Bridget & Greg took my HypnoBirthing classes on Tuesdays at Babies by the Sea Boutique in September 2010. Here is their birth story:
Audrey's birth story
Audrey was born on January 10th. She was 3 days late. Val Peterson was supposed to Doula but because she was at another birth (another couple from the same class!) I ended up with her back-up Doula, Annely Allen - she was really amazing.
During my birth, I had back labor. My labor went on for over 40 hours! I started having regular surges Saturday night at midnight and by 3am they seemed to close enough together to head to Scripps La Jolla hospital. In retrospect, I think I mis-timed them though. When we got to the hospital they told me I was not dilated at all! Lesson one from HypnoBirthing - don't go too early to the hospital. Luckily because I knew I didn't want to be induced, they suggested we go home. I managed to get about three hours sleep and by daybreak, the surges spaced out a bit but still were regular. We sat around and watched the playoff football games. Lesson two - walk around when you're in labor to keep things going. By Sunday night, the surges got closer together and I thought that this must be it! I was in a lot of pain and could not talk through the surges. Got to the hospital and still no dilation. By this time, we knew Annely was going to be our Doula, so she met us at the hospital. Lesson three - if you get a Doula, don't be afraid to call her early in labor. I didn't want to waste Val's time, but you're paying for their services and I wonder if help might've shortened my labor. When Annely arrived, she got me up and moving and provided the only relief I had during surges by pressing my hips together. I lost my mucous plug and thought for sure I was more dilated, but alas was only 1 cm when I went back to the hospital! Since I still didn't want to use any drugs, we went back to our house and Greg took a nap while Annely labored with me through the night. By morning, I was exhausted and writhing in pain. We got to the hospital at 7:30am and I was finally 4 cm. Hallelujah! I've never been so happy in my life! By that point, I was so fatigued from no sleep that I knew I wouldn't be able to rest up before pushing unless I had relief from the constant discomfort. (side note: I've read that back labor is more intense than normal labor and I was constantly listening to the Rainbow Relaxation and birth affirmations CD and breathing but nothing seemed to make things less intense.)
Anyhow, from there, we all slept a bit which was a relief, but of course my dilation slowed and by 3pm I was only at 7 cm, which was not as far as they wanted me to be at that point, and of course they started to threaten a C-section unless we did other things to move things along. My water hadn't broken yet so they stripped my membranes and still no more dilation so my Dr (Dr. Duhamel) called and said I either take Pitocin or they'd need to do a C-section. I finally said ok, but I did request the lowest dose possible as I had also done with the epidural as I recalled from class that you have that option. Reached 10 cm at 6:40pm and after less than an hour of pushing Audrey McKenna was born at 21 inches and 8 lbs 7 oz at 7:30pm Monday night, 12 hours after we got to the hospital by one of the midwives of Dr. Duhamel's group. I believe having a light dose of epidural (I felt surges as pressure so I knew when to push) along with my Pilates background helped. Thank goodness it went fast as the cord was wrapped twice around her neck!
I am a bit disappointed that I didn't go totally natural but I think with the length and intensity of my labor that if I hadn't taken the class I could've easily given in to inducing labor and possibly needing a C-section. I'm grateful that I had the tools and understanding to go natural for as long as possible and have as minimal drug intervention as possible. I would highly recommend hiring a Doula! I'm happy that I've been successfully breastfeeding after requesting and receiving alot of help at the hospital and Audrey is over the already robust size she was born at.
Thanks again Carol for a wonderful education on birthing! We felt quite educated through the whole experience which really helped us make decisions that gave us the best birth possible.
Bridget, Greg and Audrey :).
Congratulations! I'm glad that you were able to have a more comfortable experience by getting the epidural. I'm sorry that you didn't the natural HypnoBirth you were hoping for. You did everything the best you could & you had your support team to help you as well. The main goal of my classes is for people to have empowered births in which they make choices based on educated, informed decisions. You did exactly that--you knew that you needed the epidural & just got a light one & that helped your birth go much easier & comfortably than it would have without having taken the classes. You're exactly right that without the classes, you probably would have ended up with a much different experience full of interventions. But you & Greg stayed in control the whole way making the best choices for you & for Audrey and that's what I call a HypnoBirth! A few people get the births like the videos. A lot of people get a natural birth that's noisier & not as calm as the videos. Some people get births like you did--not what you hoped for & needing an epidural. And a small few end up with a c-section. My hope for you is that you're able to grieve the fact that you didn't have the birth you hoped for AND that you can be proud of what you accomplished with Audrey's birth! I'm certainly proud of you & Greg & am glad that Annely could be there to support & help you since Val was with her other client.
For more information about Carol's HypnoBirthing classes, please visit www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are outside of the San Diego area, please go to www.HypnoBirthing.com to find a practitioner near you.