I'm going to start off that I was a bit skeptical about hypnobirthing but I thought if there is a chance it works why not and I am so glad I did!
I'll give you a bit of a back story before I go into my labor story. Since this was my first baby I didn't know what to expect and I was having some anxiety as the due date crept closer. I decided to do hypnobirthing after researching on google, "ways to help with dealing with labor". After listening to quite a few testimonials on YouTube, I decided to give it a try. This is what brought me to Amanda. Amanda was great and after the first session, I felt more at ease. My husband enjoyed it saying he felt so relaxed afterwards. As the sessions went on my anxiety started to get better.
Now that you know how I came to hypnobirthing I'll get on with my labor story. At 37 weeks I went to bed excited to see Amanda for our last hypnobirthing session and to practice my J breathing (birth breathing). I was having trouble with it and I felt I was doing it wrong. During the night I woke to what I thought was Braxton hicks. I took the opportunity to do my surge breathing with each tightening, which after I quickly fell back asleep. I woke in the morning convinced I had a kidney infection and went to get up to use the washroom. As soon as I sat up my water broke. I looked over at my husband and shook him awake telling him I was in labor. He shot up and asked me if I was sure I just didn't pee myself, which I responded I was pretty sure.
I remember my doctor saying that this being my first, as long as my water was clear I probably would have time to take a quick shower. So feeling dirty I sat in the shower (because it felt better) and continued to do my surge breathing, while telling my husband what to pack for the hospital. Because who has their hospital bag packed and ready to go at 37 weeks? Definitely not us. Once I got out of the shower I got dressed in between contractions and we were off to the hospital.
While pulling into the hospital my husband asked me where he should park. The contractions were pretty close so we decided to park right in front. I'm glad we did because I had to stop each time I had a contraction, so it would have taken us forever. There at the entrance a very nice security guard came out to greet us. He went and got a wheelchair for me and graciously pushed me inside while my husband parked the car.
We were then sent to the maternity ward where they asked me to pee into a cup. Now there is nothing more frustrating than trying to pee into a cup and not being able to, then having a contraction and missing the cup. So giving up on my urine test, they leisurely set me up on the machine to measure contractions and the baby's heart rate. I concentrated on my breathing and picturing my body opening to let my baby into the world (as they talk about in hypnobirthing). They asked me if I wanted to have pain medication. This is where I faltered because people always tell you that they spend hours waiting to dilate, and that the pain increases. I was nervous so I'm not going to lie, I said yes. So as the one nurse went to grab medication the other nurse went to check how dilated I was. This is where she proceeded to tell me that I couldn't have the pain medication because I was too far along. I was then brought straight to the labor and delivery side (later on I found out that when she checked me his head was already descending).
Unfortunately since I didn't get to practice my J breathing I wasn't able to breathe my baby out, which next time I'm determined to do. I ended up having to push but the pain almost lightened up because I was able to do what my body wanted and that was to welcome my son into the world. I was able to stay relaxed and in the moment between surges. I felt like I could really listen to my body and that it was guiding me through it, rather than my brain telling my body what to do. I never swore or yelled, I mostly apologized saying I've never done this before, I even would have small conversations between surges. My doctor reassured me I was doing great. I forgot to mention that I had two students in the room while I laboured. During my labor, my doctor kept telling them this isn't usually how first labours go and that I was an exception. That usually Moms are more stressed and not this calm and with it. Which made me feel great.
After pushing for what seemed like minutes but ended up being about an hour, we found out that we welcomed a healthy baby boy into the world. Caleb was born 7lbs 6oz, and in my eyes the most beautiful person I had ever seen. When he was born I had a huge wave of love and energy hit me. I felt like I could truly be there in that moment. I actually felt so great that I got up walking almost right after.
When writing this my husband laughed saying that my writing this took me longer then my labor did. In the end if anyone asks if I think hypnobirthing works I would say yes but that you need to practice and have an open mind. I was able to have an all-natural birth which I really wanted and I would highly recommend Amanda to anyone who wishes to try this.
Kyle, Brean and Caleb