Posts Tagged ‘hospital birth’

On Tuesday, May 13th, I went for my 41 week check-up. 20 minutes of fetal monitoring showed the baby was doing very well, and that I was aving some pws (I had no idea). I had used the 20 min to get into hypnosis, since I figured the doc would want to do an internal exam. I was right, but she mentioned the “i” word even before checking me. At this hospital, they like to induce at 41 weeks and 4 or 5 days. But since that was a weekend, she wanted me to come in on Friday if the
baby hadn’t been born yet. Her internal exam determined that my cervix was dilated 1/2cm and “wasn’t favorable,” though the baby’s head was far down.

Now I should mention that doctors here (Estonia, in northern Europe) really only deal with high-risk and overdue situations. I had only been seeing my midwife until this point, and my pregnancy had gone extremely smoothly. Naturally, I wanted to avoid inducing if at all possible. I asked the doctor to write down the name of the tablets (Cytotec) they use for inducing, and I’m so glad I did. I looked it up first thing once I got home from the appointment and decided that if they did induce me, it would NOT be with Cytotec. Also, the idea that I’d induce on Friday so they could have a nice weekend is crazy.

I wasn’t at all worried about being “overdue,” but I was worried about not having the birthing  experience I desired. So, that day I went for a walk or two, had lots of raspberry leaf tea, spent some time on mybirthing ball, and tried nipple stimulation with my manual breast pump (15 minutes on each side, twice, with a 30 min break between). I also made an appointment with an acupuncturist for the following morning. Then I took a nap, and when I woke up I could feel that my stomach was getting hard all over now and then. I assumed these were the pressure waves everyone talks about (I hadn’t had any Braxton-Hicks). They were really sporadic, and I didn’t feel anything more than a tightening. I then took a trip to the bathroom and there it was the mucus plug. I didn’t take either of these two occurrences as evidence that I was actually entering my birthing time, as I know some women have these “symptoms” for days or weeks before giving birth.

The pressure waves continued on and off for the rest of the day and night. They didn’t get stronger, so I didn’t take them too seriously or time them. DH and I are night-owls and we went to bed around 1am. I don’t remember if I slept at all, but by 2am the pressure waves had gotten stronger and I wasn’t able to sleep. I got out of bed and spent about an hour on the birthing ball in the living room, while listening to Hypnotic Childbirth 1 and 2. At 3am, I woke my husband so he could
time the pressure waves. At that point, they were lasting close to a minute each time and were 3 or so minutes apart, but they still weren’t entirely regular. I thought I was in my early birthing time
still and that the baby would be born sometime in the evening (judging from all the birth stories I’ve read and how long first births often take). Around 4:30, DH called the midwife. She didn’t  believe I was as far along as I actually was, and she said that maybe we’d meet at the hospital around 8am (and to call her again if things got more intense).

DH had arranged a huge stack of pillows from the sofa on the bed so that I could lean over them and rock back and forth during the pressure waves. He was really awesome with the hypnosis cues and definitely kept me grounded. Still, I was so shocked to be in my birthing time all of a sudden that I wasn’t able to get into hypnosis as I had intended. It was some time between 5 and 6 that I couldn’t remember for the life of me why I had been so anti-epidural throughout the pregnancy. The thought that I had many, many more hours of this was not a pleasant one. The waves in all of my birthing muscles I could handle and I don’t even remember feeling much there; it was the
entirely unexpected and intense feelings in my thighs that made me think I might throw in the towel. But, once again, DH was encouraging me that I was doing really great and that my body knew what to do.

DH was saying very encouraging things all along and got the shower going for me. The hot water felt sooooooo great during the pressure waves. Everything was getting more intense and the waves were closer together. DH called the midwife again at 6 saying that he thought we should head to the hospital. He wasn’t timing the waves still, but we think they were around 2 minutes apart and lasting at least a minute (consistently). Except for the calls to the midwife (at 4:30 and 6), we entirely lost track of time. The plan all along had been to walk to the hospital (we live very close), but we never expected things to progress so quickly. DH called his brother for a ride (we don’t have a car). I was frustrated because I hadn’t finished all of my packing preparations (I couldn’t find my ponytail holder!) and I didn’t really want my BIL to see me in my birthing time. After gathering our things, we went downstairs to catch our ride, but he hadn’t arrived yet. I
didn’t want to wait, so I began to walk towards the hospital. I had to pause every few minutes to deal with a pressure wave, but I found the cool morning air really refreshing. DH caught up with me after a few minutes (he really wanted to wait for the ride) and we were about a third of the way to the hospital when my BIL picked us up. We arrived at the hospital, walked in the door, and down to the floor I went. I just HAD to be on my hands and knees during waves. DH went to the

registration desk and they were asking, “So, where is she?” I was still in the hall on the floor. I got up when I was able. There was another couple that arrived just before us, but the woman didn’t look like she was even in her birthing time, so they had to wait. I had a few more waves in the registration office (on the floor, again), and because it was obvious that I was so far along, they decided to forgo the usual steps and get me to a room right away. Fortunately, the room with the birthing tub was free. I remember feeling annoyed that it wasn’t already filled with water when we walked in! Our midwife arrived and wanted to monitor the pws and do a quick internal exam. She had to wait a bit because she wanted to check between waves, and they were coming so close together. I was 7cm. I got into the tub and things relaxed a bit. The pws stopped for a few
minutes, but then picked up with greater intensity. I was feeling pushy, and the midwife removed the monitor straps. It was at this point that I needed to be frequently reminded to relax and breathe. The perineal massage didn’t feel anything like what I was feeling then. After about 20 minutes of pushing (and an hour after arriving at the hospital), at 8:15am on May 14th, Massimo Eli was born underwater.

Once his head was out, I was expecting his body to just slip out like I’ve read about, but the rest of his body was almost as tough. Turns out that he had a hand on his cheek and his chest and head measured the same. DH caught and pulled him out of the water. After their initial eye contact, our son turned his head and looked at me. DH placed him on my chest. I don’t remember him crying, and he was alert and calm. The midwife and DH helped me out of the tub and to the bed. After waiting for the cord to stop pulsing, cutting the cord, birthing the placenta, and getting one stitch, my husband and I spent the next 45 minutes alone with our baby. Then they did all the usual stuff, and we discovered that he was 7lbs 11oz and just over 20 inches. Our midwife commented on what a beautiful birth it was and that I obviously had educated myself well. We spent one night in the hospital and then walked home the next day.

While I wasn’t able to get into deep hypnosis, Hypnobabies definitely worked for me. I didn’t feel a thing until I was quite far along AND was able to give birth to my son without drugs (and without seriously wanting any) AND had such a fast birthing time (about 6 hours in all). I also credit Hypnobabies for having such a positive impact on my pregnancy and during these post-natal weeks. He’s eating really, really well and is already over 11 pounds. Everyone comments on what a
calm baby we have, plus my body has recovered super-quickly. Also, I have felt so incredibly empowered by my birthing experience �€” I feel like there’s nothing I can’t do!



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Our cleaning lady didn’t show on Thursday – not sure why.  So, my
house was a bit of a mess.  I was feeling kind of crampy and tired on
Friday, so I stayed home from work.  Nesting kicked in full force – I
cleaned the kitchen.  Including the revolving spice rack and the
cabinet doors.

Later that evening, pressure waves started and were 10-12 minutes
apart.  They weren’t coming any closer together, so I went to bed and
tried to get some sleep, which didn’t really happen.

At 7am on Saturday, I got up.  Timed pressure waves again and they
were 5-7 minutes apart.  I ate breakfast, made Morgan some french
toast and called my doula.  Brian called his mom to come take
Morgan.  I was initially feeling like the Hypnobabies program wasn’t
working, until I talked to Jean (my doula) and she remarked how calm
I sounded.

She showed up about an hour after I called her (9:30am or so).  We
labored at home until waves were 2-3 minutes apart – 11:30am.  They
never increased in intensity – I felt them as pressure/tightening

When we got to the hospital, the receptionist took her time getting
us to a triage room.  And the nurse took her time getting to us as
well.  I felt slightly nauseous at this point, but it quickly
passed.  The nurse checked me and I was at 8cm.

They hooked me up to the fetal monitoring and moved me to a real
room.  Since I was a VBAC and already over 5cm, they wouldn’t let me
off the monitors, which was a bummer.  I could still move around
some, but the cords got in the way and they were a bit uncomfortable.

I labored for probably another hour or so and then felt “pushy”.  I
had a forebag of waters that still hadn’t broke, so they manually
ruptured that and let me start figuring out pushing.  This stage was
the only time I would describe as “painful” for me.  It tooke me a
while to figure out, but once I did, it happened quickly!

I pushed for probably 2 hours and was just getting soooo tired.  My
doula & Brian were awesome during this whole time.  Jean had me try
leaning over the squatting bar on the bed and then things really
started moving.  Jake was crowning and it was just the three of us in
the room.  The nurse walked in and said I was going to have to change
postions (yeah right!!).  She walked out to get everyone else since
he was so close to coming.  Well, my body took over and Jake’s head
was out by the time she walked back in – Jean was supporting that.
One of the nurses actually caught him.  By the time my OB walked in,
he was out.

He was a compound presentation – hand up by his face.  So, I did end
up with a 2nd degree tear (ouch!), but it all went very well.  The
nurses were all amazed at how round his head was – no cone head at
all.  And they were all pretty amazed that I did it all with no
meds.  I have had some ibuprofin since delivery.

Recovery has been 110% easier this time around.  I feel sooo great
compared to how it was with Morgan.  Nursing has gone well also.

I will admit I was a bit of a slacker during my practice of
Hypnobabies as well.  I listened to my scripts at night and did good
at that part, but didn’t practice my fingerdrops nearly as much as
recommended.  When the time came, I didn’t even consciously put
myself into hypnosis.  But, it worked for me!  We’re pretty sure our
family is complete now, but if we were to have another baby, I’d
totally use Hypnobabies again!


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lily ann was born on monday, june 9th at 12:39am – after about 14 hours of birthing. 
i skipped church on sunday morning – because i was having some pressure waves – however, i had no idea that the baby was going to come. 
they were 5 minutes apart for over an hour, we called to check and see when the dr. wanted us to come in.  i was GBS+, so he wanted me to come in at that point. 
my doula (also my HB instructor) met us in triage. 
they admitted me soon after – and i was dilated 4 cm. 
i had never met the doctor who was on call that day – and the first thing he suggested when we got into the room was that he break my water.  we declined.  the dr. and nurse read my birth plan – and both of them seemed somewhat understanding of our preferences. 
my sister, my husband and my doula were all in the room with me.  as the pressure waves intensified, my hypnosis deepened – just like it is supposed to.  the only way anyone could tell i was having a pressure wave was to look at the monitor.  and, during the pressure waves, the doula, my sister & husband would get on each side of me – gently applying pressure to my shoulder and giving me suggestions like “peace” and “release”.  i was also listening to HB tracks.  it was amazing, during intense pressure, how i could direct my pelvic floor – and entire body – to become relaxed and limp. 
we were at 4cm for a long time – and the dr. was getting impatient.  my husband read the “come out baby” script to me and i immediately dilated to 8cm.  we moved to my side and i went to 9.5 cm.   at that point, i was pushing involuntarily.  my sweet baby was in the birth canal and i could feel here there. 
when the dr. said it was time to push, it was such a relief.  and i knew i would see her soon.  all i could do was smile during and between each pushing wave.  my husband said he thinks we had 4 pushes to get her head out. 
when she came out – she was just perfect.  the best moment of my life.
she was alert – eyes open and so peaceful.  they gave her a 9.9 apgar score – not a 10 because she had purple hands for a few moments. 
the nurse was so impressed with the process.  actually, everyone involved was amazed at how peaceful the birthing process was. 
i know i couldn’t have done it without the hypnosis and the support system that i had throughout the birth. 
the nurse came back the next day – just to tell me how impressed she was. 
lily ann weighed 6 lb. 12 oz. and was 19.5 inches long. 
God has truly blessed us.

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My pressure waves started early Thursday morning, June 12th (not sure
what time as I didn’t look at the clock when they woke me up) but I
finally got up after one woke me up at 6:40am. I had another one 10
min later so I decided to try and time them. Starting at 7am I
started timing them and I had 4 in a row at just under 10 min apart.
They stayed between 10 – 20 min apart for most of the day. I started
listening to my Hypnobabies script Easy Stage One on repeat.

Between 5 – 6pm they started to get more intense and they seemed more
frequent. I asked my husband to time them for me and they were coming
about 6 – 7 min apart and lasting about 30 – 45 sec. I continued to
breathe through them and listen to my Hypnobabies scripts the entire
time. I alternated between Painless Childbirth and Easy Stage One.

At about 9pm when the pressure waves were about 4-5 min apart for an
hour I asked my husband to call my mom to have her come down (she
lives down the street from me). When the pressure waves were
consistently 3-4 min apart and lasting close to a minute we decided
to head to the hospital. I took a 15 min shower first while my mom
hovered over me and my husband got everything out to the car.

We arrived at the hospital at 9:30pm on Thursday, June 12th. I was
taken to a triage room and put on the fetal monitor, my vitals were
taken, and a cervical exam showed I was 6-7 cm dilated. The triage
nurse was surprised at this because she said I was doing so well.

A different doctor was on-call for my OB’s group so they called him
to get labor orders (I also knew this doctor very well and was quite
happy that he was on-call). The triage nurse told me that I was being
moved to a L&D room and they would keep the monitor straps on me and
hook me up when I got to my room. I asked her if I could have
intermittent monitoring so that I could walk around if I wanted to
and she said she would call the doctor to ask. The doctor insisted on
continuous fetal monitoring, but I wasn’t required to stay in bed, I
just couldn’t go past the wire length.

I was then taken to my L&D room and introduced to my nurse. I was GBS
positive so I already knew that I had to have antibiotics but I had
requested a hep lock only so another nurse came in to put the hep
lock in. I had to have two bags of antibiotics and was able to move
around at the bedside while this was being dripped. During this time
I was sitting on the glider in the room and was listening to my
scripts. My husband and mom were with me and were awesome in helping
me stay relaxed and reminding me to take sips of water to stay
hydrated. As soon as my antibiotic was done I was disconnected from
the IV.

My husband gave my nurse my birth plan and to my surprise she read it
very thoroughly and clarified a few things with me. He also gave her
the brownies I had made and she was surprised at this and said no one
has ever given them anything like that before. She seemed very
appreciative of that.

I continued breathing and relaxing through my pressure waves and when
they started getting much more intense I found that standing leaning
against the counter and swaying my hips back and forth really helped
me through them. I felt better able to relax my birthing muscles with
my abdomen kind of “hanging” out in front of me.

At 11:45pm I was standing at the counter in the room when I had a
pressure wave and along with it a huge urge to push and I did push
some and had a big gush of fluid. I told my husband and my mom and
said to get the nurse because I felt like I had to push. My husband
said that my triage nurse who first checked me when I arrived at the
hospital overheard him tell my nurse this and he said she whispered
to another nurse, “that was fast.” My nurse came in and had me get in
bed to check me. I had another pressure wave with an urge to push,
and I did, and had another gush of fluid. She said I was about 9 cm
dilated and they were calling Dr. Wiseman and I should not push until
the last lip of my cervix was out of the way. The most difficult part
for me was having pushing pressure waves with that incredibly strong
urge to push and being told not to.

This was the point that I lost focus on relaxing because it was so
difficult to not push. My husband and mom jumped in to help talk me
through trying to relax and not push so I would dilate that last bit.
The nurse wanted to check me again during a pressure wave to see if I
dilated. She checked me and I did dilate to 10cm and was given the go
ahead to push. The doctor was still not there yet. I tried to push in-
between pressure waves to help stretch my perineum without the force
of a pressure wave behind it and I did fairly well with this. I used
the “breathing baby down” technique of pushing and was very vocal
with the use of “ahhhh” to get through this part.

My nurse was getting very nervous because she said she could see hair
and the doctor was still not there. Another nurse in the room assured
her that he would be there any second. He came in shortly after that
and they got everything ready and wanted me to turn onto my back and
put my feet in stirrups but I was more comfortable lying on my side
with my leg up so I stayed in that position. My husband and another
nurse were holding my top leg up while I pushed. The doctor was
wonderful at helping to guide my pushing so that I wouldn’t tear. The
pushing part actually felt wonderful and not at all uncomfortable.
When he was crowning I felt very, very tight and stretched but I
wouldn’t call it painful. This was very interesting to me since my
biggest fear that I had was the pain of crowning and of tearing.

I started pushing at about 11:55pm and my beautiful Hypnobaby was
born at 12:15am on Friday, June 13th. He was 8 lbs. 4 oz. and 20 in.
long. My husband didn’t want to cut the cord (he’s always a little
queasy around blood and stuff and was holding himself together pretty
well for what he saw), but the doctor kind of pushed the scissors
into his hands and said, “come on daddy” and showed him where to cut
and he did. A few more pushes and my placenta came out and was
intact. I did end up having a small tear that the doctor was debating
about even stitching but he did do one stitch as a precaution because
it was bleeding a bit.

The only drugs I had for this birth were the 2 bags of antibiotics
when I first arrived at the hospital and 2 Tylenol tablets after I
was in post-partum to help with some soreness. I refused the routine
Pitocin that is given after delivery because when I asked if there
was a reason I needed it the nurse didn’t have one and she said that
I was fine. Total time from active birthing time to delivery was
about 6-7 hours and this is my first baby. Total pushing time was
about 20 minutes.

This birth was such a wonderful, intense and incredible experience
and I am so thankful to the Hypnobabies program for allowing me and
my husband to have a birthing experience the way God intended for
women to have.

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On Monday, May 5th, I went to my appointment with the midwife. My due
date was on May 3rd, so she started talking about the possibility of
inducing labor since they can not continue my care if I am over due
too long. I did not want to be induced so I let her strip my
membranes. That was not a comfortable experience even trying to relax.
She said that she could feel Claire’s ear.  That totally weirded my
husband out. (:
    After my appointment we went bike shopping for my husband. I was
cramping and bleeding but nothing much was happening. When Brian got
back we went on a walk. When we were starting back I started cramping.
It started getting so I did not want to walk through them although I
could. When we got back home we decided to go out on what may have
been our last date before the baby. We went to “Color Me Mine” and
painted some pottery for the baby. That was really fun!

    We got back around 10:30 and I went to bed around 11:30. Around
1:00 I woke up feeling contractions but went back to sleep. By 2:00 I
could no longer sleep and woke up my mom and we started timing
pressure waves. Around 5:30 they were 45-1:00 minute long and only
about 3-4 minutes apart and we decided to go to Orem Community. I was
trying to stay very relaxed and using my hypnobabies suggestions. We
got to the hospital at 6:00 and they admitted me to the triage. When
they checked me I was 3 centimeters dilated. The midwife on call
started me on antibiotics (since I was GBS +) and after an hour I was
at a 4. They decided to admit me and we called the doula. Our doula
was out of town and the backup was already at a birth so we got the
backup to the backup (Megan) and she was AMAZING. When she got there
she started me walking up and down the hall over and over again.
Anytime a wave came on I would put my arms around Brian and Megan
would put counter pressure on my hips. We also tried sitting on the
toilet. I know some people really like that but I DID NOT.   The
midwife on call (Sue) came and checked me at noon. She asked if I
wanted to know where I was and I said only if it was good news such as
a 7 or 8. Ha. She didn’t say anything and in my mind I told myself
that I was AT LEAST a 6. 🙂 After I asked what I had been. My mom told
me that I had only been at a 5. I am glad I didn’t know that because I
would have been very disappointed.

    At that point I started losing control a little and I kept saying
that I did not think I could do it anymore. Megan told me to just get
through one at a time and that my endorphins would kick it up a notch
if I could just last 20 more minutes. It actually was 40 minutes but I
put on my birthing day affirmations and completely zoned out. (next
time I will turn it on earlier!)  Sometimes the doula or the midwife
would try to talk to me and I would be in the middle of a birthing
wave but they could not tell because they were watching me and not the
computer. I asked to be checked again so I got into bed and I was at
an 8. I was so tired that I was falling asleep in between pressure
waves and completely zoning out during them. I asked to be checked
again and she said 9 ½!!

  I started to get my sense of humor back and it wasn’t very long
before I looked up and told Sue that I needed to poop.   That got
everyone hustling to get everything ready for baby. I wanted a
squatting bar and they hunted one out of storage. I pushed for a while
that way but my legs started to get really tired. Megan got on the bed
behind me and I put my feet on the bar to push. They also brought out
a mirror so I could see her crowning. That made me push more
effectively! I only pushed for maybe 30 min and at 3:07 pm out she
came! 6 lbs 12 oz, 20.5 inches.  They hustled her to the respiratory
therapist and I just bawled. I couldn’t believe I had my baby! She was
just beautiful. Didn’t have a cone head at all. They finally finished
with her and I was so glad to hold her.  Everyone remarked about how
alert and awake she was.

    The easiest part of my birthing time was transition.  Totally
pain free.  I know I could have done better during some parts but on
the whole it was amazing how I just felt pressure!  The worst part was
when I got nauseous and vomited but my birthing waves stopped when
that happened so I didn’t have to worry about them.  My husband was an
awesome coach and my doula and midwife…amazing.  Recovery was easy and
everyone was impressed with Hypnobabies.  Whoo hoo!  (And it was fun
to say “I told you I could” to everyone who doubted my ability to go
natural 🙂 )

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Amberle was born at 6:25ish on Tuesday, May 6.  I woke up Monday
morning around 4 with cramping thinking to myself, if I don’t get
back to sleep I’m not going to have a very good time!  I plugged in
my easy first stage track on my iPod and didn’t wake back up until
about 6:30.  Between 6:30 and 7 though, I had about 5
contraction/cramps and started wondering just how fast this birth was
going to be!

As I went about my day I made sure I got some of my last minute
things done such as grabbing some receiving blankets from the store,
and picking up my Medic Alert bracelet from being repaired.  Monday
went along pretty normally save the every 20-60 min cramps.

Although by Monday evening I was pretty sure this baby was coming
out, off to bed I went at my normal time after a nice long hot bath.
I managed to sleep from about 22:00 to 0:30, so I got recharged a
bit.  By 1:30 I decided I’d better wake up my husband, and get him to
write down the wave times so that I could focus on my training.  With
my first birth, I used meditation to take my mind off of the waves,
and found hypnosis similar enough that it was an easy journey.

We called our midwife at 3:30 and with my contractions actively 3-
5min apart, my husband was starting to think we should skip that
stage and head to the hospital.  My midwife kept talking to me on the
phone trying to “hear” a wave, but with my training, and tolerance
thre wasn’t much to hear.  She asked if I’d like her to come over to
check on me and I did.

She got to our house around 4:30, watched me for half an hour and
checked me at 5.  Then she believed me, not that she had doubted me,
but I was working through the waves so well that she wasn’t sure this
was “it.”  Once she found I was 6-7cm dialated though, she was ready
to be guided by me.  A few washroom breaks later, the last of which I
had two waves going up the stairs, another at the top, and two in the
washroom while trying to get back to them, we all decided that it was
time to get to the hospital.  Rush hour would be starting relaitvey
soon, and it’s better to have a baby when you’re not in a car! 🙂

We arrived at the hospital (she had gone ahead) at 6, and as my
husband, son, and I were walking in, things changed.  I went from
great focus to the mantra of “almost there” or “almost done” as I
knew from my son’s birth that if there was this much pressure and
need to push and sensation with the waves, then it was time.

We were in the birthing room at 6, my water broke while pushing in a
squating position at 6:15, and Amberle was born at 6:25ish.  The only
catch was when our midwife couldn’t find Amberle’s heart beat
(because she was engaged and too low) and I had to get on the
birthing bed.  That’s when I felt tearing start, and did end up with
2nd degree tearing.  I’m convinced that if I’d been able to stay
squating, I wouldn’t have torn, but we will never know for sure.

Amberle was 7lbs, 7oz and 20 1/2″ long.  She had a smaller head than
her brother, and looks a lot like him, just daintier.  Her birth went
much more smoothly than her brothers, and I fully give the credit for
that to our midwife.  She let me do what I had to do.  I paced
between waves, danced through them with my husband, and up until she
told me I had to get on the bed I was free to work through things on
my own.  This was a great experience!

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What an awesome birth – yes, thanks to Hypnobabies! I have had 4 other natural childbirth experiences and I have to say that this one was THE BEST!
 I had been having some issues with my blood pressure going up. I went to my appointment with my midwife on Tuesday April 8 at 9:30 a.m. and my blood pressure was 156/94 – still creeping up. My guess date was Thursday April 10, and I was really trying to avoid an induction. We discussed our options and decided to strip my membranes (something I was also wanting to avoid) and decided that we would talk about inducing on Monday morning if I hadn’t had the baby by then. Note that we didn’t actually schedule the induction, my midwife was really trying to help me have the birth I wanted! I agreed to go on bed rest as well until Monday to see if that would bring my BP back down.
 After my membranes were stripped, I had a lot of pressure which didn’t really bother me too much. DH and I stopped at a couple of stores on the way home, and I walked around without too much trouble at all. When we got home around noon, I soaked in a nice warm bath and relaxed with the Deepening CD.
 Around 3 pm I started having sporadic pressure waves, anywhere from 10 – 15 minutes apart and lasting abut a minute. They were very manageable with the Birth Guide CD, and I relaxed on our sofa. After about an hour and a half, the PWs started getting stronger, and I was leaning over the back of the sofa on my knees to alleviate pressure. It worked GREAT! I found I wanted to stay in CENTER, even though when I practiced, I always liked OFF better.
 For just about 10 minutes, my confidence slipped (even though this was natural birth #5 for me!). I told DH that I was worried that I couldn’t do it. I actually cried at this point – NOT from p**n, as I still wasn’t having what I would call p**n, but from uncertainty and a lack of confidence in myself. DH was great and reassured me that I COULD do it, and *if* I couldn’t, he would still be there. That was all it took to reinstate my BOP and my confidence. I was ready to do this!
 Pretty soon, I found I was needing help from DH to stay focused. I called my birth support team to let them know that we would probably be leaving for the hospital within the next hour. Then I spent about another hour at home so I wouldn’t get to the hospital too soon. I found that when I verbalized (or had DH say) that the waves were “just pressure” it really kept me focused. So there I was, leaning over the back of the sofa on my knees with DH’s hand on my forehead, chanting “just pressure” and “peace” and “relax”. DH kept saying “You are numb from the waist down, you are relaxed, you are only feeling pressure” and it really helped me SO much!!
 We left for the hospital at about 6 pm, after I vomited. Yep, I have never thrown up in labor, but I did with this one. 😦 It was not traumatic for me, though, I think my body was just trying to empty my stomach. For just a minute or two, I was worried that I had waited too long to leave, but I immediately put the thought out of my mind, as I didn’t want any stress.
 It takes about an hour to get to the hospital where I would have the baby. When we got in the car, my PW’s picked up to about 4 – 5 minutes apart. DH was alternating putting his hand on my shoulder, and on my forehead while driving and talking me through each wave.
 When we got to the hospital, they had NO ROOMS AVAILABLE! What a surprise! I was in a wheelchair in the hallway with my birth support team having all the usual signs of being in transformation – a bit of nausea, and I was shaking some. I was also hot, and then cold. I am sure we were a sight to see in the hallway, and I really do not think that the staff realized how close I was to birth. I finally got admitted at 9:05 pm after my midwife came in and told them to get me in a room within 5 minutes (in a very firm voice!). There was a room that had just been vacated, it just hadn’t been cleaned. Also, we had a little difficulty out of our nurses about the number of people in my support team. I had 2 of my sisters, my husband, and a doula. Fortunately, I had already cleared all this with the hospital administration ahead of time, and he had given me his pager number. After a quick page to him, we got an apology from the charge nurse and were left alone!
 I got into a gown and let my midwife monitor the heartbeat for about 10 minutes. No IV, no nurses bothering me! My midwife did a quick exam and said I was 8 cm, and that the baby was at about a zero station. Then she said I could get up. (I had requested that they not break my water.) I got right on my birthing ball – having waves and sipping ice water and stayed there until I began to feel the urge to push.
 I have to say here that I really HATE pushing. I have never enjoyed it with any of my other births either! Some women find that it feels good, or empowering, or feels like a type of release, but I really don’t enjoy the feelings associated with it. So I asked my midwife to just let me push when I felt like it, and she agreed. She says she doesn’t like pushing either! 🙂
 I stayed on the ball until I felt the bag of waters bulging out on my perineum a bit. It was harder to remain focused at this point, although everyone I talked to later said it looked like I really had it together. Then I decided to move to the bed, with the back all the way up so that I was in a sitting position. This was pretty comfortable for me. At that point, I was making low pitched groaning noises (unfortunately, I had to have a BM at the same time I was pushing and I hadn’t had one all day – yuck!). I pushed rather hard about a half dozen times, and his head was out! I said, “Get him out! Get HIM OUT!”, and that was the first time I felt like I really lost control for just a minute. I really pushed too hard, and got a small tear, but I was really wanting to get it over with, since I do hate pushing! The membranes were still around him and hadn’t ruptured, and all the water was behind him. It also had meconium in it, so they quickly got the membranes off him, handed d him to me for a quick minute, cut the cord, and then handed him to the nurses. Respiratory services had to use a tube to clear his passages, but they did all that right in the room and then gave him back to me. He was born at 10:07 pm, just about t 1 hour after I got a room!
 He nursed like a champ! He weighed 7 lb 9 oz and was 19.5 inches long. His head was a whopping 14 inches around, and I ended up with 3 small stitches – my first stitches ever. They aren’t bad at all, and I am not in any p**n now either.
 We got lots of nice compliments from our midwife and a few of the nicer nurses about how peaceful and calm our birth was.
 I had already told the hospital staff that I didn’t want my baby going to the nursery at all, so he stayed with me the whole time and got his first bath from his mommy! I wouldn’t have even bathed him at all until we got home, but he did have meconium on him everywhere! We were discharged at 14 hours after birth, and the hospital staff had me sign waivers for the procedures that we declined (including vit. k shot, eye goop, etc) with NO arguments. THAT was nice for me not to have to argue!
 A few things I highly recommend:
 For hospital births, contact hospital administration to discuss your desires and get a plan in place to be sure those are met. This saved us SO much stress!
 Stand firm with your desires – you are paying them!
 Get a birthing ball – wow, what a difference it makes!
 Make sure your support team is in place – mine was invaluable for keeping me focused
 Don’t get the membranes ruptured artificially unless you really have to – they really do help cushion you! I had it done with all the others, and this one was definitely a gentler birth.
 Do all your CDs regularly – it really does help!
 I am on a post baby high right now – feel free to email if you have questions!! I feel like a Hypnobabies PRO!!

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Elsa’s Birth

Bullet points:

-Hospital birth with MW
-First baby, did not find out sex before birth
-5’8″ 120 lbs. pre-pregnancy, gained 35 pounds
-Used BabyPlus machine starting at 18 weeks, less regimented towards end of pregnancy
-Faithfully practiced Hypnobabies home study course daily from week 25 to birth
-GBS + (had saline lock and was given 2 rounds of antibiotics)
-Baby arrived at 38 1/2 weeks
-From 5 cm to Baby’s birth: 5 1/2 hours
-Had chiropractic treatment (massage and adjustment) for sciatica every other week from
weeks 24-32
-Did acupuncture treatment starting at 30 weeks (2 treatments total)
-Success thanks to Hypnobabies resulted in drug-free, discomfort free, GLORIOUS birth!

Pre-Birth Sensations
I awoke the morning of April 30 at around 1:30 a.m. with menstrual-type cramps that
continued throughout the night at the rate of roughly four per hour. My DH and mom
headed off to yoga around 9 a.m. later that morning, and I emailed the Hypnobabies
groups my “real thing” question, as I really didn’t have any idea how long these would or
could go on.

The cramps were lasting from :45 to 1:50 and seemed pretty consistent, coming about
every ten minutes. They were fairly strong and a good chance to practice my “off” switch
and other Hypno-tools.

We had a standing appointment with our MW at 1:45 but I put a call in anyway to let them
know what was happening. Very calmly they said to just keep doing what we’re doing and
to come to the appt. I was hungry and had 2 soft boiled eggs and a little bit of toast, this
breakfast was falling pretty short of what I usually eat, but I felt I needed protein and was
a bit shaky from all the cramps through the night.

When I went to get ready for the MW, around 11:30 a.m., I saw brownish spotting, the first
time in my entire pregnancy. This moment was feeling more and more real, and I told my
DH and my parents (we are delivering near their house and will spend time here with the
new little one) and my sweet DH, he went into HIGH GEAR. (I finally had to tell him to relax
because his frenetic packing the car was getting me a bit nervous, all the racing about! He
was adorable, with one of the baby monitors on his belt and the other with me, staying
“relaxed” and in “off” or center.

At our 2 p.m. appt., our MW asked if I wanted to be checked and to my surprise, I did. I
just didn’t know still if this was the “real thing”. Sure enough, I was 100% effaced and
dilated to 3 cm. She told me I could either go home (about 8 minutes away) or hang out for
awhile, take a walk, and then go get ready to go get settled at the hospital. We opted to
walk the parking lot, up a hill, and while I was doing that, the waves seemed to come more
frequently, leaving me to bend over DH or lean or sit down on the curb. The waves came
closer together while walking and I soon wanted to rest, so I lay down in the back of our
truck with a camper shell (prepared with blankets, again DH!)

Checking in to the Hospital
We arrived at the hospital at 4:30. The MW’s assistant monitored the baby for a little bit-
it seemed she was dragging her feet a bit to give me a little more time to progress.
Wonderful! Our delivery hospital is very unique in our area in that they allow very
personalized births, laboring in tubs, birth attended by MW, but there was still a certain
level of bureaucracy that is to be expected. My hunch is the staff thought I was checking
in too early, really, but my MW knew my desire to get settled and I felt as though she
really advocated for me to be there.

By 5:30 we were moved and settled into our labor and delivery room-beautiful,
overlooking the Pacific Ocean with the entire western facing wall, windows. I was checked
and found to be at 4.5-5 cm. Good news.

The next two hours were uneventful, but focused. DH massaged my back constantly as I
sat spread eagle on the birthing ball, my pelvis tilted forward and leaning on the bed
listening to the “Birthing Day” CD. I just focused all my mental energy on my cervix to
keep that dilation moving along. By 7 p.m., I was at 8 cm with hardly noticing any
difference in intensity from what I had been feeling all day.

My two favorite places to be were on the ball or on the toilet, leaning against DH. He had
told me earlier that week that “I only had to get through one wave at a time, that’s it.” It
served as the singularly most powerful reminder during my birthing time and kept me
focused. At one point, I thought, “How much longer can this go on?” because it was
physically fairly strenuous and to work with my Hypnobabies training meant that, for me
at least, I was using a fair amount of mental exertion to keep on target.

At the time, I didn’t think I consciously used “center” much if at all-looking back though,
I believe I was in center the entire time. I had NO interest in walking around, conversing,
or taking energy away from the process or my body or baby. (I certainly didn’t touch my
special knitting “birthing time project” I had chosen, but did get to make the nursing staff

At 7 p.m., I told myself that I wanted to be birthing my baby at 9 p.m. (I didn’t do much of
the pre-visualization of my birth. I just didn’t know what to put in that space and wanted
it to develop into it’s own event, but I did do all of the positive reinforcements.) Around
8:30, I felt, or rather heard, my body begin to do something different. I assumed this was
transformation and could feel I was getting close.

Birthing My Baby
I used open mouth exhaling/ahhh guttural sounds and by this point, the sound totally
changed, deepened, it was remarkable. My body was totally in charge and I felt as though
I was just along for the ride, yet still very much in control of how I choose to work through
this time. I had totally forgotten about my bag of waters, and the one time my DH stepped
away to wash his hands, my mom (and his birth assistant) took over. “POP!”, my bag of
waters did not just break but they exploded in a projectile out in front of me (I was again
on the toilet), drenching my mom’s legs. It took us both my surprise!

My MW then came in to check me and at that point, yes, we were in business! The staff
was laying out drop cloths on the floor, and I moved to where they were, next to the
hospital bed. The first position I assumed was draped over DH’s shoulder, leaning over
him. It just felt the most natural, but my MW said he wouldn’t be able to see the birth, so I
then went in to a crouching position. At this point, I mostly lost my sense of time, except
the feeling that the birthing waves were not lasting very long. The “pushing” was far more
strenuous than I imagined it would be, and my MW soon recommended that I lean back
between waves and then with the next surge, pull my knees up and transfer that power to
“curl into my baby”.

To no avail. We tried this for a bit and then also sitting on the edge of the hospital bed
with the back up and converted into an upright chair. Still no baby. I guess her head would
come out and then “prairie dog” back in. She just wasn’t coming out. At this point, my
waves had slowed to about one every five minutes or so. Pulling back on my legs
exhausted me, that was very hard and my arms felt spent after all that pulling back, also
like it was pulling energy from the effort of pushing. I looked at my MW and said, “Ok,
what can we do to speed this up?!” I was getting a bit concerned, not for me or the baby,
but there was just this sense that after several pushes her head just wouldn’t go beyond
crowning-and I was certainly pushing my mightiest-and I just sensed concern on behalf
of the staff, a sixth sense or something.

I went into the most “wakeful” state I had been in and told my husband and sister to get
the washcloths and start with the nipple stimulation. My Type A tendencies clicked in!
Sure enough, DH and sis did, and I don’t know if it made a difference, but it made me feel
as though we were actively trying to move things forward. All I could do in between was
rest, and my mom told me afterwards that those long waiting moments between birthing
pushing waves I looked like I was asleep.

My MW told me we had to change things as my perineum was swelling and I told her just
to tell my what to do. I took the side-laying position now, on my left, and DH was
instructed to pull up and back on my right leg, opening my pelvis. I had to pull back on
that leg, too. My MW was also very serious in telling me that I had to push hard hard hard,
get this baby out. By this time, our baby had been in the birth canal, just crowning, for
close to 45 minutes. No one seemed concerned, but this sense of urgency did seem to
hover. On the first wave, I pushed, but the same thing, right back in she went. My MW was
instructing me now on my breath: As I feel the wave coming, take a deep breath, exhale,
then take another deep breath and hold it and push. I did that through a few of the waves
and was surprised that “how” to breath through this didn’t come more naturally. It was
very hard to hold my breath and push like that (I am in quite good physical shape, with
regular walking and yoga throughout the pregnancy), and at this point, I started this
spontaneous mantra: “I am ready to hold our baby in my arms.” I just kept on with this,
chanting it to myself, and at the same time, saying a prayer: “This child, as God’s divine
idea, is already here. I just need to bring it out.” These two things strengthened me and
really helped me get her out on the next push. Thank God!

Post Birth
I heard everyone’s excitement as she emerged and I could feel the relief and beautiful
slipping as the last of her body left mine. She was immediately brought to my chest and I
just remember looking at her and being awed that she was finally in my arms. The
geometry of her body suddenly made sense to me, I could see and feel the curve of her
little butt, the right angle of her elbow, and what was unknown to me for so many months
clicked and fit.

She was really pretty quiet. The staff roughed her dry with a towel and she cried a bit, then
just settled onto my chest. Then, oddly, for the FIRST TIME during the entire birth, I felt
discomfort. Come to find out, it was the baby’s umbilical cord, still attached, stretching up
over me and kind of cutting in to my crotch, like when jeans ride up! What a ridiculous
sensation, after a completely discomfort-free birth, to feel this!

Five minutes or so passed, and the MW’s assistant said, “Well, do you know what you have?
Don’t you want to know?” I just looked at her and mused and sighed. It was like that last
thing that mattered. “Yes”, I said. And they lifted little one and told us, “It’s a girl, you’ve
got a little girl.”

Baby Elsa stayed with us for 1 1/2 hours before the staff weighed her, etc., which was all
done just a few feet away in our room. Everyone was stunned to learn her size, 8 lbs., 14
oz. and 20″ long. This big of a baby came as a surprise as DH and I were both born 7 lbs.
a few ounces, at 40 weeks. I couldn’t imagine had Elsa had gone for a few more weeks-
babies do arrive on their “birth days”!

Elsa did get the Vitamin K shot and eye ointment a few hours later. She roomed in with us
and took to the breast 45 minutes after her birth. I did have tearing and stitches, and did
get anesthesia for the stitching up. (We did do perineum massage regularly pre-birth but
she was also a very big baby.) Elsa nursed throughout the night and has continued to
nurse. That said, she did lose 10% of her birth weight by the third day (down to 8 lbs.) but
by the fifth day, she was back up to 8 lbs. 6 oz. and she continues to gain.

Final Thoughts
My birth was 100% discomfort free. This alone, was miraculous. The best way to describe
the pressure (what I did feel, an incredible pressure) was that I had to take the biggest
poop ever (sorry if TMI). There is a lot more pressure directed on the bottom than I

The birthing time did take an extreme amount of focus and concentration to stay in the
Hypno-zone, and I did have to stay very very close to the idea that I take each wave as it
came. Just be in the moment. Remind myself that this was a gift I was giving my baby. I
couldn’t have done it without the support of my DH, who massaged and massaged me
through the entire birth, was there for me to lean on, literally and figuratively. The
experience was far more blissful than I imagined, not at all scary, and just beautiful. I
couldn’t have scripted a better birth for our new daughter, Elsa.

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When my husband and I got pregnant we did extensive research on the having the safest birth possible for both mother and baby.  We chose a midwife as our healthcare provider based on exceptional outcomes research.  We quickly came to the conclusion that natural birth was what we wanted.  Our midwife recommended using Hypnobabies for pain management and we began the extensive self-study course.  We practiced everyday and did all the recommended cues and affirmations.  We knew we were not ready to have a home birth, but we were apprehensive about birthing in a hospital because of unnecessary medical interventions.  Our midwife assured us we would be fine and to put together a Birth Plan.

I am happy to report that I was able to give birth in such a perfect way!  The nurses at the hospital were so wonderful, loving and patient.  They really facilitated such a spiritual birth for our little one.  They were so respectful of our preferences.  They used a Doptone instead of the external fetal monitor and allowed her to be placed immediately on my chest when she was born for an hour.  She was able to nurse immediately, and they also did all procedures in the room with us.  My midwife is truly an angel as well.  She knew I desperately wanted to have a natural hypnobirth and she was there and supported me the entire time!  Even when I felt like it was going to be impossible, she reminded me that I could do it and to stick with my plan.

I woke up at 1:30am Saturday morning with menstrual-like cramps that started in my back and wrapped around the lower part of my abdomen. They were about 5-10 minutes apart and very regular so I was sure my birthing time had begun.  I laid in bed for an hour but I was restless so I decided to start baking brownies for the nursing staff.  Our dog came down to see what the commotion was, and then went upstairs to wake my husband. 

We went to the hospital around 9:15am once I had been having pressure waves for 1-2 hours and they were 2-3 minutes apart.  We called the in-laws to start their journey from Ohio, paged my midwife and called my Mom.  We loaded up the car and were on the way to take the dog to doggie day care, I was deep in my hypnotic trance with my headphones on when I noticed blue lights in the rearview mirror. We were being pulled over!  My husband jumped out of the car at the red light and motions to the police officer that I am in labor by pointing to his belly.  The officer pulled up beside us, took one look at me and asked if we needed a police escort.  We thanked him and said we could make it on our own.  I was still in trance but I was getting a little uncomfortable and irritated at the disruption. 

When we got there, my pressure waves slowed down considerably because I was nervous about being in the hospital.  I was only 3cm dilated so my husband and I walked the halls for an hour, bounced on my birthing ball and paced.  When my midwife checked me around 1:00pm I was 5-6cm and 100% effaced.  I used my hypnosis and was able to stay in trace during most of the dilation.  I could hardly feel the pressure waves at all.  When I was 7-8cm when my midwife suggested I get in the tub.  I was a little reluctant, but I decided to do it and my husband helped me. I was so glad I did because it provided tremendous relief and allowed me to catch my breath. 

My husband was so wonderful! He was with me the whole time helping me with my hypnosis ques, bringing me water, snacks and holding my hand while they checked the heartbeat.  He didn’t leave my side once, not even go to the bathroom!  My mom was there supporting me the entire time as well.  Her Lamaze experience definitely came in handy during the pushing phase.  I was fully dilated around 5:00pm and tried pushing in several different positions.  It was very hot and when my mom asked if she could loosen my gown I grabbed it and tore it off. My modesty went out the window as I was fully concentrated on staying as comfortable as possible. 

I was getting frustrated, feeling that I wasn’t making progress and almost came out of my trance.  I leaped on to the bed in high position and grabbed the mattress and screamed.  My husband and mom came to my rescue quickly and reminded me that I can do this and to RELAX! I agreed and made the conscious decision to continue with the tools I had for hypnosis. Looking back on it, I would guess this would be what they refer to as  “transition”. 

Finally, I was most comfortable on my side.  I tried to push with every pressure wave, but since I was so deep in trance, I could only feel it at its peak and wasn’t able to utilize the full force. With every round of pushing everyone would exclaim “THIS IT, PUSH HER OUT!”  They got me the mirror and showed me part of her head sticking out.  My  midwife encouraged me to feel her head as well.  I knew I could do this; it was just going to take some time. I had to pace myself. I pushed and pushed and in-between I used my relax cue to catch my breath and took sips of water.  It was amazing that I had so much control considering I had no pain medication.  My midwife used bottle after bottle of mineral oil to massage and stretch me.  We listened to the “Pushing Baby Out” CD it seemed like 100 times and we were all getting annoyed but nobody could reach the CD played to turn it off or change CD’s.

Centimeter-by-centimeter, baby Claire was born at 9:30pm after 4.5 hours of pushing.  I didn’t end up with any stitches or episiotomy! I had a very small tear that didn’t even bleed.  It was so awesome, as soon as she was born and they placed her on my chest she looked up at me with those big eyes.  How amazing!  I did it all natural and my baby is so healthy and relaxed as well.  She is beautiful and her head was perfectly round despite such a long time in the birth canal.  She nursed right away and was very content.

What a spiritual and euphoric experience!  We are truly blessed and it was worth all the hard work.  It means so much to me that with all the loving support and patience of my midwife, husband and mother, I was able to be empowered to have the perfect natural birth.  Later I found out that some of my friends had actually placed a bet that I would end up with an epidural.  You can imagine how excited and proud I was to tell them my birth story!!!

This birth story was shared by a mom from the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group.  Come join us if you want to learn more about Hypnobabies!  (You must send an introduction to be approved to the group) 

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