Alex's Birth Summer 2005
Erin's 2nd birth
read her 1st birth here
read her 3rd birth here
Hello hypnomoms and hypnomoms-in-waiting!
Just taking a quick moment while new baby is sleeping to get all my
emails/birth stories/announcments out. Hopefully this will be an
encouraging story for those who are anxiously awaiting the arrival
of their babies!
I'm going to be including stuff that you might consider "too much
info," but I figure we all know about mucus plugs, etc... I just
like writing every detail that I can remember.
My guess date was 8/11/05, but I was really hoping to birth before
that; my OB was going on vacation on the 11th, and the pediatrician
on the 18th, so you can imagine that I was a little anxious.
On Tuesday night (8/2) I went to dinner with a friend (Cheesecake
Factory-- my last "hurrah!") and relished every bite. I came home
late and my 3yo was already in bed (another hurrah!). Then I went
to use the bathroom and felt the pressure of baby sitting on my
cervix area. For the past few weeks it had been feeling really
heavy down there, especially after the baby dropped. But this time
I felt like a little "pop" in my abdomen area. At first I thought
it was some sort of digestive sound (like I said, I was really
enjoying my Cheesecake experience), but then I got up and noticed
that the toilet water was pink and a little cloudy. Not really sure
if it was the start of the "bloody show/mucus plug." Didn't notice
any real bleeding, but kept an eye out for anything. Subsequent
trips to the bathroom yielded red-tinged mucus.
Then around 1AM, the surges began. With my first baby, I felt the
surges all around my abdomen. This time, I didn't feel anything up
top, but my cervix felt like someone was trying to stretch it open.
And each time I had a surge, the sensation would radiate around my
lower torso and make my tailbone throb. They were pretty intense,
but nothing that I couldn't relax through. Visualization definitely
helped ("Cervix is opening, so that your baby can come
through..."). Managed to get some small sessions of light sleep
from 1-5 in the morning, and finally a deeper sleep until 8. The
surges were about 5 to 15 to 30 minutes apart, so I didn't think
that labor was really beginning. DH decided to stay home from work
just in case, and took care of DS and got him off to preschool.
Made a phone call to the OB and told them about the pink and mucus.
They said to go to the hospital to get checked out, just to see what
was going on. I didn't want to get stuck in a hospital for too long
in case it *was* actually labor, so I hung around at home, flopping
over a birthing ball tummy down and just trying to relax. We made
phone calls to our support staff (Gramma and Gramma) to be on-call,
just in case. My MIL came by to watch DS while we went to the
Finally arrived in a LD room at the hospital around 1:30. Nurse
checked me and said, "4cm, 80% effaced-- she's a keeper!" DH
grabbed all our paraphanelia out of the car-- birthing ball, tape
player, scripts, bag. Called my mom (she was DS's "overnight"
staff) to let her know that it was time to drive over (she was 1.5
hours away). Then we spent the next five hours laboring.
The surges got really, really intense-- I requested to be
disconnected from the fetoscope so I could move around. I did a lot
of the movements mentioned in Kerry's back labor handout-- swaying,
pelvic rocking, sitting on the birthing ball, one leg bent up on the
bed. The movement didn't make the intensity go away or lessen, but
it did feel better. At some point I got another internal, since I
appeared to be slowly leaking fluid. I was at around 7cm, and there
was a slight trickle of amniotic fluid. I continued to move around
and sway, breathing through each surge. Then I had to go back on
the fetoscope (I guess it was required for 20 minutes out of the
hour), so I lay down on the bed on my left side. DH improvised
hypnosis scripts each time a surge came on, and applied pressure to
my sacrum to counter the tailbone sensation.
Then at a certain point, it felt good to breathe down the baby. I
kind of visualized each surge opening my cervix wide and my
breathing down going through and out (this was a big visualization
birth!). At this point, the breathing down became very vocal too--
long, loud groans. After a while, I started to feel the beginnings
of rectal pressure during the surges. I told DH to get a nurse to
check me. I got an internal, and she said that it was about 8cm,
but she could widen it to 9. She went off to call my OB, who
*apparently* told her to check me in fifteen minutes.
Well, I didn't quite make it those fifteen minutes. After a few
more surges, the "widen-the-cervix" sensation became the "widen-and-
expel-the-baby" sensation. The surges basically took over and I
told myself to let my body do what it felt that it needed to do
(sound familiar for all those listening to those affirmation
tapes?). DH frantically paged the nurse and said, "She's really
feeling the urge to push..." I wasn't consciously pushing; my body
was just squeezing *everything* out down there-- and yes, I did end
up having a movement and peeing on the table. I will say this
though-- that sure made the nurses move faster. I vaguely remember
someone calling for the nearest OB-- ANY OB in the vicinity. They
had to get a delivery table out of another LD room since they hadn't
set one up yet for me. All the while, I'm groaning, "THIS BABY IS
COMING OUT NOW!!!" while another nurse was frantically telling me to
blow out, like I'm "blowing out candles." I would have laughed at
this if I wasn't birthing a baby!
Then another OB came into the room and introduced himself. My DH
said, "Um...is that a head?" Yep! They had me position myself so
that I was on my back (I was lying on my left side the entire
time). No time for mineral oil or perineal massage-- Alex's head
basically popped out, and the rest of him followed quickly
afterwards. Didn't tear and no need for episiotomy! (There's one
way to avoid intervention-- have the baby too fast for anyone to
intervene!) The OB caught him, clamped the cord (baby was crying
loudly at this point), DH cut the cord-- DONE! Placenta came out
soon after, with no effort. The OB said his congratulations and
went off to do his c-section. The nurses were scrambling around,
cleaning me up. After about 5-10 minutes, my poor OB walks in. He
told me he drove like a madman through traffic to get there. He
checked me, declared that everything was okay (no stitches! YAY!)
and apologized profusely for getting there late.
Alex was born at 6:13pm (those five hours went by really fast!) and
was 7lb 12oz. His big brother was 8lb 5oz, so this was a small baby
for me! I joke that when the road was paved by a mack truck, the
sedan will just fly down the highway! :)
I think back to the birth and just can't believe how fast it went,
and how in control I felt. I've been "programmed" so well to say
that what I felt wasn't pain (I think hypnobirthing has made me
redefine what I consider pain), but the surges were definitely
intense and very uncomfortable. I guess I should have been more
aware of fetal positioning-- I was just too busy chasing around my
DS during my pregnancy to really pay attention to my posture. But
the thing is that I *managed* throughout the whole back labor
experience. Of course if I had to choose, I would rather *not* do
back labor again, but hypnobirthing gave me the tools to deal with
it. That and the fact that this labor went so *fast*.
Since the hospital staff were extremely busy, we were lucky enough
to have two hours in the LD room alone to bond with Alex. He was
very alert, and opened his eyes for quite a while after being born.
Once he got to the breast, his suction was amazing. After they took
Alex to the nursery to be checked, I was able to go and take a
shower with DH's assistance.
Again, I'm very happy with my whole hypnobirthing experience. The
nurses were amazed (I guess about 95% of the births in this hospital
are epidural births). I'm just sorry that my OB didn't get to see
for himself how effective birth hypnosis is.
I hope that someone finds this to be an encouraging story-- and that
there's no need for being embarassed with whatever you do during
birthing! Groan, poop on the table, sing opera, moon your OB-- do
whatever your body feels it needs to do!!! You are giving BIRTH!!!
Back to the little guy...and his older brother...I think here's
where my challenge really is! Dealing with two!
Take care everyone,