Someone is writing a book about Childbirth Carreers. She has a survey that she wants workers to fill out.
If you work in the childbirth field, please go fill it out. It only took about 5-10 minutes.
We just had a lovely discussion on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group about the power of birth.
Trisha said, “I have been thinking about this for a few weeks. I hope my thoughts come out somewhat clearly (placenta brain and all). I practiced with #2 almost perfectly. I had a pain free birth. It was fast and furious, less than 2 hours. I pretty much started in transition from the get go. I was intimidated and frightened by the POWER I felt. I wasn’t in pain (although I wasn’t completely comfortable because I was overwhelmed). Nothing hurt at all. But it was as if the power of the universe was coursing through my abdomen and I was afraid. Until my dh got to my side and began saying and doing all the right things (about an hour into labor he got home from work) I couldn’t let go.
I just share this little piece with you because I think I somehow missed that it could still be intense and powerful without being painful, and the fear that I had could have turned painful instead of just feeling powerful.”
Michele responded, “I think that’s a really good description of what it’s like. It actually really amazes me how powerful a birthing woman really is (the trick is to embrace that power rather than fear it, I think). I consider myself to be pretty physically strong, but my uterus must be the strongest muscle in my body, hands down. :)”
L added, “I have been thinking back to my first birth experience and thinking that if I had been able to relax and recognize the feelings as power instead of discomfort that I would have been able to birth him naturally as well. After reading your post I am feeling much more relaxed about this birth, knowing that I will CHOOSE to view the feelings as power.”
P then said, “This topic is really something I can identify with. Hypnobabies, for me, was fantastic about helping me overcome my fears around childbirth. My childbirth experience was indeed ‘powerful’ and ‘intense’ but I would not categorize it as ‘painful’. I think overcoming our fears puts us in such a better place to see that childbirth is a normal and natural experience. My daughter was in a bad position and it was a long intense labor. Hypnobabies helped me to relax and handle each wave. But, yes, it was powerful. I think it is important for us to remember that powerful and intense DO NOT mean it has to be painful!”
Finishing up with,
“I absolutely love this!
Embracing the powerful & intense experience that childbirth is instead of fearing it.
The power is within us as a woman’s body is built for it.”
Guess date: Wednesday, March 18, 2009, first baby
Avery Catherine, 6 lbs. 5 oz., 20 in. long, born Thursday, March 26 at 1:31 p.m.
True birthing time began Wednesday, March 25 around 2 a.m.
Success with Hypnobabies? Absolutely!
Pre-Labor (Skip or read with BOP)
**Mild pressure waves started Sunday evening, March 22 and they were perfectly manageable so I went to sleep. I thought we might even have the baby by the next morning! Ha! How wrong I was. PWs continued through Wednesday night becoming more uncomfortable and I wasn’t able to use my cues for some reason. It was probably all mental. I’d been Fear Releasing and Birthing Day Affirmations but something was still holding me back. Probably because I was a first-time mom, I was just scared. However I did and still do (even more so now, absolutely believe in Hypnobabies and know that we chose the very best way to birth).
By Wednesday night I was literally bored to tears from sitting around and not sleeping, and PWs were still inconsistent. So my wonderful husband turned on a bath for me and lit some candles. I had a glass of wine (never drank of course during pregnancy but I’d read some midwives say it was a good way to get things going) and boy were they right. I was refreshed and peaceful and the PWs started to pick up from here. For about 10 minutes I was moaning in the kitchen. But this was the only time during the entire birth that I actually felt pain.**
Ahhhhh, Hypnobabies brings relief!
The very moment I put my headphones on and listened to the Birth Guide CD when it was time to leave for the hospital, I was SO relaxed and comfortable. The midwife checked upon arrival and I was 6 centimeters and waters still intact! YES! What a great feeling. I was so happy and this carried me through until I was complete and ready to push at about 9 a.m. I didn’t even know I was in transition. It was just more intense but I wasn’t aware of any particular shift. Just overjoyed to hear I was complete. I felt SO great and my husband and Hypnobabies doula worked so well to keep me hydrated and encouraged. The nurses were wonderful and respected my birth plan. It was actually our midwife, who, while she did have a great bedside manner, and was extremely encouraging when I needed her to be, was also all about the “standard of care” and bossed the nurses around too much for my liking. You just never know. But I was allowed to move around even though the midwife was making my sweet nurse follow me around with the monitor to check the baby’s heart rate. But at least she was able to follow me and I didn’t have to lie down. It was tough on the nurse, I know, but she always found a strong beat, which I have to say, was comforting even though I wanted that monitor off me.
Let me just say a word on doulas. Hire one if at all possible and if she doesn’t know Hypnobabies, train her. Find someone who is willing to learn. I relied mostly on my husband for physical support during the birthing waves, and all he had to say was “relax” or “release” to get me through, but it was my doula who I remember turning to most during transition and pushing. At that point I needed someone who had been through it and believed in her own body in order to maintain focus. My husband was getting a bit anxious and was asking a lot of questions, and our doula was incredibly supportive during this time. Through this increased intensity, I never once felt pain.
Time to Push!
BOP needed NOW. Skip these next two paragraphs if you want. They are not important to the overall success I had with the program, and I will preface it by saying that the more intense things became, the more Hypnobabies kicked in. And I was only about a C+ home study student!
**I honestly thought we’d have the baby by 10:30 a.m. or so. Boy, this little girl took ‘patience’ to a whole new level. I pushed for four and 1/2 hours, which was certainly no one’s plan, and in the end my body was clearly giving out. Yet in the end, everything was so worth it. I can’t say why I had to push for so long. My pelvis is obviously quite small since Avery was just 6 lbs., 5 oz. and really seemed stuck, and I did have a substantial tear when she was born at 1:31 p.m. (Even though I know plenty of small women who push much larger babies right through.) But I had no idea I’d even torn, and held and loved on my baby while I got stitched up. Also, the midwife had right away guided the placenta right out and I barely felt it. I am healing so well from the tear and have had a virtually pain-free recovery.
Just two thoughts on this: DO YOUR SQUATS. If I’d been physically able to stay squatting for longer (and if the hospital had had a squat bar like they should have), I think we’d have had our baby sooner. Also, don’t delay listening to your Pushing Baby Out track. I never really had a chance to listen to it since I was saving it for Birth Day, and by the time I needed it I couldn’t get my headphones to stay in. At that point I just needed my doula to give me the cues, and she did. Chiropractic care earlier also may have helped get my pelvis in better alignment. I will definitely be going earlier next pregnancy. But as challenging as the pushing phase was for me, the mood in the room during those hours was extremely peaceful. With each push I continued to remain confident that we were getting closer. It certainly was frustrating to not be able to literally see the fruits of my labor until 1:30 p.m., knowing that all FOUR grandparents were in the waiting room going crazy and ready to meet their very FIRST grandbaby, but everyone just kept encouraging me and telling me what a good job I was doing. My doula even ended up telling me to hold my breath some. While this is not normally a part of mother-directed pushing, I was glad she did because it helped give me a little added force when I was needing it. She said as many births as she’s attended, she’s never seen anyone quite as persistent as we were! After Avery was born, I looked at my doula and said, “That was hard!” And it was, but really only because I was going into it with no sleep. Hypnobabies absolutely helped sustain us when we needed it.**
Avery was SO alert and peaceful at birth. There are no words to describe how amazing it was to see her for the first time so I won’t even try. She scored 8 out of 10 on Apgar at one minute old (I think because of blue feet) and they stole her from me to put her under the warmer for a few minutes. She was 9 out of 10 at 5 minutes.
In the days after Avery’s birth, Kerry’s sweet voice continued to echo in my ears. The voice of an angel who helped us have the very birth we dreamed of!
This is an interesting new way for moms to learn about birth. There was an article in the New York Times about this. Lights, Camera, Contraction
I posted my Hypnobabies Birth Video of my VBAC Hospital Birth of Bryson on You Tube
I posted this over 2 years ago and 428,782 people have watched it. I know it has inspired a lot of moms to look into hypnosis for childbirth. My birth video ended up on the news in Georgia, when a mom there cited it as the reason she used Hypnobabies.
I think that moms posting and watching birth videos on You Tube can be positive. You just need to be selective about the videos you watch. If you go to my You Tube Channel you can see a list of my favorite videos. Many positive birth videos there.
If you have posted your Birth Video on You Tube. Please leave a link in the comments! If you have a birth video, but haven’t posted it… well think about posting it. Your video may inspire many women to learn about how great birth can be!
Here are 2 of my favorite videos.
The first is Temple, singing during her birth. Here is a link if you want to read about her birth story.
The next is a great video for women who were told their pelvises were too small to birth their babies.
In Hypnobabies we refer to EDD (Estimated Due Dates) as Guess Dates. There is really a 5 week window in which a baby can come and be considered full term. From 37-42 weeks is normal. So I actually like to say a Guess MONTH!
My first baby was a preemie, born at 34 weeks. So when I was pregnant with Carson, I really wanted to go full term, but I never imagined I would have him at 42 weeks. His “due date” was August 18th. I always said, “He will be born somtime in August.” He was, he squeaked in on August 31st.
When I was pregnant with Bryson I figured I would probably go to 42 weeks again. He was due the beginning of October. I had 2 friends who were “due” the same time I was. They both had their babies the beginning of October. I remember vividly being at a soccer game, seeing my friend with her 2 week old baby and me still being HUGELY pregnant. I was ok with it, because mentally I told myself, he will be here by Halloween. It seemed like all my friends were freaking out that I was still pregnant, but because of my mindshift of a “guess month” I was pretty zen about it.
I really recommend that moms be vague about their “due date” or if pressed add 2 weeks to it. I would try to tell people I am due in October and they would say, “But WHEN?” So I would say, “He will be here by Halloween.”
How did they come up with due dates anyway? Are they accurate? But if I go past 40 weeks it might be bad for the baby. These are all questions that come up with regards to due dates. Here is a great article giving the answers to these questions and more.
Remember it isn’t an Expiration Date, it is a Guess Date!
I FINALLY got to sit down and write this all out this evening! I did not really use Hypnobabies fully, but I can say without a doubt it CERTAINLY helped me stay relaxed, especially early in my birthing time. I know that it helped me avoid a panic attack during transformation/pushing as well!! I certainly will recommend the program to others in the future b/c even what little I was able to use made such a huge difference for me!! I want to mention specifically that I printed out the positive “what if’s” and taped them up in my bedroom so I could always remember to focus on the positive and let the negative go!!! ;-) It was a wonderful experience overall!! I wish everyone the very, very best! I will probably go special notices for a while after this. Being a mommy of three small ones is just about all I can handle right now ;-)!!
Thank you all SOOO much!!!
Birth Story of Cael
February 11, 2009
8 pounds 12 ounces 22 inches
I woke up around 5:30AM with some mild crampiness. Since I had prodromal labor for weeks, I wasn’t convinced this was really labor. I felt like I had to go to the bathroom, so I did. I decided to lie back down to see if I could go back to sleep. Just a short while later, I felt I needed to go to the bathroom again. I sorta laughed at myself saying this was a “sign” of labor because I was cleaning myself out :-). I tried sleeping again, but it just wasn’t going to happen. So, I timed some of the “cramps.” They were about 8-10 minutes apart while I was lying down. I got up to take a Pepcid because I had horrible heartburn. I noticed as I was up walking around it seemed like the cramps were pretty close together. I timed a few then and suddenly they were about 3 minutes apart!
I woke Jason up about 6:30AM and told him he probably should call the midwife—I thought this was finally it. I then went to run myself some bath water. While the water was running I came back and Jason was asleep again. I woke him up again and asked if he’d called her. He groggily asked me what was going on. I told him I was having contractions 3 minutes apart and he NEEDED to call the midwife!! He got up then. I got in the tub, and the water was SO relaxing. Jason called the midwife, and she said she’d get her things together and be here as soon as she could. She knew there was a possibility my labor would be fast.
In the meantime, Mom and Clayton got up and started getting Clayton ready for school. Clayton came in the bathroom a couple times and hung out with me before he went off to school. We didn’t tell him that he might come home to his baby brother.
I was very relaxed and calm in the tub, but the contractions were still coming about 3 or so minutes apart. I was playing my Hypnobabies CD in the background, but at some point it started skipping because there was a big scratch on the CD. I told Jason to please turn it off and bring me the computer. I started playing the tracks on the computer and decided I would let some people know that I was actually REALLY finally in labor :-).
My midwife and her assistant arrived and started setting things up. My mom joked later that she didn’t realize they still boiled water, and she had used almost every pot and pan in my kitchen getting everything ready (including breakfast).
I stayed in the tub as long as I could, but eventually the water started getting really cold. Around 8:15AM or so I decided I needed to get out at least for a while and then we could run more hot water if we needed to. I told Jason before I stood up that I was afraid to get out of the water. It had helped me relax so much. I think somehow, subconsciously, I knew that once I got out things were going to get really intense really quickly. I had a contraction as I was getting out of the tub and Jason held me up until I could walk again. My midwife asked me if I wanted her to check me, and while we were debating I had a couple more contractions and had to lean over on the bed. My mom said when she saw me do that, she knew I was getting close. We decided not to do a cervical check because I was afraid I might get discouraged or upset if I hadn’t made much progress.
I got on the bed and was flat on my back for the next contraction. I felt a little pop, but I didn’t know what it was until something started flowing out. I told them I thought my water broke, and they checked to make sure. She asked if she could check me then to make sure nothing was coming out or whatever. I was 7cm then, and I let out a big, “Thank you Jesus!”—and everyone laughed. :-) For the next contraction I rolled over on my side and I felt the most tremendous pressure. I told my midwife I felt a lot of pressure, in a confused sort of way. She then told her assistant to get by me because I was feeling “pushy”… I was really confused because she had just checked me and I was 7cm. I was scared to death to push before I was complete because I did not want to hurt myself or the baby.
I asked Jason to sit behind me and support me because I did not want to lie all the way down. My midwife reminded me to stay off my tailbone if I could, so I sorta leaned over onto my right butt cheek to take the pressure off. Jason was wiping my face with a cold wash cloth because I was sweating like crazy. He kept pushing it down in my eyes and it was really bothering me, LOL! He also tried to readjust my headband, but it was irritating me too so I ripped it out of my hair and threw it across the room :-). He really was great to me though, even when I was digging my fingernails in his legs during contractions!
The next couple of contractions I still felt like I needed to push, and this was the one moment that I really almost panicked. But, I kept telling myself that everything was fine, and my midwife kept reminding me to just do whatever my body told me to do. So, I finally did push. After that contraction I let everyone know that it was unproductive and I was slightly irritated. I told them I wanted my left leg lifted up on the next contraction, so my mom came in to help. I told them it was coming, so Mom lifted my leg up for me, and I pushed with a primal growl :-) Cael’s head came right out in one push. They all were telling me I was doing great, etc. I told them I just wanted it OUT!! So, they told me I was doing it. The next push forced the rest of Cael’s body out onto the bed—9:06AM, just a little over 3.5 hours after I “thought” I might be in labor and about 45 minutes after active labor kicked in, our beautiful little boy was born! The midwife’s assistant said she was expecting a bit of a sticky shoulder—she had NO IDEA he would come out so fast. So, she wasn’t really ready to catch him :-). At least there was plenty of soft bed down there for him to land on! I told them when it came down to it, I didn’t have time to mess around with all that slow pushing stuff :-)!!
They lifted him immediately onto my tummy and I started rubbing him and talking to him. He let out a couple soft grunt-cries. Once again, I was completely absorbed by the miracle that had just occurred. We waited until the cord stopped pulsing and then Jason cut it. I held him for a very long time. I can’t remember if I let him nurse before or after I delivered the placenta, but he did wonderfully! They finally took him to clean him up a bit more and measure him and weigh him. Everyone made a guess of what they thought he would weigh. No one thought he was the almost 9 pounds that he was!! :-) We all also commented on his head full of hair (of course my only girl was the bald one!), and his skinny long legs. His Apgars were 9 and 10, and he was just perfect!!
The midwife said he and the placenta looked about 41 weeks, so those weeks that I was afraid I was post dates, he really wasn’t that “late.” I am SO thankful that I was willing to wait and let HIM choose his birthday and be born in the best way possible!
For most of that day and night, he would spit up tremendous amounts of amniotic fluid (midwives at home births don’t typically suction a baby unless there is a problem, so he had to get it out the old-fashioned way :-)). I could not imagine where in the world he had been holding all of that!! He and I spent most of the rest of the day hanging out in the bed. We had a couple visitors—Aunt Jessie came by and held him for a while and then my daddy came for a little while. I woke Anna up when I was pushing, so Jason had brought her in to meet her new baby brother. You could tell she was completely confused, but she was already enamored with him! When Clayton got home and saw him, he asked me if the baby was in my tummy and I told him that he had finally come out. After a few minutes of confusion, he finally made the connection and he has been a wonderful big brother ever since (at least until Cael is old enough to touch his things!!)!
Finally having a home birth brought many mixed feelings for me. First of all, it was THE most amazing experience ever. It was SO much better than a hospital birth and certainly incomparable to a surgical birth! Everything was extremely peaceful and relaxed and natural. No one was bothering me or forcing me to do whatever was convenient for “them.” I was safe and comfortable in my own familiar surroundings. Cael was so calm and alert for such a long time afterward. Jason kept saying he couldn’t believe how alert he was, and I told him it was because he was born so peacefully! But, on the other hand, there is a strong possibility that this is our last baby. So, I am sad that I will probably never get to have this experience again. I won’t lie and say that I enjoy pregnancy or even labor, but that amazing high you feel after bringing life into the world—the way it was MEANT to be—is absolutely indescribable!! <3 :-) :-) :-)
Clayton 6/1/2005 – c/s
Anna Cate 1/11/2008 – VBAC!!!
Cael 2/11/2009 – HBAC!!!