Amanda & Wayne took my HypnoBirthing classes at the end of May 2009. Here is their birth story. Both Amanda & Wayne wrote about their personal experiences. You'll see that Amanda & Wayne had doubts during their labor, but were able to use each other to get Amanda back into the relaxed state of mind & body that she needed to be in. They were really confident in their ability to have the birth they wanted & with their OB, Dr. Biter (Dr. Wonderful) at Seaside Women's Health.
It's a long read, but definitely worth it! Thanks to Amanda & Wayne for being so honest with their story. As I've said in class before...visualize exactly what you want to happen during your labor AND be confident that if things happen differently, that you still have the tools to get you to where you need to be--relaxed in both mind & body. Amanda's description of her labor including her doubts is something I think is pretty common. Her ability to get herself back into a state of relaxation instead of staying in a panicked mode was key to her being able to have the birth she wanted.hy
Wayne and I wanted to share our amazing birth story with you, so here it is!
Mommy's side of the story
I'll begin at the beginning. We went to our 38 week appointment on August 7th and I asked Dr Biter to check my dilation as I had been feeling some shooting pains in my cervix area. He checked and let me know that I was 2-3cm dilated and almost completely effaced. I must admit although I knew labor could still be weeks the excitement built immediately. I lost my mucus plug on Saturday the 8th and yet again I just knew it could be any day.
The night of August 10th, I went to bed at 10pm and started feeling light surges, immediately figured "this was it!" I laid in bed aware of each surge. At about Midnight, I woke Wayne up to get him to time the surges, they were between 7-5 minutes apart and lasting 20seconds-1minute. We were up all night and decided we wanted to wait until Dr. Biter's office opened to get checked there rather than go straight to the hospital. When we arrived, the cervical check showed that I was 3.5cm dilated and the baby's head was low "very low." At this point we figure labor is imminent. At our next weekly appointment on August 14th, I didn't have a cervical check but I did mention that I had been having a light leaking and found my underwear to be wet on a constant basis. Dr Capetanakis let me know that there was a chance that I had a pinhole leak in my water bag and that it would continue to leak. Yet again the excitement and anticipation was overwhelming. I just couldn't wait to meet my baby.
Sunday August 16th I woke up at 2am to my bloody show. It was much more blood than I had anticipated and we immediately called Dr Biter's office. Dr Capetanakis called us back and let us know that I would most likely go into labor in the next 24 hours so try to get some rest and call back when my surges were 5-1-1. I attempted to go back to sleep but was too excited. I turned on my HypnoBirthing relaxation CD and was asleep within 30 minutes. When I awoke at 8am, I figured that once I got up and moving around the surges would start. No such luck, at 10am, I called Dr. Biter's office again and Dr Capetanakis had me come into the office to check my cervix. Wayne & I had a wedding to attend at 1pm, Wayne was a Groomsman so it was important to know if we should go to the wedding or not.
When we got to the office Dr Capetanakis immediately did an ultrasound and everything looked great. There was still enough amniotic fluid and baby's heartbeat was perfect. He proceeded to check my cervix and let me know that I was 3-3.5cm and more effaced. He told us to go ahead and go to the wedding I'd most likely go into labor that evening or in the next day. So we went and danced the night away. At the wedding, I had some surges but nothing that made think that I was in active labor. I was hoping we'd get home from the wedding and once I got in bed things would kick into gear. No such luck.
On Wednesday August 19th, I woke up and when I stood up I had a gush and assumed this was my water breaking. Yet again we were on our way back to Dr Biter's office to get checked since again surges hadn't started. Dr Capetanakis checked my cervix again only to be told it was the same as Sunday. We left the office disappointed and discouraged again.
That night we went to bed at 10:30pm. I awoke at 12:15am for one of my first of many bathroom trips. Once I lied down back in the bed, I immediately had a big gush and felt a slight pop and woke Wayne up and told him my water broke. I was able to make it to the shower to have the rest pour out of me. Wayne called Dr Biter's office and Dr Capetanakis called back and said "Try to get some rest, call us back when our surges were 5-1-1 or if we were going to head to the hospital."
I did my very best to get back to sleep but immediately the surges kicked in and honestly the anticipation and excitement was consuming and I was just so excited to finally meet my baby. Wayne was able to go back to sleep, I woke him up at about 1:25am. I had been timing my surges and I was ready for him to take over the timing. We got up and both got in the shower to labor some. I made Wayne shave my legs and we both just did our best to relax and prepare for what was in store. We were in the shower for about 1/2 an hour, and I found that the surges I had while in the shower were more manageable. As I got out of the shower and started to get dressed the intensity in my surges picked up and as each one approached I would stop and get myself completely relaxed. After we got dressed we headed down the stairs, our birth plan had us doing the majority of our laboring at home seeing that we are less than 5 minutes from Scripps Encinitas Hospital.
I got downstairs and was having Wayne time the surges at one point I asked him if there was any pattern and he said "not really, they're between 4-2 minutes apart, lasting between 30seconds-2 minutes." I am not sure what made me say this but I told him I thought we needed to go to the hospital. I really struggled with this decision because it was completely opposite of our birth plan and I didn't want to do the majority of my laboring at the hospital, but something just made me need to go.
We arrived at the hospital at 3am. They took us back to our room, I got in my gown, they attached the baby monitor and the nurse checked me. She told me I was 3.5cm and 90% effaced. I felt defeated. I didn't say anything to Wayne and he didn't say anything to me but later we both spoke about it and we were both really disappointed we both pictured spending hours at the hospital.
While lying in the bed on the monitor I must admit I felt completely out of control. I felt as though the surges were in control of me and I had no power over them. I was so frustrated by this because this is not how envisioned my labor. I had visions of being in control the entire time. I was able to breath through my surges and I kept repeating the following affirmation in my head, "My body and my baby know how to work together in complete harmony." I didn't realize at the time but Wayne was video taping this part of my labor, and looking at the video I look as though I'm in full control and am working through the surges efficiently. Seeing it from that perspective gave me a different point of view and made me realize that the out of control feeling was something that stemmed from this not being in my 'vision' of my "perfect labor."
After monitoring the nurse let me know she spoke to Dr Biter and he wanted me to walk around to progress labor. It's now 4am and I get up out of the bed. I asked for a birthing ball and I sat on it against the bed for all of 2 seconds. It wasn't the best position for me, which I found quite interesting because when I pictured laboring I pictured using the birthing ball. Then I was slow dancing leaning against the end of the bed, as I was doing this I felt another gush and it felt like yet again my water broke. I asked the nurse if my water could have broken again and she said that there's a chance earlier that it only 1/2 broke or I had a fore bag and that is what broke earlier.
I told Wayne that I wanted to get in the shower. He changed into his trunks and we slow danced in the shower. While in the shower, my surges continued to intensify. I had moments where I was unable to find my focus, Wayne would put his face to mine and do the slow breathing techniques we learned from HypnoBirthing and he would immediately bring back my focus. A few times in the shower, I questioned my goal and was starting to lose hope that I would have a natural unmedicated delivery. I had started to get quite panicked and disappointed in myself. All my life I had imagined my labor and delivery without medications. I never understood why people would need drugs for the most natural experience on earth. I felt as if I was failing, as if I wasn't good enough. I of course kept this all to myself, at one point I said to Wayne "I just don't think I can do this," he pulled me close and told me what a great job I was doing and that I could do it.
At about 4:30am I got out of the shower and was just trying to find a position where I could not only be comfortable but relax and I was finding it very difficult. I had been drinking water all night and decided to sit down to see if I could empty my bladder. As I sat on the toilet, I leaned back against the wall and found the perfect position. I was finally able to bring myself into complete relaxation for close to 5 minutes even during all the surges I was having, I was so relaxed I don't even remember how many surges I had. I do know that at this point in my labor my surges were very close together and I had very little time between them. Then all of a sudden I had a surge that made me need Wayne's assistance as sitting was not comfortable, I stood up and we yet again slow danced, him holding the majority of my weight.
During this surge I yet again questioned my ability to do this unmedicated. I couldn't help but think how good it would feel to just get rid of all the pain, the thought brought me to tears. I so badly wanted to experience every sensation of birth and delivery. I was so angry at myself for even considering it. Once that surge passed I found myself in need of squatting through the next few surges, during one of these I said to Wayne with panic in my voice "I can't do this, I really don't think I can do this." He told me yet again what a great job I was doing and kissed my forehead. With just these simple words and kiss on my forehead he had given me more strength to get through the next few surges. I decided I didn't have to make any decisions one way or another at this point I would let things happen naturally. I decided to sit back down on the toilet. As I was sitting there I noticed I had A LOT of pressure. I mentioned to Wayne that there was a lot of pressure. He immediately pulled the emergency cord next to the toilet and the nurse was there within seconds. I told her I was having a lot of pressure and she asked me to get back on the bed so she could check me.
I lay back down on the bed (the last place in the world I wanted to be) and as I laid down Wayne said "There's blood". I immediately got a little excited by his announcement, but nothing prepared me for what the nurse said next, she checked my cervix and said "We're going to have a baby." The words whirled around my head, how could we be ready to have a baby it had only been 1 1/2 hours since I got there and I started at 3.5cm, how is it I'm already 10???
I hear her call out over their intercom system that she needed immediate assistance in my labor room, to page Dr Biter immediately and to let the Dr on call know that he may have a delivery. I said "I'm waiting for Dr. Biter." I laid in the bed feeling like I was in a dream, how was it that I had only been at the hospital for 1 1/2 hours and now I'm about to deliver my baby? The nurse let me know to breath through the pressure, and Wayne was standing at my side giving me light touch massage and helping me with my breathing. At this point, all of the pain I had been feeling was completely gone. The only feeling I had was pressure, intense pressure, but there was no pain. I kept breathing through the pressure and just knowing that my baby would be in my arms within the hour was enough to get me through.
Within minutes Dr Biter was walking through the door, I have never been so happy to hear his voice in my entire life. He sat down at the end of the bed and said "That was fast, are you ready to have your baby?" I said "YES!"
Dr Biter had me do different methods of pushing. We started on my back, then we moved to my left side, my right side, he had a nurse hold one end of a towel and I held the other. Dr Biter used perineal massage to help during delivery, I must say that pushing is nothing what I expected. I had no pain, no burning. When my baby's head started to crown, Dr Biter asked me to reach down and feel the head, all I could feel was a full head of hair. After 45 minutes of pushing my baby was ready to be born, Dr Biter asked Wayne & I to reach down, and the three of us delivered our baby onto my chest. I had never in my life felt so accomplished and so much love. I asked Wayne if it was a boy or girl? He looked down, and said "It's a baby GIRL!" We both immediately started crying.
My water broke at 12:20am and at 6:01am I had delivered my beautiful daughter 8lbs 4.7 oz, 20 1/4 inches of perfection. I NEVER expected my labor to progress so perfectly.
After allowing her cord to stop pulsing, Wayne cut the cord and the nurses took Anella to be weighed. As they were weighing her, I asked the nurse if I could get up to go to the bathroom, she paused and said "did you have an epidural?," I said "no" and she said "Yes, we can walk to the bathroom if you feel up to it," I said "Of course I do, I feel great." She walked with me to the bathroom and spent the entire time commenting on what an amazing labor this was for her to see and how impressed she was by not only the speed of it, but my control and ability to labor and deliver without a single drug or intervention. I felt accomplished, successful, empowered and more than anything that I had the PERFECT labor for me
Wayne and I spoke about my labor many times since that day and we both agree that without HypnoBirthing there is NO WAY that our labor would have gone so smoothly. He was so much more comfortable having learned not only the breathing techniques, but the signs that things were happening. Had we not taken HypnoBirthing, I can say that there would have been a very good chance that I either delivered at home, in the ambulance or on the toilet at the hospital. HypnoBirthing gave both of us the confidence that my body knew exactly what it was doing and that we needed to trust the signs it was giving us.
I cannot thank you enough for giving us the tools we needed to have our dream labor and delivery. Anella Paige was born into a calm, relaxed and loved atmosphere.
Daddy's side of the story
Carol, let me begin by thanking you so much for your wonderful teachings and support. As Amanda wrote, I can truly say that without HypnoBirthing, there is no way our labor would have happened as it did.
The most important things I took from your classes were knowing how to trust Amanda's body and instincts, the ability to help Amanda focus on breathing, and knowing the signs of progression. This last point is one I thank you for...knowing when to call the nurse prevented us from having a baby in the bathroom.
We had quite a few false impressions of when the labor was starting. Over the course of two weeks, Amanda and I were going through ups and downs of thinking we were ready and finding out we weren't. It is hard to know what is real when you've never had the sensations before. Needless to say, when Amanda's water broke at midnight, I was not very hopeful as we had been through this before. She had me call the doctor's and Dr. Capetanakis called and said to call back when we were ready to go to the hospital. I fell asleep and Amanda woke me later to time the surges. I had a cool app on my phone that you had talked about that timed these surges and showed a cool little graph. Well, this for us was useless. Amanda's surges were not consistent and I had no idea if she was 5-1-1 or 2-1-1 or what. After a shower, we were downstairs in the kitchen. I started cleaning up the dishes, started the dishwasher and took the trash out. Then Amanda said we needed to leave. I immediately trusted her to know her own body even though our surges were not yet 5-1-1. Amanda has always been very in tune with her body and baby this pregnancy so I trusted her.
I filmed her laboring in the garage and was in shock that this was my life. We got in the car and started to the hospital with little fan fare....no speeding or going through red lights like in the movies. We were almost to the hospital when I remembered we were supposed to have called. Oh well. We arrived at Scripps Encinitas and at 3 am had great parking close to the entrance. I picked up the phone and were were let into the birthing pavilion. I have to say here that we were expecting to have our baby at Dr. Biter's new birth center, but throughout our experience at the hospital we both agree that it is an amazing place. The staff are awesome!
During the next two hours Amanda was laboring. I had the cheat sheet you gave me but honestly it made no sense to me. I just followed my own way and gave Amanda light touch and whatever she needed. After the monitoring, I could see she was overwhelmed by her surges and offered her what I could. She was so into her body that she could not answer my questions and I had no idea if I was helping or making it worse. When she had good surges, I reminded her to focus on her breathing. When we were in the bathroom, she was getting panicked and I got close to her face and breathed loudly, this caused her to follow my breathing. I believe this was your suggestion Carol? After a while she said she had a lot of pressure. I remember from your birth story that pressure was a sign of imminent birth, so I pulled the emergency cord. The nurse was there soon and after checking she said the crazy words...."we're having a baby!" WAIT! WHERE'S DR. BITER??
Our love for our OB is strong as he has seen us through a miscarriage and has been such a great friend during the pregnancy (as has Dr. Cap). We could not envision having birth without him. Luckily he showed soon and got right to business. He told Amanda to start pushing, and even though purple pushing was against what we had learned, it was what was working for Amanda. Again, trust your body and know that whatever works for you is right.
I had Amanda's left leg and she pushed against me and after some time I could see some hair. Our baby was coming. She still pushed and the baby was crowning. I remember thinking how small the baby's head was (the size of a tangerine). Then she pushed more and the head came out (wow, a lot bigger!) My baby had a full head of dark hair...where did that come from? After some more pushes, Dr. Biter asked Amanda to take her baby.
Through out all of this I had no idea if I was of any use. I tried my best to help. After it was done, Amanda told me that I helped a lot. That my words and actions helped her deliver naturally.
Carol, you have been a great help. I'm sure anybody can teach a HypnoBirthing class, but your teachings go beyond this. Your ability to share your experience was a huge help and your kind words through email and Facebook are so nice. Thank you so much for helping us have a beautiful birth.