Miley’s Vaginal Birth after 4 Cesareans, success even with a mean OB

I was told 19 years ago that I could never have a vaginal birth. This was told to me when I was pregnant with my first child by my doctor. Everyone told me I was just too little and I was just not made to birth a baby. She was a c-section and I had 3 more c-sections after that. Laboring with all of them. One, failure to wait. Two, frank breech. Three, breech. Four, because I didn’t know any different. I knew in my heart I could be normal. I believed this. I just needed someone to believe in me.
I was pregnant with my fifth child. There was only one physician said he would let me try. That’s all I needed to hear. I even scared the midwives and they wouldn’t take me. I finally was going to have a vaginal birth. Well, shortly after that I was devastated to find out I had suffered a miscarriage.
After I got the o.k. we tried again. After trying for one month we were pregnant. I did every thing I could to stay and keep healthy. I took my vitamins, ate healthy, walked 3-5 miles a day and started to see my chiropractor. I also started with Hypnobabies at 13 weeks. (I listened while sleeping at night & used the VBAC cd) Nothing and no one was going to stop me. Thanks to Hypnobabies and my big ‘bubble of peace’ I fought everyone off including my husband.
Here’s my story:
The baby was very low and had been for a couple of weeks. I knew she was going to come early. I didn’t think it would be quite this early though. It was September 5 and I was 36 weeks and 5 days. I woke up at 7:00 a.m. with my water broken. Not a gush, but not a trickle either. I hadn’t had any pressure waves yet. I knew if this was like my last birth they would start soon, even though the last one was a planned section. I woke up my DH and told him today is the day.
At 8:15 my DH called my mom and told her she would need to come and take our DD soon. She is just shy of her third b-day. We got the kids off to school. Of course, they all wanted to stay home. I started to pack up my things.
9:30 My pressure waves were barely starting.
9:45 They had picked up enough to start timing them. They were 9-10 minutes apart and 30-45 seconds long. I couldn’t feel anything except for tightening. No pain yet. At this point I was getting the car seat put together. I also spent a few minutes cleaning the kitchen.
At 10 a.m. I called my doula to give her heads up. I told her I thought it might be a while so don’t be in any big rush. I was just getting started. She said it was funny I called because she was just thinking of me and how I was. I finished up the kitchen.
10:30 a.m. I went up stairs to get the rest of my things together. I started to time my pressure waves again. To my surprise they were 2 minutes apart 45 seconds long. I knew they were a little closer. I didn’t they were that close because I had NO pain! I called my doula back to let her know. We talked about what I should do, wait it out, her come over, or go to the hospital. I didn’t want to go to soon so I decided to stay at home. Since I wasn’t in any pain I didn’t think she needed to come yet. I went on and put in my birthing day affirmations.
11:30 My mom came over to see how I was doing. She couldn’t believe I was in labor. Finally, I had to ask her to leave so I could stay focused (all she wanted to do was talk). Still no pain, only pressure.
12:00 Mom left. I got in the shower. My pressure waves are 2 minutes apart and 45 seconds long.
12:20 I got out of the shower and laid down. I put in easy first stage. At this point my two year old kept hitting the cd player and turning it off. I told my DH since I couldn’t stay focused because of DD to call my doula and mom and tell them to come. My pressure waves seemed to slow down but were more in tense.
12:25 My doula and mom were called.
12:30 My mom came. I called my doula and told her I was sweating and shaking. I had also gone to the bathroom and there was bright red blood in the toilet. She was still surprised to see how calm and in control I was. She knew because of my symptoms I was in transformation. We both agreed to meet at the hospital. I didn’t want to get there to early but now I thought I wish we had left sooner. No pain, only tightening.
1:00 We were off to the hospital. I still wasn’t in pain but the pressure waves were very intense. My DH was going 55 mph I told him he might want to go a little faster. That was a very long half hour drive.
1:30 We get to the hospital not before DH tries to go to the doctors office first. I get out of the car with no shoes on. We get buzzed in and I have a pressure wave at the door and this LOUD buzzer goes off. My ipod couldn’t drown this out. With the help of Hypnobabies and my doula I make it through. I opt out of using the wheelchair and choose to walk to triage. They ask me to pee in a cup and put on a gown I decline both and ask if they can just get me to a room.
Of course, they have to check me here first. I think they all about fell on the floor when they found out I just had an anterior lip and was +1. That got them moving a little faster.
The rest of this I am blurry on times. I remember getting to LDR and my doula tells my DH that I was pushing. I didn’t even know I was until she pointed it out. I was vocalizing at this point. Things were so intense I don’t know what I would of done without Hypnobabies or my doula.
The next thing I knew this doctor walks in that wasn’t my OB. My OB catches his own. I ask who he was. He was filling in for my OB. This was not in my plans. From the start he was rude and wanted to intervene in every way he could. My BOP was tested tremendously. I fought him for two hours. Love that BOP.
The hospital was NOT Hypnobabies or naturally birth friendly at all. He said I should be glad he was there because no one else would take me after so many c-sections. He asked if I wanted him to leave. I said yes, then he wouldn’t go! He said no one else would take as a patient. Whatever!
He also kept saying he was only giving me 15 more minutes then he was using forceps or the vacuum, this would speed things up and ease up any pain. One of the nurses said he had somewhere to be. They turned the lights on, I was center stage for people to came watch, I was told I was only thinking about me not my baby because I wouldn’t use interventions, and they told me as the baby was crowning that if I didn’t use an internal monitor I would have a dead baby! Her strip was fine. He just wanted to be in control.
I still say my BOP protected me, if only my DH knew how to use it. I was doing MUCH better than him. Also, I did get to reach down and touch my babies head, that was AWESOME!
3:28 My baby was born. The mean doctor did two episiotomies without consent! As he was sewing me up from my 2nd degree laceration when my doctor walks in. He drove in from two hours away driving 80-100 mph to catch the baby only to miss it by 10 minutes at the most. The mean doctor was giving my doctor some big spiel about how I had ruptured and I needed an IV. Yes, I won with the IV and hep-lock, I didn’t have one. I even got to wear my own clothes-no gown. I think the way I was all over the bed it would have been the way.
So, my doctor checked me and said ‘no, I hadn’t ruptured and there was no need for it’. I think he was really bummed he missed it.
I had done it. A 100% natural VBA4C. No meds at all. This gives me the courage to do it again!
In the end, it was a very bittersweet day. It was a year ago today that I found out that I had miscarried. And today I was blessed with a perfect baby girl and a natural vaginal birth that everyone doubted I could have. God is good!
Stats:
Miley Reyce
5 lbs. 13 ozs.
19″ long
Apgars: 9 and 9. Pretty good considering ‘I was self centered and the jerk was threatening me with the internal monitor with the baby not doing well’.
4 hour pain free labor-2 hours of BOP pushing. Thank You Hypnobabies!
I couldn’t have done it without my doctor, Hypnobabies, my chiropractor,and my doula.

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Elliott’s Long Anticipated Birth

Elliott’s Wonderful Hypnobabies Home Water Birth (First Baby)

A bit of background: Before I had Elliott, I had been a doula for about 5 years and a Hypnobabies instructor for about 3 years. We struggled with infertility that whole time so there was such mystery to me surrounding childbirth, even though I worked in the field and loved my job. I always hoped I would be able to experience pregnancy and childbirth but didn’t know for sure if I would get the opportunity. When we finally got pregnant on our 5th attempt at IVF, the first thing I remember thinking was, “I’m going to finally give birth to a baby.” I had a perfectly healthy, although physically difficult pregnancy, dealing with nausea the entire 40 weeks.

I was due on January 28th, the day before my 35th birthday and on Feb 1st, I still had no signs of my birthing time beginning. My brother and his wife called to see if there was anything going on and I told them there was nothing – not a single birthing wave. But I was fine waiting for the baby to come whenever he or she was ready. I was 40 weeks and 4 days and agreed to a non-stress test at 41 weeks so that’s the only thing I was dreading a little. Otherwise, I was completely fine waiting.

I remember looking at the clock when I got off the phone with them and it was 9:30pm. I felt my pelvis ache when I got off the phone but it passed. I asked my husband if he would read me a Hypnobabies script. I had been mostly listening to the scripts on CD during the maintenance phase of the program. But I loved hearing him read the scripts to me more than listening to them on CD so I was glad he agreed to read me one. It had been a while since we had done that. We probably finished the script at about 10:30 pm. I remember feeling my pelvis ache twice during the script. After the script was over, we turned out the lights and I had another ache in my pelvis that came and went.

I didn’t think anything of these aches because they felt nothing like how anyone had ever described birthing waves to me. To me, it felt like someone was tightening a vice on my pelvic bones. I just figured it was pregnancy discomfort, as I was pretty miserable towards the end of my pregnancy. Then I had another sensation and decided to look at the clock, just to see if there was a pattern. It was 10:59pm. Another one at 11:09pm. Then around 11:25pm. Then 11:34pm. I got up to use the bathroom and had some bloody show. I hadn’t had any spotting throughout my pregnancy so that was definitely different.

I came back to bed and told DH that I thought someone might be starting. He went back to sleep and I spent the next half-hour or so just sending my anesthesia to my pelvis and relaxing through the waves. I got up a little after midnight to call the midwife and give her a head’s up, even though I felt silly for calling her so soon. I went back to bed and relaxed through the waves and got up a few times to use the bathroom, only to see more bloody show. I called the midwife back around 3:00am to tell her the waves were still coming and seemed stronger and closer together. I tried to wait as long as I could to wake up DH but after I called the midwife, I woke him up and told him I thought I needed some help.

The midwife said to try a bath so DH ran a bath for me. I got in and laid on my side and he put the CD player in the bathroom so that I could listen to my Birthing Day Affirmations while he rubbed my lower back, as I was starting to feel discomfort in that area along with my pelvis. Then I would turn on my other side for a while and do the same thing. I felt like I was relaxing very well and just saying, “Ahhhh,” during every wave. At that point, I was making noise because it felt good. I decided to get out of the bath after an hour or so and tried a few birthing waves leaning over the side of our bed and on my hands and knees.

Around 5:00am, we called the midwife again. She asked if I wanted someone to come be with me but I told her I could call her back in an hour. I called her back in 45 minutes! I told her I probably needed someone to come check on me, as things weren’t slowing down at all. I realized now that I was making noise because I HAD to. I had DH call my mom and tell her to come (she had about an hour drive) and to call my fellow Hypnobabies instructor, Susan, who was going to be at the birth. I wondered before the birth how I would feel about having people around me while I was in my birthing time but in that moment, all I knew is that I wanted all the help I could get!

My mom thought we were going to call her back later to tell her to definitely come but when DH told me this, I told him to call her back and tell her to definitely come now! It seems like everyone got to the house around 7 or 7:30am. I can’t remember who got there first but by that time, the midwife’ assistant and Susan were there, faces smiling knowingly at me! The midwife’s assistant asked it I wanted to be checked and I told her I wasn’t sure because I was worried I wouldn’t be very far along. I asked her what she thought and she said she thought it would be a good idea to see where I was.

So she checked me around 7:45am or so and I was 6cm! I had never been as happy as I was to hear that! My birth team started getting the birth pool set up and DH rubbed my back and butt through each birthing wave. Susan ran back and forth to give me physical and verbal cues during birthing waves and work on filling up the birth pool in between. I finally got in around 8:30am. I hung over the edge of the pool and the water felt so good. I had little bites of bagel and cream cheese in between birthing waves and plenty of water. DH, Susan, and my mom were all surrounding me.

The physical and verbal cues were really helpful because I had practiced them so often and was able to relax instantly when I heard or felt them. I was still breathing deeply and Ahhh’ing through the birthing waves. I felt like I got louder and louder as the intensity of the waves built up. But I was focused on relaxing and it felt good to keep leaning over the edge of the pool. Pretty soon, I started to feel my body bear down and I let the midwife’s assistant know. She called the midwife to give her an update. They were trying to figure out if she should leave the third-time mom she was currently with or stay with her.

So the midwife’s assistant asked me to get out of the tub to get checked, so they could make a decision. I was fully dilated and it was about 9:00am. I got back in the tub and they called the backup midwife, who was about 45 minutes away. Susan put the Pushing Baby Out track on in the kitchen where I was. The midwife’s assistant told me to still try not to push but let my body do the pushing. I think that was partly because she wanted the backup midwife to get there but mainly to just allow for a gentle second stage.

I was a little confused about what I should be doing so I tried not to add to my pushing but my body was definitely pushing. It was getting harder to try and relax but I felt where the baby was inside of me and I could feel that he or she was making progress downward so that was inspiring! At one point, I felt a little pop inside and I think that was the hindwaters releasing because I could still feel the forewaters very taut around the baby’s head. The was so much pressure that I thought about asking the midwife’s assistant to break the forewaters but right when I was thinking that, she said how good it was that they were there to protect the baby’s head. The midwife’s assistant let me know that the baby would be crowing in the next few birthing waves.

I remember feeling intense pressure as he or she crowned and I let out my only shriek as the baby’s head came out, although I had to be told that that’s what had just happened. The baby didn’t wait for the next birthing wave but came out all at once instead. It was 10:58am. The midwife said, “There’s the baby,” and nudged him or her between my legs. I turned around quickly and brought the baby up out of the water as I sat down. I looked and said, “Oh! It’s a boy!” He was making noises and had a great heart rate. DH laughed and said, “You caught him yourself!” The back up midwife walked through the door right after he was born. We couldn’t believe we were holding our baby boy after waiting so long for him and that everything had gone so smoothly!

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Dad almost missed the chance to catch his baby, because he came out so fast.

Originally posted on the Hypnobabies Blog on March 31st, 2011.

Hi all, well my bubba was born on Monday morning (20 September) at 7.11am, weighing 9lb 7oz and 54cm long.  It was after a very intense 3 hours but an experience that I am appreciating more and more each day as I reflect upon and process my feelings.

Owain (pronounced ‘owen’) is our 3rd baby but first Hypnobabies birth.  I prepared for my second birth using hypnobirthing.  We now have 3 beautiful boys.
The birth:
I was past 41 weeks and beginning to worry that (for the first time) I would be faced with the decision of whether or not to accept an induction at 42 weeks.  Nothing seemed to be happening.  I tried to relax and trust that my baby knew exactly when to come.  On Sunday (after eating a VERY hot Indian meal for dinner on Saturday), we thought things had started in the morning when I felt a bit ‘off’ and the braxton hicks seemed a bit stronger than usual.  So we stayed home from church (which was great because I was not looking forward to all the comments about how ‘overdue’ baby was!) and waited.  And waited…and waited…nothing.  It completely fizzled out.  But I had hope that this was a signal that my body was preparing.  I went to bed hoping that I would have a baby the next morning after a decent night’s sleep.
At 3.30am I woke to go to the bathroom but soon realised that I would have some trouble going back to sleep.  I lay in bed timing the pressure waves to see if they had a pattern.  They were about 5 mins apart but did not seem very long at all.  I felt a little discomfort during the peak of each one but was able to stay completely relaxed.  By 4am though I didn’t want to be doing this on my own and I didn’t want to be lying down.  I woke up hubby and told him I think things had started.  He sleepily said “that’s nice dear” and almost went back to sleep!! lol
Anyway, I stayed on the birth ball for a little bit while my husband woke up properly then took the CD player into the bathroom to begin relaxing in the bath.  We messaged my sister (4.17am) to be ready to pick up our 2 boys soon.  At 4.37am we messaged my midwife that my birthing time had started and continued with my hypnosis and relaxation while listening to the birthing day CD.  I breathed through each pressure wave with my eyes closed in centre-switch and repeating the mantra “open, open, open”.  At first there didn’t seem to be much of a pattern with the pressure waves but timing was difficult because I was having trouble determining when a pressure wave started and finished.  There were definite peaks where I felt discomfort but I felt my tummy tightening a lot (without any discomfort) and wasn’t sure if that was part of the pressure wave or not.  The discomfort I felt in the peaks, I imagined was my cervix stretching open quickly and easily and welcomed the sensation.
At 5.37am my husband thought that we were about 2/2.5 mins apart and messaged my midwife to tell her.  She called back and I said I wanted to come in asap.  The pressure waves were definitely starting to become overwhelming and, for me, that is the sign that I needed her.  We began preparations to leave (I had a list of everything that needed to go in the car, e.g. hospital bag, towels in case my waters released in the car, apple to snack on etc.).  While my husband was attending to that, I called my sister into the bathroom to help me through the pressure waves and told her to tell me to “open”.  This visualisation/affirmation was very effective in my second birth (6 hours) and I was pretty determined to “open” quickly this time as well.  At some point before we got in the car, I did start feeling the need to vocalise a little during the pressure waves as they were feeling more intense but I tried to stay loose and limp by blowing raspberries (see “Sphincter Law” from Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth).  By 6am we were in the car and on our way.  The ride in the car didn’t seem too bad and I wondered if my body knew to slow down just for those 10 minutes.  I think I only had 1 or 2 pressure waves and I was able to stay relaxed, quiet and limp.
During the car trip I expressed to my husband that I was scared I wasn’t as far along as I thought.  I felt that it was important for me to express my fear as a way of releasing it.  I told him that I wanted him to keep reminding me that it would be over soon and we would meet our baby.  I said that he should tell me that even if we find out I am only 4cm, because it was still possible that I could fully dilate within an hour or less (I have attended a birth where this happened and have read of such instances in birth stories also).  We met the midwife in the car park and I was so glad to see her I nearly cried!  I hugged her and told her my fear as well.  Just at that moment a pressure wave came and I felt the urge to push!  My midwife gently laughed and said that she didn’t think my fear would be a problem.  My husband and midwife had to support me (under each arm) while walking to the birthing suite (it’s a long walk at the other side of the hospital!!) because I was really zoning out now with each pressure wave.  I was groaning and grunting/pushing too.  I was very focused and in my own little world.
Once in the birthing room things continued to intensify.  I was feeling very overwhelmed by the sensations and vocalised to release tension/energy but I was sure to keep my noises low to stay loose and limp.  My visualisation of a calm, quiet birth had gone out the window but I was still very focused and dealing with the sensations instinctually.  I felt inside myself hoping to feel a head.  I was pretty sure I could feel the head, but there was something else there that felt smooth and hard (the head has a squishy feeling).  I thought it might be a lip of cervix.  I asked my midwife to confirm that the head was definitely there.  She said it was the head and that there was a lip of cervix there too and that was what was slowing things down a little.  “I knew it” I thought.  Damn.  I went through a couple more pressure waves and then asked if she could do something about the lip (I had read birth stories where the midwife pulled it out of the way – it sounded uncomfortable, but not as uncomfortable as it was pushing against cervix!).  She said she could but I would need to move over to the mat (I was in the bathroom where hubby was showering my back to relieve the discomfort in my back).  I thought, “ok,…I can do that…” I started thinking about how I could crawl to the mat but soon realised that I did not want to move.  I focused on relaxing more during the next pressure wave and imagined the cervix melting away.  Then I reached inside, it had thinned some and I gently pulled at it and felt it slip away to the side.

 

Anyway, I had told myself (in my head) that once the lip was gone, this baby was going to come FAST (in fact, I had resolved in my mind that this baby was going to come out in one go even if the midwife had to pull it out!  The sensations were so intense that I was determined that the baby’s head and shoulders would be born in the same pressure wave).  So once the lip was gone I really focused on pushing. I matched the intensity of the sensations with my grunting/pushing and just followed my body.
[Following my body was not something I thought about though, I just did it.  It was very instinctual.  It was very primitive.  Rationale and reason did not exist.  Nothing existed in that moment except for the task of bringing my baby into the world.  At some point I did manage to say "camera!" to remind my midwife to take photos.  It was not a demand, nor was it a request, it just "was".  Societal rules of "politeness" do not exist in this state.  In hindsight, it's an incredible state of mind to be in.]

So I ended up on my hands and knees pushing and visualising my baby shooting out of my butt like a canon-ball (that’s where it felt like it was coming from)!!  I was so focused on birthing the head that I didn’t realise that no one was behind me to catch the baby!  Just as the head was emerging, I called out “head! head!!” and my midwife rushed around to the baby.  I continued to follow my body’s pushing urges and heard my midwife call to my husband (our birth plan was that he catch the baby).  I was just focused on pushing and then I felt that amazing release as the shoulders emerged and the baby shot out of me!  My husband got around to the back just in time to take over from the midwife and catch our son.  Instantly, I was turning around and my husband was handing our son to me.  It was a magical moment.
Owain let a short cry out just as he was being born and then he peacefully snuggled against my chest.  His cord was not clamped until it stopped pulsing.  I birthed the placenta around the same time and it was intact and healthy.  On inspection, we realised that Owain had lots of vernix on him and it was quite thick in some places.  So all that worry about him being overdue was unnecessary.  My ultrasound dates were probably about a week out.  He came when he indeed was ready.
Reflections:
At first, I felt that I had not implemented my Hypnobabies tools very well because I found the experience quite overwhelming and intense.  I was quite distracted during my pregnancy with study and did not really get into the hypnosis practice until the last couple of weeks.
However, I have realised that whilst I may not have been in a deep and calm/quiet hypnotic state I was still using my tools to help me in the way I needed for this birth. I was very focused throughout and used visualisation, my lightswitch (in the first half of the birth), breathing, affirmations (particularly ‘open’) and the cue words ‘release’ and ‘relax’.  All of those tools, I practiced with Hypnobabies.  So I guess it did help immensely.  I particularly think that Hypnobabies helped me to listen to my body, focus deeply, and face the challenges of my birth instinctually (i.e. the intensity of a fast birth and the lip of cervix).  I had intentionally visualised a fast birth (2-4 hours) without realising that this could mean an intensity that I had not before experienced.  Next time, I still would like a fast birth, but with more mental preparation to feel calm and positive during the birth.
Thank you Hypnobabies, I had a wonderfully empowering birth experience!
If you’ve made it to the end, I hope something I have shared will help and empower you on your hypno-journey!
Love Christa
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Lucy’s Lovely Hypnobabies Birth

Originally posted on the Hypnobabies Blog on March 29th, 2011

This was my third baby, and my second natural birth, and my first hypnobaby and home birth.

Hypnobabies helped me to have a birth experience more wonderful than I hoped for.  I started at about 24 weeks and took two weeks for each section. There were a few days that I missed listening to a track, but I was pretty good at keeping on top of things. I didn’t listen to joyful pregnancy affirmations every day, and I, quite honestly, struggled with practicing my light switch. Even with my lackadaisical preparation, my birthing time was very relaxed and enjoyable.

Thursday, July 22, just after midnight
I wake up a little after midnight with pressure waves that are quite regular and strong. I listen to the “Early First Stage” track, and soon after that was done I decide that this is it! I woke up Mark and convinced him it was absolutely necessary to get up and clean the bathroom and the loft, do some laundry, etc. This is it! So exciting! And only a day past my due date! I get back into bed and turn on my ipod and try to get a little sleep.

Thursday, July 22, morning
My pressure waves are farther apart and not as strong, but still coming. I call my mom and ask her to start driving up here. (She has to drive up from Utah, and is taking 2 days to do so. I planned on having her arrive after I had the baby.) I would be having the baby today!

Thursday, July 22, afternoon
Faint, irregular pressure waves. Quite discouraged, but still hopeful. Mark has spent the whole day with me, instead of working. The girls have been with Grandma all day. I’m starting to feel quite silly.

Thursday, July 22, late evening
Pressure waves are picking up, hurrah!

Friday, July 23, morning
Call my mom, sobbing. The pressure waves have almost completely stopped. I will never have the baby, and my mom has already driven half-way up to my house. I cry and complain and whine. After I get off the phone with her, Mark gives me a no-nonsense pep talk and I decide that life must go on. I take the girls to town and stop by a few garage sales. I feel better when we get back.

Friday, July 23, evening
Nothing. But my mom arrives, which is a welcome distraction.

Saturday, July 24, morning and afternoon
Pressure waves throughout the day, becoming stronger. I ignore them. Sort of.

Saturday, July 24, evening
I’m exhausted, hot, and completely break down because the apple berry crisp I made is too runny. Mark is working late, putting in the hay. I try to ignore the pressure waves that are coming more often.

Saturday, July 24, 11pm
Mark gets home and we watch an episode of Jim Henson’s Storytellers on Netflix. I tell him, very hesitantly, that maybe my pressure waves just might be getting stronger. We head to bed. Mark is asleep in about 12 seconds, but it takes me a little longer.

Sunday, July 25, early, early morning
My pressure waves continue all night. They are 10-15 minutes apart, but growing stronger. I’m able to get quite a bit of rest/sleep by listening to my Hypnobabies tracks. I’m pretty sure I would not have slept otherwise, but my after months of falling asleep listening to these tracks I found it so easy to relax and let any worries or stress go.

Sunday, July 25, 5 am-ish
I wake Mark up. My pressure waves have suddenly jumped from about 10 minutes apart to about 6 minutes apart. They are strong. I feel a lot of tightening and squeezing and a dull ache during the pressure waves. Mark times them for a little while, then calls the midwife to tell her that I think I’m really approaching my birthing time…

Sunday, July 25, around 6 am
When I talked to the midwife on the phone, I didn’t have a contraction during the conversation. I told her I would call her back in about 20 minutes if I was ready for her to come.

After talking to the midwife, Mark filled our bathtub and I got in. There was one pressure wave when I was walking to the bathroom that I was unprepared for and it was probably the most uncomfortable one I had. I had been laying on my side in bed with my light switch off (meaning my body was completely limp and relaxed, no moving). I walked to the bathroom with my light switch on (not in hypnosis)(editors note: mom could have chosen to have her switch in center and that would have helped her feel more comfortable) and was caught off guard when the bathroom door was locked!

I started pounding on the door, panicked because I had planned on making it to the tub before the next contraction. Mark opened the door and I kind of collapsed onto him because the pressure wave had just hit. After it was over I got in the tub and it was so nice. So nice. I was able to lay on my side with my knees bent and a couple of towels as pillows. We timed some more contractions and decided it was time for the midwife to come. (She lives about 50 minutes away) They were 4 or 5 minutes apart and very strong.

I had Mark turn on the “Early First Stage” track on the computer, because I didn’t want to worry about my ipod with the water. By this time my mom and the girls were up, and I could hear all the happy morning noises in the other rooms. My pressure waves felt quite powerful, but not in a negative way. During each wave I would relax completely and picture my muscles working to make way for my baby.

Sunday, July 25, around 7 am
My midwife arrived at 7:15. I can’t remember exactly when we stopped timing waves, but they were about 3 or 4 minutes apart at this time. It felt like there was so much time between the waves, and I wished  they would come closer together because I felt like I was still so far from having the baby.

Before the midwife checked me she asked me how dilated I thought I was. I said “Oh a 3?” and secretly hoped for a 5 or 6. She laughed and said she thought I’d be farther along than that. She was right, I was almost an 8!

Almost an 8! I could hardly believe it. When I had Eden I was struggling at 6, but here I was, almost done! As I settled back into a comfortable position I tried to prepare mentally for “transformation.”

When the Early First Stage track ended I had Mark put on the Deepening track. Everyone left me alone for awhile. As the intensity increased, I started to vocalize during the waves, saying words like “relax” and “open” and I don’t remember what else. I know some people feel totally uninhibited when they are giving birth, but that’s not me. I actually felt quite silly and self-conscious but vocalizing helped me so much. It seemed to override any discomfort that I might have otherwise felt.

During transformation I felt totally in control. I never had that “I can’t take this for a moment longer” feeling. I still felt like I had plenty of time to rest between pressure waves. I did get a couple right on top of each other, but I was able to accept whatever came my way. If I felt discomfort at the beginning of a wave I would say “relax. relax. relax” and remind myself that it was just pressure and tightening and that’s what it became. Transition was intense, but totally manageable.

Sunday, July 25, around 8am
Mark sat next to the tub and held my hand during this time. The midwife was in the bathroom too, and told me to let her know when I felt like I needed to push. Soon I felt things change, and during a pressure wave I felt the baby’s head move down a bit, then slide back up after the wave ended. I told my midwife that I was ready to push. She knelt down next to the tub and with the next wave I started to push and felt the head move down, and then out it slid. I wasn’t about to stop pushing though! A second later the baby’s body slid right out and the baby was lifted up to my chest, all warm and pink and beautiful. It happened so fast I was shocked. One push and it was all done! Oh, and the feeling just after you have a baby. There are no words.

After a minute or two the midwife asked if we had seen what the baby was. Oh! I had totally forgotten. In those moments the whole boy or girl thing didn’t matter at all. This was my baby, and my baby is healthy and beautiful. That’s all that I thought. But of course, after she asked Mark checked and it was a girl! And no, we were not disappointed. Another girl is just perfect.

My mom had taken the girls outside to play, thinking it would be a while longer until I had the baby. She didn’t believe Mark when he came out and announced it was another girl! They all came into to see the new baby. That was one of the best moments, being together as a family for the first time.

Lucy was born at 8:07 am, less than an hour after the midwife arrived. Amazingly, I pushed the baby out in one push without tearing at all. This was the first time I didn’t have to worry about the dreaded stitches. After I got out of the tub and cleaned up we hopped into bed. Lucy was happy and calm and eager to eat. All I wanted to talk about that day was how amazing the experience was. Even my mom, who was terrified about me giving birth at home, is a bit of a convert.

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Blake’s Surprise Birth at Home Helps his Mom have Her Dream Birth

Originally posted on the Hypnobabies Blog on March 24, 2011

This is the story of how Blake chose to enter into the world on August 22nd at 12:50 pm. I begin at the beginning of my pregnancy so that others will see the journey my husband and I went on. How the choices we made and did not make affected us. I hope that other women will learn from my experience to listen to their inner self. I was blessed that I ended up with the birth that I desired (even though it was not planned this way) but for many others I know that this does not happen. They settle for something less than what they desire. I want other women to know that they are powerful, strong, and know how to follow the best choices for themselves no matter what others think or say.

Blake’s story begins in December 2009, when I found that we were pregnant. This after a few years of not preventing it. I soon found that there were many decisions about the care we wanted to receive and how we wanted Blake to enter into the world. I met with Julie Byers, a doula, to discuss options. Before meeting with Julie, I had joined the AnMed hospital practice in order to start receiving the prenatal care I needed. I met with Julie at a coffee shop and we began to discuss what I wanted, felt I needed for my care, and what I wanted in a birth. Speaking with Julie and having her listen to me “ramble on” allowed me to realized the kind of care I wanted and the type of birth I wanted. She suggested that I speak with her friend Carey Collins who is a midwife and learn more about homebirths.

I e-mailed Carey and left it at that. For many months I continued my care with AnMed but each time we went for a check-up, I felt rushed, not heard, and not pleased with my care. After going to AnMed to have blood drawn, Brandon and I stayed to tour the birthing unit of the hospital. We left the tour unimpressed and knowing that we were going to change practices. This was solidified in our minds when we asked the nurse if laboring mother’s could move around and her response was “No, you have to stay in the bed because the baby could just slip out if you were moving around”. All the way home I said “I will not be delivering there“.

We then started to look at birthing at Oconee hospital. That way we would be closer to home. We set up a tour of their birthing floor and was impressed with the attention, the one-on-one time the floor’s supervisor spent with us, and the answers we were given to the questions we had. We then asked for recommendations of doctors who delivered there. We were given names. I soon made an appointment and switched care providers.

Still unsure of what kind of birth I wanted I decided in April that I would meet with Carey, a midwife. By the time this meeting came to pass I had done much research on home births and discussed home birth with many different individuals. All with their own opinion of whether it was safe, appropriate, and all with their own opinion of what I should do. Brandon and I knew we wanted a home birth deep inside but we wanted to please those around us, so I discussed with Carey the possibility of her being our monitrice and laboring as much as possible at home and then going to the hospital to deliver. After meeting with Carey, and discussing the options, I decided that laboring at home and birthing at the hospital would make everyone happy. (Did I put much stock into how I felt about this? If you asked me then I would say yes. If you ask me today I would say I was the only person I did not listen to.) From this meeting with Carey, I loved the bond that quickly formed between the two of us and the knowledge she provided into understanding how I was feeling and the knowledge she had of birth itself. We decided that day to work with Carey, a decision I will never regret!

We soon went for our first visit with our new care provider and were impressed with the time she spent with us discussing our pregnancy. We were happy with our care until a visit in June when I went one time by myself and gave the doctor my birth plan. As I sat with her in the office the doctor began to write on my birth plan and marked out parts of my plan. Asking me questions that were formed in medical lingo that I didn’t understand. I left that day feeling bullied and beat up. At this point, I knew again deep inside that I really wanted a homebirth but I still didn’t listen to my inner self and continued care with this provider.

The visit in July was no better. From the urine specimen I gave when I first went in for that appointment they found protein. I was called into the doctors office and was told that I had to do a 24 hour catch and that they would probably have to take the baby early because I was showing one symptom of preclampsia. Even though I had no other symptoms they assumed this all this from one small dipstick. The doctor spent no time discussing with me what was going on and again I felt bullied and rushed. While in her office I asked her questions and questioned what she was doing. She would give no answers in terms that I could understand. I left completely panicked and immediately called Brandon and Carey. Carey was calm and reassuring that it was nothing and the doctors reacted that way to cover themselves. It turned out that it was nothing when the results came back from the lab. Again at this point I should have listened to myself when I KNEW I wanted to switch to midwife care but yet again I did not. I continued care with the providers and now had to go to appointments once a week.

Through the rest of the months I continued to meet with Carey and continued to wish for a home birth. But I kept telling myself at least with doula I could labor the way I wanted at home before having to give birth at the hospital. Brandon and I also began a Hypnobabies class with Julie. Each Thursday through the months of May and June we met with Julie and three other couples to share stories, excitement, and learned a way to control what our bodies felt during our child’s birthing day. We practiced everyday, listening to the scripts, doing prenatal exercises, eating healthy, and dreaming and talking about the birth we wanted. Through out the class, I often wondered to myself if this is really working, will I be able to do this when the time comes, and will I remember how to control my mind and body because Blake’s birthing day was so far way. Other important information we learned through this class was about birth and the process a women’s body, the baby, and the mind goes through during this special time and how our bodies were designed when we let them, to give birth in a natural way without help. Little did I know how important all the things we learned from this class would be!

Jump forward to the month of August. At the last visit to the doctor before Blake arrived, I was told that I would probably go full term and then some. This meant another two weeks. I was excited because it would give me a few weeks with my kids at school before Blake arrived. The first week of school when kids were back was a difficult week. There was a lot of stress and excitement all in one for me. I came home the Friday before Blake’s birth tired and worn out. My long term substitute backed out at the last minute and I was stressed. The next day was Saturday. That night I looked at my belly and told my son “Blake I am ready when you are, you come when you are ready, I love you”. Little did I know that this would began the process of Sunday becoming Blake’s birthing day. I believe that by giving Blake permission to come I honored him, my body, and what was to come.

Sunday I woke up with small cramps and a small, tiny, amount of discharge. Nothing that alarmed me or made me think Blake was coming anytime soon. I was busy planning on being at school the next day and seeing my kids for the second week of school. Brandon asked me around 8:45 if I was up to going grocery shopping because the cramps were a little stronger (Let me say here none of the cramps I experienced during my birthing time were anything close to what I have experienced during my period).

I told Brandon sure we must continue on with our day. Before we went to Bi-Lo I asked Brandon to take a picture of my belly. We had been meaning to for quite a while because I finally “looked” pregnant. I am so glad we did this. In the back of my mind I think I knew that Blake might be coming in the next few days. At 8:45 we left for Bi-Lo. As we shopped through Bi-Lo I had to stop every now and then because of the cramps and I would “look at the shelf” and made comments jokingly that if these cramps are pressure waves than this is nothing. I also looked at Brandon after one of them and said jokingly “I smile and feel happy after my pressure waves.” This came from one of the Hypnobabies scripts that I had ingrained into my brain. I really could recite many of the scripts by heart. After making these comments Brandon and I would bust out laughing at each other!!

 

We didn’t even consider that those really were pressure waves, I thought my body is just getting started and I had a few more days to prepare. On the way home, I mentioned to Brandon that I thought Blake had dropped because I had a huge gap between him and my ribs. Blake was always in my ribs during the pregnancy. I should have taken this as a clue but since I was not experiencing anything I thought of as “labor” I choose to continue to ignore what I was experiencing and dismissed it.

When we returned from the store, I started to have diarrhea on top of the cramps. I asked Brandon to call Carey just to ask if this was normal. This was around 10:00. Carey reassured both of us that all was normal. This was the normal way for the body to get ready for the birth that was to come and it could be another couple of days. She reminded us just to continue with our normal routine and ignore it.

 

After speaking with Carey, we decided to watch a movie that we had rented the night before. I tried laying down and watching but the cramps were uncomfortable and I kept having to go the bathroom. This continued for a while. I would lay down to watch the movie, watch about minute or two and then I would be up and going to the bathroom. I soon claimed the toilet as my throne. During my time on the throne, Brandon was busy gathering items for the hospital. Later I asked him if he knew it was going to happen and he said he thought he should be ready in case.

 

After being on my throne for a while, I found some comfort on the birthing ball by bouncing up and down and rolling my hips back and forth while sitting on it. I told Brandon just to turn the movie off because I couldn’t remember what was happening during each time I cam back from the bathroom. The comfort from sitting on the birthing ball only lasted a few minutes and it was back to my throne in the bathroom, where I felt most comfortable. Again I should have started putting the signs together because Julie told us in the class some women spend lots of time on the toilet during their pressure waves because it is most comfortable.

 

I still didn’t realize what was going on because I was waiting on the “labor pains” that many women speak of. I was only having pressure and they were not even like the Braxton Hicks I had experienced in the months and weeks before.

Wanting to get off my throne and try something else I remembered how much water was a comfort to me during pregnancy. I asked Brandon to run a bath for me. He soon joined me at the side of the tub as I took a bath. During the short time in the tub, Brandon poured cups of water over me and spoke words of encouragement and peace. He tried to comfort me through the cramps, pressure, and the many feelings I was experiencing. Quickly the bath became uncomfortable and I moved to the bed. I was there for no longer than 5 minutes. I had just enough time there to put my I-Pod on for only a few seconds and found a Hypnobabies script. The only words I heard on the script were the words “open, open, open”. I then threw off the I-Pod and ran to the master bath to claim my throne once again. At this point I still did not realize that I was experiencing pressure waves and dilation.

This time I called for Brandon to come to the bathroom because every time I tried to use the bathroom I now felt as if I was going to throw up as well. Brandon’s job became to hold the trashcan and allow me to lean over his arm that he held in front of me during the cramps and sensations of pressure. During these moments he spoke words of affirmation and words of comfort that he learned in our Hypnobabies class. He helped me to relax and remember that my body knew what it was doing and that my body was made for this. Soon I began to move back and forth between the floor and my throne.

 

I asked Brandon to call Carey around 12:26 and tell her to head this way because I no longer felt comfortable being without her. I needed her reassurance that everything was normal. At this point we still did not know that Blake would be entering the world in a few minutes.

Soon I asked Brandon to help me to move to the floor and that is when my water broke. It felt to me as if it was gushing everywhere and flooding the floor. I told Brandon I think my water broke and said he was not so sure because it really was not very much. Worrying it was going everywhere Brandon reassured me that it was ok and that the water was no problem to deal with. I soon asked Brandon to move me back up to my throne.

As I sat on my throne, I felt the need to use bathroom but nothing was happening each time I tried. I began to feel a greater amount of pressure down below and moved my hands to see if I could feel what was happening. I could not. Through each intense set of pressure waves, Brandon gently held me up and to told me to relax, breath deeply and slowly (which is hard to do), and to allow my body to be loose and limp. Again all these affirmations and prompts came from our Hypnobabies class. Looking back I was surprised at how quickly all the scripts came back to me and how my body was using them without me knowing.

After being on the throne for a few minutes I then felt the need to move back to the floor. This is where I felt the most comfort while I experienced the pressure waves from where Blake was at inside of me. I still didn’t realize at this point what was happening. I was waiting for the intense p**n of labor that I grew up hearing about. When Brandon got me to the floor I began to push as if I was using the bathroom. My body wanted me to push and so I did. It was the only comfort to the pressure I was feeling and as I pushed I thought that I felt something coming out.

 

Yet again I felt below and this time I thought I felt hair. Brandon at this point saw Blake’s head and hair. He said it would peek out and then go back in. I really thought I felt it too but Brandon told me it was “nothing, don’t worry about it” when I asked him what it was. Later we laughed about this and how he choose to tell me a little white lie. He said he told me it was nothing because he was doing his best to keep me from freaking out. My husband knows me well because we were all by ourselves and Blake was on his way and had I realized this I probably would have freaked out.

At this point I don’t remember much because of the way my mind and body were working together. Brandon said very quickly Blake’s head peeked back out and that he told me not to push. Then Blake’s head come all the way out and Brandon told me to give a little push. Brandon was able to see Blake turn as he slid all the way out at 12:50. This was something Brandon was expecting because during our hypno class we saw pictures of how the baby turns in order to leave the body.

 

When Blake came out, Brandon quickly laid him on my chest and covered him with a towel. I was in shock and kept asking Brandon if it was a dream and if Blake was really here. I then kept shouting at him what time is it, what time is it. I wanted to know the time of our precious baby’s birth.

Brandon called Carey back to tell her Blake had arrived (it had only been 24 minutes since our last call to Carey to head this way) and she to could not believe that Blake was already here. She was still 15-20 minutes away from the house. During this time on the phone Carey assured Brandon that everything was fine. However Brandon had a hard time hearing her because I was so consumed with excitement and joy (meaning I was loud). Brandon handed me the phone and said “Carey wants to talk to you”.

Carey quickly got me calmed down as I began to experience the euphoria of holding my son that my husband caught and gazing into my son’s eyes. I still had a hard time believing that this was not just a pregnancy dream. Brandon propped me up and continued to speak words of love and told me how impressed and in awe he was of what I had just done. I in turn told him how proud of him I was for catching our son! Did I mentioned that smoke detector went off and Blake christened me while we were cuddling on the floor all before Carey arrived?

Carey finally arrived to the house as I laid in the bathroom floor. She came in wheeling a suitcase full of midwife stuff and said to Brandon “boil a big pot of water” as she passed straight through the house to get to Blake and I. Brandon later said to my mom, “yes you really do boil a pot of water like in all the old movies.”

Carey came in the bathroom and checked Blake and I over and began to step into action. She helped me to birth the placenta and showed Brandon and I the ‘tree of life’ that is on it. I wish I had Brandon take a picture. She also helped me to nurse Blake for the first time on my chest while he was still attached to his umbilical chord. She checked over Blake and I before moving us to the bed.

 

While I was in the bed coming down from the adrenaline, Carey clamped and cut the chord and she had Brandon cook me some eggs and toast. Carey began to feed me and Brandon said I kept falling asleep between bites. While Carey was looking after me, Blake was being held by his father. After eating, Carey put Blake in the bed with me and helped me to nurse again. Then Brandon weighed and helped measure Blake. He was 7lbs 9oz and 21 inches long. Soon Brandon crawled into the bed and spent time with me and Blake while Carey cleaned up the bathroom and started a load of towels in the wash.

 

At this point no one but Carey, Brandon, and I knew Blake was here. It was wonderful to enjoy our son in the peace and quiet of our own home, in our own bed, in our own way. Carey respected us and our wishes in a way I will never forget.

That is the story of how Blake chose to enter into the world on August 22nd at 12:50 pm. Again let me remind you that I begin at the beginning of my pregnancy so that others will see the journey my husband and I went on. How the choices we made and did not make affected us and our child.

I truly believe that during this pregnancy and birth even though I did not listen to myself, that my son Blake, my body, my mind, and God knew that deep down I desired:

  • - a birth that was not at a hospital
  • -a birth where the mother’s body was the guide
  • -a birth where only love and affirmations was given to the mother
  • -a birth that was comfortable with no fear or p**n
  • -a birth where the mother’s wishes were followed and space respected
  • -a birth where Dad was active and allowed to experience all the joy and excitement of birth

I am blessed because in the end I did experience the birth of my son in the most intimate and perfect way.

Would I had experienced all that with the birth that I had planned at the hospital?

Being completely honest I would have to loudly say No I would not have.

To end Blake’s story I want to quote my mother law from her post on Facebook:

“Brandon and Jenni brought Blake into this world with only God present……what a special time and a special blessing! Praise God !!”

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