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My beautiful, mellow Hypnobaby, Quinn, was born at 1:54 am on July 9th – her due date – after about 26 hours of labor and 5 hrs after my water broke. Although Quinn was my first birth baby, we also have a 19-month-old son, Josten (now 20 months), who my partner carried. So it was an interesting experience – being pregnant and going through birth after experiencing it all with my partner just a year and a half ago.

At just around midnight on July 8, I was awoken by pressure waves, which, after I started timing them, were about 6-7 minutes apart and about a minute long. I couldn’t sleep through them so I got up to try and sleep sitting on the birthing ball, leaning over pillows on the bed. While I was up, the waves pretty much went away, but once I was on the ball they came back. Not comfortable there, I decided to try lying down again, but to no avail. All this time I was listening to ‘fear release’, ‘easy first stage’, and ‘birthing day affirmations’. Finally, I got up, went to the kitchen, ate a snack, and starting thinking, with excitement, about my birthing day, which I knew was near at hand. After awhile, I realized that the waves had all but disappeared, but knew that if I tried to lie down again they’d return. I then went into my son’s room and managed to sleep between waves on the glider, for about 2 hrs.

At about 6:30 am I called the Birth Center where I was planning to deliver, and spoke to the midwife on call, who said it could be today, it could be next week! I knew, though, in the back of my mind, that it would be happening sooner than later. After another hour of sleeping between waves back in bed, my family got up and my partner, Haidee, asked if I thought she should stay home from work. I thought not, since my sister was going to be over that day anyway to help out, so she went off to work, I called in to work to say I wouldn’t be there, and an hour or so later my sister arrived. The day was spent mainly as usual, taking care of my son with my sister’s help, peppered by bouts of regular waves followed by periods of none.

During a short walk I started experiencing intense hip pain (all of my hypnosis work did not seem to touch the hip pain, since I hadn’t really gotten the idea of directing my anesthesia to anywhere but the areas that I was thinking would be affected by PWs and birth!). I decided that it might be a good idea to get a chiropractic adjustment that afternoon, if possible, hopefully to fix the hip problem, but also just to get into prime shape for the potentially long hours ahead. After my adjustment, my hip was no better, but my outlook remained very positive, and in fact I continued to feel as I had all day – excited and ready to give birth to my baby.

I had asked Haidee to come home early, since my sister had to leave for work, and once we were all home together again she called her mom to come over and help with Josten so that she could be attentive to me and get dinner made. My PWs continued to be off and on regular and then irregular, and I was able to take a bath for about 1/2 an hour, listening to my ‘birthing day affirmations’ CD.

During dinner (pasta and lots of veggies for strength and energy), they became a bit more regular. Whenever my son was near me when a PW came, and I would stop in my tracks and say “peace” over and over until it was passed, he  whispered “pssss” right along with me. He was very attentive and sweet with me, ready, in his own way, for his little sister to arrive. After dinner I went back to the bedroom and spent about an hour on the birthing ball as my PWs became regular – about 5 minutes apart and 1 minute long. At about 8:45 or so the PWs got closer together, and at  about 9:15 my water broke as I squatted through a wave. I told Haidee, and it was definitely time to go to the Birth Center, but it took awhile to get out the door (packing up the rest of what I wanted to bring, etc). We finally set out on the 20 minute drive to the Birth Center at about 10:00.

The ride in was actually quite comfortable for me, I just rode the waves and Haidee timed them on her phone’s  stopwatch. They were now 3 minutes apart and lasting 1 minute each. I called the midwife and my parents, and texted with my sister on the way there, between PWs, and everyone was on their way (my parents were driving up from NJ and figured they’d arrive around 1 am).

Upon our arrival at the Birth Center, the wonderful midwife on duty that evening, Jill, greeted us warmly at the door and led us upstairs to the biggest of the three birthing rooms, since I was the only one laboring there so far that
night. She decided to check me before starting the IV antibiotics (I had tested GBS positive), and found me to be a very stretchy 7cm dilated. I wasn’t at all surprised – the whole experience was pretty much just as I had envisioned it to
be so far!

During the 1/2 hour it took to administer the antibiotics, my sister arrived. Haidee was applying pressure to my hips during my waves in the chair during this time, and my sister spelled her for a wave or two. It felt nice to have the pressure there, but I didn’t find it absolutely necessary, and was able to focus and breathe and chant Peace, Relax, Release as the PWs continued. Never once did I feel any sense of fear, nor did I experience pain, except in my right hip, but even that was perfectly bearable. I let Jill know that I’d like to get into the tub as soon as possible, so she started filling it, and by the time the IV was done it was ready for me to get into.

Being in the water felt wonderful. I continued listening to my Hypnobabies tracks, and soon Haidee joined me in the tub. My sister played photographer, and another midwife, Laurie, joined Jill because there was a chance that another birthing mom might be arriving before I gave birth. No one else did arrive during my time in the BC, so I had both wonderful midwives by my side the entire time, mostly being quiet and letting me do my thing, pouring warm water over my belly, and occasionally making suggestions for positioning my legs and body in the tub for optimum comfort.

After about 20 minutes in the tub, my body started feeling pushy, and I just went with it, checking with Jill, who was completely confident in my body’s ability to know when to push. As I pushed through the next bunch of waves I found myself getting more and more vocal and loud, chanting/groaning OPEN, OPEN, OPEN and Release, while Haidee whispered “Relax” into my ear.

We switched to the Pushing Baby Out CD and even though I don’t remember actually listening to it, I know that the soothing, familiar voice added to the already supportive and comforting energy that surrounded me. Although I don’t think I ever actually fully relaxed through any of my PWs, and definitely not during my pushing waves, I was able to completely relax between waves, and for the hour and 20 minutes that I pushed, I fell asleep between nearly every wave. There were times when I completely forgot that anyone but Haidee was in the room with me, since it was
so silent.

My parents arrived at about 1:20 am and added their supportive energy to the room. Finally, my pushing waves became more frequent and each one lasted long enough for me to really start feeling like I was participating again. The
midwives encouraged me to focus my energy into my core, shift my body so that I was grabbing my own legs and grunting low and gutteral sounds as I pushed, and this helped enormously in helping me move the baby under my pelvis and out.
There were quite a number of PWs that felt to me like they should lead to the head crowning, and I started to get a bit antsy for it all to be over – not because I was in pain at all, but mainly because I was very tired and just ready to meet this baby! Apparently the midwives felt the same way, although no one gave me any indication that there was anything out of the ordinary going on. The baby’s heartbeat was steady and strong each time they used the doppler on me, so there was no concern, but it was just taking longer than they’d anticipated to get the head to crown and stay put. Finally it did, and Jill encouraged me to feel the full head of hair poking out between my legs. Everyone was marveling at the long hair floating in the water! Another push or two later, and the rest was very fast – her head came out, giving me a wonderful sense of relief and joy, and then I pushed again and felt her whole body just unfolding out of me.

She was immediately on my chest; silent, calm, and as pink as could be (with Apgar scores of 9 and 10)! We all just stayed there for a while, marveling at what had just happened and looking at Quinn. It turned out that her hand had been next to her head as she emerged, and that was likely the cause of my hip pain and the longer time it took to move her out.

The cord stopped pulsing, Haidee cut it, and then it was time for me to get out of the tub to birth the placenta. I was about halfway between the tub and the bed (maybe a 12 foot distance) when I felt a mild contraction, and a second later out plopped the placenta, right onto the floor! That was apparently a first for both midwives and after I was helped the rest of the way to the bed, as the mess was cleaned up, we all joked about the crime scene of blood spattered walls that would have to explained to the cleaning staff.

I firmly believe that my ability to not just endure this birth without any pain edications or medical interventions, but to actually thrill in it (I clearly remember saying, after a few particularly intense PWs, “this is AMAZING!”), is due to my preparation using Hypnobabies, prenatal yoga, and by reading a lot of positive birth stories and childbirth research. In learning how fear and stress can affect a woman during pregnancy and birth, and about the idea that the experience of pain in (normal, uncomplicated) childbirth is a cultural construct born out of fear- and pathology-based western medicine, I was able to let go of that fear. In re-programming my brain, through self-hypnosis, to understand the experience as intense pressure, and as a positive, beautiful and exciting thing with a definite beginning, middle and end (even if the timing is unknowable), I was able to have exactly the (virtually) pain free birth that I was hoping for, and that I knew I could have.

-Jen (proud and happy mama who still marvels at the fact that this incredible child was formed in and emerged from my own body!)

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Hi All,

Well. . . here’s yet another birth story. I just want to say that I’m so grateful for the Hypnobabies home study course, and for this wonderful supportive email group. Thanks to you all! I’ve especially loved reading the birth stories from other hypno-moms in this group, and feel humbled to be sharing mine with such a special group of people.

Rebecca

Reed’s Birth Story (2nd baby, first Hypnobaby)

I live in a fairly remote area of rural New Zealand. Our local hospital has a maternity ward, but facilities are basic. There is no resident OB, though they do come up here to do clinics. None of the following are available: c-sec, epidural, pitocin induction, assisted deliveries (ventouse and forceps). This means that natural and unmedicated birth is pretty common in these parts! The little maternity ward caters for water birth and allows Dad, Mum and baby to room in together after the birth. Home births are pretty popular here, too. It’s a 2 and a half hour drive to the hospital in the city. That’s where you probably give birth if you are “high risk.” In an emergency situation, they fly you from the local hospital to the city hospital in a helicopter.

I believe that the majority of births in New Zealand are now attended by midwives. Usually a woman chooses one midwife and stays with her for all the prenatal visits, the birth, and about 4-6 weeks of post-natal care. This care is all free and government funded. I think we are very lucky.
***********

I woke up a bit after 7.30am on the 7th of July. I’d been woken by a couple of strong pressure waves and had had the urge to change position and vocalise. . . but resisted the temptation in order not to disturb my husband and 2-year-old son who were sleeping on either side of me. I was 39 weeks + and had only had low-key Braxton Hicks waves so far. Perhaps this would be our baby’s birthday? I decided to get up, get organised and see if the pressure waves would vanish or establish a pattern.

By 7.50am I’d had about four more pressure waves. Due to lack of inclination, not having a stop watch, and my increasing sense of urgency regarding my preparations to get ready to leave the house, I didn’t count or time these waves. But I didn’t need a stopwatch to feel their intensity or to know that each wave was lasting a long time. I was surprised to feel some nausea, and a hot-and-cold trembly feeling when one wave caught me half-way across the kitchen with a jar of milk in my hands. I heard myself singing with the power of these waves (sounds quite lovely when I write about it. . . but probably sounded like one of our cows was stuck in a fence!). In my mind I heard some of my favourite hypnobabies affirmations – especially the one about how every powerful birthing wave was bringing our baby closer to being in my arms – and felt myself lighting up with so much love and anticipation: “Yes! This is our baby’s birthday.” I felt sure of it now, even though I’d only had a handful of pressure waves. Time to wake my husband Kevin and call Tania (our midwife).

BOP**Because our first son’s shoulders got a bit stuck on the way out, Tania had been suggesting that we might travel the 2 and a half hours down to the hospital in the city to have this baby. We’d also talked about probably birthing the baby in a hands and knees position to help him come out easily. Tania had made a point of telling me about a few of the different manoeuvres we could use to birth the shoulders, even though they’d most likely come out on their own this time. She laughed that at least I’m little (under 5’2” and about 100lb when not pregnant) and would be easy to flip over if need be. Still, it’s much easier and less traumatic to move a woman of any size if she knows what’s going on and why! Anyway, Tania now suggested over the phone that we meet at the local maternity annex first, just in case the baby was coming quickly. (She later told me that she could tell from the sound of my voice over the phone that this baby probably WAS coming quickly!) We could then decide to move on to the city if things were not progressing too fast.**End BOP

After another pressure wave, I gave up on the idea of making a quick breakfast, but drank a glass of water in hopes of staying hydrated for the birth. As I woke my husband (who works nights and was not exactly easy to rouse after only 3 hours of sleep) and son (who was in a grumpy and toxic state due to being not quite recovered from a bad case of the flu), and tried to prepare to leave, it began to seem to me that this baby would perhaps not wait to be born at the city hospital. After what seemed like a very long and trembly pressure wave, I went to the bathroom to vomit up the glass of water I’d drunk. I asked my husband to call my parents and ask them to meet us at the maternity annex as soon as possible to care for our son.

Finally we were in the car driving the 20 minutes to town. I had hoped to listen to Hypnobabies affirmations on the MP3 player on the way to town, but our son was throwing a full-scale tantrum and needed my attention. It’s not very nice to be a 2 and a half year old, not quite recovered from the flu and getting shovelled into your car seat in a big hurry one morning without having breakfast. I tried to comfort him between pressure waves. Once we had coverage for the cell phone, my husband dialled my parents’ number and handed the phone to me.

“Is Mum on her way to town?” I asked my Dad.

“No,” he answered, “She’s she’s still here. Kevin told her to wait until you called again.”

“What?? Tell her she needs to come as soon as possible,” I insisted, as I considered biting Kevin’s head off and chewing it up. After brief reflection, I decided to leave Kevin’s head on his body. He was having an intense morning too, and I really needed him to keep driving the car. Then the next pressure wave washed over me. I kept hearing soundbites from the Hypnobabies CDs in my mind – Kerri’s voice reminding me that this powerful experience was strengthening me and my baby and talking about “powerful birthing waves.”

These “waves” were starting to feel more and more like tsunamis, actually. It was hard to relax completely as the car lurched around the corners of the winding country road, but I felt myself welcoming each wave and vocalising as the intensity flooded through me. I think that with a different frame of mind I might have said those waves were “painful.” But I’m not sure. It made more sense to marvel at their power. I looked up and saw a rainbow arcing through the grey morning sky ahead of us. Our son kept up his five star tantrum performance in the back seat. Finally we reached the maternity annex at 8.30am

When I arrived, Tania asked me to pee on a stick for a urine test, but I couldn’t do it. One pressure wave came while I was on the toilet and the next found me somehow on all fours on the bathroom floor. I think my mad cow vocalisations now sounded like something from the wild animal park, but it felt so good to make these noises. I laughed and told Tania I didn’t want to stop the noise because I was connecting with my inner animal! She reassured me that since I was having a baby I was welcome to make whatever kind of noise I wanted. She also remarked that the pressure waves seemed to be just under 4 minutes apart. “They’re good strong ones, she added. That last one was more than 2 minutes long!”

We decided that Tania should give me an internal exam (the only one I ever had during this pregnancy and birth), so that we could make a fully informed decision about whether or not to try to drive to the city. It turned out that I was a “very stretchy 8cm” with a bulging bag of waters coming right down the birth canal. Tania assured me that this baby was coming soon. The waters looked on the point of bursting, and were the only thing holding back the baby. The last 2cm of cervix will be gone as soon as the membranes release, she told me, and the baby is well down into your pelvis and in a good position. No question of going to the city. Water birth was out, too, unfortunately, since there would not be enough time to fill the tub.

I was still up on the bed from the examination and didn’t want to move. I got onto my hands and knees and made powerful wild animal noises through the pressure waves. I was using the Hypnobabies “open open” and “peace” cues, though I don’t think I sounded very peaceful! I felt elated and powerful to know that our baby was so close to being born. My husband was still outside with our son, and I really didn’t want the baby to be born without him. I tried knees to chest position for a few waves. Still pretty intense, but it toned down the grunty pushy feelings that I’d been having and made me feel more grounded.

Tania said she was hoping Leeann, the other midwife, would arrive before the baby was born, too. So I kept leaning forward through the pressure waves to slow things down a bit. Since water birth was out, I asked Tania if we could use oil on my perineum. I’d read about this somewhere and thought it sounded very nice. She said that was a great idea, and no problem. She’d get the oil ready. “I liked what I saw when I examined you,” she added. “Everything’s lovely and stretchy. I think the baby will come out just fine this time.” (Tania knows nothing about Hypnobabies, but plainly she’s a natural when it comes to positive suggestions! All this talk about my “good strong” pressure waves, stretchy cervix and lovely stretchy birth canal was just what I wanted to hear!)

At last Kevin arrived and I leaned my head against him and asked him to rub my lower back during pressure waves. He put his hand on my shoulder and told me to “relax” as well. I was so happy and relieved that he was with me. After a few waves with Kevin and Leeann there, I realised that there was no need to hold back any longer. I knelt up a bit and let my body respond to that grunty feeling of fullness. The waters burst and gushed everywhere and I felt a huge sense of relief. It was 9:10am.

On the next wave, I felt the baby’s head come down and found myself tuning into various Hypnobabies cues about breathing him down and out “aaahh” and relaxing my face, arms and hands. I felt so well prepared and so much in control as I pushed our baby out, even though I think I probably sounded more feral than ever! I felt Tania putting oil on my perineum. It was warm and it felt so wonderful and comforting. After a few more waves I felt the most intense stretching. I said something like, “I’m stretching! I’m stretching so much!” “You’re doing great,” Tania encouraged me. “This is where it helps just to breathe gently and let yourself stretch before the baby’s head comes out.” I panted gently for a bit until I felt the stretching sensation subside. Then I pushed out our baby’s head. I couldn’t believe how easy and good that felt!

Next thing I knew, Tania was saying “Ok, we need to flip for the shoulders.” This really took me by surprise, since everything had gone so smoothly up until now. I was on my hands and knees. Tania and Leeann helped me over onto my back and flexed up my knees by my sides (McRoberts manoeuvre). I heard Tania say, “That’s got him. He’s turning. . . Here he is!” I felt our baby’s shoulders come out, and then the whole slippery length of his body. And then he was on my chest, warm and sticky and perfect!

Reed Brian F. was born at 9.33am on 7th of July, 23 inches long and weighing 7lb 13oz. Wow! That’s nearly 3 quarters of a pound lighter than his older brother’s birth weight of 8lb 8oz even though he’s a whole inch longer! He has long skinny arms and legs, broad shoulders and massive feet and hands. And his parents and big brother think he’s just gorgeous!!

Within 5 minutes he was helping himself to his first feed. The physiological 3rd stage happened just as I had visualised it. I felt great afterwards– the birth was smooth and practically bloodless. I didn’t have even so much as the tiniest scratch and swelling was almost nil. And who cares about “sticky shoulders” when they come unstuck so calmly and easily! We went home a few hours after Reed was born.

Hypnobabies was such an important part of this birth, even though I didn’t use the techniques and tracks the way I thought I would during the birth! I’d always expected and visualised a much slower and more mellow first stage and was really very surprised to have a baby in my arms just 2 hours after waking up in the morning.

  • I didn’t end up listening to any tracks during the birth, and didn’t use the light switch at all.
  • First, because I didn’t seem to have time.
  • Second, because I didn’t actually feel the need.
  • This birth was a wild and intense experience, but I felt so strong and positive throughout – never for a moment did I think that I couldn’t cope or didn’t want to be doing this.
  • I was really glad I listened to the birth guide CDs a few times in the week before the birth, because lots of the suggestions off those tracks came back to me right when I needed them.
  • I felt as if I had a customised birth guide CD playing inside my head!
  • Post-hypnotic suggestion is a wonderful thing!!
  • I fully believe that Hypnobabies helped to “programme” me for a positive and awesome birth experience.

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(I started using the Hypnobabies CDs at home around 24 weeks pregnant.  I used them nearly every single day, usually at night before going to bed. I never did get good at using all the Hypnobabies terms, so this contains all the ‘traditional’ birth language.)

To start off with, a brief recap of my past births.

My first daughter came on her due date, I arrived at the hospital at noon with some mild contractions coming semi-regularly.  Looking back, I obviously went in too early, but my family has a history of lightening quick labors, and my Mom was freaked out I’d have the baby in the car if I didn’t get in there soon.  Triage determined I was dilated to a 4, and had a ‘bulging bag of waters’ that was going to break any second.  So, I was checked in and immediately a nurse came in and said I needed to get the epidural now.  I had planned on getting one, but was surprised they were pushing it now, as my contractions were basically just uncomfortable cramping, and I wasn’t having to ‘do’ anything to get through them.  But, the nurse told me if I didn’t get it now, there was no guarantee the anesthesiologist, who had time right now, would have time for me later.  Scare tactic worked, and I got the epidural, and they broke my water right after.  (I remember being surprised by that, because they hadn’t mentioned they were going to do it, and all I could think of was “I thought it was going to break any second . . . why did you have to do it?”)  Despite that though, with the epidural, my labor basically stopped.  So, on came the pitocin.  Within minutes my baby’s heart rate was freaking out, and they shut off the pit and several nurses were working to turn me and move me into a favorable position to ease the stress to my baby.  I had never felt so helpless . . . my baby was in trouble, they were talking emergency c-section, and I felt like a beached whale who couldn’t even roll on to my side on my own.  Finally, the baby’s heart rate normalized, and they checked me again, told me I was at an 8, but the baby was really high so I’d ‘be pushing for hours.’  Thirty minutes later, the nurse checked, the baby was coming, and I pushed her out in three contractions.  Once things got going, I did end up going really fast, but I hadn’t felt a thing.

With my second pregnancy, I wondered a lot about how things would’ve been different if I hadn’t gotten that epidural so early.  With further study, I determined that natural labor was the way to go.  I was also very terrified of ever needing to use pitocin again, almost to the point of mild PTSD (I’d wake up with nightmares of being frozen in the bed, unable to move while I watched the monitor show ever decreasing heart rates.)  I took a Lamaze class (unfortunately, just one offered though the hospital though), and ‘prepared’ for natural childbirth.  Two weeks before my due date, my water broke and we headed into the hospital at my doctor’s request.  All night I walked the halls trying to bring on contractions, but nothing worked.  In the morning, my doctor was ‘no longer comfortable waiting’ and started pitocin.  I was terrified of the pitocin.  I sat, frozen, in my bed hooked up to all the monitors.  A contraction would come, and rather than relax or breathe, I’d end up so tight and stiff that my muscles were starting to hurt.  I was terrified of the pitocin causing horrible problems for my baby.  Of course, fear is rather unhelpful in these kinds of situations, so I soon agreed to an epidural when I was dilated to a five.  (In retrospect, it hadn’t even been ‘painful’ yet, I was just so fearful of the whole situation.)  Fortunately things went smoothly, and less than 2 hours later I was pushing out another baby girl.  Again, in three contractions, and again, I didn’t feel a thing.

My third pregnancy I knew was going to be different.

  • I was going to actually educate myself this time.
  • And not just about birth practices and the politics of birth.
  • I was determined to study and research actual coping methods beyond just breathing.
  • One thing that kept coming to mind was the fact that with both of my labors, I’d gotten to 4 and 5 dilated before receiving the epidural, and I hadn’t ever been in ‘pain’ at that point.
  • Maybe, just maybe, I could cope with labor more than I thought I could.
  • And maybe, just maybe, labor wouldn’t be as bad for me as it looked on TV.
  • Also, with a family history of fast labors, and my last only lasting 2 hours from when they got contractions going, I wasn’t expecting a very long labor.

I came across Hypnobabies and decided to give it a try. I started listening to it nightly at around 24 weeks pregnant.  First thing I noticed was I was falling asleep, and sleeping better, than I ever have during pregnancy.  My husband and I often joked that even if labor was a horribly painful experience, the program had been worth EVERY cent just in good sleep!

My experience with the CDs, besides loving how they totally relaxed me and put me to sleep each night, was my nightly ritual of putting on my headphones and falling asleep.  Usually within minutes.  My husband teased me that when I went into labor I wouldn’t know anything past the ‘don’t operate a vehicle’ portion of the CDs!  :-)

I practiced my finger drop technique for weeks, but never did do the ‘center’ thing . . . for whatever reason, it just never ‘clicked’ with me.

I worried I wasn’t getting enough from the CDs, because I was sleeping through most of them.  On rare occasions, I’d listen to the CDs during the day (difficult with a 2 and 4 year old running around), but even then they usually put me right to sleep.  I remember the first time I listened all the way through a track that used the ‘release’ cue.  I was shocked when I heard the word ‘release’ and my entire body suddenly just melted into the bed!  Apparently even fast asleep my mind and body were picking this stuff up!

Anyway, moving on to the actual birth.

I was five days overdue, and two days away from an induction my midwife was pushing when I started having really, really mild contractions for a few hours around 6PM.  They were so mild that my husband (who excitedly insisted on trying to time them) finally gave up timing them when I kept forgetting to mention when they’d start or stop.

But they started to fade away after 10PM, as I knew they would, since I felt strongly we’d have the baby the next day ,so we went to bed.

When my water broke around 11PM we decided to go straight to the hospital — I put on my headphones for the first time at this point to start focusing on relaxing, since I was nervous about the water breaking bringing on intense contractions.  When we got to the hospital I was having the same very minor contractions I’d had earlier.

The nurses there had no idea I was contracting, and were pretty surprised when I was almost 6 centimeters dilated.  They moved me to my room, where I found out my midwife was out of town, but was excited to meet the other midwife in the practice, who I’d heard a lot about.  She told the nurses I didn’t need an IV, so she became my hero (my midwife had pretty much insisted on a hep lock).  I’d been more fearful of an IV than almost anything about labor, so this was a huge relief!  Except that after a half hour they decided to give me fluids (’cause they were concerned about the baby’s  heart rate and lack of amniotic fluid — still ironic to me that I couldn’t drink any water though!).  :-)  So, I ended up with an IV.  Oh well.  The nurse was actually really sweet and amazing doing the IV, since she knew I had a phobia about them.

And it didn’t end up bugging me, because I found that once I was in my room the only thing I wanted to do was curl up on my side and block out everything else and focus on the tracks on my iPod . . . to the point that I made my husband go lay down on the couch and get some rest and just leave me to myself.

What amazed me at this point, is that the contractions had started to become more intense . . . but not much.  They had my attention, and I couldn’t always relax through them anymore, but I could relax between them.  I don’t think they were showing up much on the monitors.

I had my husband come rub my back through one, and that felt great.  Then I had him do it during the next one, and it was distracting and made the contraction feel more intense, so I had him go lay back down!  :-)   At this point, I was starting to get a little worried about how I would deal when labor really got going.  I was still doing great through them, I was barely even changing my breathing or anything for them, but they had my attention. I wouldn’t describe them as painful though.  I kept thinking that the contractions were so ‘small’ (I was only feeling any pressure in a fist sized area above my cervix) and they didn’t feel that strong or like they were coming that often, so I was worried I had a long road in front of me.

I suddenly felt like I had to go to the bathroom, and had the nurse come in and help me get unhooked from everything so I could go in and pee. I went in and had few more contractions sitting up on the toilet, which convinced me I wanted to get back to bed!  Having my headphones off, and sitting, seemed to make the contractions more intense, so I wanted to get back in bed and curl up on my left side again where I was more comfortable.

Once I got back too bed I paged the nurse to come in and hook me back up, but suddenly turned to my husband and said, “I think I need to go to the bathroom again.”  While in the bathroom I had one contraction that was fairly uncomfortable, and thinking back, I realize there was blood that came with that contraction.  I came back into the room, where my nurse and husband were waiting.

I didn’t put my headphones back on, as we were talking with the nurse. She mentioned that they felt like maybe I needed to get up and walk around, the get these contractions coming stronger and more often.  Seems I wasn’t the only one thinking I had a ways to go.  I politely declined though, saying with it being the middle of the night, I’d rather get some rest for a little bit.  (It was 1:30AM at this point).  I had one contraction while we were talking about the privacy/safety policies of the hospital.  I had a second one just a few seconds later, this time I could hear her and follow the conversation, but the contraction had the majority of my attention.  Then I had a third one right after.  I remember she was talking about making sure I filled out the menu/meal request forms while we were thinking about it. :-)  This one made me whimper a little, and change positions.

She suddenly looked at me and said, “I wasn’t going to check you yet, but maybe I should . . . ”  I agreed, and as she came towards me I suddenly cried out, “I think I’m pushing!” Sure enough, she checked and he was crowning.  I couldn’t believe it, she hit the nurse call button and was calling for anyone who could come, but there wasn’t even time for her to drop down the bed or anything . . . and for all my stressing about what position to push in, turns out all I could do in that case was just lay back on the bed and push, it happened so fast — he came all the way out the next contraction.  Right onto the bed, with the nurse just sitting at the foot of the bed.

He was born right onto the sheets in front of me (no pads or anything down), and I sat up immediately and the nurse helped me pick him up and I held my beautiful new baby against me.  It was amazing. She had said there’d be a lot of pressure and then burning — the pressure was definitely there — I screamed out for a few seconds, (out of effort and surprise though, not pain), but there was no real burning. It was literally over in a minute or so, it was crazy.  I was immediately hit with this realization of, “that was it . . . I did it and it was so much easier than I thought it would be.”

It was intense there at the end (but really like the last 20 minutes was all I had that felt even uncomfortable, and it was just those few contractions in the bathroom, then those three back to back that turned out to be transition that were intense.)  It was over so quick and it had never gotten anywhere near what I thought it would be like.  It was suddenly just over and it had actually been painless.  And the second he was out, I couldn’t even remember it being uncomfortable.  It was just an amazing thing to experience.

It was intense for a few minutes, sure, but never really anything I’d describe as painful.  But then we were there and it was over with and I was struck by the idea that I could do that again, (I actually turned to my husband within 20-30 seconds of pushing the baby out and said, “Wow, I could do that again!  Like, right now!”) And I felt almost silly for having had two epidurals in the past when it was that ‘easy’ for me to give birth!  I had to have a few stitches (old episiotomy scar tore a little), but other than that, everything was great.
My baby boy was 8 lbs. 1 oz., with a 80th percentile head.  He was a full two pounds heavier than my last baby, and a pound and a half bigger than his oldest sister.  And yet he just slid out in one contraction.
The nurses who all gathered were shocked by our birth.  My baby and I were kinda ‘famous’ during our hospital stay — we were the ones who’d had no doctor in the room for delivery.  Many of the nurses had wrongly assumed it was a natural birth on accident, but I proudly corrected them that we had planned and prepared for that natural birth, and it had been amazingly easy.

It still amazes me that a labor and delivery nurse with more than a decade of experience was chatting with me literally minutes before my baby was in my arms and she had no idea I was nearing the end, and didn’t seem to think I was really even in active labor (remember that ‘get up and get these contractions coming’ suggestion?  That was seconds before my last three contractions that apparently were transition.)  I’m still curious about how those last several minutes, when I was in the bathroom and then talking to the nurse, would’ve felt different if I’d still been doing my Hypnobabies and listening to the tracks.  Those several minutes were the ‘intense’ portions of labor, but they were also almost the only time I didn’t have my headphones on.  Who knows, it could’ve been even easier, if that’s possible, if I’d still been focusing on relaxing and my cues!
As much as I put into preparing myself for this birth, I never, in a million years, would’ve ever even hoped for such an easy, quick or comfortable birth!

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This is baby #5 for me, my second all natural birth, and my first Hypnobaby.  I had started the Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis program around 22 weeks, I wanted to  be fully prepared this time, since my last birth was anything but calm and natural.

I had a guess date of July 27th, but in my mind July 16th stuck out. Thursday July 15th, about 10 pm I started having pressure waves but panicked because my mom, who was suppose to watch my kids, was still on vacation and wouldn’t be home until Friday afternoon. I had been achy all day and the waves meant something was happening!

My Hypnobabies training helped so much, I felt tightening, hardness, but no discomfort. I knew this was the start of my birthing time and had my bags ready. For hours I was on my birthing ball- rocking, swaying, bouncing, laying. It was the best $13 I’ve ever spent!!

My waves were 5-6 minutes apart, getting really intense, but with my peace cue were totally manageable. I could feel changes, the baby was getting lower and pressing back, causing a bit of discomfort in my lower back. I listened to Easy First Stage and Deepening until 4am.

Then everything stopped. Totally and completely stopped. I went to bed totally frustrated, but slept.

Friday morning my husband stayed home from work, thinking I’d start back up and we’d have our baby. Nope. I walked, rocked, did laundry and housework. Not a pressure wave all day. My mom called to tell me she was home and ready when I needed her. I relaxed a bit after that, knowing my little ones would be taken care of by grandma.

About 8pm I convinced my husband what got us into this would get us out and I had a few pressure waves, but not enough get labor going. About 11 I went to bed.

I woke up about 4am to intense waves, 3 to 4 minutes apart. These were low and really hard. I was using the release/relax cue which helped, but I was surprised how hard and fast these were coming. I called my mom about 6am and jumped into a hot shower which felt so good I swear I didn’t have any waves at all, and that made me think that maybe I was wrong and labor would stop again.

After I got out it hit me that I needed to get to the hospital- NOW!! Thankfully my mom was there and hubby and I were off. We got to the hospital about 7am, where he went to admitting (even though we’d done all the paperwork and had already delivered three babies there) I went to L&D.

I knew I was close to delivering, but no one seemed to take me seriously. I was told to “give a sample and then we’ll see where you are.” I told the nurse for the second time I was close to having my baby. She just looked at me. I went into the bathroom, stunned, knowing there was no way I was peeing in a cup, then went back to the desk and said again that I needed a room, I was close.

Instead I was taken to triage. I was told to get undressed and lay down, and was hooked up to a monitor. I started getting a bit mad when 2 interns came in asking stupid questions. I told them again- not very nicely- that I have had 4 babies, I know when I’m close, and I needed a room so I could get back into my hypno-groove. The first one asked me when I had my first menstrual period. It was like the Twilight Zone, no one was listening. I was having hard waves that I probably could have controlled better if I was listening to the CD’s, but by that time I was just doing my best not to rip off the intern’s head.

Then she asked how far apart my waves were. I remember yelling that I didn’t have a clock, they were on top of each other and I could feel his head getting lower. The intern did a internal check and her eyes popped. She said I was 9-10 cm, the baby’s head was really low and I was ready to deliver. Gee, I told them that 20 minutes ago.

After being wheeled into a room, I got my angel, dressed as a nurse. She was pro-natural birth, having done it 3 times herself, and knew that I needed the squat bar, she rubbed my back, she told me I could do it, my body was made for birth. All that time I was swearing like a sailor, yelling ‘peace’ , and trying to breathe. My waves were more like one long wave with many peaks, and after 3 peaks everything changed.

My body was pushing, and while the intern was yelling ‘don’t push- your doctor’s not here!’  my angel-nurse calmly told me to do what my body wanted. There was no stopping, and honestly it felt good to push. After 2 or 3 hard waves/pushes my water broke. The nervous little intern was freaking out, calling the resident OB and making all kinds of noise.

In walks my doctor ordering everyone out, dimming lights, and telling me to relax and just do it. By now my legs were done so I sat back and for the first time I was in a position to see my son’s head come out, he was crowning and I pushed between waves- worked like a charm! This was the first time I didn’t need an episiotomy, didn’t tear.

His body slid out and he was placed on my chest with a warm blanket over us. Everyone stepped back and let my husband and I get to know our little man, who let out a few cries, looked up at me, then stuck his hand in his mouth and sucked on his fingers. There was no rush, everything was calm.

After about 10 minutes, my husband cut his cord, and he took him to be weighed, I delivered the placenta and was cleaned up. Braxton was 6lbs 12 oz, 20 inches long, and born at 8:08 am, about an hour after getting to the hospital.

Every nurse that came into my room knew I was the one who “came in complete and went natural.” I was told that 1 or 2 women a month actually have a non-medicated birth, and the nurses all brag about the ones that accomplish it. My hubby did a bit of bragging himself!

I felt that I could have had more control if I had gotten to the hospital sooner, but all that matters is that I did it. No interventions, no IV, no meds. And I felt great. My recovery has been a breeze!

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It’s incredible how much a woman has to fight to be in control of a child’s birth, to have a voice, to separate normal from abnormal, truth from standard medical practice, and most of all to diminish the fear that is the enemy of childbirth and trust her body.  This is the story of how Olivia, my first child, was born:

I had a wonderful and enjoyable pregnancy. But the weeks leading up to her “due date” were considerably tense. I’d planned to relax at home and be in peace and enjoy some last days of just me and my husband. My doctors (I chose to maintain dual care though would be attended by a homebirth midwife with a separate practice)were alarmed, knowing they weren’t in control, and insisted that I come in up to 3 times per week for monitoring and testing (my blood pressure had been elevated my entire pregnancy, which can be a symptom of pre-eclampsia, which should be taken very seriously. However, this wasn’t the case for me, I had a higher baseline.) . The stress was unreal (probably doing much more damage to my blood pressure), as although both myself and the baby repeatedly proved to be doing excellently, the doctors pressured me to induce as a “precautionary measure”. I knew this would be a dangerous thing to do for her and for me, and the slippery slope that would follow.

I started feeling the pressure to get things in motion, knowing that the messages from the doctors would intensify as I went past my due date (May 29th).

On Friday, the day before her due date, we decided it was time to start coaxing her out and after going through some of the natural ways to get labor started(wink), when I went to bed that night my Braxton-hicks contractions (painless practice contractions) became very regular and were accompanied by an ache in my lower back. Needless to say, I didn’t sleep that night, as every10-15 minutes the waves of pressure returned.

I’d listened to my Hypnobabies tracks but only fell asleep to them and never managed to stay on schedule. It was still incredibly effective for me, particularly the “peace” and “release” cues as well as the constant affirmations. I learned that fear and tightening and adrenaline are the actual causes of pain, that your mind can be in complete control of how everything plays out.

And it was true. Saturday morning came and the contractions (still felt nothing in my uterus only at times very uncomfortable– lower back pain) spaced out. I started panicking realizing that I wasn’t even in labor yet and worried that when it did really start that I would have the dreaded back labor and lose control.  I knew my baby was left occiput posterior so the contractions in my lower back confused me. Every time I let my mind go there, my body would tighten and the pain would come alive and take over.  But then I chose to release. To just shut down and let myself float on the waves with my breathing.

Saturday night came and again there was no sleep. Same thing, now only 8 minutes apart. “Release” I commanded myself, and let every muscle of my body shut down and ride the wave. It was no picnic, but it passed.

Sunday we walked to church, and I smiled and chatted in between contractions (which slowed during the day) as friends commented “Hey, weren’t you due yesterday!”  During the service, my husband Kevin hit the timer on his stop-watch each time I signaled a contraction.

Sunday night came, as much as I dreaded the evenings, and for a third night, no sleep. I couldn’t believe how long I’d had this “pre-labor” and how much I had to concentrate to stay deeply relaxed through contractions. Plus hello, I was tired. In the corners of my mind I feared what real labor would be like and if I would really be able to handle it like I’d been telling myself all these months. I’d had some “bloody show” and so I knew I was at least effacing but my midwife told me it could still be days or a week away. In those moments of fear and anxiety I actually felt intense pain through my body. At one point I was jerking on the bed through a contraction, wishing everything would stop. Kevin encouraged me to believe and utilize the tools that I had used to prepare. It took a hot shower with water spraying down my back and major mind coaching to bring me back to a controlled state and I calmly went to bed with my Hypnobabies tracks playing on my ipod, knowing I would only rest for 10 minutes at a time.

But by Monday morning I was worried and tense. I had a doctor’s appointment the following day with more testing and monitoring and I knew that it would mess with my head and with the process. I still hadn’t gone into labor and was confused as to what was happening to my body. I was having these contractions, which I assumed were “Braxton-Hicks”, since they were painless in my uterus, but was having back pressure (I’d learned to disassociate the word pain as much as possible from the process) that was requiring me to go limp and loose to relieve.

On Monday around mid-day Kevin and I went for a walk around the block, that took us about 45 minutes. The same contractions came closer together to about 6minutes apart and several times we’d stop and I’d turn into a deadweight and hang on Kevin with my eyes closed as people walked by perplexed and scared (ha, I think I scared the little boys at the lemonade stand on the corner). It was the only way I could make them not hurt, but just feel the pressure intensify and escape, by shutting down and mentally saying “release”.

When we got home, I finally called my mom. Up until now, I hadn’t told anyone what was happening because frankly, I was fed up with everyone asking if I was in labor yet (there is something about being near the end that makes you want to hibernate). I’d also always planned to have a private birth with only Kevin and my midwives present. Suddenly I wanted my mom there, and arranged for my aunt to come and give me acupuncture to accelerate the labor process.

Well it did! When my aunt Gilda came several hours later, she found me in a chair with my body slumped on the table. I’d put a finger in the air whenever I felt a contraction coming, and that was everyone’s cue to pretty much shut-up J. Otherwise they wouldn’t have even known I was having one. After the acupuncture session, they started coming ever 3½ minutes. We figured we should call Joni, our midwife.

I still didn’t know that I had been in “labor” this whole time.  Even when we called the midwife, I was worried that we were bringing her over for no reason, and that I would be no more than 1 cm dilated. Kevin started filling the birth tub just in case, since it would take quite a bit of time to fill (and later I found out that when we ran out of hot water, they were boiling pots of it at a time to get it in there!).

By the time my midwife came and listened to the baby it had to be around 9 pm. I was doing what I’d been doing the whole time, shutting down with each contraction and staying calm by relinquishing control. What a mind game! Well imagine my surprise, when she said to me, “Angie, you are nine centimeters dilated.” What?! I did all of that already (well, I mean technically it had been 3 days but I thought it was fake labor!!!)?! I think I remember croaking in response, “Holy crap that’s so awesome.”  I really wanted to shout in elation and jump up and down but figured it probably wasn’t the best idea.

That moment gave me so much confidence. I was really doing it! I’d been doing it all along without really realizing it. Still, although I’d believed I’d been in pre-labor these past 3 days, I was constantly replaying these affirmations in my head:

Release.
My body knows exactly how to birth my baby.
Open.
I am safe and my baby is safe no matter how much power flows through me.
Peace.
I deserve an easy and comfortable childbirth
.”

Shortly after, I got into tub and it felt amazing. Actually, my contraction slowed down, and I had quite a bit of a break, wondering if I’d reversed things. I was literally just chillin out in there waiting for something to happen. The apartment was quiet and dimly lit only with candles. My mom rubbed my shoulders with lavender essential oils and prayed over me, and in between listening to the baby on the Doppler, my midwife offered me vitamin water through a straw.  I kind of felt like a queen. Kevin came into the tub with me and put counter pressure on my back and supported my body. Temple Passmore’s (hypnomom) sung version of Psalm 23 was playing on repeat in the background. I felt so loved and supported, and knew I was bringing Olivia into the world in the most gentle and peaceful way.

Eventually I recognized that squatting would bring on the involuntary pressure I needed to push and bring my baby out. We actually put a little stool for me to sit on in the tub. And so I just let it happen slowly and with time. Every so often a contraction would come and I just let my body do the work for me and stretch slowly. It was so interesting. I could feel everything happening, and could work and stretch my muscles purposefully, and yet if felt so different than I imagined it would. I wasn’t in pain, but at the end apparently was roaring like a lion (ness) with the intensity flowing out through me (I later learned that my neighbors from the house next door could hear the whole thing. Awesome.). My water broke in the tub 10minutes before she was born. At one point I felt a tightness and dull burn and knew she was crowning. Joni, my midwife, asked me to reach down and feel and there was Olivia’s soft and very full head of hair starting to emerge. Oh my God, so much hair! I remember exclaiming, “Oh you beautiful girl!” I got to a point where I just pushed with all my might (and apparently, voice) and suddenly heard Joni say, “Kevin and Angie, reach down and meet your baby!” For some reason I was shocked and confused that she was out! And all in the same push! She came flying out with her hand on her face.  It was 11:19 pm.

There aren’t even words to describe the bliss and elation and wonder and miracle of picking up your newborn baby and meeting her for the first time. It will never, ever get old. She had her eyes wide open and stared for a split second before spitting up water and then belting out the screams that she is now famous for. It was out of this world.

We all moved me over to the couch, baby in arms and cord still attached, so that I could deliver the placenta. The cord was kind of short so I couldn’t really bring Olivia up higher than my belly. Kevin cut the cord after it had stopped pulsing. It seemed like the most normal thing in the world that I would be on my couch delivering my placenta. Ha, I bet it will make visitors think twice before sitting down to watch TV.

Joni examined Olivia while she was on me, and eventually weighed her at 7 lbs 5ounces and 19.5 inches tall. She was healthy and perfect. I felt on top of the world. (I had only a tiny tear that didn’t even require stitches and healed on its own by two weeks). Kevin whipped up some pancakes and scrambled eggs and fed me while all this was going on (I’d worked up quite an appetite.) Afterward, I went to shower, the grandparents came inside to gush over the baby. Our midwives stayed until the wee hours of the morning, and left the three of us tucked into bed.

I really believe had I not been so anxious about what was going to happen, and especially about the pressure from my doctors, the process would’ve been much shorter. In spite of it all, it turned out to be exactly the beautiful birth that I wanted. I can’t imagine doing it any other way. I’m so glad that I decided to go the Hypnobabies route, even if I didn’t follow it to a tee. You can call it hypnosis, or deep relaxation or whatever you want, but whatever it is IT WORKS. And I will for sure be doing this again!

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I love so many elements of this birth story!  Enjoy reading.

I can’t believe its finally my turn to post my birth story :)

A little background: On July 18th I was 40w 3d (according to my LMP) pregnant with my 3rd little boy . My first two boys were born at 39 and 38 weeks so I was surprised I made it that far. My husband was not with me as he had to go overseas suddenly and I was a bit apprehensive about not having him with me during the birth. But thanks to the ladies in this group I was encouraged to teach my mom a few techniques to help me during my birthing. My midwife had this idea that I was subconsciously waiting for him though. I told her I had come to terms with his absence and I was not worried but she said that I may be unaware of it myself on the conscious level….

Anyway, around 7pm on June 18th I was out walking with my mom (an oft-recurring scene during those days!) and we received a phone call from my husband. He said he had some urgent news he had to share and wanted us home to chat face to face on skype. So we hailed a cab and went home. As we were walking up to the building, our doorwoman (who I love!) said we had received a package, so I follow her to the package room and I find: MY HUSBAND!! I was so shocked and unprepared that for a minute there all I thought was, “dang that guy looks just like my hubby!” Then I snapped back started screaming and jumping (yes jumping!) for joy! All my husband said was, “ok I’m here, so are we ready to have this baby now?”

At 5 am (10 hours after seeing my husband) I woke up with some pressure in my tummy, I used the bathroom, felt better for a second then realized that I was having regular waves.. I was SO EXCITED!! I woke my husband up who said with his eyes half-shut, “now thats what Im talking about!” He was so calm yet excited, it was a lovely feeling.. I called my midwife who said to meet her at the birthing center.. I put on my birthing day tracks and started listening to them on speaker as I was getting dressed. We called a cab, picked my mom up and headed to the center. We live in Manhattan so traffic here was a constant worry for me, thank God it was 5:30 am! Throughout the car ride I was listening to easy first stage and I was so relaxed. I felt like I was in center the whole time, talking to the driver, my husband, my mom on the phone all while relaxed and calm. At some point my midwife called and said the center was full and that I would have to be admitted to L&D. Strangely though I didn’t panic or get upset or anything, I just looked at my husband who said, “whatever happens will be whats best for you, you know that right?” and I did! All those affirmations and statements on the tracks came rushing back and I just couldn’t be fazed.

We arrived 20 minutes later and my midwife met us at the door smiling. She said, “good news, one of the rooms at the center is now free”. My husband looked at me with his “I told you so” expression :) We went into the room and I put the ipod headphones in my ear and tuned everything else out.. My midwife checked me and said I was at 6cm, at that point I had had no bloody show, no loss of mucus, liquid, nothing.. I got up to pee and splash! a whole gush of what looked like water was on the floor and all over my hubby’s feet!! I remember my midwife telling the nurse to hurry up, that I was going to have this baby soon and I wasn’t sure what the rush was. (start BOP): my first two non-hypnobaby births were a day and half a day long! (end BOP)

That first wave after my water broke finally signaled to me that something was happening. I went down on all fours, my husband started squeezing my shoulder telling me to relax and to open. My midwife asked if I was feeling pushy and I wasn’t yet (start BOP): in previous births I had pushed when my midwife said push, once I had reached 10cm.. I had tears in both which needed stitches.. this time around I was determined to breathe my baby outand to push only when I felt I needed to (end BOP) I was actually surprised she was asking me that early on – I mean I hadn’t even reached  the ‘pushing baby out’ track yet… but apparently she was right! the next wave came and i felt my body pushing and my baby’s head crowning… by the next wave I heard some weird sounds coming out of me as I was breathing out (I had been completely silent up until then).. sounded a bit animalistic if you ask me! All I was thinking was “sliding the baby out” and that’s exactly what happened..at 6:28 am

Now comes the phenomenal part! I was still on all fours when the midwife held my baby and my husband tried to support me back onto the bed… I ask the midwife, “Is he ok?” and she stammers “um um its its a girl actually!!” I lay down on the bed and looked at my husband saying, “what did she say??” At that point I took my baby in my arms and sure enough there was my baby girl!! I couldn’t believe how blessed we were! My husband had been praying for a girl for so long and we were told at our U/S appointments to expect a boy.. we were still happy of course, picked out a name, bought new stuff and bonded with him and now we suddenly have a girl!!!

And that’s the story of how Sarah came into the world! I can’t begin to stress how amazing Hypnobabies has been for us as a family. Also for those starting late, I started at 33 weeks, but I was very dedicated to the program. I also fell asleep through most of the tracks but for some reason everything comes back to you when you need it the most.

Thank you all for your help, your stories have inspired me and given me hope. I pray that everyone has the most beautiful birth ever!

Marwa –  Mother to Adam, Abraham, and now Sarah :)

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I posted a few months ago about wanting a home birth vs hospital birth.  Everyone on this group was so supportive  and we decided to do a home birth.  I am so glad that we did.

I thought I was going to be “overdue” but I figured that, like my first child, it would only be a few days.  Umm..nope, I was 13 days “overdue”.  At 41 w 4 d my midwife wanted me to go to the hospital and get an non-stress test.  Everything looked was great except for a couple of jabs from the on call doc about my homebirth so I went home.  At 41 w 6 d I went back for another one.   Ugh.  I was really stressed at this point because my midwife couldn’t continue my care after 42 weeks.  Everything looked amazing again.

I got home around 3:00 and took 4 T of castor oil. It wasn’t bad since I mixed it up in a root beer float :) Nothing happened…and by nothing I mean none of the side effects that you hear castor oil giving you. I figured it was worthless. My mom and I walked to the store to get some stuff for dinner and we rented a movie. The boys got home from hiking and we started the movie around 8. I don’t think I made it even5 minutes into it. I was sitting on the exercise ball and pressure waves started coming every minute and a half. I started panicking thinking that this is not right, these are way too fast.   My husband Brian gave me a blessing and I got in the shower. Brian called the midwife, Kathy. She said she would be about an hour. I got out when the hot water ran out and they had spaced out to about 5 minutes apart. These were easy to handle, every time one would come I would just drop to my knees and lean on my exercise ball in front of the fan. Kathy got there and got set up and took vitals and everything. I was a little worried labor was going to stop. Finally at two am I asked Kathy to check me and she called it a generous three….I was a little discouraged. Right after her check things got intense fast. Brian was totally AMAZING.  I really don’t know what I would do without him. I got in the tub which felt great. After an hour Kathy wanted me to get out and walk around some.

I started feeling the urge to push so she checked me and I had a little lip left but said I could push if I wanted. I labored on the toilet for a little bit and then got back in the tub. I didn’t have that overwhelming urge to push with Claire but boy….I couldn’t have stopped pushing if I wanted to.  My midwife was so laid back. She just sat in the rocking chair and every 5-10 minutes (I think) came and checked the heart rate which was always great. I loved being by myself to push. I could reach and feel the head coming down. BOP It was really hard to slow down when he started crowning and I did let out a scream when his head came out…I totally felt a little tear…yuck. END  He was born in his amniotic sac which was so cool. I tested negative for GBS  but was positive for my first pregnancy so I visualized my water not breaking.  Yay!

Kathy just came over and guided him up to the surface and unwrapped the cord which was around his neck and body. I sat back and brought him up to me. It was amazing. He just looked around at everyone and didn’t cry at all. He had some stuff in his throat but Kathy said it wasn’t bad and he could work it out. No rough suctioning!! We sat in the water for a long time. I think it was over ten minutes before his cord stopped pulsating. No crying…just relaxed. Finally Brian cut the cord and took Jack…my feet were falling asleep. I couldn’t stretch out in the tub because I was a little too short to reach the other side without Jack getting too low to the water.

He was born at 6:18 am  on 6/18 so I went from  a 3 to delivered in 4 hours. He had 9/9 apgar scores. I think I nursed him in the tub and then when I got out. kathy examined the placenta which I delivered when I was in the tub. After an hour maybe? she did the newborn exam. Nothing was rushed…everything was done at the end of my bed. My baby was never taken way. I had one tear up but it wasn’t worth stitching and hasn’t hurt. Amazing considering Jack is over two lbs heavier than my first at 8 lbs 15 oz! In fact, my bleeding has been so much less compared to Claire’s birth. Pain too…I took someIbuprofen but not much and not all the time. Recovery is going so good this time.  He is three weeks old and we have moved from Washington to Utah.  I loved my homebirth and my husband, who was TOTALLY against homebirth when we were first married, loved it too.  He talks about it all the time.  Once again, Hypnobabies was amazing. I kept repeating phrases over and over.  It was intense but awesome.

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