will greatly add to it’s success. Laboring at home as long as possible also helped me to stay focused listening to my hypnosis tracks. I ate a lot of crackers and apple sauce and drank lots of water during labor- that gave me the energy that I needed to last through my 26 hour labor and delivery. I’m so grateful that Hypnobabies helped me to have a relaxing and enjoyable birth experience void of fear and pain. I won’t say it wasn’t ever hard for me, but the intense moments were short lived and easy to get through because of all the techniques we had learned in class.

I’m in love with my birthing experience and the bond it has created between me and Lyla. Even my relationship with my husband was strengthened because we worked together through it all. I will shout praises about Hypnobabies the rest of my days!

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Molly’s Birth story

Molly Jane was born at 2:58 am on April 21, 10 days after her guess date, and after a short, ENJOYABLE birthing time. Here’s the story of Molly’s birth (long version).

After three weeks of maternity leave and several weeks of preparing our home and TRYING (as best is possible) to prepare our two year old for his new sister, I was starting to get just the slightest bit impatient (though I tried hard not to be!) I had had lots of “toning” contractions in the last weeks of my pregnancy, and I knew when it happened that it would be a quick one! Hypnobabies helped remind me that she would come when she was ready, and that our birth would be a wonderful experience.

A little stress heading into my birthing time: both my midwife and my mom were going to be out of town for the weekend (we were just over a week past the guess date at this point). This was a bit stressful for me since we’d planned that my mom would watch our two year old during the birth, and of course I wanted my regular midwife to attend my birth! But no point in allowing too much stress in. We had my dad who could come watch my son if needed and of course the midwife had a back up in place.  I think my Hypnobabies training really helped me let go of any stress this situation may have caused, and I felt very sure that things would happen in the exact way they should. And, of course, Molly decided she was ready to be born the very night both my midwife and mom were out of town!

Friday afternoon I got my fluid levels checked (41 weeks, 2 days), and all looked good. My husband took the afternoon off, we had lunch and walked a bit. I had been feeling tons of Braxton Hicks that afternoon, but that was normal for me in the last couple weeks, and I didn’t really think it meant anything. I was hoping she would at least wait until the next day when my midwife would be back.

We got our son from school, went home and had tons of fun playing in the sprinkler with him. We had our usual “Pizza Friday” dinner and put our son to bed. All along, I had a few Braxton-Hicks here and there, but nothing more than any other evening, so I didn’t think anything of them.

I went to bed early, as usual, around 8:30.  Read a little, listened to a Hypnobabies track. I woke up to go to the bathroom around 10:45, and felt a pressure wave that felt a little more “real” to me. A little while later I felt another one. At 11:00 I texted my husband (out in the front room watching tv still), “hey, can you come back here, I think my labor is starting.” Of course he ran back, and we discussed our options, waited through a few more waves.  Pretty quickly I had the “this is it” feeling, so we called my dad to come over and tried to call the on-call number for the Birth Center. Turns out they were already there for a birth, so they said come on in to be checked, especially since I had a fast birth for my first birth.

The car ride was quick and easy, I listened to my Birth Day Affirmations and felt really positive and relaxed. We got to the Birth Center around 12:15 or so, and got to meet the on-call midwife who would be attending our birth. She was really great and warm and funny, which immediately took away any residual stress about our usual midwife being out of town! She checked me, and I was 4cm, around 80%, and -2, which is pretty much where I had been at my appointment on Tuesday. I was told that I could go home and labor some more, or I could stay if I felt like I needed to (incidentally, for my first birth the dr at the hospital told me to go back home when we checked in at 1:30am; I listened to my gut, we stayed, and our son was born 4 hours later!). We chose to stay, walk around a bit, and see where we were in an hour or so.

My husband and I went out into the cul-de-sac to walk. We walked and chatted, and I listened to more affirmations. I had more waves as we walked, nothing to regular, and I could still walk and talk through them. But I was still sure our birthing time was close.

We went back in around 1:30. I sat on the birth ball, listened to Easy First Stage, and ate some dried apricots and hydrated myself. I had several more waves while sitting on the ball, and my husband used the “release” cue with his hand on my shoulder to help me relax and breathe through each one. Felt amazing. At this point, they asked about filling the tub, and I wasn’t sure because it still felt so comfortable and I didn’t want to get in too early and slow things down. We decided just to fill it and I’m glad we did.

Around 2, my pressure waves picked up, and I began kneeling over the top of the ball while my husband squeezed my hips during each wave, using the “release” and “relax” cues.  He was amazing, reading my signals and giving me just what I needed. I also kept repeating “open, open, open”during each wave, which helped me focus on what my body was doing.  All through this, the midwife, nurse, and doula were coming in and out to set up and to check on us, but they were really hands off and just let us do our thing, which was just what I needed.

Soon I was feeling like it was time to get into the tub. The midwife wanted to check me first, and I was a little discouraged to hear I was “only” at 6 (this was just after 2:30).  A few waves later I was in the tub, and it felt amazing! I tried a few different positions to see what felt best, and finished listening to Easy First Stage. My husband wondered what to put on next, and suddenly I felt like he needed to put the Pushing Baby Out track. He put it on but I don’t think I heard a word of it, I was in my “zone” at that point!

I was really focused.   I flipped onto all fours, which felt the best to me, and about two waves later I felt that urge to push. That was intense, but I knew our baby would be here soon and tried to focus on letting that happen!  My husband was right by my head as I leaned over the tub, letting me squeeze his hand (and even bite it through the last intense wave as I pushed her head out!!) I think I pushed through two or three waves, and maybe a few minutes, and then I was holding our little girl!!

She had a short cord, and it actually tore as they handed her up to me, so we had to clamp it and get out of the tub right away. Everyone seemed calm about it, so I didn’t stress, just climbed onto the bed and snuggled my baby as they massaged my belly and delivered the placenta. She cuddled a bit skin-to-skin, then she latched right on and nursed really well!

I felt amazing, despite missing most of the night’s sleep. We stayed for about 3 and a half hours, and both of us were doing great. We got to go home around 6:30, stopped for breakfast, and were home just about 30 minutes after our 2 year old got up for the day. This was a relief to me, since I really wanted to make the transition as easy for him as we could. We got to introduce our son to his baby sister, which was such a precious moment, and just spend a nice relaxing day at home with our new little family! And this recovery has been SO nice and easy too!

I loved our birth, and even feel a little sad it’s over! I can’t say enough great things about Hypnobabies, which helped me stay positive and relaxed and prepared me for a quick and easy birthing time. I also wish more women could have access to the birth center model of care, because it was just fantastic and such a nice way for our baby to be born!!

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My sweet love, our five week old son, is on my lap as I write this. Jackson is our first child and his birth was amazing, in large part thanks to Hypnobabies. From the time we found out we were expecting, I had the date of March 9, 2012 in mind as the day our sweet baby would join us. Our actual guess date was March 13th, but I suppose mother’s intuition knew our little one would decided to come a few days before his guess date. Our birth story unfolded throughout the week culminating with our most precious gift joining our family on March 9th.

We are so fortunate to have a wonderful birth center in our city with two amazing midwives. They were our primary care providers throughout our pregnancy, with the exception of two visits to an OB required by state law. I think it’s worth stating that my BOP and Fear Clearing were invaluable on my second visit to the OB. He basically mocked the fact that I told him I was intending to enjoy our natural birth and felt it necessary to tell me horror stories to try and scare me. I used my BOP to block him out as much as possible during the visit.  That evening when I returned home I did a fear clearing session to try and (successfully!) get the stories he told me out of my head.  The experience with the OB made me all the more thankful to have our birth center and fabulous midwives.
On Monday morning I woke up and felt a little trickle when I got out of bed. It was just the smallest amount, but I wanted to make sure it wasn’t amniotic fluid so I went in to see my midwives. It turned out to be nothing (or the beginning of the mucus plug) and she said I didn’t appear to be dilated yet. She did say that baby was in optimal fetal positioning, which I was thrilled to hear as our little one was constantly swimming around in there (lots of fluid for him!) and changing positions almost weekly.
Tuesday morning I woke up and went to the restroom and discovered that I had lost my mucus plug. I was 39 weeks and some change and was excited that things looked like they were getting started toward our birthing time! I went on about my day and felt a periodic pressure wave, but nothing that really grabbed my attention. Apparently I did have practice pressure waves toward the end of pregnancy, but I never felt any of them. The only reason I knew they were going on was the midwife pointed it out to me at an appointment. Being aware of them at all was a change, so I knew this was a positive sign that we were progressing.
That evening around 7pm the waves began to get more frequent, but again nothing to really grab my attention. After we went to bed they began to ramp up and I became more aware of them and ended up getting out of bed and spending the evening listening to my deepening track over and over on my birthing ball. Although my sweet baby was in OFP, I began feeling the waves in my back quite strongly. As the evening progressed the waves in my back became stronger and stronger. I wouldn’t use the word (pain), but they were definitely becoming intense. I didn’t feel the waves anywhere other than my back.
When my husband woke up the next morning, I told him I thought things were progressing so he decided to stay home with me. I was supposed to have my weekly appointment at the birth center at noon, but we waited until later in the day as the waves were progressing in intensity and frequency and I thought we may end up going to the birth center that evening. The pressure on my back was very intense throughout the day and my husband was a champ and pushed on my back during each wave to try to help ease the intensity. I was unable to lay down as the pressure on my back was too great and made me need to throw up. I just kept thinking of something my midwife had told me “remember you can do anything for a minute”. So I took each wave as it came and made it through the day with my husbands help and Hypnobabies tracks. I wouldn’t call any of this “painful”, but it was definitely intense. I think I would have been in a very different frame of mind if I hadn’t had my Hypnobabies tools.  We ended up going to the birth center around 5:00pm and once I was checked, we found out I wasn’t dilated! Quite disappointed we headed home.
The waves continued in intensity and I spent Wednesday evening on my birthing ball with my husband holding my back through each wave. We did the tuck and lift multiple times to help our sweet baby descend further. Thursday progressed much the same as Wednesday had in intensity and back pressure. I took a couple of showers which were delightfully wonderful. Mid afternoon the waves began to get lower with quite a bit more pressure and I knew our birthing time was imminent. We called the midwives and headed to the birth center. I listened to my Easy First Steps track with my eyes closed the entire trip to the birth center.
When we arrived around 5:30pm they check me and found I was 7 cm dilated. My husband and I walked around the birth center, bounced on my birthing ball and tried all kids of different positions to help our birth progress. Time becomes very foggy to me at this point, but I believe around 7:30 I wanted to go ahead and get in the tub. It felt AMAZING. I’m not sure how long we were in there, but all of a sudden the waves became very intense, low and almost pushy. I didn’t realize it at the time but this was transformation. y water broke and one of the midwives fished out the sac which was almost completely intact (apparently this rarely happens). I hadn’t used the restroom in a while so the midwifes wanted me to go before we began pushing. I was unable to go and they felt it would be safest if we moved to the bed. I hadn’t decided if I wanted a waterbirth or not, but I knew I would know in the moment what was the right choice for us and the bed turned out to definitely be the right choice.
The tracks that say 20 minutes feel like 5 are totally accurate. I began pushing around 9:30pm. The midwifes were amazing, massaging me to make sure I didn’t tear, giving encouragement when needed and just in general being completely fabulous. My husband, my rock,  was up on the bed with me (a nice queen size) holding my hand when needed, letting me grab on to him and doing the release cue on my shoulder. I LOVED the release cue, it was probably the most powerful tool for me. I pushed for what felt like 20 minutes to me, but was in reality, three hours. I was in multiple different positions to try to help our sweet baby descend and join us.
I had watched amazing Hypnobabies videos online, most with the women being completely quiet and calm. I was certainly calm, and pain free, but I was not quiet! I had no idea I would make as much noise as I did, but it was involuntary, almost primal and it was just right for our birth.
Once his head was low enough for me to touch, I felt my sweet boys full head of hair for the first time. I just kept saying “come on sweet baby, come on sweet baby” and rubbing his wonderful, warm, soft head. Sometimes my husband will look at me and say “come on sweet baby” and it’s a lovely reminder of our fabulous birth. After three hours of pushing, our amazing son joined us at 12:32am on March 9th, the day I had always thought would be his birthday – all 9 lbs 4 oz and 22 1/2 inches of wonderful, snugly love!
The midwives immediately placed our baby on my chest and he picked his head right up looked directly at me, turned his head looked at his Daddy, back and me and back at his Daddy. He kept picking his head up and quietly looking around at his new world. We picked him up briefly to find out he was a boy and then he snuggled down on my chest. The placenta was out almost immediately, I barely noticed as I had my beautiful baby in my arms. It only took two minutes for the chord to stop pulsing and my husband was able to make the cut. We snuggled skin to skin for quite a while and nursed for 45 minutes before he decided he was finished! My husband called my Mom and she came to the birth center to meet her first grandchild. Since it was the middle of the night, we decided to enjoy our son and tell the rest of the world the next day. The midwives weighed him and I couldn’t believe he was over 9 lbs! We settled down for the night around 3am and the three of us slept together in the bed for five hours.
We never did an ultrasound, but at several appointments throughout our pregnancy my midwives had said “I think we have a thumb sucker here”. My boy wasn’t born sucking his thumb, but he was born sucking his hand! Thus the three hours of pushing this 9 lber and his hand out. :)  I had talked to my baby and told him “head down, facing back, chin to chest!” many times. It never occurred to me to add “hands down!” haha As it turns out, baby does indeed know best. I had no tearing as his somewhat slow progression allowed me to stretch and the midwifes to massage me etc. keeping me completely intact and comfortable.
I’m so incredibly proud of myself and of my son for our birth. It wasn’t easy, but it was perfect. I know Hypnobabies proved invaluable throughout our pregnancy and birth.  I enjoyed the program so much that I’ve been thinking I would like to become an instructor to help other moms.  Yes, the birth was intense (and the 48 hours of back pressure waves leading up to his actual birth) but I wouldn’t use the word pain for any of it. Bringing new life into the world should be intense, beautiful, and an experience. We got everything we wanted from our birth and ended up with the most precious gift of all, our son.

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Alexander’s Home Hypnobabies Water Birth
Wedesday, March 7  11:22pm

A little Background information: Around 12 weeks I developed bacterial pneumonia and was hospitalized for one week and had quite a bit of fluid drained from my left lung. During this process I kept talking to my baby telling him or her that his core temperature was perfect (mine was 104 at the time) his organs and brain were developing perfectly and he was growing perfectly. I slowly recovered and everything showed just fine on the ultra sound for his development at the time. Fast forward to January and I became sick again with an upper respiratory infection turned pneumonia, then bronchitis. During that time I fractured 3 ribs from powerful coughing and I was in a lot of pain unable to care for my kids or hold my very sad 2 year old. Around 35 weeks I began having pre term birthing activity and my midwife put me on complete bedrest. As each week passed I prayed for another week and woke up grateful for another day where my sweet pea remained safe and continued to grow. As the same with my last birth I really felt this baby’s time was drawing very near and since we were having a homebirth (for the first time) I wanted the house cleaned. I paid for someone to clean on Tuesday March 7, 2012. I felt great relief when it was clean. I was now one day shy of 38 weeks. Nesting is something I was fighting since I was unable to do most things.

Around 8:00 pm I went to lay down on my left side because I started having pressure waves but were very mild. I started timing them and they were about 10 minutes apart. I took a bath and drank lots of water and took some rescue remedy to hopefully stop the pressure waves. I kept telling Jenna my midwife that I am probably the only mom who wants to wait to have her baby until 41 weeks. In all of my pregnancies, that has never happened. My twins were born 2 days shy of 37 weeks (induced) and my son 38 weeks on the day on his own timing. The pressure waves slowed and I fell asleep from midnight until 2 am. At 2 am the pressure waves woke me up and I began timing them. They were now 5 minutes apart but not growing with intensity. Because I went to the hospital for my last birth unaware that I was truly in my birthing time at 8cm dilated, my midwife wanted me to call asap. At 3:00 am I woke Jeff up and he began filling the pool as I called Jenna. I was kind of excited by now and during this time I thought…I am going to wear make up this time. My last births I looked rather well…blah. This was going to be different since I am going to be at home. My birth team arrived. First, Jenna arrived and began setting up her things. Shortly after that Barb my other midwife arrived. She told me that I was awfully chipper for being in my birthing time. I told her I was smiling at a 9 with my last Hypnobabies birth. Michelle my doula arrived around 5 am. Jenna checked me and after dilating so fast with Samuel I thought surely it would be the same or even faster. Wrong. I was 3cm, a plus one station and 80% effaced. I was a little disappointed but I was not deterred. I decided that I was pretty tired and I would rest and try to sleep. I rested but couldn’t fall asleep. My midwife came into the room and told me she had another mom who’s waves were 2 minutes apart and asked if I minded if she left. While Jeff was not okay with her leaving, I was.

The kids woke up and while Jeff got them ready, Michelle kept them entertained until Jeff’s mom came to get them to take them to my friend’s house for the day. After I got my hugs and kisses from them, I got up and Jeff made scrambled eggs, bacon, and toast for everyone. I was starving so it tasted so good. The night before I had woken up with a Charlie horse so Michelle massaged my leg (she is a Licenced Massage Therapist too). We went for a walk to get things going. I had pressure waves but they were not too intense. When we got back it was lunch time. Things were not progressing and I wondered if I had jump the gun and also maybe too many people were here too soon. I am a very private person and I knew that could have an affect on me. Everyone left and I actually felt some relief. Jeff went and got Qdoba and I dozed for maybe a few minutes while listening to my birthing day affirmations. Jenna came back around 3:30 to check in on me as she was done with her other mom’s birth. I was 4cm dilated and a zero station. She recommended that Jeff and I do the deed to help get things going and then go out to dinner and a movie. We followed her orders but never made it to dinner. Around 5pm my pressure waves started to pick up in intensity but I refused to time them. At 5:30 Jeff went to drop some things off over at his mom’s for the kids. Maddison, one of my twins was having a really hard time being away from home and missed me terribly. I felt so bad for her, but I knew I needed privacy for birth. Meanwhile, I got on the birth ball for a few pressure waves. When Jeff returned the pressure waves were growing in intensity and I no longer wanted to be sitting for them. I was walking around in my center switch and using the wall or a chair or Jeff to lean into them. I was also feeling quite a bit of pressure in my back so I warmed up a rice sock and tucked it into the back of my pants for some relief. I had texted Jenna a shortly before and told her they were 5 minutes apart and way more intense than the previous ones but said I wasn`t ready for anyone yet.

Finally, Jeff said, “If you don’t call Jenna, I will”. So I agreed. Jeff called her for me as my pressure waves were about 3 minutes apart. She was at yet another birth (mind you there was a full moon the next night and a storm brewing). She would send Barb back over to assess me. Barb came and checked me, I was at a 6-7. She said I was so soft she could stretch me to an 8 if she wanted. I was happy about the progress and with that note, I wanted to be in the water now! During this time, Jeff had begun reheating the birthing pool and was just about ready. I called my doula and said we were back on and to come on back.

I got into the water and sweet relief to my lower back. The water felt so good! I was listening to my Easy First Stage track on my ipod. And leaning over the pool while Jeff was giving me the “Relax cue” on my forehead. I thought I would never want it on my forehead but it felt great. I wasn’t hungry for a meal so I enjoyed eating an orange. It was just what I needed. I was using my finger drop technique and it was working perfectly. In fact every tool and technique that I used for Samuel’s birth I did not like this time. I quickly told my team not to say the word, “Release.” I was finding it really annoying at the time. My doula poured water over my back while Jeff was giving me my prompts. So perfect! I got out to use the bathroom and returned into the pool. Michelle asked me if I wanted to change positions. So I tried the side lying position and if felt good to be in that position. I felt transformation quickly coming over me shorly after getting into that position so I think it was a great move. Michelle began reading the “Transformation” prompts and pouring water into the pool like a water fall (per my special safe place). She also reminded me all about my special safe place and I LOVED hearing that. I started to hold Jeff’s hand through my pressure waves and my eyes remained closed. Allison, my back up midwife arrived and I could already tell she brought in great peaceful energy to the room. Barb introduced us and I liked her soft smile. I then closed my eyes as my birthing waves were coming so close together. I was only having maybe a 10 second break in between them now. Barb monitored the baby with the Doppler here and there. All the sensations in my body were very intense. I started to moan in a soft low tone. It felt good to vocalize this way. I knew my body and my baby were working perfectly together. After a few vocalized waves, I began to feel a slight involuntary push at the end.

I knew I’d be meeting my baby soon and I got excited (though my eyes were still closed most of the time). As I began to gently push, Michelle’s and Jeff’s prompts with the Relaxation music playing in the background changed to saying, “Breathe Your Baby Down,” and “Nice and Easy”, to “Breathing and Allowing.” I really needed to hear this as I knew I would have to gently breathe my baby down so I would not re-injure my ribs from pushing. I suddenly did not want to hear the word deeper though I loved hearing it early on. I pushed on my right side while holding Jeff’s hand with my left hand. I have to say while I had a super tight grip on his hand, my body was relaxed. As Jeff would say, “Breathe our baby down,” I would repeat it as I used my abdominal muscles to gently push. He would also say Relax and repeating that felt good and kept me focused too. I worked very hard at maintaining self control at all times. There were a couple of times when I wanted so badly to push with all my might and I started to give in and my team reminded me to ease my baby out. My vocalizations varied from a whisper “O” to “Ahh in a deep low voice. I was really focused at keeping my mouth open and my voice low and deep. I am quite proud of it too, since I did more high pitched vocalizations with Samuel.

I reached down to see if I could feel a head but I felt a bubble and I never asked about it I just took my hand away and began to push in between the next birthing wave. Jeff saw what was happening and didn’t understand what he was seeing. It was my amniotic sac still intact. (A little funny side note: Jeff said it looked like I was blowing a bubble out of my vagina.) He looked at the midwives to see their reaction to this and they were both smiling from ear to ear, so he figured it was okay. I talked to my baby during this time and said, “Come on baby”. I thought Barb was touching my perineum and I didn’t like it. She said, that’s your baby. I could then feel him doing his cardinal movements inside of me as I stayed really relaxed. It was such an interesting feeling. We were such a team together! I really wanted the head to be born yet I was thinking to myself slow and steady.  The baby’s head finally emerged and my midwife Barb broke the caul and unlooped a cord and after that his shoulders just slid out so easily like melting butter. I reached down and lifted Alexander out of the water and into my arms. It was the best feeling ever to be the one to do that! He was born at 11:22pm Wednesday, March 7, 2012. About five minutes later, we finally looked under the towel to see he was a boy. He was so cute!

My midwife praised Hypnobabies and how wonderful it is. Her actual words, It’s really something!”  Allison made sure the baby kept warm and took his vitals. About 15 minutes later I got up to birth the placenta on the bed since I wasn’t having an urge to push. As I stood up the placenta fell into the water. They checked to make sure the traction wasn’t to forceful. All was well, so we traveled to the bed. It was a challenge to get in bed because it sits really high. Once I made it on, I began to nurse Zander.  Jeff cut the cord long after it stopped pulsating.  The midwives helped me up to use the bathroom and I got comfy where we’d lay the rest of the night. During that time, the midwives checked out his mouth, weighed him. They told me my placenta looked really healthy and I must have had a really good diet during pregnancy. (Thank you Brewer’s Diet). I nursed Alexander lying down and we slept for a few hours before the sun rose. He didn’t get a name for a couple of days. We finally named him Alexander (defender of men) Peyton (after my relative to served as a Lutinant General in the Civil war. I know that his name was meant to be this because he has been my little warrior throughout all of this very challenging pregnancy.

My Birthing team was so perfect! Barb and Allison stayed in the kitchen for the majority of the time. Even though my other midwife Jenna was at another birth, it all worked out. I truly believe Allison was meant to be there and she was wonderful. Jeff was amazing. He was very nervous about a home birth but he really shined that Wednesday evening. I just got done the previous Sunday training Michelle to be my hypno-doula. She couldn’t have done a better job. Everything I wanted and needed during my birthing time…I got. I am so thankful that Jeff trusted my home birth choice. This is our last baby and it couldn’t have ended on a better note. We are now blessed with 2 girls (twins) and 2 boys. Our family is complete. Another great and relatively comfortable Hypnobabies. It really makes me so happy to be teaching this amazing program to other moms too.

Yours In Peaceful Birthing,

April

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My baby girl was born on Monday night 3/12/12 at 7lb2oz. I still can’t believe what an incredible experience we had! One minute, no one thought I was in labor and 45 minutes later, we met our beautiful baby girl!

My last baby’s birth was long and included a lot of back pain. Each contraction felt like a matter of survival and I felt panicked and crazy out of control. This time, I wanted a different experience so I started the Hypnobabies home study course early in my pregnancy but at first I did not practice much or take it very seriously. Then I watched a bunch of Hypnobabies birth videos and became very inspired! I listened to my tracks often, especially in the middle of the night when I had pregnancy-induced insomnia and couldn’t sleep anyway. And I did a thorough reading of all the materials to make sure I had it all covered.

On March 12, I was 10 days past my due date and feeling discouraged that my birthing time hadn’t started yet. At 10am, I went in for NST/AFI testing and the amniotic fluid level was very low (5) so they wanted to induce that day. Then suddenly the baby’s heartbeat decelerated… several people rushed in with a wheelchair and whisked me off to a birth room. I was very upset and tried to wrap my mind around what was happening. It turned out that the decelerated heartbeat may have been a fluke because it didn’t happen again. Though I understood it was for the baby’s safety, I didn’t want to be medically induced. I had wanted it to happen spontaneously. I felt that I was quickly losing out on the birth that I had hoped for and envisioned.

Things were moving much too fast and I asked for time to process. I called my parents and had them bring my bags. I took a shower, discussed induction options with my husband, called my doula, and listened to my Hypnobabies birthing day track. After listening to Hypnobabies, I was so relaxed and in a really good mental space. I was going to meet my baby soon! We decided to move forward with pitocin since they assured me it could be regulated in tiny doses, very slowly.

At 2:30 they started administering pitocin at 1mL per hour. At that point I was 3cm dilated. I knew it would take at least a couple hours or more for the pitocin to kick in. The nurses and midwife checked in periodically to monitor the pressure waves. They didn’t feel any different from Braxton Hicks, just more frequent. After waiting around for awhile, my husband and I decided to watch a movie to pass the time.

About an hour into the movie, I needed to start focusing on the pressure waves, closing my eyes and going into hypnosis. I was really enjoying the pressure waves. They felt like more tightening and more importantly, they felt productive! I imagined and felt my cervix opening and getting soft. The nurse kept coming to check if the pressure waves were feeling “crampy” yet and I kept saying “no, absolutely not.”

Around 7:15pm, the midwife came in to check on my progress. I said I guessed I thought they were feeling a little “crampy”. But I was still lying in the bed watching the movie and breathing through them easily. Each time I had a pressure wave, I would close my eyes and go into hypnosis very easily. I really wanted and *needed* to go to into hypnosis. If I didn’t, the pressure waves were much more intense and not as comfortable. Each time I had a wave, the midwife would stop talking and wait for me to finish and open my eyes again. At that point, they were coming every 3 minutes and lasting 60 to 90 seconds. I said, “Wow isn’t that a lot, kind of close together?” The midwife said “Yes, but until you tell us they are intense, then they don’t really count. They have to be pretty uncomfortable to really work!” I remember thinking: “No! Bubble of peace!! I deserve an easy, comfortable birthing time!!” (an oft-repeated mantra of Hypnobabies) She wrote in the chart: Not in labor.

At 7:30pm I called my doula and said it’s probably a good time to head over, but that she didn’t have to rush (ha!).

After the midwife and nurse left the room, we turned the movie off and I lay on my side and started focusing more deeply on each pressure wave. Soon I needed to “ahhh” through each one. In hindsight this must have been the transition stage but I was still lying very comfortably on my side. I listened to the Easy First Stage Hypnobabies track and focused very deeply. The pressure waves began getting very intense but completely manageable as long as I was deeply relaxed and using Hypnobabies tools. I was hanging on every word of Hypnobabies, imagining my cervix opening and thinking “peace peace peace.” After intense peaks with each pressure wave, soon enough they would end and I would feel relaxed and completely fine. The waves were feeling very low at this point but I still didn’t think I was as far along as I was.

At one point my husband said he was going to the bathroom and I shrugged and said OK. Then I suddenly felt the unmistakable urge to push. A mixture between needing to poop and something much, much stronger. I fumbled around trying to find the call button and yelled “I feel pushy!!!” The midwife and nurses came rushing in and Brian came out of the bathroom, with a look on his face like “what the heck is going on?” I was dilated to 9cm and already crowning!

I was still lying on my side letting my body do the pushing. The CD player was broken but thankfully I had the Hypnobabies Pushing track on my iPhone. I heard some of it, though not much. But just enough to help me feel incredibly reassured and comforted like she knew exactly what I needed to hear. I was quiet except for moaning “Ahhh” with each push. Occasionally I smiled at my husband between pushes.

8:18pm — after about 4 or 5 pushes, she was born in the caul (very rare and lucky!) with both hands up by her face! I pulled her up onto my chest and saw her beautiful face! I could not believe she was out! And I didn’t have any perineal tearing despite how fast it went. I exclaimed, “Wow, that was awesome! So *not* hard! I feel like I could get up and run down the hallway!”

Unfortunately, my doula walked in five minutes after the baby was born! I was clearly not aware of where I was in the birth process and hadn’t given her enough time!

Everyone was shocked how quickly it happened! The midwife said in 15 years she had never seen anything like it. She said she enjoyed seeing someone use self-hypnosis tools so effectively. And she had only seen 5 babies born in the caul! It is considered a sign of good luck. And she was born in 2012, the year of the dragon, which is also good luck! We also discovered a true knot in her cord. It was a loose knot, but nonetheless we are so amazed at our lucky little miracle who came out with both fists in the air!

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Kerry -  I want to thank you so much for developing Hypnobabies.  I loved every part of it and am so happy that I discovered it during my second pregnancy (wish I had known about it earlier!)  Now that my beautiful baby boy, Hudson, is a month old I wanted to share his birth story with you.
My first son’s birth had been a rough – his birthing time was about 21 hours and it was a painful birth.  My husband and doula were amazing, but my OB was not very natural birth supportive and I felt overwhelmed trying to navigate everything I was feeling at the time.  This time around I felt like I had an amazing tool that not only had a positive impact on Hudson’s birth, but a positive impact on me throughout pregnancy.
A week before my guess date (Valentine’s Day!)  I woke up around 5:30 having pressure waves about 4-5 min. apart and lasting about 45 sec each–although some of them were shorter.  I had been having pressure waves on and off for the past week so I wasn’t sure if it was really “the day.”  I lay in bed timing the waves for a little bit and then called Jeff, my husband, since he was two and a half hours away for work.  I let him know that he should come up, but told him to take his time since I figured (based on my first son’s birth) we were in for a long day.
Next I called my doula and found out that she was at another birth; amazingly I didn’t panic about this, thinking that by the time I needed her she would be on her way.  When I called my midwife she told me I should probably head over to the hospital soon, but judging from my voice she didn’t think I should rush over immediately.  My doula had said the same thing – that it sounded like I had a while to go.
I listened to my birth day affirmations track, ate some toast with jam, and took a nice relaxing shower. My mom was over, the plan was for her to watch Gavin, my two year old, while we went to the hospital.  I could tell she wanted to push for me to go to the hospital as soon as possible, but she let me do my thing. I give her a lot of credit for that! When she had me she barely made it to the hospital and she kept thinking the same would happen to me. The waves were gaining in intensity, but they were not overwhelming and I continued to easily handle them.  We made arrangements to drop Gavin off at a friend’s house and got in the car.  I had my headphones on the whole time – mainly listening to the affirmations and creating anesthesia tracks.
On the way to the hospital the waves started getting much stronger and I started vomiting (thank God I had something to catch it in so it didn’t get all over my mom’s car!) – That’s when I started realizing that I was further along then I had originally thought.  I couldn’t wait to get to the hospital so I could get in the tub.  I had planned on spending much of my birthing time in the water and hoped for a water birth.
Right when I walked in the hospital lobby I had a huge wave and dropped to all fours—that position just felt right and helped me get through that wave.  Everyone in the lobby surrounded me and kept asking if I was ok and trying to get me up, I was just holding up my hand saying, “give me one second I’m fine – just about to have a baby.”  When I got up they had a wheelchair and wheeled me right up to the room – I could hardly sit on that chair just wanted to get in the room and be by myself.
The nurses were great – they left me alone at first.  They started filling up the tub and I just sat in the bathroom in the dark to gather my thoughts and be alone for a few minutes.
My doctor came in the room to check me, and I was positive she was going to say I was only 3 cm and she says “yes, you are at 8.”  I must have asked her to repeat that two more times, I was in shock. Whenever I did my Visuaizing Your Birth CD during my pregnancy I had always imagined getting to the hospital at 7 or 8 cm.  But, consciously I never really thought it could really happen! I didn’t even have time to get in the tub.  Ten minutes later it was time to push.  At first I couldn’t quite wrap my head around the fact that it was already time; my husband wasn’t even there yet!  I knew he was going to miss the birth, but Hudson was ready to come.  During Gavin’s birth I had pushed for over two hours; Hudson came in about 5 pushes.  I remember my mom holding my leg during one of the first pushes with this huge smile on her face, “I can see his head!”  My mom was such an amazing support (even after my water broke all over her feet!) especially since she had not planned on being there. But, I can’t imagine Hudson’s birth having happened without her.
Actually being able to feel the urge to push this time was amazing– everything actually made sense.  After having an epidural the first time I felt like I never understood how to push.  But this time my body told me what to do.  We didn’t have time to put on the Pushing Baby Out track and I never went over the Hypnobabies cues with my mom, but I had the cues in my head and just kept trying to go back to them.  Everything went so fast; I can’t even explain the wondrous sensations I felt physically and mentally feeling Hudson be born.  His face was all bruised and blue at first, but soon he started making his first sounds and looking all around with his big brown eyes.  Hudson was born at 8:53 a.m. A little under 3 ½ hours from when I woke up and less than an hour from arriving at the hospital!  What a difference from twenty-one hours the first time! About 20 min. later my husband walked in the room and did a complete double take seeing his baby boy already here!
I think I must have been having birthing waves in my sleep that night and just slept through them.  I credit Hypnobabies with the fact that I was so relaxed when I woke up; I know that it helped my body to relax and work quickly. I was so confident in myself this time.

Hudson was a healthy 9 lbs, 1oz!  A big baby born naturally :)

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I never got around to actively posting here, but I derived a lot of inspiration
from other people stories. So here’s mine, in the hope that someone else will
benefit from reading it. :)

Note: one of the things that drew me to Hypnobabies was my conviction that if I
could stay relaxed, my birthing muscles wouldn’t be working as hard to allow
baby to be born. In my mind, this basically negated any “risk” to the vba2c that
I had my heart set on.

My hba2c birth story

2/2000: (DS1) Interventions leading to fetal distress and emergency c-section

4/2008: (DS2) Repeat c/s

Third baby “due” 3/3/12. We’d decided early on on a vba2c. Though the midwife at
Kaiser said I was an ideal candidate, she also advised I would have to get
doctor consent down the road and then again at the hospital. Since I understood
the risks this wouldn’t be a problem.

I went to an ICAN meeting in October and was totally shocked to hear how many of
the women had opted to have their vbac at home. So I started researching the
safety of home birth, which I had never considered an option for me. Happily, it
turns out there is quite a good community of home birth midwives in San Diego.

Amazingly my hubby got on board quickly and we were interviewing midwives
shortly after! We both felt most comfortable with the ladies at the Center for
Natural Birth.

At my 37 week appointment, I had my first internal exam revealing that my cervix
was very posterior. Fingertip dilated and still thick but soft. I took from this
that the Braxton Hicks, which had become more and more frequent, weren’t doing
much.
That week though I started having a persistent backache and these practice waves
became stronger and more frequent. Thursday night, 37+5 they went thru the night
until 5AM. It was a sleepless night as I sorted thru what all I had to do if
this was really it. As of the next night I started taking Benadryl to sleep thru
these practice runs.

Monday night 38+2 the practice waves seemed like a little more than BH. I woke
up on Tuesday 2/21 still having BH but less intense again. At my appt that
morning I asked to be checked. My cervix was now anterior but still only a
fingertip. I was 30% effaced. My take home message was that something had to
really pick up if I was going to get anywhere and I could just ignore all these
practice waves. So I did. All day.

We went to dinner at a friend’s house that evening. As we departed at 7:30 I was
a little uncomfortable and knew I wanted to get DS2 put to bed ASAP so I could
relax. Thankfully he was totally cooperative and I left his room at 8.

My sister texted to ask if I was still baking and I answered “oh yes” at 8:02.

In my bedroom I leaned over the bed and swayed thru my next pressure waves.
These were different but not at all painful and I still felt they were an
extension of my intensifying BH. DH came up at 8:30 and asked how I was doing.
We hung out and chatted for a while before migrating back downstairs at 9pm. It
was at that time that I thought maybe I should time a few of the pressure waves.
They were 3 min apart, lasting just over a minute and they’d been going on for
an hour already. I told DH I thought I was in early labor and may have the baby
tomorrow. I asked him to call my mom and let her know she should come sleep here
in case things picked up over night. I also asked him to fire up the jacuzzi. He
called mom at 9:30 and she said she’d be here in two hours.

I texted my midwife, Heather. She said to get in the hot tub for an hour and if
they went away and I could sleep, great. If they intensify or my water breaks,
call her back.

I texted my sister at 9:29 to say “hmm maybe not”. It seemed clear that baby was
finished baking.

DH went upstairs to blow up the birth tub and make up our bed and I went out to
the jacuzzi and started listening to the Hypnobabies track “easy first stage”.   I was calm and confident and
under control. I thought I’d want the jets on my back but sitting wasn’t
comfortable so I was leaning over the concrete on a towel with my head on my
folded arms. I focused on staying relaxed through each pressure wave.

After thirty minutes I texted DH to say I needed more towels. And Heather. He
came out with towels and said she’d be here in an hour. During the next thirty
minutes I was having a harder time keeping my focus. I was making trips to the
restroom, hence the more towels. I also felt that my pressure waves were easier
to handle if I bore down just a tiny bit. I thought “open open open” and could
actually feel my cervix opening. A lot it seemed. But that didn’t seem possible.
Then I started shivering. It was maybe 50 degrees outside and half my torso was
out of the tub so that seemed reasonable. The track ended and I went inside.

In the bathroom, I peeled off my bikini and marveled at the frayed strings and
the worn fabric. I knew I needed a new one for this summer. But the places this
one had been: Hawaii for our honeymoon, Israel: the med sea, caked in mud at the
dead sea. And now at our baby’s birth. I dropped it into the shower and put my
comfy yoga pants and sweat jacket back on.

Upstairs I was so grateful to find that DH had already made up the bed and I put
the same Hypnobabies track into the cd player and lay on my left side, hoping to
regain my focus. DH asked if he should fill the birth tub now but I wanted to
wait until Heather said if I’d made any progress.

I don’t know how long this went on. Maybe 20-30 minutes. It still felt good to
bear down slightly with each wave. Until my water broke. That broke my
concentration as I recalled hearing how this would make my contractions so much
more intense. I was worried I’d only be at 4cm with hours of intense
contractions ahead. So I told DH I needed the tub.

11:30. My mom arrived and told me Heather was in the driveway. I told each of
them as they came in that my water had broken. Heather started setting up her
tools and I made my way to the bathroom. I didn’t like laboring there and came
back to the bed quickly.

The pressure waves were much more intense now. Heather said she needed to check
me as soon as I had a break between waves. I wasn’t getting breaks often or for
long at this point.
“I’m afraid you’ll tell me I’m at a 2!”
“Your water probably wouldn’t have broken yet if you were,” she replied.
I was having another intense wave.
She said, “Don’t fight it. It’s your baby.” And at that, I could feel myself
pushing. It felt better if I did.
“But did you check?” I asked.
“I didn’t have to. Your baby is right there.”
I pushed through two waves on the bed and Heather said if I wanted to deliver in
the tub I needed to get in. Now.
“I can’t”
“Ok. But your baby is coming now. “

As soon as that pressure wave eased up I got up to go to the tub. Apparently
everyone had accepted that I “couldn’t” as this was met with a mad dash to
support me so I wouldn’t fall. I didn’t feel unsteady…

I put my foot in and worried it was too warm. I was reassured it was perfect. My
mom tested it with her elbow and said my feet are probably just cold. I got down
on my knees and bent forward into the same position I’d assumed outside with my
arms on the side of the tub. In the water I finally got a break between my waves
and felt I was able to get a little bit of a grip. I was vocalizing with the
next one and I heard Heather telling me “Low. Go low. Raspberries”. Raspberries
didn’t work for me. But going lower actually made it more comfortable and since
comfortable seemed to go hand in hand with effective for me so far I was
reassured. When that one ended I could feel something hanging out of me. Heather
said, “It’s part of your membranes. If it was a head you’d know it.”

I had a break again before the next pushing wave. This time it was the head (and
I didn’t know it). Heather said, “Stop. Do. Not. Push. Listen to me!” [She told
me later the cord was draped over baby, like a necklace.] I stopped and then she
said go ahead. I’m not even sure I was having a pressure wave at that point. And she
said, “Lift your left leg and I’ll bring the cord around.” I looked down. Baby
was out. And he had a penis. Of course he did. In that moment he couldn’t have
been any other way. This was the little boy that had cruised around with me for
the last almost 9 months. “It’s our M—-,” I said to DH.

Then I recalled I should lift my leg and she wound the cord around in front of
me. I pulled him out of the water and to my chest. In the air he cried for a
moment and then was so peaceful. I sat down and held him on my chest for the
longest time as he looked around, calm and content. I couldn’t believe we
actually did it, quickly and comfortably. Our M—- was here and it was really
true: he knew how and when to be born.

Not that we could have done it without DH, who was a rock throughout. He took
care of everything so that I could focus on letting M—- be born.

M—- D– was born at 12:07AM on 2/22/12 weighing 6lbs 7.6oz and 19.5″ long. He
completes our family in a way that was both immediately clear and impossible to
explain. But I do think a part of it was having this opportunity to experience
natural birth with him. He will forever be my partner in what was a life
altering and healing experience.

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