Danielle took my classes in the fall of 2012 in Encinitas, CA (North County San Diego) to prepare for her second birth. She came by herself for most of the class series because of her husband's work schedule and so he could stay home with their little one.
Hi Carol. My son was born six weeks ago on January 11. Here's my birth story. My doula, Rosie Peterson, said I was the most textbook-perfect case of hypnobirthing she'd ever seen. I think you deserve to share in the credit for that. :)
I took Carol's Hypnobirthing class because I wasn't totally pleased with the experience I'd had with my first son. It wasn't necessarily a bad experience, but I didn't like the epidural. I was also disappointed with some parts of my situation at the hospital. With my first son, I pushed for three hours and was told by the doctor that if he wasn't born within three hours of pushing, she would have to take him by c-section. My water had also broken before I went into labor, so I was under time constraints because of that too. I didn't like spending my entire labor at the hospital.
So in search of a different experience the second time, I asked my doula for recommendations for natural birth classes and she recommended Carol's class. I was a bit nervous to attend class because I thought I would be surrounded by hard-core natural birth types. But I was relieved that most other people at the class started out like me--more curious than convinced. And I appreciated that Carol's style was very even-handed and not abrupt or abrasive in any way. By the end of the first or second class, I was sure that natural was the way I wanted to go and that I could do it.
I had been having contractions for a couple of weeks before my due date, which had at times been fairly intense. But I suspected I was in true labor when I woke up at 3:30 the morning after my due date with uncomfortable contractions. I timed them for about an hour, and they were consistently seven minutes apart. I was able to go back to sleep for another hour and a half before I got up to shower and get ready. I told my husband that the baby was coming, and we got our two-year-old ready to head to the park with his grandma (who had luckily flown in the day before).
I called my doula at 9:30 and asked her to come over at 11:00. I was doing ok on my own, but it was definitely nice to have my doula's calming reassurance and to have two people available to fetch me things and be there for me to lean on (literally).
By 1:00 the contractions were about 90 seconds long and were coming back to back. At 1:30 I figured it was time to head to the hospital (Scripps Memorial in La Jolla). When we got checked into the hospital around 2:00, the nurse checked me and said I was fully dilated. So I'd accomplished the first part of my plan, but the second part of my plan--which was to show up at the hospital ready to push out a baby--was not so easy. The nurse said the baby's head was still at -3 station, so I still had a way to go. I guess that's pretty rare for a mom to be fully dilated with the baby not yet descended.
My doula had me lunging and marching to try to get the baby to come down. I was also occasionally having the urge to push. Because I didn't want to spend all day there waiting for the baby to come down, I was pushing on and off pretty much since we got settled in at the hospital. Throughout the whole process, the nurses were all very deferential and mostly left us alone to do our own thing. I was very glad that we got nurses that were happy to oblige us in our birthing wishes. One of the nurses confided in me that she was bending some of the rules for us and was glad she was able to stay until our baby was born so that we didn't get another nurse who wouldn't have been as accommodating. And just as I've heard other people say, all the nurses on the floor wanted to come in and get a peek at the girl who was quietly laboring without any medication. They all seemed pretty impressed.
Probably about three and a half hours after we got settled in at the hospital, I could feel the baby getting closer. I called out that he was coming, and there was a flurry of activity as the nurses called the doctor in and got all the tools and supplies ready. And shortly after, my son Bradley was born. He ended up being quite a big boy, weighing in at 9 lbs 3 oz. The nurses and my doula were all marveling at how big he was, but to me he just looked like a sweet tiny little baby.
All in all, I'm very happy with how things went. At the time, I was not mentally prepared to have to get through four more hours of contractions and pushing after arriving at the hospital, but I know I was only able to handle it because of the hypnobirthing training. I have to admit that the "ring of fire" was way more intense than I anticipated, and I do not look forward to experiencing that again in the future... In the moment, I told my husband that, even though I knew I was about to say something that was typical labor room talk, I never wanted to go through that again. As I expected, I've since reconciled with it and know it was completely worth it. My recovery was much smoother and faster than with my first baby. And my doula mentioned something I hadn't thought of. She said it's likely that if I'd been on an epidural that I would've ended up with a c-section because I wouldn't have been able to get up and move around to get the baby to descend. The doctor might have just said that since I wasn't progressing the baby would need to be taken by c-section. Who knows how things would have turned out, but thank goodness I was able to have the smooth natural birth that I wanted! Thanks so much for your class!
Thank you so much, Danielle, for sharing your story! A lot of moms who have not the greatest, but not the worst 1st birth experiences end up taking HypnoBirthing classes so they can have the birth experience they knew they could have. I'm so glad that you were able to have such a positive experience and that the classes helped you with that.
If you are in the San Diego area and would like to take HypnoBirthing classes for your 1st, 2nd, 3rd or even 4th baby, please come join us! Carol's class info can be found at her website at www.AWellLivedLife.Net or she can be reached at 858-837-1259. If you are outside the San Diego area, you can find a HypnoBirthing class near you by going to www.hypnobirthing.com to the Find a Practitioner section.
If you are interested in hiring Danielle & Max's doula, Rosie Peterson, you can contact her at www.rosiedoula.blogspot.com.