Katie & Steve took my HypnoBirthing classes at Babies by The Sea Boutique on Tues nights in May/June 2010.
We had our baby boy, Carson, 3.5 weeks early. We hired our doula Kayti Ricker one day
before going into labor. I had a mild case of polyhydramnios which means that I had
extra amniotic fluid. My Dr. did not mention that pre-term labor or labor
complications could be an issue.
I lost my mucous plug on June 27th. I thought my water broke on June 29th as I felt
a few small gushes. The Dr. told me that it was not my water breaking and that the
cramping I was experiencing was normal at this stage of the pregnancy. I was 36.5
weeks along. The Dr. sent me home. I knew something was happening but I did not know
what or when.
Soon the contractions were 15 minutes apart and then 10 and then 8. My husband and I
tried to get into bed around midnight. I was listening to Rainbow Relaxation CD but I
felt the contractions closing in on me in the bed. I had to get out of the bed and
move around. I went from the birth ball to the couch to outside etc. Moving through
my contractions and focusing on my breathing really helped. The contractions
progressed and we called our newly hired Doula. I saw a small amount of bleeding
which Kayti told us was normal. We waited at home until my contractions were 3
minutes apart and expected to have our son soon after arriving at the hospital
around 4:30 am.
Upon arrival at Grossmont hospital, they confirmed that I was 100% effaced but only 1cm dilated. I was disappointed but I needed to know a starting point for my progress.
Due to how thin my cervix was the staff said that my labor should go very quickly.
The staff finally gave up on monitoring me as my baby kept moving around and they
were losing track of his heart rate. Oh....and I refused to stay in that hospital
bed!!! It was impossible to manage my contractions while lying on my back. They
tried to tell me that the baby could be having decelerations but I knew better. They
finally agreed to do periodic Doppler monitoring. They left me so alone that I
actually had to request that they come check on the baby. I could feel Carson moving
his legs and feet trying to help along the labor. The surges were intense. I was in
and out of the shower 6 times. It was my sanctuary. I was breathing through all of
my contractions and did feel the need to make noise through each one. I experienced
time distortion and periods where I went within like you described in class. When I
would open my eyes, my husband and Doula were looking back at me. They confirmed that
several minutes had passed.
My Dr. came in to check me around 8 am and wanted to break my water. I was dilated
to 4 cm. I asked for "5 minutes to think about it" and the Dr. left and went back to
his office. He never gave me a chance to have 5 minutes. In the mean time test
results came back on my broken water (it broke on the floor of the birthing room
while I was throwing up). The tests showed that my baby's lung development was at 33
weeks. . I had to put this out of my head and focus on my labor. The Dr. no longer
wanted to break my water. When the Dr. came back to check me a few hours later I was
still at 4 cm. I continued using my breathing techniques, showering and different
positions. The Dr. came back again sometime later and the baby had moved up and was
now at a minus 2 station where he had previously been at a minus one. The baby had a
lot of water to float in and was unable to push on my cervix and help me dilate. I
remained at 4 cm. By 2 pm on the 30th I was still at 4 cm. Kayti had me try some
positions that were hard to get through due to all of the pressure but I pushed
myself to do them. Due to no sleep and a long labor that was slow to progress, I
elected to have the epidural. At this point, I had been in labor for 24 hours
completely unmedicated. It felt like my choice to have the epidural and I was glad
that I had labored naturally thus far. Once I had the epidural I was still planning
for a vaginal delivery.
My Dr. came in and told me that he was very concerned that the baby had moved up. If
my water broke (the previous break was a high leak) then it could pull the placenta
away from the wall or the cord could come out before the baby due to the large
volume of water. Polyhydramnios was the cause for these concerns. The Dr.
recommended a C-section. This was the very thing that I was trying to avoid.
HypnoBirthing and the feeling of being educated and informed helped me to stay calm.
Kayti, my Doula, called a midwife friend of hers to get a 2nd opinion. I was very
appreciative of this. It helped me to realize that the C-section was necessary. The
midwife validated the doctor's concerns. Finally, we asked everybody to leave and my
husband Steve and I weighed the risks and benefits of the C-section and made the
decision in our own time and our own way. We agreed that you do not get pregnant to
have a natural childbirth but rather to have a baby and we could not put our baby at
risk. We elected to have the C-section that the Dr. was strongly recommending. I
even asked him what he would do if it was his daughter to see if he would hesitate
but he did not. Without any hesitation he said “I would perform a C-section
When the decision was made about the C-section, I felt very calm and in control.
Kayti was allowed to join my husband and I in the operating room. She was there to
help carry out the rest of our birth plan. Carson came out crying with no lung
problems at all. The Dr. even had to use the vacuum because he had floated so high
up into the uterus. There was water everywhere according to my husband and the Dr.
All that extra fluid! I did not get to see my son much in the OR. My first glimpse
of him was while I was in recovery and I could see him across the room being held
by my husband who remembered to do Kangaroo Care (thank you for talking about this
in class). It was a precious site. Kayti waited with me in recovery while Steve was
with the baby.
Steve brought the baby to me in recovery. Kayti suggested that I try to breastfeed.
I knew I wanted to breastfeed but with all of the excitement and being in recovery
etc. it did not occur to me that this was an appropriate time. The nurse allowed it
and Carson started trying to nurse.
Looking back I would not have changed a thing. I am so glad that I prepared for a
natural HypnoBirth and had hired a Doula. I felt very educated and in control. It
was wonderful to experience and manage REAL LABOR! I am confident that had my labor
been able to progress and there were no risks that I absolutely could have had the
natural childbirth that I was hoping for.
Besides the baby being healthy, the important thing is that it felt like it was our
birth and our decisions despite the fact that it did not go as planned. Thank you
for everything. Our son is healthy and weighed 6 lbs 7 oz and was 18.5 inches long.
We are adjusting to new parenthood and the lack of sleep! Our son is healthy and
Katie and Steve P.
Thank you so much for sharing your story, Katie & Steve! I'm so sorry that your birth didn't go as planned & that you had a c-section. I'm glad that the HypnoBirthing classes helped you feel in control & informed every step of the way. My ultimate goal in teaching HypnoBirthing classes is to inform & educate my clients so that no matter where their birth journey takes them, they feel as in control as possible & make choices based on fact not fear.
For more information about HypnoBirthing in San Diego, please visit my website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are outside of San Diego, please visit www.HypnoBirthing.com for more information & to find a practitioner in your area.
For more information about Kayti Ricker, Katie & Steve's doula, please visit her website at www.mysandiegodoula.com.