(This is the fourth in a series of e-mails Angela, posted on the Hypnobabies Yahoo Group in December. I will be posting them here approximately on the dates she sent them in December so you can see the steps she took to try to create the ideal birth for her. It required a lot of her work on her part. Check back to see the challenges she faced and the choices she made and what the outcome was.)
Cadence was born on the 20th at 2:12am, was 20 inches long and weighed 7lbs 3oz.
The Birth Story of Cadence. When we found out we were expecting our first child I began to think about what type of experience I wanted for the birth of our little one. I found Hypnobabies through a relative and began the Hypnobabies Home Study course at 28 weeks. I was excited to find a program that I thought would give me the type of birthing experience I desired.
A little note on my pre-birth experiences: During this pregnancy I changed Doctor’s three times and was concerned about the Hospital I would be birthing in. (Posted earlier “confident to change Dr’s and Hospitals 48 hours prior to due date“, as well as “Hospital Tour” Posted on December 1st.)Thanks to the positive affirmations and thought programing of Hypnobabies and my supportive family I had the courage to continue the pursuit of the birth experience I desired for me and our baby.
I found a midwife who took me on as a patient 2 days prior to my due date. She encouraged my desire to go all natural but said that it would be a hard labor since it was my first. I just told her I deserved an easy and comfortable birth and told her I’d been practicing and preparing for months with the Hypnobabies home study.
On Friday the 18th (5 days post due date and the 2nd appointment with her) she stripped my membranes and we discovered the baby had turned posterior. Nothing to worry about but she said it would be a more difficult labor. I told her that the baby would be turned by arrival time. I kept positive, spent a lot of time on all 4’s and visualized the baby turning not only anterior but left anterior. She turned and was in perfect position for the birth.
On Saturday the 19th, while Christmas Shopping at Cabelas and Sam Ash Music I began to have consistent waves of pressure. I did not feel them as many people had described but they came as just a tightening in my tummy. At the music store I went to the bathroom 5 times and found myself relaxing over shelves of music every few minutes. I went and told my husband that we needed to go home now.
We arrived at home around 6:00pm. My Mom and Husband helped me into our jacuzzi bath at home and I relaxed and ate a piece of pizza between birthing waves. I turned on the “Easy First Stage” and then proceeded through other favorite Hypnobabies CD’s trying to remain relaxed and calm as the pressure waves proceeded to get more intense and closer together. My husband and mom were very helpful and kept in touch with our midwife on the status of the birthing waves. I stayed consistent with each birthing wave lasting about 1:15-1:30 and coming between 2-3 minutes apart from about 6:30-9:00pm. I was able to take a 2 hour nap between 7-9pm while listening to the “Deepening” Cd over and over again. It was so relaxing and when I awoke at 9pm I couldn’t believe that I had been asleep for 2 hours! The birthing waves had progressed in intensity and were now about 1:45-2:00 minutes apart. My Husband and Mom packed the car and we were on our way. My Mom kept her hand on my shoulder or forehead saying the words “Peace and Relax” through each birthing wave. We live a good 30 minutes from the hospital and while the ride had some bumps, Hypnobabies helped me to relax and we were there before I knew it.
It was now 10:30pm. We had to enter through the ER at the hospital and the staff didn’t seem to move very fast as they saw how calm I was with my ear buds in my ears and almost sleeping in the wheelchair while I waited to be taken to triage. My birthing team (husband and mom) were growing a bit impatient with the slowness of the staff and knowing that I am probably further along than everyone thought. I was finally moved to Triage at 11:00pm. I asked to remain in my own clothes for comfort and relaxed in the room with my Mother while my husband and stepdaughters waited in the waiting room. The nurse told me Ellen (our midwife) was just a few minutes away and that they would wait until she arrived to have her check me. Ellen worked at this hospital for many years as a nurse prior to becoming a midwife so all of the nurses knew her and left her patients alone. They monitored me and baby’s heart rates. The baby’s heart rate was a bit fast but was still within the safe zone.
Ellen arrived around 11:10pm. When she arrived I asked her to give me a minute to relax (turned off my light switch) and then she proceeded to check me. I was relaxed with my ear buds in but my mom said that Ellen’s eyes lit up with a smile on her face and she said “She’s doing really good! She’s at 5cm!” I of course was oblivious to this but mom gave me a 5 on her hand and everyone was smiling so I figured that was good.
We then walked from the triage room to the L&D room where my husband, stepdaughters and nurse joined us. I had to stop and rest on the wall several times but nothing was unbearable. Ellen told me that we could break my water (which would increase the intensity of pressure waves and make them come quicker) or we could wait and see what happens. For the first time I asked “just for reference how far along into birthing time could I get an Epidural if I decide it is to much” . She said I could get it anytime I wanted all the way through 10 cm dilated but if I made it this far I could make it all the way. Once we got to the room they checked my vitals and Ellen went right to running a bath for me in the jacuzzi tub. Vitals were normal but I was a little dehydrated so she told me if I wanted to avoid an IV I needed to drink more fluids. So I said bring me the water and juices..and I drank and drank and drank. No IV Needed!
I stayed in the tub for about an hour relaxing with each birthing wave. I was listening to the “Easy First Stage” and it said something about the “bag of membranes releasing easily” and right then..I felt a pop and my bag of membranes broke! Hooray! No need to break the membrane bag! I began to feel intense pressure in my thighs-hips. My husband put counter pressure on my hips and legs and my mom kept her hand on my shoulder or forehead. It was a full time job for both of them and they were both pretty sore in the following few days!
My nurse Elizabeth was wonderful as well and was so helpful in replenishing my fluids and bottles of juice and water. I then moved back to the bed to check our vitals and all was still good! I began to think…I can do this..this is totally manageable. At times I would repeat the Hypnobaby phrases out loud..and used the cues of “Peace, Ahh and Relax” to cue everyone in that another birthing wave was beginning and I needed counter pressure now!
At about 1:00am I needed to go to the bathroom so on we went to the toilet. I went to the restroom and after sitting there for about 15 minutes I felt my uterus push. I said “It’s pushing!” I’m not sure how loud I was as I had my ear buds in at full blast and was oblivious to everyone else. The nurse said “don’t push” and I responded “I’m not..It’s pushing itself!” She then said well don’t encourage it or bear down until we check you. Elizabeth rushed in and checked me while I was sitting on the toilet and I was 8 ½ -9 cm! Ellen said I could stay there on the toilet if I wanted or change positions. I sat there imagining birthing my baby on the toilet ..and thought yes..I need to change positions. They had set up a rocking chair to help with the decent of the baby so the plan was to move me there between waves.
At the next break we moved me to the rocking chair but as I tried to sit I knew that wasn’t going to work. The baby was coming quick. I turned around and leaned over the front of the rocking chair with my arms resting on the arms of the chair and began to rock back and forth while standing. They quickly put a bunch of pillows on the chair for me to rest my head and my husband and mom rubbed my back while Ellen and Elizabeth were preparing for the birth. Ellen commented that “it was a position she had never seen before but whatever worked!”
It was 1:40am. From this point on, everything got very intense. My uterus was pushing with every birthing wave and they were coming very close together. My body responded with an animal-tiger like growl in a very low gutteral tone. It was amazing to feel the power of my body and the uterus moving the baby down and out. There was never a point where I thought “I could not do this” . It was very intense and I could feel a lot of pressure but nothing I would call pain. After about 20 minutes I could feel a cramp coming up the back of my leg..and said “I’ve got to move..I’m going to get a leg cramp!” It’s funny to think about leg cramps when I am getting ready give birth to a baby! We moved to the bed and got situated on the bed.
I didn’t realize how far along I was but next then I knew..Ellen said “Ok you can push whenever you want!” I remember thinking..this is it.. “Relax”..and I kept saying ” We can do this baby, work with me” out loud. I had my husband on my right and my mom on my left each holding a hand. I had my husband turn on the “Pushing Baby Out Track” and I literally repeated everything she said out loud since no one else could hear what I was hearing (we left the CD player in the car). I felt Ellen pour warm liquid (mineral oil) all over my perineum area and start to massage and stretch me out. My uterus continued to push baby out and I began to breathe baby down with nice deep controlled breaths. I remember opening my eyes and looking up at my husband between pressure waves.
I felt a little stinging and thought…oh this must be the “Ring of Fire” that I’ve heard about. It’s not that bad! I continued to relax and let my body do what it needed to do. I heard someone say she has a full head of black hair. Ellen grabbed my hand and helped me to feel her head crowning! My husband told me after the birth he almost passed out at this point. He couldn’t believe how relaxed I was with the baby half way out! I heard someone say her head was out and then next thing I knew with a deep breath and another uterus push out she came! Total pushing time in the bed was only 12 minutes! I only had a first degree tear and am healing up nicely.
Ellen put her directly on my chest and mom let them know that we wanted to wait to cut the cord. She was beautiful and so peaceful. She had a full head of black hair and her eyes were wide open. My husband cut the cord after it stopped pulsing. It was an amazing experience and Hypnobabies gave me so many tools to use during the birthing process. I had a very positive outlook on pregnancy and birth and it could not have gone any better. My husband, mom, midwife and nurse were all amazed at how well I did. My husband said he respected me prior to the birth but after the birth it has been raised to a whole new level! I told everyone “thank you” and I just feel very blessed to be able to have an amazing birthing experience for me and my daughter.
Thank you Hypnobabies!
Angela and Cadence