Amanda & Wayne took my HypnoBirthing classes as a refresher class in preparation for the birth of their 2nd baby. They took my Thursday classes at Seaside Women's Health in Encinitas, CA in January of 2011. They had an amazing HypnoBirthing experience with their 1st birth and wanted to make sure they had all of the tools that helped them with their 1st birth.
Here is their story:
This is something that I dreamed of and imagined since the minute I saw the positive pregnancy test, something that I was so excited to do all over again. Not only because I enjoyed Anella's labor and delivery so much but also because after 40 weeks of pregnancy the anticipation of meeting the miracle growing inside of me and finding out if it was a boy or girl is the most life changing experience.
I was approaching my "guess date," and everyday felt fleeting moments of "today could be the day" and then the next moment thinking "I'm never going to have this baby!" Around the 10th of April, I started having daily cramping and contractions, usually in the middle of the night sometimes enough that it would wake me up. Every time I'd wake up with cramping or contractions all I could think of is "Is today the day??!?!?!?!" and the excitement and anticipation would keep me awake for a little while. I'd eventually fall back asleep, wake up in the morning and think, "well today is not the day." For some reason I just knew that for me labor would happen in the middle of the night. Night after night as I climbed in bed I'd wonder if tonight was the night.
The night of April 21, I went to bed thinking that maybe this baby was going to be "late," my due date was April 23, I laughed to myself thinking that I'd make my "40 week" OB appointment after all seeing that it was the afternoon of April 22nd. Little did I know.
After Wayne got home from work I took a bath, as I did almost every night in the last trimester. Got out, put on my pj's and headed downstairs for dinner. As I sat down for dinner I just felt "off," I can't explain it really I just felt like things were happening. I got really hot and just felt different, I mentioned it to Wayne in passing but didn't really put too much thought into it. Wayne made dinner and as we sat down to eat I just didn't feel like eating it, a little nauseated but more than anything just "off." I mentioned to Wayne that maybe we should go to bed earlier than normal. Around 9:30pm we went to bed. I actually slept the best I had in months, I wasn't up every hour on the hour to pee like I had been. Actually I only woke up once, at 1am I rolled over to get up to pee and felt a gush of water. I laid there a second wondering if I had peed myself only to have it happen again. I knew immediately what was going on it was the exact same thing that happened with Anella. I got up and went to the bathroom to pee, checking my pants to make sure that there was no odor and that it was clear. I peed and knew that labor was around the corner. I walked out of the bathroom and woke up Wayne. Now I was quite surprised when he asked "Are you sure?" I actually laughed and said "Yes, I'm sure." I immediately called my parents as they were coming over to watch Anella for us and asked Wayne to call Dr. Biter. After I got off with my parents Wayne still hadn't called, he was still in a sleepy haze. So I called Dr Biter's office.
I decided to take a shower and just enjoy the warm water. We headed downstairs to wait for my parents and I sat on my birthing ball. I was starting to get stronger contractions, nothing regular but I could tell they were doing what they were supposed to be doing. All I could think about was how Thursday April 21st, was my last day of just the three of us, my last day with just Anella and I asked Wayne to go get her so I could give her a kiss before we left. My parents showed up at 1:30am which was perfect timing, they were surprised to see Anella awake and I of course started crying. I just knew that our life would never be the same, her life would never be the same and although I was so excited to meet my miracle at the same time I was just overwhelmed by all that was going on. I told Anella that "mommy was having the baby," and asked for a kiss she gave me a kiss and then gave baby a kiss which she had done a million times during the pregnancy, then she gave Wayne a kiss and we handed her to Grandpa, he took her to bed.
We had a 25 minute drive to Pomerado hospital and knowing how fast my labor with Anella had gone we wanted to get there ASAP. We left at 1:35am. I was so glad that it wasn't rush hour seeing that rush hour could have potentially added an additional 45-60 minutes to our drive. As we got on the freeway I was very surprised to see that it was stopped, the three left hand lanes had been closed down and the freeway was narrowed down to one lane. The traffic was SLOW, I laughed and said to Wayne "who would have thought that we'd get stuck in traffic at 2am!" We decided to take the side streets to avoid getting stuck in the traffic. As we drove, I was able to get myself into a very relaxed state during each contraction and I was noticing by the time we got there I was having them about every 4 minutes.
We checked in, got in our room, I changed into my gown and waited for the nurse. She came in and immediately wanted to hook me up to the monitor, this is something that I remember with disdain from Anella's delivery. This time around, I took it with stride. I laid down and she hooked me up, I was counting down the 20 required minutes. During each contraction, I would go within and be completely relaxed (I would repeat some of the birthing affirmations from Hypnobirthing in my head over and over), after it ended I would be with Wayne and the nurse. We gave her our birth plan which she read and immediately changed some of her wording (not using any reference to pain) and she was really excited to find out that we didn't know the sex of the baby. She said that she only has one or two deliveries a year that they don't know the sex. After the 20 required minutes, the nurse mentioned that she didn't get a "reactive" strip from the baby so she wanted to keep me on the monitor. I agreed to stay on the monitor, she then wanted to do an internal exam. Since I hadn't gotten a cervical check during the last few weeks of pregnancy, I had no idea what I'd been, when she checked me I was 5cm. She then got me some ice water hoping to get the reactive strip that she was looking for, I drank it fast. Still with each contraction I would go to my relaxed state and then chat with the nurse and Wayne after. It took much longer to get the reactive strip than I planned, but I had gotten so comfortable on the bed that when she told me I could get up I realized I didn't want to. I kept telling Wayne how nice it was to have these "breaks" between contractions I never had them with Anella and I was thankful to have them this time.
I spent almost my entire labor in the bed hooked on the monitor, this is NEVER in a million years how I pictured my birth. At one point the nurse came in to check me, I'd had the monitor off and she wanted to check the baby's heart rate before, during and after a contraction. She put the monitor on the heartbeat and waited, after a few minutes she said "Can you tell me when you're having a contraction because I can't tell by looking at you!" This made my day! Wayne had kept telling me how amazing I'd been doing but to have a stranger reiterate it was invigorating. She did another cervical check and I was a 7 cm. She told me she'd go call my Dr and let him know to come in. I had drank a ton of water and gotten up a ton of times to pee and would continue to lay back in the bed and go into my relaxed state during each contraction. I remember thinking to myself, I wish we were taping this for Hypnobirthing class (we do have a short video of me at around 5am, 8cm and just watching it it still amazes me that I was in labor). Dr Cobb showed up a little after 5am, at that point he checked me and I was 8cm, my water was still intact and so Dr Cobb asked if I wanted him to break it. I had always thought if I was in this situation I'd say no but I really wanted to get to the pushing phase so I asked him to go ahead and break my water. I continued going deep within with each contraction. We would talk and with each contraction I would close my eyes and get quiet. Dr Cobb would put his hand on my leg and Wayne would do light touch massage. I got up to pee for what felt like the 100th time, as I was sitting on the toilet I heard Dr Biter walk in. I had two more contractions while sitting on the toilet then came out of the bathroom and gave Dr Biter a hug and said "let's have a baby."
I got back in the bed and went into my relaxed state with each contraction, I started to feel a lot of pressure and asked Dr Cobb to check me again. At this point I was 9cm, I was disappointed because with all the pressure I had really thought that I was fully dilated. I started to lose my focus and it was suggested I get up out of bed to help move things along. As I went to get up things intensified even more. I slow danced with Wayne and all of a sudden got so hot, I couldn't cool myself down. Dr Biter brought me ice cold wash cloths which helped but I was still so hot I had to pull off my gown. The intensity was starting to overwhelm me. Dr Biter took a sheet and wrapped it under my belly with each contraction he'd pull back on it to help lift baby. I got to a point where I could barely stand and I wasn't getting a break between contractions. I mentioned that I had even more pressure so Dr Biter suggested I let Dr Cobb check me again. Just the thought was overwhelming so I had to lay back down on the bed. I got back in bed and lost all control I'd had, with each contraction I was taken over by the sensations and pressure from the baby. When Dr Cobb checked, I was fully dilated but I had a small cervical lip on the right, so they asked me to lay on my right side. I rolled over and tried to gain control again. With each contraction I would moan, I remember hearing myself thinking "is that coming from me?" I got to a point where I had no control and my body started pushing for me. I said "I have to push". Dr Cobb & Dr Biter said to let my body do what it needs. We had a mirror set up so I could see the pushing phase (something I had regretted not having with Anella). I started the pushing phase which with Anella had given me a feeling of relief, I was so looking forward to this phase. Well, as each labor is different, I did not get the relief feeling this time around. I remember looking in the mirror with each push thinking that the baby was never going to come. I finally found the right "push" Dr Cobb & Biter told me when I hit the perfect push and I was able to continue to recreate it knowing that it would bring me my baby. I looked in the mirror and saw the baby's head and that was all the motivation I needed. I pushed with everything I had and the head was out. Dr Cobb had to remove a cord wrap from around the baby's neck and then I was able to push again. The shoulders came out and Dr Biter told me to reach down and grab my baby, I grabbed under the arms (thinking to myself WOW this baby is slippery) and brought my baby to my chest. Dr Biter asked Wayne if it was a boy or girl and I looked in the mirror and saw testicles. It didn't matter though I KNEW the entire pregnancy our baby was a BOY! I laid there in complete awe of the last 40 weeks and the miracle laying on my chest. I immediately started breastfeeding. Orion latched within the first 10 minutes after birth.
Orion was born at 7:13am, born 6 hours after my water broke at home. Almost an identical story to Anella's birth. Both born the day before their due date, both having some of my water break at home which sent me into labor, Anella's water broke at Midnight and was born at 6:01 am, Orion's water broke at 1am, born at 7:13am. The similarities are crazy.
The nurse asked me if she could administer Pitocin for the placenta. Dr Cobb, said "no she doesn't need it." The nurse said "Let me ask the patient." She asked me and I said "No, I'd rather not." The placenta came out shortly thereafter, which we asked to have kept as I planned to encapsulate it. I had a small tear so Dr Cobb sewed me up. We waited for the cord to stop pulsating before Wayne cut it.
I laid there with Orion on my chest skin to skin (he was never even cleaned off or rubbed down) for over an hour. He would nurse and then take a break and I would just relish in him on my chest. We asked the nurse to come in so we could weigh him, I was so excited to see how much he weighed. She put him on the scale, it came up with grams which means nothing to me she changes it to pounds and I see 8lbs 14oz! HOLY MOLY!!!! The nurse told me that when she saw me pushing and she saw his head she didn't think I'd be able to do it. I thought to myself "How else was he going to come out at that point?"
The transition from one to two babies has been so easy, both Wayne and I feel like Orion has always been here.
Congratulations to Amanda & Wayne! Thanks so much for sharing your birth story! I hope you're enjoying being a family of four!
If you'd like more information about Carol Yeh-Garner's HypnoBirthing classes in North County San Diego, CA, please visit her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net. If you are outside of San Diego, CA, please visit www.hypnobirthing.com to find a practitioner near you.
If you'd like more information about Dr. Biter & Dr. Cobb's OB/GYN practice, Seaside Women's Health, in Encinitas (North County San Diego), CA, please call 760-642-0800.