Tuesday, February 16, 2010

A HypnoBirthing c-section story

Jennifer & Alessandro took my classes in November 2009 at Babies by the Sea Boutique. Here is their birth story:

Hi Carol,

I hope you are doing well!

Luca finally made it into the world 15 days late! In fact, my water broke and I went into labor on my own on the 23rd of January, shortly after our email conversation. The labor was amazing... we started active labor around 5pm and labored at home for about 9 hours. Around 2am we decided it was time to go to the hospital. The labor continued there where we used a combination of our HypnoBirthing breathing techniques, light touch massage, the birthing ball, the shower and walking the halls to move through it. The whole time I felt very much in harmony with my body and what was taking place.

A slight turn of events took place after about 15 hours when Dr Biter checked me- I was only dialated to about 5 cm and my contractions, while intense, were starting to come further and further apart. This was a bit of a set back as I was really feeling like I was going through transition and thought for sure I was going to be pushing in no time.

At that point we decided to start a small amount of pitocin to see if it would move things along, as we were still trying to achieve a vaginal birth. I was able to dialate to about 9cm, but at that point we had hit the 24 hour mark since my water had been broken and for some reason Luca was not engaging in my pelvis. Dr Biter could actually push Luca's head back inside me, which made us think there was something preventing him from being able to descend properly.

So it was at that point that we decided a c-section would be necessary for Luca to be born in a safe way. We discovered that he did have the cord wrapped several times around his neck, which could have been the reason he was unable to move through the birth canal. Going into this, I never envisioned that I would have a c-section, especially as we went to such great lengths to prepare for a completely different type of birth. But after working through all the possiblities with Dr Biter, we came to peace with the fact that this was how Luca was meant to be born. And we felt good knowing that we had tried everything we could to have the natural birth that we had planned. It was a humbling and surreal experience, but we had amazing people by our side who made all the difference in the world.

So at 4:15 on January 24, Luca was born by cesarian section- a big healthy boy weighing in at 8 pounds 11 ounces and 21.5 inches long. We were so happy to finally meet him and have been on cloud 9 ever since.

And I wanted to thank you for helping us prepare for our birth. Even though it didn't go how we had planned, we still feel like we got to experience an amazing labor and birth, which in the end is what it's all about. I wouldn't change one thing about it and will be going for the VBAC the next time around!

All the best!!


Congratulations on your birth! I'm sorry it didn't go as planned. I'm glad that you were still able to have a positive birth experience using your HypnoBirthing techniques. That's one great thing about HypnoBirthing---even when things don't happen the way that we hope, the techniques can allow the birth experience to still be a positive one. The information learned in HypnoBirthing classes allows parents to know their options, to weigh out whether or not the medical interventions being suggested are truly medically necessary or are being suggested to "move things along". Sometimes we can have our idea of the "perfect" birth, but our babies know they need something different. In Luca's case, it seems he knew it was best for him to arrive via c-section.

Take care & enjoy your babymoon! Thanks for allowing me to share your story.


Tuesday, February 2, 2010

A HypnoBirthing story for a 3rd baby

Christina & Simon took my HypnoBirthing classes in November 2009 at Babies by the Sea Boutique. Christina's previous births were vaginal but traumatic & long. They both found the classes to be calming & helpful during Christina's pregnancy. They birthed at Scripps Encinitas Hospital with the help of Dr. Capetenakis/Dr. Cap, partner of Dr. Biter, and Christina's friend & doula, Donna Hooyen.

Birth story- Brodie Louis

Sorry it’s choppy and written badly! I copied notes from my phone that I had been keeping then tried to re-write it the best I could with three boys in the house.

Tuesday, December 8th – We had Rubio’s for dinner, while eating I started feeling constant back aches then started having contractions for three hours about 15 minutes apart. I decided to go to bed after they slowed down. I was able to sleep.

Wednesday, December 9th- woke up at 7 with contractions, started timing them around 7:30, I called my mom and doula to give them a heads up. Contractions were 8-9 minutes apart. Donna, my doula, said Simon, my husband, should come home to be with me and the boys. My Mom was already at my house and made food and helped with the boys all day. Simon worked from home and ran errands for things we needed. Contractions started getting painful in the front and back mid-morning. I took a walk around our neighborhood with my mom and kids around 11, contractions were more intense on the walk. Relaxed all day, called Dr. Cap at 2:30pm, he said to rest, drink fluids, eat, continue to do what Donna said to do. He said there was no need to be checked and if the contractions hold at this pattern, I might want to take an ambien to sleep and restart the system if that’s what my body needed. I didn't time the contractions all day as I didn’t want to dwell on it, some felt further apart towards the end of the day. I had more intense contractions at night but took the ambien before 9pm and was out like a light. I woke up at midnight and Simon had to help me to get to the restroom, I was so out of it. Apparently, he had brought Bennett (our extremely loud 2 year old) into our room around 9:15pm to give him a bath and say goodnight to me and I didn’t hear a peep.

Thursday, December 10th- woke up at 3am to contractions, noticed they were about 6 minutes apart so I started timing them around 5:30am- they were at 6-7 minutes and then started growing to 8-10 minutes apart but seemed to be more intense. I texted my mom and Donna at 6:45am- my mom called right after I texted her and said she was coming up to the house, Donna said we’re just waiting to kick into active labor (5 minutes apart) and out of early labor which is what had been going on, she explained the benefits of going slow (getting Brodie and me ready at a nice pace, increasing the endorphins). Then around 10:00am the contractions started getting weaker. Just as they started to die down, Dr Cap’s office called to check in on me. I told the nurse what had been going on and she put me on hold to relay the information to Dr. Cap. He then said he wanted me to come in to be checked and to check on Brodie after a day and a half of contractions. We arrived at the office at 11:15am. Dr Cap checked and I was a little disappointed to hear that I was still at 2cm! (This is what I was at the week before) He said he could try and stretch me if I wanted or we could leave things be and let nature take its course, we decided to leave things be. I ended up crying at the end of the appointment and I started to get discouraged. After we got home, I took a shower and slept for two hours. At that point, the contractions were almost completely gone. I called Donna when I woke up and voiced my concerns and discouragement. She explained the contractions did and were doing something, and it’s not just my cervix that needs to get ready, I began to feel better. Both Simon and my mom were working from the house and Hunter went with my dad for the day. Just as my mom put Bennett down for a nap, I got up and she made me some lunch. After an uneventful afternoon, Hunter came home and my parents left for their Christmas parties. I ended up cleaning up the house a little bit while Simon and Hunter played Wii. I called Donna again and she suggested Simon and I get away just the two of us, do something relaxing and quiet. My brother’s girlfriend came over after dinner and watched the boys while Simon and I went to Starbucks. We sat and drank decaf coffee and chatted for about an hour before heading home. After the kids went to bed, Simon lit candles, put on some soft music and gave me a massage. He then read some HypnoBirthing scripts to me, turned on my Rainbow Relaxation CD (as we did every night) and I fell asleep around 10:30pm. I woke up quite often that night and had a really hard time getting out of bed on my own.

Friday, December 11th- I was able to sleep in till 10:00am, woke up to no contractions. I went into the Dr’s office around 11:00am to leave a urine sample (which I forgot to do the previous day and to be checked for an UTI). I had an acupuncture appointment at 12:30pm and started having a few Braxton hicks contractions shortly after the appointment began. The contractions stopped and I cleaned up the house a bit, did laundry then went to dinner with my parents, Simon and the kids. We went to an Italian restaurant and I had an eggplant entrĂ©e, recommended by my acupuncturist. I then had one very strong contraction in the car on the way home and started feeling a little sick to my stomach. Around 8:30pm I had three contractions, and then they stopped. Shortly after that, I was feeling a lot of extreme pressure very low. I broke down shortly before going to bed so Simon did some light touch massage and we listened to the Rainbow Relaxation CD just before going to bed. I had a few contractions that night but was able to go back to sleep albeit a very anxious sleep.

Saturday, December 12th-Woke up around 8:45am and listened to the HypnoBirthing Birth Affirmations portion of my CD. I called my mom and Donna to update them on my morning and then my friend/neighbor and her daughter came over to play for a little bit. I felt very emotional and tired and did not want Simon to leave the house. I felt like I wasn’t able to take care of the kids on my own. I started having thoughts of my mom and Simon having to go back to work soon and was feeling a little bit of pressure from them (I’m sure it wasn’t intentional) since they had been away from their respective offices for days at this point. I was worried about taking care of the kids and how I would deal with them if I did start labor quickly with no one around. I ended up sitting on the couch with some tea, relaxing while Simon got some work done upstairs and the boys played in the playroom. I put Bennett down for a nap and then took a 20 minute nap myself. My mom came up and took Hunter shopping, Simon went into the office and I watched TV. When my mom returned, she made me some eggs and we talked for a little while before she went home. I thought Bennett was awake so I went to get him up from his nap but he wasn’t fully awake when I got him out of his crib. He was very clingy and ended up falling asleep on my chest on the couch for a little over 15 minutes. It was such a warming feeling. I decided to go over the HypnoBirthing class information while the boys were playing with Simon in the playroom and that’s when I realized that I needed to hear the Balloon script. I felt like I was holding onto feelings which were preventing my labor from starting. I started thinking about what possible fears and thoughts I could be holding onto and came up with quite a few. I was physically ready for Brodie but I wasn’t quite emotionally or mentally ready for some reason. I felt bad for Bennett for being so young still; I was but wasn’t ready to be up all night and hadn’t thought about nursing a new baby yet. I selfishly wanted more time but I knew he was ready, my body was ready and it was “time” for him to be here. I began to swell pretty badly (which started a few days ago at this point) so after talking to Donna, I sent Simon out to Walgreen’s to get some Epsom Salt. He came back with a candy bar and two cartons of salt. I ate my candy bar while sitting on the birth ball and finished going over the HypnoBirthing information. I then went upstairs and soaked in the salt bath and thought of these fears I was having- I decided to change these fears into thoughts about how Brodie was meant to be here and how I am ready physically, emotionally, material wise and how his presence has made Simon and my marriage and relationship stronger and how he has opened up our lives to new and exciting things, people and experiences.

Sunday, December 13th-Woke up at 1:30am with bad acid reflux and continued to wake up every hour after that. I was up for the day at 9:30am but stayed in bed till 10:30am. I ate some breakfast then we all jumped in the car. We drove to Downtown Encinitas and took the boys on a walk down 2nd Street. We all came home, I ate a spicy burrito and drank some coffee, and we all watched the Chargers game. During the game, I noticed that Brodie wasn’t moving a lot so I rested on my left side on the couch while playing on the computer. I then noticed a cold sensation across my entire abdomen. I decided to take a shower to relax and realized that my belly was extremely low. After my shower, I hung out with the boys for a little over 4 hours while Simon went into the store. I just about went crazy! I didn’t have a single contraction all day and then they started up while Simon was away. By 8:00pm, I was shaking. I couldn’t tell if it was from the contractions and the pressure or if it was from being with the kids. I started timing them as soon as Simon returned home and they were 10-13 minutes apart. I was sure labor was about to start so I called my mom and my aunt Jacquie (who was planning on watching the kids). I decided to wait an hour and then update them again. An hour went by and I told them to stay put and I would call them if they got any closer together. By 11:00pm, the contractions started slowing down again. Simon read the balloon script again before I went to bed and then worked in the dark bedroom on his computer while I attempted to go to sleep. I was having really bad heartburn, it was very hard to sleep.

Monday, December 14th-I ended up waking up at 7:10am due to an appointment I had with Dr Cap. My mom came up and took me to my appointment which was at 8:30am. We found out that Dr Cap was out sick so I would be seeing Dr Biter. We waited around but Dr Biter was at a delivery so the office girls said they would call my cell phone when he was on his way back to the office. My mom and I went to Einstein’s and I got a Bagel sandwich with egg and cheese. She got Wahoo’s but I didn’t want to eat Mexican food for some reason. We then walked around Target but decided we didn’t need anything so we headed home. I spend some time with the kids before Simon took them to the office with him to get a few things done and get them lunch. My mom and I went to Trader Joe’s to get groceries and just as we were about to check out, the Dr’s office called. We grabbed the last few things we needed and checked out as fast as we could- bagging our own groceries because it was so busy! I stayed in the car while Simon and my mom unloaded the car and then my mom and I were off to see Dr Biter. He ended up checking me and I was at 5cm! While checking me, my water broke and flooded the exam room!! There was so much fluid that it wouldn’t stop. I was trying to clean up to leave the office and my mom and I ended up laughing so hard that I then started peeing. I couldn’t tell if it was fluid or pee, which made us laugh even harder! Dr Biter was pretty positive we would be having a baby by the end of the day/night and we talked about when to go to the hospital and when to call him. We cleaned up as much as we could- me and the room and then headed home. I called Simon right when we got in the car and told him what had happened. He immediately got that smile in his voice and the excitement began! We called my dad, Jacquie, Donna and then I texted the few people I was updating over the past few days (like my sister, brothers, close friends). Jacquie, Donna and my dad all seemed to arrive around the same time- which was about 4:30pm. My dad stayed for a few hours then took Hunter to stay the night with him. After getting home, I took a shower and waited for everyone to arrive and for things to start. My mom made eggs for everyone (yes, her eggs are delicious) and the contractions started getting regular. I spent most of my time upstairs in my dim bedroom on the birth ball. I was relaxed, confident and happy it was time! Simon was downstairs with Bennett early on and Donna and my mom stayed with me upstairs, keeping me relaxed with light touch massage and positive comments. Donna noticed my belly was really far out/forward and really low so she climbed up in the garage and grabbed a bolt of my fabric. Simon was thrilled that all the fabric I was storing was getting some use. She cut a large piece off and tied it around my belly to keep Brodie more “inward”. I was still leaking quite a bit so I tucked a towel in under the fabric and we were all joking around- saying I looked like a Sumo Wrestler. Laboring at home was the most normal feeling thing ever. I really enjoyed being around my family and the kids. I continued to labor in my room, coming downstairs a few times to snack and visit with everyone. I started to feel like I had to concentrate more around 8:00pm. I decided I was comfortable enough to stay home just a little while longer and say goodnight to Bennett. Simon brought Bennett upstairs around 8:45pm and gave him a bath in our bathroom. I was able to get up between contractions and put Bennett to bed (Simon stayed close to the door in case I needed him). Right after putting him to bed, Simon called our neighbor, Camille, and she came over to sleep on the couch while Bennett was sleeping. Simon took our car, I went with my mom, Donna drove her car and Jacquie followed up the rear. On the way to the hospital, I noticed my contractions had slowed down after getting in the car. I remembered learning in my HypnoBirthing class that this does happen so I didn’t worry too much about it. I wasn’t timing my contractions at home (Donna, Simon and my mom were) so I wasn’t positive about how far apart they were at this point anyway. I believe they were around 5 minutes apart before we left. We parked at the hospital and I decided to walk across the parking lot and into the hospital. About half way there, I realized how cold it was outside and how I should have let them drive me to the door. We were buzzed into Labor and Delivery and we walked to the check in desk. I got frustrated when they couldn’t find my pre-registration packet but shortly after those feeling of frustration hit me, I decided to let it all go. Eventually they found my information and Simon asked that we get a nurse that was experienced with natural birthing. They ended up giving us the charge nurse, Lydia. Little did I know just then how wonderful this little handed woman would be.
Lydia took us down the hallway into our room. I was hooked up to the monitors and sat on the bed then the birthing ball while being monitored and while Lydia asked me a bunch of questions. I remember thinking- I wrote all these answers in my pre-registration papers, why do I have to answer them again? Luckily, I was relaxed and comfortable enough that it didn’t bug me too much. The baby looked great, I did a really good job of not looking at the monitor and reading my contractions (or trying to time or see how far apart they were, I think I looked at the monitor once or twice the entire labor). It was really freeing… not being stuck in bed, not being so bored and confined so that that my wandering eyes peered over to the monitors to see how “big and strong” that last contraction was or how baby’s heart rate was doing, like I did in my last two births. In fact, I didn’t time or pay attention to a single contraction once Donna arrived at the house earlier that day. Lydia finished her round of questions and then it was time to check me, the required admission check. It wasn’t a big deal until it began. This wonderful, albeit little handed, nurse did not make the process of “checks” and easy one. Her outer fingers/knuckles would bang against my pubic bones and man, did that hurt! Yes, hurt. I then learned that I was 5 centimeters. The lights were dimmed and we were left alone for about a half an hour and during that time, Dr Cap called my cell phone and left me a message (which I didn’t hear for a few more hours). I hope I can keep that message forever cause it’s the most positive, uplifting message I have ever heard. He encouraged me to stay positive, take a walk, keep relaxing… and mentioned how excited he was to help catch our 3rd baby boy. Simon was also conversing with Susie (our wedding photographer and friend that was going to take pictures of the birth process) about when to come and where to go. Jacquie then told me that Melanie, her daughter and my best friend, was also on her way. Melanie is also a photographer but I had wanted her to be there as family and not as a photographer- she brought her camera anyway. I kept breathing through contractions, mostly sitting on the birthing ball as that was the most comfortable position for me at that time. Donna, my mom and Simon took turns doing light touch massage through each contraction all while telling me how great I was doing. The reassurance and positive words really helped me focus and relax. Simon turned on the instrumental music from the rainbow relaxation CD which helped me relax even more. I didn’t want anything but that playing softly in the background. My mom, Donna and Jacquie went to the cafeteria for some snacks and coffee and brought me back a bagel with cream cheese. After my first bite, Lydia walked back in to let me know that Dr Cap was on call to come in when we needed him and to ask even more questions. I was shocked that she mentioned Dr Cap as I thought he was out sick. I even made her repeat herself and mentioned that I didn’t want him to come in if he was sick! (Turns out he wasn’t contagious, just something he ate). I also didn’t know if it was ok to eat or not so I sat there with the bagel on the bed in front of me and looked at Donna with a little bit of a smile and concern. Lydia then asked me when the last time I ate was… look at the bagel and said “oh, now.” It wasn’t a big deal after all, so I dug back into the bagel which was no longer warm. I didn’t care, I was just hungry! I also kept up with drinking my electrolyte drinks and emptying my bladder. I didn’t seem to have any problems with that as I was hungry, thirsty and boy did it feel good to empty my bladder from time to time. Sitting on the toilet also brought on some pretty intense contractions and I welcomed them knowing we were getting closer and closer. I was still very comfortable, almost like I was in a blur… I remember lots of little things but the entire process seems like it was a dream. I wasn’t aware of all the medical mumbo jumbo, how far dilated I was, what my contractions were doing, etc… I was tuning into my body and listening to my gut and my heart. I remember my husband eating a Snickers bar and joking around with the camera in my face. I remember flipping him the bird with a smile (as a joke) after a contraction ended (we also have that on camera and in print), I remember napping between contractions for a little over an hour, I remember seeing a stack of unwritten Christmas cards on the table next to my bed and only now do I know that Jacquie was writing her Christmas cards throughout the night. I just don’t seem to remember when all those little details happened, like at what time. I just know they happened at some point during this “dream” of mine. It was nearing the next day when Dr Cap arrived. Lydia had checked me once more before his arrival and I only remember this because of her hands! Susie, Melanie, my mom and Jacquie were all trying to get as comfortable as possible and get a short nap in. At that point, I was becoming hot and cold and couldn’t figure out what my body temperature was doing although it didn’t help that the rooms thermostat was horrible! Donna had me walking the room, eating protein bars, drinking fluids, emptying my bladder constantly and squatting. Still, the birth ball was the most comfortable. Lydia, very discreetly, placed the fetal monitor in my mesh panties every once in a while to monitor the baby. I barely knew it was there and I barely knew she was there! Dr Cap checked me again due to my cervix being very posterior and I believe because of how I was or wasn’t progressing. He then told me it was still posterior and I need to help bring the baby down and move the cervix forward. He suggested I get on my hands and knees on the bed and then alternate laying on my sides- left and right. I got on my hands and knees for quite a while, on the bed with a stack of pillows to lean on. I remember really focusing on the music at this point and the position felt really good. After a while though, I needed a change. The bed was getting uncomfortable and my knees were beginning to get sore. After a quick restroom break, I tried lying on my left side. It was shortly after that point that my body started shaking. I became really hot and uncomfortable. The music was still on but I could no longer hear it. My breathing became deeper and louder and I needed even more reassurance and light touch massage. At one point, Jacquie, Melanie, my mom, Simon and Donna were all doing light touch massage on every part of my body. It just wasn’t enough though. I took my shirt and mesh panties off and kept my nursing bra on. Dr Cap asked to check me once more; I allowed him to but quickly told him to “get out”. It wasn’t till much later that I learned he wanted to help by turning the baby’s head. Even if he would have told me that, I probably wouldn’t have allowed it. Having him check me was uncomfortable enough and I knew he didn’t need to be in there any longer than he was just for a check. I can’t remember if it was prior to that check or shortly after but I started pushing. It wasn’t a forceful push; at least it didn’t feel like one. I just remember at one point Dr Cap saying “Chris, it looks like you are pushing. You need to stop pushing. Your cervix will swell…” Apparently, he determined that I was 8 centimeters when he checked me. I did not know how far dilated I was and in my head he was telling me not to push and warning me about the possibility of a swollen cervix because- in my mind- I was almost complete! I thought I was 9-9.5 centimeters. I’m glad I didn’t know where I was at or I would have become even more discouraged that I was about to be. I continued to listen to my body and for some reason; my body was shaking and telling me to push. I continued pushing and breathing down the baby with each contraction and Dr Cap continued to remind me not to push. I became very restless, Lydia was in full scrubs and I overheard her talking about a C-Section that she needed to go to but then she wasn’t in full scrubs anymore and she continued to stay close if not in the room with us. She brought out a bar and attached it to the end of the bed. I gave one attempt at the bar but didn’t give it long enough to get in a comfortable position. I couldn’t get in a comfortable position, period. I was then thrashing around trying to get comfortable on my right side then my left again. I was grabbing onto the side of the bed in pure fear. I was fearful of another contraction and wanted them to stop. Again, I’m so glad I didn’t know how far dilated I was at the last check or I think things would have been much, much worse. The contractions were one on top of another at that point. I had very little to no break in between them. I remember lying on my side but burying my head into the pillows beneath me, I even slobbered on them. My deep breathing sounds started to become higher in pitch but never became a scream or anything that resembled a scream. Dr Cap and Simon were sitting to my right and Donna was sitting to my left. They were all reminding me to keep a deep sound, I can honestly say I was trying with everything I had in me to get that deep sound and it just wasn’t happening. It was shortly after 5:00am when I turned to my husband and Donna and said “I can’t do this anymore”. I said that a few more times then I started asking for an epidural. Dr Cap appeared in the room and I told him I wanted the epidural- now. He told me the anesthesiologist was in a C-Section and I would have to wait another 30 minutes. He, at first, asked if I was sure I wanted to do that then he tried to explain to me what my body was doing. I kept begging for the epidural and apologizing to my husband and Donna (My husband couldn’t believe that I could calmly look at them and say I was sorry during all of this) . I even made Dr Cap promise me that I could get the epidural and it wasn’t too late (again thinking I was close to 10 centimeters). He assured me I could get the epidural but he tried to calmly talk me through what was happening.
I went on begging for the epidural for the next 20 minutes or more. All while trying to fight off the contractions. I had lost focus on the goal and the fact that each contraction was getting me closer to meeting my baby. I begged to get the anesthesiologist out of his surgery and into my room. Dr Cap explained to me that once the C-Section started, he couldn’t leave (which I already knew but I didn’t care). I continued clutching the side of the bed, tensing my body, pushing down- somehow I was still able to breathe down the baby. Half the time (while doing my version of pushing), I would actually feel his head drop down and “pop” forward and that popping feeling was instant pain relief- I was looking for that feeling again and again! I felt like I had total control of what was going on inside my body but my emotions and my outer appearance was unstable, to say the least. I yelled at everyone to stop taking pictures and to stop the video, I felt overwhelmed. I started to think proactively and asked that I be prepped for the epidural so that when the anesthesiologist was done, he could administer the epidural as quickly as possible. I requested the IV and Lydia then turned on the room lights and placed my IV. My mom stepped outside of the room. She had tears in her eyes and couldn’t handle seeing me in pain. Donna suggested I get up and empty my bladder so I wouldn’t have to get a catheter. The idea of getting up and/or going to the restroom sounded really good for some reason. I jumped out of the bed as fast as I could which shocked everyone. I didn’t want to have any more contractions while walking to the restroom but it also felt right, it felt like I needed to do this. I was also thinking that I hadn’t had a bowel movement in 24 hours so I needed to go. Dr Cap stepped outside the door and stood next to my mom. She dialed my dad on her cell phone while Dr Cap looked at her and said “the baby just might be too big”. My mom updated my dad on what was going on and how I wanted the epidural. Simon went into the restroom with me, Donna and Lydia stayed at the door. I was able to have a small bowel movement and empty my bladder but then I felt like I had to go more (another bowel movement). I pushed and pushed but it was stuck. I started to panic, no, freak out, as I looked at my husband and told him that I had a piece of poop stuck in my butt. Donna peeked her head in and I then told her that “I needed someone to pick the poop out of my butt”. Before long, Lydia was also in the bathroom. By then I was begging and pleading with everything I had in me for her to “put a glove on and pick the poop out of my butt”. I repeated myself quite a few times before she put a glove on and reached behind me. I thought she was actually going to pick the poop out of my butt when all of a sudden she said very calmly “that’s baby’s head… get back in the bed”. I didn’t wipe, I ran to the bed while Donna grabbed my IV bag and tried to remind me to slow down, that I had an IV in my arm and was running away without the bag! I remember blood dripping onto the floor and Lydia yelling at the door “BABY’S COMING!!!” Dr Cap and my mom ran back inside the room and Dr Cap quickly put his gloves on. I sat up straight in the bed with my knees bent in a sitting squat position. Dr Cap yelled for the mineral oil and threw it on as quickly as he could. He then directed me to lightly push once. I went from total panic mode (while having the back to back contractions) to being totally attentive, cooperative and calm. I remember thinking that the “ring of fire” feeling was not all that bad… He asked me to stop, Brodie’s head was out, and he was unwrapping the cord from his neck. He then told me to push a tiny bit more and with that, Brodie was born at 5:44am. The cord was also wrapped around his torso like a sash. He was placed directly on my chest immediately after his birth. I didn’t have time to take off my nursing bra like I had planned but I didn’t care. He was very blue and not breathing well so they called in two NICU nurses and took him across the room to the warmer. I was surprisingly calm when they took him but I did start to shake, my whole body was trembling. Donna stayed with me while everyone went with Brodie. His apgar score at first was 7 but then 9 right after. Before he came back to me, we were able to get my nursing bra off so he could be completely skin to skin with me. My doctor was massaging my abdomen and checking me while he was being looked at. No tears but he did think it would be wise for me to get a small amount of pitocin while I delivered the placenta. He asked me if that was ok and honestly, I was so overwhelmed and shocked by what just happened that I trusted him and said yes. I was shaking violently and the nurses brought me warm blankets and juice. During all this, I overheard everyone talking about how big he was.. Then they started making guesses. I heard “10 pounds”… “9 and a half”… I sat there with my jaw wide open in disbelief. They did weigh him since they were already doing his initial newborn “once over” while keeping an eye on him and his breathing. NINE pounds, nine ounces and 21” long. It wasn’t long before they had him back over to me; the NICU nurse brought him over, unwrapped him and placed him on my chest skin to skin. I instantly stopped shaking the second he was placed on me. We laid there for quite a while, no one rushed us, and no one bothered us. We did have a change of nurse but she came in and did her own thing, let us know she was there if we had questions, helped me use the restroom while daddy held Brodie. We started nursing pretty quickly after we sat and bonded together. I just wanted to hold him as close as I could and then when he started licking and opening his mouth, I knew it was time to nurse. His first attempt was perfect. He was a pro already! His initial sugar levels were good but dipped down (not in the danger zone) so the lactation consultant came in and helped me express colostrum. We cup fed Brodie the expressed colostrum and the fourth reading was back up to normal. After getting to our room, we spent the next 24 hours skin to skin and nursing constantly. I was bound and determined to not let jaundice plague us for the third time. Our pediatrician was amazing and very proactive. We had his levels checked at 12 hours and even though they were in the normal range, we got him on a Biliblanket. Nursing continued to go famously and he brought my milk in on day 2. We were able to go home 36 hours after his birth! What an amazing feeling, I couldn’t wait to get home and see the kids. After a few more lab visits, Brodie’s levels peaked on day 3 and well within normal limits. The next day, his levels were back down! I couldn’t believe it, we finally got to bring one of our babies home and stay home! No NICU for Brodie! At 4 days old, Brodie had already passed his birth weight, he weighed in at 9 pounds, 10 ounces.

Thinking back, I remember lots of mothers telling me the last 30 minutes or so of labor was the hardest… one of my friends had told me that she begged and pleaded for a C-Section! As much as I wanted that epidural, I probably wouldn’t have been able to sit still to get it. There’s a reason why the anesthesiologist was not available and why Brodie came so quickly at the end. I wouldn’t change a thing about my birth and I’m so grateful for the knowledge, support and advice we received from HypnoBirthing, my amazing doula and my awesome doctors. My husband told me that he truly believes I was able to birth a 9 pound baby thanks to HypnoBirthing and the amazing care I received. Did I mention I was told I wouldn’t be able to birth a baby over 7 pounds by my first OBGYN? And that I was the first in three generations to not have all C-Sections?

Thanks, Christina, for sharing your birth story! Continue enjoying your babymoon!

If you would like more information about Dr. Capetanakis, D.O. or Dr. Biter, please call their office at: (760) 642-0800 .
If you would like more information about Donna Hooyen, please email her at donna at 7thheavenbabies dot com.