Katie, Adam, and Theo's HypnoBirthing Story!
"Now that the dust has settled a bit, I'm finally ready to share our birth story! On September 5, I'd just had my 36 week appointment in the morning at my OBGYN's office (I was 36+5) and asked my doc to check me, because I was curious if I was progressing at all due to the fact that the week before, I'd had an ultrasound that showed that my baby was already measuring 7lb, 11oz. He did and said that I was about 60% effaced but that nothing was happening quite yet. **Side note: the day before, I sat on an exercise ball for a few hours because it was great relief for my back. I'd also always felt that we would be meeting our baby sooner than we thought.** A few hours later, much to our surprise, my water broke at home at 12:50pm. We headed to HFWB, still totally in shock that we were about to meet our baby!
After getting to our room, my contractions started picking up a little, so I began to labor in the tub with music playing in the background. As the contractions became more intense, we began listening to Rainbow Relaxation and Birth Affirmations. Each time I could feel a contraction coming on, I would tap the edge of the tub so that my husband would know, and he did the forehead counter pressure squeeze that Danielle taught us, which I found really helpful combined with deep, slow breaths. It helped me to count my breaths, knowing that 4-6 of these deep slow breaths would get me through each contraction. I also did my best to recognize any time I was holding tension in by body and would then breathe into that area to help relax that tension. After laboring in the tub for about 6-8 hours, I went through "transition", felt nauseous and did become sick. At that point, I moved to laboring on an exercise ball for a little bit and then used the peanut exercise ball in bed, which sent me into a more intense labor. Shortly after that, I felt the need to begin pushing but knew that I should hold off on actually pushing until I couldn't control it anymore. Once I got to that point, I only pushed 6-8 times before our little BOY joined the world!
The nurses at HFWB were phenomenal. Even arriving at triage, our nurse began asking me if I had my birth plan (I'd planned to finalize and print it that week). Since I didn't, she went through each possible preference, noting what I wanted in my chart for me. She even labeled us as "Hypnobirthers" and not once did anyone ask me how my pain was or if I wanted any pain meds. The L&D nurses gave us our space and let my husband lead me through our breathing exercises. When it was time to begin pushing, my OBGYN on call, who I didn't know very well, came in and barely spoke in more than a whisper, asking what my wishes were for pushing. At that point I said I didn't know, but they let me go by what my body was telling me, and I only began pushing when it felt right for me each time, with them cheering me on.
Our sweet Theo was born in one big push at 1:05 am Wednesday, September 6. We got one hour of skin to skin with delayed cord clamping, followed by my husband getting about 30 minutes of skin to skin right after me. They had no issue with me keeping my placenta for encapsulation, and allowed us to put it on ice in our room refrigerator. After my husband's skin to skin time, they determined that Theo was experiencing some respiratory distress and decided to take him to the NICU, where he stayed for 6 days and received excellent care. That part was scary and less than ideal, but I really think that having had such an incredible labor and birth helped me to feel proud of myself and in a weird way, helped me to feel slightly more relaxed given the circumstances. My recovery wasn't bad at all, in large part I think because I listened to my body the entire time and didn't do anything that my body was indicating I wasn't ready for.
HypnoBirthing was an invaluable tool for my husband and I, and I really don't know that we could have made it through a natural, unmedicated birth without the training we received. Danielle, thank you so much for your help and knowledge in preparing to meet Theo. As my husband just said, it was more than just the HypnoBirthing training, it was overall knowledge about the choices we had during birth and how to handle it all."