Tracy and Adam took an accelerated HypnoBirthing class in February/March 2011 at Seaside Women's Health Center in Encinitas. Here is their story:
Hi Carol! So first of all.... I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a mommy. It's so cool :-)
Little Avery Rose Walton is amazing. And her birth was really quite amazing as well, especially the more I think back to it. It wasn't exactly the experience I was expecting. I was soooo certain and confident in my relaxation abilities, I was convinced that I would feel NO pain. Seriously, I still don't know why it needed to be so painful. I am pretty sure that the reason for most of it was because she came out face up. Most of the sensation was in my hips and back, definitely not what I was expecting.... but that it’s really a minor detail anyway, let me tell you the whole story :-) At about midnight my surges were about 10 minutes apart. I took a shower and tried my best to relax/sleep in between each surge.
During the surge I would concentrate on staying limp and relaxed as possible, but by about 3:00 am I was telling myself and Adam that I needed some drugs. But first before "giving in" so quickly, I went into the jacuzzi, thinking that it might help a little.... but what I found out was that it helped A LOT. I dunked myself in that water and in an instant I knew I wasn't going to get out, no way. It felt soooo nice. Bless my mother too, because she stayed in the jacuzzi with me. Adam went back to bed, ha! So there I was, under the starlight resting in-between surges on a pool floaty, thinking of all the positive affirmations Marie whispered in my ear over the past three months. I kept reciting in my head things like "Your body is meant to give birth. I hand my birthing over to my baby". By 4:00 am my surges were two minutes apart and my mom called the midwives. They showed up, woke up Adam and got everything ready. Baby and I in the meantime, labored. I imagined in my mind my baby sliding down the birth path, coming out happy and healthy. Really, all I did was my best to breathe through surges and visualize a calm, relaxed birth. I was definitely in a zone, as in zoned everything out and just stayed "in my body" during surges. Each surge was 45 seconds or so of deep concentration and loud breathing. "Oooooooooooooooooh" was the long breathe out during each surge, deep voice and with my chin down.
Every once and a while I would lift my head up and take a look around. Adam, midwife Andrea and her assistant/apprentice Debra were bundled up sitting on the edge of the jacuzzi, just watching me. At one point I remember looking up and seeing the sunrise. The birds were chirping and singing. My mother in law, Susie, had come over around 4:00 am as well and got into the tub with me, bless her. She put on some music for me too. It was really nice, very similar to the music we had listened to in yoga class. I sipped apple juice and water from a straw from time to time, I think I even ate a strawberry or two. From time to time the midwife would hand the Doppler to one of my moms and have a listen to the baby's heartbeat. I am not sure what time it was, but the sun was out and my water still hadn't broken. I had visions of the baby coming out with an intact membrane. Andrea checked me and there was one little part of the cervix still in the way. She broke my water and I freaked out. I mean, I was in panic mode. Very NOT hypnobirthing method. I was tense, I was screaming and I didn't want anyone to touch me. I remember thinking too, this is probably not helping myself any, but I went with my emotions. My midwife firmly got my attention and calmed me down. I am so glad that I trusted her and never had any doubt in her ability to help me deliver my baby because otherwise, I may not have been able to calm down again from such a panic. Now, my water had broken and I was happy to feel like progress was being made.
Then, it was time to start pushing. I was more awake and alert and the surges were not coming quite as often. I felt like it would be so easy, a couple of pushes and she would be out. Not so much. :-) At one point I said "ok, that's it, I'm done, I can't do this" and Andrea would remind me,” you are doing it” and that part of being a parent was having patience. She said it was important for the baby to adjust herself to my body so that she could come out and I remember you talking about this in the class. So I changed the visuals in my mind to baby making her way, in her time. I started talking to her, nicely asking her to come on out, we love you so much. Patience, thank goodness, is definitely a virtue that I have. I had difficulty finding the position I wanted to be in to push. I tried all kinds, on my hands and knees, squatting on my own, holding Adam's hands out of the water and standing. Nothing really did the trick. Then finally, I found it and the end was near. My mom was on one side of me and Susie on the other, the midwife behind me laying on her stomach reaching into the jacuzzi. I was squatting, holding my knees and man it felt so good to push. By this time I wanted to push all the time, regardless of the surge or not, but Andrea guided me. I pushed with the surges and could feel the baby moving down. Sometimes though, I couldn't feel when the surges ended. Andrea thought it might be because I was in the warm water. Well, we pushed, and at times it was purple pushing, but I was determined. I remember feeling her move down and then back up when the surges and I stopped. Then we saw her head (and so much hair she had). By the next surge she had crowned and two surges later at 9:13 am she came flying out (well, really it was swimming out and now my mom calls her the little mermaid, ha!).
It was pretty amazing to have felt her moving down the birth path. I had imagined the same little picture in my mind when you were talking about it in class of her wiggling her little feet to push her way down and her head slowing nudging itself out. Anyway... what an amazing feeling of RELIEF when she was out. My moms floated her, under water over to me and as soon as she was in reach of the midwife, she brought her out of the water; she took her first breather and then was placed in my arms on my chest. I was soooo happy to see her after all this time. She was vigorous, yet calm. I heard your voice in my head "calm babies come from calm births". She pinked up real quick (the midwives gave her a "10 at one minute", still not too clear on what that means exactly, except that Avery came out quite the healthy baby).
What a happy moment, meeting our baby for the first time. Adam had been taking pictures and he came over to the edge of the jacuzzi to meet her too. I was so proud of him for not fainting during the birth. We hugged and loved on her there in the jacuzzi. Andrea helped Avery to get out a good cry, but other than that she was wide eyed, alert, happy and calm. Then, another surge! And I thought “WHAT!?!” Oh yeah, the placenta. I delivered it, yeah, kinda proud of that one (Andrea gave me some guidance of course, but after a couple surges, that was that.) Now it was time to go back into the house. Baby and placenta (in bowl) went with grandma Susie and Adam, Debra and my mom helped me walk into the house. Baby was placed on my chest and the midwives took care of everything. I had some tearing and Andrea stitched me up while I held baby on my chest. Adam couldn't handle that kind of scene, so while that was going on, he drained the jacuzzi (it is his FAVORITE place after all. Actually it is a Walton favorite place. His whole family are jacuzzi fiends, so it is very appropriate that our little Walton was born in one).
Of course baby was naked and pooped EVERYWHERE about 2 or 3 times. Blessing angels they are, my moms cleaned us up after each unloading. Andrea helped us with our first breastfeeding. That was new and cool. Then after the house had been cleaned up a little more and things had calmed down, Adam came back and held the baby, bare-chested for that oh so good skin to skin contact. Avery loves his voice. She hung out with him until we were ready to weigh and measure her. So although she weighed in at 8lbs 14oz and 22 inches long, we decided to call her a 9lb baby at birth because of all that poop she had unleashed. We put on her first outfit and grandmas held her; we took pictures and reveled in the morning events. I cried from time to time just thinking about what had just happened and how GRATEFUL I was for life, my family and my new little love, Miss Avery Rose. Like I said, the more I think back to it, the more appreciative I am of the entire experience. It was really quite amazing and I wouldn't have done it any other way. What a blessing!
I am so thankful that I listened to my heart and birthed at home with midwives. Although I have never stepped foot in a maternity center of a hospital, I imagine that in comparison, my birth experience was able to be more aligned with the natural connection of life and family, in a BEAUTIFUL, comfortable setting, un-rushed, unscheduled and free of unnecessary stress or "convenient" medical intervention.
Thanks so much again to you and all the people who share the passion for helping moms and dads bring their babies into the world. Those little bundles of joy are such blessings and deserve the very best.
Tracy Walton aka: Mommy
Congratulations to you & Adam! Thank you so much for sharing your birth story! I'm thrilled that you had such an amazing experience! Continue to enjoy your babymoon!
To learn more about HypnoBirthing classes in San Diego, please visit Carol Yeh-Garner's website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are outside the San Diego area, please visit www.HypnoBirthing.com.
If you are considering a homebirth and live in San Diego learn more about hiring Andrea Meyer to be your midwife by visiting www.andreasmidwiferysandiego.com.