Monday, August 31, 2009

Amanda & Wayne's HypnoBirthing story

Amanda & Wayne took my HypnoBirthing classes at the end of May 2009. Here is their birth story. Both Amanda & Wayne wrote about their personal experiences. You'll see that Amanda & Wayne had doubts during their labor, but were able to use each other to get Amanda back into the relaxed state of mind & body that she needed to be in. They were really confident in their ability to have the birth they wanted & with their OB, Dr. Biter (Dr. Wonderful) at Seaside Women's Health.

It's a long read, but definitely worth it! Thanks to Amanda & Wayne for being so honest with their story. As I've said in class before...visualize exactly what you want to happen during your labor AND be confident that if things happen differently, that you still have the tools to get you to where you need to be--relaxed in both mind & body. Amanda's description of her labor including her doubts is something I think is pretty common. Her ability to get herself back into a state of relaxation instead of staying in a panicked mode was key to her being able to have the birth she wanted.hy

Wayne and I wanted to share our amazing birth story with you, so here it is!

Mommy's side of the story:

I'll begin at the beginning. We went to our 38 week appointment on August 7th and I asked Dr Biter to check my dilation as I had been feeling some shooting pains in my cervix area. He checked and let me know that I was 2-3cm dilated and almost completely effaced. I must admit although I knew labor could still be weeks the excitement built immediately. I lost my mucus plug on Saturday the 8th and yet again I just knew it could be any day.

The night of August 10th, I went to bed at 10pm and started feeling light surges, immediately figured "this was it!" I laid in bed aware of each surge. At about Midnight, I woke Wayne up to get him to time the surges, they were between 7-5 minutes apart and lasting 20seconds-1minute. We were up all night and decided we wanted to wait until Dr. Biter's office opened to get checked there rather than go straight to the hospital. When we arrived, the cervical check showed that I was 3.5cm dilated and the baby's head was low "very low." At this point we figure labor is imminent. At our next weekly appointment on August 14th, I didn't have a cervical check but I did mention that I had been having a light leaking and found my underwear to be wet on a constant basis. Dr Capetanakis let me know that there was a chance that I had a pinhole leak in my water bag and that it would continue to leak. Yet again the excitement and anticipation was overwhelming. I just couldn't wait to meet my baby.

Sunday August 16th I woke up at 2am to my bloody show. It was much more blood than I had anticipated and we immediately called Dr Biter's office. Dr Capetanakis called us back and let us know that I would most likely go into labor in the next 24 hours so try to get some rest and call back when my surges were 5-1-1. I attempted to go back to sleep but was too excited. I turned on my HypnoBirthing relaxation CD and was asleep within 30 minutes. When I awoke at 8am, I figured that once I got up and moving around the surges would start. No such luck, at 10am, I called Dr. Biter's office again and Dr Capetanakis had me come into the office to check my cervix. Wayne & I had a wedding to attend at 1pm, Wayne was a Groomsman so it was important to know if we should go to the wedding or not.

When we got to the office Dr Capetanakis immediately did an ultrasound and everything looked great. There was still enough amniotic fluid and baby's heartbeat was perfect. He proceeded to check my cervix and let me know that I was 3-3.5cm and more effaced. He told us to go ahead and go to the wedding I'd most likely go into labor that evening or in the next day. So we went and danced the night away. At the wedding, I had some surges but nothing that made think that I was in active labor. I was hoping we'd get home from the wedding and once I got in bed things would kick into gear. No such luck.

On Wednesday August 19th, I woke up and when I stood up I had a gush and assumed this was my water breaking. Yet again we were on our way back to Dr Biter's office to get checked since again surges hadn't started. Dr Capetanakis checked my cervix again only to be told it was the same as Sunday. We left the office disappointed and discouraged again.

That night we went to bed at 10:30pm. I awoke at 12:15am for one of my first of many bathroom trips. Once I lied down back in the bed, I immediately had a big gush and felt a slight pop and woke Wayne up and told him my water broke. I was able to make it to the shower to have the rest pour out of me. Wayne called Dr Biter's office and Dr Capetanakis called back and said "Try to get some rest, call us back when our surges were 5-1-1 or if we were going to head to the hospital."

I did my very best to get back to sleep but immediately the surges kicked in and honestly the anticipation and excitement was consuming and I was just so excited to finally meet my baby. Wayne was able to go back to sleep, I woke him up at about 1:25am. I had been timing my surges and I was ready for him to take over the timing. We got up and both got in the shower to labor some. I made Wayne shave my legs and we both just did our best to relax and prepare for what was in store. We were in the shower for about 1/2 an hour, and I found that the surges I had while in the shower were more manageable. As I got out of the shower and started to get dressed the intensity in my surges picked up and as each one approached I would stop and get myself completely relaxed. After we got dressed we headed down the stairs, our birth plan had us doing the majority of our laboring at home seeing that we are less than 5 minutes from Scripps Encinitas Hospital.

I got downstairs and was having Wayne time the surges at one point I asked him if there was any pattern and he said "not really, they're between 4-2 minutes apart, lasting between 30seconds-2 minutes." I am not sure what made me say this but I told him I thought we needed to go to the hospital. I really struggled with this decision because it was completely opposite of our birth plan and I didn't want to do the majority of my laboring at the hospital, but something just made me need to go.
We arrived at the hospital at 3am. They took us back to our room, I got in my gown, they attached the baby monitor and the nurse checked me. She told me I was 3.5cm and 90% effaced. I felt defeated. I didn't say anything to Wayne and he didn't say anything to me but later we both spoke about it and we were both really disappointed we both pictured spending hours at the hospital.

While lying in the bed on the monitor I must admit I felt completely out of control. I felt as though the surges were in control of me and I had no power over them. I was so frustrated by this because this is not how envisioned my labor. I had visions of being in control the entire time. I was able to breath through my surges and I kept repeating the following affirmation in my head, "My body and my baby know how to work together in complete harmony." I didn't realize at the time but Wayne was video taping this part of my labor, and looking at the video I look as though I'm in full control and am working through the surges efficiently. Seeing it from that perspective gave me a different point of view and made me realize that the out of control feeling was something that stemmed from this not being in my 'vision' of my "perfect labor."

After monitoring the nurse let me know she spoke to Dr Biter and he wanted me to walk around to progress labor. It's now 4am and I get up out of the bed. I asked for a birthing ball and I sat on it against the bed for all of 2 seconds. It wasn't the best position for me, which I found quite interesting because when I pictured laboring I pictured using the birthing ball. Then I was slow dancing leaning against the end of the bed, as I was doing this I felt another gush and it felt like yet again my water broke. I asked the nurse if my water could have broken again and she said that there's a chance earlier that it only 1/2 broke or I had a fore bag and that is what broke earlier.

I told Wayne that I wanted to get in the shower. He changed into his trunks and we slow danced in the shower. While in the shower, my surges continued to intensify. I had moments where I was unable to find my focus, Wayne would put his face to mine and do the slow breathing techniques we learned from HypnoBirthing and he would immediately bring back my focus. A few times in the shower, I questioned my goal and was starting to lose hope that I would have a natural unmedicated delivery. I had started to get quite panicked and disappointed in myself. All my life I had imagined my labor and delivery without medications. I never understood why people would need drugs for the most natural experience on earth. I felt as if I was failing, as if I wasn't good enough. I of course kept this all to myself, at one point I said to Wayne "I just don't think I can do this," he pulled me close and told me what a great job I was doing and that I could do it.

At about 4:30am I got out of the shower and was just trying to find a position where I could not only be comfortable but relax and I was finding it very difficult. I had been drinking water all night and decided to sit down to see if I could empty my bladder. As I sat on the toilet, I leaned back against the wall and found the perfect position. I was finally able to bring myself into complete relaxation for close to 5 minutes even during all the surges I was having, I was so relaxed I don't even remember how many surges I had. I do know that at this point in my labor my surges were very close together and I had very little time between them. Then all of a sudden I had a surge that made me need Wayne's assistance as sitting was not comfortable, I stood up and we yet again slow danced, him holding the majority of my weight.

During this surge I yet again questioned my ability to do this unmedicated. I couldn't help but think how good it would feel to just get rid of all the pain, the thought brought me to tears. I so badly wanted to experience every sensation of birth and delivery. I was so angry at myself for even considering it. Once that surge passed I found myself in need of squatting through the next few surges, during one of these I said to Wayne with panic in my voice "I can't do this, I really don't think I can do this." He told me yet again what a great job I was doing and kissed my forehead. With just these simple words and kiss on my forehead he had given me more strength to get through the next few surges. I decided I didn't have to make any decisions one way or another at this point I would let things happen naturally. I decided to sit back down on the toilet. As I was sitting there I noticed I had A LOT of pressure. I mentioned to Wayne that there was a lot of pressure. He immediately pulled the emergency cord next to the toilet and the nurse was there within seconds. I told her I was having a lot of pressure and she asked me to get back on the bed so she could check me.

I lay back down on the bed (the last place in the world I wanted to be) and as I laid down Wayne said "There's blood". I immediately got a little excited by his announcement, but nothing prepared me for what the nurse said next, she checked my cervix and said "We're going to have a baby." The words whirled around my head, how could we be ready to have a baby it had only been 1 1/2 hours since I got there and I started at 3.5cm, how is it I'm already 10?????
I hear her call out over their intercom system that she needed immediate assistance in my labor room, to page Dr Biter immediately and to let the Dr on call know that he may have a delivery. I said "I'm waiting for Dr. Biter." I laid in the bed feeling like I was in a dream, how was it that I had only been at the hospital for 1 1/2 hours and now I'm about to deliver my baby? The nurse let me know to breath through the pressure, and Wayne was standing at my side giving me light touch massage and helping me with my breathing. At this point, all of the pain I had been feeling was completely gone. The only feeling I had was pressure, intense pressure, but there was no pain. I kept breathing through the pressure and just knowing that my baby would be in my arms within the hour was enough to get me through.

Within minutes Dr Biter was walking through the door, I have never been so happy to hear his voice in my entire life. He sat down at the end of the bed and said "That was fast, are you ready to have your baby?" I said "YES!"

Dr Biter had me do different methods of pushing. We started on my back, then we moved to my left side, my right side, he had a nurse hold one end of a towel and I held the other. Dr Biter used perineal massage to help during delivery, I must say that pushing is nothing what I expected. I had no pain, no burning. When my baby's head started to crown, Dr Biter asked me to reach down and feel the head, all I could feel was a full head of hair. After 45 minutes of pushing my baby was ready to be born, Dr Biter asked Wayne & I to reach down, and the three of us delivered our baby onto my chest. I had never in my life felt so accomplished and so much love. I asked Wayne if it was a boy or girl? He looked down, and said "It's a baby GIRL!" We both immediately started crying.

My water broke at 12:20am and at 6:01am I had delivered my beautiful daughter 8lbs 4.7 oz, 20 1/4 inches of perfection. I NEVER expected my labor to progress so perfectly.
After allowing her cord to stop pulsing, Wayne cut the cord and the nurses took Anella to be weighed. As they were weighing her, I asked the nurse if I could get up to go to the bathroom, she paused and said "did you have an epidural?," I said "no" and she said "Yes, we can walk to the bathroom if you feel up to it," I said "Of course I do, I feel great." She walked with me to the bathroom and spent the entire time commenting on what an amazing labor this was for her to see and how impressed she was by not only the speed of it, but my control and ability to labor and deliver without a single drug or intervention. I felt accomplished, successful, empowered and more than anything that I had the PERFECT labor for me

Wayne and I spoke about my labor many times since that day and we both agree that without HypnoBirthing there is NO WAY that our labor would have gone so smoothly. He was so much more comfortable having learned not only the breathing techniques, but the signs that things were happening. Had we not taken HypnoBirthing, I can say that there would have been a very good chance that I either delivered at home, in the ambulance or on the toilet at the hospital. HypnoBirthing gave both of us the confidence that my body knew exactly what it was doing and that we needed to trust the signs it was giving us.

I cannot thank you enough for giving us the tools we needed to have our dream labor and delivery. Anella Paige was born into a calm, relaxed and loved atmosphere.

Daddy's side of the story:

Carol, let me begin by thanking you so much for your wonderful teachings and support. As Amanda wrote, I can truly say that without HypnoBirthing, there is no way our labor would have happened as it did.

The most important things I took from your classes were knowing how to trust Amanda's body and instincts, the ability to help Amanda focus on breathing, and knowing the signs of progression. This last point is one I thank you for...knowing when to call the nurse prevented us from having a baby in the bathroom.

We had quite a few false impressions of when the labor was starting. Over the course of two weeks, Amanda and I were going through ups and downs of thinking we were ready and finding out we weren't. It is hard to know what is real when you've never had the sensations before. Needless to say, when Amanda's water broke at midnight, I was not very hopeful as we had been through this before. She had me call the doctor's and Dr. Capetanakis called and said to call back when we were ready to go to the hospital. I fell asleep and Amanda woke me later to time the surges. I had a cool app on my phone that you had talked about that timed these surges and showed a cool little graph. Well, this for us was useless. Amanda's surges were not consistent and I had no idea if she was 5-1-1 or 2-1-1 or what. After a shower, we were downstairs in the kitchen. I started cleaning up the dishes, started the dishwasher and took the trash out. Then Amanda said we needed to leave. I immediately trusted her to know her own body even though our surges were not yet 5-1-1. Amanda has always been very in tune with her body and baby this pregnancy so I trusted her.

I filmed her laboring in the garage and was in shock that this was my life. We got in the car and started to the hospital with little fan speeding or going through red lights like in the movies. We were almost to the hospital when I remembered we were supposed to have called. Oh well. We arrived at Scripps Encinitas and at 3 am had great parking close to the entrance. I picked up the phone and were were let into the birthing pavilion. I have to say here that we were expecting to have our baby at Dr. Biter's new birth center, but throughout our experience at the hospital we both agree that it is an amazing place. The staff are awesome!

During the next two hours Amanda was laboring. I had the cheat sheet you gave me but honestly it made no sense to me. I just followed my own way and gave Amanda light touch and whatever she needed. After the monitoring, I could see she was overwhelmed by her surges and offered her what I could. She was so into her body that she could not answer my questions and I had no idea if I was helping or making it worse. When she had good surges, I reminded her to focus on her breathing. When we were in the bathroom, she was getting panicked and I got close to her face and breathed loudly, this caused her to follow my breathing. I believe this was your suggestion Carol? After a while she said she had a lot of pressure. I remember from your birth story that pressure was a sign of imminent birth, so I pulled the emergency cord. The nurse was there soon and after checking she said the crazy words...."we're having a baby!" WAIT! WHERE'S DR. BITER????

Our love for our OB is strong as he has seen us through a miscarriage and has been such a great friend during the pregnancy (as has Dr. Cap). We could not envision having birth without him. Luckily he showed soon and got right to business. He told Amanda to start pushing, and even though purple pushing was against what we had learned, it was what was working for Amanda. Again, trust your body and know that whatever works for you is right.

I had Amanda's left leg and she pushed against me and after some time I could see some hair. Our baby was coming. She still pushed and the baby was crowning. I remember thinking how small the baby's head was (the size of a tangerine). Then she pushed more and the head came out (wow, a lot bigger!) My baby had a full head of dark hair...where did that come from? After some more pushes, Dr. Biter asked Amanda to take her baby.

Through out all of this I had no idea if I was of any use. I tried my best to help. After it was done, Amanda told me that I helped a lot. That my words and actions helped her deliver naturally.

Carol, you have been a great help. I'm sure anybody can teach a HypnoBirthing class, but your teachings go beyond this. Your ability to share your experience was a huge help and your kind words through email and Facebook are so nice. Thank you so much for helping us have a beautiful birth.

Friday, August 21, 2009

A HypnoBirthing VBAC story

Janine & Victor came to class at the very last minute of their pregnancy after Dr. Capetanakis recommended my classes to them. Their "due date" was July 26 & they joined my class series that started July 9th! They attended 3 classes before Janine went into labor. (We worked things out so they could get access to all of the materials & hypnosis sessions before they went into labor.) Here is their birth story:

Hi Carol!

We did, unfortunately, end up with a c-section. I was in labor for about twelve hours and our contractions were coming every two - four minutes so we decided to go to the hospital. When we got there they checked me and I was only dilated to two centimeters. I was in such severe pain - I knew I couldn't go another eight centimeters without medication, and Dr. Capetanakis (Dr. Cap) suggested that we either get the epidural, which he didn't think was the right thing to do since I was only two centimeters, or get a c-section. So we opted for the c-section. Once we got in the OR and Dr. Cap began the procedure, he saw that my uterus had ruptured so it's a good thing we opted for the c-section. I was definitely disappointed about making the decision to do the c-section but once I found out that my uterus had ruptured, I was just thankful that we decided to go that route and that the baby and I were all healthy in the end! So that's the story in a nutshell!

Despite the way our situation turned out, the HypnoBirthing class was worth every penny to me. Aside from teaching me how to get through the surges, the classes were great because they provided an opportunity for my husband and I to communicate about the birth of our baby. We never would have had many of the conversations that we had if we had not taken the class. I'm truly grateful that we took the class, so thank you for all of your help and guidance!

Born 08.02.2009
12:54 am
8 lbs 8 oz
20.5 inches


Congratulations on your birth. I'm sorry your birth didn't end up being the natural birth you had hoped for, but am glad that you still got benefits out of taking my HypnoBirthing classes. Thanks for allowing me to share your story.

All my best--Carol


Wednesday, August 12, 2009

No such thing as "failing" at HypnoBirthing

I have spoken to a few doulas who attended some of my former class members' births as well as some moms after their births & I am hearing that some moms feel like they didn't "do it right" or somehow "failed at HypnoBirthing" because they had to make noise during their births.

PLEASE Moms!!!! Remember that I said that it is totally OKAY to make noise during your birth! You may have the ideal birth experience in your head where you are calm & silent, but sometimes you NEED to make noise & that's okay!

If you are noisy during sex, chances are you are going to be noisy during birth.
Sometimes, even when you're not noisy during sex, you'll need to make noise during birth because the power of the sensations. Not necessarily from discomfort or pain but just because there is a lot going on in your body & sometimes you just need to make some noise to help release it & help yourself relax.

My other point is that pain-free doesn't mean that you won't feel will still feel some sort of sensation to some degree. Some moms feel little to no sensation & some moms feel more sensation to the point of feeling uncomfortable but not painful. Both are again, totally okay!
So, know that you will feel something during your birth & that you may need to make some noise. The videos we watched during class don't show the moms making much noise at all, but that doesn't mean it's not part of the norm of natural birth or HypnoBirthing.

PLEASE remember this! There is no "fail" when it comes to HypnoBirthing...whether you made more noise than you thought you would, you felt more sensation/discomfort than you thought you would, that you needed medication like an epidural or that you needed a c-section. You still had a HypnoBirth because you used the techniques to the best of your ability. Sometimes births take a different route than you plan. That doesn't mean you failed, it just means your birth went differently than you planned. You probably were able to stay much calmer than you would have without having your HypnoBirthing techniques, which means you got farther in your labor without medications than you would have with HypnoBirthing classes.

Know that you did the best you could & sometimes your baby & your birth still takes a different route and that you should be proud of the fact that you went into your birth as an informed, educated, empowered parent. You made educated decisions along the way due to the information you learned in your classes. That's an important thing to remember.

I hope that any of you who may think that you failed in someway are able to reframe your thinking & see that you still were able to have a wonderful HypnoBirth no matter how it turned out. It's totally normal to be sad or disappointed that your birth didn't turn out exactly like you envisioned. I don't want to discount anyone's valid feelings about their birth experience.

I really work to stress in my classes that you do need to visualize your birth exactly as you want it as much as possible to give your body & brain the picture of what it needs to do for your birth. AND I also stress that you need to be flexible with the fact that things may go a little (or a lot) astray but that you still have the tools to do the most important things--relax your mind & body, stay calm, & make educated decisions.

For those moms-to-be, please remember all of this so when & if during your birth, you are thinking that you're not having the birth you planned or that you're somehow failing, you can remember this & get your thinking back to where it needs to be focused--your breathing, relaxation & visualization techniques.

All my best--Carol


Sunday, August 9, 2009

A 2nd time HypnoBirthing story

Mareike & Tony were one of my first HypnoBirthing couples. She was a midwife in Europe & had delivered over 200 births. She believed in the body's natural ability to birth a baby, so when it came time for her 1st birth experience, she chose HypnoBirthing classes to help. Here is a description of her 2nd birth experience & below it is her 1st birth story. Enjoy...

Hi Carol, I did it again!!! And this time it really, really worked! We didn't do a class because the next Hypnobirth practitioner is over one hour away from us, and nobody knows about it here. It is very, very medical here and all the women have epidurals or other pain relief. But let me tell you the story: My membranes released on Sunday morning at 8.20 o'clock, just after I got up. I had a shower and we had breakfast together and made our way to the hospital at 10.00 o'clock (Tony was very nervous and wanted to go, even without surges). In the hospital I had a short monitoring and we settled in and started relaxation. Tony massaged my belly with Cinnamon oil to start the surges. At about 11.30 I had the first very mild surges, about every 10 minutes. Our doula from the hospital arrived at about 13.00 o'clock, together with our midwife.

The midwife wanted to examine me because I hadn't been examined before. I declined and told her that I don't think that I am in labour, surges were mild to medium about 1:6 minutes. I was relaxed walking around or on the ball. So my midwife left again.

At about 13.30 the surges got little stronger and I got onto the bed to go into deep relaxation, Tony massaged my feet to keep them warm. I was totally relaxed, no noise at all. At 14.00 o'clock I got two strong surges and told Tony to call the nurse so that she can examine me now to see if I am in labour. She came in, I had another strong surge and she examined me: 8-9cm! I thought she was kidding...the next surge I had (I was still lying on the side) pushed and I had to breathe through with a loud ahhhh- and I felt the head coming... two more surges and I breathed our little baby boy into this world! No screaming this time!!

The doctor and the midwife couldn't make it on time, so I had the two nurses in the room and a new young female doctor in training who got coached by one of the nurses and it was her first delivery! They couldn't believe what had happened and the nurses said that it was the best birth they have ever seen. So I did my job and told everybody about Hypnobirthing! Even Tony is so amazed and proud!

Mateo Ludwig is 7.1 pounds and 19 inches long, so a little smaller than Luis, but he looks just like him! It was an amazing birth, so relaxed, so perfect ! I will sent you a picture in the next days. I am so glad I did your course two years ago, Carol!

Here is her birth story from her 1st HypnoBirth:

Hi everyone-Mareike wanted to share her son's birth story with you all. She had an amazing birth that I was lucky enough to be able to attend over the summer. She was a midwife in England & Germany & had delivered/received over 200 births...some natural & some not. Here is her story...
Luis' Birth
My membranes released in the evening on 10th of August, five days after my due date. Because of my positive B-Strep we made our way to the hospital. In the hospital, we were seated in a waiting room for the next one and a half hours. They were so busy that there was no room for us. Tony and I used the time to make the last belly pictures and called Carol. I haven't had any surges at that time and was thinking in my midwife way, so I told Carol that there is no need for her to come already and that my surges might not start before the morning. But Carol replied with "Mareike, that's the wrong way of thinking! Of course your surges will start now and you will have a quick and easy labor!" I laughed at her...but told her to call as soon as my surges will start.

We finally got into our room and I received the first dose of antibiotics for Group B Strep and was put on the heartbeat monitor for the time. At midnight, after the antibiotics had finished, I had a sandwich to eat and Tony and I went outside for a walk. At one o'clock we came back to the room and my surges started - Carol was right. So Tony called her to come. My surges went rapidly from 1 to 100 and at the time Carol arrived half an hour later they came every 2-3 minutes and Tony was reading the Rainbow Relaxation script to me. I had difficulties to get into full relaxation and remember saying to Tony, "How did this get so strong so quickly?!" I couldn't stay on the bed, too. It was too uncomfortable. Carol continued reading the script but I jumped up from the bed again to use the toilet.

That's where I stayed for the next twenty minutes, leaning against Tony and Carol doing light touch massage on my back. My eyes were closed and I relaxed as good as I could. Carol also showed me a picture of an opening flower and I imagined my soft cervix to open with every surge. The Relaxation CD played in the background. The surges got so powerful that I felt them as a lot of pressure already. I had to grunt- my body got overwhelmed. I felt in a state of deep relaxation between my surges, unable to open my eyes or to talk.

Tony called the nurse for me to be examined. She came, listened to Luis heartbeat for a few minutes and examined me. I was six centimeters dilated! That was at about 02:30 o'clock. The nurse went out of the room, still busy, and I tried to stay on the bed for a few minutes but soon got to my favorite place -the toilet again. The pressure got stronger and I tried to use the warm water of the shower on my belly. But it only worked well just for a few minutes. I went back to the bed and from hands and knees back to the toilet again...The surges changed - my body was bearing down already. So powerful that I screamed. It was a scream full of power. I told Tony to get the nurse again, because I didn't think that I could stand the pressure any longer. It was about three o'clock when the nurse examined me again - and I was 9 cm dilated!

"I need some pain relief" I said and "I can't do this any more". The nurse applied back what I myself told my woman so often in labor: "You are going to have your baby now", "I'll call Dr. Biter for the birth!" and she put me on the heartbeat monitor again. I was unable to move, so I stayed half sitting in the bed. Eyes closed, totally relaxed between surges. With the surges, I could feel how my body pushed Luis down. Twenty minutes later, Dr. Biter came. He sat down with me on the bed and with Tony and Carol on the other side.

I started to breathe Luis down. My endorphins were working well. I was in a different world. I felt my surges in different strengths. Some were so powerful that I had to hold my breath and push. Some were so that I completely ignored them and used my relaxation through them, but with the most of them I did the birth breathing, and it worked. I slowly moved Luis downwards. Tony was kissing me after each surge. During the surges Dr. Biter said: "Help him out, Mareike!" and after each surge he told me to focus: "Look at me, you are OK!"

A lot of things went through my mind at this point. First, that I was not worried about Luis' heartbeat at all, even that I couldn't hear it (Dr. Biter wisely stopped the sound). I completely trusted Dr.Biter that Luis was OK, after he had no rush and was so calm. And then I thought: "Is that really my job? How am I able to do this job?!And so Luis' head started crowning. When I pushed (because I wanted Luis to come out quick) Dr. Biter told me to stop and to breathe down. I felt the stretching sensation as a tingling (always imagined that it felt good when Tony did the perineum massage) when Luis' head was born. And he started crying! Still half in my body! It was 04:06o'clock when Dr. Biter with Tony together received his body and put him onto my belly! Luis was born! We all cried with Luis. He was lying skin to skin on me, no towel on him, just Mommy's and Daddy's hands to keep him warm. We were so happy and welcomed him into this world! Dr. Biter waited for the umbilical cord to stop pulsating and then Tony cut the cord. The placenta came straight away. Minutes after that I started breastfeeding.

When I asked Dr. Biter if he has to stitch my perineum now, he answered: "Who delivered you?! There is no tear!" I couldn't believe this. To give birth to the first child in two and a half hours?! Without pain relief?! In a darkened, calm room,without forced pushing, nobody who takes my baby away? No stitches?I could not have thought about a better birth for myself. Even that it was not the typical 'calm' HypnoBirthing birth, it was the best experience in my life and I am looking forward to do it all over again. To birth with happiness and joy! Before we went home on the same day, I had a look at Luis' heartbeat trace and the documentation of my labor. What I noticed, was, that some of my surges were lasting two and a half minutes long...I am so proud- I did it!


Many, many thanks to Carol, who helped me a lot during my quick labor! I was so glad that she was there! And, what I forgot to tell is, that my labor was so quick, that the birthing ball stayed in the car, and the camera was still in the bag. Also my mirror and my healing stones and my perineum massage oil and tummy massage oil and cinnamon bars for more surges...What I also have to say, is, that I did not imagine myself to give birth in two and a half hours in the HypnoBirthing lessons, but in six hours. Carol later told me I have to be more precise the next time, because from the actual time when we arrived at the hospital, it was exactly six hours....And I have to say, I wanted to feel my surges as pressure... (Don't ask me why!)

Congratulations Mareike & Tony!

All my best--Carol


Monday, August 3, 2009

Premature Release of Membranes at 32 weeks--success story

Premature release of membranes at 32 weeks--a HypnoBirthing success story

This is an inspiring story of a 2nd time mom whose amniotic sac released/broke at 32 weeks, was rushed to the hospital & told she would need to be induced. BUT her body & her baby weren't ready & she didn't go into labor! So she is currently home at 37 weeks & waiting for the natural progression of her labor to start. She advocated for herself & her baby & trusted her body & her baby.

(This story was shared by Kathie Dolce, Vice President of the HypnoBirthing Institute. I have permission from the mom to share it on my blog).

I've corresponded off an on for a year and a half with a mom in western Canada, who first posted to the Q & A Forum with questions about preparing on her own for a gentle birthing. There are no practitioners near enough for her to take the course. Her first birth in June 2008 was wonderful, and Stephanie hopes to become a practitioner one day. I next heard from her recently after she had been transported by air to a large medical center because release of her membranes at 32 weeks for her 2nd pregnancy. She was being told she would have to be induced within a few days, the baby would be in NICU, etc. I responded with some things to ask, where to look for research and reassurance that she'd do well with whatever turn her birthing would take, etc.

I heard from her just last night. She is now 37 weeks, home again, is looking forward to a gentle HypnoBirthing, after two days of oxytocin/pitocin that failed to do anything. I've attached her letters below. They are so inspiring and really a tribute to woman's wisdom when she trusts in her own body, her baby and natural birthing. I asked her if Icould share her story on our practitioner board, and she readily agreed. Here they are:

Hi Kathie! Not sure if you'll remember me or not, we were in contact last year after my daughter's birth because I was looking for somewhere to take a HypnoBirthing instructor course. We had one I was going to in Edmonton, Alberta and it didn't pan out. Anyway, I'm emailing you quickly because I'm in my second pregnancy and last Monday at 32 wks pregnant my water broke and I've been flown out to a hospital in Kamloops BC. Because we were flown out we didn't have a chance to pack a hospital my HypnoBirthing book, my ipod with the Rainbow Relaxation hypnosis script cd on it. They stopped my labor before I was flown out and I am on complete bedrest until the baby is born at 34 wks. If I go into labor naturally before then, they won't stop it, but if not they will induce me on Monday, July 13 at 34 wks pregnant.

My birth with my daughter was completely natural and beautiful, no induction, no pain relief except HypnoBirthing breathing and no stitches or episiotomy, etc. Kathie, I am so anxious about this birthing experience. I don't have my book or rainbow relaxation cd. I don't have my doctor who was such an instrumental part of our natural birth with the perineum massage, the lights dimmed, did room control, kept the environment calm and respected our no drug 'policy'. I feel as though I've been stripped of all my resources and rights to a natural birth. This has quickly turned into a 'medical procedure' rather than a birthday party. I've been told I will be woken up Monday morning, told to shower, eat breakfast and then have an IV put in with oxytocin/pitocin, I will labor with the IV in and deliver with it in, the baby will be taken from my body and given to doctor's and nurses to assess, insert feeding and breathing tubes and an IV to the scalp and it will be taken to the NICU. I will be allowed to stay in the hospital for 48 hrs and then be discharged and sent to a hotel for however long it takes for the baby's lungs to develop and be strong enough to breathe on its own. I was told to buy a pump so that they can feed the baby at night when I'm not here. This turns my stomach. I don't want to labor with an IV. I don't want to stress my baby (they said preemies sometimes don't 'adjust' to the oxytocin so well). I don't want to have my baby ripped from me and I don't want to leave it for someone else to care for it.

Now I know some of this is necessary, like the assessment when its born so it can breathe and I guess my discharge afterwards but its compounding on top of the other things I can't control and do in my own time. I want to have a chance to start my labor naturally and assess the situation at each stage. I don't know how I will even sleep Sunday with my anxiety over the whole thing. Their answer was to give me a sleeping pill! So my question at the end of all this is have you had anyone else in this situation and how can I possibly avoid the drug induction and use HypnoBirthing to have my labor develop naturally? Or is this possible? I would like to try walking for a little while to induce but is there anything else I may not know about that could help? I don't want any risk involved with the age of this baby and oxytocin/pitocin is a risk to me and an IV is not a calming concept while I'm laboring and birthing. Any advice would help Kathie! This turned into a very long email but I hope you understand I have too much time right now!

Just an update Kathie, we are back at home, I got a second opinion before I had talked to you from our doctor back home & he called a specialist in Vancouver Children's hospital who advised him that the best thing to do was go thru with the induction, so we did. I was 34 wks and 2 days and they put me on the oxytocin/pitocin for the whole day (about 8 or 9 hrs). Nothing happened. They put me on again the next day, and this time I was under the supervison of a different doctor (thank goodness) who after 9 or 10 hrs of being on the oxytocin/pitocin with the same result as the prior day, turned the IV off and started to question why we were forcing the labor if baby and I were so healthy and happy and there was sufficient fluid. He said many times in the conversation that if I had already had one baby and my water had truly broke, I would have delivered the baby the first day of oxytocin/pitocin. This made us again phone our doctor back home & he advised us to come home as I was almost 35 wks by this time and able to safely deliver at home.

The doctor overseeing my case the whole time we were there was not happy to hear I wanted to wait and go home. She advised us to stay and again try to be induced on the Monday after a break through the weekend. My doctor phoned her and she then talked to me again and tried to convince us he agreed with her. I know, of course, this was not the case. On Monday, she arranged for an air ambulance to take me home. I have been home now almost two weeks. I'm being monitored very closely. I'm not leaking fluid, which has lead the doctor's to believe that this was a hind leak. This can happen after the baby so much as scratches the membrane, causing a small gush of fluid and later healing over. I am still on low activity, but I'm at a very safe time in my pregnancy now to deliver. If there is a sign of infection from the blood tests they give me every second day, they will induce immediately. But according to all testing, white blood cell count is normal, baby's activity and heart rate is perfectly at ease and normal and I am as well. We're hoping for a natural labor and HypnoBirth just as it was with our first a year and a half ago, and we're sure this will happen! My doctor at this point is expecting me to carry to full term.

Also an interesting thing....the nitrizene (I think that's what they call it) test strip that they test me with to see if any fluid that is coming from me is amniotic fluid keeps testing positive. However, they do what is called a ferning test with that fluid after putting it on a slide and examining it under a microscope....if it forms a fern pattern, it's amniotic fluid, if it doesn't, it's just normal vaginal discharge or urine, etc. They did this ferning test at the time my water 'broke' or I 'leaked' & the ferning test was negative. They did it again when I came back, negative again. Either way, we are home safe and sound and now awaiting the safe arrival of number two...must be a boy with all this ;o) I will let you know what happens and thank you so much for the advice and counsel.
Sincerely, Stephanie

Thanks Kathie! Yes, you absolutely can share with the board. I was 32 wks to the day when my amniotic sac first ruptured. When they were administering the oxytocin/pitocin, as crazy as it sounds, I could feel myself not releasing, I told my husband and my Mom before they even started the induction both days that it would not work. I can remember walking the halls on both days and telling my husband that I just couldn't let it go. When I labored with my daughter, I let my body labor, but this time, I could feel every part of me fighting it. After walking through their NICU it was something I completely felt like I had to hang onto and wait. I remember even reading in the HypnoBirthing book about the power of animals and how they are able to stop their labor if they feel they are in danger. I really felt like I understood my body and was able to work with it to keep baby where it would be safe. I completely and totally believe that! So I will be 37 wks on Monday (I may have mentioned that previously) and I will definitely keep in touch and let you know what happens!
Thanks so much again, Stephanie

Kathie Dolce
HypnoBirthing® Childbirth Educator
VicePresident, HypnoBirthing® Institute

Thanks, Stephanie, for sharing your inspiring story! I hope that you have a wonderful birthing experience & look forward to hearing how everything works out!

All my best--Carol Yeh-Garner, LCSW, HBCE