Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Pam & Steve's HypnoBirthing Story

Pam & Steve took Carol's HypnoBirthing classes in Encinitas on Tuesday nights in May 2012. Here is their birth story:

I just wanted to share my birth story with you. It didn't turn out exactly how I envisioned, but I was completely amazed by the strength I had to get through what I did.
I started having surges at 10am on the 25th. As they got closer and closer I called my doula, Leigh Fenly. She came over at about 2pm. Once the surges were about 4-5 minutes apart we went to the hospital (around 5pm).

We arrived and got checked in and they put the baby on the monitor. The baby looked great. The next several hours felt like 20 minutes. The surges were certainly intense but I was getting through them. We went for walks and I sat in the shower. The shower was amazing!!! I think I would have benefited greatly from a bathtub but it was great. I finally let the nurse check me around 10pm. I was the same dilation as when my previous day doctor appt. and my water hadn't broken. I decided to give it 2 hours and check again. At 12 pm, it was the same so I let the doctor break my water to get things going. After that things happened verrrry quickly. I sat in the shower and was screaming out during the surges. It was extremely intense but Leigh helped me relax and I was so proud of myself for my strength. I never even thought about wanting an epidural. Then I started throwing up violently in the shower. Even though it was a little scary and very uncomfortable, I remember you saying that when that happens it means it's almost coming to an end. And it was. It was time to monitor the baby again. Baby's heartrate was perfect. And then I got the urge to push. It was about 2am at this point. I was so happy that I was drug free because I tried all sorts of positions. I was doing squats, up on all fours, back (sitting up) and side. It felt so good to push. For the first two hours... I started to get tired but I was still going very strong. After 2.5 hours the baby had not moved at all :( His head was seriously not moving past my pelvic bone (nobody told me this - they kept saying I was making progress to keep me going). The doctor came in and checked me and said she understood that I wanted to have a natural birth and she did not generally let people push more than 3 hours but that she'd work with me if I started making progress. But that she was extremely uncomfortable using the vacuum which it seemed like may need to happen. The top of the head was going into a cone shape like it was supposed to but the rest of it just wasn't making it's way through. I asked her if I could have 30 more minutes and she said that was fine. After about 20 minutes, I was beyond uncomfortable. I asked Leigh for her opinion and she said let's push as hard as we can. But after a little while I asked her what she really thought. She told me that she has seen this before and that I shouldn't feel bad about needing a c-section. She said I have done everything that I could. And she was watching the whole time and didn't see more than the very tip of that baby's head.

As soon as I made the decision to get the c-section everything happened extremely quickly. They got me in the operating room, gave me the spinal, and had the baby out in about 4 minutes. I was so excited to see my son!! I was sad that he couldn't come right on to my chest but I couldn't think about it at that point. I knew I had done my best. He was born at 6:25 am. I had been actively pushing since about 3am. Everyone in the operating room was shocked that I was not on drugs! And I never ever felt pressured to do anything that I wasn't comfortable with.
So in the end it was not the birth that I had planned but I'm trying to look on the bright side. I was able to stay in the hospital for almost 5 days. I took full advantage of the staff. I had the Lactation Consultant in the room everyday giving me breastfeeding tips and watching the latch (we are doing GREAT with breastfeeding!!). I sent Steve with the nurses any time they did anything from swaddling to bathing so he could learn the techniques. We were waited on hand and foot and I was well taken care of. Scripps La Jolla is wonderful.

I was definitely bummed that I went through the whole process flawlessly only to stop at the end. But I've come to terms with it. I was scared at first because when he came out his head was super cone shaped (which I expected) but on the back of his head was a huge dark purple black bruise from banging against my pubic bone. But he's perfect! He only spit up once his first day and nothing after that. Good for a c-section baby! His name is Steven Raymond H., III. As a nickname for the 3rd generation we call him Trey. He was 8 lbs11oz and 21 inches. And he has a huge head!  

So there it is. I will absolutely do hypnobirthing again for the next baby! My child had a perfect heart rate the whole entire 16+ hours that I was in labor. Drugs didn't enter my body until about 4 minutes before he came out (so I am hoping he didn't get as much as if I had been on an epidural the entire time?) He is such a calm baby!! Only cries when he's hungry and is just so relaxed. We're so lucky.

Thanks again for being an amazing instructor. We'll see you again for a refresher course in a couple years :)---Pam

Thanks, Pam, for sharing your story with me! I'm glad that even though things went very differently than planned, that you felt that the classes were still helpful for you. My ultimate goal for teaching HypnoBirthing is to inform & educate my couples so that whatever choices they need to make are ones that they know are right for them in the moment. I hope you're recovering well & enjoying your little baby!

If you're interested in learning more about Pam's doula, Leigh Fenly, please visit

If you're interested in taking Carol's HypnoBirthing classes, please visit www.AWellLivedLife.Net for more information. If Carol's schedule doesn't work with yours, she would be happy to refer you to one of the many practitioners in San Diego. If you're outside of San Diego, please visit for a list of practitioners in your area.

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