Ashley’s First Birth

I hit the 40 week mark and everyone had been asking, to a quite obviously still pregnant me, “no baby, yet?” for the past two weeks. I won’t lie and say I wasn’t worried about going to 42 weeks and having what I dreaded, a hospital pitocin birth. When I hit 40 weeks, I knew I needed to overcome the power of these thoughts, so I began to immerse myself in the Hypnobabies scripts, particularly “Come OUT, baby” and the “fear clearing”tracks. I listened to them even when I was walking the dogs and cooking. On Tuesday, at 41 weeks, I was feeling better about all of it. I went in for a non-stress test, and I opted to have a membrane sweep. We went home from that appointment and I felt, as I was told to, crampy throughout the remainder of the day.

I woke up on February 10th and took the midwife induction cocktail. I didn’t feel anything that morning and thought that it would at least be the evening if anything happened that day. I took my overactive Boykin spaniel on three mile trail walk. I also listened to the fear clearing track, releasing my fears of being a mother, as well as the birthing affirmations. I showered and felt a bit off in the shower, so I laid down on the bed. By this time, I thought I might be feeling a little something, maybe pressure waves. I tried to time it, but found it hard to pinpoint starts and stops. This is when my husband, Spencer, got home for lunch. Even though I was feeling a bit nauseous, I decided to eat lunch, thinking I had a while. I started to feel what I could identify as pressure waves around 1:00pm. I timed them and they were 2-3 minutes apart and 45-50 seconds. I knew my son would be arriving that day, so I told Spencer to go ahead and run his errand and get someone to cover him at work.

At this point, I was on my hands and knees on the floor, and at 2:00, the pressure waves were about the same. I called Spencer and checked to see if I should call the midwives. I didn’t want to be “that person” who gets overeager and leaves too soon. I ended up calling and Susan answered. I told her what was going on, and she suggested for me stay a bit longer to avoid stalling. Immediately after I hung up the phone, my water broke. Around 3:30, I began throwing up my yummy lunch. I knew it was time to go (I remembered Julie mentioning transformation and throwing up going to together). My pressure waves were roughly the same. I had Spencer call and tell them we were headed to Greenville, a 35 minute drive, to the office for me to be checked. Spencer was great using words and phrases from Hypnobabies. I was in a hypnosis, which was so focused on what was going on with Kellan and me, I’m not sure I even responded. I had to turn backwards in the seat and hold on to the seat back, leaning over. I remembered reading a birth story with someone doing this and cannot imagine being remotely comfortable any other way. During my pressure waves, I was very vocal. I kept chanting “I can do this”(okay, it was probably really loud, but who cares).

We arrived at the midwives’ office, and I slowly got out of the car. I stopped and leaned against the wall in the entryway to work through a pressure wave, knowing that I was doing awesome, but not wanting to freak out anyone in the lobby. As I walked down the hall, the nurse asked if I was okay. I told her I thought I was going to puke. She ran and got a bag, and I immediately vomited in it. We walked back to the room, and Samantha came in to check me. I didn’t think anyone could soundly offer encouragement for vomiting, but she did. She asked if I wanted to know my dilation, and I told her no (we later asked; I was about a 7). She said that I was ready to go into the birth center, which I knew already. All I could do was nod.

They just needed to check the baby’s heart rate. I stood because I could not bear sitting or lying on the table. She took longer than I thought she should. I could hear his heartbeat, but I knew something was off. She asked Bethany to come in and listen. Bethany listened and informed me that his heart rate was not coming back up the way it should between waves, and I would need to go to the hospital. She assured me that most likely everything would be fine. Here is the moment that I thought I would freak out, lose it, because this was not what I wanted. I liked to be in control and things to go as planned. BUT I didn’t. I calmly nodded and accepted it, which I attribute to Hypnobabies.

We got in the car and drove the very short distance to the hospital. Passing the wheelchairs, I could not imagine having to sit in one of those. We got on the elevator, and there were other people on it; I didn’t want to wait I was being very noisy, leaning against the elevator. They got off before we did, and someone poked their head in asking, “is everything okay?” Inside, I was laughing. Spencer told them we were okay that I was just getting ready to have a baby. At this point, though I did not tell my husband, I thought I might need to push.

When we got off the elevator, Spencer asked which way to L&D room 16 and explained I was direct admit from the midwives. They still tried to detain us.

Just as Spencer was insisting we needed to go to the room NOW, Samantha came off the elevator and defended us, whisking us down the correct hallway to our room. When we got there, they strapped the portable monitors to me. I continued to move around, and I remember Samantha’s encouragement. The nurses wanted to put in an IV; however, I was moving around too much, and they could not stick me.

Samantha instead suggested she check me again, and when she did, she declared it was time to have a baby.

I had gone from 7 to 10 cm in less than 30 minutes.

*Hypnobabies Bubble of Peace for next paragraph*

She told me that because of his heart rate I needed to get this baby out fast. She had me lay on my left side and my husband sat beside me holding my hand. After pushing some, she looked at me and said “I don’t mean to scare you, but I kind of do. I need you to push as hard as possible because if you don’t get him out soon, I will have to call the doctor in with forceps and I know you don’t want that.” While it may not sound like it, his was exactly what I needed to know/hear. At that moment, using my Hypnobabies cues, I released my fear of tearing and pushed. In several pushes, Kellan was born. They laid him on my stomach. He was perfect and healthy. All of this happened in less than an hour after arriving at the hospital and less than five hours after my pressure waves truly began. My husband was calm and helpful the entire time. It was such a whirlwind, so I am glad we were prepared.

ashleyKellan’s birth did not go “as planned.” I had visualized and planned for a birth center birth that was slow (but not too slow of course) with water, maybe a shower, maybe the tub. However, his birth was still amazing. Julie’s Hypnobabies class helped me to accept the path my birthing journey took, and having the midwives who were encouraging, positive, and supportive of mychoices, allowed me to have a wonderful birthing experience.

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