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Archive for the ‘VBAC’ Category

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Carson
Daniel, 4
Riley, 2
Audrey, 8 days

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No!   Each birth is a different experience and Moms can use their Hypnobabies tools while preparing for birth and during and after.  Here is a great birth story of a mom who used and loved Hypnobabies.  She did have discomfort AND a wonderful birth!

Mine is not a typical “inspirational” hypnobabies story, but the thing is, I LOVED Hypnobabies, and I love to remember my birth, even if it did not go 100% as expected. The thing is, I would like to encourage any mums out there to believe in what Hypnobabies can do for them.
The main message I tried to pass on to other mums out there, is “if you can’t get hold of one tool, don’t abandon the rest”. If you think this message is clearly understandable in my birhting story, you are welcome to add it to the blog. As I firmly believe that Hypnobabies gave me my wonderful birthing experience, and pain was just a small and unsignificant part of it.

here is my birth story for those of you who want to read it.
********BOP WARNING************
my birth had discomfort
but still a GREAT experience
*******************************

This was my second pregnancy. My first birhting was VERY long, and I was not prepared for it in any way – I thought birth was a natural process and will just happen. Little did I know… After birthing my first daughter for 28 hours, and having LOADS of interventions (many of which I did not even want and some was really forced into), I ended up having a C-section (which I still firmly believe was totaly avoidable).

So this time around I was going to be more prepared. My friend told me about Hypnobabies, and I was very sceptical about it at first. However, I am very grateful that she made me to listen to some scripts. The minute I listened to CD1, I fell in love with the idea. The more I got involved with hypnobabies, the more I loved it. I started quite late, at about 32 weeks, but the rest of my pregnancy was wonderful and relaxed. I got rid of my fears (being forced into decicions by hospital staff, mainly :)  ) and was really trully confident that this time around I will have my perfect birhting time.

Both of my daughters were what doctors consider to be “late”. First one was born at 42 weeks and 3 days. I had no signs of birthing at all (not dilated or effaced at all, until it all started). The birthing started spontaneously, pressure waves were coming every 4-5 minutes and lasted at least a minute from the first one. However, they were unefective, and lasted for what felt like forever :).

This time around, my pressure waves started at some time on Saturday night, but were only lasting about 10 seconds. They were painful, but I could easily go back to sleep after they ended. They lasted like that (2 or 3 every hour, lasting about 10-20 seconds) for most of the day. I went to the park with my elder daughter, made lunch etc. In the afternoon they picked up in intensity a bit, but not in lenght. I have tried my best to relax, to create anestesia, listened to birhting day affirmations, deepening, hypnotic childbirth, etc. etc trying to feel them as pressure only, and not pain. I have made a very concios effort to breath deeply through them, basically, have done EVERYTHING I could think of.

Nope, as pain they felt, and at some point I just accepted that this is what they are going to feel like. (I was soooo deep in hypnosis listening to my scripts, that I lost the feel of time etc, but would be “woken up” suddenly by a pressure wave). So every time I had a pressure wave, I just accepted it they way it was, and was telling myself stuff like relax, deep breath now, peace, and open open open. Saying open open open during a few pressure waves, I could actually FEEL my cervix openning, and that was an amazing and brilliant experience, that gave me strenght to carry on.

So from about 3pm till about 8pm my waves were short and spaced out. At about 8pm I still thought I have HOURS left till the real birthing time started, but asked my husband to time the waves anyway, more from curiosity than anything. They were about 50 seconds long, and came every 5-7 minutes. OK, another script, and I did not know it then, but I was entering transition. Some waves were really difficult to breath through, and it was a hard job to keep reminding myself to relax. I did my best however, and suddenly, at 10pm, it hit me that we had to go to the hospital NOW. My husband asked if we should call the hospital (which we should have, we live in UK and they expect us to), but I could not imagine talking on the phone, as I was aaaaaaaaggggghhhh breathing through the waves, which were on top of one another, so I just said NO, let’s go!!!

I have to admit, I lost it couple of times in the car. Forget the relaxation, I shouted through a few of them (I think a couple, but could have been more?). I then started to say PEACE (I thought so, my hubby said I actualy shouted peace as if I was very angry at someone…), but that helped me a lot to get hold of myself and to start relaxing through pressure waves. So one wave at a time, we went to the 3rd floor, and were given a room. I think I had 2 pressure waves there, and during the second one, my waters exploded :). This was the point that I realised that I was pushing! So we called the midwife, and she confirmed that I was fully dilated and could go ahead and push! I was SOOO happy, as birthing in hospital was one of my biggest fears (or the thing I wanted to avoid most of all!!!!!!!).

I have tried the relaxed aaaggghhhh pushing, but it was not working. As my pressure waves were so painful, it was increasingly more difficult to just relax through them, so I made a decision to do the purple pushing. My little one was back to back and she got stuck at some point, pour thing… So after about one and a half hours of pushing, loads of staff came into our room and started making a fuss about the heartrate of Olivija going down. So they told me that she needs to come out NOW one way or the other and started preparing me for a C-section… I refused to believe that this is how it’s going to end for a second… So I just ignored all of them and continued pushing as hard as I could. And then the midwife said “I can see the head” – and that was music to our ears. The doctor said she needed to come out quickly, so I pushed as if there was no tomorrow.
And in three pressure waves, she was out!!! I finally held my little angel in my arms :)

LOOKING BACK – I loved Hypnobabies during my pregnancy and my birhting time. And although I did not have a pain free birth (which I firmly believed I would all the time), the rest of it was just perfect! And I still truly believe that I possibly missed something whilst learning about creating anaesthesia and if I am going to have any more children, Hypnobabies is the way to go!!! So thanks Kerry for putting all the program together, Sheridan for creating this group, Susan for your wonderful posts and all you mums for sharing your thoughs and experience.
Kindest regards, and good luck to you all,

Inga

Congratulations on your VBAC!  It sounds like you did a GREAT job and really worked with your body.  I think it was brilliant that even though you felt p***, (Which my guess may have been caused by her positioning)  after trying different tools, you decided to

at some point I just accepted that this is what they are going to feel like.

I think that was so great.  Instead of fighting it, you went with it and still used your tools to stay relaxed as possible and let your body do what it needed to do.  Good job!

You did all you needed to do to have your VBAC!  I am so very happy for you.

Sheridan

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So, here i am, hopefully able to post the whole story today. I think i’ll add a BOP just in case about the pushing stage, which was nonetheless amazing, and a section after that, as i had a little trouble with my pressure going down. but still, i hope despite the slight hitches, it’ll encourage those of you going for a VBAC, and maybe even help you stay on track with your hypnobabies practice.  i should say i wasn’t very constant with the finger drops, although i did listen to my scripts–3 or 4 at a time–religiously every night as i fell asleep. if nothing else, it helped me sleep well and stay relaxed throughout my pregnancy. i had none of the emotional ups and downs i experienced before.

I would also like to mention that my first son was born by unnecessary c-section, due to dr’s impatience and our lack of information, other than thinking that there wasn’t much to birth than arrive in the hospital, lie on your back, and push a baby out with or without an epidural.

A year later, i began my journey to find something better, something more humane, for myself and my next baby, and also in a way for DH and our firstborn, and after encountering ICAN and another support group, and finding out about hypnobirthing, i decided Hypnobabies was the way to go. I found a new dr. (recommended by a friend who’d had a slightly complicated but natural birth), a wonderful doula, with whom dh and i clicked from the frist meeting, and the dream of a water birth.

so, fast forward to now:  I guess the story begins last tuesday, dec. 1st, when i awoke to regular waves about 3.5 min. apart from 2 to 7 am. I was pretty sure (and hopeful) that that was it, as my guess date was only 2 days away and i’d started natural induction methods, as per my ob’s suggestion, around 38 weeks. But when i got up that morning, the waves spaced out to like 10-20 min. apart with no aparent pattern. We decided to go get checked that afternoon (my 1st check, and so wonderfully brief, after having my membranes stripped the last time–without my consent OR knowledge!) and found that i was at 3-4 cm. Dr. asked if i wanted to get checked in or go home, but we decided on the latter, as i knew this could go on for a long time and i didn’t want to be in the hospital more than was necessary.

So home we went and had nothing at all that night or the next day. on thursday night, the pattern started again, but this time at about 2-3 min. apart, and again i was sure it must be it. That afternoon i also started acupuncture to help things along, and i thought it must surely be working. WEll, long story short, the waves petered out again after a few hours. I went in to get checked on friday morning and was still at 3-4, so dr. said he wanted to see me on tue. Dec. 8.  His assistant, however, refused to give me an appointment, certain that i wouldn’t make it!!!

That afternoon and again on saturday, i had two more acupuncture sessions, and again i would have steady waves for a while that would come to nothing. I was actually quite calm over the weekend, listening to my birthing day affirmations and easy first stage every night, in addition to my VBAC cd, hoping that they would help my birthing time start.

Monday afternoon the acupunturist called to ask if i’d had the baby yet, and offered another session. I said yes, but then thought better of it and said i’d wait one more day. Then, i did a lot of nipple stimulation throughout the day, every chance i got (DH was at work, of course, so not many choices), i rocked on all fours, telling Gabriel to come out and my cervix to open, open, open. I also told GAbriel that he needed to come out soon for his sake and mine, because i didn’t want any interventions of any sort, and much less another c-section.

(Both DH and i had been telling him to come so we could hold him and love him, and meet him, but that didn’t seem to do the trick!)  The waves i got, although still without a pattern, were getting stronger now, and i knew they must be leading somewhere, even if my birthing day was not there yet…

That night, DH and i watched a movie and i timed a few waves, but they were still like 7-20 min. apart without a clear pattern, although they would all last over a minute now and made me breathe deeply and sometimes even use my peace cue (which, by the way, I loved throughout my pregnancy and birthing!!).
We went to bed, and as soon as i lay down and turned on my ipod, the waves stopped, as i knew they would… I had made up my mind Gabriel would wait till after the tenth, so i just tried to take it easy.

Later that night–4 am in fact–i awoke to a pretty strong wave, stronger than any i had felt so far, and i assumed it was just time to go pee, as every night i would wake like that. but as soon as i turned over to get out of bed, i felt a trickle and said “uh-oh!” aloud, thinking it must be my water breaking. sure enough, when i got to the bathroom and sat on the toilet, a little squirt of water came out. uh-oh! i said again. i did my business and by the time i got back to bed, my waves were there, steady. i woke DH gently with the cliche my water broke!, which had him wide awake in a second!

i told him i couldn’t remember what the dr. had said if my water broke:  did i have time to go back to sleep? should i call right away? dh went on the internet to try and find something, but by 4:30 i had gone to off and center to move through my waves. every time one hit, i would go on all fours or lean on the ball or bed, swaying and saying peace aloud. soon, i needed dh to apply counterpressure to my back, really hard–so hard, that i ended up with bruises!!

in between waves, he tried to reach the dr., but couldn’t (turns out his cell was at a setting where it would neither ring nor vibrate!!!). i got in the shower to try and ease the discomfort, but although the water felt nice, the waves were getting stronger, and i did end up having to go on all fours in there to make it through them.

i think i said in my previous post that it wasn’t p**n-free, but that’s not exactly right:  what happened was that if i was alone, once the waves were this strong, i felt i was close to losing control and actually giving in to p**n. as it was, it took all of my concentration to keep hold of myself through each wave, and by now they felt like they were 1 min. apart, although dh says they stayed at 3 min. the whole time. come to think of it, it was probably that they were lasting so long that even if from start to start they were 3 min. apart, from finish to start they were under 1 min!

so anyway, getting out of the shower and dressed was quite an ordeal at this frequency! in the meantime, dh got my mom and told her to come over right away, then got my doula who told us to head to the hospital, as she could tell from the sounds i was making that i was in transformation (BTW, i knew when i got in the shower because i was shaking!), and she finally managed to contact my dr. also, at the end of one of those waves, i had two dry heaves, and remembering so many birth stories i read before, i thought, “great! what if this baby decides to be born here, and we are unprepared for this!!” fortunately, i didn’t have an urge to push yet, but i knew it wouldn’t be long.

it was around 5:30 by then, and my mom still hadn’t arrived to babysit my 2 yo., so we decided to leave the keys with the security guard of the building and head out, as it was obvious that i was quite far along and moving fast, even to our inexperienced selves!

in the car, DH driving as fast as was safe at that hour, i put on my ipod to early first stage, stayed in center, and would repeat cues aloud as we went, even closing my eyes practically the whole way to the hospital, ten min. away. i made a bigger effort to focus because i couldn’t go on all fours, so i tried to stay limp and loose through the two or three waves i got on the way.
finally, we made it to the hospital even as the dr. was parking his car. dh went to check us in and i went up with the dr. he checked me and checked the baby’s heart and said to the nurse to fill the tub because i was at 8-9 cm!!! that’s when i thought “too late to back down or chicken out and ask for an epidural!!” so there i was, on my way to my planned and cherished birth!

i had another wave before i could get off the bed and turned on all fours, my bottom in the air, i guess,but i coulnd’t care less at the time. my doula walked in then and held me, then helped me down. she gathered my stuff and off we went to the l&d room with the most wonderful pool.

as soon as i got there, i felt the need to pee, so i went, but had another wave and had to go down on all fours in the bathroom–again, couldn’t care less!–peed, then went down on all fours again. i think i spent more time on the floor than i did upright by then!

just before i got in the tub, dh walked in to find me on all fours, butt naked except for a top i had managed to slip on before everyone, which told him i was too far along to care.

he and my doula helped me into the tub where i immediately knew that was the place for me. i stayed on all fours, lowering my head on the edge of the tub for each wave while dh massaged my sacrum or lower back to my chant “harder, harder!”, and my doula poured warm water over me. (as i moved along, i became more and more vocal, and when i started pushing, i almost laughed aloud hearing myself because i reminded myself so much of a cat we had when i was about 8 when she was giving birth for the first time!! they were not sounds of p**n but of power, much like martial arts like kung-fu use).

****BOP****
she asked me to feel inside and see if i could feel the head yet. i couldn’t quite, but it was getting close. a couple of waves later, i started pushing involuntarily indeed, and the dr. came over to check on baby’s heartrate, and i could feel some concern. he let me go another wave, then said if i didn’t get baby out soon, he would have to get me out of the water. that was not in my plans, so i pushed as hard as i could. he actually let me push two or three more times, then had me change to a squat, holding onto a bar on the side of the tub, and finally baby started crowning. but his heartrate wasn’t what it should be, i guess, because instead of letting me push on my own, everyone started urging me to push as hard and long as i could. we needed to get him out NOW. so i did. i pushed because his life depended on it, and felt like i was ripping open in every direction. still, i can’t say that what i felt was p**n, now that i think of it. i have very low tolerance and i would have been crying if it had been p**n. i wasn’t. i was determined. i actually put my hand down between waves and felt his little head right there.

after that, i pushed with and without waves–purple pushing, i’m afraid, but the situation required it–and finally, he came out. Why was he so hard to push out? oh, just because he had one hand by his face and the cord around his neck!!! he was born at 6:40 am, only about 40 min. after i got in the water–or less, i really don’t know!

well, as he wasn’t breathing–or not properly–the dr. cut the cord right away, even though he advocates waiting, and handed him to the pediatrician who started rubbing him and giving him oxygen. I kept asking is he ok? and when i finally heard him cry, softly at first, then more strongly, i relaxed.

****end of BOP****

dh and my doula helped me out of the tub and onto the bed, then i was handed my little Gabriel for the first time, and it felt awesome. in fact, i feel like a runner who has just won a marathon!

i tried to nurse him, but he was too tired and wouldn’t latch on. we kept giving him oxygen–i had oxygen too, by the way, to help my baby through the pushing stage. meanwhile, the dr. was checking me–that WAS quite uncomfortable, as i had completely let go of my focus and swithced it to my baby–and said i only had a tiny tear that didn’t require stitching. all that pushing and no tears worth mentioning!!!

THen, i was asked to push again, to get the placenta out. i don’t know if i pushed too hard or what, but it shot out and startled the dr. “you said push,” i told him.

they had brought GAbriel down by then, but he was fast asleep and didn’t nurse till that night! poor thing was exhausted…
anyway, Gabriel stayed with me from then on, as they only took him for a little while the next morning to bathe him and have the ped. check him, and before noon we were on our way home.
since then, my recovery has been great–nothing compared to recovering from my previous c-section–and it’s wonderful to be able to care for both my sons as if nothing. The only downside is my eyes are all bloodshot from all that purple pushing, but even that is fading fast, and i would do it all again if only to have my healthy, beautiful baby! (my sons’ ped. asked if i would do it all natural again, and i said, even now, yes, if i were planning to have more kids!)

so, i got my vbac, much faster than i expected, but pretty much as i visualized in that it started in the middle of the night and baby was born in water without interventions, after arriving in the hospital at a 7 or up.

i believe hypnobabies helped me stay in control the whole time, even though i hardly had time to use the tools, other than my peace cue–my lifeline–and i also believe it was responsible for my baby being in the right position, albeit with a hand and cord in the way.

i loved it so much throughout my pregnancy that it feels weird now not to be listening to the scripts every night as i fall asleep. btw, i had a dream of my baby’s birth some months ago, and i remember i said i never got to listen to the pushing baby out script… well, i really didn’t! so i do believe that our subconcious has a big part in what we experience in life. i believe i brought my c-section upon myself before, and this is why i believe so strongly now that i programmed myself for this wonderful vbac, even with details such as the script thing.

so, for those who are still waiting, make sure you program positive thoughts into your mind and keep the negative what ifs out.

If you got this far, thank you for reading, and thank you hypnobabies for helping me achieve my dream. I recommend this method to everyone i think would follow through with it, as it does require commitment that not everyone has.

I wish all of you who are still expecting a most wonderful birthing, with as few hitches as possible, if any.

Thank you, thank you, thank you all!!

Nuriyah, mom to Leo (unnecesarean 7/11/07) and Gabriel (water VBAC 12/8/09)

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You can visit Lexi’s blog and read about her daughter Lauren’s Birth.

An inspirational VBAC story!

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I wasn’t sure I would post Sara’s birth, but someone wanted to hear it, and I love the story, so here goes…..it’s really long, so be forewarned!

Sara’s birth really begins with the birth of her sister, Lily, and continues with her brother, Webb’s birh. I will keep them short so as not to bore you all! If you want to get straight to the actual birth, skip to *****

When I was pregnant with Lily I really looked forward to a beautiful water birth at a local free standing birth center. That dream was shattered when 50 hours after my water broke I had a c-section due to failure to progress (I never got past 7 cm). The surgeon later told me that there was no way she would have fit through my pelvis and that I should never try to labor again – I had given it a good shot. Now, I should tell you that this huge baby that would never fit through my pelvis was only 7 pounds 10 ounces. Granted, she did have a big head (97th percentile), but still, she was not big.

When I got pregnant 9 months later, I knew I wanted to vbac. The birth center wouldn’t take me due to a prior C, so I went with the Navy midwives. We were also moving across the country, so I knew that birth center wasn’t an option anyway. So, when my water broke first with Webb as it did with Lily, I was nervous. I didn’t want a repeat. Thankfully, my birthing waves began within a half hour. 12 hours later my son was born via c-section. I never got past 9 cm and I truly believe this was a case of failure to wait rather than failure to progress. If I had known then what I know now, I would have demanded more time. Webb was 9 pounds 10 ounces.

When Webb turned a year we found out we were pregnant again. We were back where Lily was born and I began to look at my options. I started with the Navy midwives and was told at my first visit that I could have a vbac. At my second visit I was told that my c-section would be scheduled for a week before my due date. I said I did not want a C, and we fought it. Ultimately, the hospital did all they could to keep us, but I knew it would be a battlefield while I was in labor. They said I could attempt a vba2c, but I knew that there would be loads of restrictions and that it was likely I would not have supportive staff. I started to look elsewhere.

I interviewed home birth midwives as well as an OB. In the end, we ended up going with the OB. My husband was scared of a homebirth since I had never had a child vaginally. This OB ended up being absolutely amazing. He was supportive and honest. He respected my wishes and yet was upfront about everything. He told me that we needed to trust each other. I needed to trust that if he said a c-section was necessary that I would believe him and not fight it, and he needed to trust that I would not do anything he felt was risky (he had some patients in the past who did not take his advice and ended up in the ER). He told me the risks, but said that he thought I could do it. He was amazing throughout the entire pregnancy and told me I would be having my baby vaginally. He did this right up until my last appointment….I later found out from my doula that he was actually worried because I was late and while that did not concern him, the fact that I had very little efacement did. He was worried I would not progress – but not once did he let me know this! Talk about being supportive!

*******
For weeks I had been having prodromal labor. I lost my plug about two weeks before my birthing time actually began. This was about a week before my due date. I kept thinking it would be time due to the loss of the plug and the continuous waves, but this baby was happy where she was! Finally around 9 days after my due date, my doula asked if I wanted to stop by her house after my OB appointment and she would massagea my feet and do some pressure points. She also said that if I wanted to take some homeopathics that she had they could help encourage labor to begin, but if my body or baby weren’t ready it would do nothing. So I went to her house and relaxed for a while and just chatted. I took the homeopathics (and she sent me home with some too) and went home. I continued to take the homeopathics and by the next morning my birthing waves were remaining consistent. They were still pretty far apart but regular. We made arrangements for our children, and then did a few things before heading up north that afternoon.

I should say that we had a plan that is a little different than most. The hospital that we were birthing at is about 30-45 minutes from my house. My doctor said that while he was okay with me having a vbac, the hospital wasn’t. Therefore, he still had to recommend a C once I got to the hospital. He told me that if I was going to refuse the c-section he thought I should labor at home as long as possible. Over the course of my pregnancy I became very close to my doula and she offered her home for me to labor in (she lives about 3 miles from the hospital). So, the plan was to labor at my doula’s, and then go to the hospital at the last minute to have the baby.

So around 3:30 or so in the afternoon we went to my doula’s house. I listened to my HB on the way up there and then while laying on the couch at her house. She was amazing! She had all the lights off and had lit beautiful candles around her home. She had her hot tub ready for me when I got there. She had also put a blow up mattress (made up with sheets, blankets, and pillows) near the hot tub in her gorgeous and very private backyard. It was amazing. After working through the waves on the couch, we decided to move to the hot tub. So, my husband and I got in the tub and relaxed. It truly was wonderful. The water felt so good and I really relaxed even more. The only thing I wish I had done differently is that at this point I stopped listening to my ipod. We put music on instead. After a while I began to feel some discomfort, but it was mild.

My OB knew where we were and he checked on us to make sure all was okay. He even stopped by and dropped off a dopler for us to periodically check the heart rate of the baby. While he was there I was beginning transformation and was having more discomfort, but again, it was totally manageable. He later told me that it was absolutely beautiful watching my husband and I in the tub. At some point (when my husband was exhausted, hungry, and shriveling up like a prune) he and my doula traded places. My doula got in with me and supported me and had me change positions a little. I really had no concept of time, which is why I keep saying “at some point” or “a little later” and such….I just really didn’t keep track.

Here is where my story gets a little tricky. I personally feel like I need to leave some details out. Not because I am modest, or shy, or anything like that. I would truly love to tell the entire story….and someday I will. But, at this point in time I must only tell part of the story. I hate doing this because it makes us look foolish and risky, but we really weren’t. I also hate doing this because it makes us look as if we went against our OB….again, I assure you, we didn’t.

When I started to feel a little pushy, I got out of the hot tub for a minute. Well, when I did, my water broke. I knew then that I would not be able to get back in the hot tub because of the chlorine. This is where I started to experience some more discomfort. Again, it was manageable, but it was there. The Hypnobabies did help a lot though and I am so thankful for it. We soon realized that during labor my baby had turned posterior. This was probably the reason for the discomfort. When I got there my doula had checked me out and Sara was not posterior, so she had turned at some point. This was making things more difficult. This also made it more difficult to determine when to pack up and go to the hospital. While I was feeling pushy, Sara was still very high and no where near crowning. I was advised to push a little to see if we could get her to descend.

Keep in mind, while this is my third baby, this is my first vaginal birth. So we knew that it could still be a while. So, I began to push. And push. And push. I was making very little progress, and I must say I was becoming exhausted and discouraged. My baby was not positioned well, and we tried everything. I don’t know how to explain it, but she was posterior, and was essentially hanging out, as in over my pubic bone – so she was not coming down straight. My doula had me move into so many positions and eventually the thing that worked was sitting on the toilet backwards and pulling up on my lower stomach (trying to pull Sara towards me) while I pushed. I pushed for four hours in various positions. We all had a lot of discussions at this point and due to several factors, we decided to stay at my doula’s house rather than transfer to the hospital. Once I could feel Sara’s head with my hand, I got a new surge of energy – it was amazing!

I finally pushed her big noggin out (she was still posterior – she never turned) and her shoulder got stuck. I could not believe that we had a case of shoulder dystocia. So, my doula flipped me over on all fours and we thought for sure it would work – it usually does, right? Nope. Sara was not budging. Thank goodness my husband had no idea what was happening – I think he would have been scared. Amazingly, I was not. So, the next thing tried was pubic pressure while reaching in to dislodge the shoulder. I have to tell you, this is where I felt my pain. I don’t want to scare anyone, but it was excruciating. Having an arm inserted in the vaginal opening when the baby is partially out was just too much and at this point I tore (I did not tear when her 97th percentile head came through!). Once Sara’s shoulder was dislodged, she came right out! She was born at 2:27 am on November 16. She was bright pink almost immediately – it took her a few seconds to pink up and cry, but she was fine. Her shoulder was checked and thankfully no bones were broken in getting her out. After the cord stopped pulsing, we tied it with dental floss and cut it with a knife (my doula could not find any scissors)! I then delivered the placenta. It was all so amazing – I was able to put Sara on my chest immediately and breastfeed.

We talked to my OB about everything and he checked me out. I ended up needing stitches, but he told me I did not have to go to the hospital if I did not want to. I would just need to go see him again soon. We also had to make an appointment for Sara with her pediatrician for later in the day. Since this had not been our plan, we had no carseat, no diapers, nothing – we figured my husband would be going home to get our other kids after Sara was born and would get the carseat then. So, while my doula cuddled with Sara (wrapped in clean warm blankets) my husband brought me out on to my doula’s deck by the hot tub and helped me get cleaned up in the shower. I could have gone upstairs, but I was so weak (I had forgotten to eat this whole time) I didn’t think I could make it. After I got cleaned up, I ate a little and then my husband helped me upstairs. I slept for a while with my beautiful newborn while my husband made the trip home to get our carseat and diapers and some food for everyone. We went home that afternoon and after visiting the pediatrician, spent a lot of time cuddling in the bed together! Oh, and 16 hours after Sara was born, she weighed in at a healthy 9 pounds 5 ounces! While this was not my motivation for wanting the vba2c, it felt pretty darn good to tell all those people who told me I couldn’t do it, that in fact I DID do it! This was an amazing experience for me. I can’t tell you how good it felt to finally have my vaginal birth! After 2 c-sections I really questioned my ability.

So there it is. I am amazed if anyone made it this far! It was truly an amaing birth….I think if we have more children, I might just plan a home birth to begin with. :) Being in a home environment was so comfortable and private. It was beautiful!

I want to add a little bit of encouragement for those of you out there who are doubting yourself. You CAN do it! A couple months after Sara was born, my doula and I were talking and she asked me if there was anything I would have done differently. I immediately answered “no”. Well, the more I thought about it, the more it nagged me. There was something that I would have done – I would have listened to my HB more during the birthing process – waves and pushing. When I saw my doula again, I told her this. I told her that I felt like I was kind of losing it and not controlling myself well. She was floored. She asked me if I was kidding! She said I did amazing! She said that I may have felt that way on the inside, but I did not look that way to those that were there (except for the shoulder dystocia part – I did yell out then). She said that I was so calm throughout it all…that at one point when I was sitting on the toilet pushing (towards the end of my four hour pusing), I just looked up at her so calmly and just said “I don’t think I can do this anymore”….not screaming it, just calmly stating a fact. I was so happy to hear that – it made me feel so much better. And it also made me realize that while I didn’t listen to the HB the whole time, it made a world of difference! Thank you Hypnobabies!

Laura

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Anyway, I had c-sections with my first two kids and knew that I wanted this 3rd one to be born natually and vaginally. I decided on a home birth rather than to find a doctor who would honor a VBAC, especially after 2 sections. My husband was NOT for it at first but the more and more I read and told him, the more comfortable he became with the whole idea.

Of course I had fears but after doing some fear-clearing sessions, they just all went away and I NEVER thought of them while in labor. The whole birth was so awesome. It was easy, fast and comfortable. I would call it painless as well. I just had my headphones on in my birthing pool and went inward saying “Peace” through every birthing wave. Before I knew it I was completely dilated and apparently had the urge to push (I just thought my body was having weird spasms, lol). I then “ahhhh’d” my way through pushing. The “ahhhh’ing” got loud at some points but I still wasn’t in pain (although Im sure it seemed like it with all the noise) but the louder I “ahhh’d”, the better I was pushing and bringing baby down. I went into labor at 11pm and had the baby at 5:52 am… so less than 7 hours in labor but it felt like 2-3 hours MAYBE. My pushing was an hour and a half but felt like 20-30 minutes. It was awesome and I credit it all to Hypnobabies.

I have to say that I felt so comfortable with my headphones on (this is how I practiced for months before labor) that I wasn’t even listening to the words. I was just so relaxed because I knew that they were there [for me] if I needed them. All I had to do was listen. About an hour into my pushing my husband asked me if I wanted to take off my headphones and I asked him why. He said, “The batteries have been dead for about an hour.” I had no idea, that’s how inwardly focused I was. And of course I didn’t take them off after that either :)

I would post my birth story but it’s 5 pages long (I like to remember ALL the details) so maybe if I can shorten it, I’ll post it later but I HAD to post something to let those who are attempting or thinking about VBAC’ing that it’s possible and it’s wonderful! Two days before I went into “real” labor I was questioning everything (I was having prodromal labor [false labor] with horrible contractions that I couldnt get through even with hypnobabies. I was thinking that if I couldnt handle “false” labor, how was I supposed to handle “real” labor. But baby was posterior and after 2 days of pain and worrying and wanting to just give up and have another c-section, I did a fear clearing session and an hour later went into labor feeling pressure waves that felt different. They were comfortable and actually fun! This was “real” labor and I handled it, all pain-free!)

I also didn’t practice like I was supposed to with the scripts and I couldnt let my husband read and practice his birth partner scripts because I’d just laugh but during labor he still put his hand firmly on my shoulder and that seemed to help. I also held his hand (tightly at some points) and didn’t let go the ENTIRE time and that helped so much too. So just as long as you stick to the schedule and make it a routine, even if you don’t think it’s working, it’ll still work when it’s supposed to. I was AMAZED!

Anyway, if anyone has any questions I’d love to help if I can :)
Here is a link to the FULL story!

~Tiffani

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Inspirational VBAC video! To inspire all moms who are planning for their VBAC!

My Journey to a VBAC from Lindsey Meehleis on Vimeo.

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