I began practicing Hypnobabies in January in preparation for Franklin’s arrival. I had heard about Hypnobirthing from a friend who used it for the birth of her daughter. She loved her experience and suggested I give it a try. I searched the internet, found Hypnobabies and joined Carole Thorpe’s class. I have to admit, I was VERY skeptical that it could be possible for me to give birth without drugs and without pain, but I was willing to see where this class took me.
I was seeing an OB who was very nervous about the size of my baby. So nervous, in fact, that he wanted to schedule a c-section at 31 weeks! I changed OBs, to one that supported a more natural birth experience. She was still very concerned about the size of the baby and wanted to be sure that I understood that a c-section was a real possibility. My “Bubble of Peace” got a real workout during every doctor visit! I would gently remind her during every visit that I was going to be fine, and that I could push this baby out naturally. Meanwhile …
I practiced diligently from the time the classes ended to the time of Franklin’s birth, listening to the scripts, doing the exercises and practicing the finger drop. But still, in the back of my mind I thought, “Will this be enough?” I thought that the other success stories I had read just represented people who were stronger than I. Boy, was I wrong!
Early Sunday morning, as I lay sleeping, I felt a sensation between my legs. Not knowing what I felt, I went to the toilet to see if I was bleeding. My findings on the toilet were inconclusive, so I decided to go back to sleep. At about 9 AM, I was sure that I was feeling pressure waves and that my birthing time had begun! I excitedly woke my husband (Jonny) to share the news. We decided that we better go get breakfast right away! As breakfast progressed, so did my pressure sensations. I wanted to return home to enter hypnosis and really put this program to the test.
Upon returning home, I entered hypnosis and sat on my birthing ball listening to scripts. My husband called Carole (our doula) who informed us that we should notify the backup doula because she was on her way to another birth! (I guess the rains really do bring babies!). We called Laura to notify her that I was in my birthing time, but there was no need for her to come over at that time. At about 12:30 PM, I felt like it was time for Laura to come help me stay focused. She arrived and with Jonny eased me through the first stage of my birthing time. We used the relaxation music and visualization – it was a beautiful time. My family and friends began to assemble in my home; it was great to have everyone there.
I visited the toilet again at around 4 PM and I noticed that I had begun bleeding. I informed Laura. Shortly thereafter, I began vomiting and Laura said it was time to go to the hospital. My husband loaded the car and then loaded me into the car and we sped through the pouring rain to Saddleback Memorial Hospital. Deeply in hypnosis at the time, I didn’t even realize that Carole had arrived to the hospital at the same time! During the ride in the elevator to the Labor and Delivery floor, I looked up at my husband and said, “This is the best!”
We entered triage where they, not believing I was in my birthing time, checked me and strapped monitors to the baby. The measured me at “4 or 5” centimeters and told me that if I wanted to, I could go home. Carole didn’t think this was a good idea, so we stayed. And rightfully so! By the time I was checked in my room I was 10 centimeters!
In the room, I began the most magnificent task of pushing out my baby. I can’t describe how wonderful that was – the most glorious feeling I’ve ever experienced. Finally, it was time to push for real – the doctor entered the room! I was getting tired from all of that pushing, but this doctor breathed new life into me by yelling, “Let’s have a baby!” and “those little pushes don’t do any good!” and “you have to do better!” She must have been a football coach in a previous job … but her tactics worked!
Despite the umbilical cord being wrapped around his neck twice and having meconium, I pushed out my 10 lb. 2 oz. angel baby at 10:42PM on Sunday, March 12, 2006. No drugs for baby, no pain for mommy. Franklin was welcomed by me, his papa, Carole, Laura, my best friend Megan and my parents. It was the most beautiful and wonderful experience of my life and I can’t wait to do it again!