I skeptically studied Hypnobabies for the last few months of my pregnancy. My husband was a true critic often trying to prepare me for “reality”. Joking about the “brain washing” CDs. Though he did browse through the partner’s handbook once. This is my story I smile as I write it because even I can’t believe its true…

Thursday- my due date. I was huge and my stretch marks grew daily with my large baby. I worried about her size and the fact that Samantha, my previous child, had been 8 lb. 14 oz. 5 days before my due date. We visited my midwife on my due date hoping to get started naturally. She pressed some muscles inside me and did get contractions going strongly. So we excitedly prepared for childbirth. We walked around the park in Richfield then visited Daniel’s sister who was induced 2 weeks early and had her little girl, Kaycee, on my due date. Then Daniel took me swimming. That was wonderful! I highly recommend it to all pregnant women. We finally decided to go home. The contractions were strong and all the way there I wondered if we should be turning around. After a shower and bed the contractions stopped.

Friday- I was very moody and spent most of the day crying and begging Alyssa to come out. I had no contractions all day just mild Braxton Hicks.

Saturday- I felt emotionally exhausted and decided to give up on having a baby and go on with life. I spent the day raking the back yard and thinking about home renovations. Sunday- Samantha woke me up at 3am Sunday morning wanting another drink of water. After returning to bed I had a very strong contraction. “That was a good one” I sighed. Daniel’s eyes popped open knowing immediately what I was talking about. By 3:30am we were packed and headed to the hospital the contractions were around 31/2 minutes apart. DeAnn, my mother in law, came over to watch the kids.  On the way to the hospital I compared my drive to the one I’d taken a few months earlier when Crystal, my sister, was in labor. She was grabbing my arm and fighting the contractions. I was doing all I could just to keep the car on the icy winding roads. This time it was different. I was completely relaxed. Between contractions I would talk to Daniel comfortably and during them I’d just breathe. A song drifted through my mind. I don’t remember the lyrics now something about driving and a count down. Here we come I thought, “This is it!” “Am I ready?” “Relax.” And I did.

As we pulled into the hospital, (around 4:15), Dixie, my midwife, and a nurse rushed out to meet me with a wheel chair. I was relieved. I’d been dreading walking in. We had pre-registered. So we were taken straight into a peaceful room with dimmed lights. After checking me and seeing that I was at a 6,doing fine and not progressing too quickly Dixie napped in the room across the hall with instructions that we were to wake her when we needed her. During this time I listened to the birth day affirmations CD. I’d listened to all the other CDs so many times before that I’d trained my body well to relax. When it was over Daniel helped me to relax guiding me into my special place. My special place changed a little from when I practiced at home. Before it had been in our bed relaxing in his arms this time instead of bed we were standing on the beach in Cancun listening to the rolling waves under a blanket of stars. Watching ships sail by. And most importantly I was still in my favorite place-his arms. The nurse came in and drew a bath. I was looking forward to the jetted tub. It quickly became my favorite birthing place. I relaxed on the side of the tub while Daniel used the shower nozzle to spray my back with deliciously warm water just where I needed it most. It really helped me to release my lower back muscles. I highly recommend this too! When I tired of the tub and felt ready for something new I got back up into bed. Dixie came in and surprised that we’d given her so much sleep commented on how good I was doing. She turned on some beautiful lullabies. I enjoyed listening to them; visualizing rocking my baby and the peaceful moments we’d soon share together, while she and Daniel massaged my hands and feet. I have never been so pampered as when I’m in labor. Then I followed her advice and sat on the birthing ball with my head and arms resting on the bed. Daniel went to the cafeteria for breakfast it was around 9:30 am. I felt a momentary twinge of panic as I watched him leave and Dixie took his place squeezing my lower back to counter pressure during my ”birthing waves”.  This worry quickly dissipated as we talked and I continued to relax. “Peace.” I would silently say to myself, and I had peace. I drank a few sips of juice and nibbled on a cracker after Daniel returned with his breakfast tray. Dixie left to eat after Daniel finished and I stood and “danced” in his arms for a few minutes by this time I was beginning to feel a bit tired so I returned to bed. Dixie returned and checked me again, at a 9, and told me she didn’t believe my water would break on it’s own, it was very strong. I told her to wait a bit longer afraid that I would loose control once it broke and transition really hit. I thought of my previous two births where I came out of the birthing room with blood shot eyes and a hoarse throat from moaning. Wow, what a difference it had been so far! When she returned I agreed to let her break my water holding on to the thought that my baby would soon be in my arms. It wasn’t a sudden attack of “birthing waves”. I got back onto the birthing ball as she encouraged and yes I even had three on top of each other at times but no I never lost control. During this time my mother arrived to witness my final pregnant moments. I repeated my words of relaxation as I had throughout the experience. “Peace”,” Relax”, “This is my birthing day I choose how I feel and I feel completely comfortable and relaxed”, “I can stay relaxed and have peace throughout my birthing time and I do.”  I didn’t use the finger drop technique a lot, or counting up or down, I just did what felt right for me. Now my thoughts changed. I thought of my baby, Alyssa, what she would look like, and how she would soon feel in my arms. Then I talked to her. I told her about the world she was coming into and promised to show her the beauties of the earth, to introduce her to the feel of bark on the tree, the smell of flowers, puppies, and all the beautiful creations of God. This is our moment Alyssa and we can do it together. Dixie interrupted my thoughts encouraging me to stand leaning over the side of my bed my hands resting on it and rocking my body back and forth knees slightly bent. Hesitantly, I obeyed not thinking that it sounded like a very comfortable position. I couldn’t have been in this position for a full 3 minutes when I began saying “pushy, pushy” the words rushing out as I felt a powerful desire to push. Mistaking my meaning Dixie encouraged Daniel to push harder on my back Unable to articulate more words I began trying to climb onto the bed changing my words to “Pushing, Pushing!” as they realized my meaning Dixie and the nurse scrambled to get pads to place under me though they all still thought I had plenty of pushing time ahead of me. I however was pushing fiercely and couldn’t stop I was partially on the bed, sideways, and turned leaning back on the metal arms of it when Dixie, trying to slow me down so I wouldn’t tear, said “Serena, give me your hand. Here, feel your baby’s head”. As my hand was placed over what felt like the enormous head of my baby my mother’s instincts kicked in. I was again in control and I realized that I’d never lost it I had even been pushing saying “Ah!” as directed in my book. I slowed and the words in my mind leapt from my mouth. “Gently, Gently, Gently,” and I gently pushed my baby out and into our arms. As they secured my slippery babe into my arms I lifted her up onto my chest. “Beautiful” I said as I leaned back on the bed gazing into to her heavenly eyes she was perfect, exquisite! “Beautiful” the labor was beautiful, unbelievably beautiful! “Beautiful” I repeated again and again, everything was beautiful!

My recovery was quick, for the first time I hadn’t torn. As I held her in my arms time stood still I cannot describe the beauty of the first moment a mother looks into her daughters eyes and holds her in her arms. Nothing else will ever compare to it. You must experience it yourself to feel the full amount of joy! Finally I relinquished her to the arms of her father and Dixie. Alyssa Dawn was 8 lb. 11 oz. and 21 in. long. She stayed with me that night. I awoke often to gaze at my little miracle peacefully sleeping curled up beside me. I had strong after-birth contractions for the following week that thankfully my Hypnobabies training helped me through. I recommend Hypnobabies to all birthing mothers and to anyone who desires to teach their body to breath deeply and slowly and completely relax.

The greatest compliment I received was from my mother. She, who makes labor look easy after giving birth to 9 at home 2 of which I watched and aided, she told me it was the most reverent birth she had ever witness and continues to brag to all of her friends about my amazing delivery. It truly was a peaceful experience!

 

Thank you Hypnobabies!

 

Love, Serena

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