by Neil & Jodi
Neil and I were watching TV on Wednesday, October 15th when my surges began.nI had practice surges prior to this, but these felt stronger. They began at about 9:00 pm. Neil went to sleep and while I tried to as well, I remained awake the majority of the time trying to focus through the surges. I got up and took a bath, listened to the relaxation scripts on my iPod, anything I could do to try and relax. The surges started coming regularly at about 4:00 am. I finally woke Neil up at about 5:00 am to start helping me through them. His biggest job was to use light touch massage when a surge would come on.They weren’t bad enough yet to need that too much, so he just helped me keep track of how far apart the surges were. I took another bath, and then showered and got ready. That took quite awhile as I was pausing during each surge to let my body go limp. They were coming anywhere from 3-4 minutes apart, to 6-7 minutes apart – it wasn’t staying consistent yet . I finished packing the hospital bag, and then just tried to relax in bed. We wanted to wait as long as we could at home so that we were in the most comfortable place possible so that it would be easier to relax. I was able to doze off for a bit while Neil tidied the kitchen and vacuumed the house. They were getting harder to concentrate through, and we had a 30 minute drive to the hospital, so I didn’t want to wait too long.We finally decided it was time and left for the hospital at about 2:00 pm.
We checked in the hospital at 2:30 pm at which point I was 100% effaced and dilated to a 5. Though I would have liked to have been further along when we got there, we decided to stay anyway since it was a half hour drive each way if we were to have gone home. I spent most of the time in bed and Neil would just help me through each surge (using light touch massage) and then we would chat between each one. My midwife (Julie) showed up at the hospital at about 6:30 and checked where my progression was. At that point I was at a 6+. I was surprised (and a little disappointed) that I had only progressed roughly 1 1/2 cm. in 4 hours. At that point I decided to take a bath for awhile. Neil helped by pouring water over my stomach (as the bath wasn’t deep enough to cover it all.) They had to get me back on the fetal monitor, so I got out of the bath and made it over to the bed. I decided to lie down on my side for awhile and the first surge that hit me after getting in bed, my water broke. (What a weird sensation!!) That happened at about 7:20 pm. The surges became steadily stronger, and I’ll admit that I began to lose my focus in getting through them. I started getting nauseated and Neil and Julie were able to use some pressure points to help me through them. Julie suggested trying to labor on the toilet for awhile, and I decided to try it and see if I could relax better through the surges. (It helps relieve the pressure and allows your hips to spread well.) I was able to regain my focus and was dealing pretty nicely with the surges when the nurse said I had to get back on the monitor! Grrr….I wasn’t too happy about that. I asked her if they could bring the monitor to me instead. She wheeled the machine over, and after several attempts, she couldn’t get the babies heartbeat to show up because of how I was positioned. So back to the bed, monitor on, and trying to focus. I was able to regain my focus in the bed, but it was not nearly as comfortable as the toilet. The monitoring is only supposed to be for 20 minutes. Well, WAY more than 20 minutes had passed but the nurse wasn’t removing the monitor. My surges were lasting between 1 – 2 1/2 minutes each, so right when one would ease up, another would start. I finally found a moment to break my focus and asked to have the monitor taken off. She said that I had seemed so relaxed that she didn’t want to disturb me by removing it. So the monitor came off, and I went straight back to the toilet to focus. What seemed like not very much longer, I told Neil I felt like it was time to start pushing (or “breathing down” to be correct). He paged Julie and the nurse back in. Julie checked me and I was fully dilated. I gave a few of the downward breaths on the toilet when Julie finally suggested I get back to the bed so that the baby wasn’t born IN the toilet. Julie suggested I deliver on my hands and knees as it was less pressure and would likely be more comfortable for me. Everything moved rather quickly from that point.Julie was frantically trying to get dressed (in her delivery clothing) and the nurse helped Neil get some gloves on so he could help receive the baby. I continued to use the downward breaths, and what seemed like 5 minutes later, at 10:04 pm, she was out!! (Neil said about 30 minutes passed from when I first said I needed to push and when she was born.) Interesting side note: I’m not sure if I was just abnormal, but my “downward breaths” weren’t as calm and smooth as the ones in the videos we watched. They seemed more like giant grunts that I had absolutely no control over. I just tried to focus them downward, but whether I wanted to or not, they forced themselves out. It was quite interesting to experience because it really was just like my body took over on its own. I was just along for the ride.
After she came out, I immediately turned around and they put her on my chest for some skin-to-skin contact and bonding. They did wipe her down a bit, but mostly just so she wasn’t slippery on me, and so that she didn’t get too cold.The doctor and nurse were still working on other things and I just sat and held our beautiful little Avery.I always thought I would cry, but it was almost as if I was TOO flooded with emotion to even let a tear fall.The entire experience had been amazing and here I was, holding my little creation that I had spent the last 9 months bonding with without ever being able to see. And here she was, face to face.
Eventually, they needed Neil to hold her while the stitched me up and got everything cleaned. I was bleeding a bit more than they wanted me to, so they were anxious for my uterus to start contracting back down. They double checked the placenta for any pieces missing, and did another sweep inside me to make sure that nothing was left. Julie mentioned possibly giving me a medicine to start the contractions back up, but I wanted to try nursing first. She had to finish stitching me before I could sit up enough to try nursing, so while she was finishing up, they brought the people in to do the weighing and measuring (8 lbs 8 oz, 20 ½ in long). Julie finished up and the nurses gave her back to me to try to get her to nurse. She latched on great and took a full 10 minutes from each side. It was beautiful! We then just continued to bond and enjoy her little presence before they took us to our recovery room.
In Neil’s own words, he says that half of the time he couldn’t even tell I was in labor. The nurse said that she had only ever been involved with one other Hypnobirthing birth and that the other girl wasn’t able to relax very much and was quite miserable. Seeing my experience made her want to take the class just to simply learn about the concept and better be able to help someone in the future. My doctor (she said about 90% of her patients use Hypnobirthing) said that she was amazed at how well I did and that very few women have kept the level of concentration that I had. None of this is to brag, but to simply say that it was WELL worth the studying and practicing and the entire experience turned out as well as I could have hoped! Well, almost… I hoped it would have been a little bit less painful, but who doesn’t? 🙂 It still was a wonderful experience and I will definitely be doing it again with our future children!
Born: October 16th, 2008 at 10:04 pm
Weight: 8 lbs. 8 oz.
Length: 20 ½ in. long