Tag Archives: hypnobirthing

Baby’s Birth Day!

2 May

It’s a girl!  Baby girl arrived a few hours after my last log update!  I really was in labor, so I will continue on describing my day.

I posted the first half of labor day at about 2:15pm here (Part 1 of labor day).  After I did that, Fernando came upstairs and took a nap. I decided around 3:30ish that I wanted to take another nap.  I was debating between napping and doing some sort of activity to speed up my labor, but the nap won, and I am glad of my choice.

I don’t think I slept very long; it was probably about a half an hour. I don’t remember what I did right after nap, but I had a few contractions during my nap and they were quite strong.

At around 4:30pm we were all talking about what our plans for the evening should be. I decided that it would be nice to just go to the hospital and see what the status of my cervix was. I wanted to know if I was still just 3cm, or if I was 4cm and could stay home until things got more intense, or if I was on the way to having a baby soon. At 5:00pm we started getting the kids ready to leave. We determined that a good plan of action would be to get everyone dinner close to the hospital, and then evaluate after dinner how I felt. We collected our last minute hospital bag items, and headed out the door around 5:30pm. During the drive, I had about 2 strong contractions. We got to Chick-Fil-A a bit before 6pm. I had another contraction right as we got out of the car, and I hugged Fernando. When we got inside Chick Fil A, I realized I could not eat. I saved tables while everyone ordered. During dinner I had a few contractions, and with one of them I said, “Ok, I need to go to the hospital. I don’t think I can stay here any longer.” Even though contractions were getting more intense and a bit more frequent, I remained until everyone was finished with dinner. I joked with Rebecca as we were leaving that if I’d had the baby at Chick-Fil-A, maybe she would get free food for life.

Fernando and I left the restaurant and Mom and Rebecca took the kids to our friends’ house, which was only a few blocks away. We arrived at the hospital and got buzzed in to the birth center. I said, “I’m in labor and I just wanted to see if I needed to be admitted to the hospital yet.” I felt a little silly because I waltzed in to the birth center and I know I looked like I was not in labor. However, right when I was on my way to a triage room I did have a contraction and had to stop walking two feet from the door. 

We got settled in triage and the nurse determined I was 5.5/6cm. I wasn’t surprised or sad at the news, but I did have to ask to clarify if I needed to stay. The nurse laughed and said, “Oh yes, you are staying!  I’m sorry if I didn’t explicitly mention that!” I wasn’t sure how I felt about being admitted. In my mind, I was thinking  about the fact that I had progressed about 3cm since my last appointment. With as slow as labor had been during the day, I was expecting to give birth the following day, Sunday, or even on Monday. The nurse also said that my midwife was on her way over. I felt kind of bad because I thought, “oh! She doesn’t have to come quite yet! I don’t want her to have to sit around waiting for me and my turtle-slow labor!”

We moved over to the birth room around 7:30pm. I was surprised that Mom and Rebecca hadn’t made it to the hospital yet, but I found out they stopped at the store on their way over(!). I remember thinking how big the birth room felt with just me and Fernando. We still hadn’t grabbed our suitcase and the lights were really dim. Mom and Rebecca arrived around 7:45pm, and our birth photographer arrived right after we got in to the birth room at about 7:35pm. It took me awhile to get the birth room to feel homey and comfortable. I determined that I liked having the lights pretty bright. Aunt Lori arrived a bit after 8pm with a coffee in hand for Fernando, and I was getting monitored from 8pm-8:20pm. Right when Aunt Lori arrrived, we started talking about some family things that were happening, and in the middle of her narrative, I got a very intense contraction, and I think I cried – tears of joy from being overwhelmed from the story, not from the pain – but either way it was very hormonal. After that specific contraction, nothing was a game to me anymore. I officially entered intense labor mode, and my contractions picked up to very frequent

I remember during this time that I went to the bathroom a lot. For some reason, the bathroom is a strange place for me during labor. With Emmanuel, I had painful contractions every time I squatted to go to the bathroom. With this baby, I immediately had a contraction right when I entered the bathroom… it wasn’t even when I was going to the bathroom. All of my contractions by this time were felt in my pelvis and cervix. Every contraction by this time during this labor felt like those painful contractions I had with Emmanuel only during the time that I would go to the bathroom and squat. I tried to lay down on my sides and my back during this time, and I discovered that contractions were worse in those positions. My last laying down position that I tried was with a peanut between my knee around 8:40pm and as I laid down during that contraction and began putting the peanut between my knee, I said, “Oh heck no!” and jumped up in agony.

I was very desperate to find something to relieve the pain from the pubic/pelvis/cervical pain during contractions.  I decided that standing up and leaning on something allowed me to survive the contractions, but I was very upset that nothing had improved how I felt during contractions. I didn’t want to just survive a contraction, I wanted to thrive during contractions! I had never had such difficulty getting through contractions before. With Hadassah, my contractions were textbook typical, and I felt them in my stomach. With Emmanuel, they were a bit more difficult, as I felt them in my stomach, plus I had back pain, and I had severe pain when I squatted, so to avoid the severe pain, I avoided squatting! With this baby, I didn’t even notice any discomfort in my stomach or back, I was just experiencing pure pain down below.

I was thinking about the differences in my contractions a bit before 9pm when I remembered that I felt relief with Emmanuel once Fernando started doing counterpressure on my back. Some birthing knowledge came to me from the corner of my brain about other places to do counterpressure. I told Fernando to squeeze my hips…When he did that during a contraction, I felt my first bit of relief. I went from having quite unbarable contractions to being able to get through them. The counterpressure did not fully relieve my pain, but I was able to manage. 

At 9pm, the nurse came in to monitor the baby again. All I could think of was how I was not going to lay down.  I did not care what they said! Luckily, the nurse just asked me if I preferred to be monitored on a wireless device, and I said yes! I labored standing up while being monitored, and contractions were coming very frequently. After I was done being monitored, I told the nurse I needed to get in the tub asap. Since contractions were difficult, the only thing left to do in my repertoire for dealing with contractions was a soak in the tub. The nurse went to prepare the tub while I labored. 

My midwife came to check me at 9:30pm, and I couldn’t believe I was only 8cm and she said the baby was at 0 station. I told her I wanted to go in the tub. The good news about being only 8cm was that I knew I could go in the tub, because if I had been 10cm I knew they wouldn’t let me in the tub.  I looked at the nurse and midwife standing side by side as they told me how dilated I was, and they had a weird look on their face and told me I couldn’t get in the tub. They said that if I got in the tub I would have the baby in the tub (which is against their liability rules). I looked at them, uncomprehendingly. I still had 2cm to dilate. How could I have the baby any time soon? I was going to die if I had to keep laboring how I was laboring!

A little after 9:40pm, I got in the bed and started laboring on my hands and knees. I remember some time around this time, my midwife asked me if I thought I would birth on my hands in knees. I told her I probably was, but I didn’t really understand why she was making me decide so soon. At 9:45pm, my mom and sister started rubbing my back. I didn’t realize it at the time that Fernando wasn’t around – he had gone to the bathroom. They were actually doing a really good job, but at some moment I needed Fernando specifically during a contraction and I yelled out, “WHERE’S FERNANDO?!?!!!!!!” I was really annoyed to find out that he was in the bathroom! 

At 9:55pm I felt like I wanted to start pushing. My midwife let me get through my contraction and she checked me and I was only 9cm dilated. I couldn’t believe I wasn’t 10cm, and I felt like there was no way I was going to make it through to the birth. 

From 10:00pm until about 10:15pm I was doing anything and everything I could to get through the contractions. I was counting, humming, and writhing. I was feeling a little tired being on my knees, and I realized that I had no choice since part of the bed had been removed. Rebecca came by my head and asked if I wanted my bag of waters broken. I said I wasn’t sure and I was so scared to get it done since my labor had been slow and I still wasn’t 10cm. I asked Jana in between contractions at about 10:15pm  what breaking my waters would mean. She said it usually shortens labor by about 30 minutes. I wanted to die when I heard that I might have to endure more than 30 more minutes of labor, so I decided to have her do it after my following contraction.

At 10:18pm Jana broke my water. I started really flipping out and the nurse firmly said to me, “Rachel, you are in control.” and I got myself under control. I immediately felt some slight relief, but I also immediately felt like pushing. After that contraction that happened when my midwife broke my water, I got a few minute break. With my next contraction, Jana told me not to push since I still wasn’t 10cm and had the cervical lip. She told me just push enough to take the edge off. I said, “baby is coming!” I felt like baby was still far up but that I was having the productive pushing feelings. She checked me after that contraction and said, “Oh, yep! You are ready to have the baby!”

I still wasn’t sure how long it would take to bring baby down, but after a contraction I could feel baby’s head start to come out. However, everyone said they couldn’t see anything, so I felt really far away from my goal. In another contraction I really needed to know specifically how my progress was going and I felt like no one was communicating clearly with me. I said, “WHAT IS GOING ON?!” and baby’s head was halfway out, but I didn’t realize it at the time. With the next push, I did realize that baby’s head was finally out. I felt relief in knowing that all I had to do was get the rest of the baby out. I had finished the most difficult part.

On my next push, I expected it to be easier, but baby was not coming out! I pushed with all my might and needed all the coaching from the nurse to push the rest of the baby out. She finally came out at 10:24pm, just minutes after I got my water broken. I discovered the reason pushing her body out was so difficult was because her fist was right next to her head.

I just stood on my knees for a minute and I kept telling everyone I didn’t want to know if it was a boy or girl yet. I wanted to turn around and see my baby first and get comfortable. As I was looking at the wall, my chest felt really weird, like I had gotten the wind knocked out of me. I had to calm my body down before I could finally turn around.

When I turned around and saw my baby, she was so dark! I just thought, “Who are you?! How did you get in my womb?” I couldn’t believe how dark she was! I later realized that she looked black because of her lack of oxygen! Now she is pretty pink looking! They handed her to me and the blanket was around her bottom, and I opened it up and saw she was a girl!

After giving birth, it seems like a major thought that I always have is, “Oh! That was so hard!” It’s something that I kept repeating, and her birth was definitely the hardest of the three. I also remember thinking immediately that I would never be able to go through labor and delivery again, although a week later, I think I can do it! Each little bundle of joy is worth any discomfort!

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1 day till due date

18 Apr

Well, today MIGHT just be baby’s birthday!  If not, I am pretty sure baby will at least be here on his/her due date.

I woke up this morning around 5am. I don’t remember if I went pee or if I had a contraction that woke me. All I know is that I had three pretty intense contractions in a row and decided that maybe I should start timing my contractions and that maybe labor was starting. I looked at my phone and saw it was 5:33am. I waited for my next contraction. And waited. I gave up on waiting for a contraction and just relaxed in bed like I normally do. Finally at 6am I had another contraction. I didn’t grab my phone to time them, but I had 3 contractions in 15 minutes. I decided to get up to go pee again and tell mom that I was maybe in labor. As I was peeing, mom was carrying a crying Emmanuel up the stairs. I quickly wiped and noticed that I didn’t have a chunk of mucus plug, but I did have lots of mucus when I wiped, if that makes sense. It wasn’t a chunk, it was just like a lot of cervical fluid. A lot.

I went to attend to my crying baby. Usually if he is crying in the morning, he says that he is so sad and it is because he wants mommy. But this morning he said he had an owie. Oh great. I latched him on and when I asked him where his owie was, he pointed to his ear. Oh brother. Not an ear infection!

I didn’t feed him for a super long time, and I don’t remember if I had any contractions while nursing him or not. I just remember he popped off suddenly (I think he had overheard something enticing), and he said, “Mommy! I’m HAPPY!” Sweet baby…

I grabbed some coffee, the kiddos were running around, mom was chatting with dad on the phone, and at 6:45am I was just thinking about how funny it was that I might be in labor, but I hadn’t gotten to tell anyone the story.

I went to the bathroom at 7:15am, and I think at this point I still hadn’t explained to anyone that I thought I might be in labor. I saw that I was having a bloody show, and yelled out excitedly, “There’s blood!!!!! I’m in LABOR!” Right as I was screaming, Rebecca came out of her room totally asleep, and I repeated my exciting news. The next few hours were quite humorous. I only had about 3-4 contractions an hour. I sat down after my excitement to drink another cup of coffee, and I was chided by mom and Beck for not rushing in to the shower first. I drudgingly abandoned my cup of coffee and showered first, since I was the priority person of the day. I spent a lot of time wandering around the house aimlessly while I was trying to get ready. I was trying to text my VIPs that I was in labor while getting ready and packing some of my last minute items in my suitcase. I knew I wasn’t ready to go to the hospital, but I knew I just needed to get ready and then spend the rest of the morning laboring. Rebecca and I had made appointments to get manicures and pedicures at 9:30am. I was planning on canceling the appointment, but then realized that with only a few contractions an hour, I had plenty of time to get my nails done. 

After we determined that we were going to keep our appointments, we rushed around looking for mom’s car keys… since we were unable to find them we took our van. We arrived at the nail salon 5 minutes late. There were 3 people working, and 3 customers already getting worked on, even though they had only been open for 5 minutes. I sheepishly mentioned that we were here for our 9:30am appointment, and sat down to wait our turn. I figured that they wouldn’t honor our appointments, but within two minutes we were in the pedicure chairs. It was nice to get that done, but I was a little bummed when I realized that I had only had 2 contractions in about 2 hours of the whole mani/pedi experience. 

We arrived home and ate lunch. I had a pickled egg and cereal (for breakfast I’d had 2 scrambled eggs). I ran up and down the stairs 10 times in hopes to get something moving. In the early morning, I figured that things would get moving by midday, and that it was possible that I’d have the baby in my arms by 3pm or 5 pm. However, it was almost noon and things had slowed down, and I started thinking that baby probably wouldn’t arrive until the late evening.

After lunch, I decided to get my double electric pump out and I pumped for 20 minutes. I only had one contraction during that whole time. After I finished, I put Emmanuel down for a nap, and I had one good contraction while he nursed. I decided that I did want to nap, and I thought, “Oh well if it makes the contractions even more spaced apart.” I felt pretty helpless that things weren’t really moving. I took about a 45 minute nap but got some really great contractions during that time. In an hour of time, I had 5 really strong contrations. I’ve had maybe 2 or 3 since then, so I guess when I look at the numbers things are progressing, but it still seems very slow to me. 

I’m not timing my contractions officially yet. I’m just trying to count how many I have each hour. I am hoping that things pick up soon! I do think that once they get going that it will almost be baby time!

5 days till due date

14 Apr

Today I woke up and my immediate thought was how well I felt!  I laid in bed for a good 15 minutes, trying to decide if I had been healed of my infirmity. Nose? Feeling clear and not bone dry. Throat? Clear and happy! Sinuses? (wiggling my facial muscles) Free of obstruction. Body? Refreshed; not achey. Slight discomfort in the pelvis. Ear? Feeling better than when I’m not sick! After using great momentum to throw my legs in order to exit my bed, I realized that I still had slight congestion in my sinuses, but it felt like nothing I couldn’t handle!

I went to work and accomplished very little. I am feeling like I only have two speeds: turtle speed, and snail  speed. I decided when I woke up that I was going to take my time getting ready. It was so nice to not have to shout frantically, “Hurry up!” or “Fast, fast!” or “Let’s go!” at the kids this morning. We just did our thing and I kept my blood pressure down. 

Climbing in to the backseat of the van to buckle and unbuckle the kids was a task today. I lost the pep in my step to jump easily in to the back seat. I am comforted by the fact that I do not have to buckle or unbuckle those kids any more while pregnant!

I have been mentally distracted today as well.  I have been daydreaming about what my mom and sister are doing and feeling, and imagining the next 24 hours. In my imagination, I see myself cleaning the house somewhat leisurely, all the while my mom and sister are driving westward in to the setting sun. 

I also feel absolutely exhausted today. Everything feels like a huge chore. I meant to make a to-do list while at work today, but I couldn’t even do that. It is difficult to explain. I don’t necessarily feel tired. I just feel like I can’t make my body move the way I want it to. I would much rather just crawl in to bed.

Speaking of my bed, after my kids took an eternity to eat lunch and I put them in bed for a nap, I decided to forego trying to start my afternoon with a nap, and I opted to turn on the Relaxation track from the Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method book’s CD.  If you have read any of my previous posts on hypnobirthing, you will note that I have an electronic copy of the book, which was great to get access to the reading material, but I suspected for along time that I was missing out on a CD that was mentioned a lot in the book. I actually decided to borrow a copy of the book from the library, and I discovered that the book does come with a CD! There are only two tracks on the CD; one is a relaxation track, and the other is about welcoming baby. I actually have not listened to the second track. 

I love the relaxation track so much. There were a few times that I woke up in the middle of the night and couldn’t get back to sleep, or a few afternoons I was feeling too accelerated to sleep, and I turned on this track and felt incredibly rested and relaxed in only 20 minutes. Words are such a powerful thing!

I really only have a few things left on my to-do list, and I am trying to decide if I want to do them tonight (with the help and mental support of my darling husband), or if I want to leave them for tomorrrow. They are:

  • Vaccuum upstairs and downstairs
  • Wash kitchen linens
  • Wash pillows and backpacks on delicate cycle
  • Put away the 4 baskets of clean laundry
  • Wash kitchen floor
  • File filing cabinet junk
  • Online shop – I need to get nursing nightgowns and amber dropper bottles for my placenta tincture I am planning on making (yep, not only am I encapsulating my placenta again, I am making a tincture, too!)
  • Tidy up the storage bins which are in our downstairs living room – right now I have girl and boy newborn clothes out and washed, and I just need to make it look… nicer.
  • Make the downstairs bathroom useable (I have been using the shower to store stuff, but I just realized I’m going to have a pretty full house of people next week, so I think I need to clear it out).
  • Clean the main bathroom. Ask mom to scrub the tub, though.

Mentally, I feel ready for baby! I will actually venture to say that I want baby out now. But, I do want baby to wait until my mom and sister arrive. So, baby, please start making your appearance in the next 24-48 hours. Thursday morning at around 10am would be a perfect time to begin labor. Can you check your schedule and confirm your availability? Thanks.

Oh, and check out the picture. Is it just me, or do I look ridiculously pregnant?  And this was T-2 minutes until I crawled in to bed, so that is why my bed is a rumpled mess still.

 

Hypnobirthing

10 Nov

I was browsing through my to-do list that I wrote about a month ago of things that I wanted to do before the baby gets here.  This to-do list did not include things like:

  1. Get oil changed
  2. Go grocery shopping
  3. Call insurance company

I have that to-do list, but it is the daily mundane one.  The to-do list I made was more of fun things or pregnancy/birth/labor related things to help pass the time for the rest of the pregnancy.  If I don’t get everything done, I won’t really feel like a failure.  Some of the things on the list:

  1. Read two books for fun: Lineage of Grace and ________.
  2. Go on at least two dates before baby comes:  October 27th and November 17th.
  3. Go Christmas shopping
  4. Make Thanksgiving plans
  5. Finish Reading Hypnobirthing
  6. Write and record a hypnobirthing script
  7. Practice hypnobirthing at least 3x per week

…and there are about 10 other things on the list.

I finally accomplished item number 6 a few days ago.

For this labor and delivery, like my last one, I plan on using the technique of hypnobirthing.  I had always thought hypnotists to be crazy people that get other stupid people to do ridiculous things (there are a lot of negative adjectives in that sentence!).  I do not claim to be

My Labor Bible

very knowledgeable about hypnosis, but I did read the wonderful book Hypnobirthing: The Mongan Method and it literally changed everything I thought about labor and prepared me wonderfully for a beautiful birth.

As I mentioned above, I am not some hypnosis guru.  I read the book, mentally prepared, and because I got an ebook and not a hard copy (which comes with a CD), I didn’t even get recordings to practice with.  So, when I was pregnant with Hadassah, I found a script online and there was a script that I recorded in the book.  I used GarageBand and then put some relaxing music in the background.  One of the recordings was adapted from this script.  I changed it a bit.

While the two scripts I recorded for my previous pregnancy were very helpful, after having gone through birth, there were some extra things I wanted to include in the scripts.  I realized when I started listening to them again I was thinking, “oh, I wish I had said this.” or “I wish I had spent more time relaxing every part of my body, ” or “I wish I didn’t read that part so fast.”  So, I wrote my own script and recorded it just the other day.  I am pretty happy with it.  It isn’t perfect and still isn’t my ideal.  If I had more than two and a half weeks to go, I would spend time writing another script, but I realized that I can either spend time writing a script, or spend time practicing hypnobirthing!  The latter is definitely more important since I am down to the wire on time.

I thought I would share the script and hope people can get some use out of it.  For the music I put in the background, for the online script I found, I used the song Water Night and Sleep by Eric Whitacre.  For the script I used from the hypnobirthing book I used the work Gymnopedie No. 1 by Eric Satie.  For my script that I wrote myself, I used a song my husband composed.  It is called Zan Yehuan and will be available in iTunes in 2013.  ***Update!*** Here is a link to Fernando’s music.  You will also be able to search for it in iTunes the second week of March 2013, I believe.

I had a hard time finding scripts online.  I am sure if someone decides to take a hypnobirthing class they will be fully equipped, but I had neither the money nor the time for that.  So here is a free hypnobirthing script, for those on a budget.  Let me know if you have any questions!

Hypnobirthing Script

Breath in and breath out.

Feel your the air expand your lungs.

Keep breathing.  Feel your chest fill to maximum capacity.  Feel the ease of your breath.

If you are carrying any tension in your shoulders, breathe in, and when you exhale, let the tension go with your breath.  Breathe in once more, exhale and the tension is leaving.  Breathe in.  Breathe out.

Imagine there is a fuzzy numbing and hazy cloud above you.  It is nice and warm.  It wraps around the top of your head.  It is slowly descending and barely touches the top of your head.  When it touches your head, you feel the top of your head vibrating pleasantly.  It slowly comes lower and touches your forehead.  As it touches your forehead, your forehead feels numb and relaxed.  The tension in your forehead is leaving.  Wiggle the tension out of your eyebrows as your eyebrows relax.

The cloud touches your face and opens up your nasal passages wide and allows you to breathe even more deeply.  Feel your sinus cavities opening up wider and wider.

The cloud touches the back of your head and your ears.  It releases tension and numbs any uncomfortable feelings in your head.  The cloud moves to your cheeks and your mouth and jaw.  Feel it touch your face and pull the tension out.

The cloud moves to your neck and releases the tension.  Any tension in your shoulders is leaving.  Breathe in and breathe out.  Feel the release.

The cloud moves down your back touching each vertebrae, removing the tension one by one from each one.  It moves down your back again, this time leaving a warm and healing sensation.  It feels so warm and takes away any pain.  Feel it move move. Move down.  It is now at your lower back and wraps around your body and hugs your back and stomach.  It circles around and around, gently touching your abdomen and leaving a buzzing, numbing feeling.
It moves down to your hips and circles around them.  As you breathe, feel it circle around.  It enters both sides of your hips and scoops out any pain in your hips.  Watch it dump the pain in two piles next to you.  It reaches in again and massages you from the inside out.  It circles your hips and your buttox and your lower back and as it gently touches you, it leaves your hips, buttox and lower back pleasantly numb.

The cloud reaches and circles your thighs.  It relaxes your womb and your birth canal.  You are relaxing so much and it is opening you so easily and wide for the baby to fit through.  It relaxes and opens and opens.  The cloud touches your calfs and massages the tension out.  It then grows bigger and bigger and you are laying on the cloud, so relaxed, and you feel the little molecules of the cloud vibrating and buzzing quickly, numbing any inch of you that needs it.  You are now utterly and totally relaxed and are ready for an easy and pleasant birth.