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Archive for the ‘Pregnancy’ Category

My daughter is six months already! I thought I’d have this posted earlier, but then I realized how much work a baby is :)

Going home from work on Tuesday, June 15th, I called my mom. I just felt this strong desire to tell her how much I appreciate her and how much I love her. My mom was a single mom for most of my childhood. She has been so supportive of me throughout my life. She even paid for my Hypnobabies course! When I cried on the phone (grateful tears for her sacrifices throughout my life and hopeful tears that I could be such a good mom), she asked, “Are you having symptoms of labor?” I had only been feeling a bit nauseated and uncomfortable while sitting but not felt like I’d any pressure waves yet. But my mom knew something was up.

Then my water broke at about 1am. I was asleep next to my husband and felt a gush all of a sudden. I hopped up to the bathroom…very excited. I brought a towel back to the bed. I knew we were in for a long day, so I tried to sleep but couldn’t. Ben noticed and asked me if I was okay. “You’re not going to work today,” I told him, “my water broke.” He said, “I think you should really try to sleep.” I wasn’t having pressure waves yet, so it should have been easier for me to sleep…but I was too excited. I sat in the living room for a while and read from a novel (American Gods by Neil Gaiman).

I dozed on and off until Ben woke up again soon after sunrise. We decided to go to the grocery store to get supplies before going to the hospital. By this time, I was having regular pressure waves (every 6 minutes or so). I was in “center” and still very comfortable.

When we got to the hospital, I was sure that they would be surprised at how far along I was. But triage was not a good place for me. You don’t really need a bubble of peace for this part, since everything turned out alright. It was just a place of saying “no” to a lot of interventions.

First, the midwife in triage did not believe that my water had broken. So they did a swab test twice. And they called in a doctor to do an ultrasound to measure the fluid level. They saw that I was having pressure waves, but they measured me as only 1cm dilated. This doctor just happened to be the same doctor who saw me once at the midwife practice (because the midwives and doctors were “cross-training”) and at that visit had tried to convince me that my baby was measuring too small (baby turned out to be 8lbs 10oz!) and that I should go back on the anti-anxiety drugs that I had weaned-off of early in the pregnancy because I wanted my daughter to be drug-free. She suggested this at 30-some weeks! At that point, I wouldn’t see any benefit since the drug takes time to build to effective levels.  Needless to say, I didn’t have a lot of confidence in her.

When they finally decided that my water had broken, they told me that I would be admitted. At this point, Ben and I just really wanted to get to the room so we could focus and be quiet together. Before we left triage, the midwife there told me that the doctor would want to start pitocin since my water had been broken for so long (about 8 hours at that point). A second midwife (the one who would be following us “on the floor”) introduced herself and interjected, “but you want a water birth, and you can’t have that with pitocin since because you have to be continuously monitored. Maybe you want to try another drug that will augment labor. It is inserted rather than put into an IV.” She was talking about Cytotec. I was angry that they would be pushing this. I don’t remember exactly what Ben said, but it was something about how we would want to hear the benefits and risks of that when the time came for us to decide but that the time wasn’t now. We just really wanted to get back to the room to do the birth our way.

All this time, I had been receiving IV fluids because the baby’s heart rate was elevated. I drained three bags of fluid in the time we were in triage, so it does seem like I was dehydrated. At the same time, I felt like the medical staff were using the baby’s heart rate as emotional leverage to get us to consider interventions. I was definitely feeling the pressure to do what is right for the baby, and they kept pointing to the monitor when we discussed this. Because of my Hypnobabies training, I was confident that an intervention-free birth would be better for my baby, so I was able to resist this emotional blackmail. Having my husband there and informed about the issue made me feel more confident about this, too.  Finally, the baby’s heart rate improved to the point that the medical staff were comfortable in getting us out of triage and to the room. The “floor midwife” told us that the doctor (not the triage doctor but the one on the floor) was willing to let us do our thing until 6pm. At that point, they would want to see significant progress.

We got back to the room and started our CD (the one that the partners listen to early on but that pregnant women aren’t supposed to listen to until birthing day) Editors note: Easy First Stage. We walked around a lot. Ben got some lunch at one point. I was still very comfortable but feeling the pressure of time. Pressure waves got a lot stronger, and we tried to focus on the fact that this was bringing our baby closer. At one point, my mom arrived during a pressure wave, when my switch was off. I opened my eyes to see her sitting on the couch (at this point I was sitting on my side on the bed). I was so happy to see her. We walked the hall once with her, and she watched as Ben held me during my pressure waves. Later, she told Ben’s mom how proud she was of the way we worked together and how much she appreciated Ben’s support of me.

Mom didn’t stay in the room long. She went out to the waiting room and sent Ben’s folks back. I think it was at this point that I puked. It was sort of embarrassing. I had just eaten a little from a turkey sandwich, and I got kind of scared of eating for a few hours. However, I puked again (after not having any food for a while), and took this as a sign that it wasn’t the food making me sick (something I knew already on an intellectual level).

I got in and out of the shower and kept walking. I found that I could receive visitors best when on the birth ball and leaning over the bed. I’m a very private person, and I felt uncomfortable letting people see my “pressure wave face.” (It was a relaxed face, and having people see it made me feel vulnerable since only my husband and our teacher had been with me when I was that relaxed.) I vocalized a lot with deep hums. My older sister called from D.C. She encouraged me in my work for a natural birth.

At 6pm, I think I was at 3 or 4cm. This was satisfactory enough, since no one mentioned augmentation of labor after that. All of this time, our bedside nurse had been amazing. She kept bringing water and put the monitor on for brief moments periodically, but other than that she left us alone. The times when she arrived when I was “off”, she waited until I opened my eyes back in center. She was quiet and so respectful of our practice.

Our midwife was also wonderful. We were sad to see her go at the end of the shift. She told us that she wished she could have spent more time in the room, but that her practice had many women giving birth that night and that the others were having more interventions and thus needed more monitoring. She said that she got into midwifery in order to assist the births that were like mine, but that she spent more time managing medical births. She wished that more women could be informed and prepared for natural birth like us. Such is the life of a Certified Nurse Midwife in a hospital-based practice.

I was nervous and asked if the oncoming midwife had read our birthplan. This midwife assured us that she had, and that the oncoming midwife valued natural birth and had given birth naturally twice herself.

We met the second midwife and continued our practice, knowing that we could get in the water birth tub at 5cm. She measured me after 9pm and found that I was at 5cm. They got the tub ready. At around 10pm, I got in the tub. Ben got in with me and held me for one powerful pressure wave. When I felt the second wave in the water, I leaned forward into a squatting position and started to make a very loud guttural noise. It wasn’t like the quiet and smiling births I saw on YouTube, but it was something I felt I had to do. I think it scared Ben, since he hopped out of the tub and ran to call the midwife. She came in to check me and said, “You’re going to have the baby soon. You can push with the next contraction.” I had gone from 5cm to fully dilated in less than twenty minutes.

The midwife and the evening nurse stayed at the side of the tub. Ben stayed near my head, encouraging me and keeping the CD going. My pressure waves felt very powerful. I felt very tired. At this point, I had been awake for over twenty hours and had been feeling pressure waves all day. I was scared that I wouldn’t be strong enough. It felt so good to hear Kerry’s voice telling me that I and my baby are strong. I kept repeating this and became convinced that we could do this. My midwife also repeated to me that I and my baby are strong and that we were doing well.

Because the tub was not deep enough, I had to be in the position of lying back rather than squatting. I feel that I may have had less time in this phase if I had been able to squat. I spent more than two hours in this intense phase in the tub. My throat felt so raw the next day from the deep guttural noises I made during that time. They were like something primal…an energy pushing through me but not entirely “of” me.  I tend to be a quiet person and was initially embarrassed about this. But, thinking about it since then, I realize that not everyone has a quiet birth and that these vocalizations were natural for me at this powerful time.

I was getting frustrated because the pushes did not seem to be bringing my baby closer. My midwife said, “just two more pushes” more than once…maybe for more than an hour. Finally, Ben said, “She has so much hair! Can Sarah reach down and feel her hair?” And the midwife said, “Of course!” I reached down to feel my baby’s hair and found more strength and patience. Ben said that her hair was just flowing in the tub.

At first, I regretted that my eyes were closed when my daughter was born. I felt her emerge, all the way from her head to her toes. It was 12:53am. I opened my eyes when they put her on my chest. She was so beautiful! Her eyes were open, and she seemed so alert. She didn’t cry. When Ben touched our heads, it felt like we were the only people in the whole world. I knew at that moment that my husband and I could do anything together, since we had done this together. Our midwife and nurse waited for a while to clamp the cord, since this was in the birth plan. Ben cut the cord, and I said, “now your life apart from me begins.” I was both sad and happy.

 

I wonder if my daughter took so long (almost 24hours from water breaking to birth) because I was such a happy pregnant woman and told everyone that I wouldn’t mind carrying her for an extra week or two. I still miss having her safely tucked in my womb, but I’m so happy to see her and watch her grow and change. I don’t regret anymore that I had my eyes closed. I think those last few moments were mostly between me and her, and that closing my eyes and vocalizing was my way of connecting to my daughter as she traveled the last bit of her birth journey.

My daughter chose her birth date to be almost on her expected date. She would have been born on the expected date if not for daylight savings time. Ben called his folks and found out that our mothers were still in the waiting room. We were surprised because we hadn’t seen them for many hours. After I delivered the placenta and got into bed, Ben called our moms to come back. I got to hold and breastfeed our beautiful girl right away. The grandmas followed us to our post-partum room and helped us get settled.

Hypnobabies gave me the information I needed for the birth I wanted. It provided Ben and me with the practice time so that we were partners with the same goal in mind when the time came to make decisions. I am so grateful for this birth experience.

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Thursday November 4, 2010
I woke up Thursday morning around 2:30am again with some light contractions and decided to move downstairs to lay on the couch and listen to my Hypnobabies tracks.  At 5:00am my water broke with a gush.  It turns out that it was more likely just a tear higher up in the amniotic sac because labor did not get started right away and I continued to leak fluid all the way through delivery.  At that point I called Peg, the midwife and she thought things might get going in the next couple of hours.  Tony had to do some urgent tasks at work, so he headed out around 5:30am.

I had sporadic and mild contractions for the rest of the day–they increased in intensity only when I was walking.  At 6:30pm we went into the hospital to meet Peg and start IV antibiotics because I had tested positive for Group B Strep.  At this time I was still only 1 cm dilated and so we decided to start Pitocin.  Peg felt that this was less likely to lead to a C-Section and feared if we waited until morning to decide, and labor did not pick up on its own, I would be too tired to push the baby out.

I was on Pitocin through the night with some improvement in the regularity of my contractions, but little increase in the intensity.  The external contraction monitor indicated strong contractions, but I was rating them only a 2-3 on the pain scale and so Peg and the Nurse were not sure what to do.  They were hesitant about increasing the Pit because the contractions looked so strong on the monitor.

Friday November 5, 2010
Friday morning around 6:30am we decided to put an internal contraction monitor into the uterus to get a better read on how strong my contractions were by directly measuring internal uterine pressure.  While inserting the lead, Peg discovered I had a “bag” above my cervix.  I was still only 1.5 cm dilated, but the cervix was more effaced and very soft–Yay!  The stage was at least set for dilation!  She broke the bag, hoping that would also help move things along.  At this time, they also cut the Pitocin in half hoping my body would kick in better.  This is when labor got going a little more regularly.

Around 12noon I would say I  went into more active labor, where I used my Hypnobabies tracks and tools.  During each contraction I would turn my light switch off, breath deeply and close my eyes.  Peg was finally happy to see me actually laboring!  Hypnobabies worked very well–no one could believe how well I was managing the contractions–they couldn’t even tell when I was having one except for by looking at the monitor.

Around 2:30 I started feeling pushy and so Peg checked me again.  She later said she was crossing her fingers that I was at 5cm.  I was 9.5 cm and ready to push!!  Finally!  We were going to have a baby!
My contractions slowed down to about 5 minutes apart, but they were reluctant to increase the Pitocin.  I pushed using the squat bar—my husband and a couple of nurses would help me get my arms over the bar for each contraction and then I would sit back down to rest between contractions–often falling asleep.  I also pushed some on the toilet, which was the most comfortable and productive for me.  Eventually both of these positions caused a drop in the baby’s heartbeat, and so I ended up delivering in a semi-reclined seated position.

 

I tried using the “Pushing Baby Out” track and had it playing out loud two times through (it’s only about 30 minutes) but then I got too frustrated because it says you don’t really have to push, just breath the baby out.  This was not my experience at all—I had to push long and hard!  I ended up pushing until 5:53 when little Lane Anthony was born.  (Editors Note:   It doesn’t say you don’t have to push.  Instead it says to follow your body.)

Overall, I was extremely pleased with Hypnobabies–I enjoyed the preparation ahead of birth and really believe that it helped me to experience the entire labor and delivery process in the most positive way possible.  My midwife said of the thousands of births she’s attended, in very few have the women been as calm and relaxed as I was.  Thanks to Hypnobabies!

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LABORING AT HOME

 

I started losing pieces of the mucus plug Monday November 29. For the most part I had a normal day. I organized a bit and finalized my hospital overnight bags. We had a home-cooked dinner and went to run errands afterward. While shopping my pressure waves were getting stronger where I had to pause and work through them. They seemed about 15-20 minutes apart at the time.

 

Then we made another stop. As I waited in the car I realized this was getting real and regular which triggered an emotional breakdown when we got home. I felt overwhelmed by the things I still had left to do, and frustrated by this biological timer that would disable my efforts every 10 minutes. With DH’s help we did a thorough house cleaning from 10pm to 1am. Unfortunately all while releasing my frustrations on my husband. Then at 1AM I put on my Hypnobabies tracks while he studied the birth partner’s guide for the first time till 3AM.

 

He slept while I worked through the waves on my own for another hour but I increasingly felt pressure in my tailbone and rectum where it was becoming uncomfortable to sit on the birth ball. I loosely timed my contractions but enough to see that they were coming 3-4 minutes apart.

 

Around 3:30 in the morning I knew I needed my doula’s help. When DH stirred next I asked him to call her. He was now awake. He started applying counter pressure on my tailbone for each wave and using Hypnobabies lingo! He had suddenly stepped in as my birth partner.

 

We called our doula at 4AM and she sounded bright and cheerful as she was expecting our call. She assessed my condition over the phone after timing my contractions and stated there wasn’t time to drop off my firstborn at his grandparents house. I was going from cold to hot through each rush and they were getting closer together as we spoke. We had to head to the hospital, especially before LA traffic began. We agreed to meet our doula at the ER entrance. DH got our sleeping toddler in the car seat and all our bags in the car, and I waddled to the car as well, hoping not to hit a pressure wave on the short walk there.

 

The freeway was beautifully empty and lit with the yellow freeway lights. We called our parents to let them know we were on our way to the hospital. My inlaws were on their way to meet us there. DH left me in my doula’s care and he went to wait for his parents at the hospital to hand our son to them. (It turned out later they were all awake and dressed to go to an early morning church meeting- how fortunate)

 

THE HOSPITAL

 

Pre-registration and triage took about 30 minutes. The triage nurse took her time- perhaps thinking I wasn’t far along. But when she discovered I was 10cm and fully effaced she hustled to get us a room. So quickly in fact that when my in-laws came looking for us at the main front desk it took several phone calls to find which room we were in! At that time I also lost the rest of my mucus plug and ended up throwing all the bloody clothes away.

 

We met our nurse midwife in the room. I had never met her at any prenatal visits. She introduced herself to us and announced straight away that she had read our birth plan and would deliver this baby however I wished. Wow.

 

Our baby nurse however was trying to get an IV in me when I preferred to be without. I can’t remember much except there was some intensity in the conversation between the doula and the nurse. A few minutes later we had a wonderful new nurse! (We found out later that the nurse switch was owing to our doula’s tact and advocacy! She respectfully suggested to the angry nurse that perhaps *someone else* could read our birth plan- and the nurse got it and voluntarily switched with someone who was on board with our plan!)

 

All this time I was listening to my tracks lying in the hospital bed and vocalizing my “AAAAAAAH’s” at the peak of each wave. They meant a lot of different things. Sometimes it meant, “Please let this be over soooooon!” and sometimes they were courageous and calm, and sometimes they were self piteous “HELP ME’s” and sometimes they were embracing and surrendering to this powerful experience. All the while I hoped on the promise that if I kept doing this I would “breathe the baby down” and the baby would magically slide out as I had read in so many Hypnobabies stories. I found there was a difference in relaxation when I AAAAH’d from my throat and when I AAAAh’d from deep down. At one particular moment I felt the baby internally moving down. It was incredible.

 

I had been doing wonderfully up to this point. I was handling my pressure waves. But emotionally I was inhibited about pushing. There was still fear inside of me about the sensations I would feel and the shift in gear. I started to say self affirmations aloud, “I can do this. I am courageous. Jesus help me.” I knew it was up to me to assent with my body, mind and emotion in order to open up. My fear kept me from wanting to try other labor positions that might make the baby come any faster. I was in transition and I desperately wanted to hear that it would be okay. I was able to reach that peace quickly. Thankfully, it was because God had graced me with this wonderfully safe environment. I had a nurse midwife and baby nurse who had not left the room the entire time, and my husband and my doula beside me. I was in a private and dimly lit room that allowed me to feel dignified and focused. I just needed to say yes and surrender.

 

I agreed to try the suggested positions, such as forward leaning in the seated position. That was when I felt the need to pee. Once my bladder was emptied the baby descended still lower. My doula suggested we work through a few waves sitting on the toilet and then turn around on the toilet and face the wall. The rim of the seat provided very good pressure where I needed it and I would have loved to stay there but I felt if I did I would be birthing the baby into the toilet. We came back to the room and my midwife suggested I try kneeling on the bed facing the wall leaning over the back of the bed. This set the stage for the beginning of phase two.

 

PHASE TWO: PUSHING

 

The early blue light of morning was just beginning to show through the blinds. My headphones came back on with the Fear Clearing track. My husband began applying counter-pressure to my back once again. My doula came to the head of the bed giving me support and courage. And my midwife encouraged me to push if I felt any urge. With the next few contractions I engaged with some timidity. Then about the third one my body took over and I pushed and my water bag just exploded with that completely surprising “Pop” sound. All I heard at that moment was my husband exclaim enthusiastically, “WOW. That was good” I couldn’t see what he was seeing but he later shared he saw my water bag bulge out and the first glimpse of the crown of baby’s head. From here we count 4 pushes.

 

Push #1 The baby’s head emerged to about the forehead and retracted. I asked my doula, “How much of the head came out?” hoping it had been the widest part. She answered, “Only to about here (the top of the eyebrow)”

 

Push #2 Half the baby’s face appeared and stayed suspended between my legs. It felt like the longest minute of my life. I remember wailing “Help me get this baby out!!” I heard my doula and husband reminding me to relax and breathe. So I did some light breathing and panting.

 

Push #3 Baby’s head was stretching me open. I yelled with the effort till the baby’s head was out. I felt a warm compress and My doula said, “It’s okay to cry. Your hormones are in. It’s a happy day. Just cry” And I did. I sobbed till I was calm from that intense moment and then rested. I could feel the midwife gently shifting the baby’s head left and right. She said, “This is a great photo op!” And again I heard DH’s exclamations of awe. Then she said the magic words, “One more push and the body will be out!”

 

Push #4 Baby’s entire body slid out. The sensation was so strange. The body felt as large as the head but that pressure gave way very quickly to a slippery feeling. I screamed but really due to nervousness mixed with adrenaline.

 

Then the baby was here. I heard a momentary cry and then silence. I was still on my knees facing the wall. They all said, “Turn around and look at her!” I looked around and down and she was lying between my legs on the bed. Her eyes were open and she had such a calm countenance. She was a tiny, beautiful little girl! I took her in my arms and cried with gratitude for everyone in the room who had shared, created, and given me this beautiful, redemptive birth experience.

 

One of the things I was most grateful for was when my doula spoke to me about crying with happiness. She knew how important it was for me not to feel terror or to feel out of control due to my first horrible birth experience. She put the correct significance on that powerful emotion that could have easily been remembered as trauma, to what it truly was: Joy.

 

Our nurse midwife also thanked us afterward for a beautiful birth and mentioned the Hypnobabies was working well. She said she wished I had allowed residents and nurses in training to attend the birth so they could have seen an alternative birthing position!

 

Josephine Elise was born on November 30 at 7:11AM, 4 days before her guess date, weighing 6lbs 8oz at 18.5″ long. She arrived 2 hours after checking in to the hospital and 4 pushes after my water broke. I sustained a very small first degree tear and minor laceration. the placenta was birthed about 15 minutes later. She is our first hypnobaby, and our second unmedicated birth.

My Hypnobabies doula was Lysa Quealy! She was wonderful!

Sincerely,
Annie

 

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Zane’s birth story

  • 2 weeks comfortable Braxton-Hicks
  • 2 wks of comfortable Pressure Waves
  • Saw midwives after 2nd wk of PW for prenatal and asked for internal to see if anything was really happening (first internal of the pregnancy)
  • They said station=0, dilated 3cm…yeah!  Ripest cervix she ever felt.
  • Had very strong PWs on way home…figured better not drive from then on.

Had stronger PWs that night with bloody show which I had been having since internal (as told I might by the midwives).  I called the midwives to see if the quantity was significant (like light period) they said no.  I knew it wasn’t time for them to come to my house but I was asking them for any idea on a time frame since my husband needed time to get home.  he works and stays 2.5 hrs away during the week.  I called DH to let him know my status but told him if the PWs picked up I would call him but otherwise for him to sleep.

 

I awoke that night with him home.  He said he would rather commute each day than be worried.  He stayed home two days with the PWs going back to their former intensity and still having light period type discharge.  Third day was Thursday, he went back to work but I told him to come home early on Friday so he didn’t hit traffic which would turn his 2.5 hr commute into 4-5 hours…especially since Friday was our Guess Date.

 

Daily life on Thursday…everybody asking when baby was coming…I said well, our Guess Date is Friday so I guess tomorrow.
Thursday night went to bed and felt like I wet my pants.  I went to the bathroom and found my pad soaked but not my clothes…I always thought it would be obvious when my water broke but I thought that perhaps it was a high break and only some of the fluid leaked.  The midwives told me I had a lot of amniotic fluid so I was expecting a soaking.  I called them to let them know that I was pretty sure my water broke and that it was clear.  I asked if I needed to check for the cord and they said no since my baby was so low the cord would not have prolapsed.  I went back to bed to see what would happen that night.

 

PWs started and I timed them.  I was to call the midwives when they were consistently 10 min apart for 1 hour but they would come over when they were 5 min apart.  My waves bounced around and I finally felt they were close enough and I must be progressing because I wanted to focus rather than look at the clock, also I was too focused to use the phone and wanted my husband to call so I knew it was the real deal…finally.  DH called the midwives to let them know and they said they would come over and set up.

 

I had been planning a completely unassisted birth and a few months before my GD felt led to ask this midwife team to attend my birth.  They specialize in unassisted, midwife attended births.  Essentially they were my guardian angels making sure that I had the unassisted birth I wanted.  I realized that my birth team (DH and my Mom) was not getting comfortable with my unassisted plans as time progressed and I worried that they might call 911 in the heat of the moment.  I was glad the midwives attended for many reasons before, during, and after the birth.

 

Although I had envisioned staying in off for much of my birth, I actually was in center for almost the entire time so definitely practice center switch.  I listened to my scripts on the mp3 player and would occasionally take out one ear bud if I needed to hear or talk.

 

Here is what I listened too early on:  Birthing Day, Deepening, and Special Place.  Eventually my battery ran down and for some reason my husband was not able to charge it so we switched to his mp3 player which we don’t know how to work and I listened to Birthing Day over and over until time to push when I asked for Pushing Baby Out.

 

I did not have a pain free birth but would call it manageable discomfort.  I used to get nervous when Hypnomoms would say manageable discomfort since it is so subjective.  So, here is what it felt like for those that want some perspective.  It felt like a moderate period cramp right above my pubic symphysis (the bone right in the front of your pelvis).  I don’t usually get period cramps unless I have emotional baggage that I haven’t dealt with (fight/grudge with DH, etc.) and unfortunately, I did go into this birth with unfinished business so I wonder, if I had dealt with my business early as I really should have, if my birth would have been completely pain free.  I will see next time.

 

Throughout the birth the discomfort level stayed at a moderate period cramp.  This is my second child.  The first I had all natural but without Hypnobabies and people told me it would be like a period and it wasn’t so I am not downplaying the discomfort, it really was no more than a moderate cramp feeling for me and was decreased by about 1/3 if my husband pushed on my left sacroiliac joint.  The only time my discomfort increased was if I lay down during a wave or sat on the toilet (my baby was very, very low).  Therefore, I stayed in center during the waves and would lean on the changing table and rock, sway, or spiral my hips during the waves and it felt great.

 

Between waves I was completely pain free, able to talk, joke, visit, etc.  Even during transformation, between waves, I was talking and making jokes which was amazing for such an intense time.

 

So, the discomfort stayed the same but the intensity changed with the progression of the birth.  I was able to stay aware of the birth progressing and be positive about it because of Hypnobabies and that was priceless.  I felt the intensity increasing and by this I mean a strong power starting to flow through me (like an adrenalin rush) and the waves were coming closer together and between waves I was thinking “alright transformation here we come…let’s do this!”

 

Suddenly though my birth slowed and the waves eventually stopped.  I asked the midwives for an internal (my second for the entire pregnancy).  They checked and confirmed that my water had broken, I was dilated 4-5 which gave me hope because I knew that was the “hump” in most births (was in my first) and I really was close to transformation, but baby was still ROA-in my right corner facing my left hip.  He hadn’t turned into birthing position yet which meant he essentially wasn’t hitting the doorway head-on so I wasn’t dilating efficiently.

 

We did some work to get my hips loosened up (I knew I should have seen my Chiropractor that week….and I am a Chiropractor so I should know better than get too busy right before my birth to get adjusted). The midwives gave me some homeopathic remedies and their assistant come over and did some body work on me with essential oils.  It was awesome!  Finally, I had to address the emotional baggage that I hadn’t taken care of before birthing time.  Once all of this was done the midwives told me to lie down and rest and they went home (they had been at my house since 4am and it was about 9:30am).  I rested and the rest of my birthing team (my Mom) finally arrived.  My Mom lives about 5 hours from me.

 

The waves finally picked up and I stood up again to rock and sway my hips.  The midwives called to check on me around 1:30 and my Mom told them I was talking about filling the water tub and they said they would be right over.  They had offered the tub earlier in the birth and when I asked them when I was supposed to use it they said it was for when nothing else was working.

 

Hypnobabies was working so well, I told them that I was feeling fine so I would save the water for transformation.  When they heard I was ready for the water, they knew it was finally time.  The nice part of this is that I was calm and focused during this time.  I made a conscious decision to start filling the tub because I felt that transformation was coming not because I was in too much pain to bear without the water.  At this point, my discomfort was still at the level of a moderate cramp but the energy had returned and I was not as able to relax all of my muscles during the waves (toes would curl but it wasn’t from pain just intensity).  Once I was in the warm water I was able to relax and then the transformation really took off.

 

I used to wonder at the “intensity” that Hypnomoms would mention that wasn’t pain so I will do my best to describe how it was for me for those that find it useful.  Please keep in mind that during the pw the discomfort still felt like a moderate menstrual cramp above my pubic symphysis and my DH sat behind the water tub and pushed on my left sacroiliac joint which helped with that too.  The intensity was like a rush of feeling and emotion. One of the midwives filmed the birth and the other sat nearby and during transformation fanned me with my file during the pws because I said that I couldn’t get a full breath.

 

I yelled during the pws at this time from the intensity.  It is like if you are so excited about something that you just have to let it out in a shout or a song for those that sing or that extreme rush of adrenalin when you go down a ski slope or a rollercoaster ride .  A feeling of such intensity that it has to have an outlet.  It doesn’t hurt but your body feels the feeling with such intensity that you have to let it out.

 

In between waves I was able to talk and joke and I mentioned a couple times that I wouldn’t mind if this part ended really soon.  I kind of like it, looking back, but it is so intense that I wanted it to end.  I don’t particularly like rollercoasters :).

 

It was disconcerting when I began to get the urge to push.  With my DD-age 9, I barely felt an urge to push, was told I was complete and to start pushing but I never felt an urge and in fact I felt like I wasn’t even giving birth just pushing because I was supposed to.  With this birth I felt the intensity, the discomfort from the pw, and the beginning urge to push all at the same time and that was kind of overwhelming.  The pushing urge eventually became the strongest urge and my body began to bear down on its own.  It took me by surprise and I had to regain my calm since I had not known that the pushing stage could feel like this since it hadn’t with my daughter.

 

In hindsight I wish I had listened to the Pushing Baby Out CD all the way through once before giving birth so that I would have known to start it earlier, it was slightly one step behind what I was feeling so I felt a sensation and then I heard ideas for how to handle them calmly which I would use.  I was able to use the script but I like to be prepared beforehand.

 

As Zane emerged I felt his head coming into my hand (these wonderful Midwives encourage Mom to catch her baby which was just what I had wanted all along).  We each gently rubbed his head and welcomed him:  my DD, my Mom, and my DH.  One of the Midwives was still videotaping and the other held a mirror and light into the birthing tub so I could see Zane emerging.

 

The pushing urge stopped and I watched him in the mirror as he rotated (babies do this naturally DON”T let the doctor do this for them unless it is an emergency.  The doctors don’t know if the baby’s shoulders are rotating clockwise or counterclockwise internally while the doctor is rotating their heads to “help”).

 

After two more pushed Zane was born.  I held him and snuggled him as his big sister got into the tub (she had been waiting patiently to get in the tub and help).  DH was leaning over the edge of the tub looking at Zane over my shoulder (see pic in the file under Zane’s birth).

 

My Mom asked “what do we have a girl or boy” so we peeked downward and made our long awaited announcement (we love being surprised!).  Shortly after Zane’s birth the placenta came and the Midwives placed it in a dish that floated so we could keep the cord attached.  The Midwives don’t cut the cord until the parents say they are ready.

 

They helped me out of the tub and I said “Wow, I could do that again…give me a week or two for my body to recuperate and I would definitely do that again”.  It may sound crazy but it was like screaming to get off a rollercoaster and then once you are off it saying “what a rush, I am going to ride that again.”

In summary here were my goals going into this birth:
1.  Be in control
2.  Be willing to do it again after the birth so that my decision about having more children is based on logic not on fear.

 

I thought a completely pain free birth would be nice but my focus was these two goals.  Hypnobabies definitely helped me attain these two goals and I am very grateful!

 

Moms, “catch” your babies!  If I had known how amazing, empowering, and beautiful it is I would have never given that honor to the doctor the first time.  Let the first hands to touch your little one be hands that have loved him/her from the beginning.
Molly

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Nathaniel Alexander
January 12 at 6:11am
7lb 12oz, 20 in long

Nate has been in our hearts forever but made his appearance in flesh early on a Monday morning after about 8.5 hours of birthing time.  He is our third son.

During the preceding weeks, I had many practice pressure waves, some of which felt like they could be the real thing, but they always ended up fading away after a few hours.  I started to lose my mucous plug so I knew that these waves were beginning to dilate and efface my cervix to prepare for the big day.  Our guess date was January 18th.

Our second son Sean was born almost 2 weeks before his guess date and had a very fast birthing time.  This set up the expectation, or at least the possibility, for my husband and I (and our families) that this third little guy would come early and fast.  It is January in the northeast and we’ve already had our fair share of snowstorms.

Additionally, my husband works a distance away with a commute time of up to 1.5 hours each way during rush hour.  I had a real concern that my husband wouldn’t make it home in time to see his third son be born – and this really stressed me out!  I had to work on releasing this fear and trusting that our little guy would be born at the perfect time and under the circumstances that were right for us.
Sunday January 11th was unremarkable, except that we spent some extra time doing nesting activities (laundry, taking down Christmas decorations finally(!), organizing baby’s things, etc).  We were still a week away from our guess date and I resigned myself to the fact that this baby might come after his guess date like his oldest brother, and that was okay.  In the meantime, we might as well have a clean and organized house, which was a rarity with two toddlers running around!

After the boys went to bed that evening, I put the Golden Globes on TV to watch while my husband started dozing off next to me.  I noticed at around 9:30pm that I started having some pressure waves.  They were definitely stronger than BH, but not unlike the others I had been having before this.  They seemed to be coming every 10-13 min or so.  By 11pm I noticed one that felt like “whoa, I think this could be it”.  With that I had to run to the bathroom and saw the bloody show (a lot of it!).  This was confirmation for me that it was definitely my birthing time as I had not seen bloody show until well into my first two birthing times.

Almost immediately, the pressure waves started coming closer together, maybe every 4 or 5 min, but they were very short (30-45 sec) and not so intense.  I didn’t have to concentrate through them.  Because my second son was born only 3 hours after my first pressure wave, we decided it was best to head to the hospital now and get settled in, even if it was very early in the birthing time.  We called my mom over to watch our boys while we were gone.

We got to the hospital around 12:30am and checked in.  I was still extremely comfortable and guessed that I was at about 3cm.  The nurse checked me and I was about 2-3cm but still pretty thick.  She could feel something “fleshy” so wanted the doc to check to make sure the baby was in the right position.  About 10 min later when the doc checked me, she confirmed that baby was head down and it was a bulging bag of waters that felt fleshy and that I was now 5-6cm.

They expected things to move quickly, but I had a feeling otherwise.  These pressure waves were still very comfortable and still pretty short (less than a minute).  It was okay with me to continue on at this pace!  I could do this all night and day!  I hung out on my birthing ball in between the 20 min fetal monitoring we had to do every hour and the waves were still not increasing in intensity.

When they checked me around 2am, I was 6-7cm but very thin.  I was pretty happy to hear that progress because this was easy!!!  I kept thinking that slow and steady wins the race.

By 4am I started to feel some rectal pressure, not like I had to push, but just more pressure.  I also started to feel shaky and nauseous so I thought I might be entering transformation.  My water hadn’t broken yet.

The doc came in around 4:45am to check me and I was still only 7cm.  She did a very aggressive cervical exam (it was painful, the only pain I had experienced so far!) and my water “spontaneously” broke.  Can you sense my sarcasm?  She called it a spontaneous rupture of membranes because she didn’t use a needle to break the water.  My husband, the nurse, and I all agreed that it wasn’t spontaneous!

I knew I was in for it now, and I was.  Things got much more intense and they now wanted me on continuous monitoring because my water was broken.  I hated being stuck in the bed!  Gratefully I was able to change position as much as I wanted to, so I was either on my hands and knees or squatting and holding on to the top of the bed with my husband rubbing or applying pressure to my lower back and hips – at this point I had a ton of back and pelvic pressure.

I started getting very vocal but was able to make it through each wave fairly comfortably.  I never felt like I needed drugs.

I eventually started a deep moaning which prompted the nurse to ask me if I was involuntarily pushing.  I told her yes!  It certainly wasn’t intentional.  It wasn’t an overwhelming urge (like I had with my second very speedy delivery) but it was happening.

 

She told me I could start pushing but I wanted her to check my cervix first since I felt like I wasn’t quite complete. My intuition was right - I still had a lip left but she told me I could push past it and I did.

 

I later learned from my husband that the two nurses thought the doc wouldn’t make it in the room in time for the birth since she was stuck at a delivery next door.  But she did come running in and made it just as the baby started crowning.

 

This pushing phase was tough for me!  It didn’t happen as quick and effortlessly as it had with my second son and that made me nervous and made me question my ability.  But my husband was holding my hand telling me what a great job I was doing and that the baby is almost here.  I reached down to feel his head and there he was!  That gave me the motivation to kick it into high gear and get him out.  I gave it a strong push and out came his head but they told me to stop pushing while they unwrapped his cord which was around his neck.

 

They told me to continue and I pushed the rest of him out, and he had the cord wrapped around his arm and his torso too!  He was blue but as soon as they untangled him he pinked up and had apgars of 8 and 9.  They had to cut the cord quickly to untangle him so my husband wasn’t able to do that.  We were ok with it since we just wanted a healthy baby!  Anyway, what was the little bugger doing in my belly to get himself all tangled up like that?! I had a sense that we may have issues with the cord but I didn’t let that consume my thinking or make me fear the delivery.  I’m happy that I was able to let it go because everything worked out fine.

 

He was 7lb 12oz, 20 in long.  He nursed immediately!

 

I couldn’t be happier with the way this birth went, and I have to thank Hypnobabies.  The program was so valuable to me in my second and third pregnancies and birthing times.  I had three unique experiences each teaching me lessons, and producing three very different but very beautiful babies!  Thank you Hypnobabies!!!

 

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We are truly blessed and graced!

Isla Raeann was born to us Tuesday the 28th, at 2:57 in the afternoon.  I woke up early and just knew that my birthing time had arrived, there was a peacefulness about the house and my heart.  My husband was at work (or on his way), and my girls and our dog were all still asleep in bed.  I lay in bed for just a short while and soon thereafter (about 5:30 am or so), my first contraction came.  I remember just smiling and taking a deep breath.

I spent the morning and early afternoon at home, relaxing, meditating, and enjoying my time knowing that I would soon meet our little girl.  I hadn’t listened to my scripts because I was alone at home, with my two girls (ages 2 and 4) and our dog.  They needed me to be “present” for them, I relaxed, used my cues when a pressure wave came, and was peacefully comfortable.  My husband was on his way home from work, and my parents on their way from Spokane (about 5 hours away), and his parents on their way from Oregon (about 3 hours away). So, me and the girls and our dog just took it easy, they all gave me solace when I needed it, and serenity when I asked.

My husband and his parents arrived around noon or so, so I was then able to focus on myself and keeping peace and began listening to Easy First Stage, while I sat on my birthing ball.  It was amazing.  Every so often I would stop the script and listen to Psalm 23, as recorded by Temple and Brent (I downloaded it off of Amazon onto my I-Pod).  Listening to it brought me to tears with happiness that I would soon be holding my little girl – it restored me and lifted me.  Then I would return to listening to Easy First Stage.

Around 1:00 in the afternoon I could sense that everyone, except myself, was getting nervous, so I took a moment, then decided to let my husband take me to the hospital.

We arrived and made ourselves comfortable in the room (about 2:00 in the afternoon).  The nurse didn’t believe that I was in labor, though she humored me about it.  To her surprise, I was 8 centimeters and fully effaced.  I knew my baby would soon be coming, and I was completely comfortable, at peace, and filled with love and happiness.  I was happy to just sit on the bed and listen to Easy First Stage on my I-Pod.  It was the most intimate experience that I have ever had…just me and my baby with each other.  I had to tell my husband that I wasn’t trying to ignore him (grin), but I was so at peace and he was happy to just let me ‘be’ where I needed to be (emotionally, spiritually).

The remainder of my birthing time was amazing, I was blissfully happy and felt pure love the whole time.  We were at the hospital for less than an hour and Isla was in my arms.  Words cannot even describe the elation I was feeling throughout her birth.  To be so blessed, to enjoy every moment…took my breath away and brought my husband and I to tears before I even gently pushed her out.

After about 45 minutes or so, I knew she was ready to come out.  I calmly told the nurse and my husband that our baby was ready to meet everyone, and moments later, my family doctor came in.  It was perfect timing.

The room was intimate, just myself, my husband, our family doctor, and one attending nurse (the nurse proved to be an amazing soul and provided wonderful comfort).  At first, I was lying on my side, listening to Push Baby Out, but all at once I abruptly felt that I needed to be on my hands and knees; so I got myself comfortable on my hands and knees and gently pushed her out in less than 5 minutes.

Now, we rest and enjoy life.  I couldn’t have experienced birth, in such an miraculous way, without Hypnobabies.  My heart is full , her birth was perfect.

~Chris

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Even before her baby is born!

I love to find blog posts where moms who are doing Hypnobabies share their experiences.

A Mom at Life in the Ketchup Bottle shares her experiences here.

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