Ella's Beautiful Hospital 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…
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.
Nicole & Chris and baby Ella Sailes