I'm sharing this birth story from my own doula perspective with permission of my client. This story is not your "typical" Hypnobabies story. You might want to use your Bubble of Peace to read this story because this mom had to change her plans. But, this story is important. It shows us that even when birth goes differently than we planned, we can still have a positive and empowering story. Even faced with some really challenging circumstances.
This birth story began around 8:30 pm on a Tuesday. It seemed like waves had kicked in quickly and after just a few hours I was joining this couple at home. At midnight, we were hanging out at the client's house and trying to rest while also changing positions regularly, doing a side lying release (Spinning Babies technique), sitting on the birth ball, eating, drinking, and of course listening to Hypnobabies tracks. My client was doing an amazing job.
Around 7 am she was ready to go to her free-standing birth center. We headed in and were met by the nurse and midwife. They were very supportive of mom getting into the tub for extra relaxation. They didn't suggest a cervical check yet. However, after some time, the midwife thought a check would be a good idea. I was thrilled (though not surprised) that my client was already 7 centimeters dilated! It's fairly common for my Hypnobabies clients to arrive at their place of birth having already had this much progress. However, baby was at -2 station so not yet engaged in the pelvis. We suggested many positions and techniques to help baby descend.
We spent all day Wednesday at the birth center trying to get baby to come down and help the client relax and progress to full dilation. She did EVERYTHING we suggested. I mean EVERYTHING. Every Spinning Babies technique we could think of. A chiropractic adjustment and acupuncture (done at the birth center), squatting in the shower over and over and over again. By Wednesday evening, the partner and I were so exhausted and we were amazed that mom was still going. However she, and her uterus, were getting tired. It soon was decided that it was time to move to a hospital and use some tools they could offer.
We arrived at the hospital around 2 am on Thursday. By this point mom was exhausted and her waves had slowed down. The nurses greeted us warmly. But we were soon informed that the Staff OB would not support pitocin to augment her waves and try to help her reach full dilation. She was given an epidural to rest which was one of the main hospital tools we wanted to utilize. However, we were then told that the staff OB was ONLY offering her a cesarean birth. This was shocking for a number of reasons. First of all, this staff OB didn't even come in to the room and see my client. He sent in a resident. The resident did a cervical check. At this point my client's bag of waters was still intact. So in addition to an epidural and pitocin, they might have offered to break her water (if baby was low enough) to help her progress. But this man, for who knows what reason, would ONLY offer a c-section, even though mom and baby were doing great. He had determined she had been in her birthing time for "too long" without even seeing her.
Even the nurses were in disbelief. And even better, when my client said she would refuse, they said they would go to bat for her. Thank goodness for those nurses!
The best part of this whole debacle was when the OB resident was in the room telling my client that her boss was only offering a c-section and that he was "in charge," which I took to mean she recognized that this was ridiculous but she had no other choice. However, my client basically said, "Actually, aren't I in charge?" To which the resident had to agree. It was the best! This mom had learned in Hypnobabies that, ultimately, she had a say and she could say NO. So that's what she did.
Now, I knew that by now, about 5 am, we were probably only a couple hours from shift change. And I knew that we all had come to the hospital for rest, so it was reasonable to just say "no thanks" to the OB suggesting a cesarean and wait for the next OB and just HOPE that he or she would be reasonable. And thankfully that is what happened.
Around 8 am the client's water broke spontaneously. This was exciting progress! The new OB approved pitocin and that started around 8:45 am. This was very needed because waves had spread out to every 10 minutes. This type of birth was exactly what epidurals and pitocin are designed for!
We continued to rest and wait for the pitocin to do it's work. The nurses kept having to move the monitor measuring baby's heart rate lower and lower on mom's belly so we took that as a great sign that baby was coming!
By early afternoon it was time! Mom was fully dilated and baby was nice and low. It was time to push! After a very short pushing stage for a first time mom with an epidural (about 40 minutes total), a beautiful baby girl was here!
While this birth wasn't the peaceful, natural, water birth my client had hoped for, it was a huge success. She used all the tools she could to achieve her dream birth, and then when it became apparent she needed extra tools medicine could offer, she did that with grace and calm. However, this story also reminds us all that there are still way too many providers who do not truly respect their patients. Thank goodness this mom had a supportive partner, her birth center midwives, a doula, her Hypnobabies training, and supportive nurses to help her have a vaginal birth.