Silvia

My water broke at 12:30pm, while I was at work, approximately a week before I had expected my labor to begin.  I wasn’t having strong or frequent contractions at the time that my water broke, which classified me as a patient with PROM (Premature Release of Membranes).  This is when the amniotic sac breaks before active labor starts.  This placed me on a timeline with my care providers, as the risk of the mother or baby acquiring an infection rises if the baby isn’t born within 12-24 hours after the water breaks.  I went home from work and waited for my husband to be able to join me, and stalled a bit so I could try some more natural methods to progress my labor.  I cleaned the house, went on a walk with my dog and ate some spicy food.  My husband arrived home around 7:30pm, and we set off to the hospital to be triaged and admitted.  

A few hours after we were admitted, my contractions were stronger but were still more than 5 minutes apart on average.  An oral misoprostol tablet (a prostaglandin) was recommended to cause further effacement of my cervix and to hopefully augment my labor enough for me to give birth before our infection risk rose. At that time it had been about 12 hours since my water had broken, and as this was my first child, we didn’t know how long things might take naturally.   Our midwife said that because my labor had already begun naturally, any labor augmentation would be unlikely to cause a cascade of interventions that would lead to a c-section. It felt important at that point to do our best to balance our concern about interventions negatively affecting this natural process and valid medical data about threats to our baby’s safety.  We ideally wanted a completely natural birth, but after discussing it privately, we felt good about saying yes to the misoprostol.

Approximately 1 hour after taking the tablet (around 2am), I felt I was in active labor.  My contractions were occurring every 3-5 minutes, they were powerful, and they were lasting 1.5 up to 4-5 minutes in length. I was breathing through my contractions, listening to my positive Hypnobirthing affirmations and remembering to stay positive and focused when a sense of fear or pain crept into my mind. My husband stayed by my side, helped me adjust my position, assisted me to get to the bathroom and back, used massage techniques and spoke to me with kindness and encouragement to let me know I was doing everything correctly and that I was safe.  I closed my eyes and focused on each surge, knowing that I just needed to get through the intense peak and then it would subside and I could rest before the next one.  

Around 4:30 in the morning, I went through transition.  I didn’t know it was transition at the time as I wasn’t having cervical checks due to my water having broken, so there was no quantitative measure of my effacement or dilation progress.  Looking back, I knew I was in transition as the surges were coming right on top of each other, they were a lot more uncomfortable than they had been, and I felt nauseous.  I powered through this period that now seems like it happened in a dream state, and I remembered that this was my body preparing itself to give birth and that everything was happening as it should.  My husband stayed right with me, talking to me, keeping a hand on me when needed, helping me move around the room and checking in with me nonstop.  

After this intense period, the pain of the surges started to lessen and we were both overcome with fatigue. I laid down on the cot in the room and while the surges continued, they spread out and were a bit more bearable.  I was able to doze off a bit between each one.  I laid on my right side with a birth ball between my knees to keep my pelvis open and my husband held my hand while he sat next to me.  I was aware that the sun was rising but I kept my eyes closed and focused.  Around 6:30am our nurse came back in to check on us.  She took a look at me and my contraction monitor and told us that she didn’t think I was in active labor yet.  She indicated that our midwife might recommend another dose of misoprostol or even starting Pitocin to ramp things up. 

This was so disappointing for me to hear, and my husband and I both felt that something wasn’t right…my surges were strong, close together and had been going for hours.  If I wasn’t even in active labor yet then maybe I had really under-estimated how challenging this would be. I didn’t know if I could make it another 10-12 hours given what we had been through and how tired we were. I felt I might need pain-relieving medication and was upset that given the time, our baby was definitely going to be at a higher risk of infection soon.  I was so worried about what might happen next and discouraged.  The nurse then offered to have the midwife come do a cervical check to see how dilated I was before we discussed or decided on any further interventions. 

While she was out of the room I suddenly had a very different and earth shattering contraction that caused me to vocalize and move without the calm and control I had leading up to it. I felt my pelvic floor open and our baby ratchet downwards.  The nurse came back in just as another of these surges was happening and she called for the midwife.  The midwife was there right away and performed a cervical exam. It seemed like it took forever for her to finish her exam, and I was anxious for the results but also was feeling that things had got to be quite progressed, given these new, powerful surges I was experiencing.  I was exhilarated and had a new sense of energy when she said “You are 10 centimeters dilated! You can push!”  Both she and the nurse acted completely surprised. They said they had no idea I was this far along, as I’d been so calm and collected over the evening. They thought I would be much more painful, would be swearing and upset when I was in active labor, so they didn’t expect this at all.  They got me to the hospital bed and only 20 incredible minutes later after an extremely intense second stage of labor, our baby girl catapulted into the world.  She made a short cry right away, latched on to breast feed within minutes and was just the perfect picture of a healthy baby. I wasn’t aware of much of what was happening in the room at this time, but my husband heard the care providers rounding to each other at the 7am shift change. He said they were all surprised and impressed that I did this without an epidural or any other pain medication, that it was my first baby and that it all happened so quickly and smoothly.  

I credit my mental and physical preparation, the Hypnobirthing techniques we practiced and used during labor, and my wonderful and supportive husband for our successful, calm, quick and almost completely natural birth!

Ellis

Despite me walking around 3-4 cm dilated for weeks, baby was late and I was scheduled for an induction. We welcomed our son, Ellis, into the world on August 12, going into labor naturally mere hours before my scheduled induction – woohoo! He really knew how to make a grand entrance and keep the suspense going until the last possible minute. The birth was beautiful (even the nurses and midwife said so, haha!) and I was able to do it without any medication thanks to all the preparation from your class, my amazing husband/birth partner, and the soothing labor tub. A wonderful experience all around.

Wallace

I had my baby! Wallace was born April 1 at 12:46 AM 9 lbs and 15 oz 22 inches long. I had a home water birth and it was much better than I could have imagined. I had a calm and peaceful birth with little pain. I owe it all to the hypno birthing techniques that I learned. I did not even have stitches because I breathed my baby down and listened to my body! I have been able to rebound much quicker than when I had my hospital birth.

Emily

OUR BIRTH STORY: HYPNOBIRTHING A VBAC

After having an emergency c-section with our first child’s birth, I was hoping to have a natural childbirth with our second. During my pregnancy, I met with a doctor who said that the likelihood of a successful VBAC after 40 weeks was so low I might as well schedule surgery for the day I hit 41 weeks. So I did. But after taking your hypnobirthing class, and in consultation with my midwife, I cancelled the surgery as week 41 approached.

The morning after the (cancelled) surgery was scheduled, I went into spontaneous labor. We welcomed our baby less than eight hours later. It was the natural, calm birth I had hoped for. Your class and the hypnobirthing book made this possible. During labor, I relied heavily on everything I’d learned from hypnobirthing. I used all the breathing techniques, and I repeated statements I borrowed from the affirmations track. I had been scared and nervous during the labor of our first baby. Not this time. I felt fearless, and focused, like a runner starting a marathon. My midwife, doula, and husband matched my vibe and kept everything low key. When the baby came out, the midwife immediately put her on my chest with the cord still attached. It was the most shocking, exhilarating, and wonderful feeling. Thank you, Kadie, for facilitating an amazing birth experience!

Eli

We ended up being induced yesterday at 8am due to concerns for his size. I started the day 80% effaced, 3cm, at a -1 station. We had pitocin until about 7pm and my status had not changed, so we allowed them to break our waters.

That seemed to do the trick and I was fully dilated and effaced by 11pm. I certainly owe the quickness and ease after breaking the waters to hypnobirthing. My husband read the affirmations from the sheet we got at our last class and it was super helpful to be reminded during the surges. He was a wonderful birthing partner.

I did my best to continue to relax into my progress, but unfortunately after a day with no solid food (they don’t allow you to eat anything but clear liquids on pitocin) I hit a wall at about 1am. The pitocin was pretty strong and I just wasn’t getting enough rest in between surges.

They were starting to talk about C-section because his station wasn’t changing and I was unable to breath him down, so we stopped to evaluate our options before moving that direction. We decided that the best thing for us would be to try the epidural, simply to relieve the exhaustion, allowing me to more easily help move him down.

I was given the epidural shortly after 1am and then took a nap once it kicked in – even though this was outside of our plan, I felt very empowered about my decision due to the effort and lengthy discussions I had with my care team using what we learned in class to be our own advocates.

Once we rested, I was able to jump back into hypnobirthing techniques very easily starting at around 3am. The epidural took away the pain, but the pressure was still there and the breathing stages and relaxation still suited our progress.

Eli was born vaginally at 5:09am once I passed his head, he quickly slipped out. He is 8lbs 11oz, 22 inches long, with a 38cm head (apparently that’s a big head!) So not as big as they thought but he’s a good size and pretty tall as well.

He did have meconium in his mouth & nose and the cord was wrapped twice around his neck, so we had to get a little suction help from the NICU team. But they did all that support in our room.

The staff was very respectful of our requests and we were able to follow all of the baby care portion of our birthing preferences. We were skin to skin for two hours before they did his evaluations and he took to the breast very easily.

Despite several interventions outside of our plan, I still feel like our classes with Kadie greatly prepared and empowered us.

I hope you all have a wonderful new year’s and the best birthing day of your own.