Fortunately for us, we ended up with Dr. Berry. We delivered at UVRMC. Doctor, labor and delivery, nursing staff –EVERYTHING was fantastic!!!
Dr. Berry is respectful and pleasant, and allowed us to have the experience we had worked so hard for! However, he did want me to be induced at 41 weeks. I went over my due date a bit, but my first non-stress test showed my fluid levels were still at the very highest end of normal, and I told him I wasn’t sure my due date was exact anyways. He then agreed to let me go a little longer.
My daughter came in enough time that it wasn’t an issue, but it was nice to know he was not so arrogant as to assume that the birthing process is black and white and all cases need to be resolved in the same way–that’s my favorite thing about Dr. Berry—he is very open.
So, here’s the story:
My due date was on Monday the 23rd. On Wednesday the 25th I started having regular surges in the afternoon, but they were so mild I didn’t think much of them. I went to bed that night still having them and wondering if maybe, just maybe, we would have a baby in the morning. I didn’t, but I continued having surges at fairly regular intervals all through the week and into the weekend. I would time them, they’d be maybe 5 minutes apart for an hour or two, and then they’d take a 15-20 minute break, then the process would repeat. Day after day! Saturday morning I tried castor oil –not as bad as I thought it would be. That
night Greg’s mom came and spent the night. There wasn’t much change in the intensity of the surges, but they were 3-4 minutes apart and my belly had dropped significantly during the day. However, I woke up a bit disappointed because I was still at home and had no baby! Oddly enough, just as I thought this, at 6:45 am, I had my first real surge! I knew it the moment it came because I finally felt it in my back and it became necessary, not just good practice, for me to relax and breathe though them. I was not comfortable in bed so I sat on my ball and leaned on my bed. They were about 7 and a half minutes apart. Greg woke up a bit
later and said “No baby again?” I said, “No, but I am finally in actual labor!” We were pretty excited.
I had regular surges and they were about 5 minutes apart until at 10:30 am they dwindled and eventually stopped. We watched a movie to just get our minds off of it and by the time the movie was over they had started up again. I was fed up with timing them though, so we just ate lunch and baked some cookies. When I finally started timing again, they were doing the same thing they’d done all week. My body kept taking breaks! They’d be regular for a bit, then nothing would happen for 10-30 minutes. At first it was frustrating because it kept me guessing. But, when I realized this is just how my body labored, it was kind of nice to get a
break. I got these little breaks clear up until delivery.
So, at about 4 pm I said, “Time to start thinking about going to the hospital.” We weren’t really in a hurry, surges were still 4 to 3 and a half minutes apart and not too strong. We finished our lunch and cookie dishes, some laundry, and loaded up the car. 45 minutes later, when we were finally leaving they were 90 seconds long with about 90 seconds in between. This made walking from the car to Labor and Delivery difficult, but we made it. I was glad I had not gone earlier. It was nice to do most of my laboring at home.
Everything went pretty fast from this point. They checked me in and I was 100% effaced, dilated to a 6.5 and apparently my bag of waters was BULGING! Our nurse was fantastic! But, unfortunately she was off in 45 minutes. She did a good job prepping the next one though. She was very respectful of our desire to make the experience as natural and calm as possible, which she said was easy to do because I had taken classes, knew what I was doing and was breathing really well and staying relaxed! She said when patients come in crying and screaming, it’s difficult for the staff to be supportive of a natural labor. I thought that made sense and I was glad I had earned her respect and support!
I LOVED the balloon breathing. It did so much: gave me a visual distraction, helped me relax, made me feel like I was working with my body, not just “enduring” pain, AND in a way it was a form of self-counter pressure on my back. It was just an ideal breathing exercise! I do want to say, from a hypnobirther’s perspective, I probably didn’t do a great job at going into deep relaxation. I practiced lots, but that didn’t seem to come easily. So, while it was painful at times, it was very manageable (as long as Greg applied counter pressure in the right spot –if it was wrong, it sent spasms up and down my body).
I spent a short time at the hospital on a ball, but it was the hospital’s (no time to go back to the car to get mine at that point) and it was too big for me. I got back in bed and laid on my side. Shortly after I did, I knew she was on her way. It was really amazing how much better in tune I was with my body and baby this time around. It was fascinating to be so aware! I loved it. I felt my water bulging, and the pressure was so intense because she was so ready to come. I didn’t even realize what I was doing until I’d done it, but I found myself doing one big “J” breath at the height of a surge. It’s interesting how your body will just take over if you let it. It appeared my body was trying to break my waters for me. Greg was lying behind me on the bed applying counter pressure and I told him he better move. Within a few surges, doing the balloon breathing, then switching to “J” breaths at the peak, I had broke my water and WOW! Good thing I knew what was happening and told Greg to move. When it burst, there was a flood. It took several more surges to empty me out. After most of the water was out, the rolled
me to the other side of the bed and tried to clean up.
As soon as they rolled me over, I knew it was time to breathe her down. On my first “J” breath, I felt my daughter move forward and it was so surprisingly painless, and I knew she was so close that I couldn’t help it: I grinned!!! Greg mentioned it to me later, saying how unreal it was to see a woman, about to deliver, get a huge silly grin on her face! Speaking of Greg, he was fantastic and picked up on the change in my breathing immediately. He calmed himself, started talking really quiet to me and encouraged my “J” breaths. Greg informed the nurse she was coming, and in no time at all Dr. Berry was in the room. He asked if I would be delivering on my side. I was able to say yes, so he put downthe stirrups the nurse had set up (That earned him tons of bonus points in our book. He had so much confidence in me!) He spoke so calmly and did a great job not turning it into a hectic situation.
Within a few moments of Dr. Berry coming in, the baby was crowning. I hadn’t torn at all up to this point, but, as Dr. Berry described it, she came out waving. That did a bit of damage, but NOTHING compared to the first time. It was amazing how pleasant an experience all of it was, but especially delivery, compared to the first time around.
So now we have a beautiful and happy little girl: Ramona. She was 8 lbs even and 19 inches long. Born at 7:20 pm on Sunday, March 29, 2009. I feel fantastic too! I have so much energy and my body is healing so quickly!
Thank you so much for teaching us the skills we needed to have such an amazing birth! I want to tell every woman, pregnant or not, about Hypnobirthing because it was so incredible! We Bhad a really great experience and are excited to have more children —and that’s exactly
what we were hoping for.
Lizzy and Greg