The Birth of Elias
His birth couldn’t have been better! I decided to work up until my due date which was on October 26th. I went into work on the 17th for my 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. shift as a nurse at the hospital. At around 9 p.m., I lost my mucus plug which was exciting! But I had read enough to know that that doesn’t necessarily mean anything. Around 10:30 p.m., I felt myself leaking fluid. Not a gush like you see in the movies, but kind of a slow trickle and at that time I started to have what I thought were practice surges. A little more fluid came and I decided to call my husband, Michael, l who suggested I call our midwife.
My surges at that time were 4-5mins apart, but I was determined to work my entire shift so the unit wouldn’t be short handed (crazy right). The midwife said as long as I wasn’t uncomfortable that I could do whatever I felt was best for me. I told her the surges were more annoying than anything because I couldn’t focus on my work! Around 2:30 a.m., I decided to go home and I was so hungry that I stopped at the waffle house! I called Michael to tell him I was headed home and then I called my sister to tell her I thought I was in labor (still in denial). She said you can’t be in labor if you’re at the waffle house and sounding so calm.
By the time I got home, the surges went from becoming just slightly annoying to enough to keep my attention but still not “painful”. I was standing in the kitchen eating my waffle when I felt the big gush like how it happens on t.v. There was no denying at this point my water had really broken! Almost immediately I began to have more surges. I called my husband and told him he needed to come home from work. I spent the majority of my labor kneeling on the floor and leaning over the birthing ball for support while listening to the hypnobirthing recording.
Mike timed the surges when he got home, but he found this hard to do because I was so relaxed I would frequently fall asleep!!! Finally, when the surges became strong enough to keep me awake during the cd, he was able to time them. I asked, “Mike, these things seem to be closer together, how far apart are they now”? He said, “they are about 2 minutes apart for the past hour.” At about 9 a.m., he loaded up the car and we were on our way. He called the birth center and the birth photographer from the car. The midwife initially took me to an exam room and wanted to ask questions about my labor, but I didn’t want to talk at this point. She said ok well let’s see how far you’ve dilated. I looked at her and said ok but I feel like I need to make a bowel movement. Her eyes got wide as she said, “That makes me want to take you to the birth suite!” On the way to the birth center, I tried to mentally prepare by telling myself that the surges would become more intense and that I would probably only be about 3cm by the time I got there (since I heard all the stories about first- time mothers taking so long to dilate). The midwife checked me and said, “My dear, you are 8cm!”. I was so shocked, but I remember thinking ok this is going to be fine if I’m 8cm I’ve got this, it’s not as bad as people make it seem! They checked my blood pressure, which was high, so they wanted me to get in the tub right away.
After Mike set up the video camera ( I wanted my own hypnobirthing video), I asked him to get the iPad so I could listen to the hypnobirthing recording. He said he forgot to bring it! Ok, well plan B: we had the CD but he also forgot to bring his laptop to play it on and there was no cd player at the birth center! Ok, well plan c: he was to read the script of the recording to me but he couldn’t find it in the hypnobirthing folder. We did have the birth companion prompts, so he asked if I wanted him to read those. I was able to relax in the tub with him reading those to me! It didn’t become challenging until the baby began to crown. At that point, I did find it hard to focus on my breathing but Mike was a great birth companion and helped to keep me focused. He also kept offering me water! After about 15 minutes of pushing, our little boy was born at 11:26 a.m. Overall, I think HypnoBirthing really worked for me. Thank you so much for all of your help. I will definitely be recommending your class to every pregnant women I know!
The Birth of Camille
We are really happy that we took the Hypnobirthing class with Karen, who is a wonderful teacher and guide. One of the great aspects of the course was that we learned how to embody the HypnoBirthing approach by practicing the meditations regularly. We found that not only did the meditations help shift our perception surrounding birth itself, but the experience of meditating together over several months brought us closer together as a couple.
When the time came to give birth, we approached every phase of labor with calm. The labor brought us some unexpected situations that we had not anticipated in our birth plan, but thanks to HypnoBirthing we were able to reflect on the changes with serenity and re-evaluate our approach with our care providers without ever panicking or getting discouraged. Our daughter Camille was born healthy and mom’s recovery was smooth.
One of the other excellent aspects of this class is how much it empowers the birth partner alongside the mother. The nurses all remarked how helpful and grounded Marty was during labor, and his immense compassion and positivity helped Anna every step of the way.