Background: My first DD was a hospital induction, epidural, pushing on my back, significant tearing, OB attended, very medicalized birth. While it was not an awful experience, I wanted something much different for this birth. I found hypnobabies and started studying when I was about 26 weeks. I was not the greatest student… I did my scripts regularly (always falling asleep / in hypnotic amnesia) but was pretty bad about practicing finger drops and such.
Juliet’s birth: I had been having practice waves for about 2 weeks on and off and was getting a little tired of it. Around 2am on 8/6 (I was 40 weeks and 4 days pregnant) the waves started again. They were between 10-15 minutes apart for the rest of the night and I slept a little in between waves. In the morning I told my husband it might be the day and I decided I wasn’t going to work. Around 8 I took a nap and between 8-10 I only had 2 or 3 waves. I was a little bummed because I thought that maybe they were fizzling out again.
Once I got up from my nap though, the waves came back and were varying between 7 minutes apart when I was sitting down to 3-4 minutes apart when I was standing up. I mostly sat around, played on the computer, listened to the Birthing Day Affirmations and concentrated through the waves with the peace cue. Around 1:00 I told DH to call his mom and have her come over. I called my midwife and told her we would be heading to the hospital once my MIL arrived. My MIL, not realizing that this was actually it took her sweet time getting to the house. They finally arrived around 3:00 and by that point, the waves were really intense and only a couple minutes apart. I was managing them mostly alone because my DH was watching our 3 year old. That part was a little tough because the waves were not pain-free and my DH was occupied with other things and couldn’t help. However, they were still manageable and I never had a moment where I thought, “I can’t do this”.
We finally got in the car and on our way around 3:30. I put on the easy first stage and it made things so much better. In hindsight, I should have put on my scripts much earlier. The car ride was fine for me, I was still having waves 1-3 minutes apart but they were much more manageable with the easy first stage running in my ears. I chanted “peace” and “safe” a lot. I found that reminding myself that I was safe really helped me manage the intense power of the waves.
I knew I was in transformation because in the car my muscles were shaky, I was getting hot then cold, and the waves were really close together. At one point, I remember opening my eyes to see three lanes of stopped traffic on the highway and calmly telling my DH to get in the breakdown lane and keep driving so we could get there. He was a little stressed but I was perfectly calm and I knew we would get there on time.
We got to the hospital and went up to maternity. They started to ask me questions in admitting but I had my headphones on and was chanting peace through waves so they decided to send me in. My midwife met us and told us that we were skipping triage and getting me straight into a room. I asked to get in the tub and they started filling it for us. Once in the room they had me sit on the bed to get a baseline fetal strip. I was on the bed for about 5 minutes (had 3 waves) then I had a wave that ended with me starting to push.
I couldn’t believe it, I looked at my midwife and said, “I have to push”. She said, “Okay, let’s take your pants off then.”. I pushed once sitting on the bed and told them I needed to get on my knees. I got onto my knees and leaned over the back of the bed. Pushing was crazy. My body completely took over. There was no directing or ahhing for me, my body bore down and each push ended in a gutteral groan that I couldn’t have controlled if I wanted to.
After 2 or 3 pushes the midwife said she saw my water bag. It popped with the next push and I felt the baby slide down. Two more pushes and she started to crown. I wasn’t focused enough to direct my anthesia and at that point I think I said, “oww, this hurts!” I instinctively slowed down and eased her head out with the next push. Then with the the final push the shoulders were out and she slid right out.
My midwife passed her through my legs to me and I turned around and we snuggled skin to skin for about an hour. She latched on after about 10 minutes and nursed for quite a while. The cord stopped pulsing and my DH cut it. Then about 20 minutes later I pushed the placenta out. My midwife checked and I did not have any tearing! They finally weighed her and she was 6 lbs, 12 ounces. A whole pound less than my first DD! She was very calm and alert for the first couple of hours. I got to spend my time in the labor room answering all the triage questions, a much better time to do it in my opinion, LOL.
Ultimately, I was thrilled with my birth experience. I was able to give birth completely naturally without any direction from anyone. I did not have a hep lock or an IV, there was almost no monitoring, no one told me how or when to push, I never even had an internal exam! While it wasn’t totally a pain free experience, it was completely manageable. Hypnobabies really gave me the tools to meet birth with a positive frame of mind and with the confidence in my body that I needed to have a good experience.
Looking back, I think if I had started listening to my scripts early in my birthing time, it would have made things even more comfortable. Even without listening to the scripts though, I was able to use my peace cue and have DH use the relax cue and keep myself completely calm and feeling in control, even when things got really intense. Even during pushing, I felt like I made the conscious decision to allow my body to take over and do what it needed to do, even if it felt like I was out of control.
Everyone we tell is so amazed by my birth story. Thank you Hypnobabies!!