Our older girls were each born about a week before their guess dates, so we were preparing for the same with this baby. The 39 week point came and went, still no baby. Then 40 weeks, and even 41 weeks passed! Waiting is HARD, but all of our post date evaluations were coming back fine. She was in a great position (LOA, nice and low), her movements and heart rate were healthy, I had plenty of fluid, my cervix was ripening (3-4cm, 80% effaced), and she didn’t seem to be unusually large. She was healthy and very cozy so we were prepared to wait. However, I was getting more uncomfortable each day. My hips and pelvis were so sore I was having trouble caring for my other children. So, at 41 weeks and 1 day we went in for an induction.
So, at 11:00 am on December 30th we checked into Methodist Hospital to be induced. We brought all our Hypnobabies tools and even listened to the “Your Birthing Time Begins” track in the car on the way in so both Derek and I felt prepared for what the day would bring.
It took a while to get everything settled in, so it was about 12:30 pm before the Pitocin was even administered. For some reason I thought the medicine would kick in really hard and fast, but we sat around waiting for things to happen until almost 5:00 pm that night. The funny thing was we kept having technical difficulties during that time. The call button broke, the monitors went wonky, the TV disconnected, and even the fire alarms went off! We joked that if things continued the maintenance guys would be the first ones to meet our baby. Despite all the interruptions it was a nice distraction while we waited. When we weren’t dealing with that we did laps around the floor and sat on the birthing ball, practicing eyes open hypnosis and the release cue when any mild waves would come.
They gradually increased my Pitocin levels and my waves became more intense. It really did feel just like the progression I had with my previous births. It wasn’t overly intense or fast. During our early birthing time I continued to walk around the halls and use upright positions to keep things going. I did have to be continuously monitored and haul an IV pole around, but we made it work. I rotated between Easy Comfortable Childbirth, Birthing Day Affirmations, and just listening to the relaxation music during this time. I was very calm and relaxed, talking between waves while in center and then releasing and focusing my hypno-anesthesia during them. At one point I started to feel tired so I laid down on my side with a peanut ball between my knees and tried to rest while listening to the Deepening My Hypnosis track. I think this is when my body took over and I entered the active birthing phase. I managed to doze a little but I was very aware of some intense waves coming over me. I was very relaxed, though, and only felt them as a tight squeezing feeling. When my track ended the nurse was standing over me asking me if we needed to increase the Pitocin again. She thought things were slowing down because I had managed to “sleep”. I told her that I was just in hypnosis and I felt the waves were actually longer and stronger then ever. When she checked the monitor she was amazed that my waves were 2-3 minutes apart!
After that I did another lap around the floor and tried spending some time in the deep tub. The water felt good, but I couldn’t find a position I liked so I decided to get out again. The waves stalled a little at this point and I did ask our midwife to check my cervix. I didn’t want to know my numbers at the time but they wrote them down for me so I could see later. I was between 4-5 cm dilated and almost 100% effaced. It wasn’t A LOT of progress, but things were happening so my midwife was happy. We did decide to bump up the Pitocin again and try some more active birthing positions.
We came back to the room after a few more laps around the floor and I was getting tired again so I tried to lay on my side. I felt very hot and shaky. The pressure with each wave was getting stronger and stronger. Things got a little hazy from this point on, but I do remember being asked if I wanted more Pitocin and very clearly telling them no. My body was doing something and I did not want to interfere anymore. Afterwards my husband told me he was surprised at how easily I directed the nurses and midwives to do what I wanted without hesitation. Thank you, Joyful Affirmations track!
Anyway, I started to vocalize quite a bit with each wave and I asked to get in the tub again. I listened to Easy First Stage at this point. The water had cooled a bit, which felt great and I was in the zone as each wave came and went. Then something shifted and I started feeling scared, though I couldn’t put into words what I was afraid of. I just really wanted my husband with me. Like right next to me at all times. Shortly after that I felt a lot of pressure in my bottom and the nurse told me I had to get out of the tub (Methodist doesn’t allow water births for Pitocin-induced birthing).
My midwife came in and checked my cervix. I was at 8cm and counting. I could tell I was in transformation as each wave came right on top of the next, with little to no rest in between. I still felt scared, but knowing what was happening and why was comforting. Then suddenly my body was pushing. I couldn’t control it and it surprised me at first, so I even fought it a little bit. I wasn’t sure if I was supposed to be pushing since they had JUST told me I wasn’t complete yet. My midwife was great and she could tell I was holding back. She told me to just go for it! So on the next wave I let out a crazy big scream and bared down. Each time I felt another wave come I let my body tell me what to do and pushed as hard as I could. Some part of me was aware of how loud I was yelling, but I didn’t care. It was time for this baby to come out! My eyes were closed as I tried to focus all my energy, but I could feel the baby’s head – and then shoulders – and then whole body slip right out of me!
I opened my eyes and there she was! The craziest thing to me was how alert I was. It was just like flipping on the light switch at the end of a track. I was so aware of my baby and how great I felt… it was really amazing!
I could feel more waves coming while I held Iris to my chest and I pushed out the placenta about 10 minutes after she was born. The midwife and nurses did their thing cleaning me up and checking for tears and whatever else they do. I was so enamored with my baby I couldn’t get back into hypnosis. If I had been able to I’m sure the pain wouldn’t have bothered me at all. Still, it wasn’t too bad. Iris stayed on my chest for a good long time and even nursed for about 20 minutes.
So how did it all end up? Iris was born at 12:21 am on December 31st. Only about 7 ½ hours after the Pitocin kicked in and my birthing time started. The craziest part to me was that they told me I went from 8 cm to a baby in my arms in about 30 minutes! Even though she came fast at the end I didn’t have anything but a tiny tear that didn’t require any stitches. I really think that’s because hypnosis allowed me to stay relaxed and listen to my body. This was my second Hypnobabies birth and even though it wasn’t what I expected it was easily just as good.
Editor's Note: This family took Anne's Hypnobabies class with baby #2 and then took the full class again this time around. This is highly recommended in order to have the best possible results! As this birth story shows, each birth is a unique journey! If a repeat Hypno-family cannot take the full class again they need to work through the entire course week by week over the course of at least six weeks to re-install all the hypnosis tools and get the best results. There's no short-cut way to get this kind of amazing birth!
Local families looking for hospital midwifery care can check out the Methodist midwives here!