Hypnobabies Birth Stories

The Stories, experiences and opinions are unedited and are those of the families/women who wrote them.  You will also find many more birth stories on the Hypnobabies website.  Just click on any of the birth story categories here:

Birth Centre Stories                     Breech Babies                First Time Moms                      Home Birth

Hospital Birth                              Multiples                         VBAC Birth                           Water Birth

I had the pleasure of teaching Hypnobabies to Nicole and Chris and also attending Ella’s beautiful birth as their doula.  Here is their story…

Ella’s Beautiful Hospital Birth

Our baby’s ‘guess date was March 10, 2012.

At just over 38 weeks, I attended my weekly doctor appointment.  The days leading up to the appointment, I had been noticing how hard my belly would go several times a day.  I was hoping that meant baby would come very soon because a week prior, the doctors recommended I be induced due to a very low amniotic fluid index level (AFI). We discovered I had a low AFI through an ultrasound at about 37 weeks that my doctor ordered because I was ‘measuring  small’. After lengthy research, discussion, and thinking, we declined the induction at 37 weeks. Because of this, we willingly returned daily to the hospital for non-stress tests to monitor the baby, and had two more ultrasounds.

The night after my week 38 appointment, I had an enormous burst of energy. Instead of my routine nap, I cleaned house and made mental lists of things I would do the next day. That night I didn’t sleep overly well partly due to heart burn, which I rarely experienced during my pregnancy. I woke up on Leap Day to some very mild cramping and noted various other changes which were occurring.

At our daily non-stress monitoring that morning, I mentioned the changes to the nurse, who suggested I was just experiencing Braxton Hicks contractions. I believed her. Later that day, I began experiencing a bit more discomfort with the tightening of my tummy, but it was still very manageable.

Upon arriving home at 1:30PM, I experienced my water break! I jumped for joy and realized those belly tightening’s were pressure waves! I immediately called my ‘wonderful birth partner’ who had just left for work and convinced him to stay at work for a bit while I napped and did some baking. After being hassled by co-workers, he ended up coming home a few hours later. We cooked a nice meal together and enjoyed supper in between pressure waves. He insisted we go to the hospital and loaded up the car, while I insisted I take a shower and clean up. He won, and we ended up getting to the hospital about 7:30PM.

Upon arrival, the nurse informed me I was 3-4cm dilated so we were transferred to a labour and delivery room where we got cozy. At around 10:30PM I requested our fabulous doula to come. Pressure waves became more frequent and I felt like I needed her. In the meantime, I really found comfort in talking about and visualizing ‘my special place’: Cathedral Cove on the Coromandel Peninsula in New Zealand. I constantly had my headphone in one ear so that I could still hear my birth partner. I requested he use the ‘relax’ cue on my shoulder whenever I said ‘now’, indicating another pressure wave was about to come on.

I tried a few different positions during my birthing time. Early on, I found the ball very helpful. Later on, I tried a modified version of child’s pose and finally, baby was born while I was laying on my left side. I held onto my husband who was near my head, while our amazing doula held my leg.

The birthing time went very quickly for me. We covered the clock with paper, but after about 11PM I didn’t pay attention to it anyway. I did request nitrous oxide at one point along with gravol. Our wonderful doula reminded us about the pressure point on the ear for nausea, which seemed to help me a lot. Between pressure waves I recall being very tired, closing my eyes to relax, and almost falling asleep. I was very excited when I noticed more people coming into the room. I knew the baby was very near to being born. At 00:52 on March 1, 2012, our precious little girl was born weighing 6 pounds, 13 ounces. We named her Ella Brooke Sailes.

Immediately once Ella was born, I asked what time it was, because we were hoping she wouldn’t be born on Leap Day! I also asked right away whether it was a boy or girl! Ella’s umbilical cord had a knot in it when she was born, but it was not tight.

Before Ella was born, I requested my husband hold her, as I felt very weak and cold. He was skin to skin with her and did a fabulous job at supporting me along with our doula.

After Ella’s birth, I couldn’t believe all of my wishes were fulfilled. Ella came naturally and I was able to avoid an epidural. Our doula and her awesome Hypnobabies prenatal classes gave me the confidence and support that I needed to have the ‘perfect’ birth. I continued to use the Hypnobabies relaxation tracks especially during the first two days of breast feeding because I experienced shaking, cold, and pressure waves. I also had my husband put pressure on my ear to relieve nausea.The Sailes Family 2012

Nicole & Chris and baby Ella Sailes

 

 

 

 

 

 

And here is their story for baby #2!  They took my classes again as they were expecting baby #2 and I had the privilege of attending this birth too.  It was very fast and very beautiful!  Nicole was amazing… so in tune with her body and what she needed from her birth team.

Quinn’s Efficient Birth Story (Baby #2)

May 23, 2014 was our baby’s guess date. That same day I had my 40 week maternity appointment with  Dr. Cardinal. She did her regular blood pressure check and listened to baby’s heartbeat. Everything looked great so off I went. She had mentioned that around June 2 if baby hadn’t arrived that we would discuss induction but I really hoped it wouldn’t come down to that.

6 days went by and I was waiting very patiently every day for any sign of my birthing time. Thursday evening, May 29, I decided to call up a friend to go to a movie. Ella was at the lake with Oma and Chris was working so I thought I should take advantage of my free time and have a little outing. I had napped twice that day so I was very well rested. The movie (we watched “Neighbours” by the way!) was over before 9PM so I came home and went to bed.

A few minutes before midnight, while sleeping, I was wakened by a “gush” of fluid. I immediately got out of bed and realized that must have been my “water” breaking. It wasn’t much fluid, so fortunately there was really no mess to clean up. I waited about 20 minutes and didn’t notice any pressure waves or other changes, so I gathered a few last things for my hospital bag and went back to bed.

I was in and out of a light sleep for over an hour or two (I don’t clearly remember the timeline!) when I began having light pressure waves, I began listening to my “Easy First Stage” Hypnobabies track. I do know that the pressure waves were approximately 20 minutes apart. I had probably 3 or 4 of these waves and then they started to become more frequent. I found the most comfortable position for me was on my knees with my bum in the air and my face and arms draped over several pillows. The waves were very comfortable.

(Yes, she said comfortable)

Somewhere between 5-5:30AM I remember thinking that I had not cleared my bowels and didn’t want to have a mess at the hospital. I went to the bathroom in hopes of clearing things out! In the meantime, I was experiencing waves on the toilet. It was not a very comfortable position for me and I was breathing deeply. Apparently my husband, who was still in bed, heard my deep breathing and realized the waves were coming very frequently. Once I was finished in the bathroom, he asked me the frequency and length of the waves. I replied that I was unable to keep track and that I wanted to have a shower. Chris disagreed and said no, let’s get to the hospital. I said I was fine and that I would shower quickly.

The waves started coming really quickly and I kept changing my mind about the shower. Finally I jumped in and the hot water felt so great. I also took the exercise ball in with me so I could drape my body over it while on my knees if necessary during a wave. In the meantime, Chris called our doula, although I was concerned that we were calling her too early in the morning. I didn’t want to waste her time and be at the hospital for hours and hours before the baby was born. It was a good thing he called her. (Am I ever glad that he called when he did!)

Chris loaded my 20 pillows (okay there were only 4!), blankets, and other “stuff” in the truck and sped off to the hospital. I wore my headphones and constantly listened to my “Easy First Stage” track. I was in the back of the truck with pillows stacked on the seats, knees on the floor and body draped over the pillows. I was very relaxed this way.

(I half expected to see their truck parked along the side of the road as I traveled the same route to the hosptial)

We arrived at the hospital at exactly 6AM. The main entrance doors open at 6AM but nobody was yet at the information desk to register me. Between the truck and the 3rd floor of the hospital, I stopped at least 3 times on a bench or chair to kneel down and let me birthing wave pass. It took a while to get to floor 3! Upon arrival, they asked if we had registered and Chris said no. I was having a pressure wave so I kneeled down and draped myself over the suitcase. While Chris went back downstairs for my paperwork, they assisted me to the assessment area and our amazing doula showed up.

I was having frequent waves and breathing through them all. They told me they needed a 20 minutes non-stress test (NST) to check baby’s movements but I wasn’t convinced that’d happen because I was most comfortable on my hands and knees- not an ideal position for NST. Fortunately our wonderful doula spoke up and suggested they check my cervix before attempting NST because last pregnancy I came in and was already dilated to 8cm.

After what seemed like a couple minutes, I think the nurse gave up on trying to get a NST and told me to lay back to check for dilation. I was 9cm! They said I could go to a delivery room immediately. They asked me to walk there but I wasn’t sure I could because I was having a wave. Once the wave was over, I quickly walked barefoot to the room. I remember thinking how gross it was that I was barefoot walking in the hospital!

(She really motored… faster than most pregnant women at 9 cm, lol)

Upon arrival to the room, I think I laid on my back and they attempted to insert an IV for some antibiotics that I consented to. The nurse could not get it in and I felt like she was stressed about it because she loudly asked another nurse to come and try to get it. I felt like telling her to calm down and relax! Another nurse came and I don’t remember much other than I was having pressure waves and I had my eyes closed. I finally asked if it was in yet and this nurse also couldn’t get it in. Chris suggested we just not do the IV but I spoke up and said that I thought it was very important. Next thing I know, someone said to me that Dr. So-and-so, the anesthesiologist, had arrived. My immediate thought was fear and I wanted to scream out “ I did not request an epidural”! Before I could get out the words, I was informed that he was present to insert the IV since the first 2 nurses weren’t successful. While I was having the IV inserted, I think I was having waves but just kept my eyes closed.

Throughout the morning, I was mostly on my back sitting slightly upright. I remember asking for water in between almost every wave. I was so thirsty! Chris was also holding my leg against his body and our doula was near my head. I remember loving the warmth of Chris’s hand on my leg. I asked for reassurance several times and seemed to gain control of my wave by saying “relax” a lot to myself. At one point I requested “relief” and had a few puffs of nitrous oxide. I was reminded that it inhibits the urge to push. That immediately made me decide that I’d quit using the gas so that I could get the baby out. Several times I remember feeling very impatient and just wanting the baby out. With every new wave, I would “ahhhh” the pressure out. It helped so much to keep me relaxed as possible. I also remember requesting they cover up the clock so I couldn’t see the time. I saw Dr. Cardinal in the room whenever I opened my eyes. I think she was present for most of the time. I felt like the process was taking long and felt like I was wasting her time! 

(The doctor was very patient and just stood by at the ready letting Nicole do her thing)

Near the time my baby was born, I decided to change positions. I went on my knees and my head was facing down. I draped my upper body, head and arms over some pillows and continued to breathe deeply during waves. Several times I reached down to feel if the baby was near coming out. With the next few pressure waves I pushed out my baby and tried to get her myself. It was my vision of a perfect birth to be able to hold my baby immediately as she was coming out. The team assisted me in passing her through my legs. I then rolled over to lay on my back and admire her.

We immediately named our girl Quinn, but it took a day to figure out her middle name, Annika. She was born at 7:51AM, less than 2 hours after arriving to the hospital. As I lay with my beautiful baby, I watched her cord get clamped(after being delayed) and Chris cut it. I stayed cuddling her while I birthed the placenta as well as getting my perineum “repaired”. I had 4 stitches with class 2 tears. I felt like the repair took a very long time but tried to remain patient. I remember being a bit cold but not as cold as when my first baby was born.

IMG_6218Once that wrapped up, I laid holding my baby who was very ambitious to breastfeed! She immediately tried latching on her own and had no problem. She had several poops of black tarry meconium and it seemed to get everywhere, including on me! I was very eager to find out how much she weighed. After Ricky, Chris and I reflected for a bit, our fantastic doula left, I showered, and we weighed our baby. She was 7lbs 11ounces!

They took us to our “theme room” where we settled in and I continued to breastfeed. I was very cold, a bit dizzy, and experiencing some cramping. I was still being given oxytocin intravenously and requested it be taken out but they said not until I was able to pee. Finally I peed, they took out the IV and all of my symptoms went away! I had an appetite and felt really great considering I just had a baby.

Later that day my mom brought our daughter, Ella, to meet Quinn since I had to stay overnight. Ella was not very pleased that her daddy was holding a baby but has since become very loving towards Quinn. I am so pleased with how the birth went and how quickly I am healing this time. I had minimal bleeding after the birth and very little discomfort. I am enjoying these days so much with my perfect little family despite the night waking’s and all the soiled diapers!F

 

 

 

 

 

This story comes from a client who did the Hypnobabies Self-Study program.  It was an amazingly beautiful homebirth and she surrounded herself with her wonderfully supportive husband & friends, her lovely mother and very capable and patient midwives.  I ended up playing the role of birth photographer more than Hypno-Doula as she did just fine on her own without much “doulaing” from me.  You can see more pictures from her birth on my Birth Photography page.  Her support team was amazing and she fully embraced the Hypnobabies program, using her hypnosis tools very effectively!

Alistair’s Pain-free Home Birth (with almost 8 hours of pushing!)

IMG_5777IMG_5910

I felt fine that day at 40 weeks-along. We had a lovely meeting with our midwife, Heidi. talking at length about going late and induction protocols. I was convinced that I would go right to 42 weeks! But I wanted to get this baby out so we had afternoon sex and afterwards I felt an increase in pressure but no actual contractions. The pressure was constant, not at all rhythmic, so I never considered it to be contractions. We went to the farmers market downtown and Duchess bakery to get dessert for dinner at my best friend Shalom’s house. By the time we were eating dinner I was feeling stronger but still constant pressure which I still didn’t think meant anything as the contractions were still not rhythmic. Shalom gave me an acupuncture treatment relieving some of the pressure. Afterwards, I had my first pressure waves, which I dismissed as Braxton-Hicks because I still didn’t believe I was in labor.

Joe, Shalom’s oldest who was almost 4 at the time, was especially sweet to me during dinner: he got me a birth ball to sit on, kept asking when the baby was coming and if it was hungry. Atypically, he also asked me to read to them and brush their teeth—it was like he knew what was about to happen even though I didn’t. So after reading a few books to the kids, we left Shalom’s around 10:00 pm and as soon as we got home I started feeling more intense pressure waves. I tried my best to ignore them and attempted to go to sleep. As soon as I lay down I got profoundly nauseated, threw up and spent the next hour or two on my birth ball upstairs in my bedroom. Next, still I denial of labor, I transitioned to my bathroom tub and listened to Hypnobabies Birth Affirmations. I found the hypnosis tracks too restrictive but I enjoyed the affirmations because they allowed me to fade in and out. Time went by very quickly and around 12:30 am my husband convinced me to call our midwife. I still remember thinking that since I could talk through my contractions they may not be the active labor. Heidi came over around 3:00 am, gave me my first round of antibiotics (GBS +) and moved to my birth pool, which Cam and Heidi filled. Apparently my husband had difficulty attaching the pool hose to the taps but Heidi swooped in and saved the day. He told me about this later because by this time I wasn’t talking to anyone, I just kept chanting the word ‘OPEN’ through my contractions. I think this point I was likely fully dilated, however I did not want any dilation checks so I don’t really know. We have no idea when my water broke, I never felt it happen…. most likely it happened while I was in my bath tub but I was in such a trance I really have no clue.

I recall one very strong pressure wave while I was transferring to the birth tub and I felt my body push! This is when I first allowed myself to believe I was having my baby!

I forget exactly who called whom, but my support team started to assemble once I was in the pool. Shalom was the first to arrive and immediately started applying cold wash clothes to my forehead and neck. It felt wonderful! My doula Ricky arrived shortly thereafter and over the next several hours all my other girlfriends Ashley, Thirza and Lauren arrived.

At this point my entire body pushed with each contraction. However, it was very peaceful and over my entire birth my contractions were IMG_5719never closer than 6 minutes apart usually more like 10 minutes apart. They were never painful and I enjoyed the feeling of them gathering strength in my body and then the release of pushing. They were an intense pressure but never painful. As I felt them gathering strength inside me I would remind myself to experience the sensation as pressure and not as pain. I pictured a crossroads and it was my choice how I would experience each contraction. Although I knew it was a slow birth, I never felt pressure or tension from anyone. I recall it getting light outside and receiving my third round of antibiotics sometime mid-morning but time passed so quickly.

I believe my body knew what it was doing and there was a good reason he was born so slowly, in the end it was 7 hours 47 minutes of pushing. He was born occipital transverse and with a nuchal hand. I did not tear and he came out alert and beautiful (even with the massive cone head!)

IMG_5599Every time I looked up from my pool I would find myself staring into the face of someone who believed in me. I wish every woman could experience that level of support in birth. I remember thinking to myself that all my friends looked amazingly beautiful and I wondered if they had put on makeup. It honestly seemed as though they had halos of light around their heads (must have been the natural oxytocin talking). They stayed up all night supporting me and never once in the long and slow birth process did one ounce of doubt entire into my mind – I credit my team for that experience.

I don’t think my husband left my side the entire birth and when I reached down and pulled Alistair from the water onto my chest Cameron was right there with me. He spoke to Ali who turned his head to look at his Dad. Ricky captured the moment perfectly and it is one of my most treasured photos. We snuggled in the pool for a few minutes and it took me forever to remember to check if it was a boy or girl. I was so surprised and happy that it was a boy! I had convinced myself we were having a girl. My husband had skin to skin with Ali while I took a quick shower and then we all hopped into bed.

I was so happy not to need any stitches, Ali’s head was in the 95th percentile at birth and in combination with his weight (8 lbs 4 oz), hand position and unusual presentation I am fascinated that my body accommodated so well. I truly believe that our bodies are designed to birth and we have an intuitive knowledge to bring our babies into the world the way they need to be born.IMG_5947

I spent the next three days laying around topless in bed snuggling my new baby boy. I had such amazing support in the postpartum period from Heidi and my friends it was a great transition into the crazy world of motherhood.IMG_5514

My midwife always trusted me and my birth process. I would never have been “allowed” my birth in the hospital with a doctor. Because I made progress (albeit slow), kept a very positive attitude, and Ali’s status were always perfect Heidi allowed my body to birth the way it needed to. Under her watchful eye and joyful spirit I had what I consider to be a perfect birth.

~Chelsey~

 

This next story comes from one of my former Hypnobabies students who attended my classes in April/May of 2013.  It’s a long, but incredibly entertaining read!  In the beginning she shares her very strong views on our current medical maternity care system from her experiences as a postpartum nurse.  I actually thought about editing some of it out so as to not scare some of you who are currently in the medical maternity care system, but decided to include it all in the end as everyone is entitled to their own opinions and her take on things from a nurses perspective is very interesting to read about.  It will also help you understand, as I’m sure was her point, why she chose midwifery care.  Enjoy her beautiful story!

Violet’s (very entertaining) Birth Story

 I never gave much thought about birth and labour growing up. What was there to think about? It was an extremely painful event; you took drugs, and had your baby in a hospital. Everybody knew that. It was not until I was in nursing school that my perspective changed. I had a Scottish midwife named Maureen teach my maternity course. She taught us how the female body was cleverly engineered to handle this process. She definitely opened my eyes to a whole different world, and gave me a passion I never knew existed.

After I graduated, I obtained employment at the Royal Alexandra Hospital on the gynecological and postpartum unit. I loved the surgical unit, where I spent most of my time, but I was just itching to get up onto postpartum! I eventually was trained for postpartum, and learned a lot more in orientation about breast-feeding from a lactation consultant, as well as other information to ready me for the floor. I was young, hadn’t had my own childbearing experiences and was expected to educate these women on a whole new world in the shortest of time. Looking back, I am completely embarrassed how I had sent so many women home with such little information. It is no wonder that women develop postpartum depression after being objectified during what should be the most empowering part of their life, and then being pushed out the door with almost no information. There is so much a new parent needs to know. I remember Justin, my partner, recalled from the birth of his first son, that he couldn’t believe they had to go home. He was shocked, and thought, “This thing is not going to make it through the night!” They felt unprepared.

After working on the postpartum unit for a year, I began to despise it and the professionals I worked with. I hated going to work to find out I was on that unit. I just wanted to go back to my surgical unit. I felt my passion for maternity dying. I remember one patient who had had a natural childbirth came through. She had a birth plan and wanted control over this event, as she should have. She had asked that her baby not be washed in hospital, and that she and her husband would do it at home. The nurses were so disgusted, and gossiped how they would not touch that baby without gloves, and how annoying this “patient” was. The nurses disgusted me. Why was it necessary to have the baby shipped away right after birth, in a building with bright lights and full of strangers poking and prodding, just to give it a bath and an assessment? The father is sometimes allowed to go with the baby. Why can’t the assessment be done in the birthing room, or postpartum room? This is valuable time that can be spent with mother and baby bonding, but instead mom and baby are separated, and scared. “Welcome baby!” Not!

In my experience, baths decrease babies’ body temperature. This is why nurses check their temperature every four hours: an unnecessary intervention leading to another unnecessary intervention. Since mom is not in the nursery where the bath is done, no skin-to-skin contact can be established, which is the most effective way to warm a baby. Instead, in the hospital, when a baby is too cold, which is often the result after the bath; they are put under a warmer in the nursery. Yet again, another valuable moment that could be spent bonding with mom.

It is the disrespect the nurses have for a beautiful and natural process, and all the interventions, and the lack of time and knowledge available to these new moms that made me hate such a powerful process. OBGYN’s have so many patients, that they are quickly objectified, and moved on like a herd of cattle.

Fortunately, they do not usually separate the baby from the mother anymore, unless there are health issues that need to be addressed.  This has been policy at all Edmonton and area hopitals for quite a while now (except the Royal Alex).  Recently, however, even the Royal Alex hospital is starting to change the way they do things and are moving towards a more family centered postpartum care experience.  Regardless, all of the typical newborn procedures (including the bath) are the parents decision and they just need to speak up and make their choices known.  The same goes for the birth experience.  You, as a birthing mother, are the one in charge and you and your birth partner get to make all decisions regarding your care (unless there is an emergency situation).  No one can force you to do something that you are uncomfortable with.

When I moved to Australia for additional nursing training, I was surprised to learn that they are predominantly a midwife society. I was still quite turned off from my earlier experience, and took no interest. I was given maternity for my final practicum. I spent about two weeks each in antenatal, postpartum, special care nursery, and labour and delivery. It was a great experience. I was even able to catch a baby! Women birthed in hospitals, but were attended by midwifes. I am not saying their system is perfect, but women seem to consider natural births as normal, much more than we do here. Every week, a group of midwives and some obstetricians get together and discuss all the cesarean deliveries, and what could have been done to avoid them. In Canada, C-sections are regarded as normal. How can major abdominal surgery ever be… normal? They say that Australia and countries where midwifes are dominant are so far advanced when compared to North America. How can this occupation be so advanced, when it is one of the oldest professions in the world? Technology is supposed to be advanced. It goes to show that some things are not better when digested by technology.

When I was back home in Canada, and found out I was pregnant, it was a surprise. I knew I definitely did not want to be in the system for this delivery. The night that second little pink line showed up on my pee stick, I started up the Google machine in search for a midwife. I had read somewhere that to have a midwife, you practically have to know the instant you conceive. They are few and far between compared to obstetricians, and can only take so many mothers. I knew they used to practice in Stony Plain, but that that ship had sailed.

I emailed several midwives. I initially wanted one that practiced in the Sturgeon Hospital as I heard it was very nice, and Justin was uncomfortable with a home birth. Marie was able to fit us in, and I am lucky she did. She had been waiting for a callback from another mom who was due around the same time as me, and she only had one spot left for that month. She suggested we deliver in the Lucina Birth Centre. That was a good compromise for Justin and I.

The care with a midwife was wonderful. You were treated like a person; like a friend. You weren’t rushed out the door and denied any information. She gave you answers to questions you hadn’t thought to ask. You were in control, and she was guiding you. She never judged you on the choices you were making for your new family. She even discussed issues that she sensed upset you in your personal life. What obstetrician on which planet would ever have time for that? Not only did she have awesome prenatal rapport, but she also followed you for 6 weeks postpartum and came to your house twice. She kept in close contact by email, phone, and text. She also arranged group appointments for us mothers, which I was unsure of at first, but soon grew to love these appointments and the new friends I had met in them. It was nice to have women to relate to.

Even though I had a pretty good knowledge base for this kind of stuff given my experience, I was amazed at the amount of information I soaked up from this experience. So when things started to happen on that wonderful night, I felt confident and excited instead of panicked and scared: which I totally think helps the body to work its magic better.

My Baby’s story started on the night of June 18th. It was about 10pm when I went to the bathroom for a routine, frequent potty break. This was nothing special being 39 weeks and 6 days gestation. Tomorrow was the big day. Actually, it was Justin’s birthday, and also my due date. I have learned that most first time moms are late on average 10 days. My birth bag was not even fully packed yet. I still hadn’t decided which outfit I wanted to birth in, labour in, and come home in, among other things that only a first time mom would think important. To my great surprise, there was quite a bit of blood in my underwear. I did not panic at all and figured this was my bloody show. I contacted Marie, and told her. I also had some slight cramps at the time, but they were barely noticeable. Marie suggested I go to bed and watch my bleeding. She did not seem certain it was my bloody show and suggested I keep her posted. I had bled before during intercourse weeks before. Perhaps she thought it might be my engorged cervix once again. She told me to sleep and keep her posted.

Sleep?? The only thing I could think of was that I had to crochet more of the baby blanket I had started a week ago! If this was the bloody show, things were about to happen. I know that you are supposed to rest as much as you can early to conserve your energy, so I am not too sure how my priorities were so backwards.

I eventually went to bed. My sleep cycle shifted into light sleep at some point as I was having cramping and some light back discomfort. I woke up around 240 am, downloaded an app on my smart phone, and began timing my contractions. I also took an herbal concoction in sublingual tablet form every 5 minutes for two hours. This was supposed to help with labour and toning of the uterus. I was so excited and kept telling myself, “THIS IS IT!!!” I lay there thinking about all the excitement, thinking I had all day to get stuff packed. I didn’t even notify Marie, or my mom who I had asked to be my doula. I figured I would wait until at least 5 am when I knew my mom would be waking up for work. Another thing I knew to do was go to the birth centre when my contractions or “pressure waves” were 5-7 minutes apart. When I began timing them, they were 4 minutes apart, and consistent. I was still fairly comfortable. “I’m not that close yet”, I thought, because women talk about the most extreme pain they have ever had.

To prepare for labour and birth, I took a Hypnobabies class. They say that many women admit to having no pain at all when using these techniques. Through my pregnancy I did listen to “Pregnancy Affirmations” (one of my Hypnobabies tracks), which I think is a powerful way to ready oneself in a positive way. Through my labour, I did not actually use any of the scripts or CDs to help relax me. I, after all had all day to begin that process. So I just lay there relaxing and breathing through them with minimal effort.

At 350 am, Justin woke up to get ready for work. He was working long hours at the time. “Happy Birthday!! You don’t have to go to work today!” He was confused. I informed him that my contractions began, and he did not seem to believe me until I showed him my app for timing contractions. He drew me a bath and turned on the T.V.

The bath helped my pressure waves quite a bit. They were a bit more intense, but still pretty comfortable. I made sure to relax and breathe through each one. After about 30 minutes, I got out of the bath, put a bra and panties on, and cuddled with Justin. He napped, and I nodded off a few times, waking up to breath though pressure waves. I set my alarm for 5 am.

At 5 am, I called my mom, and told her that I was laboring, but to carry on with her day and I would notify her when she needed to come over. I talked to Marie as well. She suggested I sleep and call her in a little while to update her. She would need ample time to reschedule her clinic for that day if I was going to progress soon. I was still fairly comfortable. We rested. At around 730 am, my pressure waves had become a bit stronger, but still tolerable. I was going to text Marie asking when I should go to the birth centre, when she called. She and I figured I was still in early labour. She suggested I take a shower and call her in half an hour.

Justin hopped up right away and jumped in the shower. On a side note, I had recruited Justin to be the landscaper in lady land as soon as my belly was too big for me to see around it. I also thought that I would have time while in early labour for him to “mow the lawn”. I certainly did not want to be naked in front of a bunch of people, let alone be a Sasquatch! Oh how ignorant I was!! Can you believe I even packed playing cards for in between pressure waves, so we would not be bored?!?

After he jumped into the shower, I got up as well. I made it five steps when my next pressure wave came, and it was the biggest as of yet. Oh boy, she was a comin’. They were intense. I cannot say it was a full on pain, because I was able to handle it, but it was discomfort and pressure. I breathed through the next few pressure waves, and as soon as Justin got out of the shower, I threw the phone at him and told him to call Marie back. He dialed her and asked me if I wanted to talk to her. He didn’t have to wait for an answer from me when he saw my face. My waves were coming very frequently now. This was the point when I also started “mooing” through my waves. I knew I sounded ridiculous, but it helped, and I somehow did not care what people thought. This was a surprise to me, since I was fearful of many things: people seeing me naked, me having a bowel movement during birth, and the cow noises!

So the birth centre is about a 45-minute drive from where I live. Grey Nuns Hospital however, is 20 minutes. My mom is a wonderful woman, but cannot find an address for the life of her. I missed a few ringette games growing up due to her lack of navigational skills. She works at Grey nuns. I told her that we would all go to the birth centre together. So when Marie asked Justin how long it would take us to get there, and he replied 30 minutes, I had to correct him to say an hour! I then called my mom.

I lay on the bed until she got to our house. At some point I became nauseated. Justin had brought me a large bowl, which I hugged. Nothing came out, and I only felt sick during contractions. Looking back, this is when I must have crossed into transition. When Mom came into the room, she was all smiles. “I just have to go pee Arby.” She then proceeded to look at what was going on, and stuff on my dresser. “GO PEE THEN MOM!!!” My mom is not known for being efficient when making her bladder gladder, but I think she hit a record speed pee that day!

Justin helped me off of the bed and asked what I wanted to wear. OMG! What outfit was I going to wear! I had not decided yet! “That one, no, that one… oh, maybe that one. Ya, that one!” Multiple things were running through my mind. That one makes me sweat, that one is white and I don’t want fluids all over it, oh but it is way cuter! Finally I picked the sweaty one, and I’m glad I did as I felt a little trickle in my panties as I put it over my head. I was so sweaty at this point. Justin was running around packing everything up. I had a gift basket and supplies for the midwives, but of course, I hadn’t finished putting them together. At this point, I was concentrating on me so much; I could not articulate what I needed him to pack. I just kept saying, “I don’t know, I don’t know!”

While Justin was busy, mom assisted me to my dresser. I stopped for a contraction. The contraction was just like any other, when all of the sudden my mooing changed to an “arrrrggghhhh” sound. My body began ejecting baby out. I WAS STILL AT HOME!! After that wave ended, I looked at my mom. Her face was serious, as was mine. She assisted my waddle to the hall, where I leaned on furniture for my next wave. “MoooOOOARRRRGGGHH!!!” I had one more similar wave here. It’s funny the things you care about. At this point, I did not care if anyone saw me naked, but when I asked mom to grab my sandals, and she brought me my fancy ones, I said, “NO! Not those ones!” Did it really matter? God No!

When I finally got into the truck, it was 858 am. My Formula-One-race-car-driver-wanna-be got us there in 20 minutes!!! All those years of watching car shows really paid off. I felt more comfortable sitting in the truck then I did standing. Gravity had made the labour much more intense, and my waves much more frequent. I had brought my puke bowl with me, as I remained nauseated though contractions. As soon as we pulled out of the driveway, I had a very warm wet sensation fill my whole lap: and then another gush, and another gush. I looked at Mom and Justin. “My water just broke… and I am sitting in it.” We all laughed! Justin said, “Good thing we got leather”, and smiled.

I only had a few pressure waves on the way there. Marie called shortly after our departure. When I told her my body began pushing during pressure waves, she said I would have to go to Grey Nuns. I informed her that we were ok, and that I was comfortable, (which I was), and we were on our way. There was no way I was going to start my baby’s life in an unwelcoming environment. The only thing that held us back was the red Charger in front of us. You think a car like that wouldn’t be going the speed limit, and in the fast lane to boot!! I really felt like flipping him half a peace sign and banging on his window! Didn’t he know I was in LABOUR!!

When we got to the birth centre, Marie came right to my door. She wanted me to hurry in. I was not going anywhere until my next pressure wave was complete. I was a little hesitant to let gravity have its way with me again, but this was my job! I had to relax and let my body do its magic! I do remember checking the fluid on the seat when I got up. It was clear. Good sign!

I got inside and Marie wanted me to go pee. I remember thinking, “Are you kidding me? Seriously?” Fine. Let’s do this. I waddled to the toilet. When my panties came down, the fluid was brownish. Oh! Baby decided to have a poop I was thinking, but was too busy mooing with my next wave while on the toilet to say anything. Marie had seen it as well. Mom and Justin later told me that they were sure I was going to deliver on the toilet. I cannot even remember if I actually peed or not.

Kristen Campbell 1

Marie had the tub filled up, but wanted to check how far along I was. She asked me to lie on my side on the bed. They helped me into place. She rolled me over to my left side. Justin lay up by my head and informed me later that he was counting floor tiles the whole time. Mom was taking pictures and helping Marie down below. The other midwife showed up just in time. It was short notice after all. We had arrived at the birth centre at 918 am. Marie later informed me that she would have assisted me into the tub had baby not released her bowels inside me. This is a complication that may result in infection. Midwives are well trained to deal with these situations. As soon as I was on the bed, Marie took one look and said, “I want you to push with your next contraction.”

Finally! My body has only been trying to eject this baby on its own for a bit now. I guess it was time I could help it out. I pushed through a couple of contractions. I placed my hand between my legs and felt… something squishy? Wasn’t the head hard? I was pretty sure a skull was hard, so asked, “What is that?” “That’s the head!” they said in unison: except for Justin who was still counting tiles. “Is she bald?” I asked. “No”, and they laughed. With a couple more moos, the baby’s head emerged out fully. I remember the pain of stretching hurt. They call it the ring of fire, but that’s not what it felt like to me. It was a sharp pain, unlike the laboring pain. I did feel like I was tearing. I remember feeling disbelief that I was stretched that wide.

Once the head popped out, baby started blowing little bubbles and made gurgling sounds. Marie was busy checking if the cord was around the neck. It was. She was very calm. I remember feeling so comfortable after the head was delivered. I even asked, “Am I skinny now?” They laughed and said not yet! Marie wanted me to push with my next contraction. I was so comfortable and did not feel a next one coming. I waited. Marie said to go ahead and just push anyway. It is hard to talk yourself into doing something that does hurt. I even said, “But I’m comfortable”. Their response, “Baby wants to be born”. So I gave it my all again and pushed the rest of her out. Such relief. Marie removed the cord from around her neck and gave her straight to me. She certainly wasn’t bald, but she did not have the fro that I meant when I had asked. She was born at 0935. We had only been at the birth centre for about 20 minutes.

She pinked up right away in my arms. The first thing I said when I saw her was, “She looks like Melissa!” which is my sister. Then I looked at my baby. “Hi you little goober!” Her eyes were open, and she was taking us in. Justin was by my side welcoming his brand new daughter into our world. She gave a few Waa’s to let us know she was there and breathing. She did not sound afraid or panicked and she settled quickly. After a few minutes, when the blood had completely finished flowing into my daughter, Marie asked Dad to cut the cord! Justin said,” Darn it!” and cut it anyway. He did not want to cut the cord, as he doesn’t have the stomach for this kind of stuff.

Next was the delivery of the placenta. I remember my legs were shaking so much. I asked if this part hurt, and they said it was more like a relief feeling. They once again asked me to push with my next contraction. Contraction? I wasn’t having anymore. So they encouraged me to cough. So I coughed. And out it came slowly. It wasn’t a relief. I felt like I had done the big work, so why was I still pushing stuff out of my hole?? Hasn’t it had enough? I bit Justin’s Arm while it was coming out. Ahhh. Finally.

Kristen Campbell 2

The bath was warm. They assisted me and my brand new goofy goober into the water. It was nice to be in the warmth, and to look my baby over. We stared at each other, learning each other’s faces. Justin was leaning over behind me, sharing our moment. “Should we tell Daddy your name?” He was anxious to know. “It’s Violet!” “I love it!” he replied. We couldn’t agree on any name through the pregnancy, including Violet. One day I decided that I was going to name her. I told Justin that I was doing all the work, and that she gets his last name. To my amazement, Mr. Opinionated agreed. I breast fed with no problem. She latched right on like a little pro! That’s my girl.

When I got out of the bath, I went and had a shower. It was the best thing ever. Especially since I hadn’t washed my hair in about four days… again, I was unprepared. Who comes on their due date, like really? I got out of the shower, popped some Advil, and lay on the bed. Marie did Violets assessment and gave her a vitamin K shot while Violet sucked on Justin’s finger. She did not cry at all. She weighed 8lbs 3oz, and was 21.25 inches long. Justin then tried to dress her. It was funny watching his careful hands. Violet let out little eek’s tolerating her Fathers inexperienced hands. My mom then stepped in to help. Marie stitched me up after some freezing. She said they were “skid marks,” which were not tears, but required stitches anyway. They sure stung when peeing!

My mom held Violet while Justin and I ate. I asked Justin to fill out the paper work. I simply did not feel like I had to do anything since I just did ALL the work. Justin had always said that he was going to fill out the paper work and pick our daughters name while I was so passed out from the immense pain. He thought I was crazy for not having used any pain medications. I sure proved him wrong! Yes, there was pain, but there was a satisfaction and sense of accomplishment that went with it. It was bearable. It was both the worst and the best I have ever felt. I was completely content and even laughing between pressure waves. They only last at most a minute, and the last half was relief coming down from the wave. Anyone can handle that for 30 seconds at a time! Just let your body do the work. Justin is now a changed man. He said this was the best experience. He has two sons from a previous relationship, and both were born with epidurals. He said there was a huge difference. The atmosphere was calmer this time. So when I asked him to fill out the form, I said, “Violet Joy Edna Reichert?” And he said, “Whatever you want!”

After being there for about 4 hours total, they loaded up the truck. Justin had cleaned my seat, which shocked me as well. I never imagined him cleaning my fluids. With baby on board, he drove the slowest I have ever seen him drive. It must have taken more than an hour before we were home.

Once we got home, Justin brought Violet in, took her out of her car seat, and went straight to the bedroom. I helped my mom with a few things before she left. Justin stared at her in his arms for nearly 45 minutes alone in the darkened bedroom. Then our new little family had a nap, which was incredibly difficult, since all I wanted to do was stare at my new baby girl!Baby Violet 2

This experience was so empowering. I hear women talk about their hospital births, epidurals, and obstetricians; and I cannot help but to feel sorry for them. This system is the only thing they know. It saddens me that so many women have such awful experiences and give birth a negative connotation, when it was such a powerfully positive experience for me. I only wish that the news of happy birthings spread and create a birthing revolution.

Kristin, Justin & Baby Violet

 

 

Jillian & Kent took my Hypnobabies class in the Spring of 2014.  Here is her wonderful birth story…

Cyan’s Beautiful Home Birth

The 21st was our “guess date”, and that evening I was at my daughter’s softball game. I figured I should probably pitch and play catch with the kidlets pre game 😉 so maybe that helped move things along. Right after the game I had a good “birth wave” and then a few more that evening before bed. I didn’t think too much of it. But at 12:30 am I woke up to fairly consistent waves every 15-20 minutes. I threw on my “Birthing Day Affirmations” CD and tried to just listen and go back to sleep, but I needed to move around, so I started setting up the basement, moving furniture and getting food prepared for the birth lol. At 3:30 am I woke up Kent and in his delirious, sleepy state, we got the pool blown up and filled and set things up nicely. Kent busied himself for the next little bit while I relaxed in the pool and just breathed through “birthing waves”, which at that point were still not feeling too intense. At 5:30 am my birthing waves were 5-6 minutes apart so we called our Midwife Marie to head over. She got here at around 6:45 am and we did a quick check to see where I was at (the day before I had seen her at the clinic and my cervix was maybe half a cm dilated, but we wanted to do a check just to see where I was at if I were to not have baby within the next week or two). At that point I was about 7 cm dilated. My amniotic sac was still intact and I was able to “turn off” and get into the zone to breathe through the birth waves.

At 8 am, my daughter was dropped off by her dad. As I heard her come down the stairs, I was overcome with so much emotion. Happy tears poured down my face and I had to pretend I was still in a birth wave so I could compose myself. She held my hands and got to spend about a half hour with me which I am SOO grateful for! She said “This isn’t what I expected mom”. I said, “Why, what did you expect?”. And she said “well you’re not screaming”. Haha! My girlfriend picked her up from us at that point.

Then at about 9:30 am the birth waves got more intense. I tried to get into the Hypo zone, but wasn’t able to utilize it as much as I had hoped at that point and I think Kent was just completely overcome with what was happening. He did some good hip squeezes though and we did the “slow dance” which I found to be really comforting and connective-always finishing a birth wave with a kiss. He was great at bringing me water too!

Around 11 am, my midwife asked if I wanted to see where I was at. At that point she checked me and I was 9 cm. I asked her to break my water as I was SO ready to meet this little one. I had about four solid birth waves in the pool that finished opening my cervix and I immediately felt the urge to push at the end of that. Three birth waves and some serious primal lion roars later and cheers from my awesome support team, beautiful Cyan was born. I was able to pull her out and straight onto my chest. She was COVERED in a THICK layer of vernix , so much so that she couldn’t open her eyes until around 4:30 pm that day, despite my efforts to wipe some of it out of her eyes. We let her soak in all the lovely vernix for the next few days until we had a bath together.

After Cyan and the placenta were birthed, I was wrapped in warm sheets out of the dryer and got to snuggle our sweet Cyan. She immediately nursed with a fantastic latch and we cuddled while Marie checked for tearing.

I had unfortunately torn in two spots, so we headed up to my room and did some stitches. I used my finger drop technique through that–and tried to breathe through it, but again had a hard time getting into the zone–however I think without it, my pain threshold would have not been as good. After I was stitched, I got to rinse off in the shower while dad cuddled his precious girl. We did weights/measurements and then Marie went on her way.

Birthing at home was such an incredible transition into our family life. We were on the deck that night enjoying every minute of love and cuddles, and big sister Kaia was OVER THE MOON! Cyan is such a little gem- eat/sleep/poop with very little fussing. Co sleepiJill Rieckmann & Cyanng has been wonderful and we are all doing great!

Thank you so much again for everything you had taught us. Hypnobabies really helped me stay positive and focused during my pregnancy and I know I will continue to use it in my day to day life.

~Jillian Rieckmann~

 

 

Julia and Francesco took my Hypnobabies classes in the Spring of 2015 when they were pregnant with their second child.  (I was not their doula). Here is their beautiful story:

Ruby’s Birth Story – A Successful VBAC

At about 1:30 am I woke up uncomfortable and achy and just couldn’t get back to sleep. After a few hours I had a feeling we were having our baby that day, and started listening to my hypno tracks. At about 5:00 or 6:00 am I was having sporadic pressure waves, some strong, some light, but very manageable when I could stick to my tracks and with my husband’s help. At 8:00 I let my midwife know today was the day, and we discussed meeting at the hospital when my pressure waves were a little more intense. My doula was going to come at 10:00, which seemed great.

 

Well.. at 8:30 things kicked up a notch and I just had a feeling we needed to leave. We started scrambling around getting ready to go to the hospital. Sitting in the car was so uncomfortable, but I was so grateful for the tracks playing in my headphones. My headphones actually stayed on my head until I pushed my baby out.  We arrived at 9:30, and made our way to L&D. My midwife hadn’t arrived yet, so there was some squabbling with nurses in the assessment room over me not getting on the bed and demanding water 🙂 My husband was such a fantastic advocate while I focused on myself. I was standing over that bed, pushing that baby down, and I really didn’t care what anyone wanted. My water broke and I eventually made it up on the bed on all fours.

 

I’m not going to lie – it was uncomfortable at this point. During my pressure waves at the hospital I screamed my guts out. Frank said I sounded like an angry Amazonian jungle woman. In between, I was okay, but I didn’t want to be present in the room, I didn’t want to hear what anyone had to say, I just wanted to listen to my headphones, and found sooo much comfort in it.

 

(Editor’s note: It’s quite normal for a birthing woman to make lots of noise as birthing progresses.  It’s more a release of power than anything.  I love her husband’s “amazonian jungle woman” analogy.)

 

My midwife finally arrived and we were wheeled upstairs. There was no time for the saline lock and antibiotics I was supposed to get, or EFM. I moved to my side and birthed exactly as we practiced, with my husband holding my leg. That baby popped out of me in minutes, and I didn’t even need a stitch. We arrived at 9:30 and our daughter was born at 10:16 am. It was the most intense experience of my life by far.

 

I had such good intentions with my hypnobabies tools, and I feel that if things had been drawn out a bit longer I would have had a more comfortable birth. When things progressed so quickly and became so intense, I went a little more into survival mode than anything 🙂 Still, I would have gone insane without those cues and the hypno lady’s sweet voice in my ear. It definitely kept me confident and kept the fear at bay. I’m so grateful for the positive pregnancy and birth day affirmations, as well as the material we went through in class about choices. I birthed my baby my way, and it was a a very empowering experience. Ruby is wonderful and perfect, and crawled to my breast like in the videos! I’m so happy to have had a natural, unmedicated birth.

~J & F~

 

Carly & Cory took my Hypnobabies class the summer of 2015.  Here is their very short and sweet birth story…

Holden’s Very Fast Birth Story

Carly4Our birth was great… four hours from my very first pressure wave to when Holden (we had a boy 🙂 ) was born! So very very quick. He actually came at 37 weeks +5 so a few weeks early. I was out of town at my parents in Innisfail for Thanksgiving and my water broke at 6AM… I then called the midwife and she advised to make my way home but no need to rush as I was not having pressure waves, she thought I would need the verbena cocktail as I had the invasive strep B. Luckily 1 hour later right before my dad and I were about to hit the road to meet Cory (he wasn’t actually with me) my pressure waves started. About half an hour later they were 4-5 minutes apart lasting 1 1/2 minutes. I listened to my tracks and used centre a lot in the car. So I went from 0-60 pretty quick.

I am sooooooo thankful for Hypnobabies, 2.5 hours of my 4 hour birthing time was spent in the car and there is no way I could have done it without going into centre and listening to my tracks. Cory met me and my dad on the highway and I quickly got in with him and headed home as I thought I still had lots of time and was not packed! Holden was born on the Sunday and the Friday had just been my last day of work so I only had babies bag packed and not mine as I thought I had a few weeks left to get ready. I grabbed a few things from home and we were back on the road… it was a bit hard to get in the car at this point as the waves were pretty intense.

HoldenMizen3We got to the Birth Centre 45 minutes later and our midwife checked and thought I was about 6 centimeters. I found it hard to get back into my tracks and use my switch at this point because things accelerated quickly! 30 minutes after getting to the birth centre I told my midwife it was time to push, she looked at me like I was a little crazy as 25 minutes earlier I was only 6 centimeters, but sure enough she checked and I was fully dilated, so I got in the birthing tub and 30 minutes later there was our beautiful baby boy 🙂

~Carly Mizen~

 

Victor’s Amazing “Driveway” Birth

A little back story…the birth of my first baby Troy was a long and medically induced hospital birth. He was 9 days overdue and after an ultrasound check that showed low amniotic levels I was induced, followed by an epidural, 2hrs of pushing without progress which resulted in a forceps delivery. From the start of the induction medication (I was on antibiotics for the Strep B) it was 20hrs but from when my water was broken and I began to feel the pressure waves it was 14hrs.

Melissa's driveway Hypnobabies birth
I wanted a completely different experience with my second baby which lead me to planning a water birth at the Lucina Birth Centre with midwives. I knew there would be no access to pain medication but I really didn’t want to be in a hospital setting this time. Plus I really wanted to be able to experience a natural birth since I had read that it is so empowering. This lead me to investigate what tools others had used to handle the discomforts of birthing time. That’s how I found the Comforting Hands Doula Hynobabies course.

On Monday April 11th, 2016 at 9am I woke up to my water leaking along with some Braxton Hicks waves which just felt like tightening. They never bothered me and I had been getting them every so often for a few months. So I went to the centre to get checked out and then was sent back home to await the start of my birthing time. I had another appointment for the following morning in case my birthing time didn’t start throughout the day or night. The plan was I would drink the midwife induction cocktail at the appointment to kick start birthing time if things didn’t start on their own. There’s only a 24-48hr window from when the water breaks/leaks that they want you to have the baby due to the increased risk of infection for mom and baby.

Throughout the day I continued to leak here and there but I didn’t notice any change to the Braxton Hicks waves until 11pm. I was in bed listening to my daily maintenance track and “your special safe place”. As I was listening, my husband Kevin came to bed. Kevin’s mom Brenda was sleeping over downstairs since she was going to be watching my oldest while Kevin went to work and I went to my appointment with my Mom. As I was listening I started to feel like I had period cramps in my low belly but they did seem to be coming in waves rather than a constant ache. I wasn’t sure if this was the start of birthing time since I had no idea what non-induced waves felt like. After my tracks had finished I tried to drift off to sleep but I couldn’t help thinking maybe this is my birthing time. So I started listening to “your birthing time begins” and “birthing day affirmations” just incase. After that I noticed the “cramps” were a little stronger so I timed them out of curiosity. They were 6-7mins apart and 45-60secs long. My midwife had said to call to come in if they were 4-5mins apart and 1min long and I wouldn’t be able to talk through them. I knew I could still talk through mine. I figured this was just the early stage so I started listening to the tracks for early birthing time as I rested in bed. I alternated the sides I was laying on each time I had to go to the bathroom. I sipped on water and nibbled on some snacks. A couple times I went to sit in the rocking chair or I did a yoga child’s pose. As time went on the “cramps”/waves were slowly getting stronger but they were very manageable as I was listening to my tracks and using the peace and relax cues. I occasionally timed the waves but they remained the same. Around 2-3am I thought maybe I should wake Kevin up for a little low back/hip rub after each wave but I just did a little self massage and everything was still feeling good. I figured I would let Kevin sleep until his alarm for work went off at 4:15am. I also thought I would let my mom sleep for awhile still too. She was going to be my 2nd coach and had said to call when things started. I thought I would wake Kevin up and call my Mom if the timing of the waves got closer together or if the intensity got stronger and I needed help staying focused. I still thought I was in the early stage.

At 4am Kevin got up to go to the bathroom and I let him know what had been going on. I said “I don’t think you are going to work today”. He went and got me the birth ball to sit on since I was getting uncomfortable and I was starting to lose my focus. I needed to find a comfortable position to regain my focus. He also got me a snack since I was suddenly hungry, almost nauseas. I sat on the ball for 3 waves or so and had a couple bites of banana. I decided to listen to “deepening your hynosis” while I was on the ball. I really liked this track since it worked so well at relaxing me and it would always put me to sleep. As I was listening, the waves were becoming very powerful. Then I suddenly had a very intense wave that I felt in my front and back and at the peak it had actually made me jump up off the ball. I got on the bed into the child’s pose and I decided to call my Mom. I had stopped listening to my track at that point since I became distracted with how quickly things seemed to be changing. I thought I must be getting into the active stage. Kevin timed a few waves as I was talking to my Mom and they had changed to 30-45s long and 1-3min apart and I could not talk through them.  We were confused because we expected the waves to be 4-5min apart 45-60secs long for active birth time or for the transformation stage to be 90s long and 1min apart. So Kevin called the midwife on his phone and she said to come in (I still had my Mom on speaker phone).This was around 4:30am now. Kevin went to put our bags in the car and while he was doing that I suddenly had an uncontrolled push wave that felt like I had to do a #2 very badly! My body just started pushing all on its own! At that point I lost my focus completely and started to panic because I sure didn’t want a baby to come at home with no midwife!

On the phone my Mom was trying to keep me calm and get me to focus on my breathing. Kevin came back from loading up the car and his Mom had also come upstairs. I had a couple more push waves and my Mom said to Kevin to check for a head. The head wasn’t there yet so she encouraged us to make our way down the stairs in between waves and try to get to the car. It was really hard to get out of bed. Laying on my left side was the only position that felt comfortable especially for my low back. We slowly made it down the stairs without any waves. I had lost contact with my Mom at that point but she was on her way over. I had one wave at the bottom of the stairs and then another at the back door after we did a slow dance waddle to the door. This wave was very intense and along with belly, low back pressure, feeling like I really had to do a #2, I also felt a pinch like feeling down south. I instantly thought I am going to crown soon! I said to Kevin I can’t sit in the car and I need an ambulance! I didn’t want to end up having a baby in the car. I didn’t think the midwife would make it to our house in time either and I wanted some kind of medical personnel with me.

We waddled to the couch and Kevin called 911. Kevin found me the “fear clearing” track to help keep me calm. He also called the midwife to update her of the sudden change. The ambulance got there in less than 5min followed by my parents. I was so relieved and I was able to regain my focus and breath through the waves much better. It was amazing how many people came. There were 4 paramedics, the EMS chief, and 2 firefighters and they were all men except for one female paramedic. She was the one who was looking after me while the guys were trying to figure out how to get the gurney through the front door. At one point the female paramedic had said try not to push. I might have snapped at her and said “how can I stop pushing when my body is doing it on its own!” Later I realized she had meant not to actively push along with the push waves haha. I had actually been making sure I wasn’t actively pushing from the start of the push waves since I knew if I had been actively pushing the baby probably would have come in my bed before anyone made it to the house.

The EMS and fire fighters ended up having to carry me out in a sling bag since the gurney wouldn’t fit through the doorway and I couldn’t move anymore. My left side was still the most comfortable. I remember quite vividly that I was incredibly thirsty and very sweaty as if I was working out. I thought it was so weird I’d be feeling this when I wasn’t in control of this “workout”. I thought why would I be sweaty and thirsty when I’m not consciously doing this? It was so odd.

VictorIn the ambulance they had Kevin sit in the front because they thought they could get me to the hospital. I had a couple more waves and I could definitely feel the head coming so I tried to tell them. I asked where Kevin was and that he needed to be beside me! Kevin came to the back and I ended up feeling my self for the head. I said to them “hey there’s a head there!” they finally looked and said “yup you are crowning”. The EMS girl said I was doing so well and if I pushed along with the next pushing wave then he would be born. So I did and his head came right out and my body did one more uncontrolled push and he was born at 5:14am April 12th, 2016. My baby Victor 6lb 12oz, 19.5 inches!

I was so shocked and amazed that I had just had a baby in an ambulance on my driveway! I kept asking “did this actually just happen, am I dreaming?” I never thought I’d have such an adventurous birth. We ended up being the talk of the maternity ward amongst the nurses and even the other patients!

Both baby and I were doing well after the birth. We asked the EMS girl to delay cord clamping as we had planned. The placenta came out on its own shortly after arriving in the labor & delivery room. I did need an oxytocin shot and IV for a bit of extra bleeding but that was just due to a quick birth. I recovered so much more quickly and I was much more aware in the early days following the birth than I was with my first. I wasn’t as drained or felt as hazy. It was amazing!

A huge thanks goes out to Ricky Issler and her hypnobabies course. It helped keep me so relaxed and it was amazing how the power of hypnosis changed the sensations of birth. I think because it worked so well that’s part of the reason why I didn’t think I was as far along in my birthing time as I was haha.Draganiuk family

I highly recommend this birthing tool and will be recommending it to my friends and family. I will totally use this again if we decide to have another baby. The thought of having another baby naturally is actually an exciting thought and an experience I would want again. Maybe I’ll make it to the birth tub next time!

~Melissa~

 

Rachel’s Empowering Hypnobabies Hospital Transfer

As most things, and I’m sure most births for sure, things did not follow my actual birth plan to a T but, all of the information, aside from the hypnosis scripts and prompts, certainly made Paul and I feel more informed as to what our options were.

Two nights before Hailey was born, I woke with a lower back ache and thought maybe this was a pre-labour sign but it went away fairly soon after and nothing happened the following day. Well, the next night same thing only this time, it didn’t go away (was way more intense than before but still very manageable.) I didn’t sleep much past about 4 am but got up when my husband Paul left for work about 7. I let him know that I thought maybe he should keep his phone close and that “I think that today might be the day.” He left for work and about 8, I called my midwife and doula and let them know what was happening. Then I called Paul and told him to clear everything off his desk and start thinking about heading home. The pressure waves had started by this point but were totally manageable and fairly far apart. At this point, I started listening to my hypnosis tracks (I really liked the ‘Deepening Your Hypnosis’ so after I listened to the birthing day tracks, I listened to that one pretty much the whole day. I was very calm and relaxed.

Paul got home at around 9:30 am and double checked our birth bag and continued timing the waves. At about 11:30 he left to grab us a quick lunch and by the time he got back, I just had this feeling that we needed to leave as soon as possible.

We got to the Lucina Birth Centre at around 12:30 pm and by this point, I was very deep into my pressure waves and Paul put on the Deepening Your Hypnosis track again… on repeat 🙂 The pressure waves were intense but they weren’t something that was painful. My favorite line in the affirmations track was ‘Each pressure wave brings my baby closer to being in my arms.’ and I tried repeating that one to myself (and Paul knew to whisper that one in my ear throughout 🙂 ) It gave me the warm fuzzies and still does 🙂

About an hour and a half after getting to Lucina, I got in the tub, and was feeling very pushy. My midwife checked to make sure I was good to start pushing and luckily, I was 10 cm dilated so I started to push. Unfortunately, when my waters broke, there was a bit of meconium so my midwife had to get me out of the tub. I pushed every which way I knew how, hands and knees, squatting, hanging from the ceiling (hahaha) but for some reason I couldn’t get passed 2 or 3 pushes during a pressure wave- not painful or anything but my body just would not let me push for long enough during each wave. After pushing for about 90 minutes, my midwife advised me that now was the time that we start talking about a transfer as the risk of postpartum hemorrhaging increases the longer the second phase lasts. Paul and my doula both asked if I would like my change of plans script, but I totally trusted my midwife and I kept pretty relaxed although there was a moment in the bathroom, just Paul and I, that I confided in him (probably quite loudly!) that I didn’t want to go to the hospital. I had a few tears at that point but he calmed me right down- saying that as long as I felt confident in the midwife that everything was going to be okay and that I was so strong and that he had my back and was my bodyguard!

About 20 minutes later, the ambulance came and I had to go by myself to the Misericordia hospital… luckily it was close! The only negative thing I have to say about the whole experience is that pushing in an ambulance when you are all strapped down and by yourself was not exactly pleasant… but I was only in there for 5 minutes so I could see the light at the end of the tunnel!

My midwife and Paul got there and were permitted in the room for the birth as well as about 15 other people- baby team and my team of nurses. Luckily, the OB-GYN was very accepting of midwives and they were a great team. I was pleased with the doctor’s bedside manner and she was laughing and joking with me which was nice and I never felt like I wasn’t in control of what was happening to me. She said that we could either use forceps or the vacuum to help baby out and I picked the vacuum- I don’t know why, it just seemed less invasive for some reason.

The nurses were cheering me on when I was pushing and Paul kept whispering in my ear that he could tell them to stop- he knew I didn’t like that so much but at this point, I was pretty tired so the encouragement was nice. They did keep telling me to not use my voice however, which seemed weird, but I guess it’s to not waste energy when you are exhausted- at least that’s what my midwife told me afterwards. I kept thinking that I’d like to keep with the mother directed pushing but when the doctor is pulling with the vacuum, it seems like you don’t really have much of a choice but to push when they tell you. So I’d pretty much knew in my head that I’d likely tear but I was still calm and relaxed about the whole thing. I remember at one point, probably when the head was in full view Paul said to me ‘Wow! That’s a lot of hair!’ and my immediate reaction was ‘I haven’t been able to see down there for a long time. Give me a break!’ and he and the nurses laughed and he said ‘No Rachel… the baby!’ HAHAHA!

About 10 minutes of my pushing and the doctor pulling, baby came out- again, I was surprised about the lack of pain. It was just a lot of pressure. Paul whispered to me ‘It’s a girl.’ and I didn’t believe him. I was 99% certain I was having a boy so I had the doctor confirm before I believed him. We decided on the name as soon as we saw her face… Hailey. She was so alert and they put her on my chest immediately. She was all messy and had the funniest little double cone head from the vacuum but I didn’t care. She was so beautiful… big eyes looking up at us pretty much immediately.

I unfortunately did have postpartum hemorrhaging but they let me keep Hailey on my chest during the whole thing. The only part of the whole birth process that I remember being painful was when the nurse had to push down HARD on my stomach afterwards to stop the bleeding… that was just awful even with all the oxytocin running through my body! The placenta took nearly an hour to detach so I’m sure that didn’t help with the bleeding. BUT, we made it through! I did have 2nd degree tearing so the doctor stitched me up.

Once most of the team left, my doula came back in and helped me with breastfeeding. We decided as it’d taken about an hour and a bit with everything after the birth that we’d just put her right on the breast instead of having her do the crawl… I’m sure she was exhausted anyways. Looking back, I’m sure she’d have done it no problem… the girl is a great eater!

We had to stay in the hospital 2 nights but it was actually really nice getting so many tips from different nurses… we took what worked and ignored the rest 🙂

Hailey is doing amazing and is such a good baby. I feel incredibly capable. The combination of the two is a very nice feeling. Using Hypnobabies certainly helped keep me relaxed throughout the whole experience… the pregnancy all the way through to now. My biggest take away from the course was that birth is mostly mental and once I decided that birth did not need to be painful, I could just focus on the experience itself and enjoy as much of it as possible. So many people prior to the birth would tell me how painful it was but because I was using my bubble of peace, it didn’t matter. That was their experience, it didn’t have to be mine. Luckily, the whole team I was working with was incredibly positive and supportive.

Overall, if I had to rate it, I’d give the Hypnobabies experience a 10 out of 10… everyone should have an experience as positive as mine. I am empowered and confident with how Hailey came into the world and that just perfectly translates to how I see myself as a parent.

~Rachel, Paul & Hailey~

 

Christine’s Lovely Lucina Birth Story

Friday, January 22 at 4:52am, we welcomed our beautiful baby girl, Nora. Weighing in at 7lbs 3 oz, 54cm (21.25″) long after a lovely Hynpobabies birth at Lucina Birth Centre.
ChristineWe started timing just after dinner at 10ish min apart, then bouncing on my ball through the hockey game and hosting a couple friends I was distracted enough that the waves got down to 5-1-1 by 9:30 so we knew something was going to happen overnight. Called the midwife, but she wasn’t convinced while talking to me. An hour later we were under 4 min apart and hubby was getting antsy lol.
Met our midwife at a busy Lucina. One room was already in use, and two other women were on alert that they might come in. Clearly beat them to it! I didn’t want to know how far I was dilated but she let hubby know, and our photographer came. (I found out later I was already 7cm! Woo hypnosis!!)
By 3am I was fully dilated but no water broken so I gave the okay and started pushing about 4:20am. Longest half hour ever. But so worth it! We were home and in our own beds just after 8am.

Thank you so much Ricky for everything in the course. I listened to my tracks faithfully and they were a great source of relaxation and focus during her birth (and after too – I ended up buying the new mom relaxation hypnosis – – I don’t think I’ve managed to hear it all the way through yet! Haha)Nora1

~Christine & Joel~

*Editors note: Most birth professionals and midwives who aren’t used to mothers using Hypnosis sometimes don’t think that she is as far along as she is due to the fact that she is often very calm and relaxed, and can even talk through birthing waves if she chose to.  The typical outward signs of a progressing “labour” aren’t always there.  This is likely why her midwife “wasn’t convinced”.

And here is a link to more pictures and her photographer’s take on the birth.  Photos were taken by the lovely Jasmin at “Photography by Jasmin”:

Lucina Hypnobirthing Birth Photography

 

Kayt’s Surprise Breech Baby

We had a whirlwind birthing experience.

I had two days of irregular pressure waves starting on Wednesday the 21st. We thought things were starting to move Wednesday night however, things slowed down again on Thursday morning. Over the two days I did a lot of knitting. On Thursday I stared leaking amniotic fluid around four o’clock. However, I wasn’t dilating quickly so we continued to wait. On Friday morning my pressure waves became more regular but still not strong or steady enough to go in the Lucina.

At two thirty pm our midwife wanted to do a non-stress test as I had been leaking amniotic fluid for a day and then give me the recipe for the castor oil concoction to see if we could get things moving. We went into Lucina and Zoë was very happy where she was and I was 2 cm dilated.

We then came home and I drank the castor oil around 4 pm. At 6 pm my water broke and we called our midwife. She came over at 6:30 pm and I was 4 cm dilated. She decided we should head into Lucina. I was having a hard time leaving the house. But we finally got me loaded into the car around 7 pm.

We arrived at the birth centre at 7:15 pm and I wanted to be on the toilet. I had a couple of pressure waves there and then my midwife wanted to see how far along I was. We got me on the bed and I was fully dilated. We started to run the bath.

Once in the bath my pressure waves were very strong and we started pushing. Once I started pushing there was meconium in the water. Our midwife realized that I was having a surprise breech baby but she wanted to double check. We then got me out of the tub and onto the bed. We confirmed that Zoë was breech. Then we had to decide if we were going to head to the hospital or if I wanted EMS on standby. I decided I wanted EMS on standby. Within a few minutes they were there. Our midwife decided we would get me to the hospital this was at 7:55 pm. They loaded me up into the ambulance and I was told not to push as they did not want me to have the baby in the ambulance.

We arrived at the hospital at 8 pm. They got me into the room and she was already well on her way. Her body came very easily however, her head got stuck and at this point I am in a room with about 5 nurses, 3 midwives, Mike, my mother and a doctor all telling me to push as they get forceps. But I was able to push her head out before they had to use them.zoe-mccuaig1

zoe-mccuaigZoë Aurora Côté was born at 8:17 pm on September 23rd, she weighed 5 lbs 10 oz and was 18 inches long. I had about an hour and a half of active labour.

It was not at all what we had planned, however, it was a beautiful experience. A little overwhelming at moments, but we had a very smooth natural birth. Because her head got stuck I was not able to hold her right after. They had to get her breathing and she had a dislocated hip.

The birth itself was not scary. The scariest moment was waiting for her to breath. I only ended up with two stitches. She latched on right kayt-mike-zoe-mccuaigaway and both of us are healthy and happy. As my birthing was so fast we were only able to use the early tracks and the main music track. Once we were at the hospital things moved very quickly and we weren’t able to get any hypnosis tracks going. I felt very calm and aware of what was happening the whole time and I was very happy to have had the knowledge that I had going into having a breech birth.

It was not my ideal birth but all in all it was a good experience. We had great hospital staff and our midwife was amazing. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome for a surprise situation.

~Kayt & Mike~

 

 

This next story comes from a lovely couple who took my Hypnobabies class in Fall/2016.  They were so dedicated to the program!

Kirsty’s Healing Hypnobabies Birth

Renfrew was born early this morning at 12:05am!! He was 6 lb 4 oz.

Our birth happened very quickly! My body had been gearing up for a week or 2, but everything felt very mild and nothing had changed my cervix yet! My water broke at 8:27pm last night and all of a sudden I was having intense, 60s+ pressure waves about 3 minutes apart! We called my mom to come and stay with our son Jasper and then called our midwife to let her know we were in our birthing time!

We arrived at Lucina Centre at about 10:20pm and Renfrew was born at 12:05am! Our midwives supported us peacefully and beautifully.

kirstykash1I found out later that I was already 6-7cm dilated when we reached the birth centre. I listened to Deepening my Hypnosis before leaving our place, Visualizing Your Birth in the car ride (it was SO helpful!) and we listened to the relaxation music the whole time at the birth centre with Gary reading me the prompts. For me, hearing his voice and having him choose the prompt that he thought I needed was perfect.

My Hypnobabies tools helped me have exactly the birth that I wanted; I was calm, happy, kirstkash2relaxed and joking during and between pressure waves. Through the whole birthing time it was so helpful to visualize myself and my baby in our special safe place. Visualizing and directing my orange hypno-anaesthesia where I needed it was so powerful. The “relax”, “release” and “peace” cues were empowering for both Gary and I. The prompts and cues kept me focusing on the right things, and Hypnobabies gave Gary the knowledge of exactly what to for helping me.

kirstykash4I feel proud of myself. This birth was powerful and healing for me. We’re so grateful that we chose to take the Hypnobabies course, and also practiced and prepared as well as we could.

~Kirsty & Gary~