April’s amazing birth, with commentary from her HypnoBirthing teacher

September 16, 2011

April texted me a few days after having her baby and said, “The birth went well, some of it was hypnobirthing, some was not.” After reading her story, I have to respectfully disagree with her. April had an amazing hypno-birth! There were some moments of stress when things became very intense and lots of people were bugging her, but she did it! She “dropped the pen”, achieved the goal, had a completely medication and intervention free birth, and ended up feeling empowered, excited, energetic, healthy and whole. What is a better example of HypnoBirthing than that? Here are her words, with my commentary in bold italics.

On Friday around 3 AM I woke with surges. The surges were not strong and they were coming about every 20 min. At 7 AM I told my husband Glenn about them and we went for a walk to get things moving a little faster. I was pretty sure it was the beginning stages of labor, because I had some blood and mucus that morning.

We went for a walk and I continued to labor. It was nice to be with just Glenn. The surges were not hard, but I did stop and breathe through them using the surge breathing I had practiced. It worked well.

Finally in the afternoon my parents took the kids out of the house. I turned on the hypnobirthing tracks that I had been practicing with the last month or so. They truly did relax me and it felt so nice. I mostly listened to just the birth affirmations, because they are so positive and relaxed me enough. I stopped listening to the tracks after a while, because my surges were so slow, and I did not want to slow down labor by being so relaxed. I still did the count down and used my birth color during each surge. This is a perfect way to deal with early labor. Do a deep relaxation session to get into the groove, and if it slows labor down, get up, move around, and just keep coming back to your deep relaxation during surges.

Glenn was fabulous and put his arms around me and did the shoulder press during each surge and gave me the best affirmations all throughout the surges. I literally could not have done it without him. The fear and stress still crept up at times, and I tried so hard to be limp and loose. I could not have done it without Glenn in my ear reminding me to be limp and that I could do this. Never underestimate the power of the shoulder press and affirmations. Well done, dad!

A little after 4 PM the surges were about 7 min apart, but really strong. From 4:30 to 5:30 things really started to pick up. Usually you go to the hospital after your surges hit 3-4 minutes apart for at least an hour. Mine were about 6-7 minutes apart, but each time I stood up to use the bathroom they would get closer together (which was normal with my other births too). The surges were strong, really strong.

I told Glenn I thought we should go to the hospital. It seemed a little early, because they were 6-7 min apart, but we went anyway. During the time we decided to go and getting to the hospital, which is 1 mile away, my surges had increased to 1-2 minutes apart. Walking into the hospital and up to labor and delivery was quite the show. I was experiencing transition at this point and had lost any inclination of relaxation. I kept my headphones in listening to the birth affirmations.  It felt like every 30 seconds I would have to stop and work through a surge. Most of the time I wanted to sit, but there was nowhere to sit, so Glenn would drop everything and put his arms under me and hold me, talking to me calmly the whole time.

We finally got inside. Labor and delivery is on the second floor and no one was at the front desk downstairs. I did not want Glenn to leave me to go find someone. This was the toughest part and I could not do it without him. I sat in the foyer and worked through more difficult surges and Glenn once again supported me. We made it to the elevator and he kept supporting me. When the elevator doors opened I got one really strong surge and my water broke with a loud exclamation from me. Glenn’s hands were full and he could not help support me, get our suitcases and the door at once. Finally someone in the hall came and held the elevator door.

We very loudly made our way to a chair in front of labor and delivery and the girl who held the door went to get a nurse. I sat and very vocally worked through more surges. HARD surges, maybe I was screaming, maybe I wasn’t. It might have been like a movie reaction.  Transition can be intense, particularly if you aren’t nice and comfortable in your birthing space. The hardest part of my third birth was trying to walk down the stairs to the car as the baby was crowning. I can relate to this!

The nurse very calmly came out and then QUICKLY turned around and came back with four more nurses and a wheel chair. I did not want to stand and walk around while I was dealing with surges and the nurses kept telling me to get in the wheel chair. I kept saying no. I was not too verbal, because I was working through surges, so poor Glenn had to deal with all the questions. He supported me well and stuck with what it looked like I wanted.

The nurses asked if I was hypnobirthing because I had headphones in, I said no because at that moment I was definitely didn’t feel like I was hypnobirthing. I was not calm or in control. I remember the nurse saying, “It will be much more private in your room than in the hallway, all you need to do is get in the wheelchair.” It was actually quite humorous. I finally had a break in between surges so I got in the chair. I remember the nurses all touching different parts of my body trying to get me in the chair, and I was highly annoyed. I did not want to be touched. I was not on my best behavior either, I kept swatting at hands and saying no when I did not want to be touched. Sometimes you gotta be pushy about what you want. This late in labor, moms usually only want to be touched by their partner or doula.

On the way to our room they told Glenn to stop at the nurses station and check me in. All I said was “no, he needs to come with me.” The head nurse was very kind and worked with us and said “that is fine, he can stay with you.”  The nurse kept telling me to not push while in the wheelchair. I was not quite ready to push at that point, but was getting close and she could tell. I was making her nervous. She was so kind and dealt well with the crazy lady who just came in. Again, good job standing up for what you want, and insisting that your husband stay close by you. They can deal with all that legal stuff later!

She checked me and very sweetly told me I was complete. I told her I did not want to wait for the doctor. She kept saying, “he is right across the hall”, but I knew he wasn’t or he would have been there already. The nurse was once again so kind and told me if we needed she would deliver the baby and she put the delivery clothes over her scrubs.

I laid there with Glenn in my ear whispering kind things and the birth affirmations in the other ear and I calmed down. I got controlled. I was not quite ready to push. I was close, but I wanted and needed to get calm. Again, good job dad. It was very important for April to relax again at this point.

Finally a different doctor walked in the room and said I could push if I felt it. It was a few minutes before I felt the urge. She was pushy and a little annoyed, and kept instructing me to do a big push. I did not want to. I wanted to do little pushes. She kept yelling “Push! Give a big one!” and Glenn kept saying “no take your time, listen to your body.”  By the time the doctor realized she was not in charge she stood up highly annoyed and looked to the side, because things were obviously not going her way. This is my favorite paragraph in the story! I love that Glenn was a calming voice, reminding April to follow her body even though the doctor was doing the “PUSH!!!” chant. Good job, you two.

I kept swatting at her hands, because she was sticking them down there trying to support my perineum, and it hurt. I was trying to concentrate and breathe out a baby and she kept touching me and hurting me. I just kept swatting, because I could not vocalize politely to stop touching me. Ugh. Hands off the perineum, docs!

I reached down there and felt the top of the softest most perfectly round head. It was my Dallin. That got me so excited and happy. He was there, right there. After a few more calm breaths I had his head out and then a bigger one and his shoulders slipped out, and there was my little guy. They put him straight up on my chest where they covered him in a blanket and rubbed a bit, and once again I swatted them away. I wanted him. I held him and loved him while I delivered the placenta and got stitched up a bit from my minor tearing. Great example of breathing the baby out. April knew she could do it without purple pushing, and she did!

He was perfect and in my arms and he was mine, mine and Glenn’s. Glenn was amazing and supported me perfectly. Afterward the nurses said “For someone who is not hypnobirthing, that was some of the best hypnobirthing I have seen!” That made me feel good. I was able to calm down at the end and that helped me a lot.

I am so happy with how the labor turned out and so glad we did it this way. I appreciated the classes, because I knew how to breathe through the stress and Glenn knew exactly how to support me. I loved it and I loved doing this with Glenn. It felt so wonderful seeing my husband be so selfless and do anything for me, because he loves me. After the birth I was so excited and happy. They kept asking me my pain level. I kept thinking “What? What pain level? I just had a baby, I am so so excited, I am not in pain.” I never really hit high pain levels. Only during those after birth surges when my uterus was contracting down again, but other than that I was full of energy and happy. This last week has been my best recovery I have ever had from having a baby. I did not tear too much so there wasn’t much pain. I wanted to be up and with my family. I am so happy with how everything went.

April, I am so excited for you and proud of you. You had an amazing birth, and your baby came into the world without drugs or trauma.

Remember: The point of HypnoBirthing is NOT to birth without pain. The point is to birth with LOVE and CONFIDENCE, without FEAR, without unnecessary INTERVENTION, and with a supportive team who shares your birth vision. THAT is the definition of a successful hypno-birth.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Laura E. September 16, 2011 at 7:47 pm

Amazing! Way to go April! I agree with Laura, this was definitely a true HypnoBirth! What a great example and inspiration you are to those of us who are anxiously awaiting the birth of our own little miracles! :)

Jenny Lowe September 18, 2011 at 11:53 am

I do not know April, but I enjoyed your birth story. What a brave and powerful couple you two are together. It makes me wish I could have my babies all over again. Congratulations!

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