On the day after our guess date, I noticed some discharge around 11 AM and thought that perhaps my water had broken. (It turned out that it had not.) I called my midwives, but I did not want to go to the hospital yet because I was not having waves. I took a nap that day (luckily!). I then started having waves around 3 PM but still wasn’t sure if this was the “real thing.” I felt relaxed and had a big dinner (again, luckily!).
(Editor's Note: It seems the affirmation that says "the stronger my waves are, the more relaxed and confident I feel, and the more hypno-anesthesia is released into my body" really rang true for this mama! She chose to really get into "hypno-mode" after her hypno-doula arrived and was able to really use her Hypnobabies tools and techniques!)
Lindsay used Hypnobabies prompts during my waves and suggested different positions for comfort. She also used and suggested aromatherapy, massage, getting in the bath, sifting my belly with a rebozo, taking a walk, etc. My husband was also very helpful and educated on Hypnobabies techniques. I found myself chanting “peace,” “relax,” and other cues during my waves. It also helped to talk to my beautiful baby and to think about the waves “hugging” her and helping her to come out and meet us!
Around 8:30 am, I called my midwives and wanted to go into the hospital. Because my waves were still about 5 minutes apart, however, they told me to wait. During this time, Hypnobabies was critical to me staying in a positive and focused mindset. I wasn’t in the ideal situation in some ways because I was having issues like vomiting, but because of Hypnobabies, I felt excited and peaceful.
I finally went into the hospital around 3 pm, even though my waves were still 5 minutes apart, because my midwives thought I might be dehydrated due to the vomiting. The ride to the hospital felt bumpy but went by quickly; I said when we got there, “we’re already here??”. Once we were inside, I let the midwife check my dilation. She told Lindsay and my husband in secret that I was already 10 cm dilated! (I asked not to be told.) I think I had been 10 cm for some time, and it is a testament to Hypnobabies that I was able to remain relaxed for hours at home that way! The nurses couldn’t believe that I was at 10 cm because I was so calm. We have a video of me talking to the camera and standing normally when I got to the hospital.
I then moved to the waterbirthing room. Lindsay tried some techniques to get the baby to move because she was somewhat “sunny side up” and still high (thus my not having the urge to push even though I was 10 cm). I then pushed for several hours. Eventually, my baby mostly turned, my water broke, and my baby moved down. Pushing was my favorite part of the birthing experience. Even though it was physically demanding, I enjoyed being more active in the process of birthing my baby. The water in the tub felt amazing, and I was largely comfortable. I even said to the midwife, “I like this part!” and she looked surprised and asked me to repeat what I said. I eventually needed to get out of the tub and try other positions to get the baby to move down further. I tried sitting on a birth stool, sitting in the bathroom, laying on my side, and finally laying on my back with my legs up. During this time, my midwife started talking about how I might need Pitocin, but we persevered because my baby’s vitals were good and I felt that she would come if we just kept trying different positions! All the while, Hypnobabies tracks were playing in the background and we were using Hypnobabies prompts.
Finally, at 8:30 pm, my baby was born! My husband and I both held her skin-to-skin and felt complete joy, and she nursed right away. I experienced almost no discomfort when she finally came out to meet us, even though I tore naturally. My baby was 8 lbs., 7 ounces and born with her arm up by her (large) head, and she still came out just fine, giving credit to Hypnobabies’ debunking of the oft-repeated “baby’s too big” warning. I also had no discomfort associated with the second degree tear after the birth.
My baby’s birth was the most beautiful moment of my life. In total, I was in the “intense” part of my birthing time for almost 24 hours, and I pushed for about 4 hours, but it felt and was manageable. I am so thankful to Hypnobabies for giving me the tools to make it a great experience and wonderful memory.
After the birth, my primary nurse seemed very interested in Hypnobabies and said I was her birthing role model. My midwife said that I must have a very high “pain tolerance,” but I have never thought of myself that way (I’m a total wimp about stubbing my toe!); instead, I think the experience went the way it did largely because of our Hypnobabies training. I would recommend Hypnobabies to anyone who is interested in it!