My birth preparation from my first to my second child were night & day. So were their births! Today, I am just going to share about my birth plan with Tyler. Maybe some other day, I'll post Rita Clare's birth story.
This time around, I explore Hypno-birthing as a method for childbirth. When I first heard the term, I thought it was hoaxy and imagined someone being hypnotized while in labor. Once we began our hypnobirthing classes and I watched the videos of those using this method, I even laughed at how ridiculous this could be. Was this just the few most successful births that they chose to use? It was completely different than my 46 hour labor with my daughter, Rita Clare.
Here's what I did learn in my classes about hypnobirthing and the cd we listened to almost every night before we went to bed. I learned different breathing methods to use at different points of your labor. I learned how to train my mind to trust your body and to remain completely relaxed through the birthing process.
Relaxed? During labor? Seems crazy I know. The funny thing about pain is that it is heightened when your body experiences adrenaline. When you are fearful or tense, your body feels more pain. And I can honestly say that I was "pain-free" until the last 25 minutes while I transitioned and birthed Tyler.
For 6 hours though, I literally laid in bed on my side, listening to Brian read my affirmations we practiced during our hypnobirthing classes, he held my hand or rubbed my feet, and I listened to the sound of rain outside and then inside with my sound machine. I looked asleep but what I was actually doing is focusing my breathing, imagining my body moving Tyler down into the right position, and consciously relaxing all of my muscles.
Our midwives didn't believe I was as close to having Tyler as I was because I spoke calmly and sounded comfortable when they overheard me talking to my doula. They came about 15 minutes before my water broke (from what I hear) and I had Tyler shortly thereafter.
There was a point at about 6 hours where I felt like I needed to use the bathroom. Things intensified after I came back to my room, and it was moments after getting back into bed that my water broke. I remember Layla saying, "if you feel like you need to get into another position, this would be a good time." I immediately went to the floor by the side of my bed and got down on my hands and knees.
It was very difficult to relax at this point but I stuck with the affirmations. I could feel Tyler's head with my hands and I knew I would be holding my baby moments from now. At this point, we are generally told to push the baby out. But in hypnobirthing, you never push to move the baby out. I continued to breath the way I was trained and then let my body naturally expel my baby at its own pace. The worst part was that I kept getting cramps in my leg when I was on my hands and knees. Leaning on my bed helped me extend my leg when I felt one coming on. Ouch!
I had a mirror below me so I could see him as my contractions moved him. Only a few contractions and some substantial pain later, Tyler came out and Layla scooped him up and gave him immediately to me. She let me announce that he was a boy (we didn't find out prior) and boy did he cry loudly!
Yes, I did tear and was sewn up by Layla. That and my post labor contractions to remove my placenta was the worst part of the process. Apparently those contractions get worse with each child. No fun! I opted to wait until my umbilical cord had stop its blood flow to have Brian cut the cord.
It was wonderful being able to just go to sleep in my own bed with family taking care of me. Fortunately, I had Tyler at 12:31am and so we had until about 7am before Rita Clare woke up. Our family doctor, Dr. John Ness, came to our house the next day to meet and check on Tyler's well-being. All checked out well for both of us!
It was a blissful day and the birth experience beyond I could ever imagined. I would never want to do it differently if I had a choice. If we have another baby, their birth will probably be different than Tyler's just as Rita Clare's had been different. I just hope it won't be too different though. ;)
Grateful for my midwives, doula, my family doctor, and my perfectly functioning body today,
Jen Starks, Owner