LWright: Nicholas' Hypnobirth
Monday, May 18, 2009 2:46 PM
"Our doula was invaluable. She was
with us from the time we got to the hospital and immediately helped me cope with the pain..."
Getting things started
I was 39 weeks pregnant. To help ensure that I went into labor on time, I was drinking red leaf raspberry tea and taking Evening Primrose both orally and vaginally. I’m not sure if those two holistic items helped me go into labor or not but I think they might have helped a little. I woke up around 3 a.m. on a Tuesday morning to go to the bathroom and when I got there, the pantyliner and underwear were soaked. It was all clear so I assumed that my water had broken. I went back to bed and tried to go to sleep. I couldn't sleep because I was having contractions about 20 minutes apart and I was excited that I was in labor so I got up and watched some T.V.
My contractions continued to be 20 minutes apart until about 8 a.m. They felt like mild period cramps. At 8 a.m., I called my mid-wife and told her what was going on and she told me to just go about my day and when they got closer together to give her a call. She also gave me the option of coming to the office to get an internal but I declined. I also called my doula to let her know as well. I decided to go ahead and work from home that day to wrap up some last minute items. I stopped working around noon and went to Target to pick up some things. My husband (who decided to stay home with me) thought I was nuts but I really felt fine and wanted to get out and about. Sometime around 1 p.m. the contractions started coming every 10 minutes and were a bit stronger. Then around 3 p.m. the contractions came back to 20 minutes apart and my doula recommended that I go walking or try nipple stimulation to get my contractions going again. Since I was in no mood to have my nipples stimulated, I opted for walking. My husband and I walked for about 30-40 minutes and my contractions started coming again around every 10 minutes. They also started to get stronger.
Trying to relax
Around 7 p.m., they were definitely stronger and I started to have to pause what I was doing and breathe through each one. I did that for about 2 hours and around 9 p.m., I laid down in bed and followed my hypnobirthing CD to help deal with contractions. Between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. my contractions started coming about every 5 minutes. They were starting to get very intense to the point that I wasn’t able to breathe and relax through all of them. We called my doula and she recommended that I take a hot bath and drink a glass of wine to help me relax. I took her advice and it did help. My contractions were getting stronger but it did enable me to stay at home for an additional hour or so.
Around 11:00 p.m. my contractions were very intense (4 minutes apart) and we decided it was time to head to the hospital. On the way to the hospital I listened to my hypnobirthing CD and tried to relax.I wasn’t able to relax completely but the CD did help. When we got to the hospital, my contractions were painful enough that I had to use the wheelchair to the L&D section.
Once in L&D, I had to lay in bed while they monitored my contractions and the baby’s heartbeat for 20 minutes. To me, this was one of the most painful parts because I had to lay still in a position that wasn’t good for me as far as managing contractions. They also checked me and I was 5 cm dilated. After they determined that everything was fine, I was able to get into my L&D room where I was able to get in to a more comfortable position. We met our doula at the hospital and she immediately helped recommend new positions to help me cope with the pain.
I was having back labor and the doula was putting pressure on my back and my husband was putting a heated rice sock on my back to help me feel better. The contractions were very intense and I was no longer able to feel relaxed during them at all. My doula said that I did relax between each but I can honestly say that I didn’t feel like I was! I went from 5 to 8 cm dilated in two hours which is apparently very fast.
Here comes Nicholas!
Around 3 a.m. my midwife arrived and I was able to get into the tub since I was planning a water birth. Once I got into the tub, the pain was definitely more manageable. The warm water is a huge help in dealing with pain and contractions. I labored in the pool for a couple more hours before I was ready to push. The midwife pushed the lip of my cervix over the baby’s head and then I was able to start pushing. Pushing the cervix back over the baby’s head didn’t really hurt either. This part for me was actually not painful at all. It was just hard trying to bear down and get him out, but it actually wasn't painful to me. I never felt the "ring of fire" and was very fortunate in that I didn't have any tearing. The midwife did some perennial massage while the head was coming out which probably helped me to not tear. I think I pushed for about an hour or so (I really didn't have any sense of time) and then Nicholas made his entrance!
A few surprises along the way
So here are a few things that surprised me about...
The pain: I took two birthing classes (ours and a hypnobirthing class) and I thought I would give birth like the women we watched in the videos...the ones that were so calm and peaceful looking.....that didn't work out so much for me. While I was able to breathe through most of my contractions, there were times when I was much more vocal. The pain was more intense than I thought it would be and I wasn't able to cope with it the way I had thought once it became really intense. It wasn’t unbearable pain though and I’m so glad that I took the classes and had an non-medicated birth.
My modesty: So, I'm generally a very modest person and one of my big concerns was around people seeing me with the clothes off, etc. Let me tell you, I didn't care AT ALL who was looking at what or anything once the labor was nearing the end. =) My total focus was on dealing with contractions.
The doulas: If you don't have one, get one! Our doula was invaluable with her knowledge and suggestions. She was with us from the time we got to the hospital and immediately helped us with coping. She was also a good support to my husband in helping him help me. I can't even imagine having a baby without a doula.
The hospital: It is so important to pick a hospital that supports natural child birth and isn’t trying to rush labor along. So many hospitals are so quick to give Pitocin and that is unfortunate.
My water breaking: So I initially thought my water broke while I was asleep but learned it was probably my membranes. When your water breaks, it actually leaks out while you have contractions. Normally I would have been embarrassed by this but at that point, I was beyond embarrassment!
Breastfeeding: This is much harder than I thought it would be. I figured I would be the one that had to learn how to do it right but the baby has to learn too. During the first 24 hours, it took 30 minutes or so just to get the baby to latch on. He is doing much better today (Day 2) but is still a bit of a struggle. The doula, the nurses, and the lactation consultants all say this is normal.
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