I've been a member of the Hypnobabies group since I first discovered it, around 7 weeks
pregnant, but have been mostly a lurker - seemed whatever questions I had, someone else
was having too, and I didn't need to ask. As a first time mom, I didn't feel I had the
experience to answer questions, and whatever knowledge I did have, someone usually beat
me to it, so that is why I've not participated in the ongoing discussions. I do feel
that each of our birth stories are important, and that is why I've chosen to share it.
I will warn you that Pain is mentioned, even though the overall story is very positive.
I truly feel that Hypnobabies is a successful program, to the extent that each mom allows
it to be. It did for me what I wanted it to do - I was able to have an easy, quick labor
and did it without pain meds (other than a local for my stitches) and had a healthy,
alert son after only 12 hours from the point of first true contraction to delivery.
Even though I did feel pain, it was manageable and I would say that I've had toothaches
that hurt worse. That said, here is my long birth story.
Joseph Patrick R.
February 15, 2007
6 lb 3 oz 19.5”
Our Birthing Story…
I had worked 9-6 on Valentine’s Day—had been having sporadic Braxton-Hicks contractions
for the last week or so—about 2-3 a day — today I had about 4 or 5 during the course of
the work day. Drove home and arrived in the driveway around 6:30 pm and as I was
stepping out of my car I had a contraction—the strongest I’d had all day—and about 2
seconds later I felt a “leaking” feeling and some wetness—thought that maybe I’d had some
late pregnancy incontinence, but then again, maybe, just maybe, my water had broken.
I figured I’d just wait and see. Over the next hour or so, I had a few more contractions,
and by the time I realized they were coming pretty regularly, they were at about 10
minutes apart and lasting over a minute each— I’d had some more leaking, which began to
show up pinkish when I’d check—I was more sure that my water had broken and that we
would have to go to the hospital, but still wanted to be sure before we made the
trip—plus I wasn’t completely packed yet. I’d thought I had at least two more weeks!
(I was 38 weeks one day) My husband and I ate dinner (he ate, I picked at some rice, but
didn’t have much of an appetite) and gave each other our Valentine’s Day presents.
By around 10:30 I was convinced that this was it—the contractions were stronger and
about 6-7 minutes apart and I was still leaking fluid. I called the hospital and they
said to come in and get checked, so off we went after hurriedly gathering our stuff
together. By the time we got to the hospital (a 15 minute drive) my contractions were
2- 3 minutes apart and lasting well over a minute each. They were uncomfortable at
this point, but not really painful and I was able to fully relax between contractions.
They checked me and determined that my water had broken and I was about 4 cm dilated.
I had been 2 cm at my last dr visit, so I had progressed 2 cm, which to me was a sign
my body knew what it was doing, and that I needed to just relax and let nature work.
We got put into a room and my husband and I settled in—I put in my “Easy First Stage”
cd and was able to relax through about the next 4 hours of contractions—I feel the cd
really helped me stay on top of the contractions and in control—although as the night
progressed, I did feel more and more pain, I was still able to talk and laugh between
contractions—and the peace and relax cues were still effective at this time. I was
continuously monitored and had about 5 bags of IV stuff dripping into me, so I was
unable to be as mobile as I had imagined I would be (I had gestational diabetes, and
tested positive for group b strep, so had an insulin drip, antibiotics, electrolytes
and eventually pitocin—the nurses said I won the “most IV bags award” that night—they
needed two IV poles to hold all the bags!) I feel if I had been more mobile and able
to walk through some of the night—even just sit up differently and change position I
would not have had as much discomfort as I did.
They added the pitocin around 4 am to help my contractions become more effective—I was
at around 7 cm at this point. The contractions became stronger and more uncomfortable—
it was about this point I started thinking I couldn’t do this—and started moaning
through the contractions. (I think I was in transition, but not sure, it was at this
point that I feel I lost my focus and I really noticed pain) My husband had spent most
of the evening sitting in a chair across the room playing a video game, and I had been
okay with that up till this point. Now I was like—honey I need you here for me—and he’d
look up from his game and say “I’m here, your doing fine—throwing in a relax and
release cue every now and then from across the room. And I was like, NO! I need you
here, right here next to me—and he finally got it, and from that point on was at my
side, rubbing my back and being a great support—he cued me through several really
strong contractions when I started feeling pushy and I was able to relax again with
him by my side.
Then around 5:45 am on Thursday I started spontaneously pushing during contractions,
the nurse said to try not to push so I don’t swell my cervix if it’s not complete.
Trying not to push was the hardest thing I think I did all night—it seemed wrong to
fight what my body was telling me to do — but with my husband rubbing my back and
cueing me, I was able to resist for about 4-5 contractions till they woke the midwife
and she checked and said I only had a rim, and that with the next contraction I could
go ahead and push while she held the rim back. Being able to push felt so good—the
only problem was I was way too small for the baby to fit through—(we never did get
around to doing any perineal stretching, so don’t know if that would have made a
difference) so out came the numbing gel and the scissors—I’m glad I didn’t see what
she was doing, but my husband watched and said she snipped me at least 4 times (in the
same spot) to open me up. The baby’s head was now able to pass through--and once that
was out, the rest of him literally shot out—with a huge amount of amniotic fluid gushing
out after him. In addition to the episiotomy, I received a 2nd degree tear. They put
my son on my belly and clamped his cord and my husband cut it. They let us stay like
that for a few minutes, then while I was getting stitched up, the baby nurse cleaned
him up, checked his apgars (8 and 9) did the eye goop and the vit k shot and checked
his blood sugars (because of the fact that I had insulin dependent gestational diabetes
they had to check his sugars every hour for the first 4 hours, then every 2 hours for
the next 24 to make sure he was maintaining a healthy sugar level.) We were able to
keep him in the room for about 2 hours, then they took him to the nursery to give him
a thorough cleaning and when they brought him back they also brought formula—saying he
needed to eat every 2– 3 hours to keep his sugar numbers adequate and that since I
wasn’t able to get him to latch on we needed to supplement till we were able to
establish breastfeeding. I asked for a pump at this point to be able to get out what
I could, but what I was able to get out was more bloody than colustrum and the nurse
said it would upset his stomach and that I had to keep pumping till I got rid of the
blood and only got colustrum or milk. I was broken hearted that we would not be able
to exclusively breastfeed at this point, but understood the need to keep his numbers in
balance, and a healthy baby is more important than mommy’s pride and desires in the long
It was when he was just about 24 hours old that the baby nurse became concerned about
the way Joey was breathing—his respirations were way to fast—they did blood work and
something called bands showed up—turns out he caught a bit of an infection and they
started an IV in his poor little hand for antibiotics, plus he was getting progressively
more jaundiced, although with the dim lighting in the room, we were not aware of it.
By Saturday afternoon the infection was gone but we were not sure if we were going to be
able to take him home because of the jaundice—the pediatrician eventually decided to let
us go home, but only if we brought him back before noon the next day for a billirubin
test—if his numbers had not improved we would have to admit him. Luckily by Sunday his
billirubin count had dropped and we were able to once again go home.
My husband had to go back to work on Monday and Joey and I are still working on our
breastfeeding—I still haven’t been able to get him to latch for more than a second or
two—I think he is thoroughly nipple confused, but since my milk came in on Tuesday or so
he’s not had any formula—just pumped mama milk. I know we will succeed with continued
effort on both our parts—it’s a learning process for both my son and I.
Anyway, even though I did feel pain towards the end of the labor process, I truly feel
I had a successful hypnobirth—I was able to relax for the majority of the time and didn’t
fight my body but trusted in it’s innate knowledge of childbirthing. I feel if I had
practiced more regularly I would have been better at the hypnotic anesthesia and
utilizing the cues that I had. Even when I was in the pushing stage, the midwife and
nurse commented that between pushes I was laughing and talking and smiling and how calm
I was for a first timer—they said I was a natural and would have been a good subject for
a film on how to successfully labor without pain meds. That really made me feel good,
and I attribute my positive attitude, lack of fear of the birthing process, and overall
success to Hypnobabies and look forward to being able to use it again in a few years, if
we are so blessed.