Archive for March, 2010

Some background:  For my first birth, I had hoped to have a natural birth, but because I made this decision late in my pregnancy, I didn’t have time to do a lot of preparation, and the birth was a little difficult—a pitocin induction due to ruptured membranes after I had been awake all night with contractions that only got me to 2 centimeters.  It was not necessarily a bad experience, but with my second pregnancy I wanted to try again.  I believe that childbirth usually goes more smoothly when you don’t interfere with the natural process unless something is going wrong.  I been interested in studying hypnosis for my first birth, and I had read a book about it, but didn’t have time to really learn it.  This time, I did the homestudy program from Hypnobabies.

I really enjoyed Hypnobaies during my pregnancy.  It includes daily relaxation practice, which I often used to help me relax and fall asleep.  It helped me bond with my baby, look forward to my hiss birth, had tools for helping me get rid of my fears, and helped me have more confidence in myself.

For those reading this who are unfamiliar with Hypnobabies, one of the concepts taught in it is that words have power.  Many words commonly used in pregnancy and birth have negative associations in many people’s minds.  Hypnobababies replaces these words with other words, in an effort to help you be more positive.  I will be using these words during my story.  Instead of “contraction,” I use “pressure waves.”  I also avoid using the words “labor” and “delivery,” calling it “birthing” instead, and I try to avoid using the word “pain” when talking about birth.

For those reading who are studying Hypnobabies, you may or may not need to use your bubble of peace.  I would label my birth “mostly comfortable.”  Hypnobabies definitely worked for me, but there were times when I got off track and had discomfort, and I really struggled a lot during the pushing phase.  Honestly, there were times during my birthing when if someone asked at the time if I was having “pain,” I probably would have said yes, but most of the time I was comfortable and felt very calm and relaxed.

On Friday, March 5, I woke up around 4:00 am having pressure waves.  I tried listening to my Hypnobabies tracks to see if I could fall back asleep, but after about an hour, I decided to get up because if the baby was going to come today, I was going to need to get a few last minute things together for my hospital bag.  I found the charger for my digital camera battery, and I sat on my birth ball at the computer, printed out some extra copies of my birth preferences, and plugged in my ipod.  I got on the internet and did some stuff and tried to time the pressure waves with the contraction master website, but they seemed to weaken while I was on the ball and were sort of hard to time.

A couple hours later, my husband Tiatia got up to go to work, and then my 2 year old Tehani got up.  My pressure waves had pretty much stopped by this point.   Tehani and I had breakfast.  I think we ate some of the blueberry muffins we had made as a project the day before.  I put on a few shows for her on the DVR and I did some cleaning.  I loaded the dishwasher and cleaned the kitchen, including mopping the floor.  Then I felt tired, so I sat down and folded a load of laundry that I’d washed the day before.  Tehani and I had some chicken noodle soup for lunch.

Around 1:00 pm, after starting a load of laundry, I read Tehani some books and then I put a Hypnobabies  track on out loud and I laid down with her and we both had a nap.  I woke once during the nap to a pressure wave but went back to sleep and then had another one when I woke up around 2:30 and I think one or two more while I was lying down.  My pre-birth waves mostly came at night, so having waves during the day was unusual for me.  They were also strong enough that I was wondering if hypnosis was going to work.  I used my lightswitch and peace cue and it really helped me feel more comfortable during them.   I suspected that it would soon be time to meet my baby.  I got up and put on my headphones and listened to Birthing Day affirmations while I did some more cleaning and preparing.  I moved the load of laundry to the dryer, straightened up the living room, and got together Tehani’s clothes and things she would need for staying with friends while we were at the hospital.

Tehani woke up and I think she played with toys for a little while.  I hadn’t had any cervical checks from my doctor, but I had tried to feel my cervix myself.  It had felt soft and slightly open about a week before.  I decided to check it again and it felt softer and more open now, if I had to guess, I’d say about 3 cm, and I could feel how Teio’s head was now against it.  I had noticed that he felt lower on Thursday morning, and at my appointment that day, Dr. I. felt my belly and said that his head was engaged.  A piece of brown-tinged mucus plug came out on my fingers when I checked myself.  I started to finish packing my hospital bag, but all the stuff I needed would not fit in the bag I had already started to pack.  I tried transferring it to another bag, but it wouldn’t all fit in that one either.

I realized the waves were coming pretty frequently, so I decided to time them.  I got on the computer on the birth ball.  Pressure waves were about every 6 minutes apart.  I knew it was the real thing now.  My phone rang during a pressure wave and I wasn’t able to answer it.  I was Tiatia.  He was probably calling to tell me he was getting off work and would be home soon.  I called him back, but he didn’t answer.  I sent him a text saying I thought we’d be going to the hospital tonight, but I don’t think he got it.

The idea of getting in the bath sounded really good to me.  I put on a DVD for Tehani (I normally try to limit her TV viewing, but I made an exception that day), and  I filled the tub and put in a few drops of lavender oil, which I had been putting in my scent diffuser during my Hypnobabies practice to help with relaxation.  I put my laptop in the bathroom so I could play my Hypnobabies tracks while I was in the tub.  I put on “Painless Childbirth” (which I think is called “Comfortable Childbirth” in the 6th edition) and lied down in the tub and relaxed.

I’d brought my phone in the bathroom and Tiatia called again.  He could tell I sounded different and I told him I was having pressure waves that were pretty intense.  He asked when I thought the baby was coming, and I told him either late that night or early the next morning.  I told him I was in the tub.  It turns out he had stopped at the Redbox on his way home and picked up a movie for us to watch that night.  Yeah, that didn’t end up happening.  He got home a few minutes later and came in the bathroom to check on me and I told him I was coping fine.  He watched Tehani for a while and I guess he fed her macaroni and cheese and he also got together a bag with clothes and toiletries for himself and packed phone chargers, the video camera, the laptop, and the digital camera with it’s now fully charged battery.

I listened to “Deepening” next, and continued to handle the pressure waves very well.  I really wouldn’t describe what I was experiencing as painful, and I felt really in-control.  Doing the deep slow breathing and using the “peace” cue while imagining anesthesia going to my lower belly (where I felt the majority of the sensation of the waves) really helped.  I got into some different positions in the tub.  I sat cross-legged and I also kneeled .  After “Deepening” I listened to “Special Place” and Teio moved around during it, just like he did the first time I listened to it when I felt so connected to him that I got tears in my eyes.

Towards the end of the track, I lost my focus during a few waves and they started feeling really uncomfortable.  I called out that I needed help and Tiatia came in.  I told him it was really intense and I didn’t know if I could do it.  I almost started crying.  I was scared.  He asked if I wanted to go to the hospital, and I said I did.  He started making phone calls to get Tehani taken care of.  I got out of the tub and got dressed.  I divided the stuff I needed to take to the hospital between my two bags and put my lavender oil and my phone in one of them.  Then I got my ipod and my headphones, and realizing that I needed something more than the regular tracks, I put on the Birth Guide.  I regained my focus and was once again able to handle the waves.  I sat on the birth ball in the living room and leaned forward on the arm of the couch.  I told Tiatia I needed a drink, so he gave me a little bottle of apple juice and I took sips of it between waves.

Michelle came to get Tehani and she was crying and really did not want to go.  I went over to her and gave her a hug and told her it would be okay, but she didn’t believe me.  Michelle asked if my water had broken and I told her it hadn’t yet, then a pressure wave started, while I was still kneeling on the kitchen floor, and I had to close my eyes and do my deep breathing.  She asked, “How far apart are they?” and I couldn’t answer her, both because I was still having the wave and because I didn’t know, I hadn’t been timing them.  Somehow Tiatia got Tehani into Michelle’s car.  He came back and asked me how I was doing and I said I was feeling more in-control now.  I told him I wanted him to help me time the waves.

We went in the bedroom and I turned on a lamp instead of the light so that it wouldn’t be too bright.  I sat on the birth ball and put pillows on the bed and leaned forward on the pillows.  Tiatia timed the waves with the stopwatch on his phone.  I told him I also wanted him to use the “relax” cue on my shoulder.  I once again lost focus during a few of the waves and made some noise, but the “relax” helped me relax and focus and I got back to feeling like the waves were only pressure and my anesthesia was working.  We discovered that the waves were between 2 and 3 minutes apart and were all lasting over a minute.  I was still able to talk calmly between the waves.  We decided it was probably a good time to head to the hospital.  I said we needed to call Dr. I. and told Tiatia where her number was.  At first, he wanted me to call her, but I told him to do it.  He called and told her we were going in and how close together the waves were.  She said she’d meet us there.

Tiatia loaded everything into the car, and I made sure we got the extra pillows and the birth ball. I also brought my apple juice.   I got in the back seat of our mini SUV and we took the headrest off the front seat put a pillow on top of it and leaned forward.  I continued listening to the “Easy First Stage” track.  I was actually quite comfortable during the 25 minute car ride, which was amazing because I remembered being very uncomfortable in the car last time.  When we left the house it was around 9:00 pm.

We parked and Tiatia carried a bunch of our stuff in.  We walked in and Tiatia told the receptionist at the ER admitting desk who we were.  She called the maternity center and told us they’d be coming to get us.  She asked if I wanted to walk or ride in the wheelchair, and I said I thought I’d be fine walking.  She put a hospital bracelet on me, during a wave, of course.  While we waited for them to come get us, I was standing there, drinking sips of juice between waves, and during them I’d lean on Tiatia and he’d say “relax” to me.  It felt wonderful to feel so relaxed and in control.  I remember telling Tiatia that they felt like they were coming right on top of each other now, since they were so close together and lasting so long, but I didn’t say it like I was afraid, it was just an observation.  It seemed like it was taking a long time for them to come and we started to wonder what the hold up was.  The receptionist called them again.

When they finally came for us, they asked again if I wanted the wheelchair and I decided to get it because I remembered from when we came to preregister that it was a pretty long way and the waves were so close together I’d have to stop a lot.  Riding in the chair, I was able to keep doing what I had been doing.  We got to the LDRP room (not a triage room like I went to first at the hospital where I had my daughter, which I was glad of), and they already had the lights dimmed for us and Dr. I. was there.  Once the pressure wave I was having was over, I got out of the chair and was given instructions on giving a urine sample and how to wear the hospital gown.  I had another pressure wave and leaned forward on the cabinet that contained the fetal monitor machine.  Then I said I brought my own nightgown to wear, and they said that said was fine.  I told Tiatia which bag it was in, and he gave the bag to me.  I took the cup and my bag and gave the sample and got changed.

Dr. I. had me get in the bed so they could put the monitors on me and she could check me.  She said that if I needed to move during waves, I could.  It turned out I was able to use my hypnosis to stay comfortable in the bed (with the head of it raised) during pressure waves, which is something I couldn’t do during the unmedicated part of my first birthing.  Dr. I. checked me and, drum roll, please…I was 8 centimeters!  I looked at Tiatia and said how happy I was to be so far along.  He had a big smile on his face.  Dr. I. showed me how big that was on the dilation chart.  She asked Dianne to get a birth ball (we’d left mine in the car—one man can only carry so much) so I could sit on it, which sounded great to me.  I sat on the ball and leaned forward on the bed.

Dr. I. asked what the results of my GBS culture had been and I said she’d never told me, so I’d assumed negative.  Someone came to take my blood, and I barely felt it.  Then Dr. I. said they were going to need to give me an IV for antibiotics because it turns out I tested positive for GBS .  At first I said “okay,” but then I said I wasn’t sure if I wanted the antibiotics because I’d done reading on it and there are risks to the antibiotic use, too.  Dr. I. said that the antibiotic they use is mild and that it would be to protect the baby.  I agreed to get it, and now I do think that was the right decision because had I known I was positive beforehand, I would have done natural remedies to make it less likely for the baby to be infected.  Dr. I. said that it was good that my water hadn’t broken yet, since the membranes being intact for longer reduces the risk of infection, and she said it would be best to (as I’d requested) wait until it broke on its own.

It took at least 4 tries and 3 different people to get an IV in me.  Apparently the veins in my hands are deceptive—they look great, but when you try to put the needle in, it doesn’t work.  They ended up putting it on my left forearm.  Getting stuck multiple times was really uncomfortable and quite frustrating, so I was relieved when they got it in.

After that, the memories are not completely clear.  I remember Dr. I. suggested some different positions.  I know I stood leaning forward for a few waves.  Someone was behind me with their hands on my hips, but I have no idea who it was.  I think after that she wanted me to try kneeling, so she adjusted the bed so that I could kneel on the foot of it and rest my head and arms on the middle part.  I think that when I went to get into that position is when I vomited all over the floor, but I knew that was a good sign, a sign that I was nearing full dilation, and I also had read that the act of throwing up can help your body open up faster.  I remember saying that I felt better after throwing up.  I also remember saying I felt shaky, and Dianne said that meant I might be in transition.  The kneeling position was comfortable, and I was still very focused and relaxed, using my hypnosis, restarting the “Easy First Stage” track on my ipod whenever it ended.  I think Dr. I. checked me in this position and I was 9 cm.

Soon I started to say “Ah” at the peaks of the pressure waves, and Dr. I. asked if I was feeling rectal pressure and I wasn’t yet.  Then a few waves later I said I was starting to feel it.  Sometime around this time, “Easy First Stage” ended again and I let “Pushing Baby Out” start playing.  Dr. I. had me get back in the semi-seated position and checked me again, and she said there was a lip on my cervix and the baby’s head needed to rotate a little more.  I continued to “Ah” all through the waves, and that felt good.  I think Dr. I. had me get on my side.  She told me that if I really felt I needed to push at the peaks of the waves, I could.

After a while, she checked again, and the lip was still there, so she tried having me push while she held back the lip.  That was very uncomfortable and it didn’t work.  It was during this that my water finally broke.  She told me to try not to push for a while.  Now that I had pushed, I felt like I needed to keep pushing.  From this point on, I was never able to really get back in the peaceful place I had been before.  It also didn’t help that I had never actually listened to “Pushing Baby Out” all the way through to make sure it was okay and it turns out the track on my iPod was incomplete, so it would just stop in the middle of something.  I felt panicked and very out of control and was not comfortable at all.  As the waves would peak, I’d yell “I CAN’T NOT PUSH!” and would try to push only as much as I absolutely had to.  Dianne had to tell me to slow down my breathing so I wouldn’t hyperventilate.  At one point, Tiatia kissed me (if you’re unfamiliar with why this is helpful, read Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth by Ina May Gaskin), and that did help me relax some. I was touched that he thought to do that, that he actually had paid attention to some of the stuff I’d shared with him from my reading.  I also switched from “Pushing Baby Out” to “Deepening” because I wasn’t supposed to push yet, and then I never went back to “Pushing Baby Out.”

Somehow I got past the really intense part of not being able to push and moved on to the really intense part of trying to push.  Dr. I. said I could change positions if I wanted (I was now back to semi-seated), but I didn’t want to move.   Dianne pulled some handles up from underneath the bed and told me I could hold on to them while I pushed.  I started pushing, but the way I was pushing wasn’t working.  Dr. I. noticed I was tightening my pelvic floor, so she and Dianne had to tell me to relax that area and focus on pushing with my abdominal muscles.  Not everyone has to push like that, but apparently I do, or at least did with this baby.  Dianne got right in my face and Dr. I. told me to look at her.  She told me to hold my breath and push.  She did count to 10 during some of the pushes, but for most of them she didn’t count and I only pushed as long as I felt I could, and for some of them I did breathe out instead of holding my breath.  Dianne also told me not to start pushing when the wave started, but to wait until it built.  I was not able to relax the rest of my body while pushing, and as a result, I was very sore the next day.  I also burst a blood vessel in my eye.

At some point during the pushing phase, Dr. I. said something about wanting to put in an internal fetal monitor because the external one wasn’t doing a good job of tracking his heart rate.  At first I said “okay,” but then my inner advocate kicked in and I said I didn’t want the monitor screwed on my baby’s head.  Dr. I. told Dianne to adjust the external monitor and it picked his heart rate up better.  I was glad I stood up for my baby.

Once I got pushing figured out, it wasn’t too long before I felt him in the birth canal.  The feeling when he crowned was very, very intense.  It didn’t feel like burning to me, though, it felt like the gentle version of  perineal  massage I had done a few times, only about 10 times more intense.  Looking back on it, the feeling was kind of cool, but at the moment I really wanted it to be over.  I wanted to keep pushing, but Dr. I. told me that my perineum would stretch better if I waited for the next pressure wave.  His head was out with the next wave and I had to keep pushing his body.  I remember Tiatia reminding me to breath in, because I just wanted to keep pushing.

Teio was born at 1:47 am.  I reached down and pulled him up onto my own belly, which is something I had wanted to do ever since I’d seen it on a video.  They put a towel on him and I talked to him and rubbed is back.  He was a little purple and not crying.  The other nurse, whose name I didn’t get, told me she was going to have to take him.  Dr. I. clamped the cord and Tiatia cut it.  Tiatia took a video of Teio getting deep suctioned and being given oxygen.

Dr. I. had me push out the placenta.  Then, she and Dianne started doing uterine massage ,and my uterus wasn’t firming up and I was bleeding too much.  Teio wasn’t ready to breastfeed yet, so they put pitocin in my IV.  A little while later, I was still bleeding more than they like to see, so Dianne gave me a shot of methergine in my thigh.

When Teio was ready, the nurse brought him back to me before dressing him or anything so I could hold him skin-to-skin.  He latched right on and has done a great job nursing ever since.  After we had some time to nurse and bond, the nurse weighed him and he was 7 lbs 10 oz—7 oz bigger than his sister was.  She diapered and dressed him.  Dr. I. showed me the placenta, which was really cool.  She showed the maternal side and the membranes that held Teio as he grew.  This was really interesting to me.

I felt amazing after the birth.  The hormone rush was really awesome feeling.  I was so proud of myself for doing it unmedicated and for feeling so in control for much of the time.  I really believe I couldn’t have done it without Hynobabies.  Dr. I. told me that she thought I should get certified to teach the program like I had told her I was considering doing if I found it helpful during my birth.  I was up taking a shower soon after.  It felt really good to be able to shower.  It was a little difficult still having the IV attached because I wasn’t wearing a hospital gown, so I had to leave one strap of my nightgown around the IV line, and when I tried to put the nightgown back on, it got all tangled around the line and Dianne had to help me fix it.

Because of my positive GBS status and only getting one dose of antibiotics (you’re supposed to get 2 doses, 4 hours apart, but I wasn’t at the hospital long enough), they wanted to keep Teio in the hospital for 48 hours to watch him for signs of infection, since about 80 percent of newborn GBS infections show up during that time period.  I loved that I didn’t have to switch rooms at all during my hospital stay and that, because the same nurses who help with the births also do postpartum care, on our last night we got to see Dianne again.

Dianne said she had read my birth preferences and I could tell she really made an effort to follow them.  She told us that the reason she left us in the ER so long was because my birth preferences said I didn’t want it loud and she wanted to do all the noisy room set up before they brought me in.  She also said how surprised she was when Dr. I. said I was 8 centimeters, because I wasn’t acting like it.  We talked about how difficult my pushing phase was, and Dianne said that it looked like I was actually pushing right, and Teio just wasn’t coming down.  She said normally women don’t need to push with their abdominal muscles.  She said she was actually thinking they were going to need to use the vacuum extractor, but she hadn’t suggested it because she knew I wanted minimal intervention.  Tiatia mentioned that he’d actually yelled “relax” at me when I was panicking, and Dianne said that caused me to suddenly focus.  I don’t even remember that, but I guess my subconscious recognized the cue, so my hypnosis training did help more than I thought it did during pushing.

Teio is a very cute and so far is a good baby.  His birth was an amazing experience that taught me so much about the capabilities of my mind and body.

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Photo Montage of Hypnobabies Families

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I’m preparing from HB #2 and I’m re-reading and re-listening and it seems like nearly every day I hear something or read something that i don’t remember from the first time and that was a scant 10 months ago.
So as you go into maintenance, I urge you to re-read your materials and listen to each script in an alert setting with ‘fresh ears’ and an open mind.

For example, I recently realized that many of the scripts talk about pressure AND stretching sensations, I have no memory of the stretching part. Looking back I realize that what I classified as discomfort was in fact the stretching way down low near my cervix. It didn’t really hurt, but felt like a very very tight muscle pulling as I try to stretch it but since I felt only comfortable pressure elsewhere in my uterus, I fixated and got scared of that feeling. Well hmmm, if I had that suggestion clearly in my head I think i would have characterized it differently during my first birthing time.

Also the handbook is fantastic to read again, I read through so fast last time, so excited to start the program that I don’t think i really absorbed, it’s amazing re-reading what I find and what sticks out to me. I also like to think that reading and re-reading the positive talk about the power of hypnosis can only do my mind good.

So please, freshen up your practice with a quick run through your reading materials and listen to your scripts again with an alert mind you may find the a gem you missed.

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Jamie Jackson CD(DONA), HCHI
Jamie Jackson

(919) 387-3705
Apex NC

Hypnobabies classes, birth doula services, hypno-doula services, postpartum doula services

I have been lucky enough to be able to pursue my true passion in life which is working with mothers, babies, and families. I truly believe that women and those around them are deeply affected by birth and that every family deserves the best start possible. Getting off to a gentle start as a new family can effect that family for a long time. The birth of a baby can be a joyful, comfortable, and easy experience if a family receives assistance, information, attention, encouragement, and love that they need. Attending Hypnobabies births as a doula has given me some incredible first-hand experiences of how comfortable and pleasant birth can be. The classes are so thorough, so well-researched, and so fun! I want to make sure that people know about and have access to Hypnobabies classes so that they can use their bodies and minds to give birth in a beautiful way.

I schedule classes based on the needs of those who contact me.

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I guess that is a little silly title.  But a mom from Cafe Mom group said I could share her birth story with everyone.

I had my 38 week prenatal visit Thursday, February 11th. My midwife checked me and reported that I was 80% effaced and 2-3 centimeters dilated.  I was super encouraged at the fact that all the pre-labor I had been having the past couple of weeks was not in vain.  She didn’t schedule my next appointment because she didn’t think I would make it another week.  Part of me was excited yet I didn’t want to give my hopes up only to get discouraged if I went beyond that.

Friday night I was feeling especially moody and crampy so I went to bed early.  Knowing that my cervix was almost completely thinned out we did some things Saturday morning to help things along…wink, wink 😉  After that we went to the mall and walked around since it was too cold outside for my liking.  When we got home we took a nap.  I think my body knew I would need all that rest!  When the evening came some pressure waves started coming every 10-20 minutes apart.  I took this as a sign that I better straighten things up around the house.  Once I finished I went to bed to try and get some rest.  A couple strong ones woke me up in the middle of the night.  From about 5 am to 9 am I was in and out of sleep since the pressure waves were coming closer together.

I got out of bed at 9 am and listened to my birthing affirmations while rocking on my birthing ball.  After that I went about my normal Sunday morning routine.  I made some breakfast and decided to time the contractions.  To my surprise they were coming every 4-5 minutes.  They were very mild so I found it hard to believe that my birthing time could be here.  They would start in my pelvic area as pressure and wrap around my uterus like a big hug.  To make sure I was relaxing during each one I would stop, close my eyes and say my “peace’ cue to myself while swaying back and forth.

After timing them for about an hour I lost my mucus plug.  I decided that it was time to call the midwife (10 am).  We talked and she had a hard time believing they were coming so close since I sounded normal.  She called me back an hour later and let me know she was on her way to check on me.  When she got to our house (12 pm) she found that I was 100% effaced and 5 cm dilated.  She told me she would hang out for another hour to see how things went.  When she checked me again I was 6 cm.  Now it was my intentions all along to do minimal VE’s, but I told her to proceed each time since I was having a hard time believing that I was actually in labor.

There came a point where the swaying and “peace” cue were not enough.  I decided it was time to get in the tub.  I turned on the “Easy First Stage” track from my Hypnobabies program and got comfy in the tub.  The buoyancy of the water helped to tone down the intensity of the pressure waves tremendously.  I even recall smiling between some of them.  I was probably in there for an hour when all of a sudden I got a very intense pressure wave that felt like it lasted forever.  This was the first point in my birthing time where I found it difficult to relax during a wave.  The midwife came in and checked me, and announced that I was near complete (9cm).  I could hardly believe it since things had gone so smoothly up to this point!

We headed to the birthing pool to find that it was still very cold!  We quickly changed route to the bedroom where I laid down on my side.  Danny turned on the “Pushing Baby Out” track so I could get in the right frame of mind.  Right at that moment Megan (my sister) and Lucy (my MIL) arrived.  They started boiling pots of water immediately to try and get the pool to a comfortable temperature.  They also kept an eye on Logan for us since I needed Danny’s full attention at this point.

While in the bedroom the midwife broke my water and had me push the baby down a bit due to her being “sunny side up”.  Once that was all done I found the bed to be very uncomfortable.  I sat on the birthing ball and rocked with each wave while moaning deeply.  The midwife and Danny were excellent in offering much needed encouragement while deeply massaging my lower back.  After a short bit Megan and Lucy announced that the pool was ready.  It was just in time too because I was starting to feel the urge to push.

The midwife and Danny helped me into the pool.  I got in there during a wave which made if difficult for me to get comfortable at first.  I leaned over the side, and then flopped onto my bottom leaning back on the pool wall for support with Danny right behind me.  I pushed with 2-3 contractions when all of a sudden I felt the pressure of the head coming out.  I could hardly believe it!  The midwife had me pant a bit before the next push since things were going a bit too quickly.  Once she gave me the go to push again the head was out.  With the next one her body was out (amazingly I had no tears)!  I helped her out of the water and made it a point to be the first one to find out the gender.  I quickly announced that it was a girl!  I was so surprised at this I had to check again!  Yes, a girl!!  The midwife announced her arrival time as 4:13 pm.  At that moment Megan and Lucy came into the room.  They were amazed at how quick and easy everything went.  They weren’t expecting the baby to come until later that evening…lol!

Overall, the experience was everything I had expected and more.  I have been on an emotional high ever since she arrived.  It was very rewarding to be able to accomplish this feat being that I put so much preparation and thought into it.

The bonus is that my husband finally gets what all the fuss was about.  He was always supportive, but didn’t quite understand why I was so intent on doing it this way.  His participation in the birth and reaction to it has definitely created an additional bond in our relationship that was not present before.

Weight; length:  8lbs 8oz; 19 inches long

If you want to see some beautiful pictures, visit her original post!

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Stephanie Banguilan, HCHI (Doula in Training)
(678) 852-7307
Northeast Atlanta, GA and surrounding areas

Certified Hypnobabies Childbirth Hypnosis Instructor
I am a certified Hypnobabies Instructor and Doula in Training and very passionate about educating women and their partners about all things baby related. I began my journey in earnest about 3 years ago after I conceived my son. While researching all of my options, I realized that there were no Hypnobabies instructors in my area. I used hypnosis for my birth and was very satisfied with the whole process. After my son was born though, I was determined to bring Hypnobabies to the Atlanta area and to share all of the knowledge that I have learned with my fellow southerners. I firmly believe that our bodies know exactly what to do and that if anything; it is our minds that get in the way (often without our knowing.) I want to teach and empower women to know that they can have the birth they always wanted without the pain they thought went with it.

Private and group classes available.

Please check my web site for dates and times: http://www.atlantahypnobabies.com/

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Our second son, Harvey “Boone” was born on August 22, weighing in at 10lbs and measuring 24″, a beautiful healthy boy born at home in the water. I’ve not posted often, but have enjoyed all the birth stories and practiced hypnobabies semi-faithfully (listened to tracks according to schedule, did all the reading, but was pretty lazy about practicing and did not work w/my husband on it at all) since about 21 weeks, so thought I’d share my story, it may be long!

My first son was born in the hospital after I naively allowed induction at 41 wks basically due to my own apathy about the importance of how a baby comes into the world and the OBs recommendation – I assume as my family has a history of big babies, but really we were both quite healthy and there was no GOOD reason for it. I planned on going w/out the epidural but that plan changed quickly after contractions set in so I had nubain and the epidural and delivered my 9lb 8oz boy after approx 6 hours of labor I didn’t really feel. I tore badly and nursing was a nightmare and I resolved to not visit the hospital again with my next pregnancy.

Fear of tearing again and many recommendations from natural birthing forums led me to Hypnobabies. As I mentioned above I was faithful about some parts and not so faithful about other parts but in general really enjoyed the positivity and confidence boost I gained from listening to the affirmations, and the self hypnosis helped me be calm through some crazy work hours in my third trimester. I felt like it was helping but was fairly skeptical as to how “painless” my birth would actually be.

I came to my hometown in CA on the first day of August, my guess date was August 13th and I wanted to settle in with  my 3 year old before that day rolled around. When I got here the adjustment for my son was more than I had expected and I really didn’t get to do my HB practice as much as I’d expected, but I got in some tracks here and there. the 13th came and went with only some mild practice waves, which was still exciting as I hadn’t had any before in the pregnancy. I was feeling great and doing lots of walking and enjoying the beach and reuniting with old friends, so I was OK with going late.  A full week later though and I began to get nervous as things got more tricky with my husband getting work off to come and be with us and I was nervous about him missing out on the labor. Also I felt bigger by the day and started to have some shivers thinking about delivering baby shamu naturally 😉 In the end, my husband got time off from Thursday the 20th til Thursday the 27th and that was that, if I went later I’d just have to call when the time came and hope he could make the 7 hour drive in time.

We (my husband, me, my parents, midwife, other family members and friends) came to the consensus that Saturday the 22nd would be a perfect birthing day for me and winked at our Thursday appt as we decided to reunite on Saturday to welcome the baby. Friday me,  my husband and son had a GORGEOUS day on the coast, went for a long walk down to the beach, to the toy store where my son got some beautiful blocks, to the seafood restaurant for some food I was craving, home for a relaxing evening. I scanned the HB binder to see what track it was I wasn’t supposed to listen to til after 40 wks and decided that was the one to listen to that night – the birthing day affirmations. Well, by the time it was done I was having some more practice contractions that carried a hint of period-like cramping, but no biggie at all.

I went to bed about 9pm and slept pretty well, but woke up at 12:30a with more distinct cramping that kept me awake and drove me to fix some RRL tea and call the midwife who was encouraged but told me to try to get some sleep and see how things went. I did and slept fitfully til 4:30 at which time I felt that there were definitely contractions that I could time at this point and I woke my husband to go get the computer so I could time them at contraction master. They were about  5min apart and lasting just over a minute – I timed four of them and my water broke all over the bed. I was pretty shocked and hollered at DH to fill the tub and get me the phone – I called the midwive and then there was flurry of activity as lights were thrown on, my son woken up, grandma and grandpa woken up and I headed for the bathroom as contractions intensified.

It gets a tad blurry here, I know I had a BM and was very happy that I would not be pooping during labor, I remember clinging to DH and starting to get pissy when he would touch me wrong (“don’t RUB my back!  PUSH on it) I had him lifting my belly a la “back labor no more” which helped a lot. I had some contractions on the toilet and some leaning on the wall and some on all fours. The midwife arrived and the pool was filled and I remember wanting nothing more than to get in it, though I’d never felt strongly about it before – I think I just didn’t want to support my own weight anymore.

I got in and started to feel the panic set in – I can’t say I was in hypnosis at this point, I’d listened to a fear release and again to the birthing day affirmations after my first call to the midwife, but no finger drop or anything like that. Anyway the distinct thought that I could not do this went through my head and out my lips though everybody says it didn’t sound like i believed it at all. I was saying “AAAAAAAAHHHHHHHH” over and over and over to get me through contractions, as well as squeezing DHs hand and biting the side of the pool.

I despaired that I was losing my cool so EARLY in labor as I’d only had my water break just about an hour ago! But all of a sudden my body tensed and bore down – I could not believe it but I was PUSHING! Things changed drastically as far as my outlook – I was almost there! I couldn’t believe it and I just went with it, going slow as directed by my wonderful midwife and my son was delivered peacefully (aside from some very primal sounding grunts on my part) into the water at 6:21am on the day we had designated two days earlier as his ideal birthday!

I had a 2nd degree tear which was completely painless when it happened and just a pinch here and there to have repaired and has barely slowed me down. I also lost a lot of blood when I delivered the placenta and got shocky for a bit but recovered extremely well and all in all the experience was beautiful and peaceful and not nearly as uncomfortable as my hospital birth with my first son.

As far as HB goes, I have to say I was not sure how I felt about it at first. I felt like I did experience a good amount of p**n after my water broke and that perhaps painless childbirth is a cruel thing to suggest as being possible.

(Note from Sheridan ****Hypnobabies doesn’t say birth will be painless.  While some moms do have a completely comfortable birthing experience, that isn’t the main goal. )

Looking back on it though, it has dawned on me that I would in no way describe anything leading up to that point as p**nful. And that was a good 8.5 hours of labor I was in – I would love to know how far dilated I was when my water broke, that would be a good indication of how well HB worked for me – had I been checking into a hospital they probably would not have believed I was in labor, but in reality I was probably at a very advanced stage of labor!

So I really didn’t get myself in hypnosis during that time b/c I didn’t know that he would be coming so soon – my time line in my head figured I’d be delivering later on that afternoon or evening. But he came just about and hour and twenty minutes later, so I really have to say that HB was a resounding success for me and had I been less skeptical I probably would have realized that those kind of crampy waved were true labor and that I should have been working on a deepening track or something. As it is, I really do not regret the time I spent in p**n as it has given me a certain degree of awe at what I can do and how well I did and I can now say I have truly EXPERIENCED the wonder of a natural birth.

I will always highly recommend Hypnobabies and do credit it with the speed and my amazing experience and the confidence I had throughout this whole time, even some complications following delivery, that everything was fine and me and my baby were healthy and allowed me to welcome and embrace my waves. My midwife also noted later that during pushing my butt was completely relaxed and loose, something I was surprised to find out and totally credit to Hypnobabies as I do faintly remember telling myself that the baby was pushing anesthesia ahead of it and mentally telling myself to “release”.

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