I was one of the lucky ones who had an easy comfortable pregnancy (aside from the heartburn). I loved being pregnant! As soon as I discovered I was with child, I knew that I wanted a natural birth. I found a midwife and a birthing center I loved. As I progressed through my pregnancy my midwife told me I needed to take a childbirth class. So started the quest to find the class that was going to get me through the biggest, most important day of my life.
Immediately everyone started telling me the horror stories of the awful birth of their own children, the terrifying birth their friends had, the scary births they have seen on TV, the difficult births of their mom, dad, cat, dog, parakeet…..
I had two girlfriends who recommended I take the natural birth class they took. I signed up and away we went. My husband and I walked into our first class and met our instructor and the two other couples in our class. We attended two classes and quickly discovered it was not going to work for us. We had no connection whatsoever with the other couples and the class seemed so focused on getting us through the pain, and coping with the pain. Maybe it was just the vibe of our class in particular, but so much was focused on pain, fear and negativity. Despite the horror stories, despite what 99% of people told me, I knew in my gut that there had to be a better way.
We suddenly found ourselves childbirth class dropouts. I searched and searched online and discovered Hypnobabies. I was invited by the instructor to attend an open house where she was going to have past Hypnobabies students tell the stories of their birth experiences. I was skeptical, it sounded so amazing. It sounded like everything I had hoped and dreamed of. I became obsessed with viewing Hypnobirths online, trying to figure out if it was the real deal. I asked the instructor over and over again if the hypnosis would disconnect me from the experience. It was so important to me to absorb and remember every moment. My husband and I paid the money for the class and anxiously waited for it to start. Had we made the right decision?? Should we have just stuck with the other method?? I mean, my girlfriends had amazing birth experiences using that method, wouldn’t I as well?
I decided that this was it…. the clock was ticking….. I wasn’t getting any less pregnant. Its so difficult to decipher between pregnancy induced indecisiveness and hormones and real rational thought. I had made the decision to take this Hypnobabies class and I needed to just commit.
And so began our Hypnobabies journey. We loved our instructor, we loved the other four couples in our class. The class format was just what we were looking for. I spent the next six weeks feeling so happy and reassured that we had chosen this method for the birth of our baby. I had such a wonderful pregnancy and it was only enhanced and made more beautiful because of the hypnosis practice. I was committed to having an easier, more comfortable childbirth as the Hypnobabies program describes, but I just so enjoyed the hypnosis practice during my pregnancy it almost didn’t matter what the final outcome was. That alone confirmed that we had done the right thing by initially becoming childbirth class dropouts.
On September 24th, 2010 I went into my birthing time. I had my first pressure waves at 3:00am and they were 8 minutes apart. I relaxed comfortably in my guest room (while my husband slept in our room) listening to my hypnosis scripts on my ipod. At about 6:30am I woke my husband and we discovered my pressure waves were about 5 minutes apart. We called my midwife at about 7:00am and she told my husband to put me in a warm bath to see if my pressure waves slowed down so we would know for sure if it was my day. I relaxed comfortably in the bath for almost an hour. My pressure waves were 5 and 3 minutes apart. My husband called our midwife again and told her we were certain today was the day. She seemed skeptical and asked to speak with me. I was so calm and relaxed, she told me I should stay home until I had progressed a bit further.
While I was on the phone with her I had a very intense pressure wave. I set the phone down and quietly and gently breathed through it. After that I think my midwife was even more certain that I was not very far along. Just then, while I was on the phone with her, (sorry, to be graphic!) I saw a lot of blood. She said not to worry, that it was perfectly normal and if it would make me feel better I could come into the birthing center so she could check me out, but reminded me that if I wasn’t far enough progressed she was going to send me home.
We walked into the birthing center at about 8:30am and my midwife set me up in an exam room. She settled in and made her way down under the paper drape that lay over my legs. Moments later she popped her head up over my knees with a big grin on her face. She asked if I wanted to know how far along I was. My curiosity got the best of me and I told her I wanted to know just this once. She replied, “I have to go set up because you’re 8 cm dilated already!” and off she scurried.
My husband ran off to make phone calls to notify our family. My midwife told him it would be quite a while so my mother in law went out for a long walk at the beach and my mom was going about her day getting ready to go to her exercise class at noon, we were going to call them with an update later that afternoon. Well, later that afternoon turned into late that morning, only about two hours after we initially called them!
I sat on a birthing ball for a short time then made my way to the big comfy tub. My husband put cool washcloths on my head and touched my back and told me to relax any time he saw me tense up. We laughed and joked and had a great time. I lost all concept of time while at the birthing center and never once looked at a clock. I was very vocal during my pressure waves and would lean forward on the edge of the tub and “aahhhhh” and “peeeeeaaace” while I breathed deeply.
My midwife checked me and said it was already about time for the baby to arrive. She broke my water in the tub and things got very intense after that. Little did I know that in less than 10 minutes from that very moment my baby would be in my arms. I never felt discomfort, I never felt pain, and I never felt out of control. The sensations of my body bearing down with all of its might, all on its own, were spectacular and very intense. I made my way over to the big queen sized bed and rolled over onto my side. I pushed through about three pressure waves and before I knew it my baby was dangling from the hands of my midwife down by my feet and I grabbed him and held him skin to skin on my chest. My baby boy arrived at 11:43am.
I am happy to report I remember every moment, I felt completely aware of everything that was going on around me and of every sensation my body was experiencing and I felt completely connected to both my husband and baby the entire time. It was such an amazing experience and I can’t wait to do it all again!