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Archive for the ‘Hypnobabies Birth Stories’ Category

Hypnobabies helps mom shift her attitude!
From: “Natural childbirth is crazy!”
To: “Childbirth can be a fun, wonderful, comfortable, and relaxing experience!”

Want to read an inpirational Hypnobabies Birth Story?    Click here to go to Crystal’s Blog and read an amazing story.

This mom goes from thinking people who have a natural birth are crazy to having an amazing, peaceful water birth.  Hypnobabies helped her have this amazing birth!

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I just read a beautiful Hypnobabies Birth Story.  That’s My Daughter in the Water

 Although I couldn’t sleep much, I did do my best to rest.  I listened to music and my Hypnobabies tracks and I moved around from the birth ball, to the bed, to standing and walking.  Tom came back eventually to check on me but I told him just to go back to bed and he happily agreed.  By the time the sun came up, not much had changed but things were still slowly moving along.

I love how her birth team was so supportive and helpful throughout her birth.  Mom was in tune with what she needed and everyone did as she wanted.

Click on over to read her amazing water birth!

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

During my 39th week of pregnancy, I began having rhythmic Braxton hicks. I started eating pineapple, spicy foods, walking, pregnancy tea (with red raspberry leaves), and taking evening primrose oil to induce labor. Since July, I’ve practiced Hypnobabies hypnosis to prepare for Nolan’s birthing day. At 12:20am on Saturday, October 22 (my edd) I began having mild, real pressure waves. I had about 2-3 per hour, but nothing rhythmic. At 11am I had my bloody show. I went about my daily chores, enjoyed time with my husband and went on a late night walk. I didn’t realize how soon my life would change as I kissed my husband goodnight shortly after midnight on the morning of the 23rd.

I woke up at 2am to pressure waves that I had to breathe my anesthesia to manage, but tried to go back to sleep. At 3:30am I started timing the pressure waves and they varied in length from 4 to 7 minutes apart. At this point I could no longer sleep, I could only focus on getting through each pressure wave. My husband awoke at 4am to my loud breathing. We laid in bed timing pressure waves wondering if this was it. At 5 am I moved from the bed to the couch. My husband made coffee; I ate a banana as I contemplated calling the midwife. At 5:30am I called the midwife, I told her my pressure waves were 4-7 minutes apart. My midwife was at the hospital assisting another woman push, she seemed distracted while on the phone with me. After listening to a pressure wave of mine, she thought I should get in the tub and relax until my pressure waves became more regular. My midwife thought I was in early, not active labor. My husband decided it was time to gather last minute odds and ends for the hospital bag.

Shortly after the call, my pressure waves came 1-2 minutes apart. I felt pressure waves come on top of one another not offering any relief.  I started loudly vocalizing during the pressure waves.  At 6am I had my husband call the midwife back and let her know how soon my pressure waves were apart. She decided it was time to head to the hospital. My husband finished packing and I decided to go the bathroom before the 45 minute ride to New Orleans. I had my second bloody show. I wondered if I was in transition and started feeling pushing sensations.

My husband attempted to put my shoes on my feet, but my pressure waves were so intense I couldn’t focus long enough to put them on, so I left the house with just my socks. I hopped into the car and I had a hard time getting comfortable. I could only lean on my left side, any pressure on my bottom was too intense to handle.

The trip to the hospital felt like it was out of a movie; my husband drove 95mph on the interstate. Once in the city, he ran several red lights to expedite the trip. My pressure waves eased up on during the ride, I thought my labor was stalling. We arrived at the hospital at 6:45am. My husband parked in the parking garage with his hazard lights on and assisted me to the labor ward. On the way to the unit, I had to stop several times in the hallway, lean up against a wall, and breathe through pressure waves. Hospital staff offered to get me a wheelchair, I tried to sit in the chair, but the pressure on my bottom was too great.

I got checked in and walked myself to the labor room. I changed into a gown and received my first cervical check. I was told I was fully dilated and ready to push! I couldn’t believe what the nurse said; I had her repeat herself thinking I was only 4cm or so. I wanted a water birth, I even had a birth tub rented, but I was so far along I didn’t have time to use the tub.

My midwife told me I could start pushing at any time. However, My husband had to park the car and my mom was not at the hospital yet, so I continued ignoring the push sensation. At 7:30am my husband finished parking the car and my mom arrived shortly after, I then felt ready to start pushing. The midwife told me she would break my water and realized it recently broke on its own. She noticed some meconium in the water and informed me that I’d have to have the cord cut right away. I began pushing and attempted first on my left side; the midwife offered to hold my leg up. I felt so much pressure all over my body I could not stand to be touched, anytime someone offered, I’d snap back at them, “No!”

I ended up pushing in a position with my back reclined and my knees bent. It took me a while to feel comfortable pushing. I ignored the feeling for so long, it took some time for my body to release into the sensation. My midwife offered me perineum support as the head was crowning.  At 9:48am, Nolan Blaze entered the world crying and flailing. Nolan was placed on my chest and his cord was cut by my husband immediately afterward. Whenever I visualized the birth I imagined I would cry when I first saw Nolan, however, I had a different response. I felt very proud and accomplished when he came into this world.

I was brought a roasted chicken lunch and slowly ate as my family held Nolan. In the middle of eating, I was moved to a recovery room where I finished my lunch and began breastfeeding. Nolan latched well and ate for 25 minutes during my first attempt. The rest of the day was spent holding and feeding Nolan.

The next morning my midwife who delivered Nolan called and asked how I was doing. She let me know she was really impressed with how I handled the situation and that I had the type of birth most of her clients desired and wanted to know my secret. I let her know that the hypnosis relaxation techniques helped me cope with the discomfort. She informed me that the other midwife would stop by and if I looked good, I could go home! The baby and I were checked out and we only had to spend one night in the hospital.

What worked most for me were the relaxation techniques, positive thoughts, and breathing my anesthesia to where I needed it most. I highly recommend the Hypnobabies program.

Nolan
October 23, 2011 at 9:48am
8lbs 3.5oz
20-1/4″ long

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

Hello everyone!

Thought I’d share a quick birth story of our fabulous Hypnobabies water birth. Early Thursday morning at 6:40 am on November 3rd, 2011 our little girl, Maysie, glided out into a pool of warm water and up into our arms all while sleeping peacefully.

——

It all began when noticeable regular pressure waves started (after much walking and spicy food) on Wednesday, November 2 around 4:30 pm. I had been out all day Christmas shopping, but upon returning home I started to notice what seemed to be regular waves about 1hr apart. I continued with my normal evening activities like dinner and putting my 3 year old to bed, but I did notice I didn’t feel much like eating dinner. I had hopes that these waves were the real thing, and after bouncing on my birth ball awhile and watching TV with the in-laws, around 10pm I decided I had best try to get some sleep. Ha! I might have dosed on and off for an hour or so.

The waves were starting to grow progressively closer and while I did continue to listen to the tracks, I found myself struggling to fall deep into hypnosis or the off position. No worries though. Everything was manageable in “center” especially the frequent bathroom trips that accompanied each pressure wave. By 2:00 am the waves were roughly 15min apart and I was cuddled on the bed with my husband using the “relax/release” command and debating going to the hospital so we could set up the pool. I didn’t want to go too early but we did need time to set up the birthing pool and this was our second baby.

Finally when my legs started shaking I decided it was time to go. We were out of the house and on our way to the hospital by 3:00 am. I listened to easy first stage on the way to the hospital and had a couple of mild pressure waves along the way, but really I wasn’t sure I was that far along. I even told my husband that anything under 5 cm we were going back home.

The middle of the night proved the opportune time to drive to the hospital and we were in the ER checking in within 15 min. of leaving the house. The hospital was quite and no one thought I was actually in labor as I was walking around and joking with my doula as my hubby did the paperwork. Even when we finally got a room the nurses were all very relaxed about getting things started which made my relaxing easy. No one was in a hurry and they were all very receptive of our birth plan.

When they finally got around to checking me… I was 7 cm ( thank you birth visualizations) You see, 7 cm had been my goal all along when visualizing my hospital arrival. After that shock for my delivery nurse, the birth pool went up in a flash (15 min really did feel like 5 to me). All the while I was managing each pressure wave with the “release cue” and some counter pressure on my lower back and chatting away with my doula. I was surprised I didn’t want to listen to my hypno tracks at that time as that had been my plan all along, but I guess things change. I was soaking in the nice warm waters in no time.

Warm water is absolutely fabulous during labor, and once I was in the pool I was nearly 9 cm in no time. The nurses even joked that they had best call my midwife again to make sure she was on her way and wouldn’t miss the big event. (She missed my first child’s birth a few years ago.) Once she arrived she just told me to relax and that she’d be back in to check on me in a bit.  I must have just look ready cause she didn’t bother to check me again, but instead told me to let her know when I felt like pushing. We listened to quite music and I floated, changing position with each wave, now very close together. At some point she did come back and everyone else did too, but I barely noticed.

They were getting everything ready for the baby’s arrival, and again she told me to push whenever I thought it was time. Yeah. Well even though this was my second baby I had no clue. I remembering asking “really?” over and over between waves. The last cm was a bit intense but manageable. This was nothing like my first birth, and I’ll spare you all that story as it needs a BOP. (*)

I knew my little girl would be swimming into my arms very soon. I pushed whenever I thought I should (though really I thought I just needed to go to the restroom). The pushing the baby out track was playing out loud in the room and while I could only really hear it between the ahhs I know my subconscious was listening. My body did what it needed to do since I was relaxed and I owe that relaxation to Hypnobabies. With gentle continual encouragement and reassurance that everything was OK and “yes you can do this” from my doula, my husband, and my midwives, I AAHHHH’ed her out. The midwives passed her to me and she lay sleeping on my chest for a few moments before we woke her up while drying off.

Hypnobabies helped me have a great birthing experience. I had amazing support from my husband, my doula, the midwives and nurses. All involved were really impressed with the Hypnobabies techniques we used even me. And before we checked out of the hospital even the nurse who teaches the typical hospital childbirth classes came to talk with me about the program  in hopes of sharing it with others. Hypnobabies is great if you choose to use it!
Best wishes to all,

Maggie

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How do you put an experience that moves you to our soul…down in mere words?  How can I possibly convey the way my heart felt, the strength and power in the room, the atmosphere and the miracle that unfolded before my eyes?

I can’t.  I have to accept that to move on with this blog post…I won’t be able to REALLY tell her story the way that I believe it deserves to be told.  But she specifically asked me to share it from my point of view, and how can I deny her this request when she just gifted me with the privilege of being there when her baby took her first breath…

I love how this midwife shares this amazing birth story of a Hypnobabies Mom.  There are even some incredible birth pictures included.

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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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When I signed up for my Hypnobabies class I had fairly low expectations – I just wanted to get through the birth of my baby without having a panic attack. The pain-free birth experience presented in the Hypnobabies testimonials – an experience which I was supposed to enjoy instead of just survive – sounded too much like an infomercial pitch to be true.

But when she shows up at the Birth Center ready to push, she becomes a believer.

This is a must read birth story.  Click here to read Nicole’s birth which made her say, “Thank you, Hypnobabies, for giving me the skills to have such a wonderful and empowering birth experience. You have earned a set of life-long advocates in my husband and myself!”

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