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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~