Warning: This post may be something a person using any type of hypnobabies would prefer to avoid. Or anyone wanting to hear a positive story. These are mainly the negative aspects of my birth story and my partial criticisms of hypnobabies.
I have questions that I need to get resolved because I just found out I am pregnant again and have seriously been considering a scheduled c-section and avoiding a midwife this time. Some of you reading may not have time for all of it but please feel free to reply anyways.
I gave birth in Michigan at Henry Ford West Bloomfield in April 2011.
I am sharing the parts of my birth that I find confusing in the hopes that others can weigh in. Admin, please let me know if you are going to move this thread to a different forum so I can follow it.
I had been station 0 for at least three weeks prior to delivering. I could feel the pressure on my cervix and it was uncomfortable but bearable.
I was 'due any day' when I did try nipple stimulation with the approval of a midwife the day before I went in to labor.
It was around noon the following day when I felt a strong cervical cramping. I immediately dismissed the possibility of it being a contraction because:
1. It was painful. It was equivalent to the worst menstrual cramp I'd ever experienced and concentrated in my cervical area (where the head was pressing down. I was told that contractions usually start out slowly. This one was the type 'they' used to describe active labor stage. Not possible. My first 'labor'? Not likely.
2. It was concentrated in my cervix. I was told that contractions reverberate throughout the uterus and usually start in the rear. Mine felt like a blender.
3. I was not in any way sure what it was. I was told by both my doulas (YES, I had TWO!), that when I had a contraction, I would 'know' it. Um, wrong!
4. I was told by several hypnobabies instructors that if I had pain it meant something was wrong. Not only that, but the entire philosophy of hypnobabies is that it should be painless, so I went in to immediate denial that this could possibly be what a contraction is supposed to feel like. (I have since become increasingly critical of hypnobabies due to this and other very serious flaws I believe it has).
Over the course of the next 5 hours, I had two more contractions the same way but just chalked it up to some strange pain, and by the third one I went ahead and took precautions by getting as deep in to hypnosis as I could and getting in to the bath. But they all felt painful and concentrated in the cervix and I did not time them but it was roughly 10-20 seconds each. I had a lot of trouble being in deep hypnosis for hours upon hours when I wasn't even sure if I was having contractions or when the next one would occur and especially when it means something is wrong according to the hypnobabies "experts", but I tried. The contraction under hypnosis and in the tub was still pretty painful. In fact, it was the kind I imagined only during active labor. So, I got out of the tub and scowled. I had had a really upbeat attitude throughout my pregnancy about my delivery and all of it came crashing down when my labor didn't meet hypnobabies convenient little formula,or anyone else's story I read or heard, for that matter. How much time I wasted on useless stuff that was not going to work one bit!
By this time, I already knew that I could not possibly bear them being spaced any closer together than they already were.
By the time my husband got home, I was grumpy and reclusive and in a lot of denial. You see, hypnobabies works only with denial; you are supposed to deny anything negative or painful and avoid people who wouold even dare to share something less than positive. As a result, I threw out my olamaze training and I also missed out on the important lesson my mom had to give me about her own painful birthing experience.
We called the midwife, I described what was going on and by that time I had had my fourth 'pain' (I was not yet calling it a contraction or BIRTH WAVE), she said I might be in early labor and not to come in, she was very confident. Mind you, this was her telling my husband; I was too upset to even talk to her. Not more than 30 minutes later, I screamed through another (wave of pain) to my husband to 'call her back!' This time she heard me in the background and said to come in. My husband ran all the traffic lights to get us there.
I then started having contractions about 15 minutes apart. And, here is when I learned something my doulas and hypnobabies had told me NOT to do:
moving around as much as possible During my contraction, and 'fighting it' actually decreased the pain by about 60%.
ALL the books I read said to relax as much as possible during difficult contractions but to remain active in early labor. Yet another harmful bit of advice that, had i known the truth, would not have been nearly as terrified and things would not have escalated as they did.
I had to be in a wheelchair to get into the hospital and had only had 6 or so contractions up to that point over a course of about 6 or 7 hours. When they told me I was 6cm dilated (about 30 minutes after checking in), only then, I finally accepted that I was in labor. I was absolutely certain I wanted pain medications and I had no regard at that point for anything except pain relief. I fact, that is why I had gone there; I did not believe my baby was on his way, though I was crawling around screaming in the intake wared.
And here was another very annoying thing: I had to ARGUE for about half an hour with the midwife AND my husband before she ordered an epi. I never asked for a drug-free childbirth, only to not offer drugs unless I asked for them. For these people to argue with me about it made me feel unsupported and let me make something clear: that is really no better than telling someone they need pain relief drugs when they don't feel like they do. I did not ask for a natural birth. I asked to not be offered something; arguing with me is rather the opposite of what I want during times like that! Grrr!
I got my epi probably around 7-8cm and told I could push within an hour or so after that. The epi did reduce the pain almost entirely but by this time I was so disappointed and nervous that my birth didn't go the way hypnobabies said it would that I had a whole other set of concerns. Primarily, I did not feel like pushing, but when I did push per the doulas instruction, ,the baby's heart rate dropped and stayed down for several minutes. So they told me to stop pushing, and kind of farted around not sure what to do, so by the time I really DID feel like pushing sort of, which was a few hours later, I was told NOT to push until the midwife got a 2nd opinion. And most of you know who that 2nd opinion is coming from. I wss threatened with a c-section a few times, but my midwife 'fought' for me, I guess.
Let me cut to the chase: I pushed intermittently for 5 very long hours before they suddenly decided I needed an 'emergency' epesiotomy because the baby's heart rate was still staying low for too long after pushing. I was in labor about 24 hours from the first contraction. I had even at one point said I would prefer a C-section to an epesiotomy in my birth plan, but later retracted that because I wasn't sure. Now I wonder...but I am sure experiences and opinions might vary.
I could feel them stitching me up afterwards, and whinced through every stitch. By the time I pushed out the placenta, it was just pure exhaustion and horror, and yes, it took effort and I won't even talk about my lady bits because that's another therapy session. The menstrual cramping of my uterus shrinking afterwards was so painful I was in tears by the time I was given any pain medication.
There is an important part of this I am leaving out because I consider it somehow exclusive from this story: I gave my son life, and he gave me life, and he is the most wonderful miracle I have ever had the joy and privilege of knowing. His apgars were 9/9 due to his not crying long enough (which is good!). He took to my nipple with gusto, Etc. I have shared his story many times before, but sharing the rest of this is just too overwhelming to switch up my emotions to him.
No, my son is now almost 2 and I have been too angry to even talk about my disappointment. But, now that I am pregnant again I have to. I need to resolve things and find care soon.
Basically, I might be in the wrong place to ask this, but I would like to know if anyone has had a similar experience or is glad they scheduled a c-section.
One tip I have is that people should ask their own mothers about their birthing experiences. My mom had me completely natural and said she would have done an epi in a heartbeat of she had known how painful it would be! Is it possible that we both just have extremely low pain threshholds? That would explain a lot.
I probably have lost any hope in doing a natural birth but I think for most people (on this website, at least) it does seem to be the best option. What went wrong in my case, why were my contractions so odd?
Please share any experiences you have had similar to any of the above and any related insights.