Beware. This post is long, but if you want to learn more about my HypnoBirthing story then read on, and if you don't care because women have been birthing naturally for many centuries, then just skip this...
I delivered our last littlest love at exactly 39 weeks. That is the latest I have ever delivered because with the previous three, I have went somewhere in my 38th week, so you can imagine that I was pretty ancy my whole 38th week. Every night I would get those consistent surges (in HypnoBirthing a contraction is called a surge), but every morning I would wake up to the same old same old and start the day all over again. Everyday that whole week felt like Groundhog Day. We even watched the movie one evening to commemorate the feeling! Then, the next morning it was Groundhog Day all over again.
Finally, in the wee hours of Monday morning, September 12th, I woke up at around 3am to some nice surges, but not nice enough. I started timing them anyways and they were 7 minutes apart. I knew they were still too nice and I just put myself in hypnosis to get relax enough to go back to sleep. The morning came and I still felt my nice surges, so I made a solo run to Target to get some necessities and hope the walking around would help a bit. Surges were still there and consistent, but still nice, though I did call my mom that afternoon to let her know it might be coming soon. I had been saying that all week, but this time felt a bit more real. Dinnertime came and went, surges were getting stronger, but were still nice, so we watched a movie and then called it a night. All day long they were consistently about 5-7 minutes apart, getting stronger as the day progressed, but this is my 4th, so I know the magnitude they need to be before we go to the hospital and they were still far too nice to warrant the trip.
We went to bed around 10pm, Ben says he fell asleep around 11pm. I knock out fairly quickly because it was combination of putting myself in hypnosis and part having the ability to fall asleep easily.
In the middle of the night, came the surge I have been waiting for all the other previous nights, the one that was finally a bit meaner to wake me up from my peaceful slumber. I woke up because I got the surge that made me go, "Oookayy...." and I looked at the clock and it was right after midnight. I started timing them and they were about 3 minutes apart and they did take some work to go through. They weren't so nice anymore and I started putting myself in hypnosis to get through them. I woke Ben up not too long after and then he called my family to let them know.
My family got here at around 1:30am, we gave my dad instructions on what to do with the girls in the morning, then Ben, my mom, my baby sister, and I head off to the hospital. This was quite different from the last time we all made the early morning trek to the hospital for Soul. Last time, the moment they walked in the door, I was crying and wincing every time a surge came, but this time around, I was cool, calm, and collected and happily listening to my relaxing music when I needed to.
As we made our way to the hospital, I tried to get comfortable but it was hard because I couldn't really get my legs up and that is the position I needed to let my body go limp, but I managed and we made it to the hospital without any tears. This was such a contrast to the drive to the hospital when I was about to give birth to Soul. During that drive, I was yelling explicatives down the freeway because I swore she was going to pop out of me and I continued yelling for drugs as soon as I was admitted. There was none of that this time around. There was pressure, but still a whole lot of calm (and smiling). So amazing! I even had my sister take a polaroid of me right when we got to the hospital and I was smiling!
We got to the triage and I think they doubted that I was really in labor because I was smiling, but they checked me and sure enough I was at 5cm and I got to stay. The worst thing is getting sent home from the hospital for false labor. All routine things were taken care of and the pressure continued. I finally got into my delivery room at about 3am and the nurse took my birth plan, they got my antibiotics administered (I always carry strep B), and I continued going to my happy place any time the pressure started.
Ben was so good because he would gently touch my arms during every surge to create goosebumps that helped release hormones to help my body relax. This too is very different compared to my other 3 labors when I used to yell at him not to touch me! It was so nice to actually be working together with Ben this time around. My mom and baby sister got the easy job since they were both passed out on the chair on my other side while Ben and I were going through all of it.
The entire time I sat propped up in my hospital bed, listening to my music, that took me to my happy place, which is a very serene song called Lake Yarina by Josh Garrels. Ben would be so amazed because he would watch the monitors and see my surges spike like crazy, but then watch my heart monitor at the same time and my heart rate would get so low from being relaxed that it would drop off the chart. Crazy right?!! All this was happening during a surge. This continued on from about 3:30am to 9:30am.
I would also go pee when I needed to and was fed ice chips when I wanted them, I even got to snack on a banana nut muffin and was chatting with Ben between some surges. When my mom and sister finally woke up, I was happily chatting with them too. It was all such a different experience compared to my other three labors.
Around 9:30am my midwife came in to check me and I was at 8cm and my water bag was blocking the hole, so they gave me an option to break it or just let things progress naturally. After a bit of a discussion, we thought it best to let it break naturally since natural seemed to be the theme of the day. I will say that after that things started to get slightly more difficult. I was feeling intense pressure and it was starting to feel like I had to go poop, but I know I really didn't, it was just the baby. As intense as things were getting, I was still able to put myself in hypnosis, but it definitely was taking more work and more concentration.
Then 10:30 came and they checked me again and I had barely dialated and was pretty much still at 8cm. The bag still hadn't broken and mentally I got frustrated because transition is supposed to be the fastest part of labor (and this is my fourth), but everything was happening so slowly. The nurse suggested I try to walk around to help get my water to break, so I did that. The only problem was that when a surge would come, I couldn't let my body go limp while standing, so if I couldn't relax then the pressure was experienced a bit differently. I tried to sit on a chair, but still my legs couldn't relax and I would have some freak out moments because I swear I had to go poop, but no one was letting me. I had a few yelps and my surges were so erratic that the special breathing technique to do right before a surge comes to help with relaxing couldn't be done.
The last hour and a half got tougher with my body being stuck at 8cm. All I wanted was my mom and I wanted my mom to just make this poop come out, but it really wasn't poop that wanted to come out, it was just the intense pressure of the baby and the bag. I tried different positions to help my body progress, but it seems nothing was working. Now, looking back and after speaking with my clinical hypnotherapist, I probably should have had the water broken because that would have made a difference in easing some of the added discomfort. Despite this super intense pressure I was experiencing, I never once did ask or consider the epidural (not that it's wrong to, I was determined to have my last birthing experience different from my previous three).
Finally, and after what felt like an eternity, my midwife checked me to see how much I had left to go when my water bag broke and in 30 seconds I went from 8cm to 10cm! Hallelujah! You can imagine my relief!
Then we we finally got in position to let this baby come out! I was so excited that I started pushing, but they had to remind me to calm down and take a deep breath and relax. I remember Ben holding my hand and my mom and sister nearby watching. Then with the next strong surge, I gave a nice, long, grunting push. Oh man! I was feeling things down there that I had never felt before. All I was thinking is... this burns!!! Nevertheless, with the next surge, I pushed again and the burning continued as little Glow made her way out. Tada! She was out! Hooray!!!
They immediately put her in my arms and I got to see this little wiggly thing that had been growing inside of me. I could see my mom, sister and Ben crying, and I vividly remember all my emotions. I was so happy she was here. Amazed that I actually did it without drugs. And dumbfounded because it still burned down there! HA! I guess with the epidural that was one sensation I had never felt.
Glow was so beautifully sweet and we were immediately in love. I couldn't believe we had another little bundle to love. I fell in love six times (one of them is with Jesus). It's wonderful!
My midwife was the only other person who knew we were having a girl (Ben and I knew, but we kept it a secret from everyone else), so she had us make the official announcement. Then, we announced her name. Everyone was ooh-ing and ahh-ing, but at this point, we know our choice of names are different (ridiculous to some, but whatever), so we really couldn't shock anyone anymore.
I have to say that I am still in disbelief that I was able to do it without the drugs. I am such a chicken when it comes to pain, so I am completely amazed and in awe of HypnoBirthing. What I felt was not pain, but really intense pressure. The pressure increased as I opened up, but it was amazing because I also remember what labor felt like before I knew the techniques of HypnoBirthing and it is dramatically different. I got to 8cm without feeling any pain. I really can't believe it. Being stuck at 8cm made me extremely frustrated that it got tougher to relax, but nevertheless it was nothing short of amazing.
I have had my first three girls with the epidural and they are fine and I am fine after it, but I really wanted to do my last labor different. Now, if I were for some reason going to have another, I would definitely do HypnoBirthing again. I don't think women who do it without the drugs are superior to those who use it. I think you have to do what is best for you and your situation. If having a baby naturally means a lot to you, go for HypnoBirthing, I completely believe in it. Though if you do go that route, you will have to put the time in learning the techniques, practicing everyday and even investing in classes. In my opinion it is better to learn it from a professional instead of just reading it.
Almost nine months later, it is still so fresh in my mind and still feels amazing. If I can have a baby sans drugs, you can too! I really am such a big chicken! Heck! Needles scare me! So if you ask me if I recommend HypnoBirthing? My answer is YES!
For more information visit here or call Dr. Anna Lynne, which is the hypnotherapist who I took classes with to help make this birthing experience possible. We did 5 online sessions via skype (read about the sessions here and I practiced going into hypnosis nightly) and it really made the world of a difference. Also, I continue to use self-hypnosis when I'm at the dentist or just need to relax. It is just a good technique to learn to help calm down and de-stress. I am sure this sounds strange to some of you, so if you have any questions for me regarding this, leave them here and I will either answer in the comments or if I get enough questions, will do another post for it.
p.s. if you are wondering what i was hooked up to? it was iv and antibiotics.