My birthing story is a bit different from most Hypnobabies success stories, but it is wonderful nonetheless. It starts on Monday afternoon, when I was 40-1/2 weeks pregnant. I had a gush of fluid escape during a meeting (of course it happened on a cloth chair at the office of the person I was meeting with – fortunately he was very understanding!). I finished the meeting, stopped at home, and went to the birthing center to be checked. I was put on the monitor and although I was feeling no pressure waves, it showed that they were happening every 6-8 minutes. The doctor and nurse were both very confident that I would be admitted, but wanted to do an exam to be sure my bag of waters had broken. Upon completing the exam, the doctor was very surprised to find that it was intact! So after four hours in the hospital, since I was feeling no pressure waves, I was sent home. The rest of Monday and all of Tuesday passed uneventfully, with no signs of my birthing time beginning.
At 3:30 am on Wednesday, I had an enormous gush of fluid in bed and was excited that my birthing time was finally here! I called my doula and she advised me to go back to sleep so I could rest until morning. Despite my excitement, I agreed that this was the best idea. However, the practicality of this turned out to be limited. As I found out later, my bag of waters did not break at the bottom but tore partway up, causing additional large gushes of fluid every few minutes. I had already soaked my bed and carpet, and was now limited to sitting on the hard floor of the hallway so I didn’t drench anything else. I decided that rest at home was not likely, and went to the birthing center at 4:30 am. They confirmed that my bag of waters had broken and admitted me. However, like my first trip to the hospital, I was still having no pressure waves that I could feel. Once I was given a room, I rested a bit and then on Wednesday morning, my doula helped me begin natural induction techniques and exercises.
I was a bit dismayed that the on call doctor was not one of my favorites, and although she was a bit skeptical about my decision not to induce with Pitocin, she was respectful of my decision. I found out she was on call until 7 pm, and thought, “Oh well, my birthing time will be over by the time the next doctor is on!” My doula and I worked through the day to get pressure waves to start, using every natural induction technique, exercise, and position that she, I, or the Hypnobabies book suggested. We walked, used the abdominal lift, listened to every Hypnobabies track we thought would be helpful, tried nipple stimulation, and many, many more! I was extremely relaxed and we did get pressure waves to come on, but they were irregular and short. It was a pleasant time, with the Hypnobabies tracks playing in the background, and I felt no pain through the waves, only pressure.
At 7 pm, the doctor I liked best started her shift and I was happy that I would have all the natural birth support I was hoping for! My doula and I continued to alternate resting with different labor induction techniques through the night. At 7 am, this doctor finished her shift and no progress had been made. I was still having irregular pressure waves, but not enough to be significant. At 9 am, the next doctor visited and told me that I had reached the point where an intervention was necessary, since my membranes had been ruptured for 30 hours. At 11 am, I began Pitocin, hoping that this was the last little boost my body would need to begin my birthing time.
The pressure waves did become more frequent and intense but for most of the time I was receiving Pitocin I was still able to ride through them easily using my Hypnobabies techniques. I was on Pitocin for 8 hours, and at 7 pm I had my last exam: I was only dilated 1 cm. I knew that I had tried everything available: I couldn’t wait any longer and risk infection. At 7:35, my beautiful girl was born via c-section. She was healthy, alert and happy!
Even though Arya’s birth didn’t go the way I had planned, I can’t think of it as anything but a success. From the minute she was born, she was calm and alert: she just looked around the operating room, taking in all the new sights and sounds. When she was placed on my shoulder (I was sobbing with happiness at this point), she was smacking her lips, ready to eat. The pediatrician who attended the birth was nervous because she wouldn’t cry! Several nurses kept telling her, “There’s nothing to worry about! Look at that baby: she couldn’t be more healthy, calm, and happy!”
There is no doubt that my Hypnobabies tools were essential throughout the process. The Hypnobabies tracks and relaxation techniques kept me calm and happy through the 40 hours I was in the hospital. Nurse after nurse commented on how relaxed I was, and I was comfortable and nearly without pain through the vast majority of my pressure waves. During what would have otherwise been an extremely anxious and frustrating 40 hours of no progress, using Hypnobabies made it a wonderful experience. And Arya was such a calm and happy baby that all the doctors and nurses kept joking that I had hypnotized her! There is no doubt in my mind that using Hypnobabies contributed enormously to this: because I had an easy and stress-free birthing time, this is the environment she was born into. In fact, my birthing experience was so wonderful that three days later when it was time to leave the hospital, I found myself sad that it was over. I felt like it was the last day of a perfect vacation and I now had to say goodbye and return to normal life. But in this case I got to take the best part of my vacation home with me and start a wonderful new life!