This is a truly inspiring story of Sommer's birthing experience. Sommer was giving her baby up for adoption & wanted her baby's birth to be as natural & peaceful as possible. She was birthing at the Best Start Birth Center, San Diego's only free-standing birth center & had taken the class with her Aunt Margi. Sommer's boyfriend, Levi, was able to attend one class when he was visiting from out of town & Susan, who would be the adoptive mother of Sommer's baby, also attended a class. It was definitely a group effort & everyone was very excited to learn more about HypnoBirthing. Here is Sommer & her daughter, Siena Rose's birth story:
So nice to hear from you :-) All is well for me, Siena Rose and the adoptive parents. It's actually like we're one big family. I've been pumping breast milk for her around the clock, so I've been able to see her once or twice a week when I drop it off. It's truly a beautiful situation. Of course it's difficult, but when I think of how I was able to change these people's lives and ensure that Siena has everything she deserves, I know it's worth the heartache. This situation has even caused me to consider becoming a surrogate for a couple struggling to conceive. Life truly is the greatest gift...
As for the labor... well it was a bit longer than I'd visualized. About 60 hours. It started off slow. At my 41 week check-up that day (Friday), the midwife told me that I was only 2 cm dilated , so Levi (Sommer's boyfriend) and I walked all over San Diego to get it going. By the time we got home, my back had had it. That night at 11:30, the surges became more intense and more frequent. I was able to breathe through them quite easily, then sleep in between them. When they were about 7 or 8 minutes apart, the whole fam went out for breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. Other patrons were weirded out when I'd close my eyes and breathe deeply every few minutes. They couldn't believe that I was in labor! After breakfast, the surges were about 4 minutes apart, so we went to the birth center. I was told that I was at 3 cm, so we went back home.
The surges then began to slow down, becoming 10 minutes apart. By midnight, they were back to about 5 minutes apart and becoming much more intense. I went back to the birth center at 10:00am, only to find that I was still at 3cm! Dang! So Levi, Margi (Sommer's Aunt) and I walked all over Hillcrest for about 3 or 4 hours. That apparently helped, because I finally made it to 4 1/2 cm. It was then that the midwife said, "Well, it looks like we're going to have a baby today!" When she said that, I responded with a silent knee-jerk "No".
Obviously, there was a significant part of me that didn't want to let her go. From there on out, I had a very difficult time letting go. My surges became closer together and more and more intense, but I wasn't dilating. The midwife had even said that my labor was progressing without my body. At 8pm on Sunday, we decided to break my water. At that point, I'd gotten maybe 4 hours of sleep since Friday night and I was exhausted. I could handle the surges, but my back sensations had become unbearable, even in between surges. The midwife kept telling me to just let go, but I continued to resist. I was in a battle with myself.
It got pretty intense then. The midwife asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital, but I declined. They eventually gave me saline injections in my back, which helped immensely. Finally, it was time to "push". I had discussed my HypnoBirthing plan with the first midwife, but we were on midwife #3 and she said that HB only works for second-time mothers. I wanted to debate, but I didn't have the energy. Neither did Margi. (She was pretty intimidated by the midwife, too.) So I ended up purple pushing for 2 hours. It wasn't painful, just exhausting. I was so tired, I was delirious. I was falling asleep between surges. When it came down to the last push, I reached down to receive her, and I was instantly revived.
I placed her on my chest and called for everyone to come into the room. I handed her to Levi, who was right behind me, and he held the 2 of us while she was still connected to me. He cut the cord, then I told Suzanne to take her shirt off so she could receive her baby. I thought that that would be the most difficult moment, but it actually felt right.
After I birthed the placenta, (which felt grrrrrrreat, by the way), the midwife gave us a guided tour of it and described all of its functions. She asked if I wanted to keep it, and at first, I said "no". I paused for a moment, then asked "why?". She explained that it makes an excellent fertilizer, especially for rose bushes. It was then that I decided to keep it to plant a tribute rose bush to my Siena Rose. Right now, it's still in my freezer...
Once everything had calmed down, I was able to breastfeed and nap in between. The adoptive parents, Suzanne and Dino, put Levi and I up in a hotel in Temecula for 3 days so that I could breastfeed, since it's so difficult to pump colostrum. It was really nice to be so close to her for those first few days, too. We even spent Christmas morning at their house, which was also lovely... And it's been lovely ever since.
Awe, man, I love her so much-- more and more every day. This little pumpkin head has undoubtedly changed my life forever, and I am a better person because of her. She has motivated me to realize my dreams and accomplish my life goals. She truly is an angel that was sent to rock my world, and change the lives of many. What a gift :-)
It was a great experience overall. I was able to discuss my concerns about the birthing process at my one week check up. I know that next time, I'll know what to expect. Feel free to post my story! You don't have to edit names, as our adoption is totally open. Besides, her name is too pretty to leave out :-) Thanks again for teaching such a wonderful class and for all of your support, as well.
Thank YOU Sommer for sharing your story! What a wonderful story Siena Rose will be able to read about someday in the future.