|S. Rachelle Smith, MSW
Late Dec – Early Jan in Hawaii – Cell (808) 347-0803
Clinical Social Worker, Educator, Mentor & Energy Worker
For Peaceful Relationships, Wellness & Childbirth
I teach Hypnobabies, Birthing From Within, How to Avoid Marrying a Jerk, WifeWORK: What Marriage Really Means For Women Today, Motherhood: Myths & Misconceptions, Taming the Chew, PAIRS Passage to Intimacy, PAIRS Hot Monogamy, PREPARE-ENRICH marriage education and Myers-Briggs Type Indicator workshops and classes.
I also provide LaHo-Chi, Reiki and Healing Touch Energy Work sessions, gentle, natural hands-on treatments that facilitate a deep state of full-body relaxation, which stimulates the mind-body connection and the immune system response.
Unfortunately, it was after my own highly medicalized, traumatic twin birth experience in 2002 that I began to see how huge the gap was between what I had read and was taught in the “mainstream” and what I really needed to know to be effective during childbirth. Knowing how this gap negatively affected my postpartum health and our family’s most formative first year together, I started off on a mission to help others build this bridge for optimal family wellness. Hypnobabies undoubtedly offers this much needed link and provides endless possibilities for creating empowered moms, peaceful birth and magical beginnings for families.
Archive for October, 2009
Well, Matthew is here – born 10/16 at 1028 pm, 8.5 lbs, 21 inches.
Here is his very very long story – sorry, just kept writing.
This definitely needs a BOP at times, but thought I’d share anyway. Also, occasionally a possible TMI.
I have had two previous inductions that were very good. I had some IV meds with both, but no epidural which was my goal this time as well. This time, we are in the UK where they don’t HAVE IV meds. The only pain options are gas and air (laughing gas) and an epidural. Again, I did not want to have the epidural, which is how I found the hypnobabies program – trying to find alternate pain management and stumbled across it. I love the concept, so decided to give it a try.
Since I had two very successful inductions already, I was completely ready for my induction Monday morning, Oct 19th at 41+4. Well, on the 16th at 530 pm he decided he was ready on his own and broke my inner bag of water which then started leaking. I remember standing talking with my four year old and thinking “either my waters just started leaking or I have a bigger bladder problem than I thought.” So, I called the midwife who said come in and we’ll check what is going on. Meanwhile, I’m leaking every time I move so I’m pretty sure this is it. Hubby got home, we had some dinner, said bye to our two girls and my parents who have been staying with us, and headed to the hospital. At this point I still haven’t had a pressure wave – the entire pregnancy. I think I had ONE practice pressure wave this pregnancy.
We got to the hospital at 630 pm. While checking to see if it was my water, the OB accidentally ruptured the rest of it – guess that was the water. I was at a 2, same as I had been that week at my 41 week appointment (the only time I was checked). I had declined testing for Group B Strep – assuming that I had it since I have twice before, so we decided to induce so he wasn’t exposed to the bacteria for an extended period of time. We could have waited to see if pressure waves started on their own, but there was no sign of any coming, so at 650 pm we started the drip and I got my antibiotics.
Well, I am now a firm believer that the drip meds in the UK are stronger than the drip meds in the US. I was fully prepared for the induction, having had 2 very similar – one 17 hours, one 8 hours…..well, nothing had prepared me for this experience. We turned on the CD and got situated.
About a half hour after the drip started I had the thought that I was going to need an epidural for this child – there was already no way I was going to make it through this without one, but I’d see how far I got. I hadn’t had a BM all day and I needed to go. It was still early, and I knew it wasn’t a push feeling, so they let me go. I took a little longer than they would like, so they kept asking “are you ok” through the door. About an hour later I had to go again – this time loose stools. Again they were asking through the door. Finally my midwife asked if I’d like her to come in – I said yes, told her what was going on – and she was ok with the fact baby wasn’t coming, but body was cleaning itself out, so she left and told my OB and hubby that everything was fine.
Listening to my CDs were helping, but things were becoming very intense, and I was definitely starting to feel pain. About 9 I told my husband “they are just coming so fast” – I couldn’t see the monitor because it was on the other side of the bed, and it was just printing out on paper so he couldn’t see it either. He was VERY helpful with my relax cues. By his watch he figured that the pressure waves were coming every 30-45 seconds and were lasting 45-60 seconds, so they really were coming one on top of the other. It was so intense that I was starting to be in my own world trying to manage that I wasn’t really hearing the CD, and definitely wasn’t able to concentrate on it. About the time I said that to DH, my midwife decided it was time for a check. I told hubby if I was a 6 or less, I was having that epidural. We agreed that I would try the gas and air first, but then I would have the epidural. Turns out I was a 7, so that was good – I figured I’d try and hold out a little longer. My midwife also decided to stay there during a pressure wave and help stretch a little – that was quite painful, but I was not exactly in control.
At this point I decided that the gas and air was a really good idea, so I started using it, learning how to manage the pressure waves with it, and I gained control again. I felt I had to go to the bathroom again a little later – but just wet. They kept asking if I felt pressure in my rear – which I didn’t. So, we were getting ready to walk across the hall to the bathroom again, but decided I couldn’t leave my gas and air that long. So, they actually did something creative – made a toilet on the chair putting a waterproof pad, then a bowl so it was more comfortable than using a regular bedpan. While there I was also having loose stools – which my midwife kept saying was a sign of clearing out and getting ready. This was about 1015 when I got back in bed. I was working on getting back on my side but found I could not put my knees back together – and was really struggling. They were still asking about pressure in my rear, which I still wasn’t having. However, after about a minute I realized that I couldn’t put my knees together because there was a head in the way. My midwife was already planning to check me when I got back in to bed, and I knew exactly what she would find. Sure enough, there he was.
So, we started pushing. It was a midwife/self led pushing. I wasn’t exactly using the breathing technique, but I was completely listening to my body. Again I was at the point where I was out of control, even with the gas and air. I could hear everything going on, comprehend most of it, but couldn’t respond to anything. So, I was trying to focus on what my midwife was telling me. She was FANTASTIC!! She let me lead, and simply told me when I needed to stop pushing – I’m assuming to prevent tearing. After three children, I have finally learned the definition of the ring of fire! There were several pressure waves that she said I could push when I felt like it, but I could feel myself about to tear so I stopped. After about 7 minutes his head was out. Then I could feel the rest starting to come – but everyone (midwife, DH, OB) were all yelling at me to stop pushing. Well….I couldn’t stop – my body had completely taken over. I knew what they were saying, I was telling my body to stop, and it just was refusing. So I am hearing “cut it now!” because they figured out that I wasn’t going to be able to stop. Finally after about 90 seconds he started to cry. Apparently he had been breathing, so no one else was worried, but I hadn’t heard him, so I was. Come to find out they were yelling for me to stop because the cord was wrapped twice around his neck – so that was pretty scary. Placenta delivery went great – apparently I have a very large placenta…no idea J He was born at 1028 pm.
I did manage to make it without an epidural – which was my biggest goal. Also, I had a VERY small tear that required no stitches – a first for me. I was up and showering within 2 hours of the birth. I feel absolutely incredible. I understand now why people would want to leave the hospital within hours of birth, or have a homebirth. I also understand why people are afraid of induction. If this had been the experience with my first I’d never do it again.
I told my husband later that night I felt like a hypnobaby drop out – it was definitely NOT a pain free birth. However he made several very good points to me. First, when I was listening to my CD and able to concentrate I was doing well. Even as things spun out of control for me, whenever he would use the relax cues, I did so immediately. He said it was amazing to watch me be completely tense and go to complete relaxation with that single action. He had been very worried about the role he would play in the birth between the Hypnobabies CDs and my midwife – he was absolutely indispensable (as he has been at each birth). So, those whose DH’s are worried – really, they are needed.
I definitely learned that listening to your body is amazing! There really is a recovery period between when you are fully dilated and when your body is ready to push. Hypnobabies helped me to listen to my body, advocate for myself, and be willing to try something different.
I firmly believe that if circumstances were different, hypnobabies would have been a great success for me. It was the speed and intensity of the experience that caused me to lose control and be unable to manage the pain without the gas and air. Had I known about hypnobabies my last pregnancy, I truly believe I would have been able to have a pain-free birth with her, even with the induction. This time I went from 2 to delivered in 3.5 hours. The pushing stage was listed in the notes as 8 minutes. It was definitely the most intense experience of my life. I think if I had been able to go on my own, this program would be wonderfully successful. I am very grateful for giving it a shot – it did help me during the labor many times, as my husband lovingly pointed out. It was simply the circumstances that did not allow me to have the whole Hypnobabies experience I wanted, and that’s OK – it helped me with my biggest goal which was to avoid the epidural, which I definitely would not have been able to do without Hypnobabies.
Thanks to everyone for all your support, I’ve enjoyed being part of the group.
I got an epidural with my first child and went natural with my second. I debated the first half of my third pregnancy if I would have a natural childbirth experience again or if I wanted the epidural. When I went natural with my second, the pain was unbearable and I thought I was going to die–literally. Just thinking of the pain would sometimes make me feel panicky. I was so hesitant to get the epidural, though, because I knew that it could really lead to complications and make the recovery a lot harder.
A friend of mine told me that she did hypno-birthing and that I should look into it. I kind of wrote it off because it sounded expensive- you have to buy the program and possibly hire a doula- none of which insurance would cover, but insurance would cover the epidural. After a while I decided that I would at least investigate on the internet. I stumbled across the “Hypnobabies” webpage and I read what they had to say. There were great success stories of women using self-hypnosis to control the pain of childbirth. I found a video on “youtube” of a girl who used hypnobabies and when she was dilated to 9 cm and about ready to push, she looked like she was asleep. On the video she dubbed her voice in and said, “You can tell I am having a pressure wave here because I breath deeper.” I thought that was amazing because when I hit 7 cm with my second, I was shaking, screaming and squeezing my husband’s hand so hard that he was squirming to get away from me.
I found a doula in Rexburg (Kelly McKamey) who was “hypnobabies” certified so I called and asked her all the questions I could think of. This idea of using deep relaxation and allowing my body to accept what it was experiencing was intriguing to me. I then made a pros and cons list of getting the epidural or learning the hypnobabies program. I determined that if I was going to go natural again, I had to do something different. I would need to go into the labor equipped with tools. I came to the conclusion that the epidural would be the easiest way, but had the potential to create problems. The more I considered hypnobabies I realized that it would be a lot of work and preparation, but would have the biggest payoff. I thought about how proud of myself I would be. I saved the money, scheduled my doula and ordered the home study program.
It took planning and effort to make sure that I did all of the practice and preparation, but I did it. My original due date was August 9th. In July Kelly called and told me that she had an emergency and needed to see her daughter in California and would not be back until august 1st. She really apologized, especially because there is no one else in the area that is trained in hypnobabies. I began to worry because my second came 8 days early and she wouldn’t be back until 8 days before my due date. It is very interesting to note that one small aspect of the program is to visualize your birth, down to when you would like to begin labor. In my subconscious mind I always told myself “not any earlier than August 1st.”
Saturday, August 1st I went into the midwives office and was checked. I was dilated to 2 cm and 80 % effaced. She stripped my membranes and told me she wouldn’t be surprised if I went into labor that night. I went home and worked as hard as I could to get the garden weeded. I started feeling my pressure waves, but I kept on working hoping to get done. My husband was out dirt biking but he kept texting me to make sure I was okay. I didn’t finish weeding before I realized if I didn’t go into the house right then, I might not make it in because my pressure waves were getting pretty intense.
It was about 6:00 pm when I went in. I laid down to do some hypnosis. Jaron made it home with a pizza and he put the kids to bed. I ate a little bit, but I mostly laid still on the couch down stairs and listened to my hypno-babies cds (on my I pod). I tried calling Kelly to see where she was at about 9:30-no answer. I moved up to my bed and just kept listening my I pod. I tried her again at 11:30 pm and she was home. I was sooooooo relieved!! I told her what I was experiencing and she advised me to get up and walk around every so often because sometimes when you are in hypnosis you don’t realize how strong your pressure waves are. I got up and walked from my bed down the hall. I barely got to my daughter’s room and had to sit on her bed because my pressure waves were so strong. I called Kelly back and we agreed to meet at the hospital.
We got there about 1:00 AM and checked in. I was dilated almost to 6 cm. Kelly was such a strength and comfort to me. Every time I had a pressure wave she would put one hand on my forehead and one on the back of my head and gently speak words from the hypnosis scripts. We walked around and bounced on the birthing ball. I laid in the Jacuzzi for a while. Kelly would pour warm water over my stomach each time I had a pressure wave and she had a sheet of paper that my husband could read mini scripts from. It was cool to hear his voice.
At this point I kept feeling like my labor was slowing down. I kept feeling like my pressure waves were getting further and further apart. I was worried that my labor was stalling. I got out and we walked around. The midwife Rachel said that she had to assist with a c-section and after that we would break my water. I knew once my water was broken that I would go really fast. I started to get really nervous because I remember transition (in hypno-terms: transformation) with Hudson. That was the part of sheer deathly pain. I asked Kelly if she had any mini scripts she uses that were from the “fear release” session. She said, Why don’t you get comfy in this rocking chair with pillows and listen to the full “fear release” session on your I pod. That was tremendously helpful for me.
Immediately after, my water was broken (I was at 8 cm, 5:30am). The pressure waves became extremely strong, but there weren’t as many as I thought and I was able to mentally control the pain. I began pushing and I pushed the head out. Kelly said, “Brooke, reach down and feel your baby’s head.” So I did and when I brought my hands back up Rachel the midwife said, “Brooke, reach down and catch your baby.” I actually reached down and caught her and brought her up onto my chest!! Isn’t that amazing?
Kelly was so wonderful. She stayed to give me a foot rub afterward. The midwife and nurses clipped the cord, but they didn’t clean her or weigh her. They just left (after my placenta had delivered, which was a piece of cake-with my second I had complications with my placenta delivering; another thing I attribute to hypnobabies). I nursed and just held my baby for about an hour. Kelly left shortly after, but came out to the house a week later to see how everything was going.
It was so fun to visit with Kelly about the birth and have her insight on things. The whole time during the labor I kept thinking that the midwives and Kelly must think I’m not in real labor because my pressure waves were so short and far apart and not very painful. In talking to Kelly afterward she said that quite often because of the hypnosis, moms don’t actually recognize when the pressure waves start and end very accurately. Kelly shared something with me that I didn’t remember happening that I thought was so awesome. Right before I was about to push, my midwife Rachel said to Kelly, “You’re going to have to tell me when she’s having a pressure wave, because I can’t tell.” That is amazing to me because with my second, the minute they broke my water (at 7 cm) I was screaming and writhing in pain! When I thought back, I was a mirror image of the girl I saw on “youtube”!!
Also, my after labor cramps and pains were un-noticeable, the nurses kneeding my stomach was something I remembered being horrible, but this time was nothing to speak of. I was so alert and had so much energy! About an hour after, I was up and showered and feeling fantastic! I give all the credit to hypnobabies! I felt so good when midwife Helene was checking me out of the hospital the next day and she said that Rachel told her I was a perfect model of what a hypnobabies birth should be!
I used hypnosis to help with sore nipples from breastfeeding. I continue to use it to get to sleep at night.I have such a special spot in my heart for this birth experience and Kelly for her help. I am so proud of my self.
This was the equivalent of completing a marathon for me.
I do have pictures on my blog. It is the unedited/non hypnobabies
version of my story and even longer! In fact I had to post it in two
parts. I actually had a photographer there and have over 250 pictures
but as you can imagine not all are suitable for posting on the web!
Here is our blog:
Part 2 (with photos)
Background: We live in Taiwan (Asia). DH left on a long and necessary business trip to Europe and planned to return to Taiwan at 39w. While this was cutting it close, I myself was born a week late and I’d read that first babies usually take a little longer to “bake” so I figured we’d be ok.
At 38w3d, I wake up at 7am on Friday morning due to abdominal discomfort. I thought it was the baby doing his morning calisthenics again – I’d been having those same feelings off and on in the mornings over the previous week or two and thought it was him stretching out since my belly would be totally lopsided. In hindsight, I realize it may have been Braxton-Hicks contractions (which I had thought meant your tummy would get round and hard – I guess not!). Unlike previous times, it did not go away and I could not go back to sleep by changing positions or applying light pressure. This did not make me happy because I’d be up late the night before working. At 8am, the uncomfortable feeling was intensifying, so I texted my doula to ask her if these might be BH. She wrote back, “sounds like early labour! any mucousy discharge? loose bowel movements?”
I’d been having loose bowel movements since (of course) the night DH left on his business trip (~2 weeks prior), and while that is a sign that your cervix is ripening, it doesn’t tell you when you’ll start childbirth. However, that morning went from the loose bowel movements that would make a Metamucil commercial proud to something more like diarrhea. I also had the slightest tinge of pink mucousy discharge, which in retrospect was my bloody show. My doula Angie and I discussed my signs over the phone and she recommended I get in touch with DH.
I still didn’t think it was early labor because the discomfort dies down and I still cling to my belief that my daily affirmations to the baby that he will “be born easily and naturally after September 30th” will work (little do I know that he only paid attention to the first part of Mommy’s request).
DH calls me back when he gets my message at 7am his time in Belgium. It’s around noon, I think, and I relay Angie’s assessment of the situation. At her suggestion, I take a walk around the garden in our complex and the PW (“pressure waves,” Hypnobabies-speak for contractions) come about once or twice every 10 minutes. During the PW, I either slow down or stop walking and just breathe through them. DH is simultaneously on the phone with a travel agent and at that point decides to head straight to the airport to get back to Taiwan ASAP (I think he finds this crazy route to get back, something like Brussels-Helsinki-Hong Kong-Taipei) – the soonest he can get back to Taipei is before noon the next day, so roughly 24 hours away.
I still don’t think I’m in early labor, but DH and Angie agree that it’s probably best for him to come back. I really hope his last-minute plane ticket is worth it and that it really is labor, and that the baby waits until Daddy is back to arrive! During that day, I manage to have a Skype conference call with my accountant in the U.S. over my tax return (and he doesn’t realize that I’m in labor)!
At about 4pm, Angie comes over to check up on me. We sit on my couch and have a nice chat. I breathe through my PW when they come, but it’s totally manageable (still I think about every 10 minutes). Based on her experience with other births, she thinks it is totally conceivable that things won’t really get started until much later and DH has a chance to make it on time. Take a nap or a bath (water in early labor slows things down), or watch a movie, she recommends, because I want to be well-rested in case things kick in in the middle of the night. Little do we know my baby will be born in about 4 hours!
She leaves. I call my girlfriend and she offers to bring over dinner. I accept her offer since I don’t really feel like cooking. My friend says she needs to run some errands first, but she’ll be over in about an hour and a half. That’s fine, I tell her – I’m going to take a bath to relax – and she can come over, we can have dinner, maybe watch a dvd, have an early night.
I run the tub and get in with a good book. I have the presence of mind to keep my cell phone next to the tub by the bathmat. I become engrossed in the book, but realize after awhile I’m having trouble concentrating every couple of paragraphs. I call Angie. She sounds a little concerned since she’s on her way to dinner with her kids, and asks me to keep her posted. About 15 minutes later (at roughly 6pm), I call her to tell her I think my water broke (I hear a pop and there is a gush of fluid in the tub after a PW – at that point, it’s like my body is doing that breakdance move where the whole body moves in a wave on its own – so I logically conclude that either my water broke or I lost control of my bladder and peed in the tub, and I pick the former conclusion). Angie immediately turns her car around and offers to send her kids along with her nanny in a cab so she can head straight to my place, but I insist she first head home so that she can pick up her video camera as I really want to have the birth filmed since it seems like DH is going to miss it.
I’m not sure at what point I did this, but when the PW really pick up in intensity, I decided I need reinforcement of my hypnosis cues (since I just listened to the tracks at night before bed and barely practiced at all). It takes all of my focus and concentration to get out of the tub to unlock the front door and put on my Hypnobabies soundtrack. I debate between the “Positive Birthing Day Affirmations” or the “Easy First Stage” tracks, and I decide that since the PW seem pretty intense, I’m going to go straight to the “Easy First Stage” even though I don’t think I’m there yet. I get back into the tub and decide that I’m not doing any more moving. I figure once I have the CD going, I can go more easily into hypnosis and the PW won’t seem as intense and I can wait for them to die down. Except they don’t die down, but keep coming.
Angie keeps me posted on her progress to my home – she’s stuck in rush hour traffic. So is my friend. Sometime around this point I finally accept the fact that I am in childbirth, and I just let my body take over and go with the flow. I’m feeling very calm.
Angie asks if I can meet her downstairs so she can take me straight to the birth center. I can’t get out of the tub on my own, I tell her – it would take too much focus away from going through the PW. Just to answer my cell phone (which is outside the tub) and not drop it into the tub while I’m on the phone takes a lot of concentration!
She tells me that once my friend arrives, I am to tell my friend to help me out of the tub, get me dressed, and go downstairs so we can go to the birth center. Less than 5 minutes later, my friend shows up. Actually, when she arrives the doorman calls to see if I’m expecting her – and I can’t even get out of the tub to answer the cordless phone on my nightstand right next to the door to the bathroom, just one step away from the tub. I call her on her cell so that she can pass me onto the doorman for me to give him permission to let her in. He tells my friend he thinks I sound a bit ill. “She’s having a baby,” replies my friend.
When my friend shows up in my bathroom, I relay Angie’s directions to me and then I tell her, “but I’m not leaving this tub. You can go pack my birth bags.” Angie shows up about 5 minutes after my friend. I look up to her and I say, “this must be transformation (Hypnobabies-speak for transition), right?” She says she needs to check and goes to get her disposable gloves. Now, I’d read in my research that transformation is the most intense part of childbirth, and that there’s usually a natural break after mom is fully dilated to give her time to gather up energy for the pushing stage. Angie checks and says that not only am I fully dilated, she can see a quarter-size bit of head!
Now, at that point I wasn’t really sure if Hypnobabies was working, because I was not completely numb to all sensation with hypnotic anesthesia. I could definitely feel something was happening in the sense that when I was in the tub, the PW became these intense convulsions (for lack of a better word) that took over my body, but I hadn’t realized I’d already gone through transformation and was well into the pushing stage. Keep in mind that epidurals are usually given at around 3-4cm in dilation – well before transformation!
Back to the childbirth: Angie immediately calls my doctor who promptly freaks out and tells me to stop pushing and go straight to the birth center. Now when you are in active labor, there is no conscious choice. It’s like if you get traveler’s diarrhea – your body is going to expel what it doesn’t want whether you like it or not. The thought of getting into a moving vehicle is the last thing I want to do. My dr suggests calling for an ambulance. The thought of panicked paramedics mucking up my home and going to an unfamiliar hospital is even less appealing.
I have Angie and my good friend (who officiated my wedding) in my home. I am a low-risk pregnancy and the birth is obviously progressing rapidly and smoothly. I tell Angie we’ll just have the baby at home because he’s already sneaking his way out and go to the birth center afterwards. Angie goes into the nursery and tells my friend to stop packing the birth bags as we’re having the baby at home. My friend asks Angie, “so are you a midwife?” “I’m a midwife student,” replies Angie. My friend, bless her, calmly takes this in stride and asks how she can help.
They gather up all the towels in my home and I eventually get out of the tub and onto my bed. I start on my hands and knees, and then roll to my side to rest. Childbirth feels like awful constipation – I feel like I have the biggest poo ever stuck in my colon, I tell Angie, and then promptly apologize to the baby for likening him to poo. Since I’m feeling this way, I decide to move onto the toilet. Angie is great, providing support (literally – I lean on her doing PW) and my friend is photographing and filming the whole thing. In between PW I am relaxed and do things like comb and fix my hair so that it’s not in my face, and be all Martha Stewart-y by directing cleanup so that everything is neat and in place.
When the baby’s head has descended even more, Angie suggests moving off of the toilet since obviously he’ll be harder to catch. I agree and I end up standing, leaning against my closet as Angie sits of the floor to catch him. His head slowly inches out. At one point, DH calls to get an update – he’s transferring planes in Helsinki. My friend answers and tells him the head is out! Just before 9pm, his head out, he does a little turn so that his shoulders can come out and with a whoosh, his whole body slides out and Angie lifts him up to me. We are so ecstatic and it’s wonderful to have my baby in my arms! He looks just like his daddy!
We pile any remaining towels onto my bed and I go there to lie down so that the baby and I can have our skin-to-skin bonding time, he can try to latch on, and I can birth the placenta. In a short while, the placenta is birthed and we wrap it up in a old Asian WSJ. At this point, I’m starving and I want to eat that dinner that my friend brought over!
I get dressed and go to the dining room and eat my dinner – I feel a little shaky – the kind of feeling you get after a huge physical exertion (e.g. intense swim practice, tough water polo game) and your blood sugar is low. I feel like I’ve run a marathon or hiked one of Taiwan’s tallest peaks with just a few energy bars. I snarf my food down while Angie holds the baby and my friend cleans up.
We then head to the birth center (my dr is in a panic, remember). On the way over, I mention I could still eat a Whopper (not my usual order of a Whopper Jr., but a regular-sized Whopper). We arrive at the birth center – no parking spots by the entrance, so we park about 15-20 meters away and I walk into the birth center with my baby in one arm and my placenta, wrapped in newspaper and in a plastic tub, in my other arm. Later on the nurses keep commenting on how I didn’t seem like a mom who had just given birth, given how I just strolled into their reception area where they were all waiting for us.
It turns out I had a 2nd degree tear (skin & muscle) which my dr sews up (for the record, that was much more uncomfortable and stressful than childbirth, even though I had local anesthesia – I did not prepare by going into hypnosis first as it caught me off guard). When I first arrived, my dr was very upset about the home birth and the fact that I’d taken so long to arrive since Angie had first called (I thought it was perfectly reasonable for me to have a good meal after giving birth to my baby, and I obviously didn’t have that same sense of urgency she had). I’m on a high after the birth and don’t mind her freak out at all; I just keep thinking, I just had my baby and he’s the most wonderful, adorable thing ever in my arms!
Perhaps my dr had thought that I had secretly planned a home birth. I am actually one of those people that’s quite comfortable with having my natural birth in a facility with all the backup medical resources available – but as they say, the first rule of parenting is to expect the unexpected! Anyways, after she inspected me she said that my cervix showed obvious signs of fast dilation and seemed to realize that hypnosis for childbirth can work so well that everyone (myself included!) can miss the signs of how quickly its progressing.
Even though I did not get my water birth, I had an amazing childbirth experience. Ultimately, it was exactly the way I wanted – smooth, natural, and peaceful. As Angie said, the three of us women worked together to create this great environment that was as pleasant as a few girlfriends gathering together for afternoon tea – except that instead of nibbling on petit fours, we had a baby!
Montgomery County, MD
As a Hypnomom of two great kids, I KNOW that Hypnobabies can work wonders! My experiences were so wonderful, I had to become a Hypnobabies instructor. I’m so excited to be helping Moms have a comfortable, and enjoyable pregnancy and birth experience!
Our precious baby girl was born 2:40 a.m. on September 29! Here is the story:
I was working at my laptop at the dining room table until after 11:30 p.m. on the 28th (my “guess” date). I was having some mild contractions, but I had been having them for two months due to an irritable uterus, so I didn’t pay much attention. I had also given up on all the pre-labor preparations — making sure I got to bed early “in case she comes tonight,” having last-minute stuff in the bag for the hospital, the treats for the nurses, etc. I had been doing that for weeks since it was expected she was going to come early, and I’d had enough of the disappointment.
I remember finally going to bed that night not being able to get comfortable, even more so than usual. Still, I didn’t think I was going into labor.
Around 12:30 I woke up feeling like I had to go to the bathroom, and as soon as I sat up, I felt a gush. I still didn’t believe my water had broken until I got to the bathroom and knew that couldn’t be pee. It was a lot of fluid. Based on my first birth experience, when I went from 2 cm to 10 in 90 minutes, I knew things would probably move quickly. I woke my husband, who at first didn’t seem to believe me since we’d had so many pre-labor signs the past few weeks, but the waves started coming right away. I was hoping he’d help me time them, but he got in the shower (!) so I got my digital watch and the log sheet out. 5 minutes, then 4, then almost 3. I practiced turning my lightswitch off during the waves. I called my nurse midwife, who had also been there for our first baby, and she said to get to the hospital. My husband was on the phone with our friends arranging to drop off our son. I grabbed the last-minute things and the ipod and got in the car.
The waves started coming more quickly on the car ride, and my legs were shaking slightly. I thought I might be starting transformation stage. I was listening to Easy First Stage and was comfortable. I switched to Center to say goodbye to our son when we dropped him off and then went back to loose and limp until we got to the hospital.
I remember the wheelchair attendant guy at the hospital trying to make small talk as he took me to OB (my husband was parking the car). I think I may have put my hand up, like “talk to the hand,” and asked him to please be quiet. Poor guy. I was trying to focus!
They took me to triage, but I wasn’t there long. The waves were right on top of each other and the rest of my water released. Still, I was using the lightswitch and Kerry in my ears, and I was ok. I scooted to the bed and they wheeled me into the birthing suite.
Once there, I remember I put on Deepening (my favorite). The staff was great about keeping the lights dim and not talking to me. I marveled at what was happening in my abdomen! The waves were really like a wave — tightest at the top first, peaking like a wave, then gradually fizzling out. They were intense, but I felt in control and never felt discomfort through transformation, which had been my greatest fear. My husband said later that as he was sitting there quietly watching, he could see my belly rise way up when a wave started. I broke my lightswitch one time when I said “pushing” to my midwife during one of the waves, because I realized I was. She lifted the blanket and they saw the head. This was sometime between 2:15 and 2:30 — less than an hour since we’d arrived. I was getting more vocal, which made me self-conscious a bit, but it was working.
I only pushed a few times, and probably more forcefully than I should have, because I did tear. Had I listened to my midwife more closely, I probably wouldn’t have, but that was the only time I felt discomfort. It was also the only time during the birthing that I wasn’t using my hypnosis tools, so learn from my mistake! Oh well, Elise was in my arms. Again the staff was wonderful about following our birth plan and letting us bond.
The MP3 player was a godsend. I highly, highly recommend it to anyone planning a Hypnobabies birth. I knew we wouldn’t do birth partner scripts — why would I have my husband awkwardly reciting these when I could have the expert I’d been practicing with in my ears?!
The past two weeks, I’ve used the Peace cue and breathing during breastfeeding when she first latches on to tender nipples. I miss practicing the scripts every day. I’m very grateful for Hypnobabies. The nurses the next day said they’d heard what a beautiful birth it was.