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Carson's HypnoBirthing Birth

pain-free for the first 15 hours even with Pitocin,
then I lost focus and ended up with an epidural.
I still feel that hypnosis really helped me to have a successful VBAC
I used hypnosis again using Hypnobabies when I had Bryson.

My due date was the 20th of August and my mom came out on the 18th to help with Devon until the baby came. I was so glad that she came, because I was getting really tired and it was hard to keep up with Devon. We figured the baby would come any day! Well, Carson had other plans.

On the 25th I woke up with contractions every 5 minutes. Rob and I walked and kept busy for 4 hours and the contractions kept coming. So I called the Doctor’s office and they said to go in and get checked. I did and my cervix hadn’t changed since my last appointment and my contractions had slowed down. So we went home. We spent Saturday at the beach. Sunday we went to church… and said, “Yes, we still are pregnant,” at least 20 times.

Monday the 28th was my OB appointment. I told Dr. Kaminskas that my mom was leaving and I was really ready to have the baby. We set up an induction for Wednesday. I was really torn, because I didn’t want to be induced, since I heard that pitocin makes the contractions harder to deal with. But my mom had to go back to work and I would be 2 weeks over on Friday, so it seemed like Wednesday was a good compromise. It felt good to have an ending in sight.

We were supposed to be at the hospital at 6:45 am. I woke up at 4:30 because I thought my water had broken. I woke Rob up and said we needed to get up now. He asked if it was a ploy to get him up early. I was contracting every 3-6 minutes. We got to the hospital at 6 am. I asked not to be put on pitocin and they said as long as I progressed that was fine. Well at 10:30 my contractions hadn’t gotten stronger or closer, so they started the pitocin. I was still able to manage the contractions with the hypnosis techniques we had been practicing. I was able to relax through them and between them and felt pretty good and confident.

At some point the baby’s heart rate dropped. I had been in the rocking chair and was really comfortable. The baby rolled around during a contraction and it made the contraction really hurt. So I stood up. Then I noticed on the monitor that his heart rate had dropped. I wasn’t sure if we had just lost his heartbeat since he rolled or if his heart rate had dropped. But two nurses rushed in and got me on my side in bed, and put an oxygen mask on me and got his heart rate back up. It was pretty freaky and for a few minutes I was worried that there was something wrong. But he recovered nicely and I stayed in bed for a few hours with the oxygen. I almost started crying and losing it right when they got me in bed, but realized that wouldn’t help the baby, so I was able to focus and stay calm. (I know the hypnosis helped me to stay calm.)

After that the nurses pretty much left us alone. I think they didn’t think much was happening because I was so calm and quiet. At 5 p.m. I started wanting to push, so the nurse checked me. She was surprised that I was at 7 cm. She also discovered that my bag of waters hadn’t broken. Then they asked if I wanted it broken, but warned me it could make the contractions more intense. I said no to breaking the water. I was excited because typically transition goes fairly quickly. It is more intense but I was able to focus on the fact that it meant the baby would be coming soon. The nurse told me not to push since it could make my cervix swell up so I had to fight that urge. This made it harder to relax through the contractions, but I was still able to manage with Rob’s help.

At 6 p.m. I still really wanted to push, so she checked me again. I was still at a 7! I was so disappointed. They broke my water, because with the baby’s head pushing directly against the cervix it would be more effective than the bag of water pushing there. The contractions definitely got stronger and it was really hard to relax through them. I pretty much slept/relaxed between the contractions, but when the contraction started I was pretty overwhelmed. We were managing and the nurse kept saying how well I was doing, but I decided if I hadn’t progressed by 7, I was going to ask for an epidural.  Once I made that mental shift, it was hard to stay in hypnosis, because I was so focused on progressing. I now know it is normal for some women to have a Natural Plateau, where they pause at a certain dilation for a few hours. The nurses made it seem like I was “STUCK” at a 7, so mentally I got stuck too.

Well, at 7 p.m. they checked me and I was still 7cm dilated, so I asked for an epidural. My nurse told me how well I was doing but agreed to call the anesthesiologist. He was in a c-section, so it would be about 30 minutes. Once I had decided to get the epidural, the pain seemed worse, I barely managed to hang on through each contraction. Then at 7:25 my new nurse came in and said that the anesthesiologist. had to go straight into another c-section would I like to wait, or would I like some medicine in my IV. I had the presence of mind to ask what it was and how it would affect me. She said Nubain and it would make me sleepy and help me relax. Facing another 30 minutes with no relief in sight I asked to be checked again and was still at 7 cm so I took the nubain. Well, just 2 minutes later the anesthesiologist came in he managed to sneak in before the c-section, and he gave me the epidural. It was a welcome relief. I had been telling Rob, I just don’t want any more contractions. With the epidural, I still had to concentrate not to push, but didn’t feel any pain. Rob was able to rest too, he went and got dinner and bought a book and read a little bit while I slept.

I slept a lot… sometimes waking to breathe through the desire to push. At 10:15 the baby’s heart rate started dropping again. So the nurse came in and gave me O2 and turned off the pitching and checked me. I was 10 cm dilated and the baby was at a +2 station. So it was time to start pushing. Kelly was a great nurse, very patient and helpful. I started pushing about 10:20. I could feel some sensation, but wasn’t sure how well I was doing. I slept between contractions and pushed 3x each contraction. Time passed quickly to me. At some point Rob told me the baby should be born on the 30th, but before we knew it it was past midnight. I am not sure where the time went.

Finally I had the baby far enough down that Dr. Kaminskas came in. I pushed and pushed. I felt the baby’s head. They brought the mirror out so I could watch. It was pretty surreal, but neat. The nurse had been massaging me and the Dr. too. Finally it was time, the baby’s head was just about out. I pushed and pushed and then his head came out. He was born at 1:08. They didn’t realize how big he was going to be and I got a 3rd degree tear. Then I pushed a little more and out he slid. His cord was extremely short and Dr. Kaminskas had to hold him close to me between my legs while Rob cut the cord. I remember thinking, I hope Rob doesn’t accidentally cut me! Then they put Carson on my belly. Everyone kept commenting on how big he was. I was thinking maybe he was 8 pounds.

Honestly I was pretty tired and out of it, so I was ok when they took the baby away to clean him off and weigh him. Rob stayed by the baby; they were in the same room, just a few feet away from me. The Dr. sewed me up and I kind of dozed off, but heard someone exclaim… 9pounds 4 ounces and 21 inches long. WOW, that is a big baby! It is pretty unbelievable that I pushed that out of me.

I was able to nurse him on one side. He latched on quickly and had a strong suck. Since he was so big they had to monitor his blood sugar level. He ended up getting 2 bottles of formula to help regulate that. He also had a little trouble maintaining his temperature because he was so big.

Devon's birth was fairly scary (emergency c-section at 34 weeks) and I know the hypnosis helped me to stay calm during my pregnancy and to feel more confident that I could carry a baby full term and that I could have a VBAC. I am SO glad that I used hypnosis for Carson's birth, I wish I had a doula... but I am still thrilled with my VBAC and my healthy boy.