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Now that I’ve actually put my Hypnobabies training to use, I thought it would be fun to write a life lately update with a bit about our Hypnobabies experience! Today seems like a particularly appropriate day to publish this post because it’s LG’s one month ‘birthday.’ Happy one month, Little Gnome!
As you may recall, A few weeks ago I shared a printable “peace” coloring page and wrote a little about our Hypnobabies home study course. Hypnobabies is a complete childbirth education class that’s available (in some areas) as an in-person class and everywhere as a home study course. The text contains a wide variety of information including nutrition, the mechanics of birth, caring for baby, postpartum self-care, and more. The audio portions are meant to be practiced daily and work to reprogram your mind to have more positive expectations for birth. The tracks and text consistently use special Hypnobabies birth language designed to remove the cultural association with fear and pain attached to terms like “labor” and “contraction.” Instead, Hypnobabies uses the phrase “birthing time,” reminds you that pizzas are delivered but babies are born, calls contractions “pressure waves,” and renames transition as “transformation.” At first it felt a little silly, but it gradually became more natural to both of us as we practiced. The program emphasizes getting your birth partner involved with the experience and has “home play” communication exercises each week as well as scripts your partner can read to you during pregnancy and your birthing time. If you want to learn more, please check out the official website!
Sorry this is a bit long – I’ve tried to make things as concise as possible! Our birth story is coming up next. Don’t worry, there are no gory details and everything was wonderful so it’s a very positive read! I debated whether or not to blog about it, but ultimately decided it was perfectly in line with my site’s tagline of ‘crafting a naturally-inspired life.’ I really hope our Hypnobabies birth story helps someone who’s trying to decide whether the program is a good fit for them. 🙂
I had envisioned my birthing time beginning at home and spending a lot of time actually at home before going to the hospital with very well-established waves. As life would have it, things didn’t go 100% as planned, but part of the Hypnobabies training is to accept the path your birthing takes as the perfect path for you and your baby. Our birthing time began with a PROM. In other words, my ‘water broke’ as my first sign of our birthing time beginning. I actually wasn’t sure what had just happened because it didn’t feel like what other people had described to me, so we decided to head to the hospital to make sure everything was okay. Everything was perfectly fine, but I was frustrated when they said I’d probably have to go ahead and stay. Luckily our favorite midwife was on call for our practice (very lucky, indeed! She’d gotten back from vacation just a few days earlier) and she allowed me to go home overnight as long as I regularly checked my temperature and showed back up in about 12 hours.
We went home and I started listening to my hypnosis tracks out loud. I wasn’t really able to sleep because I was pretty excited! Around 5 am I started to feel what I eventually decided must be pressure waves and they felt exactly how my tracks described them – as pressure or an abdominal hug. By the time we left for the hospital about 2.5 hours later, my waves were close to 5 min apart but not a full minute or as well-established as I would have liked, but we needed to head on in.
Because my waves weren’t well established, the check-in process and, specifically, getting stuck for my saline lock, kind of scared them away! We also weren’t able to get in a room right away and were in a super tiny triage room while waiting for other people to be discharged/moved and rooms to be cleaned. (The local hospital is quite nice but small.) Because my waves weren’t consistent or strong enough and they like to put a clock on having your membranes ruptured because of concerns about infection, our midwife recommended we start some Pitocin. I never wanted Pitocin to be part of our birthing time for a variety of reasons, but we did our fear clearing track and change of plans script and I accepted it as the path our birthing needed to take. They started me off low and slow around 11 am and allowed me to move around and even go off the monitor for short periods of time to use the restroom or change positions (continuous fetal monitoring, something else I hadn’t planned on, is typically required with Pitocin) because our little girl was/is an absolute champ whose heart rate was always on point! My pressure waves increased in frequency and length, but I kept playing my tracks, closing my eyes, and breathing my orange hypoanesthesia into the area with my “peace” cue. I would smile when I wave began, close my eyes, and tell myself it was a big, warm birthday hug for our baby. My husband kept telling me I was doing such a great job and I kept telling him I wasn’t doing a thing! I honestly felt like I wasn’t really making any progress because everything was so…manageable makes it sound like it was bad. I’m not sure what to call it. Easy, I suppose.
We were stuck in the triage room for forever, but we finally made it to our “real” room after two. We got the fetal monitors set back up and I really wanted to stand after the cramped triage room, so I was just standing there while the nurse went to find me a set of wireless telemetry monitors so I would have more freedom of movement. All of a sudden I felt (and my husband heard!) a huge pop followed by a gush. The nurses had already suggested that I probably had a high/slow membrane rupture the previous night, so there was a lot more fluid this time! We unplugged from the monitor so I could go check things out in the bathroom. When my next wave hit, I knew things were very different. The level of intensity was different, I started shivering, and I felt a different kind of pressure that I realized meant I was starting to feel pushy. Another wave hit very fast and I called for my husband. Another wave or two later the nurse showed up to see why I’d been off the monitor for a few minutes and bring in the wireless monitor. When I told her how I was feeling, she was like, “! Let’s get you out of the bathroom and back to the bed! Let me call the midwife!” Her office was literally one building over, so she arrived quickly and pronounced me as complete/ready to push. We tried a couple of different positions and it actually took me a few waves to figure out how to push. That sounds strange, but I’d gotten so used to flowing with the waves that I was having trouble using them, instead. Once I figured pushing out, things progressed nicely. It was very intense and I completely lost track of time. I didn’t even realize until after that they’d brought a couple of student nurses in to watch for literally their first birth observation ever. I thought I was vocalizing quite a bit (in an exertion kind of way, not a screaming kind of way) and being super loud, but everyone else thought I was being pretty darn quiet and calm for the situation so they brought the students in for a positive first birth experience!
We were able to have immediate skin-to-skin and because I didn’t have an epidural LG was incredibly alert for the next 2+ hours. Our hospital is certified “baby friendly” and has fantastic policies, including (unless the situation demands otherwise for emergency reasons) immediate skin-to-skin, delayed cord clamping, delaying newborn procedures for 1-2 hours to allow bonding, rooming in, etc. We were able to head home the following evening and everything has been going great! Hypnobabies really helped my husband feel informed and involved so he’s taken a very active role in caring for LG whenever he can and it’s so amazing to watch him with her.
When I was first researching Hypnobabies, I read a lot of Hypnobabies birth stories/testimonials and watched several videos on YouTube. I showed my husband a couple of the videos in contrast with some other natural childbirth videos and we both agreed that if we could have even a portion of what we saw in the Hypnobabies videos, we wanted it! I already believed in the power of the mind and your expectations to help create your reality, and Hypnobabies cemented that belief. I absolutely recommend it. At the time of writing, the home study course is $150 and worth absolutely every single penny. It helped my husband and I grow closer during pregnancy, made me more calm at doctor’s appointments, helped me sleep better, and made our birthing time such an enjoyable experience. You can learn more on their website here.
If you actually stuck it out and read my whole Hypnobabies birth story, awesome and thank you! If you didn’t and this just isn’t your kind of post, don’t worry, it’s the last/only one of it’s kind and we will return to regular programing shortly. 😉
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Thanks, Mom! You inspired me. It sounds strange, but I decided in elementary school that I wanted a natural birth if I ever had kids. Watching my sister’s birth (as well as knowing that you worked until she was born and checked out of the hospital pretty promptly) meant that I had complete confidence that it absolutely can be done naturally. Also, I was listening all the times you talked about the importance of being prepared and not just trying to ‘wing it.’ =)
It does sound like you had a much more pleasant experience than I imagine when I think of childbirth. I actually made it through this whole post without feeling queasy either. Yes, I’m a wimp. Anyway, between the course and your exercise, you were absolutely prepared for LG’s arrival!
I put in a lot of work – 30 to 90 minutes of Hypnobabies a day for 2+ months – and it was absolutely worth every single minute! I feel like everyone I know is probably sick of hearing me talk about how awesome the course is.
Glad you made it through the post without feeling queasy!