Sunday, February 10, 2008

Anne's HypnoBirth Story

One of my accelerated private class client's shared her HypnoBirth birth story with me & gave me permission to share it. Congratulations again, Anne!

Here it is:

Anne’s Birth Story:
Hmmm…pregnant with a third child…
After two birth stories that ended with very long and difficult recoveries, I was ready to do some homework/research with this third pregnancy that I hadn’t done with the others. I lived in panic of having to care for 2 other children while going through the pain and discomfort I had endured with the other 2.
My first delivery was a vaginal birth. Although, in the end it was called ‘textbook’, I always wondered how it might have played out differently had I NOT gone for the epidural. I HAD read a book on the Bradley method that did really put me on a good road, but being my first birth and not having dug deeper into the birthing process, I went to the hospital early and ultimately was swayed with the "now or never" line about drugs and went for it. Of course, this slowed things along to the point of my heart rate being too low and then the baby’s being too low. They then had to go back to the pitocin to get things going again. After numerous bags of fluids and drugs, I did have a pain free birth and delivered a beautiful baby girl. Then the fun began. I ended up with numerous complications that I deemed as normal until finding out most stemmed from the road of drugs I went down.
My second delivery was a planned c-section. Being that I had placenta previa, I didn’t have a choice. But, again the recovery was even worse. It took almost a year for me to feel back to my normal self. This was emotionally difficult with wanting to be there for my children and being in a constant state of discomfort.
So here I was, pregnant with a third child. I wanted to do everything in my power to have a VBAC (Vaginal Birth After C-section) and to do it without drugs. I began reading about doulas and decided to research them. I read the statistic on how much more successful you could be with a VBAC if one was used. Through my doctor (Dr. Robert Biter), I found the most amazing lady (Doula Dawn)…but, even in our first discussions I wasn’t too confident I could do it COMPLETELY drug free. I don’t have the highest tolerance for pain and thought I could just get as close as I could to delivering and then maybe take something. Very patiently, Dawn (my doula) gave me a book (Journey into Motherhood by Sheri Menelli) on birth stories and asked me to read it. Her encouragement & the confidence she had in me made me decide to read a few of the stories.
Well, I ended up finishing the book in 2 days. The book had numerous stories with numerous methods of birthing. But, the one thing that stuck out for me was this method called HypnoBirthing. I was curious to find out more but was only a few weeks away from my due date. It was only 2 days after that I met Carol. If I had not literally ran into her, I’m not sure I would have preceded in my research being that I thought I was too far into my pregnancy to get a full ‘class’. Carol was able to meet with me and give an accelerated 3 ½ hour class. I was hooked. She was able to walk me through tools so I felt confident I would use them…if not just for the birth but for everyday stresses in life.
I diligently practiced the techniques Carol had gone over with me until 4 days before my due date & then my surges started. I found the relaxation CD was useful for the beginning stages. But, as the birthing progressed, the techniques I thought were going to be useful weren’t. What I did do was modify them to work for me. While in the tub at home trying to go into deep relaxation, I realized I had a clock that had the perfect soft rhythmic ticking that helped me stay focused. I continued this in the shower with me.
At this point I thought I was still in my early stages of labor and decided to call my doula so my husband could do a few things. But, when my doula arrived, she informed us it was time to get to the hospital. It had happened so quickly and I had been focusing so deeply, I hadn’t really been counting the duration of the surges so it came as a surprise to me. My husband was also surprised being that I had been so quiet. He didn’t think much was happening yet.
When we arrived at the hospital, it was almost full. I was able to get the last room. Because of all the chaos and the nurses being pulled in every direction with it being so busy, it took a little more concentration to stay focused. When my doctor was able to exam me, he told me I was fully dilated and ready to push. I could not believe it! It took a little while for me to get my mind around no longer relaxing through the surges, but gently working with them. After the 3rd or 4th surges passed, my doula had to remind me to work with it. So, although I supposedly ‘pushed’ for an hour, I probably only REALLY worked with the surges for about 30 minutes or less. The only time I really started to lose my concentration was during this final pushing stage. My husband felt I was loud when sternly telling my doctor I wanted him to get the baby out…but, my doula said she felt he probably perceived it that way because I had been SO quiet for the entire time prior to this stage.
When the baby came out I could not believe I had done it! I was able to hold my baby, I had no tears/episiotomy and I was able to shower and walk to my room immediately after. It was amazing! Over all it was an amazing experience.
I know that HypnoBirthing helped me stay completely calm and relaxed throughout the experience. I was deeply relaxed and never felt "pain" per se...uncomfortable at times with a lot of pressure in certain areas. My doula played an integral part in my experience. Her knowledge of HypnoBirthing helped me stay focused & calm. Her knowledge of positioning and just what to do for me was invaluable. Also, having an OB that was completely supportive of a VBAC that I knew I could trust completely was another key factor in my successful VBAC experience.
I would say that the combination of having the HypnoBirthing techniques, having a wonderful, supportive doula & OB was the answer to my prayers for a natural, easy, beautiful VBAC birth. Having this experience helped heal my past negative birth experiences. It really helped me release the fear I had prior to this birth as well. I am telling everyone I know about HypnoBirthing! I can't believe now, after having this life-changing experience why anyone would choose to have medication...and this is coming from someone who never previously believed in non-medicated birth! I highly recommend taking Carol's classes. She has a gentle, calm manner that really lends itself to the HypnoBirthing philosophy and techniques.
~Anne, 3rd time parent, Encinitas, CA.

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