This may seem counter intuitive. You educate yourself about your choices, you create birth preferences and choose a care provider who is supportive of them and you plan for the ideal birth.
Why would it be important to let go of expectations when your birthing time begins? Because birth is unpredictable—there are many different aspects that can effect how it goes and none of them are under your control, except the choices you make.
I find that a mom who plans and expects the best, but remains flexible and open to whatever her birth brings her, tends to enjoy her births the most. Flexibility is a great tool for maintaining peace during your birthing time.
Jennette was one of my doula clients.
She was planning a home birth and things started off great. After 12 hours of being at 6 cm with consistent, strong pressure waves, she chose to transfer to the hospital. She had been awake for over 40 hours and needed a rest, so she chose to get an epidural. After two hours of resting she was checked and was still at 6 cm, so she chose to get some pitocin and rest some more. Two hours later she was 10 cm and started to push and after an hour of pushing her sweet baby boy was born.
When I went for our post partum visit I asked Jennette how she felt about her birth. She said she was very happy with her birth experience. She said her main goal had been to have a positive experience and while it didn’t go as she had planned, she felt supported every step of the way and made choices that were best for her.
“I feel like I have had an un-medicated home birth and a medicated hospital birth, so I had both experiences and they were both great.”
If she had been fixated on a home birth, the needed transfer to the hospital would not have been an easy transition for her. But because she was able to stay flexible and open to what she felt was best for her and her baby at the time, her experience—though not what she had anticipated—fulfilled her expectations.
After days of on and off pressure waves Holly’s water broke. She went upstairs to get ready to go to the hospital. This is her account of what happened next. Notice how staying flexible and calm really helped her unexpected home birth be a positive experience.
“I headed upstairs, and that is when I knew we were in for a change of plans. By the time I got upstairs I was feeling very sick. All I could think of was getting to the bathroom. I went into the bath and sat on the toilet and then my legs started to shake and I wanted to vomit. As all of this was happening to my body I was calmly thinking, so this is transition.
I knew there was no way we were going anywhere, but I didn't want DH (dear husband) to panic so I didn’t say anything. Eventually DH came into the bathroom and said I need to change. I got up and walked 4 steps into our bedroom and had a wave that was so strong it knocked me to my knees. As soon as my knees hit the floor I thought OMG I have to either push or poop.
I ran straight to the toilet and squatted. I felt Fayth enter the birth canal and I pushed as hard as I could. And WOWIE did that feel good! So I did it again and there was her head. At that point I screamed at DH to call 911. He came running into the bathroom going “911? Why? We are going to the hospital”. I looked up and said b/c her head is out. He totally froze like a deer in headlights! He looked at me and said “what do we do?” I said “catch”. He slid across the bathroom floor and put his hands under me and I pushed one more time. Fayth slid right out and into her daddy’s hands.
DH got me a towel and I sat down. As I squatted to sit on the floor the placenta delivered. Fayth just laid in my arms, she never did cry, she just looked around. We sat and stared at each other while waiting for the paramedics. It was the single most amazing 20 minutes of my life. I am still on a ‘baby high’ and get teary thinking about the whole thing. It was truly life altering. DH told me later that he never wanted to hear me say I couldn’t do something again. He said if I could do what I just did I could do anything. He now calls me his supermom!
Thank you Kerry for creating this program (Hypnobabies) and giving me the tools to experience childbirth the way it was meant to be done!”