Archive for the ‘Home Birth’ Category
Thanks to Jennie for sharing her story!
I had had a few “practice waves” over a couple days, but nothing strong or regular. They were mostly the kind of thing I wouldn’t even notice if I weren’t expecting the kid to make an appearance at any moment.
On Sept. 21 I woke up around 5 am and got up to go to the bathroom and get some water. I got back into bed but couldn’t fall asleep again. About half an hour later, I had a fairly strong birthing wave but didn’t think much of it. A few minutes later I had another. I decided if I had one more I’d get up and start timing them since I wasn’t getting back to sleep anyway.
A few minutes later, there was another one. I couldn’t go into the living room since my mom was sleeping out there, so I took my exercise ball and my phone into the bathroom and bounced/rolled a bit while timing waves and Facebooking.
The waves were consistently five minutes apart, lasting about 45 seconds. Although they were fairly strong, they weren’t yet to the point that I needed to use my hypnosis techniques.
Steve got up around 5:45 and I told him he might need to call Lindsey and Carole (our midwife and doula) soon. Around that time Anna woke up and wanted me to snuggle. I tried to get her to snuggle with Steve instead, but she insisted on me. I snuggled with her for a few minutes, then bribed her with the promise of peanut butter crackers if she went to snuggle with Grannie instead.
It became clear that this was the real deal, so I decided to draw a bath and told Steve to call Lindsey and Carole. I also told him to set up the birthing pool on the patio as we had planned, weather permitting. It was early in the morning and still chilly, but I figured it might be warm enough by the time we needed it, plus we have a propane heater we could turn on if necessary.
While my bath water was running I decided to get the bed ready for later, too. I took the covers off, put a shower curtain down, and put another sheet on top. Keep in mind this is a king-size bed pushed up against a wall and a twin-size bed, so it’s a major PITA to make it even under normal circumstances, much less during one’s birthing time. I wanted to feel useful, though.
I got in the tub and listened to some of my Hypnobabies “Easy First Stage” track and to the Beatles’ “Let it Be” a few times. (“Let it Be” had sort of become my mantra during the pregnancy, and it seemed like a nice accompaniment to the whole idea of just relaxing and letting go.)
After a little while in the tub I got restless and decided to get out.
I walked out to the living room and had the first wave that made me need to stop what I was doing and focus. A few minutes later, Carole, our doula, arrived.
I went out back to see what the temperature was like. Steve had turned on the heater, so even though it was still a bit cool, the patio felt quite nice. With our fountain running, birds flying around our bird feeders, and fog in the background, it felt extremely peaceful, so I decided to stay out there.
Carole and I talked (pausing for waves) while Steve finished setting things up. By this point I had grown tired of “Let it Be,” but didn’t feel like listening to a hypnosis track, so I was listening to my Beatles mix. I wanted to keep things upbeat and fun.
Our midwife Lindsey and her assistant Courtney arrived and got some other things set up, then they went into the living room to hang out so I wouldn’t feel “watched.”
My waves started getting longer and a little more intense, so I told Steve it was probably time to finish filling the pool. (Which was very easy, by the way, as Steve had run a hose directly from our tankless water heater.)
Even after the pool was filled, I didn’t get in right away because things were going so well on land and I didn’t want to mess up a good thing.
Then my waves started getting shorter but closer together and much more intense, so I figured it was time to get in the pool. It was so nice to sit in the warm water and watch scrub jays and hummingbirds flying around the feeders! I told Steve we’re getting a hot tub for the patio.
Steve, Carole, and I hung out for a while, with Lindsey and Courtney coming out occasionally to check on me.
Probably about half an hour after getting in the tub (though my concept of time is hazy at this point) my birthing waves started to get very intense. Carole helped me relax my shoulders and gave me hypnosis cues. Lindsey and Courtney came out for good, so between that and my strengthened waves, I knew we were getting close.
I also got EXTREMELY hot, which happened just before my other two kids were born. I had Steve turn down the heater, and Carole put cold washcloths on my neck and forehead.
I had several very long, very close, very intense waves, and I knew (and hoped!) I’d need to start pushing soon.
With Elias, pushing was very easy but took a long time, probably because I was in the standard “stranded beetle” position. With Anna, pushing was easy and very fast (and stealth!). A few gentle pushes and she came right out.
I assumed pushing would be similar to Anna’s birth, where my body just took over, pushed, rested, push, push, rested, then she was out.
This time I did feel my body start to push (obviously) but there was no resting! As soon as I started to push, I needed the kid OUT!
I pushed a few times and was sure the kid was stuck. So I just kept pushing until I felt crowning. Another push and the head was out. Two more and the shoulders were out. One more for the body. If I had to guess, the whole thing took a minute.
Lindsey told me to get my baby (after each of my births I had to be reminded by someone to look at/get my baby). I looked down and saw this little creature floating in the water, reached in, and picked it up. Carole announced the time of birth as 10:03 am, 4.5 hours after my birthing time began.
Steve looked and announced that it was a boy. I had been a bit unsure about our choice of boy’s name, but this kid was definitely an Oliver.
We covered the baby with a blanket to keep him warm, and the kids came out to see their new brother. We hung out for a few minutes, then I wanted to get out of the pool before I delivered the placenta.
It was surprisingly easy to walk through the house and into the bedroom with an umbilical cord and baby still attached to me.
We settled into bed and Lindsey checked me for tears. I needed stitches with the other kids, and they were a bit smaller and had come out much more slowly. I was sure I’d need a ton of stitches–but no! Not one! I was pretty happy about that!
Oliver started nursing and Steve made some calls to let people know about the birth. Carole and Lindsey thought the baby would be over 9 pounds, but when we weighed him he was “only” 8 lbs, 6 oz. I think his big round head and chubby cheeks made him look bigger than he really is.
The kids came in and held their new brother and we made some more calls/texts. Lindsey and Courtney finished up some other things, then they and Carole left right around noon. It was very nice spending the rest of the day relaxing with my family at home rather than being continually poked and prodded by hospital personnel.
Thanks in large part to Hypnobabies, Oliver’s birth was just as easy and peaceful as the other two. Other than one grunt while I was pushing out Oliver, I didn’t make (nor feel the need to make) a single peep during any of the births. I definitely recommend the program to any pregnant women!
My wonderful husband and birth team also deserve tremendous credit for being so calm and supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them!
Thanks to Janell from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story!
I had been having light waves since Monday July, 18. On Tuesday night, after getting no sleep the night before, I decided to drink a little glass of wine, take a bath while listening to Hypnobabies, and talk to baby about coming out to meet us. I felt very relaxed afterwards, went right to sleep and slept all night. My waves stopped for the most part so I thought “nope, not time yet.”
On Wednesday I was having sporadic waves that had more pressure than normal, but I didn’t think anything of it. I just told myself “open, open, open” with each one, hoping I would in fact “open, open, open.”
I think it was around 6:00 pm I went to the bathroom and noticed I lost a small amount of mucous plug. I tried to not get my hopes up. By this time my waves were pretty regular, but nothing to set your watch by, coming every 5-10 minutes or so with more pressure than normal. Looking back, I should have realized this was it and started listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I was in denial! Plus, my DH kept telling me I wasn’t really in my birthing time. Pffft.
Despite all of the denial, I had a strong sense of urgency that DH needed to go get our last minute things from the store. So I sent him off thinking it was probably for nothing, but better safe than sorry. This was around 9:45 pm. Almost right after he left my waves started coming every 5 minutes with much more intensity than before. I thought it was no big deal. You hear about prodromal labor all the time.
They kept up for about an hour and I started thinking it was real. I listened to my Hypnobabies birthing day affirmations and then tried to listen to the easy first stage track, but the waves were too intense to focus by then. This was around 10:50 or so. I realize I’m in my birthing time for sure, haha, and DH is gone!!
At this point I head into the bathroom to pee. I didn’t come out for an hour, maybe a little more. Just from my walk to the bathroom and using the toilet, my waves went from five to two minutes apart, and were VERY intense. I was now low moaning and rocking on the toilet to cope. I knew I was in transformation. I was shaking, feeling hot and cold simultaneously somehow, and feeling nauseous. I also started feeling somewhat “pushy”, which made me nervous. I was still alone! But I stayed relaxed in between waves, thank goodness. I began texting DH telling him I needed him home but his phone had died, lol. He got back around midnight and I came out of the bathroom shortly after. I never wanted to leave the toilet.
Since this was all happening so fast I never thought to call my MW. So as I leaned over my birth ball and moaned, DH called (at 12:08) and told her I’d been having birthing waves every two minutes for over an hour. She hung up pretty quick!
I tried being on hands and knees for a few waves because of the discomfort in my back, but it was too much. So I moved to a sitting position in an armchair, trying to mimick the toilet, but that was too much too. I just wanted to lay down. I was hesitant to do it since everything you read says movement helps but I laid down on my left side on the couch anyway. This is where I stayed.
I was having to vocalize more loudly as the pressure was super intense. Still, I was able to relax completely in between waves. I wasn’t talking, smiling, or laughing, but I was still, and relaxed. I began to feel very pushy but resisted since my MW wasn’t there yet. This made it harder but it was ok. At one point my body pushed involuntarily and I yelled to DH “I’m pushing!”. I really thought we’d be having an unassisted birth at that point.
My MW got there around 1:00 am and I told her I was feeling pushy. We waited out some waves and then she checked me (my first check the whole pregnancy:)) and there was only a lip of cervix left. She knew I wanted a waterbirth so she and DH tried to get the pool set up, bless their hearts. I knew there wasn’t time.
I think one of her assistants got there around the same time…not really sure. The timeline is blurry for me here. They were busy getting their supplies ready while I was on the couch, pushing whenever my body felt the need, when my membranes ruptured. The biggest pop ever and SO much fluid. It was crazy….like out of a movie. It wasn’t long til baby’s head was crowning. DH missed the head being born because our 2 yr old woke, so he went to tell him everything was alright, but he made it in time to see the rest of the birth. The birth happened so fast. I remember my MW telling me to breath and slow down to allow my perineum to stretch, and I tried, but just couldn’t. It wasn’t *painful* per se, but I definitely felt the stretching! Once the head was born the body came out just as fast. I think the other assistant got here five minutes after the birth.
This birth is such a stark contrast to my other births. I was induced with the other two. Never got to experience going into labor naturally and really felt I was one that couldn’t. I’m so glad I had this last birth experience. It was fast and intense…the total opposite of what I had expected. <3
Oh, I made it out unscathed! No tears or anything! I could have been more comfortable maybe had I realized sooner that I really was in my birthing time, but it all worked out.
Thanks to Melissa from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group for sharing her birth story!
Zane was born Sept 18/10 at 5:44pm in his very own room in our home. I had been listening to the come out baby tracks for the last week as I did not want to be overdue (the ultrasounds were predicting a 9.5 lb baby at term)…. (my due date was Sept 19).
I had felt close to labour the whole last month as he was very low and I was getting a lot of braxton hicks/bowel cleansing/menstrual like aching (I was also taking a mixture from my naturopath for childbirth the last few weeks). I was sitting to pee and felt a small “snap”, not painful and thought it was perhaps my mucus plug…. nothing on the toilet paper, but then when i was up and moving around I realized that my water had broke. This was around 1:15pm and I started having contractions within 30 minutes.
They quickly became 3-5 min apart and so I called the midwife and she headed over (40 min drive away from me). I listened to the easy first stage track and kept moving around as I didn’t want anything to stall on me. When the midwife arrived around 3:45pm she checked me and I was soft and 6cm! At this point I was able to quite easily breathe through the contractions, trying different positions.
At about 4:45 they started getting more intense and I needed my husband nearby to work the cueing. I climbed into the tub at 5pm and within 10 minutes things became very intense….
I pushed for 20 minutes total, once he was around my pubic arch it could have gone fast but the midwives kept it slow so I would stretch easily. Once his head was out pushing his shoulders out was easy! Straight onto my chest and love at first sight. I used the EPI-NO with my first born and again with this birth and it did me well again, with no tearing or bruising at all. He weighed in at 8lbs 9oz (my first was 6lbs 11oz, so 2 lbs larger!).
Hypnobabies was so amazing for me. I suffer from an anxiety disorder and with my first birth I had an anxiety attack. Anyone who gets them knows that the biggest fear is having another one, especially when faced with the same situation. Hypnobabies kept me calm and I never felt the onset of the same anxiety during this labour. Preparing for the birth, if I started to get anxious at all it was so amazing to put on a track and relax my mind and body.
Although I had the short period of time during birthing where things were very intense and I wanted it to end, I was still not anxious. I visualized for myself a labour of under 4 hours and it was! Compared to my first delivery, where it was a 3 day ordeal and 14 hours of what was 30 minutes of this delivery, wow! It also gave my hubby better tools to help me with- straightforward and easy for him to learn and use.
We are doing great and the biggest challenge is the 2 year old sister adjustment. Be encouraged all those preparing, if you put the work in it will pay off! The next day visit with my midwife she remarked how surprised she was to find me 6cm and looking so comfortable…. just like what I had read about other women’s stories… yay for Hypnobabies!
I’m going to miss the tracks so I’m now going to go check out what they have for after baby comes!
I woke up at around 1:00 a.m. on January 16, two days after our
estimated “due date” (according to my own calculations based on my
knowledge of when Baby was conceived, not the LMP date which would
have been a bit earlier). I wasn’t expecting anything to happen for
several more days, since I had gone 11 days past my “due date” with my
older daughter and then induced her with cohosh (black and blue, one
in herbal and one in homeopathic form) due to pressures from the
medical system. Also, I had experienced no pressure waves yet other
than very mild cramps occasionally (not more than once or twice a day,
and only if the day was busy) over the past 6 weeks or so. However,
when I woke up that night I was experiencing distinct and somewhat
uncomfortable pressure waves. My first thought was, “Oh, no! I do NOT
want to start working on this baby in the middle of the night!” My
ideal birth visualization had always included a daytime birthing time,
although I never could decide how long I wanted it to be. I waited to
see if the pressure waves would go away so I could go back to sleep,
but they kept coming regularly, so I put my Deepening track on, hoping
that would be put me back to sleep. It worked like a charm, and I
slept soundly until about 6:30 a.m. when I woke up to regular pressure
waves again. My 3 ½ year old daughter woke up then too, and my husband
got up with her while I stayed in bed and adjusted myself to the idea
that this just might be the day.
The pressure waves were mild but very regular, so after I got up and
dressed I timed them for a little while. The whole experience was new
to me, since during my birthing time with my daughter I experienced
continuous pressure with no pause between “waves.” (I have wondered
since if this was my body’s reaction to the cohosh.) Anyway, I found
that the waves were pretty consistently around 5 minutes apart,
lasting 30-45 seconds. I didn’t know whether to expect things to pick
up or fade away, but when the waves stayed consistent through
breakfast and my daughter’s bath we decided to stay home from church
and prepare just in case. I did a fear clearing session and then began
to listen to the birthing day affirmations, which were wonderful. In
the mid-morning we went to a nearby state park for a peaceful hike,
and stopped at the local grocery on the way back to pick up a few last
things. (I stayed in the car listen to my affirmation CD while my
husband and daughter went in to the store.) Throughout the morning the
waves came consistently between about 5-10 minutes apart, lasting
usually around 40 seconds. I noticed that the waves were longer and
more intense after a bigger gap, and shorter and milder after a short
gap. I wondered whether I should be trying to use my finger drop and
lightswitch cues more than I was, but since the waves weren’t getting
longer or closer together I kept assuming that this was a false alarm.
I called our midwife several times throughout the day to keep her
updated, since she lived 1 ½ hours away.
We ate several snacks throughout the morning, and had a good lunch
around noon. After that I sat on my birthing ball and leaned on the
table with pillows while I listened to the Easy First Stage CD and the
Deepening CD. I had a hard time going into hypnosis because the waves
were uncomfortable but far enough apart that they kept startling me
when they came. At around 2:00 I started to feel discomfort in my
lower back during the pressure waves, and asked my husband to press on
my back while I sat on the ball during a wave. That felt just right. I
started pacing around in between waves and sitting or lying over the
ball during a wave, and since things seemed to have moved up a notch
in terms of intensity, even though the waves weren’t getting closer
together, we decided to blow up our “fishy pool” and start filling it.
The whole time I was carrying around my little CD player and listening
to the Easy First Stage CD. I was using my “peace” cue but not really
going into hypnosis. The discomfort in my back was greater than I
expected, and combined with the long space between waves I found it
hard to concentrate on letting go into hypnosis. I also found my
daughter quite distracting, although I really wanted her to be there
at the same time.
After the pool started filling, my husband and I decided to make
bagels (which were apparently originally made for midwives and women
present during birthing). About halfway through the process the
intensity moved up a notch again (this was around 4:30), and I left my
husband to finish while I got in the pool. I knew from my daughter’s
birthing time that I like to be in water during a birthing time, but I
hadn’t decided either way whether I wanted to actually have the baby
in water. I continued to eat throughout the afternoon and right up
until pushing; the warm bagels tasted great. I think when I got in the
pool was when I finally accepted that this was indeed my baby’s
birthday. The water felt great, although the pressure waves were still
uncomfortable. I tried different positions, saying “open, open, open”
and listening to the Easy First Stage CD. The intensity was gradually
increasing, and I started finding it hard to cope. I asked my husband
to come help me. This is where I experienced the wonder of
Hypnobabies. I relaxed against the side of the pool with my legs
spread out in front of me and asked my husband to support my head and
use phrases from the birth partner practice, which we had practiced
regularly every other night. Since the pressure waves remained
relatively far apart, he was finishing up making the bagels in
between, and I would tell him when a wave was coming so he could come
support me. When he made it to me early enough, I really did feel the
waves as pressure and was able to relax into hypnosis. When I had to
start into a wave myself I found the discomfort hard to handle. I’m
glad I was able to experience the effect of hypnosis a little bit—
especially during this intense part of the birthing time—since I
didn’t use it during most of the day. I do think listening to the CDs
did keep me more clear-headed and able to easily communicate with my
husband. He commented on this afterward. I feel like Hypnobabies
provided the context for my birthing time.
The intensity continued to increase, and I could tell that we were
getting closer to the end. I started to vocalize more and more during
waves, shifting from the “open, open, open” to more of an “ahhhhh” or
“ohhhhhh”. Our midwife arrived at around 6:00, and right after she
came in I felt the bag of waters break and the baby move down a bit.
When she heard the sounds I was making, the midwife said, “Is this
baby coming soon?” and I said, “I think it’s coming soon!” (This is
what I had wanted during my visualizations—to have most of my birthing
time just with my husband and daughter, and have the midwife come at
the end once I was past being distractible.) Somewhere around here I
asked my husband to switch my CD to the Pushing Baby Out track, and I
started repeating the phrases I was hearing and talking to my baby
with them, saying things like “Gently, baby, gently” and “Gently
(During my daughter’s birthing time, the midwives had directed the
pushing stage—ugh!—and I totally forgot that I was having a baby at
the time.) I was so eager for that feeling of relief when the baby
comes out. One of the main things in my head at this time was, “I
easily use my voice during my birthing time,” and I babbled away
whatever I was feeling in between repeating phrases from the
CD. It was intense, but also kind of fun. I was so detached during the
pushing stage with my older daughter that I never felt
the desire to make any noise at all. So I was surprised that I enjoyed
“easily using my voice during my birthing time,” even roaring a little
bit as I let my body push toward the end. This is something I always
thought would be embarrassing, but quite the opposite—I still feel
happy about it now.
I took off my headphones just at the end as I was getting ready to
push Baby out so I could focus more on exactly what my body was
telling me. I shifted around into different positions as I felt like
it, mostly shifting between hands and knees and leaning forward
against the side of the pool while squatting (being in water made me
feel quite able to move—by this time I had totally forgotten that I
might not want to have a waterbirth!). My husband was using “birth
partner” phrases, which I really appreciated. My midwife said a couple
of times, “Go with what your body wants to do” or something like that.
It felt really helpful at the time, although at one of our postpartum
appointments we talked about it and it turned out that she was
actually concerned that I wasn’t letting myself push because of the
phrases I was using about the baby sliding out! I took it slowly as Baby’s head crowned. I
ended up squatting when I felt that he was ready to come out. It was
wonderful just to let my body do its thing with no one telling me what
to do. Suddenly his head was out, there was the briefest of pauses—and
then out came his shoulders and all the rest of him.
I scooped him up onto my stomach and heard the midwife say “Watch the cord!” It was so
short that I couldn’t lift him higher than my stomach. I saw right
away that he was a boy, which I had been secretly hoping for! The
midwife did a preliminary cut on the cord pretty soon so I could lift
him up higher, and then tied it off and did the final cut while I
snuggled him. He was really peaceful and pinked up rapidly. He coughed
and that made him cry a little bit, but mostly he just looked around
quietly. Although no one was looking at the clock at the time, we
looked at it about 5 minutes later and estimated his arrival as 6:43
The whole thing had taken just over 12 hours from the beginning,
and only two hours since I had really needed to start focusing. I
wanted to move to the bed pretty quickly, and he wanted to look around
for awhile before nursing. The midwife weighed and measured him: 9 lb
4 oz and 22 ½ inches long. I was hoping for a baby between 8-10 pounds
this time, so that was just right! He demonstrated soon enough that he
was a champion nurser, and I have been grateful for such an easy
breastfeeding journey this time around. My body wasn’t ready for more
pushing for a bit, but after an hour or so I felt ready and knelt over
a big bowl to push the placenta out. Our midwife said it was one of
the biggest placentas she’s every seen!
Although I didn’t use my Hypnobabies practice in exactly the way I
expected to, it was a wonderful part of my birthing time, and it would
have all been worth it anyway for the relaxation and positive
affirmations during pregnancy. In so many ways it was an ideal
birthing time, and I’m so glad Hypnobabies was a part of it. The
“recovery” has been so nice; my nether regions felt pretty much totally normal right
away. Very different from recovery after forced pushing, and so much
better! I’m also very happy to have gone through a whole pregnancy and
birthing time with no internal exams. This really helped me trust
myself and listen to my body. And it felt so right to catch him
myself, too. (During this pregnancy I have developed a pet peeve about
people saying that someone other than the mother “delivered” the
baby.) Three cheers for mother-directed birthing!
I am hoping to finally get a few minutes to post my wonderful birth story. Sunday night during a wonderful winter rain, thunder and lightening storm I had my second home birth using Hypnobabies which just happened to turn out to be a breech birth.
Sunday night at 2:32 am we welcomed our daughter Elliana Daisy Grace. She happened to be born on her due date too.Let me start by saying about a week and a half before my due date I had a full day of pretty regular pressure waves but then they stopped so I was a little disappointed. Then this past Saturday I also had pretty regular pressure waves but didn’t think much of it since I had already had them stop on me once. Sunday I had a few pressure waves but not many.
Sunday evening around 8 they started getting more regular. I laid down and tried to go to sleep but by 10 they were getting stronger and I thought I had leaking fluid so I got up to check and realized I was bleeding. I called my midwife and had her come to check me since I was concerned. At this point I was very upset at the thought of having to go to a hospital. I had a hard time trying to stay calm and packed a bag to go the hospital while she was on her way. I also called to have my doula come too.
My midwife arrived around 12 or 12:30ish. By this time the pressure waves were getting much stronger. She checked me and decided the bleeding was more of a mucous plug and she wasn’t concerned so we made the decision to stay at home. She said the baby was head down and we just sat around chatting and waiting for awhile. The thought of having a baby in a hospital was terrifying to me. My doula arrived as the midwife was checking me. At this point I was able to relax again. For about the next two hours the waves became stronger. The pressure waves were definately managable.
A little after 2ish my fluids released. I felt very pushy immediately. After a push or two my midwife informed me that the baby was breech. After three pushes out she came. I have to say that even though she ended up breech this delivery was much easier than the birth of my son. I did not tear this time and I felt the whole thing just went easier.
There were many small things I did differently the second time around that made the experience much easier. My first birth I was not able to relax. This time around I had made the decision to stay calm and I believe it made a big difference. With my first birth I had no energy for over a week. This time I was a little tired the next day but day two I felt great and yesterday I went grocery shopping. I also had started taking iron extract a few weeks before my daughter was born because I had felt run down. I believe this may have helped also. I did not have a doula the first time around and this time I had decided it was necessary. I believe the extra support also helped to keep my calm and comfortable.
The little one is waking up so I must go now. I wanted to post this to encourage others that may have a breech baby that you can still do it at home.