The last couple weeks of April were stressful for my husband and I as he was very busy at work and we were convinced this baby would come early and quickly like our first child. Our guess date with this baby was May 4th and I successfully remained pregnant until the end of April, allowing my husband to get through his busy time at work. On April 30th I had an appointment with my OBGYN and at 2pm that day she did a membrane sweep. She told me I was already 3 cm dilated and expected the baby to come soon.
At 5pm that day I went into my husbands office to help celebrate the end of their busy season and I started to feel surges (contractions) immediately. The surges were not strong but I could tell the difference from some of the practice surges (or Braxton Hicks as some call them) that I had been having the last month on occasion. I continued my evening as planned while trying to time the surges as they became more regular. By 7pm I was ready to go home as I was nervous things could start moving quickly based on my past experience. When we got home the surges were about 8 minutes apart so we took a walk around the block because that is what really got my last labour moving. This time the opposite happened, my surges slowed down after the walk and by 10pm they slowed down to 13 minutes apart. My husband and I decided at that point to try and get some sleep. I was able to sleep for a couple of hours and then woke up with stronger surges. My husband and I monitored and timed these surges for awhile and by 1:30am the surges were only 8 minutes apart but were strong enough that I couldn’t talk through them and I had to concentrate on my hypnobirthing slow surge breathing technique to help me get through them. I knew at that point it was time to go to the hospital.
My Doula, Cheryl Lloyd, met us at the hospital around 1:45am and they took me to the assessment room where they asked the general questions. The surges at this point were about 3 minutes apart and much stronger. Cheryl was vital to my success at utilizing the hypnobirthing breathing technique to get through the surges. What I found very interesting was the difference I felt when I cringed and tried to fight the discomfort versus when I relaxed and used the slow surge breathing technique to help me through the surge. I would say the discomfort level was the same for both, however when I relaxed and used the breathing technique I could actually feel my baby coming down the birth canal and I knew I was helping her come to me versus fighting it; it was an amazing feeling.
After a short time in the assessment room before they even had a chance to check my cervix I felt something change and I knew she was coming. The first urge I had to push I went with it and my membranes released. It went very fast after that and the nurses rushed me on the bed to the delivery room as I was birthing my baby. As soon as we got into the room the nurses requested I flip onto the delivery room bed. I rolled over and ended up in hands and knees position. It felt very comfortable and I knew I wanted to birth in that position. I had some resistance from the nurses who preferred to have me birth on my back but I politely declined to roll over as I knew this was the right position for me and my baby. For me, birthing in this position really let me concentrate on what I was trying to accomplish and I was able to successfully block out all the other “noise” in the room. I stared at the bed below me and I was able to get inside my own body and calmly breathe my baby down (J breathes in hypnobirthing).
Without any pushing, I delivered my baby girl at 2:26am after being in the delivery room for only three minutes! Later, the nurse told me she was surprised at how quickly I birthed my baby without tearing and she wanted to know what I did because she didn’t see me push…she was shocked.
I am very thankful for my doula who kept me focused on the hypnobirthing techniques, especially when things started to move quickly and I got caught up in the madness for a brief moment. I cannot say that I went through the experience without any discomfort but I can say that I felt in control throughout the entire process and had the birthing experience I strived for.
Jocelyn – mother of baby Eden, born May 1st
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