Archive for the ‘Cesarean Section’ Category

Kim needed to have a planned cesarean due to medical reasons.  She decided to use the Hypnobabies Cesarean Birthing Day Set.    I was excited to hear about how her birth went and was happy that she let me share her story with you!

Hi mamas,
I’ve been following the posts but staying mostly quiet as my use for Hypnobabies was quite different than the rest of you.
I’m happy to say that we have a beautiful hypnobaby boy born by cesarean on Jan 5th. Hypnobabies really helped me stay focused and calm and my healing time started before the actual surgery started.
I did temporarily lose it when the anesthesiologist told me dh couldn’t stay in for the spinal, something that was really important to me. Then, within seconds, the head doc came in with a big smile and said, “Sure he can” and even joked that ‘real’ moms leave 24 hrs after surgery these days…LOL. I was shaking still, but quickly went back into my bubble of peace and focused on my baby and at that point didn’t even worry about some of the other things I wanted out of the norm.

I pictured my baby’s lungs healthy and ready to breath on his own. I pictured him so strong! At times I’d ask where we were (I wanted to be more present as he was born) and I’d visualize what was happening, watching with my mind’s eye.

DH was amazing! He whispered our ‘word’ as well as other key words and phrases Kerry used in the scripts. The surgery was easy (as could be). I had the mirror, but didn’t even look when the time came.

My OB honored my request and put my son up to my face all wet and fresh out so I could kiss him, like I would in a normal birth. Because of staffing issues, we were temporarily separated, but dad was with him. Within the hr I was in recovery, baby was latched on and nursing like a pro! I was up walking that night, disconnected from the iv and off meds by morning and discharged after 48 hrs (the min for c/s babies).
Hypnobabies also helped me with the after birth pw’s. These are always more intense than pre birth pw’s for me and even more so after surgery since I couldn’t move or sway through them. I used the relaxing breathing and imagined my uterus doing what it was meant to do for healing which made that so much easier.
I encourage everyone to do whatever possible to have natural vaginal births (having had both, there’s no comparison), but do know if circumstances change and you need a cesarean, Hypnobabies really helps!
Thanks for letting me be part of this group!

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Our Beautiful Birth Story

The arrival of our precious little girl finally came about!  Mina was born on Wednesday evening, June 25th at 9:23 at Bethesda North Hospital, Cincinnati, Ohio. “Mina” is pronounced [Mee-nah).  Mina weighed 8 pounds and 10 ounces.  She came in at 22 inches long!  She came straight out with an impressive big cry out to the universe and to her very happy and relieved parents.  “I’m here!”  We were so happy to see her little toes and her little fingers and her impressive head of hair, beautiful little face.  It was the most precious moment of our entire lives.

Mina went all the way up to being two weeks past her estimated due date. I spent the final two weeks getting acupuncture, massage, private hypnosis, reiki and chiropractic care to get the labor started.  I bought a Baby Come Out CD from Hypnbabies and started listening to it.  I played my Hypnobabies tracks all night long on my i-pod. I was very dedicated to waiting for spontaneous labor.  At our 42 week appointment we had an ultrasound to confirm that we were ok to continue to wait for spontaneous labor.  The ultrasound indicated that our baby was still healthy and doing well but that she was in breech position.  We were very shocked as it had seemed Mina was in an ideal position for birth  up to this point.  After we found out that Mina was breech and that my water had already broken with the days of mild labor, we left the doctor’s office and went straight to the hospital where our wonderful doctor performed our medical miracle c-section.

Our birth story is still a beautiful one.  It is a different story than we had imagined it would be but it turned out just the way it was supposed to.  My husband and I had taken Sharon’s Hypnobirthing classes, Bradley Method Classes and the homestudy Hypno-Birthing course.  We were planning a beautiful unmedicated birth with self hypnosis.  What we got was a medical miracle in the form of a c-section.  We still had our self hypnosis techniques in place and we still had our Doula and our wonderful doctor we had chosen because he is the best doc around for natural birth in this area. These were all things we STILL had even though there was a major change in the way things played out.

While we were disappointed that we didn’t get to have the natural birth story we had so desired we were very excited to see our little girl.  We are now just so happy that Mina is safe and sound and that she is in our arms and we used self hypnosis to help with the c-section process. It was very helpful throughout the pregnancy, in the fearful hours before the c-section, during and after the c-section. It really helped with the spinal and with the anxiety before and during the procedure.  Having a c-section was actually one of my worst fears and I had worked in the private hypnosis session to help deal with this fear.  This was very helpful.  It is also helping me cope with my recovery now and with breast feeding which was a bit of a struggle after the c-section but which is going really well now!

We are so happy that we had the knowledge and skills from our birth education experience. We are planning a future vbac.  Our C-section was done in such a way by our request to make this possible.  I will use self hypnosis and all that I learned in my wonderful classes for our next birth.  I feel like I grew as a person and that this experience was made more beautiful by the fact that I had more knowledge and tools to use for an event that came up that I had never expected.

We are so very blessed and happy and in love with our little girl and happy to share with you her beautiful birth story because it was so beautiful and such a blessed event that has changed our lives forever.

Blessings and Best Wishes to all you Hypno-Moms and Dads and to your Hypno-Babies and remember the hypnosis is not to be used JUST for the ideal birth scenario.  When a change of plans comes it is just as important to use your skills and to remain positive.  All beautiful birth stories are not the same.  That’s why we love to read them! They are all different and all beautiful just like our little babies!

Bridget, Eric and Mina Shen

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Great story of how Hypnobabies can help and work great in all different type of birth situations.
I am writing the story of Jonathan’s birth to help anyone who may be having anxiety over induction, c-section or unforseen birth plan changes.
****As a quick disclaimer, I chose to be induced.  So don’t read if induction/c-section is something you want to keep out of your consciousness.  This is a happy story though! : )***
I was very faithful in my Hypnobabies practice.  I came in like many of you, a bit worried that I wasn’t doing hypnosis correctly, and then asking myself, would it really work?  But I decided to just trust in the practice even though I sometimes felt like I wasn’t “going under”.
Jonathan was 12 days overdue with no signs of coming out.  I know, I know, I could have let him come out when he was ready, but the fact is that I was waking at night and couldn’t catch my breath.  It was very difficult to find positions that kept weight off the vena cava.  In my heart, I felt I was causeing him undue distress.  So we made the decision to induce.  I knew all the what ifs, but because I felt prepared and had listened to “Affirmations” a million times, I was comfortable with whatever was to come.
My hypnosis worked exactly as I needed it to on the inducement/birthing day.  I chose only to listen to the track for going to hospital, as well as “Deepening.”    I had a plan to listen to loads of tracks in a specific order, but when I was actually living my birth experience, I found that letting go of what I “had to” do made things easier. The confidence to let go was a direct result of doing Hypnobabies for months prior to the birth. So I just listened to these 2 tracks because that is what felt comfortable.
I don’t feel that I actually went into deep hypnosis, but I think it’s because I chose to listen to Hypnobabies here and there, rather than really putting the effort into going into a deep hypnosis.   I was just so excited and having such a great time laughing and talking with my family, that I didn’t want to stop to listen to my iPod.  So perhaps I actually was under hypnosis…I’ll never know!
I labored for about 8 hours.  It was not pain free, but the pain was certainly manageable when I used my breathing and finger drop.  When I learned that Jonathan was indeed having difficulty in the womb (meconium present, difficulty breathing) my doctors were  supportive of whatever decision I wanted. He could have been born vaginally, but he would have had to go through a lot to do so.   In the end it was me who decided to receive a c-section.
I immediately put on “Change of Plans.”    I did feel a bit panicked at first I admit, because I never visualized a c-section, but that track was really comforting.
When Jonathan was born, both eyes were full of blood, he had meconium that was a few days old on his little body, and a large hematoma on his head from straining to come out.  Again, I know many will say that this could have been avoided, and is just a natural part of the process and I truly respect that.  But I have to say that my reasons for a c-section were that I just wanted my little baby to have as few hurdles as possible in coming out.
After the birth, all the nurses marveled that I refused pain killers and left the hospital a day early.  I was not trying to be a hero, I truly felt well.  And baby Jonathan was/is just a perfect little miracle.
I just want to present this different perspective on birth because while I did not forsee an inducement or c-section, my experience was joyful, beautiful and full of love all around.   We all tend to focus on worrying what will happen during the birthing waves and transformation; “Will Hypnobabies work?  What if there’s pain?!  How do I know the finger drop is working?”  And of course, these are extremely valid worries!
But, in my humble opinion, it’s important to remember that Hypnobabies works in so many other ways during the entire birth experience.  Talking confidently to doctors, taking control of yourself and baby, and actually enjoying the birthing process are all part of the birth experience.   Additionally, all the physical benefits of meditation/hypnosis have been well documented.
So to anyone who is worried about inducement, just remember that Hypnobabies doesn’t necessarily have to be an “either/or” choice.  It works very well with whatever type of birth experience you have.  The preparation helped me to be confident, joyful, positive and healthy.
All the best to everyone.

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Mom had a comfortable long birthing time, but some different issues necessitated a cesarean.  Hypnobabies was still very helpful despite the change in plans.

I hadn’t taken the time to write up my birth story until just
recently, partly because my birth detoured from what I had planned
and I needed some time to grieve the birth that I had worked so hard
for but wasn’t able to have, so I’ll caution my fellow Hypnomommas
to read with your BOP.

I’ll start by saying that my experience with Hypnobabies was
wonderful and a true gift to myself and my child.  I believe in
Hypnobabies so much that it is my goal to become a Hypnobabies doula
and eventually to teach.

I chose to birth with a midwife who is part of a OB practice in a
hospital.  On Wednesday, April 2nd, my birthday, I was at work and
remember, after leaving a meeting, having the distinct feeling that
I should be at home.  My birthing time had not begun (although I was
five days past my guess date at this point) and I wasn’t feeling any
pressure waves but I just had this feeling and I remembered hearing
in our HB classes and in the discussions from the Yahoo Group how
important it is to listen to your body, so I did just that and went
home.  On Thursday, April 3rd, I was feeling the same so I called
into work.  I did venture out for my scheduled chiropractic
appointment and that evening is when I finally felt something
begin.  We started keeping track of my pressure waves but they were
very irregular and so we called it a night and began again the next
day.  It was the same story that Friday.  I was having waves but
they weren’t regular and didn’t feel like they were doing much.
Jeff, my husband, went ahead to work and I spent the day relaxing
and in Center.  I had been in Center since Thursday afternoon,
recalling that it is a good idea to begin using your hypnosis
early.  (As a side note, I have to say that I think this is one of
the two reasons that Hypnobabies worked so well for me.  This and
remembering to choose to use my hypnosis.)  It wasn’t until that
evening, when Jeff arrived back home, that things finally began
kicking into gear and my pressure waves became regular.  In
hindsight, I think I was asking my body to wait until he got home
and then once he did I opened up and gave myself permission to go
ahead with the birth.

Things continued into the night and Jeff called Kathy, our doula,
and asked her to head our way.  She arrived at our house around 2:00
am.  I was comfortable through each of my pressure waves and found
that my favorite place to be was on the toilet, funny enough.  I
continued to progress at home until about 3:00 am when we decided to
head to the hospital.  We got checked in and per our birth plan Jeff
handled most of the questions while Kathy set up the room, dimmed
the lights, and posted the Hypnobabies sign on our door.  When they
checked me to see what my progress was, we learned that I was
between 5-6 cm.  I was so ecstatic!  I couldn’t believe that I had
progressed this far at home.

Over the next four hours I changed positions, several times,
utilized the bathtub in my room, which was great, walked the halls,
hydrated myself and snacked.  When they checked me again, at 7:30
am, I was at 9 cm, which was great.  This is where my story begins
to detour.  An hour later they checked me again but my cervix was
swollen a bit on one side.  The midwife recommended that my bag of
waters be broken and that I move around for awhile to see if we
could bring Wesley’s head down more evenly on the cervix and help me
finish dilating and effacing.  Kathy took the lead here and had me
pacing the halls, doing the belly lift, bouncing on the birth ball,
etc.  They checked me again about an hour later and unfortunately my
cervix wasn’t thinning out but was swelling more.  We decided to try
Pitocin to regulate my pressure waves and to see if the baby would
come down more.  I was on Pitocin for a couple of hours and when
they checked me again the news wasn’t good.  Instead of thinning
out, my cervix was continuing to swell and was getting worse.  They
weren’t sure why but at this point I had been at 9 cm for 8 hours.
Their recommended a c-section.  This is where my beautiful birth
plan got thrown out.  Although we really didn’t want a c-section we
decided to go ahead for our safety.

Wesley Aiden was born at 4:02 pm on Saturday, April 5th, 2008.  He
weighed 7 lb. 1.45 oz. and was 21.5 inches long (although in the
birthing room, which is what my wonderful midwife called the OR, he
was mistakenly measured at 23 inches.  What a long baby that would
have been!)  🙂

In reflection, I am still so happy with my Hypnobabies experience
and really feel that it gave me all the tools to have a p*** free
birth.  I was able to make it all the way to 9 cm with no need and
no wish for any pain medication, before having to allow for a change
of plans.  I’m still so proud of my accomplishment, although
saddened that the birth didn’t quite turn out the way I had
envisioned.  However, in the end, the only p*** I ever felt was when
the nurse was putting in the hep-loc (which she was having
difficulty doing) and when the anesthesiologist was putting in the
epidural, neither of those having anything to do with the natural
birth process!  And best of all I have my wonderful, healthy son.
Thankfully he was only exposed to the epidural for at most 20
minutes, as the epi was placed minutes before the c-section.  Beyond
that, I had a wonderful and complication-free recovery that I truly
believe was facilitated by my ability to stay clam, focused, relaxed
and at peace, allowing my body not only to progress through the
birth but to also continue it’s natural healing power after the c-
section.  All this because of Hypnobabies!  My mother-in-law still
talks about how great I looked after the birth.  She says that I
didn’t look like I’d been giving birth at all.  🙂

I hope that my story will be an encouragement to all of you
wonderful moms who choose to educate yourselves and insist on being
an integral part of your births!


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Here is a link to a blog, where the mom posted her daughter’s birth story.  She was going for a VBAC and ended up with a repeat cesarean.  But it was a positive birth experience and mom was truly supported in HER desires.  Which makes for a positive birth in my book!

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There was a mom, Michele on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group who was posting that her OB was doing the “Big Baby Scare” and wanted some input.  I shared my Big Baby Bull link and said, educate yourself and follow your instincts.
She posted her birth story and this was my reply.
This is a GREAT example of the power of a mother’s intuition.  At first I was sad that you chose to get a cesarean.  But as I read your story I could see that you were right in your choice (not because of his size, but because of the meconium AND your internal confirmation that you made the right choice).  I also am glad that you didn’t feel pressured into the cesarean by your care providers, that it was truly your choice.
I love that your Hypnobabies tools were so helpful before and during the cesarean.  That is great.  I would love to add your birth story to the Hypnobabies Blog.  It is a great example of the power of a mother’s intuition!
Michele said,
Thanks Sheridan. I too was totally surprised at my own decision to have surgery rather then go thru the natural process of birth. I’m a real naturalist about things and get a little nuts when I feel I can’t work with the natural order of things. It was weird. No matter how much I wanted to make the decision to be induced it never felt right to me in the hour and a half I was making the decision. At the time I couldn’t have told you why, it just was what it was.
Anyway, of course you can put it up on the Hypnobabies blog. I think people should know that the tools that they study will be there for them even if things don’t go as planned.
Here is her birth story…

Miles Avery came in to the world on Monday July 6, 2009 at 9:57pm weighing 9lbs 4oz. and measured at 22 inches long! Big baby! But a real cutie!

Let me start out by saying that I studied Hypnobabies for 3 months prior to birth and fully prepared myself to have a natural childbirth. I believe if I ever have another child I will again prepare myself with Hypnobabies for a natural childbirth because Hypnobabies gave me the tools to deal with the process of having a c-section and made for a relatively calm birth amongst the craziness of the operating room. Doing Hypnobabies every night also made for a relaxing pregnancy and I believe had something to do with how incredibly calm my baby is.

On Monday July 6th I went to the hospital for a third fetal movement test. Since he was measuring big from the week before the Dr’s wondered if I had developed Gestational Diabetes so while there the nurse called to get the results of the GD test the week before. It turned out that I had developed it. From that point on I was told that the baby was coming out that day either by induction or by c-section. I was surprised that they actually were giving me the choice.  Now I had not read up on c-section or inductions so I wasn’t prepared to make the decision. The only knowledge I had of either of the 2 choices was the info in the HB home study book as well as some support from people on the HB message bored when I asked which would be better. I thank everyone for their responses!

When my husband got the hospital, he and I debated for over an hour and half which method would be the better option. We asked the OB at the hospital and our OB what they both thought. I called my parents and a friend of mine who had recently had a c-section to ask her about the recovery process. After going back and forth between the 2 we decided that the c-section was the way to go. I do have to say that the OB at the hospital and my OB never pressured me either way. In fact at one point the OB who performed the procedure actually said to me, “Let’s just start with the induction.” Cause I was taking so long to decide! I guess she figured I was uncomfortable with getting a c-section. They both were supportive of either option as long as I was open to having the baby that day.

Once we decided and I got admitted, it was time for pre-op. The staff there and the OB let me have close to an hour to prepare myself by letting me get into my own self-hypnosis mode. Like I said I hadn’t prepared for a CS so I was a little unsure of how to use the method for that so I started out with the Deepening CD to make sure I was as relaxed as I could be. After that I put myself in hypnosis and turned on my center switch just in time to wheeled into the operating room. I turned myself off when getting the spinal block and back to center when I had the lie down and stayed there for a few moments while answering questions from the anesthesiologist. Feeling the spinal take effect was the worst part for me. There was a moment where I felt like couldn’t breathe. And the Dr had the nurses tilt the table a little bit to help me out which did help. Then came some nausea, which the anesthesiologist gave me some Zofran for. Then my head started to hurt and here is where HB really helped me out. I began using the “Peace” cue while the pain in my head came and went. The “Peace” cue kept me calm during a moment that I wanted to really panic.

After my head stopped hurting and the Dr. made sure that I could not feel anything. My husband was allowed in and I promptly turned myself off while husband rubbed my head and gave me the relax and release cues through the entire operation. I also was saying to myself the entire time, “Deeper and Deeper with ever exhalation”.  I was completely relaxed and very aware of what people were saying and doing after I turned myself off. I never felt any pain during the surgery partly because of the drugs, but also because I was so relaxed. I remember the Dr and nurses telling me and commenting to my husband how calm I was and how good I was doing. I know that they are probably supposed to say that, but they all sounded genuinely impressed at how well I was handling everything.

Miles came out already crying and covered in meconium. This told me that I had made the right decision. He was just ready to come out. I remember the nurses all commenting on how big he was and that I had delivered the biggest baby of the day! LOL!  I was able to see him after a few minutes of him getting weighed and some blood tests taken because of the GD. Turns out his sugar was not elevated at all. I must have just recently started to develop GD right at the end.

Miles is just a beautiful baby boy. So far in his week and a half old life I have only had one night where he was fussy, but most of the time he is so calm and able to settle right down when he does get fussy that I am calling him my Zen Baby!

I truly do not think I would have been able to be so calm through the operation had I not studied with Hypnobabies. It truly gave me the knowledge and the tools to make my decision and to remain calm and relaxed throughout the c-section.

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Charlie’s Cesarean Birth

This is a great story of a mom who used Hypnobabies and was comfortable, but ended up needing a cesarean because the baby’s head was tilted a little funny.  She has some great tips at the end! 

On the evening of May 20th, 2009 (a Wednesday and the day after my 27th birthday), I had finished teaching my last piano lesson for the evening at 7:00 (which I had fortunately rescheduled to a half hour earlier than planned). I had a very strong urge to get some of our last details in order before heading home, so I finished up a few final items on my computer, including compiling a list of people we were planning to email for Charlie’s birth as well as polishing up our requests for his early care. We weren’t technically “due” until May 29th, but we knew that babies are considered full term at 37 weeks and that any time after that is totally normal. While we had most things in line already, there were some things that we hadn’t quite finished. Part of that was because Charlie was our first baby, and we figured we’d be “late” if anything (I was only 38 weeks at this point), but also, we work full time, have a house and three dogs to care for, etc. etc. Either way, we weren’t quite as mentally prepared for what was coming as I would have liked. I definitely had practiced daily with my Hypnobabies scripts and affirmations, but I was certain that Charlie was going to take his time in coming. I also hadn’t gotten my cervix checked at any of my checkups in an effort to keep my head free of the feeling that I was just waiting for the baby to come – I really wanted to let things happen as they were supposed to with as little intervention as possible. Anyway, it turns out that I was very fortunate on a number of fronts that evening – I had rescheduled the lesson, had the feeling that I really needed to get those aforementioned bits of information in line on my laptop, and had the foresight to place a thick blanket and plastic bag in the back of my car…


As I headed home, I placed a few quick calls and then noticed (about 5 minutes into the drive) that my lower back was a little sore – sort of like I had done a bunch of heavy lifting. I remember saying the words, “Charlie, that hurts,” and shifting around in my seat to try to get more comfortable. Just as I was finishing my shifting, I heard a very audible “pop” and started feeling like I was peeing uncontrollably. Eek! My water had broken! In my car! Not exactly the way I had it envisioned (especially since I didn’t think my water would break until well into my birthing time), but I did my best to keep a cool head about me. I pulled over at my first opportunity to get that thick blanket and plastic bag out and to call my hubby, Todd. He somehow had a very calm demeanor (at least over the phone – he told me after the delivery that he was wearing a hole in the carpet waiting for me to get home) and told me to just stay calm and come home safely. I also called our doula, Sarah, to let her know that things were starting. I hadn’t felt any pressure waves yet, so we were both pretty sure that this would take a while – she didn’t come over right away.


When I arrived home, I decided that I needed to clean up and eat some dinner, so that’s what I did. I did my best to waddle into the bathroom and take a shower, then I went into the kitchen to heat up some of the casserole I had JUST prepped that afternoon and planned to freeze for our postpartum time. (I’m telling you – I had some sort of sixth sense about Charlie’s arrival that day… even though I didn’t consciously know he was coming, something in me did). I sent Todd to the store to pick up some depends so that I wouldn’t have to waddle around with a towel between my legs and so that we’d be more comfortable on the car ride to the hospital (something to plan on packing in advance next time!!). While he was away, I called my good friend, Caroline, to say that my birthing time had started but that I hadn’t noticed any PW’s yet. As we were talking, I was eating dinner and suddenly felt one for sure. It made me stop what I was doing and take notice, but was extremely far from being painful. I remember asking her, “is this really what they feel like?” She said, “well, if you need to stop talking while it’s happening, then yes, that’s what it is.” (of course I needed to stop talking… I was already automatically going “inside” myself to be sure to relax.) While we were on the phone, I had two or three more at about 5 minutes apart. Once Todd got home, I hung up with Caroline and went straight to my bedroom to focus on keeping myself in my zone. Todd called Sarah to come over right away, and I listened to my birthing day cd.


Once Sarah arrived, she joined me in our bedroom, and I kept feeling PW’s close together. I know I told her that I’d never done this before, but it seemed like things were progressing very quickly! After timing a few herself, she agreed that things seemed really close together for such an early time in my birthing time. None of us thought this would progress like this – Todd and I were sure we’d be watching a movie and chilling out at home for a long time and maybe heading in to the hospital the next morning. But I remember asking Sarah if we should go in to the hospital now since they were so close, and she said that if, at any time, there’s anything that would make me feel more comfortable, then that’s what I should do! Without hesitation, I knew that being at the hospital would make me feel more comfortable. Even though I felt like we’d prepared very well for our birthing time and had planned to stay home until it was really necessary to go, it turned out that I really wanted to be surrounded by people who had been through it a zillion times and could help guide me along. Todd suddenly found himself running around the house trying to pack for the hospital, even though I tried to tell him to just chill out and that it didn’t matter if I had my favorite slippers or not… I really needed him by me! He figured it out soon enough and we got packed into the car and went to the hospital at about 11:30 pm on 5/20. Of course, the one thing he forgot was the food that I’d bought for myself during my birthing time! So my energy bars and gatorade sat at home while we went through the next bit of my birthing time. Oh well! Lesson learned: be sure to pack well in advance next time!!


Once we arrived at the hospital, I blurrily remember a gentleman meeting us with a wheelchair and my signing a bunch of forms electronically at the front desk in the ER (since it was so late at night). Then they took us right up to my room in L&D where I got down to business. We had the CDs playing, and I’d rotate through different ones and take some time without them – I think we spent a lot of time on Deepening, and later on, we listened to the pushing your baby out track a whole lot. Anyway, right away, I pretty much stripped down – I was in a gown for a little while, but I know I absolutely didn’t care about modesty and just wanted to be comfortable. I asked to be checked and told that I was at 6 cm. Yay! After trying a few positions on the bed, Sarah asked if I’d like to sit on the toilet for a bit (since it can help to relieve the pressure), and I thought that could be nice. All of a sudden, I started feeling really nauseated. The nausea lasted for a few waves, and I kept saying that I thought I was going to puke but never did. Finally, after several minutes, there it came! Fortunately Sarah had had the foresight to grab a bedpan and bring herself a change of clothes… she and Todd definitely got hit. But I felt a million times better once it was out! And of course, that meant that I was in Transformation. So, we went ahead and had me checked and I was at 7.5 cm. Wow! That’s pretty good for having just checked in and for this being only a few hours after I felt my first wave. We were sure at this point that we’d have a baby by morning. Soon enough, I wanted to get off the toilet and tried relaxing on the bed for a while. At some point, Sarah asked if I’d like to get in the shower with the birthing ball, and I was all for it.  I actually spent a lot of my birthing time in there – the hot water felt SO good on my back, and I wasn’t eligible for the tub at the hospital (long story – it’s just the way they have the usage rights structured). There was always someone at my side in the bathroom with a sip of cool juice at hand. And the nurse came in several times to check Charlie’s heartbeat during my waves. In addition to the shower, it felt really good to lean over the bed and sway my hips around or to go limp while holding around my hubby’s neck. I’m sure it wasn’t a cakewalk for him, but his strength became my strength.


So, it went on like that for a pretty long time. When we checked in, we were on the night shift with an OB (Dr Beyer). The next day, we had a midwife with us (Debra Wage) who was amazing. She was more than happy to let me go au natural as long as possible and only recommended a hep lock when it started looking like it was going to be a while. At some point, I remember asking to take the clock off the wall so I wouldn’t feel like I was in a race or that there was a time limit or anything like that. She also was extremely encouraging to me about the fact that I was so calm and able to move like a “normal” person. She said that she’d had three natural deliveries herself and that she “made a whole lot more noise than I did.” (I was making low, chesty sounds, but that was only because that’s what felt right – almost like long, low sighs. I really never felt like I was in pain or that I needed to grunt or scream). She also pointed out that I was being very nimble – she said that I was not moving like a woman in labor! Ha! That is to say, when I decided I wanted to be on the bed, I’d just climb on up without taking much time or needing much help… but I think that was partially because I wanted to be settled before another wave came on – I definitely noticed that they were a lot easier to handle if I was in a fully supported, comfortable position – just like the CDs kept saying during all my Hypnobabies training.


So, since things were slowing down by Thursday afternoon or evening (I honestly don’t remember – time was a total blur to me), she recommended that we think about adding some pitocin. I was physically exhausted at this point due to lack of sleep and nourishment, so my waves were petering out. I really didn’t want to use anything artificial to stimulate my waves, but she thought we were past the point of being able to use nipple stimulation or any other methods of natural augmentation. So, I reluctantly agreed to start on the smallest dose they could possibly give me and then let it grow from there as needed. They started me on 1 and eventually ramped it up to 4. That was the ONLY moment during my whole birthing time that I felt like I was in pain – when they loaded me up on 4. Until that point, I had only made low, chesty sounds during a wave, and at this point, I was struggling not to scream. Since I had been doing so well the whole time before that, they immediately ramped it back down and left it at 1. That was much better!


Eventually, there was another shift change and I was with Dr. Rush (whose first name was also Charlie), another OB. Finally, I had dilated all the way to 10 and was ready to push! Yay! Never in my entire life had it felt so good to push so hard. This is where I listened to the pushing your baby out track, and it was SO encouraging. I kept saying “yes” to the down and out moments, and I kept telling Charlie that I was ready to meet him and that I wanted him to come out. The whole room started getting into it and helping me remember “down and out.” Apparently, though, Charlie still wasn’t coming. (I honestly had no concept of time, so it didn’t really phase me that it was taking a while.) Dr. Rush had recommended that we use an intrauterine catheter to monitor the strength of my PW’s, and when we saw that there was plenty of force there, he did one exam to check his position during a wave. This was the only time an exam hurt at all (I didn’t even feel the other ones) – and I will say that it was extremely uncomfortable – I yelled at him to stop and get out of me and writhed a bit on the bed. But again, that was one of only two times that were unpleasant the whole time. Wow! At this point, we figured out the bigger reason why things weren’t progressing the way we would have liked for them to: Charlie was acynclytic (had his head cocked to the side like he was on the phone). After three hours of pushing like this and with Charlie’s heart rate starting to fall, Dr. Rush reluctantly brought up the idea of needing a c-section. As he said it, no one wanted to recommend medical intervention, especially not surgery, but it was starting to look dangerous for Charlie. He said that we could try pushing a little longer, but that if his heart rate didn’t improve, we’d end up in an emergency c-section situation where I’d be under general anesthesia and Todd wouldn’t be able to be there. He didn’t even need to say that part though – as soon as I knew that Charlie was in trouble, I was ready to let them get him out in whatever way necessary as long as he’d be safe.


As we went to the operating room, I remember wondering why they cared so much about covering me up (I was going through a hallway where there would be other people! hello!). My modesty really had gone out the window a long time ago, so it was all they could do to keep the sheet on me since I was just focused at that point at NOT pushing. All along the whole process, that was one of the hardest things I had to do – I really didn’t want to hurt Charlie, so I did my best to just breathe through the pushing waves instead of letting myself bear down and push. Once we got to the O.R., the anesthesiologist asked me if I was planning on continuing my hypnosis for the operation or if I’d prefer the spinal they had planned! Ha! I actually think he was partly serious. But I was all about the spinal at that point… no need to feel them cut me open – I hadn’t trained for feeling cutting as anything other than cutting (whereas pressure waves really did just feel like intense pressure to me rather than pain). I let them place the spinal, and this was the other hardest thing about the whole process – I had to stay perfectly still while I had waves telling me to push Charlie out. And I was in a seated position, which is how I found it was easiest to push back in L&D. Anyway, they placed the spinal after a bit of difficulty (I felt shooting pains down my right leg at first, as though someone had spilled acid and it was trickling down my leg… I literally thought they had sprayed me with something at first!). I asked them what it was, and they promptly took the needle out and tried again. Finally, after a few tries, they got it right and (thank God), I was fine and don’t have any resulting nerve damage. We proceeded with having me lie down on the operating bed, had my arms out parallel with my shoulders, and put the curtain up. Finally, Todd got to join me in the room (I guess they don’t want the husbands to see the needle going in the back or something), and I think he was even more nervous than I was at this point. I remember that my heart rate was pretty high, and we think that was a reaction to the anesthesia, but it could have also had to do with the fact that I was pretty freaked out – remember, I hadn’t really planned on this as something that was going to happen. I kept saying that it could happen, but I was in such a positive frame of mind about the delivery that I told myself that it wouldn’t happen.


Anyway, the surgery finally got underway, and it wasn’t long before I heard them say that he was out. One of the surgeons said: “Oh, aren’t you cute!!” and “you have a headache, don’t you?” This was right at the same time that they said that they needed to stimulate him to get him breathing, and within just a few seconds, I got to hear his sweet, beautiful and amazing cry. I felt like I was a million miles away from everything that was happening – almost like my head was on one side of the room and the rest of my body was on the other (probably a result of having the anesthesia and curtain up), and I didn’t even think to ask to see him. They told Todd that he could go and be with him, which he did (although he was a bit worried about having to walk by me to get to him – he really didn’t want to see my abdomen cut open). We have one adorable picture of Charlie still a little goopy, which I cling to since I didn’t get to see him like that with my own eyes. Pretty soon, they brought him to me all bundled up in his blanket and hat, and I had a very strong desire to strip him down so I could see him – but I just took off his hat and looked at his head, which had a large bump and bruise from where he got stuck! The poor thing. I remember telling Todd that I thought he looked just like his dad, and he agreed. After just a few brief moments with him, the nurse told us that they needed to take him to the nursery to do his assessments, so Todd and Charlie left while the surgeons finished up with me. I remember feeling a very strong pulling sensation as they were working on finishing me up – almost like they had their hands up under my ribs and were working with all their might! But it never hurt – just took a while and felt really funny. But eventually, they were done, and we got to go back to L&D, where my awesome nurse, Mary, kept an eye on my vitals and eventually left my side for the first time so she could work on some other cases she had (Sarah was still with me at this point). In fact – by the time I was pushing, the only time Mary left the room was to go to the bathroom, and even then, she had another nurse come in to keep an eye on things. Anyway, we waited for what felt like an hour until finally, Todd and Charlie came in with the pediatric nurse to get me acquainted with things (like the security device on his ankle). He was VERY ready to eat, so we promptly got nursing under way, and he was a total champ. Sarah made sure that we got a good start with that, helping me with positioning him and opening his mouth wide enough (especially since he had such a tiny chin), and then she finally got to go home and sleep. What a total champ and pro! I was and still am SO grateful to her for her help and loving guidance throughout the whole process.


At this point, Todd and I finally felt like we got to all be together like a family, and we started to do the typical things like counting fingers and toes – I was so grateful to get to finally see him in his birthday suit! Todd told me that there was a time when they were in the nursery that Charlie was just screaming and crying (which totally broke my heart – I was really looking forward to being able to start breast-feeding right away and comfort him and be with him for all of his assessments), but Todd offered him a finger and Charlie grabbed it right away and calmed right down. How amazing! So Todd was able to have that time to start his relationship with Charlie – a totally unexpected and beautiful side-effect of the way things worked out. Anyway, we were both totally thrilled to have Charlie with us and for us to all be together as a family, and they finally released me to the post-partum ward. Once there, Todd and I realized that we were absolutely exhausted (remember, I hadn’t slept much if at all this whole time on top of not eating and going through childbirth – plus, he had been my constant supporter the whole time). So we actually asked the nursery to take him for just a couple hours so we could sleep. Of course, though, this was our first time, so we didn’t realize that the time we were going to have him gone was going to coincide with the time everyone was going to be coming into our room to introduce themselves, see how I was doing, etc. So, even though Charlie was out of the room, we didn’t get more than about 15 minutes of actual rest… and I honestly didn’t sleep that well anyway. Finally, I told Todd that I needed him to go down to the nursery and bring Charlie back to me so I could put my mind at ease and get to know him better.


So, all in all, we had an absolutely beautiful birth with (almost) no pain at all – just intense pressure. And even though it resulted in a cesarean, I wouldn’t change a single thing about the entire process, and I’m forever grateful to the entire staff at Vanderbilt for their work and to Sarah McKay and 9 Months and Beyond for her awesome support. Tings I’d recommend to other moms to be and to myself for future births:


1.  HIRE A DOULA. I cannot emphasize that enough. That was by far one of the best decisions we made for the whole process; what an awesome feeling of support, encouragement, and empowerment we got from Sarah!

2.  Absolutely use the Hypnobabies method for a comfortable, natural child birth, and be sure to bring goodies for the nurses (although, don’t count on being able to bake something while you’re in your birthing time – pack a goodie bag with cookies and crackers and whatnot a few weeks in advance). If nothing else, surround yourself with a culture of information – it’s very empowering.

3.  Pack for the hospital WAY before you think you need to. As in – be done with it by 35 weeks. Period.

4.  Remember that there is nothing about birth that you can control other than your mindset, so keep it calm and open.

5.  Be open to the fact that the delivery may end up being a cesarean so you’re not so shocked if it goes that way. I had to pretty much mourn the loss of my vaginal delivery  – even though I didn’t “fail” at all, it felt like I had.

6.  If you do end up with a cesarean, be sure to ask to see the baby right away – goop and everything. I definitely regret not seeing him while he was still purple or at least goopy. I also should have asked to see the placenta. This probably would have caused me to “grieve” less about not having a vaginal delivery.

7.  If you’re really tired after your delivery, remember that the baby may be really tired too and might just sleep while you sleep – don’t just send him off to the nursery willy-nilly. You won’t be able to rest without him by you anyway. This is the biggest thing that I regret doing and I still frequently ask Todd if we did the right thing. Of course, we’re very bonded to Charlie now, but I think I would have had a quicker time bonding to him and would have probably felt a little less guilty in my post-partum time if I’d kept him in the room with me for those couple hours. Instead, I fought feelings of inadequacy and guilt, thinking that I was doing something wrong since I didn’t have a huge, gushy feeling or maternal drive right away… I think I almost saw Charlie as another baby I was baby-sitting and that his “real” parents would come back for him at any time… Now, of course, I absolutely feel like his mom, but again – maybe it would have happened sooner, or at least I wouldn’t have continually asked if I did the right thing in sending him to the nursery.

8.  Also for post-partum time, be sure to pick a hospital or delivery place with plenty of great lactation support, or hire a post-partum doula, or be sure to surround yourself with lots of lactation help and other support. Even though it came pretty naturally to us, Charlie and I still had lots of help in establishing a solid breast-feeding relationship, and now I know pretty much automatically when he wants to eat, not to mention how to get his latch established (which we fixed so early on that it’s second nature to us now) and what to watch out for down the road. I’d highly recommend joining a breast-feeding support group or attending la leche league meetings. We were able to go to weekly meetings that our doula group held – they were called “weigh to go,” and our lactation consultant (who also happened to be our hypnobabies educator) could check in on how we were doing from a feeding perspective, we’d get to know other moms, and he’d get weighed to see how he was gaining. There was one week where he gained 10 ounces from the previous weigh-in! If nothing else, it was just very encouraging and helpful to me as a new mom to surround myself with other new moms and support people. If you live in the Nashville area, definitely check out 9 Months and Beyond – their services are absolutely invaluable. I don’t know how I would have had such a successful and amazing experience without their help.

9.  Be sure to plan on doing absolutely nothing for a couple weeks after delivery. As my midwife put it, I was allowed to focus on feeding Charlie and getting better myself – nothing else. No shopping, no housework, no cooking, nothing. Get in your nest and stay there – don’t worry, you’ll want to. I wasn’t as good about this as I could have been (I was taken out shopping, we had a family wedding out of town that we had to go to, etc), and I felt like it took me a few extra weeks to get used to the idea of being a mom.

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