Thanya & Elbert took my HypnoBirthing classes in April 2010 on Thursday nights at Indigo Dragon Health & Wellness Center. They switched OBs during their pregnancy to Dr. Biter. While Thanya was in her 3rd trimester, Dr. Biter unfairly had his OB privileges suspended from Scripps Encinitas hospital. His supporters held daily rallies in front of the hospital & Thanya was often there--even at 38 weeks--standing there for hours in support of her OB. The hospital medical board found that Dr. Biter had done nothing to deserve the suspension & lifted it & then he resigned. Thanya & Elbert had considered having a homebirth since Dr. Biter wasn't able to be their acting OB for their birth, but their 1st meeting with the homebirth midwives ended up being a few days too late. Here is their birth story...
Thanya & Elbert H's birth story
For the first 22 weeks of my pregnancy, I had an OB/GYN that was pro-HypnoBirthing. However, Elbert and I did not feel that we were getting the attention or time that we wanted from her, and eventually switched OBs to Dr. Biter through the recommendation of MANY friends. Words cannot express how glad I am to have Dr. Biter as my doctor!
It was around 2am on Sunday, May 30, 2010 when I experienced some mild cramping in my lower abdomen that woke me from my sleep. I never experienced that feeling before throughout my pregnancy so I assumed I was having surges. They weren't frequent, probably about 15 - 20 minutes apart. I practiced my deep breathing and pictured myself at the beach to get through any discomfort, while I was in bed. Around 9:30am, we called Dr. Biter just to let him know that I was experiencing what I thought were contractions. He told us to just hang out and to call back when my contractions were about 5 minutes apart. The surges kept coming and going until about 11am. Dr. Biter ended up calling us back around 12:30pm to check up on me, and I felt disappointed telling him that the surges stopped, and Elbert and I were just out and about walking around at the Forum Shops. Dr. Biter said it was quite normal for contractions to start and stop and suggested we just go about our day as usual and call him back if anything new happened.
I didn’t have any other surges the entire day until about 6pm. They were very infrequent, some coming at 40 minutes apart. This happened until about 9pm. Then out of nowhere, around 9:30pm, the surges came back and came back with a vengeance. I first took a long, hot shower to try to comfort myself, and after showering, I got on all fours and did my relaxation breathing to get through them. These surges were a LOT stronger than the ones I experienced in the morning. I tried my best to not let the discomfort take over me, so I rode the surges for about another hour or so before calling Dr. Biter to let him know that my surges were about 5 minutes apart. I also called Linda Goldsmith, a wonderful and amazing doula who was helping out Dr. Biter patients while he gets hospital privileges back, to let her know that I was in labor. I really needed her at this point, as I almost gave up on myself thinking that I wasn't going to be able to have the natural and relaxing birth I dreamed of. I listened to the Birthing Affirmations and Rainbow Relaxation CD, but the feeling of these surges was so new to me, I couldn’t concentrate on getting myself to relax and be in my “happy place.” I was in tears and at one point, told Elbert, "I don’t think I can do this."
Linda came over around 11pm and totally gave me my confidence back by showing me different positions and different breathing techniques. She had me constantly changing positions, such as hanging on the back of the couch or kitchen counter and swaying my hips back and forth (what she called the “stripper move”) and in a figure 8. She also let me know that it was ok to let out a low moan while breathing out. She reassured me that it was ok to make noise. I didn’t have to keep everything to myself. Linda also recited positive affirmations to me and gave me light touch massages to help me get through my surges. Around 12:30am, Linda suggested that Elbert and I go lay down in bed together to try to get some rest in between surges. So we did.
Around 1:30am, my surges came on quickly, about 2 minutes apart. Linda called Dr. Biter to let him know how fast my surges were coming, and he told her he was coming over right away.
Dr. Biter got to our house around 2am. By this time, I couldn’t even finish my sentences before another surge would hit. I wouldn't say that I was totally relaxed, but I remained very calm and each surge was bearable to endure. Dr. Biter then suggested checking me for cervical dilation. This would be the first time I got checked for dilation/effacement during my pregnancy. So I plopped on the couch, Dr. Biter checked me, and after he was done, he looked up at us with wide eyes and said, "We need to go to the hospital now or we're having the baby here at home. You're 9cm dilated!" I wasn’t expecting that response, having labored at home for only a little over 5 hours. I looked at Elbert, and he excitedly said, "Let's go! I'll start up the car!"
Linda suggested that I get on all fours in the back seat of the car since the car ride to Sharp Mary Birch Hospital was going to be quite uncomfortable with my surges if I were to buckle up in the front seat. Plus the hospital was a good 20-25 minutes away.
We checked into triage, and the nurses had a wheelchair waiting for me to wheel me to Labor and Delivery. I told them that I was fine to walk and didn’t need the wheelchair. They looked at me like I was crazy.
So we walked to Labor and Delivery, and the nurses were quickly preparing the IV and other machines. I refused being put on an IV or have a heplock. The nurses were trying to explain that every patient needed one in case of an emergency. I still refused and told them that when an emergency arises, then that’s when they can place either or on me, but I was quite adamant that I did not need to be hooked up to anything. I explained that I was planning on an all natural, non-medicated type of birth. I eventually won the fight (yay!). I eventually met Dr. Cousins, one of the perinatologists that Dr. Biter is working with for his patients who are delivering at Sharp Mary Birch. I don’t remember him being in the room again until my baby’s head was crowning. Dr. Biter and Linda were a superb doula team that supported me throughout my entire labor and delivery process. Linda kept feeding me positive affirmations and got me cold wash cloths, water and ice chips. Dr. Biter helped me constantly change positions and guided me through the entire pushing process. With both Linda and Dr. Biter there, that left Elbert to be nothing but my supportive husband, which is exactly what I needed. I’m sure all of the HypnoBirthing techniques he learned went out the window seeing how excited and nervous he was anyway hehe.
I was probably only in Labor and Delivery less than an hour before the urge to start pushing came over me. As much as I wanted to breathe my baby down slowly into the birth path, the urge to push was so intense that Dr. Biter told me it was ok to start pushing. I felt like I had no control over my muscles, and that my baby wanted out right away. It took a few pushes and about 3 different positions to get my baby down successfully. The first position I was in was the squat position on the bed. When that position didn’t seem to progress my baby’s head to go down the birth path, Dr. Biter suggested that I lie on my left side and hold both of my legs back. This position was quite successful in moving my baby down the birth path. I then laid on my right side and held my legs back and this was the position that my baby was born in. My baby was coming down the birth path at such a rapid pace that Dr. Biter had me stop pushing at one point. I think he had me slow down so that I wouldn’t tear, and also, Dr. Cousins was no where to be found to catch the baby. I was told that a nurse had to find Dr. Cousins and when he came running into the room, he hastily had to put on his scrubs since my baby was practically out of me. In a matter of minutes, I successfully pushed my baby down the birth path, and she gave one big cry for about 5 seconds, and then was calm and relaxed when she was immediately placed on my tummy. I was only in the Labor and Delivery room for a little bit over an hour. I can’t believe I was only in labor for about 8 hours. Everything happened so fast!
Madison Elizabeth Tipyapa H. was born on Monday, May 31, 2010 @ 5:04am. She weighed 7lbs, 13oz, and was 19.5 inches long.
Although I gave the nurses my birth plan, there were things that they did not follow, which was kind of disappointing. I was put on a fetal monitor the entire time I was in Labor and Delivery, although I didn’t mind too much since I was only in there for about an hour before pushing. They also wiped the baby down immediately following the delivery and the immediate skin to skin contact lasted less than 10 minutes. I think both Elbert and I were way too emotional and too caught up in seeing Madison for the first time that we couldn’t be upset about everything we wanted in our birth plan that wasn’t followed. The most important thing was that both Madison and I were healthy. Madison passed all of her tests with flying colors and didn’t have jaundice. We were released from the hospital the very next day since both Madison and I checked out 100% healthy.
I was also quite proud of myself that I actually went through with an all natural, non-medicated birth at a high c-section rate hospital! I felt like a celebrity that day as many nurses that came in to check on me in my postpartum room kept asking me how I did it. They were quite impressed that I didn’t need medication and that I wasn’t hooked up to an IV or use a heplock. One nurse was in shock that I was walking around in my postpartum room shortly after giving birth. The nurses had to come in about every 2 hours to take my blood pressure and check up on me, and every time they asked me, “Rate your pain on a scale of 1 to 10,” I would always tell them, “Zero.”
Thank you Carol for being such a wonderful HypnoBirthing instructor! I am so happy that Elbert and I took your class to prepare ourselves for the unknown. Although I wouldn’t say that I was a total HypnoBirthing expert when the time actually came to it, I did at least have the breathing techniques down, as well as body positions that helped me relax through the surges. I think the fact that I have never experienced anything like this before caught me off guard, which made me somewhat forget about my “happy place.” All I know was that I was not remotely close to being as calm, quiet, and relaxed as those HypnoBirthing moms in the videos you showed us in class. I was a moaner. A LOUD one too!
I am quite proud that I was able to go through with the all natural birth I dreamed of having. Though there were some times of doubt during my surges, I am so happy that I pulled through and didn't give up. Labor was fairly quick (8 hours) and I am so happy that I was awake and alert through the entire process. You can't beat that feeling! I still replay the entire night in my head over and over, as this is birth experience that I will never forget. Thank you again for providing us with the knowledge and strength to have a birth experience we dreamed of having. I really hope that many more women will learn and acknowledge that pregnancy doesn’t have to be painful and the use of medical intervention isn’t always necessary. I will continue to spread the word of HypnoBirthing! Thanks again Carol!
Thanya, Elbert, and Madison H.
Congratulations Thanya & Elbert! Thank you so much for sharing Madison's birth story! I hope that you are enjoying your babymoon!
All my best--Carol
For more information about HypnoBirthing, please visit my website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are in the San Diego area & are pregnant, I have ongoing classes & am currently taking enrollments for my July & August class series. If you are outside of San Diego, please visit www.HypnoBirthing.com to find a practitioner near you.
To contact Linda Goldsmith, Thanya & Elbert's doula, please contact her at 760-815-3852.
Dr. Biter's office information is:
Seaside Women's Health
499 N El Camino Real, Suite C102
Encinitas, CA 92024
He continues to see patients for gynecological care & surgeries & prenatal care until he gets privileges at another local hospital.